Burn it Down – Blisshaven Academy Book 2 by Drea Denae

Burn it Down
Blisshaven Academy Book 2
Drea Denae


Betrayed. Again.

By the one person who promised they were Team Nix. I’m not letting it all go this time though, I’ve felt the fire of revenge and I’m ready to embrace it.

Except these guys aren’t getting the message. They’re everywhere.

In the halls. In my head. And even though I hate to admit it, in my heart. Jude, Charlie, Gunner, and Sawyer have decided what they want and whether I like it or not- they want me.

Boy trouble should be the last thing on my mind. With finals coming up and the Winter Gala approaching, I’ve got enough on my plate.

New threats, old foes, unsuspecting allies. This battle is shaping up to be more than I bargained for.

One thing I’m sure of? I can handle it.

I’ll do whatever it takes to survive this year, even if all my plans go up in flames. A Phoenix can dance in the fire. And if I have to, I’ll burn it all down myself.

Please review the first few pages of the book for a full list of content warnings.

Phoenix “Nix” is angry, hurt and confused. Once again she feels betrayed by the guys, more specifically Gunner and Sawyer. As always music is her outlet for the pain and she dives into it to sort out her feelings.

As for the guys, Charlie feels confident he’s made progress in his relationship with Nix. However, he doesn’t know what happened with Gunner and Sawyer. Jake does know and he’s not happy things just went backwards instead of forward with Nix.

Nix is subtly planning her revenge on several people including the guys. The guys of course are her first targets as she starts flirting with a few of the football team. One in particular, Kingston, is the target to help with her plan. Mostly because he really isn’t interested in her.

Jane helps out with the plans for Molly and her crew, that will be interesting to see to fruition. The Halloween dance is part one of the plans.

This is a favorite scene.

Who knew that black lipstick could make me feel powerful? It’s a different power than I’m used to with the various shades of red that line my bathroom drawer. The color is dark and almost sinister, lining my mouth in danger. Or the punch Jane has been serving is getting to my head and all the makeup is really doing is making my eyes pop and teeth look a little whiter. Luckily, the dress I’m wearing has pockets and the tube of color fits in one perfectly.

I’m dressed in a deep purple lace contraption. Bell sleeves adorn my arms while a corset pushes up my minimal cleavage. The length stops at my knees, but the bottom hem is met with lace-up boots with a four inch heel.

Will I regret the heel later? Probably.

Do I feel badass enough that I would have risked burning at the stake during a witch trial? Abso-fucking-lutely.

I turn around to see Jasmine and Jane tucked up and snuggling on the couch, both in similar outfits to mine, just different shades. Jane has spent most of her free time with me, trying not to leave me alone for long. I’m glad her girlfriend has been understanding, but I’m fine and I hope tonight they can see that.

Luckily, I’m distracted from the impending make out session on my couch by a knock on the door. I wasn’t sure if he would really show, but when the door opens and Kingston is standing there in the perfect costume, I can’t help but throw my arms around him.

His arm comes up to awkwardly pat my back and I back away to let him into the room.

I’m not sure what his deal is, but tonight he seems… almost angry. “Are you good?”

I watch as he seems to think over the question before nodding at me and attempting to relax.

“Alright then.” I lead him over to the drink station while pretending not to notice Jasmine and Jane going at it on the couch. Good thing we all invested in smudge proof lipstick.

Turning to Kingston, I ask, “Want a drink?”

“Not too much. If you want to drink tonight, I’ll watch over you.” His words are thoughtful, but they remind me of the last time I went to a party. When Gunner played my protector.

Tonight I feel reckless. I’m not sure where it will take me, but the need to act carelessly overwhelms me. So I do.

Jane and Jasmine get up and join us.

The redhead must be feeling extra spicy tonight as she mixes up shots for the ladies. “A preacher man, huh? Nix loves a good opposites attract book, or did you already know that?”

Kingston chuckles. “Coincidence, actually. Besides, I thought it might be fun to remind everyone that God is always watching.” He says it sarcastically, thank goodness.

I do not need to be thinking about Jesus when I’m getting shit faced and twerking tonight.

Jane snorts. “You sound like my Nana in Texas. Judgy bitch, that one. Anyways, don’t let the booze get you going too hard tonight, Nix. I’m taken and can’t piss the guys off by tongue fucking your face again.”

Looking at Jasmine, I see her smiling. Good. Clearly, she can see the relationship I have with Jane is just friendship and she hasn’t seemed put off by me yet. I’m glad Jane has been honest with her too.

It’s not long before we are walking to the party. The location has changed in order to keep the faculty from catching on to one spot. This time we’re headed to a small barn that used to hold horses for the equestrian team.

A barn bigger than my house with crown molding and fancy bathrooms. As much as I want to scoff at that, I know I’ll be thankful for the facilities later.

Like a moth to a dangerous flame, Jane finds the bar quickly and gets us a round of drinks. “To ending dry spells and avoiding jail cells.”

I raise my drink to clink our cups together. “Why did that feel like a jinx?”

Kingston moves behind me and puts his hands on my shoulders, gently applying pressure. I look up at him over my shoulder and give him a flirty smile. The guys might already be here and I guess the show is on.

With my free hand, I squeeze his fingers and nod my head to a corner. Wrapping an arm around my shoulders, Kingston steers me in that direction. It’s oddly quiet given the party around us and perfect for me to get some answers.

“Regretting your decision, yet?” I say it with humor, but I can’t deny that I’ve been worried about him bailing on me since he agreed to go along with this.

The corner of his mouth lifts just the smallest bit. “Not a chance.”

I take a sip then look down at my cup, too vulnerable to make eye contact for my next question. “Why did you say yes?”

Kingston stares for what seems like several minutes. “I remember you.”

Fuck. He’s helping me because he pities me? This sucks. It’s embarrassing.

“Stop, Nix.” His voice is stern, yet still soft. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop it. Let me finish talking.”

Nodding, I shift my weight from one foot to the other.

“Those guys? What they did? It’s fucked up. What you did after suffering their terror for a year? Shit.” His hands curl into fists at his side. “Plus, after their bullshit trying to put a claim on you in the locker room, I was happy I agreed. That’s not why I said yes, though. And it’s not because your pestering suddenly became endearing either.”

A short laugh breaks free from my lips.

“It’s because it wouldn’t be fair to whatever guy fell for your charms when you clearly still want them.” He lifts an eyebrow at me and I feel like shit.

I was willing to do whatever it took to make these guys out of their minds with jealousy that I didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings.

I was willing to hurt someone just like they hurt me.

“Fuck. I’m awful.” The thought has me chugging what is left of my drink.

Kingston shrugs. Of course he’s not going to spare my feelings. I’m an asshole.

Wait a minute. “You’re that confident you wouldn’t have caught feelings for me?”

He smiles. “Yeah. Pretty fucking confident, Cub.”

“Cub?” What the fuck does that mean?

Kingston grabs my arm and lifts my sleeve. He runs his hand up my arm gently, his fingers tracing my scars. “You’ve got stripes, like a tiger. But you’re tiny as hell.”
Drea Denae. Burn It Down- ARC Edition (Kindle Locations 580-588).

Kingston becomes another type of protector for Nix another friend to depend on just like Jane and Jasmine.

The guys are once again working to regain her trust, Molly and her friends get theirs, and an interesting dinner with her father are some of the best scenes in this book.

I laughed and I cried, and the heat of course heads off the charts with the sizzle.

After the OMG ending, I really can’t wait for the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Drea!

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Drea Denae lives in Texas with her small family. She hates the heat, lives off iced coffee and loves to rock red lipstick. She also collects book boyfriends and enjoys reading anything and everything.

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Librarian Bear – Virtue Shifters Book 2 by Zoe Chant

Librarian Bear
Virtue Shifters Book 2
Zoe Chant


Sarah is looking for love
under the covers…
of a good book!

As a small-town librarian, Sarah has her hands full with projects that range from running an in-library day care to planning her best friend’s wedding. Romance is a complication she doesn’t need…until he walks in.

Archivist Matthew is a big-city bear shifter looking forward to a quiet, short-term project in Virtue before heading to his dream job in New York. He didn’t count on Virtue’s vibrant, sexy librarian stealing his heart with a single glance….

Matthew never meant to stay; Sarah never meant to fall. But as they investigate a mystery from Virtue’s past together, neither wants to turn the page on a blossoming summer romance that just might last a lifetime.

Sarah Ekstrom is Virtue’s librarian, she’s instigated many programs to keep the library alive. No matter how hard she tries there doesn’t seem to be enough time to get the archives sorted and up to date. She’s obtained a grant and is now expecting a contract archivist to take up where she’s left off in the archives it’s only a month, but it should make a major dent in the backlog.

Matthew Rojas is a bear shifter and a contract archivist. He’s traveled around the world and has finally been offered his dream job. National Archivist in the big city. This contract in Virtue is his last one before starting that new job. He just doesn’t expect what he finds there.

Early for his first day, Matt finds Sarah closing up the library. It seems there is some sort of emergency that needs her attention. Not wanting to miss anything in this small town, Matt offers to go with her.

This is a favorite scene.

In almost twenty years of moving from job to job, traveling to different places, meeting new people, never once had the beast within him had an opinion like that. Matthew, who suspected his smile had gotten increasingly idiotic the longer he’d been looking at Sarah, felt it go weak. Virtue isn’t home. I’ve got a job in the city starting next month!

His bear, contentedly, said, And yet here we are.

We are not here! Matt felt his inside voice get almost panicky. I mean, we are, but we’re not! Not to stay! It’s a job at the National Archives in the city! It’s my dream job! We are not here!

The bear gave a surprisingly delicate sniff for such a large animal. Jobs are jobs. She is a dream.

That, Matt admitted, was hard to argue with.

Unfortunately, the dream in question was looking at him like he was some kind of nightmare. Honestly, Matthew had expected a more positive reaction. The phone interview for the job had gone well, and he’d shown up early for his first day at work, which usually went over well. Granted, he’d startled her into throwing her pen halfway across the checkout desk, which wasn’t a terrific first impression, but it was probably okay, unless she was the type to hold a grudge.

Her expression, at the moment, suggested she really held a grudge.

“I’m sorry,” Matt said, unsure of where he’d gone wrong, but very much wanting to put it right. He would have wanted to anyway, but it also felt like his bear was pressing itself against the inside of his forehead, as if it could see Sarah more clearly through Matt’s eyes that way. It didn’t work like that, not even a little. That didn’t stop the over-eager bear. “I’m sorry,” Matt said again, gathering his thoughts away from his intrusive animal self. “I like to come early on my first day. Usually someone asks me to shelve books, and I get to be useful for a little while. But I’ve obviously come at a bad time.”

He glanced at her half-written sign, which supported her statement about the library closing early. “Should I come back tomorrow?”


Matt startled at her vehemence. “This is Virtue, New York, right? You got an archivist’s grant for the summer to help sort out the town’s historical record?”

Sarah passed a hand over her eyes. “Yes, this is Virtue, and yes, we got the grant, and yes, I suppose you’d better come back tomorrow. I’m sorry. I forgot you were supposed to be here today.”

That had never happened before. Matthew’s eyebrows rose in astonishment, and Sarah the librarian sighed again. “Which is to say, obviously I know you were supposed to arrive today. I just got distracted because there’s an emergency I have to attend to.”

“A library emergency?” Matt asked, both mystified and intrigued.

“No, don’t be silly.” She smiled, though, which Matt thought was quite wonderful. If he could just keep her smiling, he’d be content with his entire life. Her smile even got a little bigger as she added, “The only library emergency around here is the archives. I have an entire room set up for you, and I was going to show you around tonight, but I don’t know how long this is going to last. I guess I could leave you here in the archival room. You’d probably figure out my system fast enough.”

Matt glanced around the library. Most of the lights were off, letting only natural light flood the carpeted floors and well-worn stacks that held innumerable books. If there were any patrons lingering, they were well-hidden.

There were certainly worse fates than being locked along in a library, but he could think of better ones, too. “Could I come with you?”

It sounded ridiculous as soon as he said it. Surely emergencies didn’t require tagalongs. Still, his bear said, Excellent thinking, and Matthew’s mother had always taught him that no one could say yes, if you didn’t ask.

A thoughtful light came into Sarah’s dark eyes. “We could use more people…”

“Have I just offered myself as a new member of the volunteer fire brigade?”

“No.” Sarah got her pen and finished her poster, then looked up with a fierce smile. “Although that can be arranged, if you want. We always need more firefighters.”

Matt, awed, said, “Are you one?”

“Only in a real emergency. All right, let’s go.” She marched out from behind the checkout counter and Matthew almost bit his knuckles. Her 1950s vibe didn’t end with the shirt. She wore high-waisted, high-water blue jeans with big cuffs and a double row of buttons on the flat panel face of them. The only thing missing from her pinup ensemble was a pair of red heels that matched the shirt. Instead she wore sturdy brown leather boots.

Actually, Matt thought, the boots still worked with the pinup vibe. It just made her a bit more Rosie the Riveter instead of Rita Hayworth.

It didn’t matter what kind of emergency she was taking him to. Any woman who made him think dreamily of pinups should be followed to the ends of the earth, if necessary.

His bear said, Yes, contentedly, and urged Matt to fall in behind Sarah as she left the library. He didn’t know if the jeans were custom made—he’d never seen anything like them in a department store, for sure—but they fit her hips and butt and thighs magnificently. He was so busy admiring her that he nearly tripped on the library steps when she stopped and turned to lock the door, and he was certain he was blushing when she looked back at him to ask, “Did you drive?”

“Yes?” Matthew wasn’t sure where the question had come from. Virtue was a small town without a local airport, and flying a summer’s worth of stuff into Syracuse seemed like more trouble than driving it up from Florida, where he’d been most recently working. “Should I not have? Are there hard limits on how many people get to own cars in Virtue?”

Sarah paused with a perplexed, amused look curving her mouth. “No, although I’m trying to get a more robust public transportation system in place. I was trying to ask if you had a car or if you wanted to ride with me.”

“Oh, I’ll ride with you!” Matthew cleared his throat, and, trying to sound less like an over-eager puppy, said, “If that’s all right. You can tell me something about Virtue, and the archival project?”

Over-eager cub. His bear sniffed disdainfully. Bears aren’t puppies.

Oso, Matthew asked, trying not to sound annoyed, would you know what I meant if I said ‘bear puppy’?

His bear sniffed again, as if insulted. It clearly didn’t want to answer, which meant it would, in fact, understand. Okay then, Matthew said. Don’t quibble over the details. Especially when I’m trying to talk to a beautiful woman!

The bear, with a long put-upon sigh, settled down, leaving Matt with the distinct impression that it thought he would do much worse talking to Sarah without its guidance.

Sarah had walked him over to a vintage pickup truck, as red as her shirt, while he’d been arguing with his bear. Matthew almost wanted to call it ‘rattletrap’, but it was in perfect, well-maintained condition. It was just from the 1950s. “I can talk your ear off,” she promised, “but the danger is you might get stuck out on the edge of nowhere with me and a bunch of other rabble-rousers until who-knows-when tonight, if you don’t drive yourself. If you’re okay with that, climb on in.”

Matthew could think of nothing in the world he’d be more okay with. “Sign me up.”
Chant, Zoe. Librarian Bear (Virtue Shifters Book 2). Kindle Locations (150-201). Kindle Edition.

Now the source of the emergency was a Real Estate Development company trying to get a bit ahead of the eminent domain to develop the land. This leads Sarah and Matt on a hunt for documents that have apparently disappeared.

Suspense, intrigue, laughter, romance, and sizzle surround this quest. With Matt’s Bear providing a fun side conversation the whole way.

5 Contented Purrs for Zoe!

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Zoe Chant loves writing paranormal romance. Over a cup of tea (or something stronger) she whips up sexy tales of hunky heroes and adventurous heroines to tantalize and satisfy her readers. Sizzling hot romance, no cliffhangers!

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Sweet Tea and Murder – Le Doux Mysteries Book 4 by Abigail Thronton

Sweet Tea and Murder
Le Doux Mysteries Book 4
Abigail Thornton


Why does every answer
just bring more questions?

Wynona is finally starting to get a handle on her newfound magic. With Violet’s help and Rascal’s tutelage she’s beginning to find parts of herself she never knew existed. But the big question still remains…who cursed her in the first place?

Wynona’s search for answers is interrupted when she’s informed that another tea shop has been opened and it’s eerily similar to hers, right down to the house made custom teas. When she decides to confront the owner, however, Wynona finds herself in a very familiar place.

The middle of a crime scene.

The tea shop owner has been murdered and with Wynona’s business’s reputation on the line, she must set aside her own wants in order to solve the case. But with every step she takes, Wynona’s magic grows stronger and her questions and fears begin to mount.

Can she solve the murder while keeping her magic a secret and therefore preserving her freedom? Or will her lack of control catch the attention of all of Hex Haven?

Everything is going well for Wynona, she’s even finding the time to learn to control her magic with Prim, Violet and of course Rascal. Wynona’s tea shop has become so popular, someone decided to capitalize on it. The new shop is a carbon copy of hers. Wynona was just going to ignore it trusting that no one could copy her talent of selecting the right teas for her customers.

Owned by Alavara Theramin an elf who was once a customer of hers, the shop is assumed by the press and apparently some of her customers to be a second location in which she is a partner. As more people confuse the two, it becomes apparent that Wynona has to do something. Alavara’s shop was ruining Wynona’s reputation.

Wynona and Prim, visit Alavara at her shop and the elf becomes belligerent. Wynona has no doubt she’ll have to take legal action to get the shop closed down.

Then Alavara is murdered and things get out of control. The press converges on Wynona wanting answers to questions that don’t relate to her at all. She does however discover a new ability, one where she can see the ghost reporters even when they aren’t corporeal.

This is a favorite scene.

Her heart was still pounding from the horrible encounter with the ghost reporters and then seeing Rascal in wolf form coming to her rescue. Plus, she was fatigued from using her magic and could desperately use a cup of matcha as a pick me up.

Wynona waved to her current patron and hurried to the kitchen to build a tray. Lusgu had kept the pot hot, much to Wynona’s delight, and it took her no time at all to have everything ready.

But by the time Wynona got Mrs. Winrok set up, three more people had arrived and it took her nearly an hour to get back to Rascal.

“I’m so sorry,” she panted, coming into her office. “There was a string of patrons and I needed to get them taken care of.”

Rascal sat at her desk, leaning over a book he’d been reading. Now that she was inside the office, he leaned back, folding his impressive arms over his chest. “Let’s get down to business then, shall we?”

Wynona held back a wince. She didn’t like working with official Deputy Chief Strongclaw. She knew, technically speaking, that her magic outranked him, but she didn’t feel like a powerful person and when Rascal got upset, he became much more like the predator he was.

She wasn’t worried about him hurting her. Rascal in wolf form or human form would never do such a thing. But when he was on the hunt, sometimes he lost his soft side and it scared Wynona slightly.

Rascal groaned and scrubbed his hands over his face. “Sorry. I wasn’t trying to frighten you.” He stood and offered her the chair. “Sit down,” he said in a softer tone.

Wynona gave him a small, awkward smile and obeyed. When his hands landed on her neck and shoulders, massaging slightly, she let out her own groan and dropped her chin down to her chest to give him better access.

“What did the ghost reporters want?” Rascal asked, his voice much more pleasant than before.

Wynona deflated a little more. “They wanted to know about my partner,” she said, using quotation marks with her fingers. “Somehow, no one seems to believe me when I say I’m not connected with that tea house.”

A low rumble came out of his throat. “And? I know you wouldn’t call the station just for that.”

“And when they kept overriding me and refusing to leave, I thought maybe frightening them with the law was the best way to go.”

“Is that all?”

Wynona stiffened and she knew Rascal felt it because he stopped massaging.

“Wy?” he pressed.

Just tell him already, Violet whined from her cozy spot in his pocket.

“And I almost lost it with my magic,” Wynona said in a small voice. She looked up and over her shoulder. “Plus, I discovered a new ability.”

He dropped to his knees beside her. “I’m guessing that’s why your eyes were purple?”

Wynona nodded and rubbed her forehead. This headache was going to knock her out if she wasn’t careful. How much stress could one person handle in a day before they simply broke? “Apparently, I can see ghosts when they’re invisible.”

His eyebrows shot up. “What?”

Wynona made a face. “It’s kind of hard to explain. But my vision went purple, and then I could see the outlines or the blobs, is maybe a better word, of the ghost reporters, even when they were in their invisible form.”

“Huh.” Rascal studied her. “Daemon said you were stronger than anyone he’d ever met. I’m thinking he might be right.”

Wynona flushed and dropped his intense gaze. She drew a random pattern on the desktop. “I didn’t ask for all this power,” she said softly. “I just want to go about my life.”

“I know,” Rascal said in a soothing tone. He rubbed her back. “But maybe this is a good thing,” he pressed. “Think of all the cases you can help me solve.”

She glared sideways at him and he grinned.

“Between my sense of smell and hearing and your powers, we’d make the perfect power couple.”

Wynona rolled her eyes. “I’m not getting involved in this one, Rascal,” she said, though her tone was flirtier than it should have been. She couldn’t seem to help it. Being around Rascal was like getting a jolt of caffeine and a warm soothing blanket all at the same time.

He chuckled, the sound reverberating through her chest. “Alright. I won’t press.” He leaned in and kissed her cheek. “For now.” After standing, Rascal put his hands on his hips. “Sounds like you might need a watchguard for the next few days.”

Wynona’s eyes widened. “What?”

He scratched his chin. “They were bending the law this morning and every reporter knew it. If they think they can get away with it again, they’ll keep hounding you until they get what they want.”

“I don’t have what they want,” Wynona said, jumping to her feet. “I had nothing to do with the murder, and I had nothing to do with Alavara. I’d only met her a couple of times.”

“I know,” he assured her. “But others don’t.” His jaw ticked. “I’ll send over an officer to make sure things stay quiet the next couple of days. If everyone leaves you alone, then we’ll stop rotations.”

Wynona plopped back down. “Is that really necessary?”

Rascal nodded. “Yes. Besides just the reporters, there’s another reason it’s a good idea.”

She looked up. “Why’s that?”

Rascal’s eyes fell to the floor. “Have you considered that the murder might have been directed at you?”
Thornton, Abigail Lynn. Sweet Tea and Murder: a witchy cozy mystery (Le Doux Mysteries Book 4) Kindle Locations (811-851). Angel Music. Kindle Edition.

Forced to stay somewhere other than her home, she finds herself staying with Prim. There seems to be a dead end where clues are concerned so against her better judgement Wynona once again offers her assistance with the case.

There are many twists and turns in this one, I truly had no idea who could possibly have committed this murder. We also get some more interesting facts about Wynona and her powers. Although there are still so many secrets running around.

I am very much enjoying this series and I am reading the next one now.

5 Contented Purrs for Abigail!

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Coming Soon!

Ever since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be an author. Career day was a bit rough, since there is no official uniform for this job. Pajamas and a laptop maybe? Although my clothes change from day to day, my job as a wife and mother doesn’t. My days are filled with my 5 children and enjoying time with my husband, while my evenings are filled with creative time. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Timber Wolf – Virtue Shifters Book 1 by Zoe Chant

Timber Wolf
Virtue Shifters Book 1
Zoe Chant


Wolf shifter and carpenter Jake Rowly left his home town of Virtue straight out of high school and never planned to return. But a broken heart sends him back into the fold, because if there’s one thing Virtue doesn’t have, it’s any chance of romantic complications. Then he meets newcomer Mabs Brannigan, and realizes fate has brought him home again….

All single mother Mabs Brannigan wants is a safe, friendly place to raise her young son. When a distant relative leaves her a falling-down farmhouse in upstate New York, it seems like the chance of a lifetime to start over…until an unethical contractor runs off with her money and she’s left with the devastating truth that she may have to sell the farm that she and her son have already come to love.

Jake needs a place to stay. Mabs needs a carpenter. It seems like a match made in Heaven, but Jake doesn’t want to move too fast with a single mom trying to build a new life…and Mabs can’t imagine a gorgeous, sexy guy like Jake would be interested in anything more than her amazing old house.

But when Mabs’s past comes back to haunt her, and winter traps them together, Jake and Mabs find they’re ready for whatever romance may bring…and that the house holds more secrets than they know!

Mabs Brannigan is a single mom, who by a stroke of good fortune has inherited a home in upstate NY. Well in terms of a place to stay it’s good, however it requires much renovation. Her great aunt Doris seems to have only lived in a couple of rooms in the house and the rest was truly in sad shape. She had planned out everything and now the contractor took off with her money, leaving her little hope of getting things done. Her son Noah is a whirlwind of energy and in order to do the few things she knows she can handle alone; her friend and town librarian Sarah Ekstrom is coming over.

Sarah calls to say she’s bringing an old friend with her and really nothing else.

Jake Rowley left Virtue, never intending to come back. A romance gone bad has him returning where he’s sure he won’t have any romantic complications. He’s going to need a place to stay and Sarah has an idea about that.

Then there’s the realtor that calls offering a lot of money for the property. Mabs isn’t interested, she wants this home for her and Noah and will restore it to its former glory following rules for historic landmarks.

Jake needs a place to stay, and Mabs needs someone to help her renovate. One would say it’s a match made in heaven, but Jake’s wolf is sure Mags is his mate.

This is a favorite scene.

Sarah, though, picked up the thread of conversation as if it hadn’t been interrupted, thanks to a lot of practice at the library-daycare. “The thing is, though, Mabs, Jake’s just back in town and he doesn’t have anywhere to stay, so I was thinking, like, your barn’s pretty solid, right? You could snug up a corner of that and Jake could stay there and work on the house.”

“He can’t stay in my barn. It’s a barn! You can’t stay in my barn!” Mabs’s gaze flickered between Sarah and Jake, finally landing accusingly on Sarah. “Have you been planning this?!”

“I don’t see how I could have been,” Sarah said in the cheerful tone of someone who had been planning this. “I only found out about Chad this morning and then Jake only dropped by the library about half an hour ago to say he was back in town. Who has time to plan?”

“You!” Both Mabs and Jake spoke, then exchanged little grins that made Mabs want to giggle like a schoolgirl. Jake Rowly had a sly, charming grin that could seduce a woman at five paces. Or maybe seven, since that’s about how far away from she was.

“I have not been planning anything,” Sarah said loftily. “I do, however, see an opportunity when it presents itself. You two talk it out. I have a date with a car race.” She exited with less fanfare than Noah had, leaving Mabs and Jake and a whole lot of uncomfortable space between them.

Jake broke it. “I had no idea she was going to do that. Sorry.”

“No, not at all. I didn’t either, obviously. And it’s not that you can’t stay in my barn, it’s just—” Mabs gestured broadly, as if it would explain everything she meant. “It’s just, who goes around inviting people to stay in barns?”

“Apparently Sarah,” Jake said dryly. They both laughed, and suddenly the tension evaporated, leaving Mabs smiling easily at…at the strange man in her house. Maybe she shouldn’t dwell on that.

“Sarah’s always been a fixer-upper,” Jake added. “Even in high school she was always trying to make things work better. She ran our student body single-handedly. I guess I kind of thought she’d be mayor of Virtue by now.”

“I don’t think she has time, with running the library and the not-officially-a-daycare and helping out with Meals-On-Wheels and overseeing the allotment gardens and…” Mabs trailed off. “I see what you mean.” She fell silent a moment, then cleared her throat. “What you said…would you want to?”

“What, fix up this place?” Jake’s blue gaze rose to the kitchen ceiling, which Mabs bet he could touch easily. She needed a chair to get to the top shelf of the dang cupboards, and they were only two shelves high. “Yeah,” Jake said with a touch of longing that Mabs frankly wished was directed at her. “I could do wonders with this old house. Somebody should, anyway. Do you know anything about its construction?”

His gaze returned to Mabs with the power of a static shock. Her breath caught and she straightened a little, like electricity really had run through her. “Um. No? Not really? I know it’s from about the mid-1800s, but that’s about it?”

Jake shook his head and actually offered her his hand, like they’d known each other forever. What was even stranger was that she took it like it was natural. His grip was comfortable, his hand strong and calloused from work. Mabs had never liked super soft hands anyway. There were so many places on her body where the roughness of a callous could add a little extra…hrrr.

God, what was she thinking? Well obviously she knew exactly what she was thinking, but it was, as she liked to tell Noah about some of his more outlandish ideas, wildly inappropriate.

Jake smiled and drew her out of her own house, leading her past Noah and Sarah on the porch, and down the steps. Mabs had to look at her feet to make sure they were still on the ground, because somehow, holding Jake Rowly’s work-strong hand made her feel like she was floating.

When they got out to the yard, he turned her to face the house, and then, as if he’d suddenly realized what he was doing, let go of her hand. “Sorry, that was…”

“No, it’s fine, I could have kicked you instead of taking your hand.” It took all of Mabs’s attention to not put a hand over her face. She sounded like an eight year old. “What did you want to show me?”

His smile appeared again, no longer sly, but genuine and sweet as he lifted his hands toward the house and began pointing. “So from the door over to the left, basically your kitchen, the room behind it, and the rooms above? That was probably the original house. They called it a double-cell, double-pile.”

“Catchy,” Mabs muttered, and Jake grinned.

“Isn’t it, though? So back then, where your hallway is, that was the front.”

Mabs said, “But this is the front,” and winced. Now she sounded like an idiot. She was a waitress, for heaven’s sake. She was good at talking to people, even about things she didn’t care about, and she did care about the house.

But Jake was still grinning like she wasn’t an idiot, so maybe it was okay. “Right, this is the front now. But when it started, back probably around 1790—you could look it up in the local records—it was the side.”

“Oh. Wow. I never thought of looking it up in the records. I’ve never lived anywhere old enough to have local records, I don’t think.”

“Most of us haven’t, but this place, everybody knows it.”

“‘The Old Brannigan Place,’ yeah. People in Virtue are always excited to hear there’s someone living here again.” Mabs smiled at the truth of that. It was one of the reasons she simply didn’t want to give the place up.
Chant, Zoe. Timber Wolf (Virtue Shifters Book 1) Kindle Locations (267-310). Kindle Edition.

There are plenty of ups and downs in this book as Jake and Mabs explore a relationship and renovate.

More annoyance from the realtor and to top it off Noah’s father shows up with threats even though he has had nothing to do with Mabs or Noah from the beginning.

I love the way this story plays out. The town of Virtue is welcoming in a very different way than most small towns.

I am already reading the next book in the series.

5 Contented Purrs for Zoe!

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Zoe Chant loves writing paranormal romance. Over a cup of tea (or something stronger) she whips up sexy tales of hunky heroes and adventurous heroines to tantalize and satisfy her readers. Sizzling hot romance, no cliffhangers!

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The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher

The Lost Witch
Paige Crutcher


1922. Brigid Heron is a powerful witch and healer in the seemingly lost, but charming small town of Evermore on a forgotten isle in Ireland. However, there is one thing that she longs for above all else: a child of her own. She is even willing to be seduced by the mysterious Luc Knightly, head of the Knightly coven, whose pull is potent and impossible to resist. When their child is born and falls ill, Brigid will risk anything to save her daughter–even tap into the forbidden magic of the Lough of Brionglóid. But when the wild magic takes her daughter from her, Brigid is swept away as well.

2022. Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight have been using their chaos magic to widen the rift between the island and the Otherworld. Creatures from folklore prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity.

Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, but she learns that she helped unleash this curse on Evermore. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with her magical descendants, Ophelia and Finola. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself—mysterious, handsome, and powerful. To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose everything once again.

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This book centers around the Lough of Brionglóid, it’s magic had once been sealed by the goddess Brighid, but a series of events broke that seal and sent the main character Brigid one hundred years into the future without any memories. Her daughter is gone with no one knowing what happened to either of them.

She meets her cousins Ophelia and Fiona who have taken up residence in her home. They are doing their best to protect the villagers from the monsters that come out of the lough.

Another constant is Knightly, he is a demi-god whose coven is responsible for the monsters plaguing the village. A coven he no longer has control over.

Brigid with the help of Knightly, Ophelia and Fiona must reseal the lough and above all, Brigid needs to bring her daughter home.

This is a unique tale with many twists, revelations, surprises. A truly enjoyable read.

5 Contented Purrs for Paige!

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Paige Crutcher

Paige Crutcher is the author of THE ORPHAN WITCH. She is a former journalist, and her work appears in multiple anthologies and online publications. She is an artist and yogi, and when not writing, she prefers to spend her time trekking through the forest with her children, hunting for portals to new worlds.

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A Wicked Game – The Ruthless Rivals Book 3 By Kate Bateman

A Wicked Game
The Ruthless Rivals Book 3
Kate Bateman


If there’s one thing impossible
for a Davies to resist,
it’s a challenge from a Montgomery. . .

A teasing bet.

Shipwrecked and imprisoned thanks to an incorrect map, Captain Morgan Davies has returned to London to exact sweet revenge on the cartographer responsible for his suffering. He’s also vowed to claim the winner’s prize―three kisses―in the bet he made with his long-time nemesis, the prickly, smart-mouthed Harriet Montgomery. His incarceration has clarified his feelings for her, but convincing the infuriating woman he wants to marry her is going to be his greatest challenge yet. When Harriet’s revealed to be the very mapmaker he seeks, Morgan decides to combine revenge and seduction into one delightful package. . .

A dangerous enemy.

Harriet’s always wanted witty scoundrel Morgan, and now he’s back; as handsome and as taunting as ever. She has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s failing eyesight and a rival mapmaker copying her work to play wicked games with a dastardly Davies―however tempting he might be. But when a threat from Morgan’s past puts them both in danger, Harry discovers that she and Morgan might not be enemies at all . . .

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Harriet Mongomery really didn’t know what she was getting into with her last dare to Morgan Davies. She dared him to come back to her safe and sound and he does just that. His prize, three kisses the choice of place and time is Morgan’s. Harriet just didn’t realize Morgan wasn’t exactly speaking of geography with regard to where.

These two are crazy about each other, and in denial about that as well. The verbal sparring is quite amusing as is all the subterfuge in order to get the kisses.

I loved being transported back in time for this tale. Harriet’s intelligence and skills at cartography is delightful. Add in some intrigue from the government and a touch of suspense with their dares and you have this book I couldn’t put down.

I can’t wait for more of this series. There appears to be another branch of the family heading to town.

5 Contented Purrs for Kate!

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Kate Bateman

Kate Bateman (also writing as K. C. Bateman) wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d ‘never finish the thing.’ She gleefully proved him wrong. Her Regency and Renaissance-era romances all feature her trademark feisty, intelligent heroines, wickedly inappropriate banter, and heroes you want to both strangle and kiss.

When not traveling to exotic locations ‘for research,’ Kate leads a double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England and writes despite three inexhaustible children and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

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A Very Meowy Christmas – Virtue Shifters Book 6 by Zoe Chant

A Very Meowy Christmas
Virtue Shifters Book 6
Zoe Chant


Being cool as a cat
is harder than it looks
when unexpected love strikes!

Single dad and bobcat shifter Mason has moved to Virtue to raise his toddler in the safety of a shifter community. But minor catastrophe strikes when his daughter escapes to play in the woods, and the last thing Mason expects when she’s found is to meet his mate. His bobcat insists it’s meow or never, but Mason isn’t ready for the complication of a new relationship.

Veterinary student Chrissy has always known about Virtue’s shifters, and even dreamed of finding fated love of her own, but that didn’t prepare her for a lost bobcat kitten who turns into an adorable little girl. She can hardly believe it’s fur real, but Mason really does seem purrfect.

Mason needs to take it slow. Chrissy hasn’t yet wrapped up veterinary school. On the surface, it seems impawssible, but as they spend time kitten around, Chrissy and Mason realize they’re already building holiday traditions of their own, and that together, they’re going to have a very meowy Christmas.

Christy Sloan is on her way home to Virtue when she spots a baby bobcat frolicking in the snow. She stopped to watch because let’s face it babies are cute regardless of the species. It’s when she realizes there’s no adult bobcat around, she decides to take action. Letting the kitten make the choice she sets up a safe latch cage with part of a peanut butter sandwich as bait. She gets quite the surprise back at her father’s vet clinic when she takes the blanket off the cage.

Mason Rutlidge is a single parent who’s moved to Virtue because it’s a shifter safe zone. His daughter is quite feisty and excitable, which leads to her shifting at appropriate times. He definition of public are not quite what her dad means. This time however she’s just snuck away from her babysitter a non-shifter.

He’s relieved when he gets the call from Christy’s father that his daughter Sandy is safe, unharmed and at the clinic. He doesn’t however expect fate to spring a surprise on him that leaves him speechless.

This is a favorite scene.

There was a brief pause before her father said, “I’ll find out,” and hung up, leaving Chrissy to gaze down at the sleeping little girl with quiet astonishment.

She had always known about Virtue’s shifters, obviously. You couldn’t—in Chrissy’s opinion, anyway—be the veterinarian’s daughter and not know about them. Not if you wanted to be a vet yourself, at least. Chrissy wasn’t actually sure if her brothers did know about the local shifter population, because it wasn’t the kind of question you went around asking, not even of family. She’d understood that from a young age, when she’d still been so little that her ‘job’ at the clinic was sitting in the reception area, reassuring nervous animals, and, just as often, their nervous owners.

She still remembered the day that Donna Arnesen’s parents had come in with uncertain expressions and a small, fluffy owlet in their arms. The poor little creature had broken its wing, and Dr. Sloan had a reputation for working well with wild animals. Mr. & Mrs. Arnesen had let Chrissy draw a very careful picture of a healed-up, flying owl on the cast.

Two days later, six-year-old Donna herself had come to school with the exact same cast, with Chrissy’s drawing on it and all. From then on, Chrissy had understood Virtue wasn’t just a nice little town. Virtue was magic. Bit by bit she’d come to learn about its secret history, mostly from Donna, who was still her best friend. She’d learned about how Virtue’s shifters had settled there, making a safe haven for themselves and their fated mates.

That was the most magical thing of all, in Chrissy’s opinion. People who could shift into animals were obviously mind-bogglingly incredible, but instantly knowing they’d found their one true love? That sounded like a dream come true. Dating was hard and people were much less predictable than animals. Effortlessly finding the right person would be so much easier than struggling through awkward questions and terrible first dates, never mind the awful moments when it was clear chemistry just didn’t, couldn’t, and wouldn’t ever exist.

Getting a toddler out of a cage meant for a cat was not, as it turned out, particularly easy. Chrissy worked on squirming the little girl out without waking her up, which involved trying to gently lift an arm up so she could tug her free. The exit was large enough, but getting her own hands inside to rearrange the girl was harder, and the little girl woke up in giggles. “Tickwy!”

Chrissy wrinkled her nose, but smiled. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to tickle you. I don’t suppose you could turn into a kitty for a second and just walk out of there?”

The child had enormous hazel-gold eyes and a momentarily uncertain expression. “I not posed to do dat in fwont of peepw.”

A giggle of Chrissy’s own burst out. “I bet not, but do you remember me from the field? You were already a kitty then, so I already know you can shift. I won’t tell anybody.” She crossed her heart. “Promise.”

She received two contemplative blinks in response before the girl apparently decided that her logic was sound. She shifted into the bobcat kitten Chrissy had met in the field, walked out of the cage, jumped to the floor, and turned back into a little girl. “Whewe’s my dada?”

Chrissy smiled. “He’s on the way. I’m Chrissy. Do you want to tell me your name?”


“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Sandy. Are you hungry? I probably have some snacks around here.”

“Yes pease!”

The apple and cheese Chrissy got from her bag was clearly not the kind of snack Sandy was hoping for, but she sat in the spinning receptionist’s chair and ate them with enthusiasm anyway. Chrissy guessed hunger made the best sauce.

A panicked knock at the door sent Chrissy to it, expecting to find a worried parent. Instead a tearful teenager fell through the door, cried, “Sandy!” in bone-shaking relief, and collapsed into Chrissy’s arms, sobbing. “I just went to the bathroom! She was in the house, I swear. We were all bundled up to go outside and play, and I had to pee and ran to the bathroom but I didn’t know she was tall enough to open the door and I couldn’t find any footprints and there were bobcat tracks and I was afraid she’d been eaten—!”

Sandy yelled, “It’s otay, I gots an appwe!” and, as Chrissy turned toward her, held the fruit up with triumph. Then she yelled, “Dada!” and fell out of her chair to rush toward the door. Chrissy, feeling like she was on some kind of fast-spinning carnival ride, turned back the other way, following Sandy with her gaze, then lifting her eyes to see the worried, relieved face of the most absurdly handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on.

He was tall, broad-shouldered, and lightly bearded in a woodsman kind of way, which up until this very moment had never been particularly Chrissy’s thing. It was suddenly very strongly, completely, and thoroughly her thing. He had the tanned look of a white guy who spent a lot of time outdoors, and who currently wore an unzipped winter jacket over a t-shirt and jeans that clung to his thighs in positively scandalous ways. His boots were big enough to make Chrissy decide very hastily that he must have big…feet, too….

She felt a blush—or something—start somewhere around her bellybutton, and heat rushed through her entire self before some tiny part of her brain that still functioned reminded her that if he had a two-year-old, there was probably another woman in the picture already.

She had never gone from so hopeful to so crushed so quickly. And that was ridiculous. Especially since the idea here was to return a lost child to her parents, not for Chrissy to suddenly lust over a hot young DILF. Sandy’s father bent to scoop her up and cradled her into a fierce but gentle hug, his head bent over hers a moment before he lifted his gaze to meet Chrissy’s.

His eyes, like Sandy’s, were an astonishing hazel gold, and his whole soul seemed to be in them as he said, “Thank you.”
Chant, Zoe. A Very Meowy Christmas (Virtue Shifters Book 6) Kindle Locations (95-146). Kindle Edition.

As fate continues to throw these two together, Mason needs to go slow. He’s not quite ready for a relationship and he has Sandy to think of as well.

This book is so much fun, as Sandy puts these adults into some crazy situations. I laughed so hard at her antics and the adults trying really hard to negate the aftereffects.

This is now another Christmas favorite.

5 Contented Purrs for Zoe!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Zoe Chant loves writing paranormal romance. Over a cup of tea (or something stronger) she whips up sexy tales of hunky heroes and adventurous heroines to tantalize and satisfy her readers. Sizzling hot romance, no cliffhangers!

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A Sip of Murder – Le Doux Mysteries Book 3 by Abigail Thornton

A Sip of Murder
Le Doux Mysteries Book 3
Abigail Thornton


Third time’s a charm…
until someone commits murder.

With her sister back at the castle and the tea shop thriving, Wynona feels like her life is finally on track. The fact that a certain werewolf is hanging around an awful lot, only makes it all sweeter.

Until her best friend, Primrose, while pretending to be a vampire, becomes a suspect in a murder investigation.

Wynona’s life is once again turned on its head as she navigates the world of Hex Haven’s most passionate fangirls. The deeper she digs, the more confusing the evidence becomes, and the harder she must work to clear her friend’s name.

With her own magic completely out of control, a burgeoning relationship distracting her, and a police chief with an eternal grudge against her family…Wynona isn’t quite sure how’s she’s going to pull this off. But for Primrose’s sake, she has to try.

With her sister back home where she belongs, Wynona’s life seems to be on the right track. With Rascal an almost constant presence it’s even better. That is until there’s a murder and Wynona has to help. She has no choice since her best friend is charged with it.

This is a favorite scene.

Rascal licked his fingers, grinning when Wynona laughed.

“How many of those have you eaten now?” she teased, sipping her tea.

Rascal looked away in thought. “I lost count,” he finally admitted, then winked. “Good thing I have a shifter’s metabolism.”

Wynona shook her head, but her smile remained. “Good thing,” she murmured.

Rascal wiped his fingers on a napkin, then leaned forward on his elbows. “So…when are we going to go on another date?”

Wynona gave him an arch look. “I suppose when you ask.”

He grinned. “It’s going to be that easy?”

She shrugged, playing casual, but feeling her heart beat rapidly. When Rascal snickered, she knew he could hear her pulse, giving away the fact that she was anything but uninterested.

“Wy…” he drawled. “Do you want me to ask you out again?”

“Right this moment?” she said, knowing her cheeks were flaming. “Not so much.”

He laughed. “Sorry. I shouldn’t embarrass you like that, but sometimes it’s good to know what you’re thinking.”

“I think you often know what I’m thinking more than I know what you’re thinking.” She dropped his glowing gaze and drew a random pattern on the table top. She heard a chair shift and soon Rascal was setting down his seat right next to her.

He reached out and lifted up her chin with his knuckle. “I realize not having your magic makes you feel like you’re always at a disadvantage,” he said softly, letting his thumb rub back and forth on her jawline. “But as you learn how to use what you have and eventually leave me in the dust, never doubt my feelings,” he whispered huskily. “And never be afraid to ask… I won’t hide anything from you.”

Wynona’s eyes widened. “You won’t?”

He slowly shook his head, shifting subtly closer. “For you…I’m an open book,” he whispered right before his lips brushed hers.

Wynona sucked in a shuddering breath from the touch, but eagerly leaned in, wanting more. This relationship was so new that she still hadn’t gotten used to the feeling of bliss that swept through her every time Rascal touched her.

His hand slid from her jaw to the back of her head and he tilted his head, changing their angle to something more intense just as his phone went off.

Wynona gasped and jerked backward, her breathing labored.

Rascal’s hand fell, but his eyes never left hers. “You okay?” he asked, slightly breathless himself.

Wynona nodded. “Sorry. I was startled.” She wasn’t usually so easily scared, but these emotions were fresh and she could feel her magic trying to react to her intense feelings. When she blinked, she could still see purple sparkles in her peripheral vision.

Rascal chuckled and cupped her cheek. “I guess that means we’ll just have to do this more often… You know,” he said in a low tone, “so you’re not so scared.”

“Oh, yes please,” she breathed out just before he kissed her again.

The buzzing of his phone once again pulled them apart, only this time it was Rascal who pulled back. He muttered something under his breath and reached across the table for his device. “Let me just shut this off,” he grumbled.

Wynona had to grin at his pouty tone. Knowing he was so eager to kiss her had her adrenaline pumping. After a second, she realized he wasn’t looking away from his phone. “Rascal?”

He looked up with a grimace. “We need to go down to The Siren’s Call.”

“We?” Wynona blinked and shook her head. “What for?”

“There’s been a murder.”

Wynona groaned and threw her head back. “Not another one. I really don’t want to be involved, Rascal. I’ve told you that. Those other cases were exceptions.”

“You’re going to want to be here for this,” he said, standing up and grabbing his stuff. “Vi?” he gave Violet a gentle shake, waking her from her nap. “You’re gonna want to come too.”

Violet blinked sleepily and rubbed her eyes with her tiny fists.

“Rascal,” Wynona said forcefully, standing up so she wasn’t at such a disadvantage. “What’s going on?”

He scooped Violet up and tucked her into his pocket. “Like I said, there’s been a murder.”

Wynona opened her mouth to argue, but Rascal kept going.

“And they’re holding Prim as the main suspect.”

“WHAT!” Wynona screeched. She threw her hands over her mouth when Rascal winced. “Sorry,” she said in a muffled tone. “But how in the world do they think Prim is involved in the murder? She wouldn’t hurt a fly!”

Rascal gave her a look and Wynona held up a hand.

“Okay, maybe a fly, but you know she wouldn’t kill anyone.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “They must have a reason for holding onto her,” he said. “But I agree, there has to be some kind of misunderstanding.” His eyes were sad and resigned when he looked at her. “Which is why I knew you’d want to come along. Between the two of us, we should be able to convince the chief Prim is innocent.”

“Hang on a second.” Wynona marched to the kitchen. Her feelings of elation had disappeared and a simmer of anger was already starting to build. How dare anyone think Prim could kill someone! Chief Ligurio was a smart man and usually a fair one. He should know better!

She pushed open the kitchen door. “Lusgu?” She waited a moment while he appeared from the dark corner. “I need to leave. I’m sorry about the mess, but can you take care of the food at least?” She didn’t normally leave him with so much and she definitely didn’t usually speak to him in such a forceful tone, but right now she couldn’t get her mind off of Prim being held by the police. Her little fairy friend had to be terrified.

Lusgu narrowed his yellow eyes and then nodded. He didn’t speak a word, but Wynona knew he would do exactly how she asked.

“Thank you,” she made sure to say before turning and walking out of the kitchen, only to run straight into a wall of purple ribbons.

Rascal was waiting across the room as Wynona stopped and her jaw dropped. His arms were folded across her chest and she reached out to try and touch them. “I think your magic is tied to your emotions,” he said.

Wynona sighed and forced herself to relax a little, the ribbons slowly fading. “It’s because I don’t know how to control it,” she responded. “I need to take time to figure out what kind of magic I have and become the master. Until then, it’ll probably always be like this.”

“As fun as it is to see a physical reaction to our kisses,” Rascal drawled, “I think if you want to keep others from knowing you have magic, you’re going to need to figure it out.”

Her cheeks were hot again, but she nodded. He had a point. “I know,” she whispered. “But first I need your boss to stop accusing the people in my life of murder.”

He held out his hand and together they walked to the door. “Maybe we need to work on getting the people in your life into different hobbies.”
Thornton, Abigail Lynn. A Sip of Murder: a light-hearted paranormal cozy mystery (Le Doux Mysteries Book 3) Kindle Locations (551-606). Angel Music. Kindle Edition.

As Wynona and Rascal investigate, the things they find don’t exonerate Prim, although everything seems to be circumstantial, nothing clears her.

Lots of tense situations in this one, and we learn more about Wynona’s new powers. We also discover a lot about Prim and her plants. Have I mentioned Lusgu is hiding something?

I love these books and I am already reading the next one.

5 Contented Purrs for Abigail

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Ever since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be an author. Career day was a bit rough, since there is no official uniform for this job. Pajamas and a laptop maybe? Although my clothes change from day to day, my job as a wife and mother doesn’t. My days are filled with my 5 children and enjoying time with my husband, while my evenings are filled with creative time. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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A Christmas Like No Otter – Virtue Shifters Book 4 by Zoe Chant

A Christmas Like No Otter
Virtue Shifters Book 4
Zoe Chant


Love otter be easier….

Otter shifter and piano player Abe is usually pretty suave, but that was before the otterly amazing new choir director turned out to be his fated mate! His otter is so excited that Abe himself can’t get a word in edgewise. How can he impress his mate if he can’t even talk to her?

Blaire thought her new job as a choir director in Virtue would be a breeze, but the old piano player took one look at her and quit, and the new one can’t even meet her eyes! Which is just too bad, because he’s probably the most handsome man Blaire has ever seen. Why, if Abe could only make eye contact, Blaire might even be prepared to consider him a potential significant otter!

But rehearsals for the choir concert mean at least they’re together, and it’s not long before they realize they have a whole lotter more than music in common. From ice skating to hot springs, the winter holiday activities in town bring them closer and closer…right up to one last surprise that reveals itself at the Christmas concert!

Blaire Hobart was sure she was losing her job as the new choir director after her pianist quits. However, she didn’t get a call, note or summons from the town council before the next choir practice. There was someone playing the piano when she walked into the church. Maybe she hadn’t lost her job after all.

Abraham Fenn, was asked or rather told by his great aunt to take over as the pianist for the choir. He wasn’t expecting the choir director to be so beautiful and sweet. He certainly didn’t expect her to be his mate either.

This is going to be a problem because his otter is going crazy in circles of excitement causing Abe not to be able to concentrate on talking at all.

This is a favorite scene.

Nothing could throw off his stride.

Not until Blaire Hobart walked down the aisle toward him, causing his otter to shriek, MATE!!!! before diving deep inside his mind and quivering with such anticipation that it bordered on terror.

Abe said, What?! in the depths of his own head, but his otter was a jittery ball of excited jelly and couldn’t form so much as another word.

It wasn’t like Abe hadn’t heard it correctly anyway. It wasn’t as if the woman coming down the aisle toward him like a bride in Uggs and a puffy jacket wasn’t obviously the most spectacularly beautiful, intelligent, witty, kind, generous, delightful human being he’d ever laid eyes on. Even if his otter hadn’t screamed Mate! inside his head, Abe felt like he would have known that this woman was the person he was meant to be with forever.

And with that knowledge, his confidence deserted him entirely. He could barely even look at her. His otter was so excited and nervous that Abe struggled not to shift right there in the church. He mumbled something about why it was him and not Aunt Ruby there, and Blaire responded with charming understanding.

Then she was right there in front of him and wanted to shake hands like a normal human being, so he did, of course. Her hands were strong, but so soft, except for the callouses from playing stringed instruments.

His damned otter shrieked I bet she gives good scritches!!! and Abe dropped her hand like it was on fire.

He was forced to look up then, to get a really good look at her, and caught the brief expression of confusion on her face. Probably men didn’t usually act like meeting her was a torment.

Probably nobody with eyes usually acted like meeting her was a torment. She was tall and slim, like a distance runner or an upright bass player, and her eyes were dark liquid brown. Her features were sharp: sharp jaw, sharp nose, even her eyebrows had a distinct point to them that Abe instantly adored.Her lips weren’t sharp, though: they were soft and full and kissable—

Kiss her! squealed his otter, and Abe knew an expression of horror went right across his face.

Blaire said something polite about it being nice to meet him, and then he was rescued, thank goodness, by the choir kids thundering into the church. They started a game of tag as they ran up and down the aisles and the rows between the pews, and under their noise Abe said, What is wrong with you?! to his otter.

She’s so pretty, the otter replied, starry-eyed. So tall and strong and slim, like a fast fish in the water!

Oh yes. That was what women wanted. To be compared to cold-blooded slimy fish. Blaire pulled her winter hat off, revealing a fantastic, straight-cut, jaw-length bob of dark brown hair. Static lifted some of the strands out of place and she absently smoothed them with one palm, making her a flawless vision once again.

To Abe’s surprise, she didn’t try to stop the kids from running through the church. She just slipped her winter coat off and folded it on a pew. She was dressed casually in tall winter boots, jeans, and a cream-colored sweater knitted in an Aran pattern, and looked incredibly sleek—

Like a fish!!!! his otter yelled. Abe clenched his teeth shut, as if the animal could somehow force him to say that aloud.

Not a fish! A professional used to dealing with kids!

Like a fish, the otter insisted. Fast in the water for a chase and then when we have caught her—

The otter obviously hit a mental block at that point, because its thoughts took a distinct turn toward the idea of mating, except it had no interest in mating with a fish. Otters ate fishes, and there was nothing in an otter’s vocabulary or concept of sex that involved ‘eating’ in a non-food innuendo.

No matter. The otter rallied. Sleek and strong and slim and fast like an otter! it declared, and by that time Abe was in no condition to try to argue with it. Keeping himself from blurting out its running commentary was suddenly a full-time job.

The otter wasn’t wrong, though. Blaire Hobart was sleek and strong and slim and, with her smooth brown hair and deep brown eyes, seemed more otter-like in her human form than Abe himself did.

Except she was clearly no-nonsense as she walked up to the altar, and at the moment, Abe felt like he was pure nonsense. There were choir galleries in the chancel on both sides of the altar, but the two rows of raised platforms in them had been moved into full view, so the kids would be on display when they performed. Abe’s piano was off to one side, half-hidden behind the platforms. Blaire went over to it and played a few notes, then sat down and began to play in earnest.

Not a holiday tune, though. To Abe’s barely-contained laughter, she started playing the latest hit from a British pop star, an incredibly catchy tune that even he’d listened to dozens of times in a row. The kids, although entirely involved in their game of tag, couldn’t stop themselves from singing when the chorus kicked in, and a few of them approached the piano as she launched into the second verse.

By the time she’d gone through the chorus again, most of the kids were gathered around the piano, singing their hearts out. One little boy of six or seven sidled right up to Blaire and raised his eyebrows invitingly at a line about conversations with a stranger.

Abe’s otter gasped in dramatic disbelief. Is the little boy flirting with our mate?

He’s trying to, Abe replied, amused. And he’s doing a better job than I’ve been doing so far! You have to stop distracting me!

I am not a distraction! I am your soul. If she cannot live with me, she cannot live with us at all. This last was delivered with such theatrical conviction that Abe laughed, a sound he had to smother with both hands so he didn’t interrupt the last go-around of the chorus.

“You guys were amazing.” Blaire sounded genuinely impressed as she stood up from the piano and gave the kids a round of applause. “If you can sing pop music that well, these Christmas songs are going to be a breeze!”

“Are we gonna go on America’s Next Stars?” asked the little boy who’d sidled up to her.

She raised her eyebrows, looking down at him seriously. “Noah, right? They don’t usually have choirs on those shows, Noah, but once in a while, they do. I’m not gonna lie to you. Getting there would be a huge amount of work, the kind of thing that would probably take years. So I guess whether there’s a chance of it or not would depend on how hard you all wanted to work, and whether you agreed it was the kind of goal you were all interested in.”

Ooooohhh, the otter breathed, star-struck. She’s so good with kittens.

A quick smile touched Abe’s mouth. Otter babies were often called kittens, but he hadn’t ever really thought to apply the term to human children. It was kind of cute. Another child, older, but also perhaps more practical at heart than Noah seemed to be, said, “Maybe we should do the Christmas concert first.”

Blaire grinned at the girl. “That’s a good idea, Kelly. Kelly? Kelly.” She smiled again as the girl nodded. “One thing at a time. I mean, maaaaayyybeeee you’ll all hate singing in the choir so much that you’d rather throw up all your candy canes into your shoes and then wear them!”

Abe’s otter recoiled, staring at Blaire in horror as the kids all squealed, “Ewwww!” happily.

She is not good with kittens after all, the otter reported in confused dismay. She wants them to wear regurgitated food! That is disgusting!

She’s joking. It’s okay, buddy. Maybe the otter now thought Blaire was so gross that it wouldn’t flail like an excited kid when it looked at her, so Abe could talk to her like a functional adult human being instead of a squeaky idiot, which is where he’d started.

Blaire was now herding the kids onto the choir stands, where they were eager to go and show her how they were good enough to win competitions, or at least to not barf in their shoes and wear them. She cast Abe a quick look, and he took himself back to the piano, feeling like maybe he could do this.

Oooooh, the otter said. Her eyes are so pretty….

Maybe he couldn’t do it, after all.
Chant, Zoe. A Christmas Like No Otter (Virtue Shifters Book 4) Kindle Locations (103-169). Kindle Edition.

I laughed so hard all through this book, that otter, OMG! He’s just hysterical.

Blaire is taken with Abe and she does give him a chance. Their dates are fun filled and Christmassy. Even after his big reveal, and I do mean big. She’s on board to get to know him better.

One of my favorite Christmas books this year.

5 Contented Purrs for Zoe!

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Zoe Chant loves writing paranormal romance. Over a cup of tea (or something stronger) she whips up sexy tales of hunky heroes and adventurous heroines to tantalize and satisfy her readers. Sizzling hot romance, no cliffhangers!

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Sugar, Cream or Murder – Le Doux Mysteries Book 2 by Abigail Thornton

Sugar, Cream and Murder
Le Doux Mysteries Book 2
Abigail Thornton


Wynona and her team are back…but she’s not exactly happy about it.

Wynona’s sister, Celia, is at the top of Wynona’s list of least favorite people.

But when one of Celia’s friends ends up dead…Wynona can’t bring herself to let it go.

Despite having a little sleuthing experience under her belt at this point, Wynona is completely out of her comfort zone as she’s surrounded by the some of the most powerful witches in Hex Haven, trying to pretend she’s not upset about her lack of magical ability.

Wynona’s family might not see her worth, but with Primrose, Violet and a dashing werewolf at her side…Wynona might just find where she belongs, and solve a murder or two along the way.

In the first book of this series we met the key players in these books. First off is Wynona, she was born to a powerful witch family with her powers bound and thus a disgrace and now disowned. Violet, her mouse who was changed from white to purple by a spell thrown by Celia that went wrong. Rascal the Deputy Chief of Police, her boyfriend, who managed to help Wynona solve her first mystery and open her business on schedule. Prim, Wynona’s best friend and confidant. Lusgu, a brownie, he’s the janitor at her tea shop, but there’s something more here. Chief of Police Lugurio, who has a thing against anyone named Le Doux. Celia, her sister who always seems to show up with plenty of insults.

Now in this book, in the middle of a severe storm, Celia calls Wynona, hysterical asking for help at the same time Rascal shows up with a request for her to join him at a crime scene.

This is a favorite scene.

“Wynona,” she said with a sharp smile. “You came.”

Wynona folded her arms over her chest. She felt completely frumpy in her heavy raincoat next to her perfect sister, but right now there was little Wynona could do. Besides, Celia had called her here. “I did.”

Celia huffed. “Figures you would. You always were a bleeding heart.”

“You asked for my help, Celia,” Wynona snapped. “I guess if you don’t need me, I can just go home.” Wynona started to turn, but Celia sighed loud and dramatically enough to wake the dead.

“As long as you’re here, you might as well help these…idiots,” Celia sneered, waving her arm at the police walking around.

Wynona shook her head. “No. You know what? I don’t need this. The police aren’t idiots and I’m sure between them and our parents, it’ll all be taken care of soon.” She turned to walk away again, but ran into a wall. An invisible wall.

“I don’t think you understand…sister…” Celia said, her voice low as she came up behind Wynona. “Dear Mommy and Daddy don’t ever need to know that I was out here.”

Wynona spun, facing her sister nose to nose. “Whyever not? I just heard you threatening to call them. Why keep it a secret? There’s no way the ghost reporters won’t splash this over every page of the newspaper.”

Celia’s eyes narrowed, but she didn’t answer.

Wynona’s jaw went slack. “You weren’t supposed to be out here, were you?” She barked a sarcastic laugh. “What do you think will happen? Mom and Dad will cut off your allowance?”

Celia rolled her eyes. “You’re so naive, Wynona.”

“No. I’m free. And it sounds like it’s the exact opposite of you at the moment.”


Both women turned toward the shout. Rascal was walking purposefully toward them, his face etched in stone. “Ms. Le Doux,” he said, nodding at Celia before turning to Wynona. “Wy, if you’ll come with me, please?”

“Wy?” Celia snorted.

Wynona ignored her sister. She shouldn’t have come. No matter what panicked emotions had caused Celia to ask for help, it was clear offering anything to her sister was only going to come back to bite her. “Of course, Officer Strongclaw.” She walked away, knowing the wall her sister had put up would be gone. If the police caught Celia using magic at a crime scene, she’d have been in far more trouble than what she already was. “Thank you,” Wynona whispered, knowing Rascal’s ears would pick it up amongst the noise.

Rascal grinned and winked at her. “You looked like you could use rescuing.” He shook his head. “But I’ll apologize ahead of time because bringing you with me means that you’ll get stuck listening to everything that’s going on.”

“That’s fine,” Wynona replied. “Anything is better than dealing with Celia.”

Rascal chuckled as they approached a group of women. One woman was sobbing into a handkerchief while another wrapped her arms around the first. None of the women looked very happy to be there. Wynona was positive they were all witches, just like her sister, since not one of them appeared to have been touched by the storm and were wearing similar long, flowing dresses.

Rascal took his hand from Wynona’s back and pulled a notebook from his pocket. “Ms. Umbra?”

The crying woman looked up. “Yes?”

Rascal consulted his notes. “It’s Callista Umbra, correct?”

She sniffed and nodded.

“And it was your sister…a, Indigo Stocker, who disappeared?”

Again, the woman nodded.

Wynona tilted her head, watching the sister. She was a pretty woman. Light blonde hair and small features. Nothing about her would stand out in a crowd, except that right now she looked particularly frail as she leaned into her friend.

“Do you mind telling me why you were out here tonight?”

One of the women scoffed. “We already went over this with your chief.”

Rascal nodded. “I understand, but I’m asking again.”

“It’s alright,” Callista said softly. She took a deep breath as she looked at Rascal. “We were out here for the storm,” she explained. “Our coven was working together to draw the power of the lightning into some…um…” She bit her lip and looked at the other women.

“Oh, just say it,” the loud one snapped. “It’s not like they don’t already know.”

“Leave her alone, Adel,” the one holding up Callista argued. “It’s not like this is her fault.”

Adel huffed and turned away.

“We were capturing the lightning in stones,” Callista explained.

There it was. Now Wynona understood exactly why Celia didn’t want their parents involved. Capturing lightning took a great deal of power, which was probably why there was a whole coven of witches out here. Petra Luminis, or stones with lightning trapped inside, could be used for large bursts of power, whether for destruction or for extra potent spells. But the most important thing was…they were illegal.

Rascal growled low in his throat, but nodded for her to continue.

“We were on our third stone when there was a particularly large burst of light.” Callista’s voice grew softer and her tears renewed. “I was blinded in the moment, and by the time I opened my eyes, my…” She sniffed and dabbed at her face. “My…”

The woman holding her sighed and squeezed Callista tighter. “Her sister, Indigo Stocker, was gone.”

“Gone?” Rascal asked.

“Gone,” Adel snapped, ignoring Callista’s wail of distress. “Nothing but a black streak in the grass.”
Thornton, Abigail. Sugar, Cream or Murder: a light-hearted, paranormal cozy mystery (Le Doux Mysteries Book 2) Kindle Locations (-488). Angel Music. Kindle Edition.

Things are far more complicated than they originally seem. Wynona is going to face a coven she’s not part of and never will be without magic. Then there’s the traveling husband who can’t be contacted and of course the body that’s not there.

Throughout the investigation, the relationship between Rascal and Wynona grows stronger. Even as the Chief tries to pin the ‘murder’ on Celia.

This is a page turning read with plenty of surprises. I love the developing romance and the strengthening friendships.

I am already reading the next book in this series, I can’t put them down once I start.

5 Contented Purrs for Abigail!

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Ever since I was in elementary school I have wanted to be an author. Career day was a bit rough, since there is no official uniform for this job. Pajamas and a laptop maybe? Although my clothes change from day to day, my job as a wife and mother doesn’t. My days are filled with my 5 children and enjoying time with my husband, while my evenings are filled with creative time. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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