When ornithology grad student Vanessa Dunn takes to the Pineywoods of East Texas she’s determined to find the elusive Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and document its existence. Instead, she finds herself trapped between two bears, and discovers a shadowy shifter world she never imagined.
Bishop Caine is a bear shifter. A loner in a world of clans, feuds, and territories, he lives in a cabin in the Pineywoods and keeps to himself. Abandoned by his mother at a young age, he grew up with a father who hated what he was. His only real clan is his five brothers.
When a beautiful woman wanders into his territory and is threatened by another bear shifter, Bishop steps in to save her, triggering a confrontation with a neighboring clan. His intention is to protect her, but she awakens something in his lonely heart. For Vanessa, the shifter world echoes the stories her shaman grandmother has told her, and that Vanessa always rejected as myth. Those myths become far too real when she finds herself trapped by shifter law and forced to choose between two bears. She picks Bishop, but having won one battle, the stakes increase when Bishop and Vanessa are sent on a mission as part of their judgment.
If they refuse, Bishop faces imprisonment—or worse—execution, and Vanessa will be handed over to the hillbilly bear eager to get his hands on her.
Note: This is a standalone story.