Temperance - Book cover



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All Temperance wanted was to have a normal human life, but when you’re surrounded by overbearing parents and a pack that's decided your life for you, "normal" is pretty hard to come by. Things get even worse when she meets her mate, an unhinged wolf whose family secrets and enormous web of lies threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. Will she find a way to live her own life or has her fate been decided for her?

Age Rating: 18+

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“Appreciate it!” I yell out, just as the door swings shut behind me. “Catch you tomorrow!”

I wrap my scarf tighter around my mouth, bracing myself against the biting wind, and shove my hands deep into my pockets. I should’ve worn gloves.

The sound of my heels clicking against the salted sidewalk echoes in the quiet night, the fresh snow sparkling under the glow of the streetlamps.

It’s ten o’clock on a Wednesday night, and I’m alert enough to take in every detail of my surroundings.

Once I’m in my car and out of the cold, I peel off my layers—scarf, coat, and jacket—and pull out of the company parking garage, heading home.

I pull into my driveway just after eleven. The porch light is on, as always. My mom can’t sleep until I’m home, even though I’m nearly twenty-three.

“I’m home!” I call out, shutting the door against the gust of wind that sends a shiver down my spine. My mom appears from the living room to greet me.

“Temperance, you promised no more late nights!” she chides, as I hang up my coat and scarf.

“Mama, I’m sorry, but they needed stuff done for tomorrow’s review.” I sigh. “The more work I do, the more likely I am to get that promotion in a few weeks.”

My mom rolls her gray eyes and wraps me in a hug. Her hands are warm against my thin white blouse.

“Your father is out on another hunt with the boys. Won’t be back until Saturday evening at the earliest.”

“Got it.” I nod as we head into the kitchen where a cup of hot chocolate is already waiting for me.

Ever since my two younger brothers, Liam and Chase, turned sixteen, our father has been taking them hunting weekly in the mountains behind our house.

“You know, they’re only two years younger but they get out so much more than me.” I chuckle. “Must be the wolf thing, right?”

That’s right. My brothers are werewolves, and so is my father. My mother, his mate, is human, and I inherited the human trait. I’m not complaining, though.

Growing up in a pack full of people wrestling with their emotions and their wolves, I’m glad to be human. It’s less to deal with.

“Oh, Temperance, you get out.” My mother gives me a blank look, as if trying to remember the last time I actually went out with friends or on a date.

I’ve been working since I was sixteen. Our family isn’t the wealthiest in the pack, so I’ve had to help make ends meet while my parents did their best to raise my brothers and me.

I wouldn’t blame my family for how my life has turned out. I’m happy and content with my work life and personal life.

But things have changed recently. Chase’s mate, Serena, turns out to be the Alpha’s daughter.

Since this revelation, we’ve moved from the poorer neighborhood to a house just down the street from the pack house.

My parents no longer have to work, and my other brother Liam is going to start training to become a warrior.

“Mama, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about something while it’s just us.” I set down my now empty hot chocolate mug and take my mother’s hands. They’re small and delicate compared to my father’s rough ones.

“Since the boys and you and Papa are going to be taken care of, I’ve been thinking of —”

“I know, sweetheart.” My mother’s eyes well up with tears, but she’s smiling. “I saw the apartment magazines on your desk when I was cleaning earlier.”

“Oh, Mama…” I can’t hold back my tears.

My family has always been my world. My brothers were always causing trouble, and my father was always there to protect me.

But my mom has been my closest friend for the past twenty-two years of my life.

“My baby girl is all grown up and ready to leave the nest.” She wipes her tears, then mine, and gives my hands a squeeze.

“Temperance, I knew the pack life wasn’t for you the moment we found out you didn’t have the wolf gene.

“As your mother, it wouldn’t be right for me to hold you back from this decision. But your father is going to have a fit. And so will your brothers.”

“It’s strange how they act. I’m the older one, but they treat me like their younger sibling.”

I take off my hat and run my fingers through my hair. The exhaustion is hitting me hard.

“Are you working tomorrow?” My mother takes my cup and puts it in the sink.

“I am.” I admit. “But only from eight to ten. The twenty-hour shift I pulled today got me in good with the boss.”

“You should head upstairs then.” My mother kisses my forehead. “And we need to pick out an outfit for Saturday soon.

“I have to go to the pack house and help Serena with the decorations. I won’t be back until around six tomorrow.”

“Ah, that.” I grimace, remembering that my brother’s marking ceremony is on Saturday when he comes back home with Dad and Liam.

“It’s a wolf thing, honey.” My mom shrugs. “Your father and I had the same. But mating was—”

“Ah! Okay! Goodnight, Mama!”

I can hear my mother’s laughter as I climb the stairs and head to bed.


“Tom, I need these papers sorted by Friday at the latest, okay?” My coworker nods and hurries out of my office to his own.

I rub my temples and push my hair back. It’s just after noon, over two hours since I was supposed to leave. My boss hasn’t left her office since the review started, and I’m swamped with her paperwork.

“I need a latte.” I groan, resting my head on the desk. My back is aching from sitting and standing for too long.

“Latte,” a voice calls out. I glance up from my hair to see my best friend, Talia, standing there, holding out an extra-large hot white-chocolate latte for me.

“Thanks.” I manage a weak smile and pull myself up. As I tidy up my things, Talia settles into a chair across my desk, sipping her own coffee.

“Girl, I don’t know how you do it.” She takes another sip. “Nora should be doing this, not you.”

“Talia, like I’ve told you before, I need this—”

“Promotion to get your own place, I know.” Talia rolls her eyes at my well-worn explanation and sighs. “I’ve already told you that you can move in with me. Walker won’t mind.”

“Talia, I love you, but I already live with three wolves—one of them being my horny, unmated brother. I can’t imagine living with a mated pair who aren’t my parents.”

I take a sip of my latte, savoring the espresso heaven before diving back into work.

“It’s a standing offer, love.” Talia stands, smoothing her skirts. “Better get to work myself. Those fabric orders aren’t going to write themselves.”

The company I work for is in the fashion industry, dealing with models and distributing fabrics to local stores. Talia works in the ordering department while I’m the assistant to our boss.

My ultimate goal is to become a fashion designer. That’s what I’m studying for, but the way things are going, I might end up in the sales department.

That’s the big promotion everyone in the company is vying for.

Talia actually landed this job before me. I got the assistant position by chance when I visited her during her lunch break. My boss, Nora, took one look at me and hired me on the spot.

Out of the entire company of over a thousand employees, I’m the only human.

“Temperance.” Nora beams as she bursts through the glass doors. “The review went smoother than a newborn pup’s fur! Excellent work, as always!”

“Thank you, Nora.” I nod. “Your paperwork is almost done, and the dry cleaning will be picked up by your nanny while she’s out with Lily.”

“All good news!” Nora scans my desk and taps her finger. “Your outfit and entire aura are marvelous today.”

I glance down. Today I’m wearing a simple white blouse, a bright-red knee-length skirt, and six-inch heels. My hair is curled with a braid to the side.

“You’re too kind, Nora.” I say, blushing. “You always say to represent the company, so I try my best to.”

“Yes…” Nora gives me another once-over before smiling. “How long have you worked for me, Temperance?”

Nora perches on my desk, crossing her legs and pushing the paperwork aside. “I’ll have someone else finish this for you.”

“I can finish it myself, Nora. But to answer your question, a little over three years.” I respond cautiously. When Nora sits on my desk like this, it usually means she’s about to pry into my personal life.

“Mhm… and out of those three years, how much time have we spent together?” She leans in closer.

“A lot, Nora.”

“But not enough, darling!” Nora springs off my desk and spins around gracefully. “You must come to my house this weekend for dinner! My mate and I will serve you and your family a nice holiday dinner!

“It will be my thanks for all the help you’ve given me over the years. My youngest daughter, Lily, will be there of course! While my other two… Let’s just say, more than likely, will not be.”

Nora is older than me, though she doesn’t look a day over thirty. She’s a vibrant forty-five with a twelve-year-old daughter and twin boys who are around my age.

Her mate, William, owns a share in the pack’s stocks, making them one of the wealthiest families in the pack.


“Saturday night after your brother’s ceremony should work fine!” Nora heads to my door, calling over her shoulder, “For your hard work, please take Friday to Sunday off, my lovely!”


“Mama, I’m home!” I call out as I walk through the door.

“Temperance, what happened to being home by eleven this morning?” my mom chides as I enter the kitchen.

“I know, I’m sorry. Paperwork piled up because of the review we had.” I slump into the chair I sat in last night, rubbing my temples.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” My mom checks my forehead with the back of her hand, lingering there. “You seem to have a fever.”

“I’m fine, Mama,” I grumble. “Just tired.”

It’s just after eight in the evening now. After the twenty-hour day yesterday and the twelve-hour day today, my body is protesting. I’m usually okay with these long days—why is it acting up now?

“Here, let’s get you up to bed.”

My mom follows me to my bedroom. I kick off my heels and sit slowly on my bed. Every joint aches, and my headache is intensifying.

My mom helps me change into a pair of shorts and a loose shirt before tying up my hair and washing off my makeup. I free my girls by taking off my bra and tossing it across the room.

“Oh, honey, you’re burning up!” my mother exclaims after she sticks a thermometer in my mouth. “You’re taking tomorrow off!”

“Mama, I already have tomorrow off,” I mumble as I crawl under my covers. My mother’s loud voice is making my ears ring.

“Good, because I was totally prepared to chain your ass to this bed if it meant keeping you here.”

I glance back at my mom. Her light gray eyes and fair skin make her a sight to behold with her light blond hair. Both of my brothers look like they fell straight out of my dad’s ass at birth.

I inherited my dad’s deep brown hair and my mom’s stormy gray eyes. But my skin, it’s almost ghostly pale. Growing up, I was always the odd one out, looking so human compared to the other girls in my class.

Talia was the only one who never left my side throughout our school years. We’re like two peas in a pod.

I’d take a bullet for her, and she’d do the same for me—though in her case, a nonfatal one ever since she met Walker. But the sentiment remains the same.

“I’m okay, Mama,” I try to soothe her worries.

“I’ll come check on you later, Temperance.”

My mom plants a kiss on my forehead before she switches off my light and gently closes the door behind her, leaving it slightly ajar.

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