Spotlight & Giveaway: Wild Cowboy Wolf by Kait Ballenger

Posted November 18th, 2021 by in Blog, Spotlight / 39 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Kait Ballenger to HJ!

Hi Kait and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Wild Cowboy Wolf!

Thank you so much for having me!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Wild Cowboy Wolf is the fifth book in my Seven Range Shifter paranormal romance series about sexy heroes who are cowboys by day, wolf shifters by night. It’s a spicy best friends to lovers romance about a sarcastically funny alpha hero who uses humor to hide his dark past and the loyal pack-veterinarian/warrior heroine who has always stood by his side, as they fight to protect their pack.


Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

It’s so hard to choose, but for the sheer, goofy humor of it:

“Put down the bull semen and look at me goddamnit.”

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

The hero, Blaze, has a cantankerous tortoiseshell cat named Peaches, and Peaches was heavily inspired by my husband’s old cat, Coyote.

What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

They’ve been friends for a long time and Blaze has really been in love with Dakota from when he first met her, but I think it’s her kind and loyal heart that he loves the most. He knows she won’t ever leave him alone in his own darkness, which is also what makes her such an amazing friend.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

I laughed a lot while writing this book because Blaze is such a sarcastic goofball of an alpha hero, but I also cried a lot, because Blaze uses his humor to hide a very hurt heart. There was one scene in particular that made me cry very hard, but I can’t share it without giving away spoilers. All I can say is that I promise there’s a HEA full of hope at the end.


Readers should read this book….

If they like sexy paranormal romance, cowboy wolf alpha heroes with dark pasts, heroes who hide their emotions behind humor, heroines who are loyal, intelligent, and fierce, and stories where the characters overcome the challenges of their past with the help of their family/community/pack.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I can’t share what I’m working on at the moment because it’s top-secret, but I do have two upcoming releases.
-Shifters and Mistletoe (a holiday wolf shifter anthology featuring novellas from 8 premiere paranormal romance authors, including yours truly) – Out Dec 7th
-Cowboy Wolf Outlaw (#6 in the Seven Range Shifter series) – Out June 28th, 2022.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A print copy of Wild Cowboy Wolf by Kait Ballenger


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Which trope do you prefer: enemies to lovers or friends to lovers?

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Excerpt from Wild Cowboy Wolf:

Reading a room full of shifters made for one helluva
dull evening. Blaze lingered at the bar, whiskey in hand and bored
out of his goddamn mind as he scanned the crowd for potential
threats. Quick thinking had earned him the job; the same made it
duller than a post. Inside the decked-out old barn, the collective
behavior of the pack ebbed and flowed with the pulse of the west

ern music. Fast songs and quicker liquor meant high spirits and
too-loud laughter with plenty of decisions to regret in the morning.
Pack mentality at its finest.
At least the whiskey was decent.
Blaze threw back the dregs of his glass, feeling the burn slide
down his throat. It’d take five times that for a wolf his size to even
feel it. And he wanted to feel it, considering what kept catching his
eye at the far side of the dance floor.
A feral growl rumbled in his throat.
“Another?” Austin’s slow Texas drawl was nearly drowned by
the din of the reception’s noise.
Blaze slid the tumbler into Austin’s outstretched hand with a
shake of his head. “Not unless it’s beer.” Then at least he’d have
something to do with his hands.
Austin waved at the bartender.
From two seats down, Malcolm eyed Austin with a disap

proving frown. “Since when did you become Blaze’s personal
Blaze fought not to roll his eyes. The Grey Wolf executioner
turned warrior had two facial expressions: scowl and deeper scowl,
which meant the grumbling edge in his tone was unfortunately
permanent, right along with that mean-ass mug of his. More than
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once, Blaze had tried to remove it, but the fellow warrior was dead
to humor.
Such was his luck tonight.
“Since I’m the one on detail while you two sit there looking…”
Blaze scrunched his nose. “Well, no one would dare call you pretty.”
The teasing grin that pulled at his lips came easy.
A permanent mask he’d never be rid of.
Malcolm bared his teeth in response.
“Snarly seems a more appropriate description.” Austin hopped
over the bar top after several failed attempts to flag the bartender.
The hired buxom blond of a witch on loan from the relocated
Midnight Coyote Saloon wore her pants a little too tight and had
been calling Blaze “sugar” more than half the evening. Apparently,
she thought Malcolm was a peach, because she’d said as much as
she’d batted her eyes through that too-thick layer of mascara.
Yeah, a peach. Malcolm.
Blaze had choked on his own drink from snorting too hard.
Behind the bar, Austin cast their glasses into the dish sink and
pulled three Coors from the mini fridge. “Ain’t nothin’ as ugly as
that suit you’re wearin’ though.”
Blaze let out a harsh bark of a laugh. “Truth.”
Instinctively, he went to reach for his Stetson, then thought
better of it. He’d forgone the cowboy hat this evening since it didn’t
match his attire—an obnoxiously bright-orange monstrosity covered in palms and pineapples. Needling the packmaster never got
old. Honest to wolf, Maverick took life way too damn seriously,
even his own wedding reception…
“At least my suit is supposed to be ugly.” He cast Malcolm a
cheesed-up grin before receiving another growl in response.
A dull evening indeed. He’d find humor where he could take it.
Austin popped open one of the beers and pushed it toward him,
but Blaze waved it off.
His eyes caught on Dakota again.
She’d been stuck with Jasper for the better part of three songs,
and the way she danced ever closer to the other wolf was killing
“Who’s making the rounds this time?” Blaze asked, his voice
giving away more than a hint of his frustration.
Fuck the friend zone.
“I’ll do it.” Austin vaulted back over the bar, grabbing his Coors
off the bar top and promptly taking a quick swig.
“Ever the volunteer.” Blaze made as if to tip his hat.
“Siempre.” The Texan raised his drink as he disappeared into the
Malcolm pushed off his barstool with a huff.
“Where you off to?”
Malcolm grunted. “Need to hit the head.”
“Breaking the seal is not advised when on patrol.”
Malcolm flipped him the bird and Blaze chuckled again.
Maybe not a total lost cause.
Alone, finally, in spite of the surrounding party, Blaze scanned
the crowd again. No changes. Figured. Desperate for a hit of dopamine, he turned his back to the writhing bodies, mainly Dakota’s
writhing body, grabbed the still-waiting Coors, and took a swig.
As he did, the thump of deep bass through the speakers assaulted
his wolf senses. Immediately, he tensed. The Montana cold nipped
at the edge of the old barn’s doors, but that didn’t account for the
chill that raced down his spine. The feeling of being watched made
him far colder.
Awareness prickled through him. With a thud, he set down the
Coors and slowly rounded toward the crowd. Weaving his way
onto the floor, he navigated to his first target. As the heat of his
palm slipped onto the bare skin of Dakota’s lower back, she stilled
beneath his touch.
Fuck, why had she worn that dress? The deep-blue one that
brought out the cobalt undertones of her midnight hair and dipped
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so low on her spine it left little imagination of what her tight, round
ass would feel like cupped in his hands. It tortured him every time.
He’d tried to get her to leave it in her closet where it belonged, but
she hadn’t taken the bait.
Leaning down, he whispered into her ear. “Stay with Jas.”
It was an order. Protective. Harsh. No humor.
Not like him.
She froze, blinking at him as if he’d startled her. He hadn’t. He
was attuned to her every move, and she had been casting glances
toward him for the better part of the night. He’d been living for it.
Dakota nodded, trusting him enough not to question. “I was
planning on it.”
Unfortunately, he’d been hoping for that. She was a capable warrior in her own right, but he didn’t like the idea of taking his eyes off
her for long. Whoever’s gaze was tracking him wouldn’t take care of
themselves. Inside, his wolf stirred.
As he stepped away, Jasper raised a brow, but Blaze gave the
other warrior a slight shake of his head. Later.
Blaze’s eyes darted down to Dakota with silent communication.
Stay with her.
Jas nodded. The Grey Wolf international relations liaison was
a fierce fighter. He’d protect any of their pack with his life, but not
like Blaze.
He was made for this.
Blaze disappeared into the maze of the dance floor. It didn’t
matter where he went, the uneasy feeling followed. After several
rounds playing cat and mouse through the decked-out barn hall, he
finally ducked into a darkened alcove near the exit.
A strong hand clamped onto his shoulder.
Blaze spun. He slammed the assailant against the wall, pinning
him with ease. The sharp edge of his blade pushed against the
attacker’s throat as he let out a feral snarl.
But it was silenced by his victim’s deep-throated laughter.
Blaze stilled. He knew that laugh. Had served alongside the wolf
it belonged to for several years.
The colored overhead lights of the party flashed through the
dark, revealing a familiar face. Amarok “Rock” Saila. Mercenary for
the Yellowknife Pack, their Arctic wolf allies, and as Blaze knew
him, former MAC-V-Alpha soldier. They’d served together in the
shifters-only unit of the U.S. military until Blaze had finally gotten
out a few years back.
Blaze let out a curse, sheathing his blade. “You’re lucky I didn’t
kill you, you bastard.”
“I wouldn’t be your first. Luck has never favored either of us.”
Rock rubbed at his throat where Blaze’s knife had been, his expression turning grim. “You act like you’re still in Russia, brother.”
Blaze huffed with mild amusement. He glanced toward the floor
as he ran his fingers through his hair. “I don’t think I ever really left.”
A beat of silence passed between them before Blaze cracked a
grin to ease the tension. The dark Arctic wolf returned the smile
and extended his hand.
Blaze swatted it away. “What the hell are you doing here?” He
pulled the other man in for a quick thump of a hug.
Rock gave him a hard clap on the shoulder in return. “The better
question is, what the fuck are you wearing, soldier?”
Blaze shrugged. “It irks Maverick.” He nodded toward the dance
floor, where the Grey Wolf packmaster was no doubt waiting on
the arrival of his bride.
Rock shook his head. “You always did cause trouble with your
superiors. Me being one of them.”
“My superiors were never all that superior.” Blaze winked.
Rock let out a harsh laugh. “Only because you never wanted to
play leader.”
“Don’t I know it.” Blaze nodded. “Still don’t.” Rock had him
pegged all right.
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Once he’d come home, as the Grey Wolf security specialist, he’d
worked hard to keep a low profile among his packmates, at least
when it came to anything away from his computer. With more than
two tours serving in MAC-V under his belt, Blaze didn’t hold any
illusion that he was a better fighter than most. He could have easily
worked his way up the ranks of his fellow elite warriors, besting
Colt, their high commander, or hell, maybe even Wes, their pack’s
second, but that didn’t mean he wanted the responsibilities that
came with it.
He knew all too well the blood that could leave on a man’s hands.
Rock gave him a once-over, sizing him up. “I know what you’re
capable of, even if you’ve made certain your packmates don’t.”
Blaze gave a mock wince. “They have some idea.”
“Not enough.”
A cryptic response. He should have known.
Blaze’s expression darkened. It’d been to protect them, all of
them, but if his packmates ever learned the truth…
“You’re not here to shoot the breeze,” he said, cutting straight to
the point. A wolf like Rock didn’t do anything for shits and giggles.
“No.” Rock lowered his voice despite the sounds of the reception around them. “There’s been a breach.”
The cold nipping at Blaze earlier was nothing compared to the
ice now coursing through his veins. The snarl that ripped from his
throat was more wolf than man. “That’s not possible.”
“Possible or not, it happened,” Rock countered. “You know
better than most what’s possible for those monsters.”
Everything inside Blaze coiled like a viper ready to strike. He
hadn’t anticipated this.
Not now. Not ever.
Not when he’d thought he’d buried the truth.
Unintimidated by his venom, Rock reached out and gripped
Blaze’s shoulder—hard.
Blaze growled. “I created those encryptions myself,” he ground out.
They’d been near impenetrable.
His eyes flashed to his wolf as the beast inside him reared its
head. He’d need to shift soon for the sake of his own sanity.
“Exactly,” Rock hissed. The golden amber of his gaze now
matched Blaze’s own.
With a guttural curse, Blaze pulled away from the other wolf,
retreating farther into the darkness of the alcove. He needed
to move, pace. Something. He snarled. “Tell me my file wasn’t
accessed.” He didn’t have an ounce of hope he was that lucky. Who
the hell was he kidding? Of course it had. He’d been the shield for
the whole damn unit.
“I don’t know,” Rock answered.
Blaze slammed his fist on the nearby wall. “Fuck.”
“My words exactly.” Rock crossed his thick arms over his chest,
looking as deadly as Blaze felt.
The pulse in Blaze’s temple quickened. “Tell me there isn’t anything else.”
“There couldn’t be anything else.” The gold of Rock’s wolf eyes
flared. “We both know this is as bad as it gets.”
Blaze’s mouth went dry.
No. Rock was wrong. This wasn’t even close to the worst.
Something in his gaze must have given his thoughts away,
because Rock reached for him again as if to lend him strength.
“You’ve bested them before. You can do it again.”
The weight of Rock’s hand on his shoulder felt too heavy. Blaze
tried to brush it off but failed. “The last time nearly killed me.”
“This time, it won’t.” Another squeeze before Rock released
him. “You’ll know they’re coming.”
Blaze let out a harsh, humorless laugh. “I’m not sure that’s preferable.” He could still practically taste their blood in his teeth. Iron.
Metallic. Nauseating.
“Anything that keeps you and your pack alive is preferable.”
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Blaze shook his head. “Easy for you to say. It’s not you they’re
Rock stiffened, the unspoken words between them brimming
with tension.
“They’ll come for me next.” Rock smirked, but with the quick
gleam of his wolf canines, it appeared more threat than pleasure.
“That’s why I came to warn you.” He paused. “Watch your back,
Blaze nodded. “I always do. I never stopped.”
Rock moved to step away. “I’ll be in touch.” He withdrew into
the darkness of the party’s shadows as swiftly as he’d emerged,
pausing only seconds before he disappeared. “And for what it’s
worth, brother, I prefer the cowboy hat.”
Blaze let out a bark of a laugh, now standing alone in the alcove,
despite the hundreds of bodies filling the building. Feeling suddenly overheated, he stripped off his suit jacket, tossing it on a pile
of coats near the door.
He inhaled a deep breath, settling his expression as much as he
could before he emerged onto the dance floor and headed toward
the bar. Austin. Malcolm. Detail. Responsibilities.
Then he could come apart.
At the bar, Austin was still absent, making rounds, but Malcolm
had returned. Blaze beelined straight toward his scowling packmate
until he was within hearing distance. “I need you to take over detail
for the next half hour.”
The lines of Malcolm’s face deepened. “Since when do I take
orders from—”
“Just do it,” Blaze growled.
Malcolm fell silent. The other wolf gave a grim nod.
Blaze headed back toward the barn door, eager to shift, to run,
to feel the mountains beneath his feet. He was already out in the
freezing Montana cold and unbuttoning his dress shirt when a
small hand caught his.
He hadn’t heard her approach. Dakota was stealth incarnate.
The sounds of the party inside were silenced as she gripped his
hand in hers. But he couldn’t turn to look at her.
“Are you okay?” Dakota’s voice was soft, concerned. If she
hadn’t been his packmate, he would have thought she’d be freezing
out here in that dress, the one he couldn’t bring himself to see her
wearing again.
But his sexy little she-wolf was made of far tougher stuff than
He gave a sharp nod, casting a fake grin over his shoulder.
“Always.” He forced any hint of anguish from his voice. “Go back
inside. We both know Jasper will be lost without you. He’ll have to
resort to staring at his own reflection in the mirror again.”
Dakota laughed, but the sound quickly fell short against the
quiet of the falling snow.
He didn’t have to look at her to know the way the bright gleam
in her warm brown eyes faltered. He’d seen it before, as if she wasn’t
certain she believed he was all right. She was the only one who
never really believed him.
She ran a gentle thumb over his hand, and he shivered beneath
her touch.
“If you say so,” she whispered. She released his hand.
A moment later, he heard the barn door open, then close again
as Dakota returned to the party, leaving him well and truly alone.
That was the rub of Rock’s news, wasn’t it? Even in a room full of
people, standing with the one woman he wanted to have by his side,
Blaze would always be alone.
Without looking back, he shifted into his wolf, not bothering to
wait until he reached the cover of the forest’s towering pines before
he let out an echoing howl.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Even with her help, this wolf shifter can’t outrun his past…

Dakota Nguyen has everything she ever wanted–an appointment as one of the Grey Wolf pack’s first female elite warriors, a vibrant career as the ranch veterinarian, and a chaotic, endearing family. When the daily grind gets lonely, her best friend Blaze always knows how to cheer her up. But lately, she has a feeling that there might be something more between them.

One of the pack’s elite warriors, security technologist Blaze Carter is as smart as a whip, quick to joke, and fast on the draw. But underneath his witty exterior, Blaze harbors a dark secret, and fears the day when his demons catch up with him. Unwilling to put his pack at risk, Blaze keeps his secrets to himself and his pack at arm’s length–except for Dakota, who has managed to sneak into his heart.

But even as friendship turns to passion, a hidden enemy threatens to destroy the pack and all that Blaze and Dakota fight so hard to protect. Now, to act on their desires could have deadly consequences…
Book Links: Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Kait Ballenger is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Seven Range Shifter paranormal romance series, where she weaves captivating tales of dark, sexy heroes who are cowboys by day, wolf shifters by night.

When Kait’s not preoccupied writing “intense and riveting” paranormal plots or “high-voltage” love scenes that make even seasoned romance readers blush, she can usually be found spending time with her family or with her nose buried in a good book. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young sons.

Follow Kait on TikTok at @kaitballenger
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |

39 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Wild Cowboy Wolf by Kait Ballenger”

  1. Latesha B

    I enjoy both tropes. This story sounds amazing. Why have I never heard of this series before?

  2. joab4424

    I like friends to lovers books. I believe you have to be friends with your significant other before the relationship can grow into something more.

  3. Eva Millien

    I don’t really have a preference because both can be enjoyable reads and variety is a great thing! I can’t wait to read Wild Cowboy Wolf! Thanks so much for sharing it with me and have a spectacular holiday season!

  4. Patricia B.

    I like both tropes, but enemies to lovers takes a bit more work to develop the characters and bring them together in a logical, realistic way. It makes the books and characters a bit more interesting.