The book carries a trigger warning because of Brianna's backstory of abuse and because of events that occur within the story. Brianna is a strong character who doesn't believe in her own strength because of the things that have been done to her and choices she's made in her life. But Carlos, her mate, sees the strength and hopes to help her see it as well.
There is a happy ending for these two; otherwise, it wouldn't be a romance. But there is no easy answer to Brianna's post-traumatic stress disorder, to her nightmares and panic attacks and the constant fear that someone will hurt her again. All there is are Carlos's love and assurance that he will help her. Brianna doesn't magically heal from her past and present, but the process begins with Carlos's help.
Beta Block will be released later this month from Passion in Print Press. I don't have final cover art to share yet, but will try to add it to this post when I get it. Meanwhile, here's the blurb and a short (non-triggering) excerpt:
Candace Wright is new to the Boston North Pack and to Boston in general. Stalked by rogue werewolf Saul Hughes, who victimized her in her previous pack, Candace just wants to start a new life, beginning with a new name, Brianna.
The moment City Pack Beta Carlos Garza meets Candace/Brianna, he knows he has found his mate. But can he help her overcome the demons of her past and escape from the control Saul Hughes still has over her?
Almost bonelessly she relaxed against the mattress. Smug, he moved up to lie beside her, his head propped on one hand so he could look down at her. “Good?”
“Holy fuck.” She laughed. “Better.”
“Than anything.” She laughed again. “I can’t believe it was so good. Come here.”
She held out her arms, and he moved into her embrace. Twined together, they breathed in rhythm with each other.
“Mine,” he said aloud.
“Yours.” She snuggled against him. “Mine.”
“For as long as you want me.” He kissed her temple. “Forever, if you want.”
“Maybe I do.”
They were silent again for a few minutes, then she said, “I didn’t mean no. I just…I try not to lose control. It scares me a little. And I knew when I came, I was going to lose it. I wanted to, but at the same time I didn’t. Does that make any sense?”
“Complete sense,” he said. “So if you say no during sex—during anything sexual we do—what do you want from me?”
“Ignore it.” She turned onto her side and pressed more firmly against him. “If I don’t like what you’re doing or need to stop, I’ll say stop. If I just say no, ignore it.”
“Are you sure?” He didn’t want to risk triggering her.
“Yes. I’m sure.” She looked into his eyes, smiling. “You want good things for me. That still astonishes me.”
“You don’t think you deserve good things?”
“I didn’t think anyone else would ever care if I had them.” She sniffled. “God, I’m a mess. Hormones, I guess.”
“As long as any tears are happy ones, it’s all good.” He held her more tightly. “I love you.”
“Don’t leave, okay?” She sniffled again. “Sorry. Please stay with me today. Tobias said you can. I don’t want to be away from you.”
“Unless Justin needs me for something, I will stay as long as you want me.” He ran his hand over her hair. “Do you think you can sleep?”
“Yeah.” She yawned. “I want to clean up, and then I’d like to fall asleep in your arms again.”
“I think that can be arranged.” He smiled and pulled away from her. “You can shower first.”
“You can shower with me.” She stood and held out her hand. “I told you I don’t want to be away from you.”
“You did say that.” He took her hand and got off the bed.
They washed quickly and returned to the bedroom. Still nude, Brianna got back under the covers and gave Carlos a sleepy smile. He joined her.
“I love you,” she said softly.
It was the first time she had said it on her own rather than responding to him, and it made him happier than he could have said. “I love you too.”
She lay her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. Within moments, her breathing deepened.