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Home Is Where You Are

The Alphas' Homestead Series — Book One

by Alex Jane

Home is Where You Are - Alex Jane - Alpha's Homestead
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.49 USD
Pages: 185
ePub - First Edition: $ 3.49 USD
Pages: 185
Paperback - First Edition: $ 7.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1534626003
Size: 7.80 x 5.10 in
Pages: 244

By the winter of 1870, Caleb Fletcher has carved out a sheltered existence for himself in a simple cabin, outside a small town in the backwaters of Nebraska, resigned to living out his days as a solitary wolf. But his quiet life is interrupted when another werewolf lands on his doorstep on the eve of a snowstorm, brutalized almost beyond repair, with nowhere else to turn.

When Caleb reluctantly welcomes Jacob into his cabin, and eventually his bed, it forces him to face up to the traumas he’s been running from; the shame that made him leave his pack behind, and the horrors of war he endured.

As the weeks pass, it seems that Jacob’s arrival might not be the coincidence it first appeared. Jacob has an agenda. One that involves Caleb. And if Caleb agrees to it – if he can let go of his past and his prejudices – it will change Caleb’s whole world. Maybe even for the better.

Without a mate – a family, a pack – a wolf has no home. But what if home finds you?

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Age Difference, Alpha Character, Families/Raising Kids, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Lone Wolf, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Slow Burning Love, Trapped Together, Uncommunicative Masculinity, Unrequited Love
Word Count: 65000
Setting: Nebraska, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Chapter One

Caleb heard the wagon when it was still a ways off, so he had plenty of time to rinse the blood and guts off his hands, and pull on the thick, quilted jacket that was waiting on a nail next to the barn door.

It never hurt to attempt a show of respectability. Or at the very least, humanity. He didn't need the coat; probably wouldn't start to feel the cold until the impending snow started to drift to shoulder height against the cabin. Nor was he ashamed of his wolfish nature. He just didn't like to flaunt it. Still, the layer of fabric felt comforting, like armor, protecting him against the suspicions of whoever might choose to make their way towards his little homestead on the cold winter's morning.

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Caleb squinted a little when he stepped out into the yard, his eyes adjusting to the daylight. It was hardly dark in the small barn, but the sun was high in the endless blue sky, and it took him a second to focus. The early hunt had been successful, and it was sheer luck he had finished gutting and hanging the deer just as he heard the distant rumble of the old wooden wheels on the dry dirt track that ran from his door towards the small frontier town a few miles east.

The sheriff often came by to check in with him––or rather to check up on him, although he was always polite enough to never use that exact term. John had a fast horse he used when working, so when he did come in the wagon, it meant he was bringing something too large or cumbersome to carry on horseback.

The sound of the wagon was familiar enough. The sheriff was often kind enough to bring any supplies Caleb had ordered from the general store. Not out of charity, mind. The man was a peacekeeper and he did it to keep the peace.

When Caleb had first arrived in the small town, the murderous looks and hushed voices he met made it quite clear he would be tolerated, but was far from welcome. A significant portion of the townsfolk viewed his kind with suspicion and fear, so he'd had no expectation or desire to become part of the community. Good manners drove him to inform the sheriff he intended to set up a home nearby. It was the greatest surprise when John turned out to be a decent man, not poisoned with prejudice like many so-called God-fearing folk Caleb had encountered on his travels. John also understood Caleb's desire for privacy, which suited the town's mirroring desire to see as little of Caleb as possible.

On the rare occasion Caleb ventured into town, it was usually to pick up some supplies from the store or order in anything they weren't stocking, and to drop off pelts and skins, worked leather goods, candles, and soap––whatever he had been working on––in exchange. Keeping these visits few and far between had become part of the sheriff’s duties.

Caleb wiped his damp hands on his pants as he made for the cabin, thinking maybe he should put the morning's coffee back over the fire, in case the sheriff might want to stop awhile, when he caught a scent on the icy breeze that made him stop in his tracks. He could smell a myriad of things: the new rot in the bed of the wagon, the fresh hay the mule had been eating before they set out, the soap the sheriff had shaved with that morning… and the scent of a werewolf, one bleeding and hurt, but a werewolf all the same. It had been a long time since he'd sensed one of his own. And what he sensed, he did not like. Not one bit.

He busied himself trying to soothe his horse who had started whinnying and pacing around the small corral that stood to the south of the cabin, directly across the yard from the barn. By the time Caleb had brushed the horse down, and changed the heavy blanket on his back, the stallion stood calmly as the sheriff pulled his wagon up to the house.

"Caleb." The sheriff was a man of few words, which Caleb appreciated. His own greeting to the older man was simply a nod of his head as Caleb climbed out of the enclosure.

The sheriff wrapped the reins around the stop and jumped down awkwardly from his perch, leaving the slumped shape of a man in the seat behind him. John stretched out his back with a groan and walked to meet Caleb without extending his hand. "I'm sorry to just turn up like this––"

"Why'd you bring him here?" Caleb interrupted, his voice cracking from lack of use. He knew it was rude but the scent of the other wolf was making his own itch to come to the surface.

The sheriff shrugged and let out a long breath. "Honestly? I had no idea what else to do with him."

It was Caleb's turn to sigh. "Why isn't he healing?" The kid smelt of blood and hot flesh, and Caleb could fairly hear his bones knitting back together. But it seemed off somehow, more corpse than man in the scent.

For a moment, the sheriff looked confused. He glanced over his shoulder at the wagon, and when he turned back, there was a look of such sadness on his face Caleb was taken aback. "Oh, he is. When the Johnson boys found him last night out by Black Creek…well, we assumed he was dead. You could hardly tell it was a person at all. Best I can tell, whoever did it, caught him off guard, chained him, beat him, and then dragged him 'til all was left was meat and bone."

Caleb nodded. He'd seen it enough, experienced it more than once. Men with a raging curiosity to see just how much you could take before it killed you, lacking something in their soul that they could butcher a person, sit and watch them mend, and then do the whole thing again. It was sport to them.

"Damn near put Old Man Francis in one of his own coffins when the boy started screaming." There was a small smile on the sheriff's face, and Caleb couldn't resent the amusement in the face of such horror––threatened a smile to break out on Caleb's own lips. How the undertaker ever ended up in that profession, he could not fathom. The man lacked any hint of compassion and the idea he might have got a fatal shock with one of his corpses coming to life was rather amusing.

The sheriff stepped closer, lowering his voice as if the werewolf on the wagon wouldn't be able to hear him. "I managed to get him into the cells for the night, but there was a delegation on my doorstep at daybreak, wondering when I was going to be getting rid of him. And I don't mean just putting him on the next stage out of town, either."

Caleb could see the scene as clear as day. It would have been the usual suspects, fine gentlemen and ladies, good citizens, full of Christian charity. As long as you were of the right breeding, of course. Otherwise, they didn't want the unwashed and unwelcome tainting their sight.

Suddenly, it dawned on Caleb what the sheriff was asking. Caleb’s voice was pleading but a warning too. "John––"

The sheriff shifted his stance and held out his hands. "Please, Caleb. Just until the boy is well enough to at least stand on his own. I'd keep him with me but… I'm just trying to do what's best for everyone."

There was a sincerity to the man's words that made Caleb pause, and before he knew it, he muttered a curse under his breath and started towards the wagon.

The closer he got, the harder his heart pounded. It had been so long since he'd been close to another of his kind; the effect the boy’s presence was having on his wolf was almost too strong for him to bear. It was hard to get a good look at the person on the wagon, being that the boy was bundled in at least two blankets that covered everything but his face. And even that was obscured by the way his head lolled on his chest.

Caleb was surprised to find him lashed to the seat with a rope. John saw the look on his face and placated him, explaining, "He couldn't sit upright unaided when we left, but he made it clear he didn't want to get in the back of the wagon."

Caleb grunted, accepting the explanation, but angrily attacked the knots holding the boy there all the same. When the last one came free, the boy toppled sideways into Caleb's arms. Caleb caught him easily, disturbed that the dead weight of him felt so light despite the length of his limbs. Gathering him into his arms like a child, he started towards the cabin, with the Sheriff striding ahead to get the door.

For a moment, Caleb could have sworn he felt a soft, warm breath on his neck, and a murmured, "Alpha," but it seemed unlikely, even though his wolf gave a long, deep sigh and curled around the imagined word like it was a warming fire.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Evelise on Sexy Erotic Exciting wrote:

A post-Civil War Midwest tale, that grabbed my attention~ Home is Where You Are was beautifully written, keeping me captivated and enthralled. New author (to me) Alex Jane delivered an original and creative twist to werewolves and alphas during the late 1800’s.

Caleb and Jacob immediately fascinated me with their mannerisms, fight for right, and care for each other and family. The two alphas held a gentle tone in a rough and sometimes unforgiven time period that with Alex Jane’s careful hand remained authentic to the era and nuances.

The first book in the Alphas’ Homestead series was fast-paced in a delightful way, engaging the reader and drawing on emotion. Secondary characters enhanced the story and flowed as an integral part of the story and simply not misplaced.

I adored Caleb’s sister and want more of her~ the strength of family and her foresight to know what’s best. Additionally, John (the sheriff) and Mal (deputy) gave depth and understanding of the ruggedness of the expanding Midwest.

Small snippet at the end of book one divulged who the next stories pertain to and I look forward to reading them all.

Home is Where You Are was not necessarily a tale of sex and lust but a manifestations of sensuality and affection and of coming together for mutual satisfaction and love~ no matter what trying times confront you.

Amber on Love Bytes wrote:

Ahhh…a historical m/m book I actually really, really enjoyed. Who would have thought it possible? This was so friggin good. If you are like me and shy away from historical m/m romance please give this book a go. I think I initially felt interest in this one due to the shifter influence because I love me some wolf shifters. This book doesn’t disappoint. Its angsty and passionate. It’s sweet and soft. It’s so many different feels that you can’t help but get wrapped up in the story and the lives of these men.

Caleb Fletcher was led to believe early on in life that any attraction to another man was disgusting and forbidden. Believing he would shame his family he chooses to set out on his own as a lone wolf and denies his attractions. Years on his own he suddenly finds himself the caretaker of another lone wolf, Jacob.

Seemingly a coincidence Caleb finds himself attracted to Jacob and vice versa. Working together on the farm and coming to terms with their feelings the men start a life together and get more unexpected surprises.

There is so much good in the story. There’s a bit of an angsty, push/pull thing going on. There’s violence, action, drama, and like I mentioned earlier so much sweetness.

So incredibly different from a lot of other shifter stories that I couldn’t help but fall in love especially with the characters.

Great writing and an amazing plot this author is extremely talented and I can’t wait for the other books in the series to come out. I HIGHLY recommend this one. Get it…you won’t be disappointed!!


About the Author

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.
Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.
With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.