Buy Unbearable Desire
"My visit with Lone Pine Pride, while over too soon, was a delightful and passionate way to spend my evening and I can't wait to visit these fascinating shifters again." -4 Stars, Literary Addicts. FULL REVIEW.
"UNBEARABLE DESIRE is a fascinating look into what happens to a couple who don't listen to their hearts." -Fresh Fiction. FULL REVIEW.
"Unbearable Desire is about crushed expectations, which is one of my favorite tropes." -Book Minx Reads. FULL REVIEW.
"Vivi Andrews has created a wonderful world in the Lone Pine Pride." -Fresh Fiction. FULL REVIEW.
"Recommended!!!! I do enjoy these stories about these shifters, but..." -Just Talking Books. FULL REVIEW.
"I love Vivi Andrews as an author."-D Review, The Book Reading Gals FULL REVIEW.
Unbearable Desire Copyright © 2015 Vivi Andrews All rights reserved.
Moira considered herself a pragmatist. She wasn’t the kind to pine. She made a point not to regret the path not taken—even if she had once desperately wanted to take it.
So she didn’t often think about that night, or the foolish hopes she’d briefly entertained all those years ago. The life that might have been.
Nevertheless, when she heard the announcement, as surprise flowed around the Pride Hall, her first thought was of him. Hugo.
The Alpha of Lone Pine Pride was stepping down, handing over power to his chosen successor. No longer Alpha, his wife would no longer be Alpha’s mate. Which meant their relationship would no longer be crucial to the stability of the pride. They could divorce.
Hugo was free to pursue her now.
Moira told herself she was happy for him, happy that the stupid old bear was finally in a position to find his bliss with the soon-to-be-former Alpha’s mate. He’d pined for her for twenty-five years. At this point he deserved a medal for unrequited fidelity. Spending his golden years with the love of his life was a fitting reward.
But Moira still felt a traitorous tightness in her chest—traitor to her own determination to be over him—an ache she didn’t want to acknowledge as her last spidery thread of hope finally snapped now that Lucienne was free.
Hugo would never choose Moira now.
She sat in the Pride Hall, surrounded by her pride mates, projecting calm. Her colleague, Dr. Brandt—whom she still could never seem to think of as just Aaron, no matter how many times he asked her to call him that—leaned forward at her side, hanging on the Alpha’s every word as the announcements continued, outlining the changes to come in the pride. Thankfully, Brandt hadn’t noticed Moira’s momentary lapse into futile romanticism. Why would he? She was a steady, reliable fixture in the pride. No reason to expect emotional outbursts from sensible Moira—even as the shifters around her stirred restlessly with each new bit of news.
Moira couldn’t work up much concern about the changes. She’d adapted to a lot in her life. She would adapt to this too. No sense worrying about how it would affect them. The effects would be seen only too soon.
As the meeting continued, she let her gaze drift over the figures on the stage. The narrow space was packed—fitting, in a way, as the entire pride was busting at the seams with overcrowding these days, new shifters arriving every day begging for sanctuary from the Organization that hunted them.
Gregory Fallon, the current Alpha, stood shoulder to shoulder with his successor, Roman. Both men were massive and muscular—lions bristling with physical strength and an indefinable sense of authority.
At Roman’s other side was the lean, dark-haired cougar shifter who would be bucking pride tradition by becoming the first non-lioness Alpha’s mate. Patch was dwarfed by her lover, but what she lacked in stature, she made up for in guts as she stood at his side, her hand clasped in his, and stared down any who would doubt their bond. As if anyone would doubt a love so obvious and fierce.
In contrast, on Greg’s other side, his mate stood with regal poise, supporting him, but without a trace of affection flowing between them. Lucienne. She was beautiful. Even at fifty she was an exquisite woman—tall, blonde, attractively curved but without the softness that Moira seemed to carry with her own curves. Moira could definitely see the appeal. Lucienne was almost too perfect to be touched by mortal hands, the radiant, distant queen of the pride. Hugo’s obsession.
Lucienne and Greg’s daughter, Lila, had joined them on the stage as well, along with her own non-lion lover. Just weeks ago Moira had sat in the Pride Hall as the announcement was made that Lila would marry Roman—and the girl had looked like a deer in headlights. Now she stood beaming at her jaguar fiancé’s side while Roman pledged himself to the pride and Patch instead.
It was quite the romantic tableau—everyone blissfully coupled off—but Moira’s gaze skimmed over it, drawn irresistibly to the hulking shadow looming behind it all.
Greg and Roman were both well over six feet, but Hugo towered over both of them. A mountainous bear of a man—which she supposed was fitting for a bear shifter, though Moira also took the shape of a powerful grizzly and her human form was about as bear-like as a bunny. But Hugo looked like a bear. Even his deep, rumbling voice was bear-like. A dark brown beard, just beginning to go to gray only added to his rugged appeal.
Hugo. The Alpha’s best friend and most trusted advisor.
Hugo. Who had loved the Alpha’s wife in silence for as long as Moira had known him.
Hugo. Who would have been a dead ringer for Paul Bunyan if he’d ever worn a flannel shirt.
And Hugo. Who always looked at Moira with the flushed awkwardness of guilt after that one night.
The lynx shifter seated on Moira’s left leaned over to comment on how romantic it all was—Roman and Lila both deciding to marry for love rather than duty—and Moira realized the meeting was starting to break up. She smiled and murmured something agreeable, barely aware of her own words.
For love rather than duty.
Lucienne and Greg had married for duty. They seemed to have a powerful respect for one another, but Moira didn’t think she’d ever seen either one of them look at the other the way Roman looked at Patch.
Would Hugo be free to look at Lucienne that way now? He’d always been so careful to hide his emotions. Moira never would have suspected the truth if he hadn’t told her—back on that stupid, stupid night. But he and Lucienne wouldn’t have to hide anymore. Perhaps they would wait a month or two, give the transition time to stabilize before Lucienne left Greg for Hugo, or they would begin with a very discreet affair, but the future was all but inevitable now. Hugo’s one true love was finally free.
“Moira? Are you growling?”
She whipped around to regard Brandt, cutting off the growl that was indeed rumbling in her throat. “A tickle in my throat,” she said, taking care not to rush the words and give away the lie. “I hope I’m not coming down with something.”
“Cold season,” Brandt muttered direly. Shifters were immune to most human-borne illnesses, but no one escaped the common cold. And the more fearsome the beast, it seemed the bigger baby they were when they got the sniffles.
Hugo would probably be the worst of all.
Not that she cared what he was like or who would be bringing him chicken soup. She’d long since given up on the idea of any sort of future with the big dumb bear—so why did this feel like the death knell of her hopes? Drat it all, she wasn’t supposed to have those hopes anymore. She’d excised them years ago.