I'm not sure if you're aware or not, but I have a new release out tomorrow. Okay, technically, Forbidden Mate is a re release, but I figured seeing as how the story has more than doubled in size (35k to 81k) I can get away with saying a new release. :)
Forbidden Mate is book four in my Holland Brothers series and will be available at Amazon, B&N & Smashwords. (What time depends on how long the distributors take to process.) It is currently available for Pre-order from both ARe & iBooks
Finding his mate should have been Patrick Holland's greatest day, instead it turned into a nightmare with one phone call. His mate didn't want him. His heart broke, but at sixteen he was too young to do anything. The next ten years—ten long years— of Patrick's life are spent at odds with his mate. Split by forces he can't comprehend and a long line of misunderstandings, Patrick doubts he'll ever get the man he's both loved and hated.
Jake Richmond never expected to come home from Uni to find the youngest Holland brother was his mate. Knowing the news might uplift his still grieving father, Jake shares the news only to have his young mate threatened. Jake does the only thing he can think of, protect Patrick. The next ten years are nothing but torture for Jake as he watches his mate grow into a remarkable young man.
They say time heals all wounds, but how much time?
Rick watched as his mate once again walked away from him—well, this time he was just shy of running. He lifted his hand to his cheek; the skin still tingled from where Jake had caressed him. Sighing loudly, Rick turned and walked back into the house to join the rest of his family.
His wolf still yearned for his mate, even after all this time. Patrick wished Jake would just pick a side and stay there. He was so confused about the tender caresses, and how Jake had taken care of him at the bar and gotten him home showed Rick that Jake cared about him. Then the man pulled something like he just did and runs away, adding to Rick's confusion. It hadn't escaped Rick's notice how Jake had been looking at him recently as well. He just didn't know what it all meant.
None of Jake's confusing behaviour stopped Rick from wanting his mate. Even when Rick had admitted to hating the man, he'd still wanted him. The small glimpses of Jake's body he had seen over the years at the pack gatherings fuelled his private time. His wolf didn't understand why his mate had rejected him, and Rick was forced to keep a tight rein on it so he didn't shift and claim what was his whenever they were in the same room together.
Walking into the house, Rick couldn't stand the thought of going back into the lounge room with all the happy couples. Especially as he knew that would never be him. He knew who his mate was and they would never have the chance to sit cuddled up on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching football or get caught making out by his brothers when they came home from work.
Rick made his way to the kitchen. He wanted a drink and needed some peace so he could think. Grabbing a beer from the fridge, Rick headed outside and sat on the back steps leading from the porch to the garden. He knew he'd promised Alex he'd cut down, and he would. One beer wasn't going to kill him, though, and Alex had said he could drink at home. A cool breeze blew his hair and he lifted the bottle to his lips. Drinking half the bottle in one go, Rick agonised over what he was going to do.
Should he find someone else and try to be happy? Even as much as Jake had hurt him over the last ten years, Rick knew, without a doubt, he would never love another man. The thought of letting someone who wasn't Jake touch him sent shivers of revulsion down his spine, which had only been reinforced by Rick's recent failures at trying to move on. Thinking of the reason behind why he would be in close contact with his mate for nearly the next week, Rick tried to imagine himself swollen with child. The only image that conjured in his mind was with Jake as their other father. That wasn't about to happen, so it looked like Rick's life was shaping up to be a lonely one.
Rick was so lost in his thoughts he didn't hear the back door open and was startled when Brian came and sat down beside him holding a glass of water.
"Hey," Brian said quietly.
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry," Brian said quietly.
Confused, Rick looked at his brother-in-law. "What in the world do you have to be sorry about?"
Brian smiled slightly at him, then lowered his voice further. "I'm sorry Alex is making you go on this trip with your mate."
Rick sucked in his breath and jumped back, never once taking his eyes off the man next to him. His heart hammered away in his chest. How did Brian know? Rick hadn't told a soul, and he didn't think Jake would have either, seeing how he didn't want him.
Thinking fast, Rick did the only thing he could think of. He wasn't strong enough to outright deny the truth, his damn wolf had sparked a wriggle of hope in him because of Jake’s odd behaviour recently, so he did the next best thing. "I don't know what you're talking about. Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine and you know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't know why he hasn't claimed you, but I'm willing to bet everything I own that Jake is your mate."
Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia's capital cities. Born