Darkness Master by Mary Rundle
Series: Blackwood Pack (Book 10)
Release Date: Monday, December 5 2022
Publishing Company: Dragonheart LLC
Primary Plot Arc: Romance
Length: Novel / 114,796 Words / 463 Pages
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
LGBTQ+ Identities: gay
Tropes: M/M/M, Shifters, Fated Mates, MPREG, HEA
Keywords/Categories: Wolf Shifters, Tiger Shifters, Dragons, Alpha, MPreg, Fated Mates, M/M/M, Blackwood Pack, shifters, fated mates, mpreg, male pregnancy, HEA, new release, announcement, giveaway, gay
This is part of a continuing series by Amazon International Bestselling Author, Mary Rundle – reading the previous titles is advised. Readers will enjoy catching up with members of the Blackwood Pack and reading about what is happening to them as the pack does what it does best ̶ caring for one another and helping shifters everywhere.
Pursuing his dream, Sawyer heads to LA for some sun, waves and surfing lessons. After a disappointing day of surfing, he heads back to his campsite and meets Alex, his Fated Mate, who runs away, valuing his freedom more than anything else.
After the death of his wealthy, domineering father, Alex is can finally shed a lifetime of restrictions. Leaving New York City, he sets out on a long, cross-country RV trip, unaware that an overnight stop in a Los Angeles campground will yield not one Fated Mate, but two! Shocked at meeting Sawyer, Alex rejects him, vowing never to be under the thumb of any Alpha mate.
Glenn, a career secret agent, is also in LA to seek help from his friend, Ghost, a surfing instructor, in his quest to find who is responsible for kidnapping Glenn’s mother and other rare shifters. After meeting up with Ghost, Glenn discovers his Fated Mate is Sawyer, his friend’s current surfing student.
After the three mates finally meet, each has to face up to some hard facts about their past and present lives before coming to an understanding that leads them to find love and happiness with each other.
Astounding surprises, rare and unique gifts, an action-packed mission, and many unexpected twists and turns make this passionate love story by Mary Rundle impossible to put down once you’ve read the first page.
✨ Exclusive Excerpt ✨
Hi everyone, I’m so happy to be here for my audio book tour! Today there’s an exclusive excerpt for you from Darkness Master, Book 10 of the Blackwood Pack series. The Fated Mates in this story are Alex, Sawyer, and Glenn who never expected to find each other. Lots of twists and turns, suspense and intrigue happen along with them receiving some amazing gifts. Nick J. Russo, an award-winning narrator, does a fabulous job. Please enjoy!
Panting, Alex pulled open the door of his small trailer, scrambling into it before pulling the door closed behind him. Flipping the lock, he stood still, his body tight, listening to the muted sounds coming from the woods. Once he was sure no one had followed him, he slipped quietly into his bed. Taking a deep breath, he held it for a count of ten before releasing it slowly. Repeating this several times, Alex willed his heart to slow down, worried the sound of it could be heard even through the trailer walls.
Closing his eyes, his mind drifted back to the face that would be staring at him in his dreams from now on. During all his years at boarding school, Alex barely listened to his fellow classmates as they talked about how amazing it would be when they found their fated mates. But that would never happen for him because of what he was. And anyway, there wasn’t a reason he could come up with that would justify finding himself owned by a mate; his life had been strictly controlled by school rules for years, and he’d had enough of that.
After he graduated, and just when he thought he was finally free to enjoy his life, he was informed by a lawyer that his father, a father he’d never met, had arranged housing for him along with—what he ended up calling his jailers—a housekeeper/cook, a bodyguard/chauffeur and a personal assistant to handle his social obligations. Not that he ever had any because whatever he wanted to do required prior approval from his father, which never came in time.
Not willing to live that way any longer, Alex made plans to escape, which turned out to be unnecessary; his father died, leaving him a very wealthy young man. For the first time in his life, Alex’s destiny was in his hands and it didn’t take long for him to flee his keepers. After deciding on a plan, he set about putting it in motion, learning whatever he needed to carry it out. Selling everything, including his condo prison, he bought a small travel trailer and an SUV to tow it.
Leaving his old life behind, his newly found freedom was intoxicating; his spirits lifted and smiles to light up his face as he fled the city, heading south. Stopping whenever the desire hit, moving on when his mind told him it was time to go, Alex meandered across the land, spending months exploring the country. And in all that time, he never met another one like him—until now.
Dumb…dumb…dumb. Biting his lower lip, Alex realized his mistake could be chalked up to the sheltered life he lived for all those years but that was just a flimsy excuse—he knew better. All those years, while all of his classmates went home during the breaks, he stayed at the nearly-empty school, spending his time reading every book about the paranormal world he found in the library. Sighing quietly, his thoughts returned to the sexy man he spooked. A fated mate…why me? And why now?
Frowning, Alex wondered if he should leave tonight, heading north, away from Southern California, but he really didn’t like that idea. Rubbing his chest, he considered moving to a different campground, but this was the only gay one in the area, giving him a sense of safety—something he found necessary after an unsettling experience at his first campground stop. Disclosing that he was gay to the wrong people could be dangerous. Something I would have known if my father had allowed me some freedom.
Unsure about what to do, Alex concentrated on the night sounds of the woods, listening for any indication his mate had pursued him. But when he found none, he decided further thoughts could wait until he had a good night’s sleep. Wrapping his arm around his stuffed bear, he turned onto his side, pulling a blanket up over him. Inhaling the familiar scent of his furry friend, he closed his eyes, drifting off.
~ ~ ~
Stopping, Sawyer looked around, cursing the loss of his mate’s scent. Backtracking until he could pick it up again, he headed in another direction, looking at the forest floor for any signs his mate had gone that way. After an hour of searching, he finally ended up at a campsite where a small, silver, travel trailer was parked. Listening intently, he smiled when he heard his mate’s faint snores.
Then, hidden by a thicket of trees, Sawyer waited and watched before finally pulling out his phone and sending off a message. Unwilling to leave his mate unprotected, he stripped, stashing his clothes in the crook of a branch. After shifting, Sawyer’s black wolf trotted through the woods surrounding his mate’s campsite, checking for threats. When he was finally satisfied there were none, he dropped down near the trailer’s steps, resting his head on his paws.
Thinking back to their encounter, Sawyer remembered the fleeting fear in his mate’s eyes when he realized who Sawyer was. Why was my mate afraid of me? It was something he couldn’t figure out but was one of the first things he was going to get an answer to tomorrow—along with who his mate was. Everything else would have to wait until he claimed the gorgeous man.
Alex’s eyes widened. “A dragon? Really?”
“Yup…so you see…it won’t be a problem,” Sawyer said, setting his fork down. “So you’re a fellow New Yorker. How did you end up in California?”
Shrugging, Alex studied his empty plate. “I wanted to see what was beyond the place I grew up in.”
“Hey, I get that…it’s why I decided to look at the bright side when my brother said we were going to visit our cousins.”
Looking up sharply, Alex asked, “You haven’t gone anywhere either?”
“Nope…well, I did live in California when I was very young, but my father moved us back east when he took over our pack from his father…so I really don’t remember much from that time.”
“And you haven’t traveled since then?” asked Alex.
“Uh-uh. I didn’t go to college like some of my brothers and my father never brought me along when he traveled for pack business…so, nope, the trip out here was pretty much my first time anywhere.”
“Do you like it? You know…traveling?” asked Alex.
“Not the way Hunter did it. We drove straight through, and it was boring as shit…even though I tried to get him to stop along the way to see some of the touristy stuff.”
“Oh, I did that!”
“Oh yeah? Which was your favorite? Oh wait, I bet it was the giant ball of twine!” Sawyer exclaimed.
“What? No! Is there really such a thing?” asked Alex. Then, throwing his paper napkin at Sawyer while shaking his head, he said, “You’re full of bullshit.”
“Me? Never!” Sawyer exclaimed. “It’s in Cawker City, Kansas. Here…I’ll show you.” Opening his browser on his phone, he searched for it, then finding the site, Sawyer handed the phone over to his mate.
Quickly scanning the web site, Alex looked up and grinned. “That’s freaking amazing! And in August, there is a ‘Twine-a-thon’ where more twine is added to the ball.”
“Told ya.” Smirking, Sawyer took his phone back. “So, you missed that on your trip out here…so what did you see?”
Laughing, Alex said, “I was too busy stopping at national parks like the Grand Canyon. I spent almost a month there…it was just amazing. It’s so different when you are standing there in person, looking down and seeing millions of years of geological history, instead of looking at a photograph. I did all of the touristy stuff and then there were days, I just sat on the edge and stared at it, trying to commit it to memory. It truly is breathtaking.”
“I take it that’s your favorite place?” Sawyer asked.
“So far, it is…but then I haven’t seen the Redwoods yet,” grinned Alex.
“Me neither, even though they aren’t that far from my cousins’ place,” Sawyer said, gathering up their dishes. “What are your plans for today?”
Frowning slightly, Alex considered his mate’s question. What he was going to do was head to see the Pacific Ocean because he wanted to see if it was different from the Atlantic Ocean. When he left New York, he arrived in Cape May just in time to find himself on the outskirts of a tropical storm. Sitting on the beach, watching the wild waves crash ashore, Alex was mesmerized by the wind while watching the low hanging, heavy, gray clouds move across the sky. It spoke to his soul like nothing else ever had. The next day, after the storm had passed, he went back, but this time sat in the water among the steel-gray waves as they tumbled ashore. He’d never experienced anything like it, and he ended up staying a week at the Jersey Shore, spending hours a day at the beach.
“Hey…hello, are you there?” asked Sawyer. “What’s on for today?”
Shaking his head slightly to clear the memories from his mind, Alex replied, “Today is a relaxation day. Since I spent the last two days driving, I planned on spending the day at the beach.”
“Sounds great…let me put this inside. Do you want me to drive, or would you rather do it?”
Grateful his mate had given him a choice, Alex said, “If you don’t mind, I’ll drive.”
“Not at all. Gimme a few minutes to change, okay?”
Waving his hand at the motorhome, Alex replied, “Go ahead…I’ll be right here.”
Giving his mate one of his trademark grins, Sawyer stood before grabbing the dishes and turning to head for his motorhome.
Alex stared at Sawyer’s ass, admiring the flexing muscles as his mate opened the door and climbed the stairs. Blocked from seeing anything more when the door closed, a low moan escaped from his throat as he tried to reign in his lust. It was something he’d never felt before. Wondering if the feeling had something to do with being fated mates, Alex cursed himself again for not paying more attention to his classmates’ whisperings after the lights went out. But in all fairness, he never expected to have a mate…especially because he was so odd. His mind flitted back to Sawyer, wondering if his mate knew what he was…and if he didn’t…should I tell him? And what happens when I do…will he reject me then? So maybe I should tell him right away so if he doesn’t want me, I can just leave and go to Palm Springs like I planned to.
NO! The rarely heard voice was so loud, Alex covered his ears as fire roared through his veins, removing any doubt about what to do. Glancing up at the motorhome door, he was surprised to find it still closed since he was certain Sawyer would have heard the voice. But when the door remained shut, Alex was relieved that his explanation could wait. Sighing, he knew it really didn’t matter when his mate found out because the results would be the same. No one ever wanted him…not even his father…and it would be the same with Sawyer. Imagining the disgust on his mate’s face when the truth came out, Alex never heard the door open.
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A few years ago, I wrote my first book, Dire Warning. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicle the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates—stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings. Since then, the pack has expanded, allowing more stories to be told and different paranormals to be included. The series has become, as one reader described it…an “Epic Saga.”
Now, eleven books later, Blood Prophecy, has just been published. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box. My story ideas come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures, and are not reluctant to let it all out when it comes to revealing steamy details. My writing style is free-wheeling and uninhibited and my readers tell me they love it that way; that it makes them feel like they’re right in on the action and a member of the Blackwood Pack.
I live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order. I read a lot (good for the mind) and love gardening (good for the soul). And I’m always happy to hear from my readers and can be reached through Facebook, my private Facebook Group, Twitter, Instagram, or my website.