I’m actually not here. Nope. I’m hanging out with my family at the beach. Probably have a beer in hand and my toes in the sand and extremely grateful I’m not home in northern Maine with all that heat! But thanks to the wonder of the internet I can share the newest review for “Bonded Souls” with you. Which of course means I need to share another excerpt with you.
Review from Pen and Muse:
Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce was a great little story. Hot and sexy with a little suspense to keep you turning the pages to the end…When it comes to shifters, I love seeing an alpha male meet his mate. Cole gets hit hard but then things get complicated when his duties put him in direct opposition with his desires.
Please enjoy this excerpt:
Cole pushed away from his desk and stood to stare out the window at the empty parking lot. It had taken a couple of hours after Hansley had spirited Jayda away last night to convince his neighbors that Armageddon was not coming to Lonesome Fork. It seemed shifters wanted revenge for the murder of their pack mate and humans were simply running scared. Add whispers of unholy creatures and the gathering outside the police station had nearly become a lynch mob. It had taken all his sweet-talking to calm them down and convince everyone that justice was best served by allowing the courts to decide the woman’s fate. Though he wasn’t entirely sure he believed that himself.
“Come in,” Cole shouted at the soft knock on his door. Lady lifted her head.
Aaron stepped tentatively into his office. “Do I need to wave a white flag?”
Lady stood, stretched and trotted over to the detective. “Who do we have here?”
“Jayda’s dog Lady. Jayda had the gall to ask me to look after her before she left with Hansley. Not sure why she didn’t just swing over to the cabin and pick the dog up herself. Whatever. I’m a sucker for a cute female.”
“Tell me something I didn’t know.” Aaron settled in one of the utilitarian chairs across from Cole. Lady laid her head on his thigh, her tail thumping happily against the side of Cole’s desk. Aaron absently scratched the dog’s ears. “Don’t you find it a little odd that Hansley showed up at the Bull only hours after Jayda sauntered into town?”
Cole leaned against the wall and stared at Aaron sitting casually with his foot bouncing on his knee. “I’ve been going over and over that all day. I can’t help thinking that she set me up. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. There’s something I’m missing here.”
“You sure she didn’t know about shifters? She could be one hell of an actress.”
“I wouldn’t know. I was going to shift to prove it to her, but the station radioed to say things were getting out of hand here so I didn’t take the time. Everything just sort of fell apart when I arrived.” His head fell against the wall and Cole closed his eyes, trying to sort through everything he knew. “She could be playing me for a fool.”
“You look like shit, Cole. Go home and get some rest.”
After two nights without sleep, exhaustion permeated deep into Cole’s bones. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I did.”
“Look, Jayda went with Hansley.” Aaron dropped his foot, settling his forearms on his thighs. “Nothing you can do about that. She’s obviously made her choice. Chances are she’d made her choice before last night and you were just some kind of pawn.”
“But it doesn’t make sense, Aaron. Why tip their hand two nights before the blue moon?”
“Like you said, there’s something they needed from you. Maybe the kid put a glitch in their plans. Maybe Jayda went rogue last night. Who knows?”
“The pack’s going to be looking for some answers tonight. What the hell am I going to tell them?”
“What, that the legend is true and we lost? Or that some polymorphic shifter led their leader by his dick before screwing him and his pack over?” Cole’s fist landed solidly against the wall and made Lady whimper. Aaron crooned softly and scratched behind her ears. “How the hell could I have fallen for that whole ‘Oh, I’m an orphan…feel bad for me…I don’t know who I am’ bullshit?” Cole said in a high-pitched imitation of a whiny female.
“Stop beating yourself up, Cole. She had us all fooled. Shit, I was the one drooling over her at the Whip and Bull.”
“Yes, but you figured who she was from the get-go.” Cole let out a derisive laugh. “I was blinded by hormones. Obviously, Hansley’s been planning this for a while. She all but fell into his arms last night when he swooped in to rescue her from the clutches of the evil wolf shifters.”
“So, what do you think he has planned now?”
“Besides giving her a congratulatory fuck?”
Aaron arched a brow.
“Honestly, I haven’t figured that out. As a polymorphic shifter, Jayda has the power to dominate both wolves and cougars. Even if she’s acting as if she doesn’t have a clue. We both know whoever she claims as mate will have the power to rule with her.”
Aaron leaned his elbows on his thighs. “You didn’t claim her?”
“I was working on the assumption that she was telling the truth and didn’t even know what a shifter was. It wasn’t my place.”
“But you told me you thought she was your—”
“I know what the hell I told you!” Cole shouted as he pushed away from the wall and began pacing. “Apparently I haven’t a fucking clue about life mates and shit.”
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I love Cole’s best friend so much I’m currently working on Aaron’s story.