escape to elphyne

Dystopian Fantasy Romance where the Fae Protectors meet their match with strong, sassy human women.

The Longing of Lone Wolves (Audiobook)

The Longing of Lone Wolves (Audiobook)

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★★★Winner of the FF&P RWA 2021 Prism Award for Best Fantasy Romance★★★

Rush is a Fae Guardian, a wolf-shifter whose enhanced abilities have made him a ruthless protector of Elphyne. His job is to protect the realm from the human enemy, and to ensure the sins of the past never come to pass again lest magic die forever. But one night of weakness resulted in a curse worse than death – exile. Now he spends his lonely time longing to be part of the living, once again protecting them from monsters… until one mysteriously washes up on the shores of his lake.

Clarke is human. She's beautiful, feisty, and fierce. She's also the only person who can see him, speak to him, and touch him.

If he hands her over to the Order, she’s his ticket to having his curse removed. Unable to resist the opportunity, he tricks her into a bargain of obedience, never once suspecting his world is about to be turned upside down. The more he learns about this human enemy, the more he realizes she’s not the monster he’s been trained to believe. In fact, she’s capable of inciting passion he’d never dreamed possible again. But Clarke has a message from the past… sins are already repeating. This time, if they don’t stop the coming evil, it won’t just be magic that dies. It will be everything.

A new style of epic fantasy featuring steamy shifter romance, a dash of time travel, monster hunting, a band of brothers, fated mates, growly fae protectors and their strong willed women from our time. If you love your books full of page turning action, romantic tension, and world building you can get lost in, then this book is for you.

Audiobook Narrators:
Zachary Johnson & Amy Landon

Reading order:

Each trilogy features a different breed of fae and a different villain.
Each book features a different couple with a satisfying HEA.
Start at the beginning for the best reading experience, or start at your favorite trilogy.

  1. Season of the Wolf Trilogy (Fae Guardians books 1-3)

  2. Season of the Vampire Trilogy (Fae Guardians books 4-6)

  3. Season of the Elf  (Fae Guardians books 7-9)

  4. Season of the Crow  (Fae Guardians books 10-12)

A snuffling and scratching to Clarke’s right made her snap awake. The silhouette of a man back-lit by dawn hovered over her. She blinked and recognized Rush’s face, inches from hers. Was he coming in for a morning cuddle? Her languid body didn’t object to that, even if some still waking part of her mind did. He smelled good. Like comfort. She held her breath and smiled tentatively. But then...

Amusement flashed in his eyes. “I’d love to play, princess, but a warada is about to eat you.”

He kept moving. She held up her hands for protection, but he sailed right over her body and stabbed something to her right. A shrill squawking filled the air, grinding her nerves. 

Oh, my God. What is that? 

Scrubbing her face, she blinked and then felt sick when she saw what squirmed beneath Rush’s sword. His biceps bulged through his jacket, straining to pin a hog-like beast to the ground. The wild, writhing animal was only a foot from where Clarke had lain. With sharp teeth, mandibles and leathery black skin, the animal was a cross between a boar and an insect. It had a barrel chest, sharp claws and six legs. If that thing had gotten to her… 

Rush had saved her life.

The creature still writhed and screamed beneath Rush’s sword. Its cries grated down Clarke’s bones. Rush twisted his sword to anchor it to the ground. She tried not to look at the ominous stain blooming beneath the beast. If she closed her eyes, it sounded like a normal animal in pain. Maybe it was. 

“Hold this.” Rush shoved a glass container into her hands. “Catch the manabeeze when they release. Get as many as you can.”

“The what?” she gasped, still hazy and disorientated.

“The manabeeze.” He snatched the glass cylinder from her hands and twisted it at the halfway mark. It opened. He then showed a sweeping motion, as if he were catching air. Then he closed the container.

“I’m not stupid,” Clarke groused. “I know how to close a container.”

His lip curled in a one-sided smirk. “Someone isn’t a morning person.”

She couldn’t say the same for him. He’d woken looking just as handsome as he did going to sleep. Hair brushed back as though he’d run his hands through it. Beard looking a touch thicker but not messy. Laughing eyes watching her. Her body hummed in the most delicious way and she remembered her first thought when seeing him upon wakening. She’d liked the idea of a morning cuddle. It was stupid. She shouldn’t even be thinking about that, but she was half asleep. Her guard was down. And she was lonely. 

She didn’t want to be thousands of years from anyone she’d ever known. She didn’t want the nightmares to be her only friend. She blurted, “Yeah, well, you wouldn’t be a morning person either if you were always dreaming about fire and death.”

Liar. Her dreams last night had been nightmare free. That only happened when she was around someone she felt safe with.

“You are a confusing woman, Clarke.” He used his knife to gesture urgently at the glass container in her hands. “Use it to catch the manabeeze.” 

She opened her mouth to explain, again, that she knew nothing about manabeeze, but shut it when he gripped the creature’s head and held it to make the neck taut. Every line in his body tensed and strained as though it hurt to touch the little beastie. “You ready?”


He lowered his voice and closed his eyes, muttering a prayer of respect. He sliced the neck, killing it, and then said, “Now.”

She jolted, and then the strangest thing happened. Little white balls of light buzzed out of the animal’s body and hovered in a swarm.

“Catch them!” Rush barked. He retrieved another container from his rucksack.

Jumping to her feet, Clarke opened the glass container and tried to scoop as many balls of light—manabeeze—as she could. Restless energy rippled through her body. She released a yip of excitement. It was like catching fireflies. She chased the damned things around the circle as they swarmed in lazy patterns, getting faster and flying higher with each lap around her. One brushed her face, tickling like an electric caress. She giggled. There was something so pure about the light. 

Twirling around like a school girl in a yard, grinning from ear to ear. She stopped just in time to see a single manabee buzz drunkenly and come straight for her. 

Rush saw it at the same time. “Don’t let—”

It hit her sternum and soaked into her being, spreading warmth.

“—it go through you.” Rush’s shoulders slumped.

Clarke felt woozy. Who moved the ground? Stumbling, she barely held upright and tumbled into Rush’s arms. “Wha... What’s wrong with me?”

He shook his head and set her straight. “You shouldn’t have let it go through you. Now you will pay.”

“Do you accept Visa?” She giggled then clapped her hand over her mouth. Why was she laughing? Because it was funny! She felt funny too. The world around her became hyper-focused and yet soft at the same time. 

Rush rescued the glowing glass canister filled with buzzing manabeeze from her hands. Her knees buckled, and she landed hard on her butt, blinking lazily at the sky swirling pink and yellow with a new day. But she felt… a fizzing through her body. From the tip of her toes to the end of her hair. Which was totally weird. Hair had no feelings. 

She laughed again.

“I feel great.” She shot him a goofy grin. 

He stowed his prize. “You’re lucky it was only one, and it was from a warada.”

“A warada?”

“Doesn’t matter. Point is this stuff is potent. If you ingested mana from a stronger being, you’d be hallucinating the memories of their life right now... among other things.”

She blinked. Wow. “So this... this stuff is like a drug.”

“This stuff is sacred. It’s the last remaining mana left in one’s body before you die. It has many uses, all of which are lucrative.”

“What happens if you just leave it?”

“It rejoins the Well—the cosmic mana of the planet.”

Clarke sighed. “That sounds so nice. Cosmic. Say it again and let me watch your lips move. Coz-mik.”

He rolled his eyes, but couldn’t hide his humor. “Here we go.”

“Hey, you know you’re pretty cool, right? You’re not nearly as scary as you pretend to be.”

His smile dropped and he raised a brow. “Cool.”

“Yeah, I mean,” she continued, “I once dated this guy who used to make me tell him the lotto numbers every week. And then he sold me to this scary dude who pulled my friend’s fingernails out so I’d tell him those other numbers.” Her voice turned soft. “Can’t believe I dated him.”

Rush stared at her. “He sounds like a floater.”

“Don’t know what that means, but don’t worry, he got what he deserved.” That man, along with everyone else she knew, had died with her old world. His greed had given him nothing in the end.

A shiver ran up her spine when she remembered that she’d seen two of them poring over a map of Elphyne. Maybe he wasn’t dead. 

“No.” She shook her head. “Only good vibes, please.”

Rush looked at her long and hard, then went to the warada and lifted it to inspect the spiky tail. Even with the permanent grimace, he was much nicer to think about than jerk-face Bishop. Or his evil friends. Enough with those floaters.

She giggled. What a weird phrase.

But Rush. If it weren’t for the fact he was trying to use her, she might have liked him. 

“You’re also pretty cute when you frown.” She rested her chin on her hand. “If you stop forcing me to do things, we could be friends, you know.”

more books in the fae guardians series