Although each story follows a different couple, I suggest reading them in order due to a connecting storyline about rogue wolves that progresses through each book. In reading order, the books are as follows:
Guardian Wolf #1 – Liliana “Lily” Bardou & Kieran Rendall
Alpha Wolf #2 – Rafe Bardou & Sara Luna Kenyon
Hunting Wolf #3 – Caleb Bardou & Rielle Amoux
Wild Wolf #4 – Tate Bardou & Claire Tikaani Amarok
Solstice Wolf #4.25 (holiday short story) – Lia Woolsey & Connor Lowe
Christmas Wolf #4.5 (holiday novella) – Ana Lyall & Mason Pearce
New Year Wolf #4.75 (holiday short story) – Caleb Bardou & Rielle Amoux
Rogue Wolf #5 (releasing 2016) – Luke Rawlins & Tala Mingan
Protector Wolf (short story found in the multi-author collection Shifters in the Spring) – Caitlin Rendall & Jace Canagan
Hunter’s Moon (crossover novella between Black Mesa Wolves & Silvertip Shifters; found in the multi-author collection Shifters in the Shadows) – Abby Kenyon & Quentin Walker
The Black Mesa Wolf Pack lives right on the border of the wild desert canyons and high mountain forests near Durango, Colorado. Black Mesa is a large natural formation rising up near the gradual boundary of mountain and desert, hence the Pack’s name. [Note: although Durango is a real town with which I’ve taken liberties in these stories, there is no real Black Mesa in that area. Except in my and your imagination.] The Black Mesa Pack is led by Alpha Channing Bardou and his mate, Otsana Bardou. Shifters can and do interact with humans, from living and working in town to friendships and casual sexual encounters, but the center of their activities and major relationships is always within the shifter community.
Unlike all those fearful human stories about werewolves, wolf shifters are far less dangerous to people than one would think (although it certainly can happen for a variety of reasons). They don’t hunt down and attack humans; in fact, there are strict, ancient pack rules prohibiting certain interactions, up to and including biting a human to create a new shifter. Also, they are not forced by the moon to shift (although the moon does indeed exert influence over them just as it does over humans), nor does it take long, agonizing minutes to shift shapes. In ancient times, this was different, but contemporary shifters have the benefit of thousands of years of evolution. Life’s a little easier for shifters these days!
One major defining trait for all shifters is the connection between sex and energy. Shifters are deeply physical beings with far fewer hangups about sexuality than most humans. Part of the reason for this is if they don’t channel their energy through sex, they are simply denying an essential part of themselves. This way, they can upset the balance between wolf and human. That balance is extremely important to keep. Too much wolf and you have an instinct-driven being who is more prone to potential aggression and an inclination toward things more wild. Too much human and you have a severely rational being who can lose the sharp, aware edge of the wolf side. Not enough sex leads to an overall dampening down of personal power and energy. No fun in that.
The Black Mesa Pack began 300 years ago. Some of the original pack members are still living, since shifters live much longer than humans. Find out more about the history of the Black Mesa Wolf Pack in Hunting Wolf. As of the start for the books, the pack numbers nearly 40, which is huge and sprawling. A manageable pack size is closer to 25. Due in part to that fact, Alpha Channing needs to whittle down the number. The plan is for a new pack to be started farther north, as well as an “affiliate” pack started much closer by in order to strengthen immediate pack boundaries. Find out more about the starts of these packs and who will lead them in Alpha Wolf. Find out about affiliate packs in Rogue Wolf, coming in mid-2016. (There is some pre-information about this in the holiday short story New Year Wolf, which follows Caleb & Rielle and brings in former rogue Luke Rawlins as well.)
Semantics: when referring to one’s own Pack or Alpha, those words are always capitalized. It’s a respect thing. When referring to wolf shifters or alphas in general, those words start in small letters.