USA Today Bestselling Author
Injured people in need of aid call out to friends and family or even strangers for help. Who can animals turn to who would not only hear them but understand their cry for help? Such a creature would truly be a rare find.
Determined to bury her aching heart in service of her animals at Exotic Landscape, Tabitha is caught unaware when she’s yanked out of her cozy little retreat by the appeal of someone needing rescue. Responding to that call gets her more trouble than she bargained for.
Understanding secrets isn’t difficult for someone with quite a few of his own, but Detective Ronin Chandler learns that the mysteries of the universe can take on a whole new level of meaning. With the woman he loves in jeopardy, Ronin struggles to comprehend what’s happening, what Tabitha needs, and how to even help her…before he loses her, maybe forever.
Danger escalates at every turn. Determining who to trust – and who not to – becomes as much of a challenge as figuring out who wants them dead.
We met Tabitha in ‘Knock Knock…’ her animal refuge is one of Shay’s Foundation’s benefactors. Ronin is our local detective with his own abilities. There is a lot of attraction between him and Tabitha, as we saw in that book.
Now with the death of Tabitha’s grandfather Ronin is even more protective of her. She’s also been having headaches since returning from hiding in the ether and having a slow recovery that required hospitalization. I’ve loved the way animals come to play in these books, they are a way to find peace in their crazy world. In Tabitha’s world the animals are both pets and shelter. I wasn’t surprised to see her with a massive dog, a three-legged Bull Mastiff named Tripod. Her other pet however, gave me pause, Tango is a very affectionate white tiger. Raised from a cub Tango and Tabitha share a special bond one I’m sure is aided by her gifts.
Ronin is in for a big surprise though, he’s never been in her home, they’re taking things slow. He does have a problem with cats though, he’s going to have to get over it if he wants to continue his relationship with Tabitha. He’s at still at work when Stefan calls him to get to Tabitha, that she’s been attacked psychically. It took a bit of doing but Ronin makes friends with Tripod and gets Tabitha the help she needs. However, it’s Stefan who get her back to herself and home since medically there isn’t anything wrong with her.
Ronin was there waiting with dinner, but when Tango roars Tabitha knows she has to introduce Ronin.
This is a favorite scene.
“Jesus. What the hell is that?” Ronin half jumped out of his chair and leaned forward to look out the window.
“Ha. It’s my cat. That’s Tango.”
He shot her a disbelieving look, catching the amused glitter in her light-green eyes. “There is no way a cat makes that kind of sound.”
Tango roared again. This time though there was something off. Tabitha went to the living room and pushed some kind of button. Ronin followed more slowly and watched as the whole wall retracted.
What the hell kind of wall was that? And damn if she didn’t have some kind of fine mesh cage behind that wall. Thank God. He was half afraid she was one of those crazy people who got so super cozy with their wild pets that they ignored common sense.
Then she pulled the wire mesh completely back.
And didn’t the biggest damn white tiger, with a head the size of Mount Rushmore, saunter toward her.
“Watch out,” he cried as the tiger jumped. Instantly his throat clogged and his chest tightened. Christ, he could hardly breathe. He swallowed. And then swallowed again. He couldn’t help the instinctive clenching of his fists. Inside, insidious emotions shifted through him. Panic. Pain. Sadness. So much worse than the last time he’d been in the house.
He took a shaky breath. This was not happening.
He was halfway to her when he realized the tiger had stopped with complete control and was on his back legs, Tabitha crushed in his embrace.
Ronin prided himself on being a brave soul, but he was not going that close. And he didn’t care how tame the damn thing was. A wild animal was a wild animal.
Unless it’s not a wild animal.
Stefan. And did one ever get used to this guy in his head?
Ronin snapped out mentally, If you’re trying to convince me that this thing is safe to be around, forget it. I have too much respect for human life to believe you.
And in many cases you could be right. In this case however, you’d be wrong.
And why is that? Has she got some kind of special powers or something? Right about now he wished she did. He’d believe that as much as anything.
No, but they do have a special connection.
See, that’s where you are wrong. All pet lovers say that about their little pooches. And he couldn’t help the disgust from rolling through his voice. He was a cop, damn it. And he’d seen more than his fair share of animals both domesticated and wild. Sometimes the domestic ones were the more dangerous.
You’ll have to see for yourself. And take a deep breath. You will survive this.
“Promise?” Ronin muttered.
With a last laugh, Ronin’s mind emptied. Damn, that was weird.
“Ronin, come and meet Tango.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Damn it, he wasn’t a wuss. He took a couple of steps forward and stopped. And struggled to breathe. He so didn’t want to pass out. Not here. Not with her. Not with that carnivore looking on. “I’ll stick to dogs.”
“Tripod is here, too.”
He groaned silently and took another step into the living room.
Tango dropped to the floor and stared at Ronin, a howl starting deep in the back of his throat. The hairs raised on the back of his neck.
The look in those damn eyes…
Ronin took a deep breath and tried to stop the shakiness that was starting to vibrate his insides, making his stomach acids turn to cheese.
“Why is he howling?”
“I’m not sure. He doesn’t normally do that.” She reached down to place a hand on Tango’s head. The howl changed. It wasn’t the same tenor as the first time, but it was hardly welcoming.
Then all of a sudden, the howl cut off.
Thank you. Ronin much preferred the silence. Except now a dull roaring sound was in his head. Almost a buzz. He shook his head, trying to clear it.
Tabitha sighed heavily. “Come over here and meet Tango. He’ll calm down once he meets you. And maybe you will too.” She tilted her head and studied him. “And make sure that gun is safely away. Tripod hates them.”
“I’ve already made peace with the dog.” He didn’t move.
“And you’ll make peace with Tango, too. It’s much better to meet him on equal ground. If you take one step backwards, he’s got you.”
“Damn.” Ronin stepped forward. He could feel the heat, the intensity of that deep blue feline gaze following his every movement. Like a cat watching a mouse.
Ronin had always felt sympathy for the mouse.
For a cat, the animal was damn beautiful. The markings on its head, the eyes, the shocking white fur were something he’d never expected to see up close. And never inside a house. Not sure he wanted to hear the answer, he asked, “Do you let him out of that cage much?”
“All the time. The house is his, too.”
When he was a couple of feet away, Ronin stopped, his gaze on the cat.
She grinned. “Say hi.”
He shot her a fulminating look. “Just like that.”
“Well, to him of course.”
His gaze zipped back to the waiting tiger. Did she mean it the way Stefan had said to talk to Tango? ’Cause there was no way in hell he’d be dropping to his knees and closing his eyes in front of a tiger. Talk about being a sacrificial offering. Then as if to accentuate the fact that the tiger was waiting for the appropriate response, it sat down and waited.
Taking a deep breath and feeling like an idiot, Ronin said, “Hi, Tango. Nice to meet you.”
No response. Then again, what had he expected? He shook his head then winced at the heavy buzz in his ear. Under his breath, he swore again.
“That ringing inside your head… It’s because he’s talking to you and you’re not listening.”
He stared at her in disbelief. “How did you know my head is ringing?”
She snorted. “Because I can sense it. Normally I only listen to my animals but now… some things have changed and I can sense more with people too. And behind your lovely front of ‘I don’t like cats’…I see fear.”
Heat washed up his cheeks. Damn. So what if there was fear? Hell, there was a tiger in the room. Anyone with an ounce of working brain matter would understand. Besides, it’s not as if he was afraid of cats… He knew there was fear there, he just didn’t understand what exactly frightened him.
And the last thing he wanted was her laughing at him.
With a final glance at the still gaze of the tiger locked on him, Ronin decided enough was enough for this time. He’d done well but he didn’t want to push it. He turned and headed back to the kitchen, putting a little distance between him and Tango. “While you’re having your fun, I’ll go finish eating. Unless you’re planning on feeding dinner to the two of them.”
Turning his back on that damn feline was the hardest thing he’d done in a long time. And he was proud that he’d managed to do it in a calm, nonchalant manner.
Then he found the two empty plates on the table and the guilty party still licking the tomato sauce off his face.
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 4-6. Kindle Locations (10180-10234). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.
It’s bad enough for Ronin to get through that but to realize Tango frequently sleeps with her is quite another. He stays the night with her, and when she wakes feeling hunted he’s right there. After that he’s in her bed, not going to do anything but sleep but her restlessness leads to conversation about him and cats and then to other things.
It’s not long after that feeling of being hunted comes back, Tabitha decides to try something and ends up being yanked out of her body to somewhere else. It takes a while but she finally realizes she is inside a large cat. She doesn’t know where and that’s a problem. She has to find her way back in order to save both of them.
Ronin also figures out his issue with cats, and yes I cried.
This book pulls out all the stops and is extremely emotional. With nail-biting suspense and an unusual twist on the psychic abilities.
I am already starting the next bundle of three.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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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.