Title: The Betas: René Series: Werewolves of Manhattan Series Book 9 – Can be read as standalone
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Publisher: MLR Press
When attending a wedding, Frank Ferone is introduced to René DuBois, a violet eyed stranger. René has a secret to hide but can’t overlook that he’s met his mate. René starts to romance Frankie and soon Frankie falls in love. But how is he going to react when René tells Frankie he is loup garou. Werewolves? Really?
Frankie sat on the edge of a serge wing chair upholstered in the blue of the sofa pattern. He hadn’t noticed it before, but René had splashes of a rich burgundy in pillow accents placed around the room. “Thank you for being there for me. Have I told you that I love you? There must be something to this Mate thing.” He glanced over at René, whose face was set in a grim line. He had to phone Dante. “Okay, I call him.” Frankie inwardly quaked. In the past ten years, he had grumbled, but he never outright defied Dante. Dante told him ten years, but Frankie was scared to death he wouldn’t let him go. His stepfather could be a very bad man under the right circumstances. He’d witnessed what had happened to Sal and Apuso. Don Ferone didn’t like to be crossed. His stomach knotted, Frankie dialed the number. “Ferone residence, to whom am I speaking?” It was obvious that Dante had come home from work because Carmen would let the phone ring until his poor mother had to answer it. “Carmen, this is Frankie, may I speak to my stepfather?” “I’ll see if he’s available.” He heard shuffling in the background. “I’ve been expecting your call.” That was his stepfather. Frankie immediately got angry, almost on autopilot. None of the niceties for Frankie, not even a hello. “I told Mom I would talk to you. Consider this my notice, and I’m on vacation for the next week. As of Monday, I’ll be working for Mr. La Marche.” Frankie steeled his voice. I can do this. “You’re going to work with more of your kind?” Frankie could feel René’s gaze on him. He didn’t want to make eye contact with his fiancé. Frankie was afraid he’d see pity, and the one thing Frankie couldn’t stand was someone’s pity, especially from his new fiancé. Anger, even with disgust, was preferable, and God knows Dante had stared at him with disgust often enough, but he couldn’t abide pity. “I want to be who I am, an out and proud gay man.” Frankie’s voice sounded firm to his ears. Good, it’s not shaking. I’m standing my ground. “You have my name…” Frankie didn’t even let him finish. “I’ll change it back to Fitzgerald or take my husband’s name.” Dante sighed. “Frankie, are you sure you want to do this? La Marche’s army is as large if not larger than mine. I don’t know what kind of jig they’re running, but they’re no more on the up and up than I am. I work with them because I have to, not because I want to.” Dante took a deep breath to continue. Frankie cut him off. “Dante, you promised me ten years ago, that if I gave you ten years, you’d let me go. I told Mr. La Marche that you were a man of your word. That you’d let me go because you made a promise. I’m asking you to keep that promise.” Silence greeted him on the other end of the line. “You won’t abandon your mother? She loves you.” Dante pulled out his ace. “I promised that I’d come to see her tomorrow and bring René. I’d never abandon Mom. Just because I don’t work for you doesn’t mean I’m abandoning her.” “Is that his name—René. Sounds like a girl.” Dante gave Frankie a half-hearted jeer. It was at that moment he knew he’d won. “No, it’s French. It means reborn.” That’s how I’ve felt since I met him, reborn. “You can keep my name. You may work for La Marche, but you’re still my son. Your mother wants you to be happy, and she said she hadn’t heard you as happy as you were when you talked to her today since Francis died. Believe it or not, I want you to be happy, too. I wanted to leave you the business because you’d run it better than Junior. Your mother and I have spoiled him, and he’s feckless. When I retire, I’ll turn it over to one of the boys I sent to Columbia. Your mother said you suggested that.” Dante was trying for his mother’s sake. The Alpha was right when he told him to enlist her. It was time he gave a little. “Dad…Dante, you should retire soon, before something happens. You have enough money for the three of you to live very full lives. I handled your investments, I know.” “That’s the first time you’ve ever called me Dad. I didn’t mean to alienate you over the gay thing. I thought that you’d grow out of it, but today, your mother did a search on the computer, arthritic fingers and all.” Here he threw in a little guilt. They thought Jewish mothers were the only ones who dealt in guilt. Anyone who’s had an Italian father could tell you that the Italians give the Jews a run for their money
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