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What present is waiting below the baubles?
Even Christmas doesn’t come without complications for kelpie shifter Macey. Her dreams of a quiet evening with her men are ruined when worrying news arrives from Germany (delivered by a garden gnome, no less).
At least this time, it isn’t all work and no play, there’s plenty of time to warm up from the cold outside for the Wardens.
A steamy Christmas story, part of the bestselling Seven Wardens series, a reverse harem drenched in Scottish mythology.
I find I’m kicking off this Christmas Season with a white hot read. Yep this will melt the ice for sure.
Macey is a Kelpie Princess in a relationship with five men. They are part of the Seven Wardens, their purpose is to protect the world from dangers and threats humans are better off not knowing about.
When a garden gnome shows up at her door, she is quite surprised but he quickly explains he is a Kabouter from Belgium who has been undercover as a garden gnome in Germany. He needs their help containing Knecht Ruprecht, Saint Nicolas’ loyal servant who has started to run amok. Leaving several dead in his path.
This is a favorite scene as they listen to the problem and learn the location.
“You’re pretending to be a garden gnome?” Macey repeated. “Doesn’t that get boring?”
He shook his head. “It’s quite fascinating, actually. But that’s not why I’m here. I was told of a monster that stalks the nightly streets of Germany and I need your help to get rid of it.”
“Germany?” She’d never been there. She’d been to Belgium to meet the Kabouters and to Ireland, but that was as far as her international travel experience went. Until she met her men, she’d never even left Scotland.
“Yes. They have the legend of Knecht Ruprecht, the servant of Saint Nicholas.” He must have noticed the Wardens’ clueless faces because he started to sigh and leaned back in his chair. “How much do you know about German Christmas traditions?”
“They invented the Christmas tree,” Macey said proudly, remembering reading that somewhere.
Wolfgang dismissively shook his head. “They celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on the sixth of December. Children put out their shoes and hope that Nicholas will fill them with fruit, nuts and sweets overnight. Like your stockings here in Britain. But he’s accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, his fearsome but loyal servant. If a child has been bad, Ruprecht will use his switch to punish the child instead of giving it presents.”
“That’s not very nice,” Macey muttered.
“It was only a legend and tradition, something to scare children and make them behave,” Wolfgang explained. “But now, he’s become real. He’s become an actual person who doesn’t just beat up children. He’s attacked and killed several humans. He needs to be stopped.”
Macey sighed. Why did it always have to be the bad folk beliefs coming to life, like the Mahoun, the devil, who they’d encountered a while back? It would be a lot more fun if Saint Nicholas suddenly existed and gave her some treats. Waffles, preferably, although not in her shoes, but on her plate.
“How many?” Rónán asked.
“At least six dead so far and that’s in my town only. I don’t know if he’s been active in other places as well. You need to go there now to prevent more people from getting hurt. It’s the sixth of December tomorrow and we’re all afraid that he’s only been practising so far. He might kill a lot more than just those half dozen people.”
Macey nodded. They needed to do something and the gnome was right, she and her men were the best people for the job. They were part of the Seven Wardens, the beings tasked with protecting the world from threats like this one.
“Where do we need to go?” she asked.
Wolfgang smiled. “My new home. Heidelberg. It’s a beautiful place.”
“The city of love,” Jared said with a grin. “Every incubus knows it. There’s a song about it, I lost my heart in Heidelberg. Ever heard it?”
Macey shook her head. “I can’t say that I have.”
“Yeah, you’re probably too young. But I’ve always wanted to go there and see the old town and the castle.
There’s a fountain featuring Bacchus, the God of love and wine. It’s said that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you’ll be lucky in love.”
Macey laughed. “I don’t think you need to do that.”
He shrugged. “It sounds like a fun thing to do.”
He was right. Maybe, once they’d killed Knecht Ruprecht, they could have some love time in Heidelberg. Their life had been rather busy recently, so this might be just the holiday they needed.
Skye MacKinnon; Laura Greenwood. Below the Baubles: A Very Random Christmas Story (Kindle Locations 72-76). Peryton Press.
Now once they arrive at the destination they have time before they start searching for their quarry. So they spend that in their hotel room, enjoying some afternoon delight.
This is a quick, enjoyable read and I warn you it is extremely hot before they even get to their objective.
I haven’t read the rest of this series but I think I have to go back to the beginning and check it out. I need to know how this relationship began.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye & Laura!
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Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.
Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)