Madison Templeton, known to most as Maddie, is
going through a break-up. The man she thought was her mate actually wasn’t.
While that should break her heart, and it did a little, she’s more upset about
losing her best friend and confidant, her ex-boyfriend’s twin brother Van. When
the opportunity to escape town and help her cousin out at her bakery comes
around, she jumps at it. A little time away to get her head back on straight
seems like the perfect way to get some distance.
Van Bowman thought all he
could have since the day Maddie unwittingly picked his twin brother over him,
was friendship. He’s had to love her quietly from a distance, and find comfort
in being her confidant. Now that his brother has broken up with her, Van
is ready to claim the woman that should have been his from the beginning. He
made a mistake not telling her how he felt, and he aims to fix that. He’ll do
anything to convince her she belongs to him, even chase after her, and face off
against her new protective friends.
Read an Excerpt:
stopped in Robbinsville to fill up her little VW Bug before driving the last
thirty miles that would take her to her cousin’s place in Deals Gap. It was a
stroke of luck that Sienna needed help at her bakery, Sweet Retreat, and Maddie
was free to lend that much-needed hand. Mothers contacting mothers wasn’t
always a bad thing after all.
And, granted, the
reason she was free to help out was because her boyfriend—no ex-boyfriend—decided they should see
other people. It had come as a shock to her, sort of; seeing that she thought
they might have been meant for each other. The mating pull was there, at least
marginally. But, apparently, they weren’t; and he’d wasted no time finding
someone else to warm his bed after dropping that bit of news on her.
And you aren’t as upset as you should be
Once she saw his
abrupt change in partners, she’d wasted no time hightailing it out of Sugar
Mountain. The town was just too small not to run into Mack and Sheila at every
turn. And she wasn’t ready for that. She needed a little time to grieve the
ending of their relationship. At least for a little bit. The jerk could catch
crabs, and his dick could fall off for all she cared at the moment. It was a
pretty good possibility, since he was already sleeping with that skank.
been going well with them for at least the last six months; and, though he
hadn’t exactly broken her heart, he’d definitely bruised her ego. Being dumped
always sucked, no matter the reason; and his hey babe, it’s just not working, hadn’t made it easier. Not only
did she lose the guy she thought might be her mate, but she’d lost another man
that meant the world to her in the process.
brother, Van, was her close friend and confidant. Or had been. The three of
them spent a lot of time together hanging out, even after she hooked up with
Mack when they graduated school. Now that she wasn’t with him anymore, she
didn’t get to see Van. He’d had to pick his brother’s side in the no longer dating divorce.
The guy in the
car behind her honked his horn, tearing her away from her depressing thoughts.
She pushed her unruly curly brown hair from her face and grabbed her credit
card before getting out to fill up.
didn’t take much to top off the tank. Her bank account dwindled by the second,
and she needed every penny available to get her through until she started
earning paychecks from her cousin. She didn’t exactly have plans for the money.
She just needed to work and forget about everything she’d lost. Maybe her time
in Deals Gap would bring about a new life for her.
Wherever that new
life was, it would need to be a hybrid shifter-friendly area. And even though
the place Sienna lived in allowed for shifters like Maddie, she wasn’t sure how
much her cousin really knew. It would be tough keeping what she was from Sienna
in a place rampant with shifters, but she would do so if she had to.
Madison’s mom had
told her that Sienna’s family was in the dark about the whole thing. And the
politics where Sienna lived kept it that way. Humans were not to find out about
shifters. If they did…well, it wasn’t good for the shifter or the human.
Things up in
Sugar Mountain weren’t as strict as they were down around Deals Gap. Her mother
chalked it up to the difference in councils. Theirs understood the need to
increase shifter numbers and allowed for a mixing of species or races…to
include humans, though not many populated her hometown. Tucked up in the
mountains, the few human stragglers, who wandered through town and managed to
plant roots, were somehow drawn to the place. Another mystical phenomenon yet
was a liger: the result of a pairing between her lion father and tiger mother.
She was bigger and badder than most shifters in their town, including her parents,
thanks to getting the best of both worlds. All of that lesser genetic crap
humans, and a good chunk of clan councils, thought they knew was completely
wrong. But she wasn’t the one to educate them on their ridiculous notions.
No, she would be
keeping her mouth shut tight and act like the good little pretend human…when and if the situation called for it.
The man behind her honked again,
and it took everything she had in her not to stomp over and break every last
bone in his hand. Her mother said it was an anger management issue, but Maddie
liked to think of it as idiot management.
If she could save one fool from irritating someone else, then she considered it