Strength EnduringBy: Carrie Ann Ryan
With every book comes a time where I feel like I need to scream at my characters and yet I know that I’ll find my way out of the abyss.
Writing a book might be a solitary adventure, but I know that in some respects I am never alone.
Chelle - Thank you for being my sounding board and my wonderful editor.
Charity- Thank you for the amazing cover.
Stacey and Kennedy - Thank you for coffee every morning so I can find the energy and the worlds to write all the words.
Viv - Thank you for sitting down with me and plotting. I totally needed it.
To the group of women I talk to daily about business and mental health - Thank you for knowing when I needed you and when I needed to breathe.
To my readers - Thank you again for being with me in this world for years and never backing away. The Talons aren’t finished yet and I know that’s because of you.
To Dan - I love you and miss you every day. I wish you were here to read this one like all the rest.
In the penultimate novel of the Talon Pack series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan, an Enforcer must make the ultimate choice when it comes to a human woman with a secret she doesn’t know she holds.
Kameron Brentwood has only one thing on his mind: defeating the enemy. He doesn’t have time for a human woman who sets his teeth on edge and makes his wolf prowl. It shouldn’t matter that she’s his mate because he’s always thought that mating is a distraction. Yet as soon as he gets to know the woman, he figures out that there’s no hiding from the attraction he feels for her.
Dhanielle Coburn has always been on the outside looking in when it comes to the Talon Pack, but she’s not about to let fate and the moon goddess decide her path for her. If and when she takes Kameron as a mate, it will be her choice. Yet when she suddenly finds herself in the Pack’s inner sanctum, deeper than she ever thought possible, she has to fight not only her need for the man in front of her but also a hidden secret about her family she didn’t even know she had.
When the choice is pulled from both of their hands, the two will need to learn who they are apart, and who they can be together. Because there’s more to mating than a mark and a prophecy that has come back to haunt them. And even though they may be fated, the ultimate sacrifice just might take them both in the end.
Dreams had been a part of her life since before she could speak. She’d seen countless first breaths, myriad final ones. She’d seen war, triumph, agony, and despair. And through it all, she’d known that few things could change the outcomes of the dreams she had.
And only true patience and sacrifice could change the dreams she bore when she woke.
The birth had gone well, her daughter screaming through the pain but using her strength of will and character to bring forth new life into the world. Her son-in-law had been the one to hold his wife, coaching her through the panic and stress, but had taken as much pain as he was able.
His powers could only do so much in the face of what was natural, what was good.
And when the one who dreamed, the one who had watched her daughter bring life, was there to guide the new baby from its mother’s womb, she hadn’t had time to weep, no chance to breathe.
In an instant, she dreamed, but didn’t dream. She saw years pass, saw the beauty in the moment, the strength of the girl who would one day be a woman in her arms. She saw the power of the magic within her veins, the worth of her soul and heart.
Then she saw the sacrifice that would be made.
The terror that would ebb.
And the loss that would come when they failed.
The witch who now held her granddaughter didn’t speak for a full minute as she cradled the new life, though in her waking dreams, decades passed. Her daughter and her son-in-law didn’t say a word, their eyes focused on the witch and their new child. They had seen the woman in her dreamstate before, knew that waking her would mean changing fate in ways that were far more than unpredictable.
But then the witch opened her eyes and looked down at the purity in her hands, the hope that could be if one demanded it, and knew what she had to do. She looked up at her daughter and the son of her heart and smiled.
Then she lied.
Later, when the new parents held their baby, the now-grandmother gathered her supplies, knowing what must be done. It would hurt, it would shatter the trust before them, but she knew the path that would come. There was still hope in the darkness, still a light she could beg for.
And because of that hope, she would hold her granddaughter one last time.
As her daughter and son-in-law slept, the witch who dreamed stood above them, wrapping the two in an embrace of love and magic. They let out shocked gasps in their slumber, but she knew what must come next, for they wouldn’t remember the whys of it in the morning. They wouldn’t remember much of anything having to do with a certain part of their lives at all.