We meet Lucy Copeland as she’s in the process of getting away from her uncle. Apparently, he wants her to sign some papers and she’s refused. Now he’s having her taken somewhere, she just has no clue where that might be. As they’re about to land she does her ‘thing’ where she blends in with her surroundings, in the lavatory. She manages to escape through the emergency exit and just starts running. The road leads to a dock and she jumps on one with large crates that is leaving.
The men after her weren’t just men they’re shifters, two tigers a wolf and a bear and she was lucky to get away from them as quickly as she did.
Eren in the meantime is fighting with the trash griffins. They are cat sized with a seagull front and a raccoon back that is attacking his lunch. He has errands to run in St John’s and no time for these creatures. As he finishes the shopping list, he runs into his sister Inga and sister-in-law Bernie. Inga starts snooping and he gets out of her inquisition with a bit of a lie. The story of who the supplies are for is not his story to tell.
Lucy finds getting off the boat she was on easier than expected. She comes to the realization that she has no money and no clothes other than what she’s wearing. As she wanders around, she sees a tourist shop, the hats and t-shirts proclaimed St John’s, Newfoundland. She does run into the kindness of a woman who gives her donuts, a bottle of water and the location of a shelter. When she sees one of her uncle’s men she knows she has to get away again. She makes her way back to the docks and makes the wise choice of hiding on board the Codfather, Eren’s family boat.
As Eren leaves St. John’s behind, he senses he’s not alone on the boat. When he hears a noise below, he investigates and what he finds is a big surprise in more ways than one.
This is a favorite scene.
“Let me go!” she yelled, struggling. In his attempt to contain her, Eren stumbled into the wall and bashed his head on the ceiling, which was low enough that he generally had to duck.
“Whoa, hey, I’m not going to hurt you! I’m just trying to stop you from hurting yourself—or me. There’s nowhere to go out there, just water.” She was starting to relax in his arms, though it was the tense kind of relaxation that suggested she might be gearing up for another fight. “If I put you down, will you relax a little? This is my family’s fishing boat. I just want to talk.”
“Okay,” she said after a moment.
Eren carefully set her down. He was prepared to stop her if she tried to make another break for it—he didn’t want to have to fish her out of the sea—but she stayed where she was, and as the light coming down the stairs from the pilothouse fell across her face, he got a look at her for the first time.
She was beautiful.
She was a slim, gorgeous Black woman looking up at him with wide dark eyes. In the shaft of sunlight from the stairway, they were shot with subtle hints of gray and green. Agate eyes, full of hidden depths.
There was a smudge of dirt beside her mouth that he had a sudden urge to wipe away.
She looked about his age, somewhere in her mid-twenties. She also looked way, way out of his league. She was the kind of classy that he not only wouldn’t expect to find on a fishing boat, but in Newfoundland, period. She looked like she ought to be on TV. Her hair was done up in some kind of fancy style he didn’t know the name of. She wore a low-cut pink blouse with ruffles that was kind of rumpled and dirty, like she’d been wearing it for a while, but also looked extremely stylish and expensive. Her artistically ripped tights and strappy shoes were the same way. Underneath it all, she was lush and female and gorgeous, and she smelled amazing.
His bear was suddenly fascinated and still in a way that it never was.
She was looking at him like he was something wild—and like she was as fascinated with him as he was with her.
“Hi,” he said, and tried to get some breath back. “Hi, uh, I’m Eren. Eren Nilsson. This is my boat. I mean, my family’s boat. Who are you?”
The vision of lush, curvy female beauty frowned a little. “I don’t think I should tell you that.”
“Just your first name, maybe? I need something to call you.”
She worried at her lower lip nervously before she said, “Lucy.”
The name fell on his ears like bells and birdsong. “That’s a beautiful name,” he said before he could stop himself.
Lucy took a step back. “Okay, buddy, don’t make this weird.”
“Right,” Eren muttered. “Yeah, so—I guess you’re not going to tell me why you’re here?”
She didn’t answer for a moment, then she said, “I don’t want trouble. I can just leave.”
“There’s nowhere to go. We’re in the middle of the ocean.”
He made a decision. She might not have been invited, but she was definitely a guest, and probably the most stunning guest this boat had ever seen. “You want a drink? I was just coming down to get myself something.”
“You found me stowing away on your boat and you’re going to offer me a drink?”
“You look like you could use one.”
She honestly looked like she had been through Hell, but he didn’t want to ask quite yet. Not until he gained her trust a little more.
He couldn’t risk messing this up. He had a hard time telling for sure, because his bear was being weird and cagy as usual, but he thought this gorgeous woman might be his mate.
He had always thought you’d be sure. That was what it sounded like from the way everyone talked about it. Tor had said he knew the minute he laid eyes on Bernadette, although he hadn’t told the family for a while because of the whole stoic big brother thing he had going on.
Maybe the uncertainty was just because of Eren and his fucked-up bear.
But one thing he could do was give her a drink. His bear seemed to like that idea, probably the first thing it had liked in years. Eren went down to one knee in front of the fridge.
“So it looks like we have bottled water and—well, bottled water, mostly, except for the fizzy shit my brother likes to put in here.”
“What fizzy ‘shit’?” she asked, leaning over his shoulder. She said it very carefully, as if she wasn’t used to swearing. Her hand was almost brushing his arm. He was acutely aware of her warmth; it made the skin tingle all down his arm.
“Oh, it’s this orange cream soda my brother likes.”
“I’ll take one of those, please,” she said, brightening.
As soon as he popped the top off the soda and handed it to her, she downed half the bottle.
“Whoa, slow down there.”
“Sorry,” she gasped out, and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She took a deep breath. “Thank you. That’s very good. I was thirsty.”
That was evident. He was abruptly flooded with adrenaline as his bear had a sudden, overwhelming urge to find whoever had scared her this much and tear them apart. He wanted to take her gorgeous body in his arms and never let anything hurt her ever again.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.
Eren had frozen with the need to wrestle his bear back under control. It didn’t want to hurt her; he could tell already that his bear would never harm a hair on her head, or allow her to come to harm. But there was no way he could explain that to her. He just had to be as nonthreatening as possible, to the extent that he could manage it when he was twice her size and they were on his boat.
“Sorry, just thinking about things,” he said. “If it’s been a while since you ate anything substantial, I have some sandwiches. You want one?”
Her eyes lit up.
Soon he had her sitting up top in the pilothouse on one of the benches along the wall, wrapped in a spare flannel shirt because that pretty pink blouse definitely didn’t look warm enough for the open sea, with a sandwich in one hand and the creme soda in the other. Eren throttled the boat back up to speed, although not too fast because he didn’t want to rattle her around while she was eating.
“So I guess it’s obvious someone scared you,” he said after a little while, when she didn’t volunteer any information.
TEAR THEM LIMB FROM LIMB!
Thanks, bear, that is disgusting and also not helpful.
“I can’t talk about it,” she said so softly he could barely hear her.
“Do you need help?”
“I don’t think you can help me,” she said, huddling in on herself.
TEAR THEM APART AND EAT THEIR—
Thank you, bear, that’ll be enough.
“If someone’s after you, I can take you back to my hometown,” he said. “You’ll be safe there.”
“No offense, but—” She paused, and then said, “I appreciate the offer very much, but I don’t think anywhere is safe.”
“I’m serious. No one will hurt you in Westerly Cove. No one can hurt you there.”
Lucy frowned, her agate eyes clouding. “What in the world is that supposed to mean?”
How much to tell her? How much could he tell her? Eren wasn’t even sure if he himself believed the stories that Westerly Cove was protected with defensive magic in its gargoyle statues; no one who posed a threat to any of its residents could cross the town’s borders. Big brother Tor swore up and down that it was true, and also said that there was more to it than Eren or anyone else in town knew—but he refused to say more, claiming it wasn’t his secret to tell.
Eren understood about having secrets.
“Look,” he said, backing off from giving her the full explanation. The entire “our town is protected by lucky gargoyles” story was just going to make him sound like a lunatic. “I’m going to keep you safe, no matter what. If someone comes looking for you, I’ll make sure they don’t hurt you.”
Lucy crossed her legs at the ankles and leaned back against the wall, looking at him with the wary, defensive expression of someone who had been hurt in the past. “Why would you help me?”
Another thing he couldn’t explain; he wasn’t going to drop the true-mates explanation on her without warning either. “Because you need help,” he tried. “And it’s how I was raised. If people need help, here on the island, we help them.”
She let out a huffing breath and leaned her head against the wall.
“You’re not being followed right now, are you? I mean, they don’t have some way of tracking you?”
Lucy made a show of looking around at the bright ocean all around them. “How would they?”
“Just checking.” He could think of ways. The seagulls overhead could be shifters spying on them.
But it was possible to get too paranoid. And he had a very important errand to run. He wasn’t planning to go all the way back to Westerly Cove with all these groceries.
“Look, Lucy, I have to go somewhere before I go home, all right? And I need to swear you to absolute secrecy. No one else knows about this. You can’t tell anyone. It’s a huge secret.”
“You’d trust me with your secrets?” she asked, puzzled. “We’ve only just met. And, I mean, you found me stowed away on your boat.”
“I know. But yes, I trust you. And also,” he added, “I don’t have a choice. I mean, I could put you off on the shore—”
“So you have to come along. Just don’t tell anyone what you’re about to see. It’s important.”
“Okay,” she said after a moment, looking at him. “I promise.”
Eren turned back to the boat’s controls before he could fall into her eyes. He had a feeling that he was likely to keep falling forever.
Chant, Zoe. Eren (Westerly Cove Book 2) Kindle Locations (466-546). Kindle Edition.
Eren finds himself with his mate and no way to tell her that without her losing trust.
It’s in this book we meet Dane. He lives on Dead Man’s Island in what is referred to as a fisherman’s shack but is really a well-built log cabin. Lucy and Dane immediately trust each other, they both have secrets and that’s a relief to Eren who was nervous about revealing Dane’s presence on the island.
Once back in Westerly Cove Lucy meets Eren’s family and Inga takes her under her wing. The ‘Trash Griffins’ in town love Lucy. especially the ‘Trash Griffins’.
Lucy really fits in here, she just doesn’t know how much. We find out what she actually is, and we learn Eren’s story and Dane’s as well since they are intertwined.
I loved this book, it made laugh, cry, sigh and there’s plenty of sizzle too.