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Milly Taiden

Secrets, Magic, and Sizzling Romance in Whispering Pines

Whispering Pines — a Paranormal Cozy Shifter Romance Series with Heat

A Howl to Remember

A HOWL TO REMEMBER is now available!

Whispering Pines, Book 1

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Celeste Rowan returns to the only place she’s ever felt at home: Whispering Pines, a magical town filled with paranormal beings. But a car accident at the edge of town leaves her with no memories of her life and in the arms of a mysterious, muscular wolf shifter who sets her heart ablaze.

Kade Blackwood has been searching for his mate since she was taken away years ago, but she’s back. While helping her remember her past, he’s determined to keep their connection a secret to not pressure her. Neither can ignore the undeniable chemistry between them. Keeping his hands to himself proves to be an impossible task.

Now, dark magic threatens the survival of Whispering Pines and its inhabitants. They need Celeste’s powerful magic to save them but she doesn’t remember any of it. Will she be able to unlock her true potential and save the town she calls home, or will the secrets of her past be their undoing?

Dive into this enchanting tale of love, magic, and secrets in Whispering Pines, where the attraction between Celeste and Kade is as explosive as the danger that lurks in the shadows!

Read a Sneak Peek


The ancient wooden sign, weathered and worn, creaked a gentle welcome as Celeste Rowan’s car crossed the town limits into Whispering Pines. Tendrils of mist curled around the vehicle, an ethereal greeting from the enchanted village she’d left behind so long ago.

At fourteen, Celeste’s parents had died and she’d been sent off to live with a distant relative who had adopted her and changed her name. Being a child, she packed her bags and bid farewell. Oh, she’d missed Whispering Pines, but she moved on with her life. She never imagined she’d find herself drawn back to this place where magic crackled in the very air she breathed.

“I can’t believe you’re actually doing this,” Nia, her adoptive sister’s voice echoed through the car’s speakers, a hint of amusement coloring her tone. “Leaving the boring human world behind for a town full of witches and shifters. You’re living every fantasy nerd’s dream, you know that, right?”

Celeste chuckled, her eyes never leaving the winding road ahead. “It’s not like I planned it, Nia. When Aunt Maggie died and left me the house
in her will, I figured it was a sign. Maybe it’s time to reconnect with my roots.”

As her car wound through the narrow, cobblestone streets, Celeste couldn’t help but marvel at the way time seemed to have frozen in Whispering Pines. The quaint shops and cozy cottages looked just as they had in her memories–snapshots from a bygone era.

The bakery where she’d spent countless afternoons indulging in cinnamon rolls still stood on the corner, its windows fogged with the heat of ovens working overtime. The library with its towering spires and stained-glass windows, loomed in the distance, a beacon of knowledge in the heart of the town.

Back then, she’d run around town with Kade by her side. The thought of him made her heart clench. He’d been the only reason she argued against leaving. But she’d been outvoted by her family. They wanted her out of a place full of paranormals and into the human world, learning to be one of them. She’d never been one of them. A human. Being in their world only made her realize how much she didn’t belong there.

Memories flooded in, snippets of a childhood spent exploring every nook and cranny of this magical place. Celeste remembered the hours spent in the woods, learning to harness her powers and commune with nature. She recalled the laughter and the tears, the friendships forged, and the secrets shared. It was a bittersweet nostalgia tinged with the knowledge that she’d left a piece of herself behind when she’d gone away all those years ago.

“Earth to Celeste,” Nia’s voice cut through her thoughts. “You still with me, or have you already been enchanted by some mysterious supernatural hunk?”

Celeste snorted, grateful for her sister’s uncanny ability to lighten the mood. “Please, I’ve sworn off men, magical or otherwise. My track record speaks for itself.”

“Hey, maybe this move is exactly what you need. A fresh start, a chance to find love in a town where everyone’s a little bit weird. Embrace the cliché, sis. Find your brooding shifter soul mate and live happily ever after.”

Despite herself, Celeste’s thoughts drifted right back to Kade. The boy who always made her heart skip a beat. She wondered if he was still here and if he’d ever gotten married and started a family of his own. In her mind’s eye, she saw his crooked smile and the way his eyes crinkled at the corners when he laughed. He’d been a few years older, but he’d never treated her like a child. Instead, he’d been her protector, her confidante, and the one person who truly understood the depth of her magic.

“Actually, there was this boy I used to know. Kade Blackwood. We were inseparable back then, but I doubt he even remembers me now.”

Nia let out a low whistle. “Kade Blackwood? Even his name sounds like it belongs in a sexy man calendar. I’m calling it now, Celeste. He’s the one.”

Celeste rolled her eyes, grateful that her sister couldn’t see the blush creeping up her cheeks. “You’re impossible. I’m not here for romance, Nia. I’m here to reconnect with my past and maybe figure out my future.”

“Can’t blame a girl for dreaming.” Nia sighed dramatically. “But seriously, tell me more about this house. Aunt Maggie always made it sound like something straight out of a fairy tale.”

Celeste described the sprawling Victorian mansion that had been in her mother’s family for generations. Nia, a human also adopted into the family, had never been to Whispering Pines.

A thrill of anticipation coursed through Celeste’s veins. The house was a marvel, a testament to the magic that flowed through her bloodline. Its walls hummed with ancient energy, and its rooms were filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. Celeste had spent countless hours exploring its hidden passages and dusty attic as a child, always sensing there was something special about this place.

But as she turned down the final stretch of road, the air around her car began to shimmer and ripple like the surface of a pond disturbed by a thrown stone. The magical energy that permeated Whispering Pines intensified, crackling and popping like static electricity. Celeste felt a surge of panic as her car began to shudder and lurch, the steering wheel fighting her grip.


“Nia, something’s wrong,” Celeste managed to grit out, her knuckles turning white as she struggled to keep the car on the road.

Nia’s voice was distant, muffled by the roaring in Celeste’s ears. She could barely make out her sister’s frantic words, urging her to pull over, to get to safety. But it was too late. The car veered sharply to the right, tires screeching against the pavement as it careened off the road and into the dense foliage of the enchanted forest that bordered the town. Branches scraped against the windshield, and leaves whipped past the windows in a dizzying blur of green and brown.

Desperate, Celeste reached deep within herself, tapping into the well of magic that had always been her birthright. She murmured an incantation, her voice shaking with fear and adrenaline, hoping to cast a protective spell that would shield her from harm. But the magic, usually so responsive to her commands, seemed to rebel against her. It backfired in a blinding flash of light, engulfing the car in an eerie, pulsating glow.

Pain seared behind her eyes like a white-hot poker being driven into her skull. She cried out, her hands flying to her temples as the agony intensified. The world around her began to spin and tilt, the colors bleeding together into a sickening kaleidoscope of hues. She fought to stay conscious, to cling to the threads of reality that were rapidly unraveling, but it was a losing battle.

As the darkness closed in, Celeste’s last coherent thought was of Kade. She pictured his face, his kind eyes, and his gentle smile, and felt a flicker of warmth in her chest. She wished she could’ve seen him one last time, to tell him all the things she’d left unsaid. Even at fourteen, she’d known he was her first and possibly only love. But the void was waiting, and Celeste had no choice but to surrender to its embrace.

One comment to “Secrets, Magic, and Sizzling Romance in Whispering Pines”

  1. Lisa
      · May 30th, 2024 at 4:23 pm · Link

    I must say , Milly Taiden always delivers a great story ! Just from this snippet of the story I’m already hooked ! I can’t wait to read the complete series !
    Thank you for sharing your stories with the reading community 📚

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