Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Weakness means death. Or worse... Darkest Mate (Rejected Fate #1) by Alexis Calder

"It's obvious something shady is going on, secret meetings, underground clubs, shifting alliances, a compelling mystery, and complex characters all make for a wonderful story and the with a cliffhanger at the end that has wanting the next book asap." Rachel, Goodreads


Published: December 21st, 2021

Weakness means death. Or worse.

After I was abandoned as a child, I was taken in by the Shadow Pack. A group of ruthless, lawless, shifters who have only one rule: never let anyone see your weakness.

In exchange for them keeping me alive, I owe them. The leader of the Shadows is as handsome as he is ruthless. And he’s offered to wipe my debt in exchange for marriage. He’d offer protection, but it would cost me my freedom.

Survival in the Shadows depends on back alley deals and shady alliances. It’s become a way of life that I stopped questioning years ago. When a routine burglary goes wrong, I find myself captured by the one family I never should have crossed.

The Umbra family owns this city. They make us Shadow wolves look like the good guys. They should have killed me for my crimes, but there’s a tiny problem… It turns out Madoc Umbra is my fated mate.

Instead of killing me, I’m a prisoner. The rest of the family doesn’t know of our bond and I intend to keep it that way. Madoc’s brothers want to end my life; he wants to break the bond. I just want to get the heck out.

As long as I don’t let them see any weakness, I might have a chance of making it out of here alive.

Darkest Mate is a full-length paranormal romance. 17+ for dark content, steamy scenes, and language. This is book one in a trilogy and is not a standalone. Mind the cliff.


I moved to a free sink and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked even worse than I thought. My eye was swollen shut and my other eye was bloodshot. My blonde hair had started the evening in a ponytail, but now it looked like I’d had the same hair tie in for days without washing or brushing. It was a chaotic mess. My lips were caked in dry blood and now that I was starting to pay attention to my injuries, I realized it hurt every time I took a breath.

“I can’t believe you made me get in there with you,” I hissed as I turned on the faucet. As I went through the motions of cleaning up, my mind wandered to Dax’s original challenger. Who was the Dark Wolf? Dax owed me after what I did. Maybe he’d tell me.

After I was done washing my hands and splashing water I my face, I gently dried off with a paper towel. I tossed the towel in the trash can and turned to Dax. “Who was that male you were fighting?”

“He calls himself the Dark Wolf. Stupid name, if you ask me,” he grumbled.

“Who is he, really?” I asked. “He’s not a Shadow.”

“No, he’s not,” Dax agreed. “He’s far worse.”

“So, he’s Umbra?” I pressed.

“He’s none of your business is what he is. But he did seem to be interested in you. I didn’t realize it was mutual,” he said.

“It’s not,” I lied.

“Why exactly did he rush to your side like some kind of knight in shining armor?” Dax asked.

“Why would I know? I never saw him before tonight,” I replied.

“Well, you won’t be seeing him again. I won’t have those outsiders here after I’m alpha,” Dax said, a threat in his tone.

My stomach tightened in fear at the thought of never seeing the Dark Wolf again. I pushed the idea from my mind. That was insane. Why should I care about some shifter from another pack?

Dax took a step closer to me. “I never really noticed you before tonight. I see that now.”

I lifted my brows. “If that were true, I wouldn’t have spent spring break in eighth grade recovering from broken ribs thanks to you.”

“Childhood pranks.” He waved his hand.

“The way you treated me wasn’t childhood pranks. You hurt me. More than once. More than just tonight.”

“And tonight you demonstrated the payoff of all that hard work. All those years of me pushing you. You haven’t even had your first shift, and you did good. I can’t imagine how strong you’ll be when your wolf arrives,” he said.

“Is this supposed to be making me feel better? I’m going to be in pain for days from this,” I said.

He moved closer until there were only a few inches between us. I sucked in a breath and forced myself to hold my ground. Was this some kind of bizarre test? Was he trying to see if I’d flinch? My whole life I’d stood up to Dax, and it had always cost me, but I wasn’t about to bow to him now. Once he was alpha, I wasn’t going to have a choice. But he wasn’t alpha yet.

“What do you want from me, Dax?” I asked. “Your friends aren’t around to see you show off and you’ve already gotten your blows in. What more could you need?”

He was fast, his hand moving behind my head and his lips pressing against mine before I realized what was happening. My eyes widened, and I shoved him, breaking the contact before I stepped away.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I took another step back, but I was already prepared to kick him in the crotch if he came near me.

“Don’t you feel it? The heat between us? I’ve never seen a woman fight like you did tonight. So much fire, so much passion. Shit, that stranger saw it in you before I saw it myself,” he said.

My brow furrowed. “The Dark Wolf? He saw me cowering in a ball on the ground. You saw me trying to defend myself. There was no passion in anything I did tonight. It was pure survival.”

“Think about it, Ivy. We’d be great together. You’re feisty, smart, and sexy as hell. I’ll admit, you were always the hottest girl in school, you just didn’t have the status. But I’m going to be alpha. I’ll have more than enough status for both of us. Plus, I’d have the authority to wipe your debts. You’d be free,” he said. “Think about it. We could do great things together.”

It felt like I’d just been dunked into ice water. Was he saying what I thought he was saying? Sure, Dax was attractive. And he was going to be the most powerful shifter in the Shadows. More importantly, being with him would clear my debts to the pack. I could finally be a full member.

The problem was, I’d be trading in one type of debt for another. If I was with Dax, I would be his. I still wouldn’t have the freedom I craved. Besides, even if I wanted to be with him, which I didn’t, there was no way his dad would support it.

“Dax Carver, you promised me you wouldn’t be down here all night,” a whiny female voice echoed around the locker room.

I didn’t need to turn around to know that Stacey had joined us.

“What’s she doing here?” Stacey said.

“Good night, Dax.” I turned around and Stacey glared at me. I walked past her and out of the locker room without a backward glance. 

About the author:
Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine.

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 Author's Giveaway:

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Upcoming Release Dates:

Forbidden Sin: January 20, 2022
Feral Queen: March 3, 2022 

1 comment:

marisela zuniga said...

The cover looks so pretty, love it!