Grieving artist Bernie has one thing left to love: her awful cat Pennywise. Everything else was left behind when she ran across an entire continent to escape the tragedy that destroyed her life. In this beautiful fishing town, she hopes to rebuild her shattered heart surrounded by the solitude and splendor of the wild Canadian coast.
By her second day in Westerly Cove, someone is trying to kill her, the lighthouse she just moved into appears to be haunted, and if the killer and the ghosts don’t get her, then her demon cat is going to wreck her social life (not to mention her backseat, and the curtains, and the groceries).
And the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen just walked into her lighthouse.
Big, burly, gruff bear shifter Tor is a born protector who has spent his life taking care of his rowdy, unruly family. But what he truly craves is a den and a mate of his own.
Then a beautiful, wounded woman moves into the lighthouse on the point.
The moment Tor lays eyes on her, he knows that she’s his fated mate.
And he would do anything to keep her safe—whether that’s unmasking a killer, solving a ghostly mystery, or even learning to love her truly unbearable cat.
Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Grady has purchased a decommissioned lighthouse and the surrounding property. The town of Westerly Cove was very relieved when she purchased it, there had been a very aggressive realty company want to buy it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Something they definitely didn’t want with all the shifters residing here.
It was the perfect place for her and her demon cat Pennywise. I have to admit I chuckled the whole way through the description of said cat. The fact he destroyed a few carriers on the way to Newfoundland regardless of the touts of being indestructible was in itself hilarious. The isolation of the lighthouse is just what Bernie wanted and there was sure to be a perfect room for her to set up as a studio for her artwork. She was hoping to live in the lighthouse itself but discovered she’d need to do some renovation first.
Torvald and his family are polar bear shifters, they actually have their house situated on the pier with a hatch inside the house so they can shift and slip into the water unnoticed. His father Steig and his brother Eren always seem to be fighting over one thing or another and as we meet them that’s exactly what’s going on, in their shifted forms. Torvald and his sister Inga break it up and while their father shifted back to human, their brother just jumped into the water. After that excitement and during the clean-up Tor suggests bringing some groceries for their new resident at the lighthouse.
Bernie has just taken a good look at the inside of the lighthouse and is hearing all sorts of noises, topped off with boxes falling over, she comes to the conclusion that there is someone in there and runs out locking the door behind her.
It’s as she’s heading to the caretaker’s house to call for assistance, she hears a call of ‘Hello the Lighthouse’ and then saw the man associated with the call at the top of the cliff.
This is a favorite scene.
After tying up the boat at the old dock at the base of the lighthouse steps and climbing up, Tor found a goddess waiting for him at the lighthouse.
Mate! his bear cried, a low vibrato of delight.
But he would have known without being told.
She was perfect; she was everything a bear’s mate should be, luscious and curvy in a cream-colored sweater, with a tousled head of short dark curls that fluttered in the wind off the sea. She had pink cheeks and a heart-shaped face.
“Oh, thank goodness,” his goddess said, and while he was still processing her evident delight at seeing him, she ran over to him.
She was even shorter than he had realized, small enough that he could have picked her up, and in fact he would have been very tempted if not for the fact that he had a bag of groceries in each hand. Also, if he told his sister that he had greeted his mate by snatching her up like a parcel, Inga would have smacked him into next week.
But his lighthouse goddess clearly recognized the mate bond too. Why else the wild joy on her face?
“I am so glad you’re here,” she said, looking up at him. Her eyes were the darkest blue he’d ever seen, so deep they were almost violet. “There’s an intruder in the lighthouse.”
Tor, who had just been trying to muster the words to say “I’m so glad I’ve found you,” was completely thrown off. “What?”
“An intruder! In the lighthouse,” she said, pointing at it, as if there was some other lighthouse around that she could have meant. “I didn’t know what to do, and then you arrived. I’m so glad. Uh—if you don’t mind my asking, where did you come from?”
“Boat,” Tor said. He was starting to realize that she hadn’t actually recognized him as her mate. She was human; there was no animal in her eyes. He tried to pull himself together before his mate decided he was a blithering idiot. “There’s a, uh, a dock. Down there. From before the road was here. It used to be the only way to get to the lighthouse unless you walked from town.”
“Oh,” his goddess said. She peered dubiously over the cliff, seeming to notice the rickety stairs bolted to the cliffside for the first time. Far below, the Codfather bobbed gently at its mooring rope beside the old dock. “Oh, that is … that is a lot of stairs.”
“Never mind that.” Tor set down the bags in the grass. “Where is this intruder?” His entire body was thrumming with energy, filled with the urge to drive off anyone who had frightened or threatened her.
“Over here.” She beckoned, and he followed her. “I’m feeling pretty silly now. I bet it was just a stray shadow. I got jumpy in there.”
“I believe you,” Tor said.
She looked up at him quickly, her cheeks pink. “Who are you, anyway?”
Your mate. The person who is meant for you. I am the man who plans to spend the rest of his life filling you with every kind of joy and pleasure that a person can experience—
Tor cleared his throat. “I’m Tor. Torvald Nilsson, that is. I live in town.”
His goddess broke into a smile, staggeringly gorgeous. “I’m Bernie, short for Bernadette.”
She thrust out a hand. Tor shook it. Her hand all but vanished into his.
“Let’s go see about this intruder,” he said, reclaiming his hand with a great deal of reluctance. He could still feel the warm tingle of her fingers in his. “What happened, exactly?”
“I was exploring the lighthouse. I just got here yesterday and hadn’t looked around yet.” She pointed at the white pillar of the lighthouse again. “I climbed up to the top, and then when I was coming back down, I thought I heard something—oh, what on Earth?”
She was staring up at the catwalk circling the top of the lighthouse.
“What’s wrong?” Tor asked, following her gaze.
“The balcony door is open! I know for sure I latched it behind me. There is definitely someone in there.”
“Stay behind me,” Tor told her. “In fact, you should probably stay out here.”
But instead, she followed him closely as he opened the gate.
“Did you actually see this person?” Tor asked.
Bernie shook her head. “No, I closed a window on the second floor—that one right there, the one that’s open now—and then on my way down, I looked back and saw what I thought was a human shadow. You probably think I’m a coward,” she added, downcast.
Tor was honestly shocked that she would think that. “Not at all. It was sensible of you not to confront an intruder on your own. They could have been armed or meant you harm.”
The very idea of someone meaning Bernie harm filled him with rage that he tried not to show.
“I don’t want them to hurt you, either!” Bernie protested.
Our mate wants us protected from harm, his bear enthused. What a fine, strong mate.
Tor opened the door and peered inside.
Chant, Zoe. Tor (Westerly Cove Book 1) Kindle Locations (441-480). Kindle Edition.
On investigating Tor found nothing and shared with Bernie the rumors of the lighthouse being haunted. He also checked the caretaker’s house to be sure no one was in there.
Bernie invites Tor to stay for a picnic, she likes him, and he did bring the groceries. She also wants to hear more about Westerly Cove.
Feeling better about things, including the lighthouse being haunted, Bernie settled in for the night. Only to be woken by said ghost who disappeared as soon as she woke. Pennywise’s yowling sends her to the kitchen where she finds a life threating circumstance and a threatening message.
I love the way this story unfolds. Lighthouses are a favorite of mine, and with this story centering there it’s just so much fun combined with the mystery and romance. I also find myself wanting to know all the inhabitants of Westerly Cove. There are so many different shifters here.
I’m already reading the next book in this series.