One of the best things about writing a series is letting the characters grow and expand, show the reader more of what makes them tick. While the first book is usually all about the action the second and continuing stories allow the author to show more of what the characters are all about, what makes them either so lovable or loathsome.
In "Blood of the Pride" I introduced you to Rebecca Desjardin, a cat shifter who can't shift—outcast and shunned by her family until they need her help. With a foot in both the Felis and human worlds she helped find a rogue male and at the same time found love in a curious journalist named Brandon Hanover who not only figures out what she is but loves her for it.
"Claws Bared", book two, was released this past January and sent Reb down to a small town in Pennsylvania to help figure out who killed a popular male stripper. During that adventure she and Brandon figured out where they were going with their relationship and moved to the next level.
Now with "Family Pride", releasing June 3rd from Carina Press, the intrepid cat shifter finds herself in dangerous new territory—dealing with
's family. It's one thing to meet the parents and find them wanting someone better for their son, another to be forced into working for them in order to save your own. Brandon
Here's a short excerpt from "Family Pride"!
"My parents want to meet you."
I dropped the thick ceramic mug in the sink. It bounced once before landing in the inch-deep soapy water. The clanging sound bounced around my skull, settling behind my left eye and throbbing.
"Your parents are dead." I turned and leaned against the counter. "Are we attending a séance?"
Bran bit his lower lip. He hadn't bothered to put a shirt on, choosing to pad around my house barefoot in a pair of jeans that fit perfectly in all the right places. We'd finally dragged ourselves out of bed for lunch, ordering in pizza because we had run out of groceries.
His dark eyes met mine, apologetic and pleading.
"They're not, ah, dead. They're sort of alive."
I picked up the mug and contemplated how much strength it would take to smash it. "Your parents are zombies?"
"My parents are alive and well and very much human."
I weighed the mug in my palm, letting him watch my fingers curl around the cool clay. "You lied to me. Four months ago you lied to my face."
"Maybe." Bran put out his hand, pointing at the mug. "Please put that down."
I glared at him.
"Okay, I lied. A bit." His hand didn't move, still outstretched toward the mug. "I told you my parents were dead but that was right after we'd met and we were on opposite sides of the case." Bran smiled. "And I didn't know how good we could be together."
I didn't blink.
"Cut me a break, Reb. You've got your own family secrets." He shifted to one side with a grin, showing off his newest scratches on one shoulder. "And I can make you purr."
Damned redhead had a point. We'd both kept things from each other back then. I hadn't exactly been forthcoming about the fact that I wasn't human, but when Bran had come face-to-face with my Felis heritage I hadn't lied and denied.
I still didn't have to like it. "Who are they and why did you lie?"
He didn't move. My gaze traveled over his bare chest, resting on the fresh scars across his midsection courtesy of our latest work trip to
The least I could do was hear him out before throwing the mother of all temper tantrums.
"My father is Michael Hanover." Bran paused. "Of
I nearly dropped the mug.
"Yeah. Them." He sounded almost apologetic. "It's a family business. Three generations."
"You're related to those
"Michael and Bernadette Hanover are my parents." He reached out and took the mug from my numb fingers. "The reason I lied was because it'd become an instinctive reaction to explain away my wealth. Easier to say trust fund than explain my dysfunctional relationship with my parents." He shook his head, a sad smile on his lips. "You'd be surprised how many gold diggers are out there looking to snag a rich man. Or his son."
I tried to get my breathing under control. "Those
"We'd just met," Bran repeated. He placed the mug out of my reach and returned to stand in front of me, both hands up. "And I used the same line I use with everyone to explain my wealth. It was automatic."
While I don't think many of us lied to our prospective mates about our family being dead, I think we can all relate to Reb's shell shock at finding out who the Hanovers are—and when she finds out how dangerous they are it'll force her to make decisions that will change her life and her relationship with both families and Brandon forever.
I hope you'll come along for the latest book in the series and get to know Brandon and Rebecca better—after all, there's still plenty of mysteries for them to find and solve!
On another note I'll be appearing from June 12th to the 16th at the Origins Game Fair as part of the Library track – if you're in the
area and looking for a great way to spend a day or five, please check out the schedule! I'll be there discussing superheroes and romance writing along with many great authors such as Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole and there'll be plenty of great books for sale along with some faboo gaming opportunities. Columbus, Ohio
If you're in the area it'd be great to see you!