USA Today Bestselling Author
Charmin Marvin is always thinking, always talking, always learning, always looking for interesting new distractions. After the talking, mega-intelligence enhanced feline inquires when Christmas Day would be in their new timeframe, it sets in motion events that might not make everyone so holly or jolly.
Charmin’s mistress, Lani Blackburn, realizes that although she’s gained so much, she’s also lost some things she loved in being brought forward two hundred years in the future by her husband Levi’s slightly abnormal, genius brother Milo.
All holidays were banned from society by the government long ago. Though he hates to deny his beloved anything, Levi has no idea what Christmas is until he does a little research that makes him wonder if they can find a way to return the festive miracle to their small family, if nowhere else.
The best of intentions for a wondrous celebration of peace on Earth and goodwill toward mankind quickly becomes very complicated in world that doesn’t always know the sentiment, let alone the Christmas spirit…
Charming wants to know when Christmas is, unfortunately holidays are something that have been made illegal and totally erases here in the twenty third century. Lani misses the holidays too, so she starts researching decorations on the old computer she’s using to get up to speed on things in this life. Of course this sets off all sorts of alarms and flags. She wants to do this not only for herself and Charming but also add something special to her life with Liev.
Then of course we have Charming, he’s such a little instigator. It was truly amusing to watch an exchange between Lani and him over cans of salmon.
This is a favorite scene.
Liev raced home, an hour late and fed up. But he knew Lani and Charming needed dinner, and they were a long way from being self-sufficient. Besides, caring for Lani was one of the highlights of his day. He hoped he didn’t have to be physically at work too many more times, but the messes accumulated if he didn’t show up.
The kitchen was buzzing when he walked in. He stopped in shock. All three were in the kitchen. And, if his eyes didn’t deceive him, he was pretty sure they were … cooking? Interesting way to act on a holiday. Then again, it’s when people often had time to try a new hobby. It also appeared that Milo had shifted the kitchen to mimic theirs at home. It was easy enough to do. And if he’d locked it in, then they could access their kitchen contents from here by opening a cupboard and reaching for the item they wanted. It also meant they could send their new purchases bought while on holiday in their house from here. Made traveling so much easier.
That would likely blow Lani’s mind.
A little hard to tell as Milo was trying to show Lani the just-add-water food, and the look on her face would have made Liev fall in love with her if he wasn’t already. She looked like she was about to upchuck. She shuddered and turned away. “There’s food in the fridge. We can make sandwiches, if nothing else.”
“Why bother? That’s just as bad for you as this instant stuff. You should just have shakes and be done with it. I’m not hungry. I haven’t been hungry in hours.”
Liev didn’t let anyone know he was here. He was too fascinated at this unique view of the family dynamics in his absence.
Milo brought other boxes of brightly colored instant food out of the cupboard. “You know this stuff was good enough for Liev before you came. Why isn’t it good enough for you?”
Liev followed Lani’s and the cat’s movements. When Lani almost crawled into the fridge, looking for something edible, the sight of her delightful rear end pleased Liev immensely. Then Charming sidled closer to the fridge, and, in a loud whisper directed at Lani, said, “Don’t listen to him. Anything that comes in a box can’t be good.”
She backed up slowly, her arms full, her hair flying everywhere as she tried to maneuver out of the cooler. “Don’t worry, Charming. I won’t be eating that stuff. Now you, on the other hand …”
“Ha.” Charming turned, rose up on his hind legs, and batted a cupboard above his head. The almost-impossible-to-see door opened, revealing stacks of canned cat food. “I’m stocked up.”
“Wow. It that all just for you?”
Lani tried to peer into the cupboard, but Charming stood in front, his front legs outstretched and his head moving to stay in her face so she couldn’t see. “Yes. It’s all mine.
Just in case the end of the world comes.”
She giggled. “Charming, at the rate you eat, these won’t last you one week.”
He glanced at the cupboard fearfully. “Really?” And Lani snatched a couple cans while he wasn’t looking.
“Hey, those are mine.”
“They are canned salmon. Not cat food. Canned salmon—people food.” She read the label off to him and then held it up, so he could read it himself. Something he was incredibly proficient at.
“Hey, I ordered that for me.”
She stopped and stared, but Liev noticed she didn’t put the cans back. “You know how to order stuff?”
It was his turn to stare. “Hell yeah.”
“Don’t swear,” she said absentmindedly. “Can you show me how?”
A crafty look came over his face. “If you put the cans back.”
She hesitated, obviously torn, and Liev understood something he’d missed up until now. Although her needs had all been met, she hadn’t had much choice. She hadn’t been able to peruse the shops and order something she wanted. Hell, he’d designed her clothing for her at home and hadn’t even considered there might be something else she’d like for herself.
He couldn’t remember even asking. He’d been so wrapped up in taking care of her that he’d forgotten to ask what she wanted.
That was something he’d fix. But, for the moment, he wouldn’t do anything to disturb this comic relief playing out in front of him. It was exactly what he needed at the end of a shitty day.
Mayer, Dale. Broken Protocols: Books 1-4 . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (5551-5583). Kindle Edition.
Some interesting conversations with Steven their friend in government who is now sorting out the corruption discovered in the Council. Charming’s next order of Salmon, Lani’s gift for Liev, Milo’s research and Liev finding a way for Christmas, all make for a delightful tale.
There are some tense moments that came as a bit of a surprise. However, they add just the right amount of suspense to the story.
I’m sorry this series ended, I think I’d like more of these characters.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Broken Protocols: Books 1-4!
Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.