The Black Luna - Book cover

The Black Luna

Kelsie Tate

Age Rating


Arya has spent her life in the shadows, ignored and abused. But when her sister’s impending mating to the Black King takes the family to his creepy castle in the mountains, Arya finds herself falling for a mysterious stranger.

It’s almost like they’re destined to be together. But nobody has formed a true mate bond in hundreds of years! And that’s not the only puzzle lurking in the Black Mountains...

View more

Chapter 1


It had been eight hundred years since the last true mates existed.

Eight hundred years since any shifter had been blessed with the pull and desire of a true, destined mate.

The shifters had changed, evolved. Finally, after decades of packs arranging non-destined pairings that were intended to bring certain families into power, the mate pull had disappeared altogether.

Now, shifters were left with only one choice: chosen mates.

A mate wasn’t someone you could find, someone you felt an immediate connection with. It was someone chosen for you by the wolves of the four major packs, who wheeled and dealed to create alliances.

They, in turn, answered only to the King Alphas—the Golden King in the south, and the Black King in the northern Black Mountains.

A she-wolf who could mate with either of these kings would be blessed with ultimate power. And to this generation of shifters, power was all that mattered.


As the sun began to set, Arya looked up at the sky, watching as the light faded and the stars began to poke through the darkness. Her paws dug into the soft, cool dirt, and her sensitive ears picked up all the night creatures starting to stir in the underbrush.

She loved being out in the wilderness, away from her horrible family and their constant plotting. Out here she was just Arya, a lone wolf comfortable in the nature surrounding her.

Back at home, her parents were meeting with the pack leaders to find an appropriate match for Arya’s younger sister, Brooke. An alpha; surely it would be an alpha. Brooke wouldn’t settle for anything less.

Guess we should head back…,” Arya whispered inside her head to her wolf Dawn.

Would they even notice if we didn’t come back?” Dawn whispered back.

Probably not…,” Arya replied as they turned around and headed home. “~We could just run off and nobody would notice~.”

At least not until Brooke needs another verbal punching bag…,” Dawn grumbled.

It hadn’t always been like this. When Arya was very young, her mother, Blair, had been kind and affectionate. Arya had fond memories of herself, her mother, and her father all playing chase, loping around the pack lands together.

They hadn’t been rich or powerful. Arya’s father had been a beta in a low-level pack, and Blair had been paired off with him when she came of age. He, Blair, and Arya had lived modestly, but they’d been a family.

But then when Arya’s father died, Blair received a new mate—Alpha Elon of the Golden Moon Pack. That made Blair the luna of one of the four most powerful families of the region.

Suddenly, Blair was sleeping on silk sheets, getting her pick of meat from the hunt, and sitting beside her mate in meetings that decided the fate of the region.

When Brooke was born shortly after, it was understood that the girl would mate well, and would one day inherit all that power and wealth.

The only inconvenience was Arya. The girl who wasn’t the alpha’s own blood, who could never be an heir. These days, Blair could barely stand to look at her firstborn—too much of a reminder of her own humble past.

Sometimes, Arya wondered about the plans for her own marriage. She had a hard time mustering any enthusiasm for the idea of being foisted off on some other pack, some random man. But at least it would get her away from her family for good.

Then again, maybe they never planned to marry her off at all. Maybe she would forever haunt the edges of this family like a spinster ghost while everyone else got on with life.

Arya sprinted through the forest, jumping over fallen logs and boulders. She moved fast, weaving in and out of the trees. She could feel the cool breeze through her fur and the pounding of her heart, and she tried to drink up the freedom before she got back home.

As she approached the house, she shifted back smoothly, pulling on a large T-shirt from the pile they kept by the door. That would be sufficient to cover her bare human body as she made her way to her room.

She wrapped an impatient hand around her long, brown hair, pulling it up and out of her face. Then she tiptoed upstairs, not wanting to attract her family’s attention.


She winced at the sound of her sister’s shrill voice, turning slowly as she tried to find a reason to escape. She didn’t want to talk to Brooke. She didn’t want to hear about her sister’s oh-so-exciting marriage.

“You’ll never believe it!” Brooke said, bouncing toward where Arya stood just two steps from the safety of her room. Her perfectly styled blonde curls bounced along with her.

“Let me guess; you were paired off to some hunky alpha.” Arya rolled her eyes dramatically.

“Not just any alpha!” she boomed, pausing to eye her sister. “Arya, you look dreadful. What is that in your hair?”

Arya reached up, smiling as she pulled a twig from her hair. “I was on a run.”

Brooke shook her head, grinning as she apparently remembered why she was even speaking to her big sister in the first place. “Anyway…the Black King chose me! I’m going to be Queen Luna!”

Arya stared in shock as her sister danced around her in a circle. “Really?”

“Really really!”

Arya was impressed her mother had finagled her way into the Black King’s good graces so easily. “Congratulations, Brooke,” she said, trying to make her voice sound genuine. “I’m sure you’ll be very happy.”

“Oh, hush,” Brooke whined. “Don’t go ruining the fun.”

“I’m not. I really am happy for you. I’m just surprised.” Arya shrugged, then forced a smile on her face. “So, is he here? What’s he like? I’ve only heard stories.”

Brooke shrugged. “I have no idea.”

“You…haven’t met him?”

“Of course not, silly! He sent his beta to offer for me.”

“Sounds romantic,” Arya muttered.

Brooke gave a pouty face. “I don’t need to meet him to accept him. I will be the most powerful luna in the world.”

Arya sighed. “I wish you the best. Just be sure you pack all of your winter coats; the Black Mountains are a dreary place.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Brooke demanded, but Arya ignored her, pushing past to head into her room.

Had Brooke not heard the stories of the Black Mountains? The dark, shadowed peaks where no sunlight could reach. The Black Castle with a jagged, evil alpha who beat his subjects into submission.


Her thoughts were interrupted as she turned to see her stepfather standing in her bedroom doorway. Alpha Elon was a thuggish, barrel-chested man who always held himself perfectly straight like he expected people to bow down before him.

“Oh, hello, Alpha…,” she replied, bowing her head in submission.

“I assume you heard about your sister,” he said, showing barely any emotion.

She looked up with a faint smile. “Yes, Alpha, I did. Congratulations on such an amazing match.”

“Do not do anything to mess this up. This is the move our family has needed to claim true power in this country.”

Arya looked up at him curiously. “I’m surprised you approved of the match. I heard the Black King is cruel and abusive. He’s disfigured and covered in scars, and only drinks the blood of his enemies.”

Elon rolled his eyes. “Those are obviously just rumors spread to keep his enemies in fear.”

“Do you think so?” She shrugged. Nobody really knew for sure.

He glared down at her. “You will keep your head down and will not jeopardize this for my family.”

“Yes, Alpha,” she replied quietly.

He turned to leave, then seemed to remember something and turned back. “Oh, and Arya…”

She looked up to meet his eyes. “Yes?”

“I made a match for you as well. You will be mated off to the beta of Gray Ridge Pack.”

The matter-of-fact announcement left Arya in a stupor.

“Congratulations; you’ll finally live up to your sad birthright.” And with that, he left her alone.

Did he just say what I think he said?” Dawn whispered.

“They finally did it…they paired us off,” Arya replied. Apparently she was no longer just an afterthought. She collapsed onto her bed, trying to work out how she felt about this.

Took them long enough…,”Dawn muttered.

“We both know they were waiting to get Brooke paired off first,” Arya mumbled. She, Arya, had been of marriageable age for years, but her mother had been focused solely on preparing Brooke and finding a mate for her.

Still, getting Arya paired off with a beta was a power move for the Gold family. It was a more eligible match than most girls of Arya’s lineage would get. She tried to summon any excitement she could about the prospect of possessing power within Gray Ridge Pack.

But she wouldn’t have power. Not really. Alpha Elon would expect her to use any influence she gained to advocate for Golden Moon Pack. He would expect her to feel grateful and indebted to him—forever.

“Whatever the motives…I’ll take it. Anything to finally get out of here,” she whispered.

Next chapter
Rated 4.4 of 5 on the App Store
82.5K Ratings
Galatea logo

Unlimited books, immersive experiences.

Galatea FacebookGalatea InstagramGalatea TikTok