Yule Be Magical – Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 8

Yule Be Magical
Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 8
strong>Sara Bourgeois


It’s the day after Halloween, and Christmastime is upon Coventry.

Kinsley is not in the mood…

It might be the pregnancy or the fact that her fiancé left her at the altar. Still, this year more than the years before, Kinsley is annoyed at how the Christmas season starts right after Halloween is over.

A dead body then shows up in the hastily erected Santa house, and Remy is a potential suspect.

Kinsley feels the need to solve the crime, not just to clear her father’s name but also because she catches a glimpse of the dead woman’s mournful spirit. A ghost without a voice is not something Kinsley can just ignore.

But will getting involved in the investigation be the coffin nail in her relationship with Thorn? Or will they work it out only to have her fall into the killer’s deadly snare?

If you haven’t read the previous book, STOP, go back and read it. This book begins where that one left off.

At the end of the last book, Azriel crashes Thorn and Kinsley’s wedding as he protests their union. Kinsley passes out and when she wakes Thorn and Jeremy are taking him into custody on attempted murder charges.

Aside from the shock of all that’s going on, Thorn insists on taking him in, and stopping the wedding. Kinsley is dumbfounded yet takes on Azriel’s dog Tangerine refusing to let Thorn send her to the pound. She’s embarrassed and thankfully her parents Viv, Reggie and Dorian get her out of there quickly. Back at Hangman’s House she manages to get everyone to leave except Dorian, he’s ready to commiserate with her since he thinks Isaac is filing for divorce.

When Thorn doesn’t come home, Kinsley goes to the station to confront him. He’s not there and Jeremy doesn’t know where he is. Kinsley insists on seeing Azriel, which starts her doubting again and falling apart outside before she goes home. Her father comes not only to check on her but also find his Santa suit. They end up heading downtown to get breakfast as he drops off the suit at the already built Santa house.

This time it’s Remy who finds a body and try as she might Kinsley just can’t help getting involved. Jeremy is first on the scene with Thorn arriving shortly thereafter. It’s quite the confrontation between the two of them.

This is a favorite scene.

Jeremy was the first on the scene, and he flashed me a look that told me to stay back. I did, but it took all of my strength not to approach him and at least try to ask him some questions.

The young woman’s ghost had been hanging around, but I never got the chance to approach her. She was tethered to her body, but when she ran out of energy to manifest, she disappeared. There was no way of knowing if she would appear again, but I knew it would be possible to raise her with a séance. How long she had before she crossed the veil was an unknown.

But that didn’t matter. I’d vowed to stay away from things like summoning the dead until my baby was born, but something about the mournful way the woman looked at me was pulling at my heart strings. She had something to say. There was unfinished business. Someone had to help her lest she become an angry, confused spirit.

That would have been a tragedy because I could see in her eyes that she wanted redemption. Don’t ask me how. It must have been that intuition that my father had just been speaking about.

“Kinsley,” Thorn’s voice gave me a start.

I whirled around and he was standing there looking at me with a familiar softness in his eyes. One that I couldn’t remember seeing for some time. It took all I had in me not to fling my arms around him and squeeze as hard as I could, but I knew that I couldn’t fix everything by wishing it away. So, I stood there.

His mouth, his full lips that might never kiss me again, disappeared into a tight line as he contemplated me before speaking. “How are you? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I said a little too bitterly. “I’m okay, I mean. Sorry, I’m a little on edge. What’s going on?”

“With the scene or with us?” he asked.

“Well, I was asking about the dead woman, but I’d rather hear about us… you.”

“How do you know that there’s a dead woman? Jeremy said you stayed back from the scene,” Thorn said.

I leaned in and whispered to him. “I saw her ghost,” but as I said it, I caught a whiff of his soap and aftershave. Something hormonal shifted inside of me, and I wanted to climb him like a jungle gym. Since I couldn’t do that, I took a step back. When I did, Thorn looked at me like I had three heads. Great, I thought. I’d offended him.

“Please stay out of this,” Thorn said and rubbed his jaw.

“Are you even in a position to ask me that anymore?” I sort of hissed.

“Well, I’m the sheriff of this town,” he said and scowled at me.

“Not what I meant,” I snapped back.

“Well, then what did you mean?” he asked.

We were both acting like we hadn’t been about to get married the day before. It was like the beginning of the relationship where we couldn’t decide if we liked or loathed each other. It didn’t occur to me at the time that it was probably a good sign. That even when things were at their worst, Thorn and I just went back to the beginning. It never really seemed to be over.

But I wasn’t thinking about that then. I was too busy being annoyed that he wasn’t down on his knees begging for my forgiveness.

“I meant are you in any position to try to tell me what to do, Thorn? Are we even still together?” I wanted to say more, but I bit my tongue and waited.

“I think that’s more up to you than it is me,” Thorn said, but his breath hitched a little when he said it. His shoulders slumped a little too. He was taking it hard, and I abruptly felt a rush of empathy. I felt his pain as if it were my own.

“How can you say that?” I asked. “You walked out on me.”

“Because you wanted him there. You wanted him at our wedding. That’s what I don’t get. Why? Why did you want him there?” Thorn asked through gritted teeth.

“Who?” I could not for the life of me figure out what he was talking about. Did he mean Azriel? Did Thorn think I invited him to our wedding?

“You know who. That bloodsucker. The man who loves your darkness. It makes me sick just thinking about it. The two of you. What were you planning, Kinsley? Marry me so you could have a respectable family and keep him on the side?” Thorn’s cheeks burned red with fury.

“Don’t you dare,” I hissed for real that time. “Don’t you dare accuse me of something like that. You know me better than that.”

“Do I?” Tears threatened to spill over, but Thorn kept them at bay. He would not lose control, but I could feel the devastation radiating off him. He was hurting so much, but what could I do? How could I fix this? “I thought I knew you, Kinsley, but tell me why he was there. If you didn’t invite him, then how?”

“He just showed up,” I said. I thought about leveling the accusation Azriel had shared with me about Thorn capturing him and using his gang to hold him hostage to keep him away from me, but it was becoming obvious that at least that part of Azriel’s story was a lie.

I should have seen it as a lie from the beginning. Just like Thorn knew me, I knew him too. He would not have imprisoned Azriel to keep him away from me. Would he? Either way, I couldn’t bring it up. When I tried to say something about it, the whole thing sounded ridiculous.

“He just showed up?” Thorn wanted confirmation.

“Of course,” I said. “I didn’t want him there. I didn’t invite him, and I hope you didn’t take me wanting to keep a dog from going to the pound to mean that I did. I wasn’t going to let you take revenge against Azriel out on Tangerine.”

“You’re right,” he relented. “I’m sorry I said that. I should have never. You know that I couldn’t hurt an innocent animal, right?”

“I know that,” I said. “But you were furious and not yourself. I took Tangerine because it was the right thing to do, not because I wanted Azriel there. The dog isn’t some sort of connection to him. I’m not holding on to him.”

“Are you sure?” Thorn asked.

“The fact that you don’t believe me worries me,” I said. “Do you think that I’ve suddenly become this person that’s going to lie to you?”

“I wouldn’t say suddenly,” Thorn’s edge returned. “We’ve both left things out in the past. Neither one of us has been perfect to the other, so you can’t blame me for wondering.”

“I can blame you for wondering, Thorn. We moved past all this. We were supposed to, anyway.”

“I thought so too until the man who got you pregnant while you were supposed to be with me showed up at our wedding,” he spat.

I should have let that go. It was the first time he’d said anything negative about my brief marriage to Azriel, and I should have just let him have that moment of anger. It could have just been forgiven, because it was sort of true, but oh, no. A new rush of hormones took over. The rage ones to be exact. So, when Thorn went low, I went lower. Crawling on my belly through the mud low.

“You walked out on our wedding, Thorn,” I said. “You did this.”

“I was trying to protect you and the baby. I don’t care if you love him more, I still want to protect you. He’s no good for you, and he’s definitely no good for a child. I had to make sure he was locked away for good. If you won’t protect yourself, then I will. Even if it’s the last act of love I get to show you.”

“I. Don’t. Love. Him.” I gritted out through my clenched jaw.

“Okay,” Thorn relented. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I walked out the way I did, but I had to protect you. Please calm down, sweetie. It’s not…”

“I know it’s not good for the baby,” I said. “Please stop acting like I don’t know what’s good for me or my baby. You’re way too overprotective, Thorn. It’s not cute, or endearing, or romantic. It’s unhealthy.”

“Some of the things you do are unhealthy too,” he said. “We’re supposed to be a team, so when one of us falls, the other is supposed to pick up the slack. That’s all I’m trying to do, Kinsley. Loving you doesn’t always mean giving you exactly what you want.”

He was right, but I didn’t let that stop me. “Is that why you manufactured the story about Azriel trying to have me killed?” My fists were clenched in fury, and I felt my heartbeat pounding in my ears.

I regretted it as soon as I asked it. My stupid mouth spouting off before my brain had time to think.


“Let me see, Thorn. I went to see Azriel in jail when you disappeared on me. He told me a lot of things. Some I don’t believe, but some I’m not so sure about. I want to see it, Thorn. I want to see the proof that Azriel tried to have me killed,” I said, because why stop before I ruined everything?

“You know that I can’t do that,” Thorn said. He sounded heartbroken. I’d broken him, and was beginning to hate myself for it. “It’s not just that I shouldn’t show you evidence in an ongoing case, but I turned it all over to the FBI. I’m sorry that it’s come to this, Kinsley. I do love you, but you’re trying to push me away. You don’t need to do that. If you don’t want me, then I don’t need to be pushed. I’m perfectly capable of walking away on my own.”

And he did. He walked away, and I tried to call after him, but it came out as a strangled sob.

When Thorn heard it, he turned back. He practically ran to me and pulled me into his arms. “I can’t do this right now, Kinsley. I’m supposed to be working,” he whispered into my hair. “I’m so sorry. For all of it. Please don’t cry.”

But it was all I could do. I wanted to plead my case and tell him that I couldn’t go on without him. I wanted to say the perfect words that would make him stay. We needed another chance. All I could do was sob, and for a minute, he let me.

Then, Thorn held me at arm’s length. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I cannot do this now. I have to get back to the scene. I will come find you later. I promise. This isn’t goodbye.”
Bourgeois, Sara. Yule Be Magical (Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 8). Kindle Locations (405-477). Kindle Edition.

Of course, you know Kinsley isn’t staying out of anything, especially with her father as a suspect. Her friends Reggie and Devin are right there with her as she gets caught eavesdropping on Thorn, Jeremy and her Dad. After they’re chased away, Meri takes over the listen for her.

Devin finds out there is a vigil to be held that night and they both head over. She runs into Thorn, and he suggests finding a judge right then and there to finish their wedding ceremony. Kinsley thinks the timing is inappropriate considering where they are and that ends up going downhill quickly. Although, he does promise to come home that night.

There aren’t quite as many suspects in this one, but I still managed to be surprised. There are other surprises in this one as well, a happy one and an unusual one that isn’t so happy.

5 Contented Purrs for Sara!

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Sara Bourgeois

Sara Bourgeois is a Midwesterner through and through. She spends her time writing, reading, herding cats, and standing in her driveway during tornado warnings. (You can’t see them from the basement.)

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