The Unexpected Queen - Book cover

The Unexpected Queen

Sofia Landeiro

Age Rating


How do you know who to trust? Leah has been in love with her best friend Jake for as long as she can remember. She’s sure they’re fated mates. Before she can tell him how she feels, she’s summoned to a mating ball for the cruel king of the alphas—a man she’s been taught to fear since childhood. But sometimes the monster is not who you think. Will Leah find that out in time to save herself?

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35 Chapters

1: Chapter 1


It’s the last week of high school, and I have a lot of things on my mind—important things—but here I am, standing at my closet, unable to choose between two different dresses. My best friend, Jake, will be here in ten minutes to pick me up, just like he does every day.

He turned eighteen a couple weeks ago, and my eighteenth birthday is just around the corner. I hope that as soon as I turn eighteen, it will become clear that we’re mates. I’ve dreamed for years of the moment we’d realize we were meant for each other.

We’ve never talked about any feelings for each other beyond friendship—we’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember—but I know I’m in love with him. I really hope he feels the same way.

I reach for a green dress with a floral pattern and hold it up so I can inspect myself in the full-length mirror. I’m shorter than most people in our pack and slender. Today, I’m wearing my long brown hair in a messy braid. I sigh. I can’t take any more time to decide between the two dresses, so this one will have to do.

I put it on and run down the stairs to the kitchen, where my mother is making herself a breakfast sandwich. Ever since my father died when I was eight years old, it’s been just the two of us.

“Hi, honey!” She calls out a cheerful greeting, and I walk over to kiss her on the cheek.

“Good morning, Mom!” I say, snatching the sandwich she’s just finished making.

“Hey!” She laughs, trying to look angry but failing completely.

“Gotta go! Jake’s waiting for me.” Grabbing my backpack, I bolt toward the front door. I rush out of the house and down the driveway, eating the sandwich in a few big bites.

Sure enough, Jake is parked outside my house. As soon as he spots me, he leans across the seat of his pickup truck and opens the passenger door for me.

“Hey, Leah!” he says, and flashes me a smile. A girl could get addicted to that smile. He has blond, short-cropped hair, and his body is mouthwatering—muscles everywhere. I jump into the car and busy myself with putting on my seatbelt to hide the fact that I’m blushing. I’m not sure he understands the effect he has on me.

“Just a few days till your birthday. How does it feel being almost eighteen?” He winks.

“It feels great! I can’t wait! I hope you’re coming to my party,” I say, fiddling nervously with the hem of my dress.

“Of course. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Jake takes my hand and gives it a squeeze.

My heart skips a beat, and I smile as I look out the window, dreaming of the future.

I’ve decided to study medicine after high school. It’s my lifelong dream to become a doctor for our pack, and now that I’m finally through high school, I can pursue my goal. I applied to be an apprentice to the pack doctor and just found out last week that I was accepted.

Jake parks the truck in the school lot and walks around it to open the door for me. I jump down and look around the schoolyard. I spot a girl named Sally standing nearby. Just perfect. She’s the most popular girl in school, and I hate the way she looks at Jake.

Ever since middle school, she’s been teasing me, and I can’t stand her. She’s the classic high school bully—rich, pretty, and mean.

As we walk past her, Jake greets her warmly. Of course he does, because he’s a perfect person who’s sweet to everyone. I roll my eyes when he smiles at her. Why does he have to be so nice to her? She’s a horrible person.

I give her my best fake smile, then put my hand in the crook of Jake’s arm and pull him toward the school building. Our first couple periods are science and math, and I don’t like to be late.

Most of the kids at school think we’re a couple, mostly because we’re together all the time. What they don’t know is that we’ve never done anything romantic. Not even a kiss on the cheek. I can’t wait for my eighteenth birthday when we can move beyond friendship to something more intimate.

At lunch, our friend Maria joins us. Maria is the third member of our little friend group. She and I grew up together, and she’s like a sister to me. She’s smart and funny and one of the most caring people I know.

The three of us hang out pretty much every day. As we eat, we chat about what we’ve done over the weekend and the plans for this weekend.

“Have you heard about the ball the werewolf king is throwing?” Maria asks around a mouthful of bread.

“What ball?” I ask, raising my eyebrows. The king has never held a ball before.

“Yeah, he’s inviting all the unmated women from packs around the country. He’s hoping to find his mate—the queen,” Maria continues.

I have heard stories about the king. He is the leader of our world. Each pack has an alpha, of course, and the king oversees all of them. Every pack tells stories of how ruthless and violent he is. I heard a story once about how his wolf had eaten a man alive. I shudder just at the thought of the king.

He’s thirty years old. It’s almost unheard of in our world for someone that age to be mateless. As soon as we turn eighteen, we can sense our mate if they’re nearby. Most people find their true mate by the time they’re in their mid-twenties.

If you’re really unlucky, your mate is dead before you have the chance to meet them. Or they were born in the wrong part of the world, and you’re too far from each other. But most of the time, the bond between mates succeeds in bringing them together.

The king’s mate is probably dead, I think, feeling a pang of sadness for him. Being mateless your whole life must be very lonely. But then I remember all the stories that are told about him. Many parents use him as the boogeyman, telling horror stories about him to their pups to get them to brush their teeth or eat all their broccoli.

“Shit. Imagine the poor girl who has the misfortune to be his mate,” I say, laughing nervously.

“You turn eighteen on Saturday. The ball is the weekend after, so I guess you’re invited too,” Maria says. “We can go together!”

“Ha ha, right! If I haven’t found my mate before then, that is,” I say, smiling. I know I’m blushing again, but when I glance up at Jake, I see he’s staring at his phone. I have no intention of going to that ball.

After lunch, Maria and I part ways with Jake. He has history, and we have art next period.

Maria throws an arm over my shoulders as we walk toward our classroom. “Do you really think Jake is your mate?” she asks, smiling widely.

“I hope so. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I hope he feels the same way.”

Maria laughs. “Yeah, but then why don’t you talk to him about it? You know how slow guys are. He won’t realize you’re in love with him unless you say something. And if you tell him before your birthday, maybe he can mentally prepare himself for the fact that one of his best friends is his mate?”

Maria’s probably right. I decide to talk to him before my birthday. It’s time to gather all my courage and let Jake know that he’s the love of my life.

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