Beast in Me by Sommer Marsden - Book Two in the Divination Falls trilogy
Weather worker Cameron Bale rolls into Divination Falls after being prompted by Spirit and Brother Lighting. He discovers that the small, hidden town full of shifters and magical types is suffering a series of unsettling events. There’s speculation from the town seers that he could be the answer they’ve been looking for. Cameron’s willing to try and help: he’s got nowhere to go and nothing to lose. His life is simply about loneliness and it turns out that Trace, a grumpy wolf with stunning eyes, knows just what that feels like. Cam finds himself wishing maybe they could be alone … together. Oh yeah, and battle whatever evil it is that still lurks in Divination Falls.
Leanna, Two Lips Reviews:
“Cameron Bale is prompted to go to Divination Falls by Spirit and Brother Lightning. He is supposed to find that the magic filled shifter friendly town has lately been under a dark cloud of sorts. The local seers hope he’s the perfect person to turn everything around, and Cameron is willing to give it a shot. Why not? He’s got nothing else on his plate and he’s sure there’s no one waiting at home for him, which suits him just fine.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I was alternately fanning myself and reaching for the tissues. These two had baggage that no matter how out of the ordinary they might have seemed, really tore at my heart. They were lonely, and while they’d seemed to accept it in some fashion as the “way it is”, it didn’t stop them from trying to work it through anyway.” Read the rest of her review here." 4.5 stars
The lightning had led him here and he had no idea why. Prickling and poking at his heels in a way that only bespoke urgency. Cameron Bale ran up the dirt road, his sneakers kicking up enough dust to choke him. He could feel his aura flare with the bright surges of light and energy.
‘What the fuck is this?’
It was no use complaining, though. He’d been working with Brother Lightning way too long to question the nudges he received. There was work for him up this dirt road and wherever waited beyond. Maybe there was a bed and a hot cup of coffee and a –
‘Jesus! I’m going, for Pete’s sake!’ he growled as the thick, heavy tag of electricity thudded at him. People thought of being electrocuted as fast and hot and searing; Cameron found it a thudding, heavy, muddling sensation that left him feeling as if he’d been drained, not juiced.
The dirt of the road suddenly exploded, as if some hidden sniper had fired a bullet into the ground. But no, it was the lightning – herding him. Rarely had he experienced so much urgency, though. The wind whipped up as if it would storm, but nothing – not even a drop of rain – fell to the parched earth. The August sky was the colour of an ancient tombstone and the sudden chill that ripped out of the sky to wash over him brought goose bumps up on his skin.
‘Right. No road,’ he grunted, veering into the thick woods. He had to really focus hard, training his eyes over the dead leaves and fallen trees between flashes of lightning. If he didn’t pay attention he was going to fall and eat his own fucking teeth.
Admit it, dumbass, you do like the rush.
He sighed before dodging a fall of ancient dead wood that had once, he assumed, been a tree. The lightning had calmed but the wind had not. He heard them, then. The whoosh-hiss-pound of waterfalls. A fork of lightning spiked the sky back near the road, making its point – keep going, stay off the road. He skirted the falls and the pool they fed, marvelling at the blue-grey water and the spray that the still-aggressive wind tossed his way.
He stared at the churning water, trying to breach its depths with his gaze. He struggled as the wind lashed at his eyes, making him blink. It also tossed tiny whitecaps over the surface of the water, making it appear as if something lurked beneath it.
When another dull thud of electricity penetrated him, he moved along. Better to heed his elemental brother than to ignore the prompt and get a full jolt of juice. Up the hill, past the falls, over years of dead leaves he ran, until sliding down an embankment utterly by accident.
Cameron thought he heard a buzzing kind of laughter. It was not uncommon for his element to find humour in his mistakes, or even just his way of handling life itself. Cameron didn’t have time to be angry because he slid down the hill almost as if he were riding a bobsled. Only the bobsled was his ass. A yell tore out of him as he shot forward and plopped – hard enough to feel his tailbone complain – onto a stone patio in time to see a couple …
Yeah. They were doing it and, at the last moment, as the guy on top came, he flickered – lion-man-lion again – and Cameron bit his tongue to control himself. He knew of shifters, but infiltrating one’s intimate moment wasn’t wise to say the least. Accident or not.
The man turned, bared his teeth – though, thank goodness, in human form – and started toward Cameron, who could only backpedal and pray this guy didn’t rip him apart. Again he heard that buzzing, surreal laughter and wanted to tell its source off, but telling off an element was sort of … stupid.
‘What the fuck! Who are you –?’ The guy didn’t give him time to answer; he was rushing at Cameron and his muscles were big. His body was big. His fucking teeth were big and his structure was becoming malleable and his face was changing and …
‘Tryg! Stop! Can’t you see the poor guy might be hurt?’ the other man said, pulling on his jeans before moving toward them.
The lion had frozen, his breath tearing in and out of him, his eyes fixed and narrowed – full of wariness. ‘Luke, this is not the time to play Good Samaritan.’
‘But my God. Who in their right mind would come rushing in during …’ The smaller man cleared his throat and blushed a little. ‘That?’
‘A pervert?’ The big guy snorted.
‘Look,’ Cameron said, scrambling to his feet and perching on the low stone wall that led to the woods he’d just fallen from. ‘I’ll just go. I’m not a pervert, I swear.’ He took a step. Felt a warning sizzle of energy in his foot.
‘No. Not a pervert.’ The man he had heard called Luke cocked his head and said, ‘He was prompted here.’
Cameron took another stop into the woods. Prompting be damned. He wasn’t going to get ripped apart by a territorial lion. He vaguely heard Luke say, ‘And he’s hurt. And he’s about to be hurt mo –’
That was the last Cameron heard before a bolt hit him full force and he felt his body sag-drop-drift back over the stone wall and back onto the dimly lit patio. All he had time to think was, Great Spirit, my ass hurts …