Bane's Heart (Avaleigh's Boys #2)

By: Sandra R. Neeley

Bane is solid, dependable, jaded, and painfully lonely. He is also a bear shifter, hot, sexy, dominant and panty-dropping gorgeous. He’s spent his entire life protecting his older brother from the cruelty of others, including their own parents. He’s never thought he was worthy of anything, much less a Mate. Then he sees her working in the only grocery in their small backwoods town, and he’s stunned. She calms him, gives him joy, makes him hope. His heart comes alive. But she’s young, and she’s quiet; he fears she’ll run from his obvious dominance. He decides to move slowly, earning her trust one day at a time. Then, just as he thinks things are falling into place, she crushes his soul, and disappears.

Janie has spent her entire life protecting herself and her mother from the terror that is her father. She’s always been made to believe that she was less than. She has accepted that her life will be spent alone, plain ole’ Janie, working her young life away in the local grocery. Then one day a beautiful, sexy, confident man comes into her store. She knows she’ll never be able to do more than admire him from a distance, until he smiles at her and makes her feel like the sun. But her father notices her interest in Bane, and demands that she cut him out of her life. He has other plans, and they don’t include a man in Janie’s life. He needs her submissive, and untouched.

Ricky is a small town hood and drug dealer. He’s surrounded himself with what he thinks is a powerful and imposing gang. But they made one mistake; the woman they agreed to take as settlement on a debt is Mate to a shifter. Never take a shifters Mate and expect to live! When Janie is traded to the drug dealer as payment for her father’s debt, it brings the wrath of an entire clan of shifters down upon the heads of Ricky and his gang. Will Bane be able to save his Janie? Will Janie be able to accept Bane’s true nature? Can they forgive each other and find the happiness that every shifter prays for?

This book is the second in a new series, Avaleigh’s Boys, about a group of shifters who make their home in the backwoods and bayous of South Louisiana. Their clan consists of a mix-matched group of five shifters who depend on one another and are loyal to no end. These are their stories.

Warning: Intended for mature audiences. These stories contain hot bear, dragon, wolf and lion shifters. They like to cuss, fight and love their women. This book contains explicit love scenes, lots of use of the “F” word (among others), and some explicit domestic abuse. If you are offended by these subjects, please do not buy this book.

Chapter 1

Janie opened her front door and stepped inside. She had heard the yelling and crashing noises before she even stepped onto the broken-down front steps. Her father was drunk again, or worse. Hopefully, he would pass out soon, and it wouldn’t get too bad. She could hear sniffling, and she knew her mother had borne the brunt of his temper without her there to defuse him or to draw his attention away from her. That was why she stayed, never left this minefield of a house, to protect her mother. Her mother, Sadie, had been with him for so many years that she now knew nothing else. She had actually convinced herself that she deserved no better than this. This abuse that her father hurled at both of them on a regular basis. He’d get drunk, and his anger and resentment at never having become anything more than a drunk would overtake him. You never knew what it would be that would set him off. But once he was set off, he’d lash out at whatever and whoever was near. He’d say the most cutting, brutal things. And if those things didn’t reduce you to tears, then he’d use his fists. Those fists would beat you into submission. Beat you into a crying, bruised mound of flesh. And that mound of crying flesh in some twisted way made her father feel like a big man. Because he’d had the power to force a weaker individual into submission, to force someone else weaker than himself to beg for mercy. That was the kind of sonofabitch her father was.

Lately she had begun to worry that his vices had started to run in darker paths than just alcohol. She didn’t know what she’d do if he started using drugs and drinking. She wasn’t sure she could handle her father not only drunk, but drug-addled too. Maybe she’d get lucky, and they would kill him before she had to deal with too much of it. “Goddamn it, Woman! Clean up this fucking mess!! It’s your own damn fault for cooking such shit!” her father yelled at her mother. She could hear them in the kitchen now. Her mother still sniffling, “I will. I’m getting it right now. I’m sorry.” Janie walked into the kitchen to see her mother on her hands and knees scooping handfuls of food up off the floor and into the garbage can. “What happened, Mom?” Janie asked her.