Maia Major is a woman on a mission.  When her neighbors at Cougar Canyon Ranch need help, Maia is determined to do what she can.  It doesn’t matter to her that the Concolor Apex, Carter, has a notorious hatred of humans.  It doesn’t matter to Maia that she’s the only human in the Major Bear Clan.  She also doesn’t care about the bitter rivalry brewing between her brother, the Alpha of the Major Bear Clan, and Carter.  Maia’s only concern is healing Carter’s sick animals.

 

Carter is at a loss.  Frustration and helplessness mount when the local town veterinarian is unable to help Carter’s ailing team of prized sled dogs.  So when Maia Major, sister to his enemy, and skilled veterinarian, shows up on Carter’s property, he’s forced to play nice.  He doesn’t like humans, and judging by her scent, Maia is one hundred percent human.  Still, she’s educated and willing to lend a hand.  He’ll be polite if he can, he’ll be gracious if he must, and he’ll tolerate Maia’s presence even if it kills him. 

 

Carter is wary of Maia’s true intentions but can’t ignore the fierce protective instincts the little human kicks up the moment she arrives.  Determined to accept her help and then be rid of her, he steels himself against Maia’s inadvertent charm. 

 

Bonds form, ties are cemented, and when Ramsey Major comes calling his sister home, Carter will have to decide if he still hates humans enough to let Maia go.

 

***

A voice shot through the cavernous barn like a shotgun blast. “Who in the hell are you?”      

 

Maia jumped and spun to find an angry behemoth stalking toward her. Heart tripping, she instinctively backed up a few steps. She knew better than that. Ramsey had drilled it into her head a thousand times not to run from a predator, and what did she do the first time she encountered one? Christ!

 

Halting her retreat, she squared her shoulders and lifted her chin. “I’m Maia.”

The man didn’t stop advancing, so she tagged on quickly, “Maia Major.”

Her admission didn’t deter the man who only stopped when his chest was three inches from her face. Head craned far back to stare up at him, she added, “Ramsey Major is my brother.”

 

“Lie!” the guy boomed.

 

God, he was big. Big like Ramsey but different. Bear shifters were massive, hulking men with bulky muscle, but this guy was leaner. Where Ramsey and the bears at The Den looked like they’d end a fight with one brutal punch, this guy looked like he could go all night. His shoulders weren’t as broad as a bear shifter’s, but they still looked powerful where they pressed up against his button-up shirt. The top few buttons were undone revealing a thickly muscled neck. Short blond hair was mostly hidden under a ball cap that sat just above speared brows and blazing sky-blue eyes. His square jaw was dusted with a few days’ worth of stubble, while his full lips were pressed into a grim line.

Fear was thrashing around inside Maia like a captured raven.

 

“Who. Are. You? And what are you doing on my property?”

 

Blinking up at him, Maia tried again, cursing the stammer in her voice as she explained, “I-I’m Maia Major. Ramsey Major’s sister. I’m here to help with . . .”

 

She didn’t get to finish because the guy grabbed her arms and pulled her hard into his body as he lowered his head to sneer, “Lie! You smell nothing like Major, and you’re a human!”

 

He called her a human like it was the most disgusting thing on the face of the earth. It had Maia fearing she’d made a terrible mistake.

 

A Lion's Pride

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