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Howling For You – deleted scene

howling for youThe Chloe Neill fans among you will be excited to hear we have an ebook-only novella out later this month, Howling For You, which takes place in the Chicagoland setting. It will be available from all your favorite online retailers and is available to pre-order now at the bargain price of £1.99 from 30th January. But what’s it all about, we hear you cry? Well, scroll down for a breif synopsis, followed by a tantalizing deleted scene from Chloe. Enjoy!

Jeff Christopher is a shapeshifter and ally of Chicago’s Cadogan House of vampires – he’s also a tech whiz and mostly-legal hacker. And the only protective shields he’s never been able to find a way around are those of the powerful Keene Family.

For a long time, Jeff has only had eyes for the beautiful Fallon Keene. Unfortunately, she is the only sister of the lethal North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene. The intricate balances of power and politics make it all but impossible for Fallon to trust her feelings.

But fate takes a hand when the Pack’s totem is stolen – threatening the Keene family’s rule – and Fallon enlists Jeff’s help to retrieve it before the Pack is thrown into chaos. Can she and Jeff find the totem, and restore order, before it’s too late? And will Jeff finally be able to prove himself to the only person he truly loves?

Delete scene

He was big. Even by the standards of Panthera Tigris Tigris, he was big. Nearly twelve feet long, with white fur and black stripes.

His condo, which faced Lake Michigan, was spacious, with a long, wide window that ran the length of the apartment.  That’s where he preferred to pace. The condo was dark, lit only by the residual glow of the city at night.  But the waters of Lake Michigan were still frozen, and they reflected back the light of the city.

The mottled darkness was his companion as he padded, back and forth, in front of the long sheet of glass.

Frustration lit through him like fresh fire, and he stopped, rolled onto his back, and scrubbed it against the scruffy woven rug beneath him, as if scratching could soothe his emotional irritation, too.

It wouldn’t. He knew that.

But a good scratch still felt pretty fantastic.

With a flash of white that lit the room like fireworks, he shifted back, became Jeff again.

He lay on the floor, utterly naked, and pushed his hands through his hair.

God knew, he loved his Pack. Respected Gabriel and the rest of the Keene family. But to his mind, shifters had long since outgrown “potentials” and everything they stood for.  Even if Fallon became Apex, wasn’t she strong enough, smart enough, to hold the Pack on her own? Why did she need a relationship with anyone—arranged or otherwise—to prove she could protect them? She was intelligent, thoughtful, a brilliant fighter. Potentials were anachronisms, and Gabe should have known better.

But he was Apex. The call was his and Fallon’s to make, and she was loyal to a fault.  Loyal to her brother, her family, and her Pack.

She’d make a damn good Apex. He couldn’t deny that.

And that was the reason—the only reason—he wasn’t storming the house right now, pulling that potential “mate” outside and teaching him a thing or two about tigers.

He stood up, put his hands on his hips, surveyed the landscape before him.

As much as he hated it, there was nothing he could do now but wait. Wait, and figure out a way to cope in the meantime.

“Saddle up,” he said, pulling on the gym shorts he’d put on the back of the sleek leather couch, and fitting the headphones over his head. He hopped across the back of the couch and settled in, then tapped the button on the earpiece.

“Hey, guys,” he said to the party that awaited him online. “I’m on.”

First published on Chloe Neill’s website, re-posted here with kind permission.

You can read more about Chicagoland at www.chloeneill.com or follow Chloe on Twitter.