Self-exiled from the noble branch of the clan, Cort Renier gambles his way into a high-stakes San Francisco poker game to win the prize of his life. He just doesn’t realize it will be a beautiful woman who can be the means to his revenge.
Raised in isolation in the mountains of a European principality, Aria di Reinardus has come to California to find others of her kind. Instead she has been captured by an enemy and rescued by Cort. With his friends’ help, Cort plans to turn Aria into the lost Reinardus heiress and bring her to her “family” in New Orleans as part of his revenge. As a werewolf he should have been aware of the overwhelming attraction between them and the danger falling in love poses to his plans. But sweet, innocent Aria breaks down all his restraints. Danger stalks the lovers, for Aria is more than Cort’s pawn; she may well be a missing princess who others will kill to capture. (HQN, Nov., 385 pp., $7.99)