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The Quarterback Alpha, Book 1

The Quarterback Alpha, Book 1

A Sweet Paranormal Young Adult Romance Series

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Welcome to Smoky Hills Academy

#1 in Football #1 in Wolf Shifters

Mom and I just needed a place to start over. Somewhere to move on from the past that haunts us.

  • Paranormal Romance
  • Wolf Shifter
  • Alpha
  • Contemporary
  • High School
  • Football
  • Fated Mates
  • Over Protective Hero
  • Forbidden Romance

Synopsis

CORA

Mom and I just needed a place to start over. Somewhere to move on from the past that haunts us.

Smoky Hills, Tennessee seemed to be exactly what we needed.

Here, I could be invisible.

That is, until quarterback Liam Bronson decides I’m important.

Even though there are plenty of girls who would love his attention, he doesn’t seem to care. The way he stares at me is like I’m the only one that matters, even in a room full of people.

Like he chose me.

Then I discover his secret. The animal that lives inside of him. He tells me to leave. That it’s not safe for a human.

If only my heart didn’t pound when he was around. If only he wasn’t so kind. If only he wasn’t exactly what I need in my life, I could honor his wish.

Lucky for me, I’m not part of his pack.

I don’t have to obey.

Chapter One Look Inside

It amazed me that no matter how much we cleaned Mom’s old yellow VW bug, it always smelled like stale french fries. It was probably because we’d taken one too many trips in this car. We used to pack up and drive across the country every summer. 

Back when Dad was alive. Back when things were simpler. 

The wheels made this strange thumping sound against the asphalt as Mom drove down the highway, pulling me from my thoughts. A piece of the ceiling fabric tickled my face, and I swatted it away. 

So many memories—good and bad—were wrapped up in this car. Even though it was falling apart, I loved this beaten-down, stuck-together-by-duck-tape vehicle. 

It was ours. 

It was home.

I stuck my hand out the open window and let the cool night air rush over my skin, causing the hair to stand up on my arm. The sweet smell of summer and rain wafted into the car as I stared out at the dark forest that flew by us. 

We were on our way to Smoky Hills, TN. 

A few weeks ago, Mom accepted the veterinary position in the small town of Smoky Hills. The founder was retiring and wanted to hand the keys to a younger, more energetic vet. 

Enter Mom. 

So we packed up our small apartment in Waco, TX and hit the road with everything we loved crammed into the trusty VW bug. 

Mom tried to make it exciting—according to her we were starting over. A fresh start to our lives. 

Ever since Dad died five years ago, we’d been living in the past. And honestly, moving away from all the pitying stares and sympathetic smiles sounded like heaven. 

It was hard to move on when everything around you reminded you of the person you lost. 

“It will be perfect for us,” Mom said as she reached over to turn down Neil Diamond. She was blaring “Sweet Caroline” and humming as she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. 

I smiled. It was like we were in sync with each other. She knew exactly what I was thinking. 

Pulling my hand back into the car, I wrapped my arms around my chest and turned toward her. “Yeah, I know,” I said, drawing one knee up and hugging it.

She gave me a quick grin and then returned her gaze to the road. It was dark now, our headlights illuminating the black road ahead of us. “And Smoky Hills Academy sounds amazing. I mean, their football team is first in state,” Mom said.

I rolled my eyes as I turned my attention back out the window. Mom knew just how to get me to lose my interest—talk about sports. “Yeah. That’s what I’m excited for.”

Mom chuckled. “Hey, fresh start. Who knows? Maybe cheerleading is in your future.”

I stared at Mom. Was she serious? I was all legs and no curves. “I think you need boobs to do that,” I said, tightening my arms around my chest. Sure, they were there, but they weren’t, like, there. 

Mom shot me a sympathetic smile. “You’re perfect.”

Ugh. 

I needed to move the conversation forward. I wiggled in my seat until I was sitting straight. Then I curved my back, stretching my arms out. “I’m just excited to sleep in a bed tonight.” I squinted at the GPS. “How much longer?”

Mom flicked her gaze to the GPS as well. “Ten minutes.” Then she looked at me. “Think you can last?”

I nodded. But before I could speak, I was flung forward. My neck cracked as my head whipped down, narrowly missing the dash. 

I groaned as I reached up and rubbed my sore muscles. 

“Geez, Mom,” I said as I turned to study her. She had her gaze fixed on the windshield. Why the heck had she stopped so suddenly? 

I turned to see a wolf standing in the middle of the road, staring at us. 

“Cora, do you see that?” Mom’s voice was low with reverence. 

“Yeah,” I said. The wolf was grey and white. It was tall. Bigger than the wolves I’d seen in local zoos. Its ears were perked up, and its head was tilted. 

I met the wolf’s gaze, and a shiver raced down my back. Its dark eyes fixed on me. Like it was staring into my soul. Like, he knew he was looking at me. Studying me. 

Fear rushed through me as I reached out and quickly rolled up my window. Once it was secure, I pushed my red hair behind my ear as heat flushed my skin. The wolf’s gaze penetrated mine and made me feel raw and embarrassed at the same time. I mean, who has ever felt like that when a wolf stared at them?

Me, apparently.

“It’s like, he’s watching us,” Mom whispered. 

The wolf’s ears twitched like he was listening to our conversation. 

“Can he hear us?” I asked. 

The wolf tipped his nose in my direction. Well, that answered that question.

“Wolves have incredible hearing,” Mom said. 

Feeling like my privacy was being violated, I leaned toward her. “Just drive. I’m sure it’ll move.”

Mom glanced over at me. “Cora, come on. It’s a wild animal. I’m sure it’s more scared of us then we are of it.”

Of course. The curse of living with a vet. Every animal was precious, and we were the big, bad humans invading their lands.

This was a fight I couldn’t win, so I leaned back in my seat as Mom continued to watch the wolf. It didn’t seem like it was in any hurry to move on. Instead, he leaned down and sniffed the road. 

Then, he began walking toward us. He sniffed the car as he made his way around to my door. I pushed away from the window as his nose appeared. He sniffed the window and then rose up on all fours to stare at me. 

I yelped, practically jumping into Mom’s seat. She, of course, thought this was glorious and had her phone out, taking pictures. 

“This is amazing,” she exclaimed. 

“It is not,” I hissed, trying to stare at the animal. Maybe if I looked threatening enough, he’d leave. 

“It’s like he’s not even scared of you,” Mom chuckled. 

“Great.” Mom didn’t think I was threatening enough to scare off an animal.  

His breath shot streams of fog across my window as he stared in at me. 

“How do we get it to go away?” I asked. 

Mom shrugged. “He’ll leave when he wants to. Besides, when will this ever happen again? I mean, it’s a real, live animal. Enjoy this.”

I shook my head. “Nope. Mom, come on. This isn’t normal.” I raised my hand and tried to shoo it away. It just cocked its head as it continued to stare at me. 

“Well, it’s not like it’s densely populated here. I’m sure it’s not used to humans.” Mom snapped another picture. 

Suddenly, the wolf bared its teeth, and a deep growl sounded in his throat. It startled me, and I jumped a few inches in the air. 

The wolf leaned its head back and let out a deep, throaty howl. 

A few seconds later, the same deep howl sounded from the woods. Followed by two, then three. 

“Mom, he’s calling more,” I whispered, reaching out to grab her arm. 

But Mom wasn’t worried. Instead, she was gleefully readying her camera. 

Bright yellow eyes could be seen in the foliage next to us. The wolf in the road had dropped back down to all fours and was facing the creatures that were sheltered by the forest. 

He leaned his head back and howled again. Then he tore off across the road, followed by three more wolves. They were different colors. Some lighter, some darker. There was one large one, and the other two were definitely smaller. 

In a matter of moments, the entire pack was gone. 

I sat there, my heart hammering in my chest. 

Mom was chattering on about how incredible it was and how it was exactly what she’d needed. This move was exactly the fresh start she’d been claiming it would be. 

I stared at her, trying to figure out how almost getting attacked by a wolf pack was exactly what she needed. But if she saw the question in my gaze, she didn’t address it. 

Instead, she pressed on the gas, and we began making our way down the highway again. 

“That was amazing,” Mom said.

“Yeah. Great.” I turned my gaze out the window to stare at the trees that whipped past. What else lurked in these woods? 

“I mean it, Cora. This is a once in a lifetime experience.”

I turned to shoot her an annoyed look. “I think I would have been just fine living my whole life and never having a wolf stare me down.”

Mom shrugged as the sign for Smoky Hills, population 4,000, came into view. “It wasn’t just any wolf.”

I snorted. “It is a werewolf?” I asked. 

Mom laughed. “No. Werewolves don’t exist.”

Good. At least Mom hadn’t completely lost her mind. 

Lights shone through the dark as we drove further into Smoky Hills. I could make out a few streetlights and buildings lining each side of the road. 

My stomach growled when I saw the sign for Jordan’s Diner. Mom seemed to have the same thought as she flipped on the turn signal and pulled into the parking lot. She turned the engine off and slipped the keys from the ignition. 

I moved to grab the handle, but Mom’s hand stopped me. 

I turned to see her study me. She had a serious look on her face. 

“I’m excited because I think…” Her voice drifted off as her gaze turned hazy. 

“Mom?” I asked. She was scaring me. Why was she acting like this?

She blinked a few times and shot me a smile. She cleared her throat. “I’m excited because I think we saw the alpha.”

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The Smoky Hills Academy

Welcome to Smoky Hills Academy #1 in Football #1 in Wolf Shifters