An Alpha's Choice - Carrie Ann Ryan
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An Alpha’s Choice

Book 2 in the Talon Pack Series
Special Edition

Brynn knows Finn is her mate. Only problem? His wolf doesn’t agree.

The secret is out.

Humans know about the world of shifters and magic and now Brynn and her Pack must walk the fine line of protecting their people and keeping on the good side of the humans.

She and Finn, the Heir of his Pack, must work together to find a way for peace, even if his mere presence makes the mating urge rise to the point of pain.

But Finn doesn’t feel the mating bond as she does and now, she might face a future with no mate if they can’t find a way to fix the problem.

That is, if they have a future at all. Someone is watching them. Waiting. And if they take a wrong step, both Packs can lose everything before they even begin.

read an excerpt

An Alpha’s Choice is Book 2 in the Talon Pack series

An Alpha’s Choice Characters Profiles

An Alpha’s Choice

Chapter 1

The echoes of helicopter blades chopping into the wind came closer with each passing breath. Brynn Brentwood fisted her hands at her sides, knowing there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

They’d come for her family, her Pack. They’d come for her.

They’d come for answers no one truly wanted to hear, and yet, Brynn knew she’d fight to keep the truth at bay and keep what it revealed safe.

That was her job, her passion, her life.

The humans were coming for them, and the wolves at her back and at her side were as ready as they’d ever be. The reveal they’d always prepared for—and yet had prayed would never happen—was here.

The world would soon know that shifters were real…and close.

Brynn let out another breath, her eyes on the clearing around the wards of the den. When Leo, her now dead uncle, had shifted in front of a live-feed, he’d told the world—or whoever had been watching—that the things that went bump in the night were indeed real. Though her brother Gideon, the Alpha of the Talon Pack, had killed Leo, the ramifications were far from over.

In fact, they were just beginning.

“Brynn, you hear that? They’re coming.”

Brynn looked over at her brother, Ryder, the Heir of the Pack and second eldest of them all. He’d fought by her side to defeat Uncle Leo, the elder named Shannon, the elder, and the handful of others who had tried to take over the Pack. He looked a little worse for wear with blood trickling down his side and dirt on his hands, but they all looked similar. They hadn’t been able to shift and use their full strength to defeat the others. She and her family had been so afraid of showing what they truly were to outsiders, that they’d won the battle without shifting. As it turned out, all that work was for naught, though.

The humans—most likely soldiers—were coming. Were here. She could scent them on the wind, hear their feet pad along the forest floor. Oh, they might think they were being stealthy, but her wolf hearing could sense them.

Another thing the humans would fear about them.

Brynn thinned her lips and nodded at Ryder. “Gideon sent most of the Pack behind the wards and into the tunnels that connect to the Redwood Pack den. They’ll be safe there. The humans can’t see through the wards, nor can they even venture too close, but that won’t stop them from doing all in their power to figure out how to stop us.” They would find a way. Humans always found a way.

“You called your friends at the local precinct?” Brandon asked. He was the Omega of the Pack, the one who helped their emotional aches and pains. He was also her brother—one of the triplets. She couldn’t hear fear in his voice, but there was the determination that came from being a Brentwood.

Brynn nodded. She knew a few people on the local police force, as well as another group of humans in the FBI and Homeland Security. It was her job in the Pack to blend in with the humans when she could, and form connections that might help them if the secret of their existence ever got out.

Only she prayed she’d never have to use those connections. There were wolves and humans who were on their side, strategically placed around the country to protect them if they were ever outed. Now they would have to use that web of protection and alliances and pray it did as intended.

“We can’t just stay behind the wards and pray they’ll go away,” Gideon growled. “We need to go out there and show we won’t lie down, but we also won’t attack first.”

Brynn agreed whole-heartedly. What they did this first day would set the tone for the rest of their lives. Or perhaps she’d wake up from this dream and everything would go back to the way it was.

The first human crawled up the rise, a tranquilizer gun in his hand and his buddies by his side.

No, this wasn’t a dream. This was the real deal. Humans versus wolves.

“Come on,” Gideon growled, taking his mate Brie with him. The fact that Brynn’s big brother would even allow his mate to fight with him spoke of the importance of this first meeting.

Brynn stood between her brothers, her chin raised as they moved past the wards. Standing behind them and hiding was never an option. Those weaker than her were safe and hidden. Now it was her turn to show the humans the Pack wouldn’t back down, nor would they attack without just cause.

“Don’t kill anyone,” Gideon said as he moved forward. “Only defend yourself. There’s no hiding. Not anymore. But we can make this work. We will make this work.”

She slid through the wards, the warm magic tingling across her skin. Witches and the Pack wolves had woven together the barrier to protect the Talons from the outside world. The strength of the wards relied on the strength of the Pack as a whole. Though her brother and the rest of her family had done their best to increase that strength, she knew they weren’t as strong as the Redwoods. Betrayals and a past paved in blood had seen to that.

Brynn shook her head, exasperated with herself. She needed to get her head out of her ass and out of the past and onto the future. Or more accurately, the present. All they had to do was keep the humans from attacking them outright and keep things as calm as possible and maybe they’d have a chance at not ending up with a disaster in their hands.

When the first tranquilizer dart flew by her head as she passed through the wards, she knew the latter would only be a pipe dream.

Well, hell.

Gideon pulled Brie behind him and his mate let him. When the Alpha was in the mood he was in, it was best for Brie, a submissive wolf, to do as he said. Brynn knew one of the only reasons her sister-in-law was out here, was because Gideon needed to know she was safe, and the only way to do that was if she were near.

It felt like a blink of time later, and suddenly, Brynn had two humans flanking her, their guns raised, ready to pull the trigger. The others ducked and pushed at those who would take them in. Brynn did the same as she elbowed one man in the stomach, took his gun, dismantled it, then punched the other human in the face before he could shoot at her.

She didn’t use her claws, didn’t growl, didn’t shift into her wolf form. She did all of this as the badass woman she was. Yet she knew it would never be enough. She’d fight, she’d scream, and she’d try to win, but unless their world found a balance as wolf and human, she’d never fully succeed.

No one would.

Another human soldier shot at her, and before she had a chance to duck out of the way, a human at her side tugged her closer. Her eyes widened, but he just frowned at her before nodding at some of his men.

That didn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t he try to take her down as some of his team was? She frowned and looked closer at the humans attacking her family. It seemed only half of them truly shot at them while the others seemed to only want to get closer for some reason. She didn’t understand why, but she knew it had to be important.


She looked over at the man who had pulled her away, but he was gone, hidden among the trees surrounding the den.

What the hell?

“Stop what you’re doing and hold up your hands!” a human called out. “We don’t want to hurt you, but we will if we have to.”

She tasted the lie on her tongue. Oh, this human wanted to hurt them and wouldn’t feel a little bit bad about it. Was this what they had to look forward to? Was this the life they would lead for being different?

Her wolf pushed at her, and she tried to breathe. She didn’t know what to do. This was so unlike her, so unlike every other decision she’d made. There was only one other decision in her life where she still had yet to find the right answer, but she wouldn’t be thinking about him right now.

She couldn’t afford to.

Ryder pulled at her waist and brought her closer, just as another human shot at them. She glared at her brother but nodded thanks just the same. She hated to be saved by any of them, but she could at least be grateful.

Standing here and getting shot at wasn’t helping anyone. They couldn’t just let themselves be taken in, but damn it, there had to be a way to talk to someone, make this…transition easier for everyone. It wasn’t as if they were a complete secret from everyone, but this was getting ridiculous.

They weren’t in a clearing, but rather a gathering of trees that kept some of them hidden. Brynn leaned into Ryder, her wolf aching to get out and fight for the protection of their den.

“They aren’t going to listen to us,” Ryder whispered. “The first people who showed up came with tranq guns that could actually work on us since those darts seem to be freaking huge. Not the best way to start.”

Brynn frowned at the humans trying to surround her family. “They either knew we were already here and are using this as an excuse, or they just come in guns blazing at any threat.”

“They aren’t using actual guns, Brynn,” Ryder said, his voice emotionless.

“I know,” she whispered back. Something far more complicated than the fallout from a live feed of wolves changing into humans and back was going on here. “This was all an excuse to get us. Or something like it. They want us for some reason, and we don’t know what branch of military or government this is. I don’t like this, Ryder.”

“None of us do, and Gideon holding us back is making it worse. Only I don’t know how to make it better.”

Brynn let out a breath then checked her phone. “None of my contacts are calling me back. What the hell is their use after all these years if they aren’t going to help us.”

“We don’t know what’s going on, Brynn. We don’t know who Leo showed the feed to, and we don’t know what others truly saw. The fact that those soldiers are here at all tells us it’s nothing good, but we don’t have the details.”

And the details were where she and Ryder excelled. The rest of her brothers and cousins managed so many other intricacies of the Pack, but she and Ryder handled the details.

“Brynn Brentwood?” a voice called out over the distance. Her wolf stood on alert. Ryder let out a curse, but Brynn didn’t feel the same.

“Finally,” she muttered.

Gideon was at her side in a flash, his mouth in a snarl. “Who the fuck is that, and what do they want?”

Brynn wiped her hands on her pants and shook her head. “That is Alex Martinez. General Alex Martinez. And he’s here to help us.” She sucked in a breath. “At least I hope so. Trust me?”

Her brother and Alpha studied her face before nodding.

Her wolf whimpered at the show of respect, but Brynn pushed that away. She raised her chin and took one step forward, putting her body outside the coverage of the trees.

“General Martinez, it seems we have a lot to talk about.”

The man who looked much older than Brynn but was over a century younger than her gave her a nod, his jaw tight. “It seems we do.”

The world had changed with one breath; one slip of security, and now Brynn and the Talons would have to figure out the next step.

Or lose it all.

end of excerpt
An Alpha’s Choice

An Alpha’s Choice

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