Hunted

She’s found a magical lover. But is he real?


Kayla Rowe and her little sister are running for their lives. Chased from town to town by a gang of bikers that no one else sees, Kayla is down to her last dollar and out of ideas. But when she stumbles into the winter camp of a man who is larger than life, her world changes.

Although Fae warrior Ryan Sheridan is entranced by Kayla’s beauty and courage, he has a band of fellow exiles he must protect. Disguised as performers in a Renaissance fair, he and his comrades hide in plain sight. But when evil follows Kayla, Ryan can no longer turn her away—or deny the passion that will upend both their worlds.

Awesome book! I'm very intrigued by this story. I love paranormal romance especially with such an interesting plot. I can't wait to see what happens next in their story. I definitely recommend trying this series.Conco, Kindle Reviewer
Kayla and Tara are great characters with a even more incredible storyline. It's imaginative and creative in the way that the authors world comes together.Kindle Reviewer
I knew it would be another great series. Hazel does not disappoint. She starts her stories out strong and finishes even stronger. They suck you in and don't let go.DLMB, Kindle Reviewer
Be aware this is only part one… ends on a cliffhanger, but it was so good and the characters so good and well thought out. Amazing story!Beladi, Kindle Reviewer
Now to read the next book in this fun, adventurous and loving story.Cassandra's Reviews
Awesome characters with steamy love scenes that leaves you saying ahhh. Going to read the next one because the first one left me hanging but a great book.Kindle Reviewer
Mind blowing! Had everything, plot, romance, danger, twists and turns. Thank you!! Honestly, top 10 read! Such a sexy awesome read!Sarah Carey, Kindle Reviewer
This entire series is good from start to finish. Yes each story is not long but each book has it's own plot and is definitely worth it.Kindle Reviewer
I liked it and I'm off to the next part!Amy, My Book Obsession

“There are worse places,” Kayla Rowe said, as she stepped over a fallen tree trunk. Her foot sank into another fresh snowdrift. “I could be in the Sahara.”

She slogged through to a more sheltered patch of ground and stopped, her heavy breaths billowing in the frosty air. With a grunt, she stomped off the clumps of icy powder that clung to her jeans.

“Not that I’d really mind the desert,” she said. Talking to herself helped her ignore the fact that she couldn’t feel her face or her hands anymore. “Camels aren’t so bad, and my tan needs work. Mirages could be fun.”

Kayla rubbed her ears and nose with her stiff gloves, hoping to restore some circulation, but didn’t feel that either. Growing up in hot, sunny Florida left her ignorant of exactly what frostbite felt like. No doubt she’d find out soon enough. What she could feel was every gulp she took of the thin, sharp air. It burned her lungs before clawing its way out to form white clouds. Right now a bunch were drifting in front of her nose, like so much ghost tripe. The thought made her stomach sink.

“Add nausea to the frostbite,” she muttered, and swatted at her floating breaths.

At sunset she’d abandoned her rental car to walk the rest of the way to town. She must have covered at least five miles by now, but the darkness made it hard to tell. Leaving the winding road to take a shortcut through the woods had seemed brilliant—until she found herself dodging trees, brush, and knee-high drifts. If not for the light filtering down from the full moon she’d probably be walking or falling face-first into them. Who knew Tennessee would have snow?

How Kayla missed Florida, and the little cottage she’d shared there with her sister. More than anything her heart still ached over giving up her job at the riding academy. The students and other trainers she’d worked with had been great, but leaving behind the horses she’d trained and cared for every day for the last three years had been like running out on family.

Cantankerous old Stan, who considered himself in charge of everything at the stables, had been particularly upset about her leaving.

You can’t go, he pleaded. We need you here. You’re not like the others. You’re one of us.

I know. I’m sorry, she thought. She couldn’t avoid the hurt in his big brown eyes. But if I stay, and they found out where I work…what if they came here and hurt one of the kids, or you?

Leaving her beloved job behind had been a smart if emotionally difficult choice. Hiking alone through the woods in winter, on the other hand, had been an exceptionally dumb idea. So had forgetting to charge her mobile. Kayla still couldn’t believe she hadn’t once glanced at the car’s dashboard since leaving North Carolina. She’d never in her life run out of gas.

Until tonight.

The rental had begun sputtering as soon as she had gotten off the highway, and coasted to a long, slow stop just as she’d passed a sign that read ASHDALE 7 MILES.

Kayla couldn’t blame her idiocy on the car, or anyone but herself. Though she’d been relieved to lose the thugs stalking her and her sister, Tara, the relief had made her careless. She’d been so busy congratulating herself on the success of her clever plan that she’d forgotten how often the universe liked to mess with that kind of thing. Now it seemed to be gloating.

You’re not out of the woods yet, Rowe, and guess what? Now you might freeze to death in them.

Through the trees she could see the lights of the town as dozens of tiny jewels spangled the dark horizon. They promised warmth and shelter and her sister. But their distance meant she had at least another two or three miles to hike. If she got to Ashdale, she’d then have to find her way to the cheap motel where Tara was waiting.

When I get there.” Kayla pulled the edge of her wool scarf up over her mouth and nose. “No ifs. When.”

She trudged on, every step leeching more strength from her tired, overworked leg muscles. Once winter’s teeth finished gnawing her limbs, she suspected it would start in on her chest and belly. If the cold got to her core, she might never make it out of the woods. Her younger sister would be left helpless and alone, with no one else in the world to look after her. Tara already coped with horrible bouts of depression, which had been especially frequent since their father had passed away. Losing her only living relative might finally push her to–

“Knock it off,” Kayla yelled, though her lips were numbing.

She breathed in through her nose and out her mouth until the shriveling knot in her chest loosened. She wasn’t giving up, not this close to making it. She would get to town, and her sister, and then they would figure out where they could stay for the winter.

All she had to do was walk two more miles, and not die trying. Kayla thought about her sister, but the image of Tara’s thin face soon faded. Instead she remembered the other reason she had to keep going—the reason they’d ended up in Tennessee—the stalkers.

Kayla had first seen them over a month ago. Without warning the bikers had surrounded her and Tara on their way to the market. Kayla had gunned the engine and the pack of roaring machines had chased them through town. Though she had managed to lose them, she went straight to the police station to report the incident. But without license numbers the desk sergeant told her there wasn’t anything they could do.

The next day Kayla came out of the market to find the bikers waiting in the parking lot, and called the police on her mobile. As soon as they heard the sirens the bikers took off. By the time the patrol car arrived they were gone. Over the next week the gang came after her and Tara three more times, yet as soon as Kayla called 911 they disappeared. There were never any witnesses or evidence to back up what she told the police. After the fifth call the cops stopped taking Kayla seriously, and the last time they even threatened to charge her with misuse of emergency services.

“Look, I don’t care about me,” Kayla told the cop. “I can take care of myself. But these guys are huge and scary, and my sister is just a kid. If they grab her, she won’t have a chance.”

“Yeah, well, we’ve interviewed everyone and checked around town, lady,” a ticked-off patrolman told her. “Nobody but you two has ever seen these bikers. So maybe you should talk about your problems with someone else. You know, like a therapist.”

Kayla had stopped calling, but the bikers never stayed away for long. When one of the bastards had followed Tara into the fabric shop where she worked after school, she’d run out and disappeared. Kayla hadn’t known about it until her sister’s boss called several hours later, when a dazed and injured Tara had come back to the store and tried to start working again.

“I’m taking you to the ER,” Kayla told her as she helped her to the car. “We’ll get–”

“No,” Tara said. She hunched her shoulders. “I’m okay.”

“Okay?” Kayla caught Tara’s hand and showed her the rapidly-darkening bruises on her knuckles. “This is not okay. And this?” She tugged on the torn, blood-stained sleeve of Tara’s blouse. “How is this even remotely okay?”

“It’s not my blood,” her sister said, staring sullenly at the ground. “Would you just take me home, please?”

Tara had refused to offer any more details about the attack, but she was never the same after that day. When Kayla decided they should relocate, she didn’t even argue. They’d quit their jobs, packed up and left town the next day, telling no one where they were going.

A week later the gang found them, just settling into their new apartment, and the nightmare started all over again. For nearly a month now they’d been on the run, never staying in any place for more than a few days. Yet no matter where they went, or how careful they were, the gang always caught up with them.

Kayla had no idea who the bikers were, but there was something very wrong with all of them. She’d assumed they were just another bunch of idiot thugs trying to look like badasses. But then she noticed the creepy similarities they shared. Gangs were big fans of uniformity, so it was no surprise they all wore sunglasses, black leather jackets, and trousers. Only theirs were identical. Each biker also had the same pale skin, quasi-military haircut, and bulging, bodybuilder frames. If not for the variations in the weird tribal tattoos they’d inked on their brows, the gang could have been twenty clones of the same jerk.

What was truly bizarre was how no one else seemed to see them. Everyone behaved as if they were invisible. Since none of the assholes wore helmets, or had license plates on their bikes, they should have at least caught the eye of the authorities. Yet Kayla had seen them go roaring past a state trooper at twenty miles over the posted speed limit, and the cop hadn’t even blinked.

The last time the gang had attacked them had been during rush hour on a busy Georgia highway. One minute Kayla was looking for an exit sign. The next the passenger window exploded inward as a huge, dirty fist punched through it and clamped around Tara’s neck. As Kayla screamed her sister broke free and grabbed the wheel, first swerving their car into the biker, and then across three lanes to an exit ramp.

“Are you out of your mind?” Kayla had shrieked at her sister as she wrenched her hand off the wheel. “What if you killed him?”

“I didn’t.”

Tara nodded at the rearview mirror.

Kayla saw the cars dodging the fallen biker. But as he stood up, her eyes widened. He righted his bike with one hand and climbed back on.

“What the hell? No one could have survived that. What is he, Superman?”

“Whatever they are,” Tara muttered, calmly brushing broken glass off her lap, “you’d better drive faster.”

That day they hadn’t stopped again until they’d reached the Carolinas, and by that time Kayla had come up with a plan.

“I don’t know what they are or how they keep finding us,” she’d told Tara, “but they have to be looking for two women traveling together, right? So we split up. I’ll get rid of the car, rent something else and head south. You take the bus and go north.”

Her sister started to shake her head, but when Kayla gently touched the bruises on her throat she stopped and finally nodded.

“Once I lose them I’ll double back and meet up with you.”

She picked up the complimentary travel map they’d taken from the lobby. A tiny motel symbol was stamped next to a dot in a sparsely-populated section of the Smoky Mountains. “Here, in Ashdale. There’s a motel in town called…” She squinted at the minuscule type. “The Silver Birch Inn. Get a room there and wait for me.”

Tara frowned. “Ashdale? Why does that sound familiar?”

“We used to live there when I was little,” Kayla said, finger still on the map. “You were born there.” Aware that they were both staring at it, Kayla quickly folded the map. “Dad said that if you or I ever got in trouble, we should go back to Ashdale.” She handed the map to Tara. “He told me that we would always be safe there.”

Her sister grimaced. “If it’s so safe, then why did we move?”

“Dad hated it,” Kayla said, moving to the window. She peered through the curtains at the nearly-empty parking lot. “He only took us to Florida because Mom left.”