Thu
Nov 9 2017 11:01am

A.E. Jones Excerpt: To Have and To Howl

A.E. Jones

To Have and To Howl by A.E. Jones

Law means following the rules. Love means breaking them.

Julia Cole is a lawyer on a mission. After three long years, her husband's murderers have been convicted. Until their leader breaks out of magically-strengthened, impossible-to-break-handcuffs in the courtroom, that is. Someone is helping them. And that someone is threatening Julia. But she will not back down from them or the man tasked to protect her...a man who scrambles her long-buried emotions.

Jack Dawson is a werewolf with a secret. One that could change his life forever. But his problems have to take a back seat while he protects Julia. He can't afford to let down his guard—against the evil forces threatening Julia, against his growing feelings for her, fighting to be heard, and against his secret—which could destroy everything.

Can Julia and Jack finally let go of their pasts and begin a new future together?

Get a sneak peek at A.E. Jones's To Have and To Howl (available November 13, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Jack stopped in front of Julia’s office door and watched her hunched over her computer, typing away. He knocked on the doorjamb.

She looked up from her computer screen, and blinked. “How’s it going?”

“Okay. We’ve checked your house and made sure everything is physically and magically secure.”

“Where’s your brother?”

“He went to grab some takeout. Your pantry is bare, and Connor took one look in your refrigerator and mumbled something about what he imagined the apocalypse would look like before heading out the door.”

Julia’s eyes widened. “Did you just make a joke, Jack?”

Jack could feel the corners of his mouth start to turn up before he controlled himself. “Those were Connor’s words, not mine.”

“He didn’t need to get food for me.”

“He didn’t just do it for you. Giz is working on your alarm system. If we don’t feed him, things will get ugly.”

“Giz is here?”

Jack entered the room. She hadn’t even heard Giz? It wasn’t like they were being quiet. She was so immersed in whatever she was working on, she blocked out everything else.

“Why don’t you call it quits for the night? It’s after six, and Connor should be back in a few minutes with the food.”

She glanced down at her paperwork. And from the small frown on her face, Jack could tell she wasn’t going to stop.

“Do you ever slow down?” he blurted.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve been going nonstop for the last three days. When do you take a break and relax?”

She opened her mouth and then closed it again.

“Exactly. It’s time to call it a night, counselor.”

Julia’s eyes tightened on him and he waited for her argument.

“Fine. If you want me to relax, then you have to do something for me.”

He should have known she’d want to work some sort of deal. “What?”

“You have to sit down and have a conversation with me.”

He opened his mouth, and she rushed on before he could speak.

“Not a conversation about the case, or security. An actual, honest-to-goodness discussion between two adults.”

He didn’t like the idea one bit, but he couldn’t expect her to be more flexible if he wouldn’t be. “Okay,” he said, sitting down slowly across from her desk.

Julia smiled. “I’m not going to cross-examine you. It’s just a talk. I’ll start with something easy.”

He leaned back in the chair.

“Tell me your deepest desire.”

Holy shit.He jerked upright like he’d been shocked with a cattle prod.

Julia burst out laughing. “Oh, the look on your face just now.”

“Very funny.”

“I’m sorry. You bring out the worst in me. I’ll be good, I promise. Let’s start over. Tell me how you came to work for the Tribunal.”

Jack calmed his breathing down. This was safe territory. “Connor and I grew up with Devin. When Devin started to put his team together, he asked us to join him.”

“Because of your security training?”

Jack’s eyebrows rose in surprise.

“Peggy told me the pack’s business is security, and you used to provide security for the Elven Kingdom. Is that where you learned how to do all this?”

“Yes, although we’ve learned a lot since then from the team.”

“Are you happy the team settled in California? You’re close to your pack again.”

Jack managed not to cringe. Even before the problem with his wolf, Jack avoided his pack. Now? He didn’t want to go anywhere near them. But that wasn’t exactly something he wanted to get into with Julia. “It’s nice to be back near the forest.”

She looked at him for a moment without speaking. Was that her lawyer look she was using on him right now? Time to deflect.

“What about you? Are you originally from California?”

“No. I’m an East Coaster.” Julia picked up her pen and rolled it between her fingers.

Jack nodded. “Not surprised about that one, Ms. Workaholic.”

She rolled her eyes. “Thanks. I grew up in Philadelphia and came to California for law school, which then turned into a job with a large law firm.”

“And now you’re on your own?”

“I learned a lot at the law firm. I worked seventy-hour weeks and helped with all the grunt work. And that helped me become a better lawyer. It also told me that I wanted to choose what cases I took on, instead of being stuck with what the firm assigned to me. Which meant I had to be my own boss.”

“Doesn’t look like your workload has slacked off.”

She shook her head. “It ebbs and flows. You’re like a broken record. If you’re going to chastise me for working too hard, then I get to chastise you for being such a damn cranky-pants.”

He chuckled at her choice of words and cocky grin.

“Dear God, it’s a miracle. Jack just laughed. I’m going to write the date and time down in my calendar.”

Jack reached over and shut her laptop lid. “Enough work for now.”

“Hey!”

“It will be there later. Time to take a break.”

“Food’s here!” Connor called out.

“No fair! You knew your brother was back through your twin-speak, didn’t you?”

Jack shrugged, even though his twin-speak, as she called it, had abandoned him. “You’ll never know for sure.”

She rounded the desk, then paused to look up at him. “You never did tell me your deepest desire.”

“You won’t get the truth from me anytime soon, counselor.” And she never would. He couldn’t tell her that, if he was honest, she was his deepest desire. It was a good thing he wasn’t being honest with her or himself right now.

Honesty would not set him free. 

***

Copyright © 2017 by A.E. Jones.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of To Have and To Howl by A.E. Jones, available November 13, 2017:

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Growing up a TV junkie, AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn't like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen, she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all, life is about both...whether you sport fangs or not.

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2 comments
Kareni
1. Kareni
This sounds like a fun read! Thanks for posting the excerpt.
Kathy Valentine
2. Kathy Valentine
Awesome excerpt!! Sounds like a cute read!!
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