Roxy Stamford has been a lone bear for all of her life. But, on her twenty-fourth birthday, things are about to change. A letter from her mother, and a picture, send her on an adventure of epic proportions.
Juneau Baxter isn't looking for a mate. As a security member for Wiccan Haus, his job always comes first—until the day he meets Roxy Stamford. From the get go, the little bear turns his world upside down. Her ambivalent attitude is a cover, though. He’s sure of it, but what she's up to, he has no clue.
With the days slowly ticking away, Roxy is desperate to find the man in the picture while trying to avoid Juneau who rubs her the wrong way while also drawing her in. When a chance encounter leaves her pissed off and angry, strange things are put into motion.
Now, with time running out, she has to face her fears and acknowledge her pain. But, she's not sure who to trust. Juneau, who promises her nothing. or the vampire who promises her the sweet relief of revenge.
One wrong move could cost her everything.
Sarabeth sat in the kitchen, drinking tea out of one of her dainty china teacups she loved to collect. Roxy hated them. They were her aunt’s getaway from the hellhole their life was. Not really. It’s only bad because you fur-out once a month. She paused at the threshold and, for the first time, really paid attention. Small lines had formed at the corner of Sarabeth’s golden eyes. Frown lines bracketed her lips. You put those there. After reading the letter, she observed her only remaining family member differently. “So, Mom says you have a plan?”
For a while, Sarabeth didn’t say anything. Her gaze fixed on something in the living room, beyond where Roxy stood. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, startled when Roxy laid the note in front of her. “What was your question?”
“Mom said you have a plan?”
Sarabeth picked up her cup and took a sip. “Oh, yes.” She waved her over and patted the chair next to her. “I have been doing a little digging and I believe I found someone you’d like to meet. You’re leaving this afternoon.”
Couldn’t be her mom. When she asked, years ago, why her mom didn’t live with her, Sarabeth said she’d passed away. However, she never said a thing about her father. “Okay, who?” She didn’t want to sound too eager.
“That is the mystery you must figure out.”
“Uh, what?” Exqueeze me? Baking powder?
“You heard me. It’s time for you to go out and make some mischief on your own. God knows you’ve given everyone in this small town a run for their money.” Okay, Sarabeth had a point. It was fun, though. Roxy loved keeping people on their toes.
“Meh.” She shrugged. “People are too gullible. They fall for any line you tell them. Trust me on this, Auntie.”
“Gullible or not, you’ve not made many friends here, so I think it’s time for you to stretch your wings a bit.” She took another sip of tea then reached into the pocket of her house coat and pulled out a charm. “Here, you’ll need this.” She slid the object over to her. “Make sure you have it in your hand when you pass through the portal. I’d hate for you to end up in jail.”
She picked up the object and studied the small purple rock with a bear paw painted in the middle then placed it in her pocket. “First of all, I don’t have wings to stretch. Paws, on the other hand, I can get behind that. Second, you want me to take some woo-woo charm and jump through a portal to somewhere you think I might find what—who—I’m searching for? But you can’t tell me if it is my dad or someone else?”
“Blind faith,” her aunt whispered. “It’s how humans get along in their lives.”
“Let’s recap, in case you’ve forgotten. I’m not human. I’m a bear. My teeth grow. I put on seven hundred-plus pounds. I sprout fur even an Epilady can’t put a dent in. I crave fish and berries, and my ass is bigger than the side of our house.” Not really.
“Oh stop. You’re a cute bear when you shift.” Roxy rolled her eyes. “The first time you shifted, I’ll admit, you scared me. But, once I got used to it and I helped you ease into your shifts, we had fun.”