I've read a lot of books about shapeshifters. Some are monsters, some are mythic werewolves, while a few others have been about people who shift into unusual animal shapes. A beagle, a horse, a deer. Frankly, I had trouble with those books. When I think shapeshifter, I think animal of prey. Not animal considered prey. If my hero can suddenly transform into something, I think he's much sexier as a wolf, tiger, bear, or hawk. Who's going to take a deer shifter seriously (as an alpha hero)? I mean come on, they shy at the littlest sound, wary and with good reason. Or, can you imagine, a hero that turns into a rabbit? Too silly for me. I've occasionally read about a heroine transforming into such a harmless creature. But then all I can imagine in the hero transforming and eating, literally, the heroine. Ugh.
So in crafting my stories set in Cougar Falls, a magical town that only Shifters can see, I've created several clans of shapeshifters. Cats, wolves, bears, raptors (birds of prey), and silver foxes. There could be more out there, but only those clans live in Cougar Falls. And not one of them is an herbivore.
Shapeshifter Cullen Whitefeather has been in love with Sarah since he first laid eyes on her. But despite his brawn and sharp talons, Cullen gets tongue-tied around the beautiful woman. When circumstances throw them together to ride out a storm, the gruff man tries to show Sarah the truth – that she is his mate. He does his best not to scare her away. Then his dysfunctional family returns from a trip abroad, and the raptor clan tries to punish Sarah for his interference. But if there's one thing Cullen's good at, it's a fight. And he's not letting Sarah go without one.EXCERPT
“Yeah?” he barked into the phone, wondering which idiot brother had gotten the short straw tonight. Thankfully, his family hadn’t called in a few days, which made him think their visit progressed as it should.
“Who the hell do you think it is?” he snarled at his youngest brother, Ian.
“Yeah, I miss you, too.”
Cullen sighed. “What’s up? I just talked to Micah a few days ago. How’s Canada treating you?”
“Ah, about that. Seems we’ll be heading home soon. Probably be back in a few days instead of a few weeks.”
“Mom and Micah pissed off the wrong people. Golden Eagles are in high demand up here, and when Micah refused to marry the clan leader’s daughter, all hell broke loose.”
Cullen snorted. Trust Micah to piss off the wrong people. “Nice. What about Sean? He okay?”
“Actually, he kind of insulted a few members of a visiting bear clan. He’s winging his way home as we speak. Mom forced him to leave when he thought about taking on some grizzlies.”
Sean was a major pain the ass. Always up for a good fight, he did most of his thinking with his fists instead of his brain. “Great. Well, be glad you missed this last snowfall.” A snowfall that’s melting way too fast for comfort. Oh, and by the way, the raptors will probably want my head on a platter for injuring five of their predatory females.
“Missed this last snowfall? Genius, I’m up here in Canada. It’s not like I’m getting a tan.”
“Ass.” Ian paused. “Sounds like everything’s good. See you later, then.” He hung up.
Great. His mother and brothers would be back soon. Not only did he have to protect Sarah from outraged raptors who would descend once the weather cleared, but he had to warn her about his odd family as well. They put the “D” in dysfunctional, but hey, they were family.
Letting out the breath he was unaware of holding, Cullen decided to worry about his family later. Right now, he had a movie to watch and a woman to love.
“Everything all right?” she asked as he rejoined her on the couch.
“Fine.” He paused. “I think Sean will be here in the next few days. Remember, he’s the family pain in the ass.”
Silence. Then she said, “I look forward to meeting him.”
He let out a breath. She hadn’t mentioned leaving. “Yeah. Well, just remember I warned you.” He forced his hand to graze hers while they fought for the popcorn in the bowl on her lap. “Feed me, woman.” He directed her hand to his mouth.
“Baby.” Sarah smiled as she said it and pushed a piece of popcorn between his lips.
Cullen sucked her fingertip before she eased it away, but not before he saw the flash of desire in her eyes. That burnt amber gaze drew him time and time again, like looking into golden rays of light as the sun set.
“Salty.” He shook his head and moved the popcorn off her lap. “But I’m in the mood for something sweet.”
“Cullen,” she warned, but her gaze was full of heat. “I haven’t had a chance to see the second movie. I was looking forward to—”
“Screw it. All bats are good for is eating bugs. With those spindly little arms, thin as hell wings and nasty attitudes, they might as well be part of the raptor clan. Now an eagle is something completely different.” He lifted her in his arms and headed for his bedroom. “An eagle kills bothersome pests, like rabbits and mice. We help keep the fish population under control.” He ignored her chuckle. “An eagle cares for his mate. He sees to her needs before his own.”
She grew silent and intent in his arms. His bird could almost feel the animal spirit in her reaching out to him on a higher level. Calling to the one man who would complete the void in her soul.
“His mate?” she asked on a high note.
“Let me show you,” he answered as they entered his room. He kicked the door shut behind him, placed her in the middle of his bed, and stripped. Then he moved forward and started on her clothing, until nothing stood between them.
To read more about In Plain Sight, click here.