USA Today Bestselling Author
They took her freedom.
Now she’ll take their lives.
Voluntary kidnapping. That’s new even for Kat. Trapped, tortured and without any sign of her sister’s whereabouts, she can only do one thing: release the beast within and hope she doesn’t lose her humanity. Nor her family.
Relationships will be broken. New alliances will be forged. And yes, there will be more kittens.
If you haven’t read the other books in this series, stop and go do that. This book takes up where the last book, ‘Lick’, left off.
Kat wakes up in a room with no windows, a door with no visible lock, a flickering ceiling light and a pipe through which her meals are delivered. There’s also an observation camera that she creatively covers. The highlight of her day is eating although that doesn’t always happen. Then there’s the torture, from loud music to scalding hot floors to the gas that burns and creates hallucinations all with no contact with the tormentors. It’s frustrating to not have a physical enemy.
She’s determined to find a way out, and meets an interesting, if small ally. A mouse she names Whiskers. Whiskers aids her in trying to escape by helping her get an idea of the layout of the house. Unfortunately the way up and out is guarded and she ends up back where she started.
This is a favorite scene.
If anyone would have told me I’d one day make friends with a mouse, I would have stabbed them.
Whiskers – that’s what I’ve started to call her – has a wicked sense of humour. For a mouse, anyway.
For the past few hours, she’s shown me images of the inhabitants of the house. K7, the man who semi-kidnapped me, the woman who thinks she’s K7′ s mother, about ten different mutant grunts and four servants. Whiskers is only sending me pictures and smells, not voices, so I don’t know which of the servants are the ones who I overheard talking when I first woke up in this room. Not that I’m complaining. She’s been such a big help. Step by step, I’m building a mental map of the house. It’s a little hard because I’m seeing everything from the perspective of a tiny mouse, but it’s enough to show me the potential escape routes. My main problem is that I’m not alone here. Those grunts could be waiting for me again. And the second problem is that I’m sure I’m being watched. I bet they’re sitting somewhere upstairs with a large bowl of popcorn, pissing themselves laughing at my feeble attempts to escape.
Thanks to Whiskers, I now know that I’m downstairs in a tall building. It’s hard to count the floors from the perspective of a mouse, but I bet it’s at least ten storeys. There’s one basement below me, but the mouse has only been in there once. I bet that’s where they kept me until I was transferred to this room. The ground level is three floors above me. It’s a long way to get to the exit, even if I was in top condition.
Whiskers moves through tunnels in the brickwork, but of course I wouldn’t fit in there. She’s shown me images of some ventilation shafts, but they don’t start getting big enough for me until one level above me. That means I have to use the normal stairs, unless I find a convenient hole in the ceiling somewhere. I wish. Still, I’m further than I was when I woke up today. And I’m feeling a lot more confident. I’ll make it out of here. I will.
Footsteps in the distance alert me, but Whiskers is faster. She disappears beneath the bed. I’m glad she doesn’t leave the room. I don’t want to be alone, even if my only company is a mouse.
I sit up as straight as I can and stare at the closed door in both anticipation and dread. If it’s some of the grunts, they’d be able to simply pick me up and do whatever they want with me. As creepy as the woman was, I kind of hope it’s her.
But no. The door opens and a very familiar face peeks in. K7. Usually, I prefer to think of my fellow clones as sisters, but not with her. Not after what I saw in my dream.
She walks into the room and closes the door behind her. A smile curves her pale lips, but it seems more like a habit than happiness. Her right eye, the mechanical one, glints and a red light shines from it, pointing right at me. What the fuck?
“What’s that?” I challenge her. I doubt we need introductions.
“Hold still,” she orders coldly. Her voice is nothing like my own. There’s no life to it. She sounds much older than I am. In a twisted way, it reminds me a little of Grandma Doctor, the woman who created us.
“What are you doing?”
“Scanning you. Don’t move or it might hurt.”
I glare at her but I follow her advice.
I’m in no mood for more pain.
“Your ankle is broken,” she said dispassionately. “You need to take better care of yourself.”
I can’t help it, I snort out a laugh. “I’d be in much better condition away from here. Want to let me go?”
For a second, a child’s fearful expression passes over her face, but then she’s back to robot mode.
“You will stay. My parents have plans for you.”
I shudder when she calls them her parents. “Do you know who I am to you?” I ask, keeping my voice as neutral as possible.
“Of course. You’re the runaway.”
“That’s not what I meant. But yes, I like running away. Would love to do it now, actually.”
“You’re the experiment,” she says with distaste. “You failed and disappointed my parents, so then they had me instead. I’m not a disappointment like you.”
Skye MacKinnon. Claw: Catnip Assassins Book 6 (Kindle Locations 414-447). Peryton Press.
Befriending K7 isn’t easy, but her loneliness is key. As Kat gains her trust she also figures a way to get them both out and away.
Plenty of action, lots of sizzle, many twists, and a surprise no one will see coming.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
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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.