**spoiler alert** Setting: Chicago – her apartment, the court, a hotel; Wyattville, Oregon – summer rental cabin, his family’s backyard, sweet shop, o**spoiler alert** Setting: Chicago – her apartment, the court, a hotel; Wyattville, Oregon – summer rental cabin, his family’s backyard, sweet shop, ocean/beach, his house;
Theme: trust, love… empowered to do right;
Characters: Eleanor Owens: (Elinamifia Owens): yoga instructor; boyfriend a drug dealer – and once she figured it out, she was too scared to rock the boat; he was arrested, and she was subpoenaed to testify, followed by a dirty cop who threatened her if she did; she ran;
Tyson Wyatt: sheriff; middle son; smiley Ty; goes to meet his new neighbor, and she runs out the back door… he follows, is suspicious… then enchanted; he swears he is going to gain her trust to get the whole truth;
Todd Wyatt: playboy, younger brother; fireman;
Kate: owns sinful bakery; loves Todd;
Sharon and Ed Wyatt: loving parents, eager to embrace Ellie;
Trevor Wyatt: older brother; in army, last year broke off engagement when returned from Afghanistan;
Megan Asher: lawyer, Trevor’s ex; helps Ellie navigate her way back to testify, and do right;
James Mahoney: Ellie’s ex boyfriend (not ex until he was arrested); drug dealer; abusive;
Lionel Maliano; dirty cop… threatens Ellie when she gets the subpoena, then tracks her to her hotel to threaten her when she returns to testify – Ty chases him, and he is arrested;
Summary: Tyson and Ellie … fall in love… and when he discovers the truth, insists she do right, but he is right there to help – getting her a lawyer, etc.
Memorable Scenes: Her first trip to the ocean, concluding their tour of the town… his enjoyment of her pleasure… bbq with family; sex; orgasmic baked goods; ...more
**spoiler alert** Santa sweeps in on two lonely, good hearted people... who though keep to themselves, reach out (him to children at a children's hosp**spoiler alert** Santa sweeps in on two lonely, good hearted people... who though keep to themselves, reach out (him to children at a children's hospital, her to the elderly in her neighborhood)... hiring them to live with him and the elves, and to daily bring the Christmas spirit to those who need it...
An old one – of chaos, and self centeredness by use of persuasion, deception, and t – one name of Dyffaya… and who interrupts time… woken when his kniAn old one – of chaos, and self centeredness by use of persuasion, deception, and t – one name of Dyffaya… and who interrupts time… woken when his knife given by elf Benessari (not knowing it’s connection) to Robert Friar awakes… Friar uses the knife on a man in his fifties – who ends up to have been Lily’s mother’s first boyfriend… and when he is killed with the knife, it rips away his identity, as if he never lived – and thus affected the people who knew him to – hitting Julia Lu (Lily’s mother ) the hardest – she lost all of her memories after the age of 12 – the last time she felt complete once her memories were taken… when the shock hits, and she notices her 12 year old self in such an old body, she screams… and begins to further fragment – until dragon Sam does mind magic on her…
It takes most of the book to figure out a new old one is who they are fighting (not the Bitch)… he brings in Dworgs (giant dwarf-like creatures, incredibly hard to kill) – to take out Lily, Rule, Isen, and Two Horses… with just a few deaths, they succeed in stopping their incursion… then they end up joining with an injured Robert Friar (the new god overcame him, almost killing him)… and the new god, with his minion - Miriam, the witch that the FBI contracts with – go to clanhome, she bespells them… puts a sleep charm on Isen – whom they will sacrifice over the node at midnight to open the gate that will allow this god in, and ultimately destroy the world (why Friar wants him gone – the Bitch needs the world in tact)… and the spell is disrupted by Hardy – a saint – brain damaged so that the ‘angels’ talk to him, and he communicates in song snippets – Hardy, and 12 year old Julia, and Li Qui, and Toby, singing “We shall overcome someday…” and then Sam’s two fae show up, shatter the knife (that still held sway), mind heal those who need/request it… and two weeks pass, and Rule and Lily are getting married… and Julia shows up 5 minutes before the wedding is to start – fully herself again… ahhhh
“Suddenly his face crumpled, and he whispered something in Chinese that Lily didn’t catch. Grandmother reached up and patted his face, leaving her hand on his cheek as she answered in that language. “You will do what you have to, my son, until you can’t. And then you will rest while others do what needs doing.”
Lily stared in disbelief at the empty space. “I need a saint, and that’s what I get?” (thinking it is Drummond’s ghost).
“Deserve?” that was Madame Yu, her voice cold and sharp enough to cut flesh along with the other’s speech. “You will tell me what you think you deserve, bai mu, for blaming the one who fights evil instead of blaming the evil she fights.”
“…her designated bodyguards, though she preferred to think of them as mobile backup – were just down the hall.’
“Festus Liddel had passed out a fifty-some-year-old drunk. He’d come to with Years missing from his life and a body ravaged by alcohol.”
Mama, I miss you so much. I wish you were her. I wish it a lot. That thought was familiar, as if she’d had it thousands of times. The grief was familiar, too, like anold blanket worn thin by use and washing.”
“She’ll still need to stay off it as much as possible, which she says is fortunate, because then Julia can help her.” “That’s fortunate?” “What she actually said was, ‘Who does not need to be needed? There is little that helps us forget our pain so much as giving aid to another.”
Gradually his heartbeat slowed. She was here now, and for once not asking questions. “Anxiety attack,” he explained. “You?” Her eyebrows lifted, as did the corners of her mouth. “Must mean you wok up on the wrong side of perfect yet again.”
Lily liked Isen’s house. She liked it even better now that she wasn’t living here anymore. Though that, like most truths, had layers. Because she had lived here for a few months the place felt homier to her now, which was funny because it hadn’t felt like home when she was staying here.
“From out of nowhere, Lily was hit by this wave of feeling – feeling both vast and weightless, universal and utterly particular to this room, this moment, these people. Every one of whom she loved. Every one of whom had wokenup this morning on the wrong side of perfect, just like Rule….This… all this, the room , the people here, the odd little pairs and groups they’d formed, the ways eah was finding to connect to the others… this was what she fought for. For these people, yes. And for moments like this, punctuated by coffee or tea, with a baby on one man’s shoulder and a saint humming over by the fireplace… everyone gathered together to work toward their common goal. She fought for them, and for people she’d never met and never would, people who deserved a chance to make their own moments, built from their own flawed choices, with the people they found.
**spoiler alert** Ellen - living frugally to put herself through college, isn't able to go with her college mates away for spring break - so she decid**spoiler alert** Ellen - living frugally to put herself through college, isn't able to go with her college mates away for spring break - so she decides to be bold and adventurous around town - dressing up, going to the bar with the intention of picking up a man...
and the man she picks up is Josh, a classmate, whom she has overlooked for 4 years, and who is trying out his contacts, so he doesn't quite look himself... and he's been watching her for 4 years...
and one night stretches to two... and then dinner... and then warm hearts... and love.......more
**spoiler alert** Setting: small town in Texas – a coffee bar, and her warehouse home; Texas ranch, including forest – his cabin, his neighbor’’s exte**spoiler alert** Setting: small town in Texas – a coffee bar, and her warehouse home; Texas ranch, including forest – his cabin, his neighbor’’s extensive home, the woods;
Characters: Catarina ‘Cat’ Benoit: cat shifter, but she hasn’t had her first shift – and beyond having seen one man shift, she doesn’t know anything about it, though senses her cat sometimes, and has heightened senses; mother died when she was young, father remarried and died, stepmother a druggie prostitute, who sold her to Rafe – who knew she was shifter; she tried every which way to earn Rafe’s high regard but failed… she taught herself to cook, and cooked for Rafe’s crew; she taught herself to read via children’s tv programs… and then Rafe’s computer (as he monitored her computer); he was waiting for her cat to emerge, to mate with her; she ran away once, was caught, and he killed her only kinda friend in front of her, and thrust her hands in her guts and tells her that her friend’s blood is on her hands; she is more careful next time, taking money out of Rafe’s safe, and made it to Texas; she starts to take karate lessons from Malcolm, who offers his warehouse apartment (he had begun to convert it before he married and his wife wanted a regular home) when he realizes she is sleeping in her car… and then helps toher get a job as coffee barrista (she reads up and trains herself)… she is happy, and feels relatively safe… saving money to pay Rafe back, and to increase her security;
Eli ____ aka Ridley Cromer: cat shifter; roamed world looking for other shifters and hopes to find his mate… and didn’t; undercover DEA agent; assigned to Cat, to get her to turn on Rafe… he takes job at dojo, he starts to get coffee… and to follow her home… and he inserts himself in her life… feeling/seeing her fear, and allaying it… being her friend, training with her … beefing up her security; then… when she recognizes another cop on the team and prepares to run, he leaves her place open for the team to take her in and persuade her to turn state’s evidence;
Rafe Cordero: a strong shifter, who does not have control of his cat; when the cat becomes strong, he brings in his enemies, or prostitutes and hunts and kills them (something Catarina hears and knows); he is cold to Cat – keeping the cat in control around her, and he is always honest with her – brutally honest; and he wants her to be submissive;
Malcolm Hardy: dojo owner, who takes Cat under his wing… offering her what care and safety he can – that she will accept… when warned, he takes his wife and leaves town – so he survives Rafe;
David Belmont: Coffee House/bookstore owner: his business is booming with Cat’s beauty and coffee making; he does not stay out of town, and Rafe kills him;
John and Emma Banicoti: from previous book; he told Eli about lot next to him, and helped him purchase, hiding the purchase in his own business accounts; they have 2 children, and one more on the way; she befriends Cat, helping her figure things out;
Summary: When Cat brought in the DEA let it be known they had her, to draw Rafe out… and try to bully her into turning state’s evidence… she refuses, and after many hours they finally let her leave… and she sees Eli – and puts 2 and 2 together… throws up, and rushes out…
Eli shocked that they let it out so Rafe would come… and he determidly will take her to safety – taking her tearful self to his truck, handcuffing her in… and takes her to his home… where he works to regain her trust, his cat claims hers, lovers, eases her through the hans so le (first shift / aggressive sex), finally friends, where they train, and he teaches her so defend herself, knowing Rafe would eventually find them;
And after 2 months of prep, Rafe shows up – how did Eli not know he was there? They stun gun him… string him up, torture a bit with Cat watching… Cat keeps her head, draws Rafe inside, with promise Eli not be harmed… Eli gets free, kills 2 guards… as going for 3rd, Rafe is beating Cat… they go outside, and she shifts and runs… Rafe catches her, his cat mauls her, she shifts, Rafe shifts and regains control – knows he must get her to a doctor… Eli shows up, and kills him… Jake shows up, and gets Cat to hospital… and they live happily ever after…
Memorable scenes: Too much sex… too much angst on both their parts, going over and over the same internal recriminations…
But strip that all away, and… I like the meat of the story… of two strong men – two shifters – one who has control of his cat, one who does not… and both love the same woman… Cat’s increasing self confidence…
Eli and Jake’s discussion about women – about their women… about control, and having the last word, but how will give anything to keep their women happy –chauvinism at its best;
Characters: Lady Helena Reichard: of Asterland – European countr**spoiler alert** Setting: Royal, Texas: hospital, High Stakes Ranch, Cattleman’s Club;
Characters: Lady Helena Reichard: of Asterland – European country; beautiful, graceful, socially perfect… involved in many charities, flirting her way to many donations; attracted to Matthew – when shared a dance with him… then when returning home, the plane she is in crashes… burns, and broken bones – and she’s not the beauty she once was… 2 months in recovery; appears someone is still out to kill her, so Matthew her hidden guard – he watches over her, but keeps out of her sight; she is reevaluating who she is;
Matthew Walker: had a solcialite wife, who was very unhappy – making him wary of his feelings of Helena, keeping his distance… but when the media is there at her discharge, he sends out a decoy, sweeps her up in his arms, and carries her to his car, and to his ranch…
Lois: Matthew’s family’s long time housekeeper… she’s charming
Core members: Justin Webb, Aaron Black (and Pamela), Sheikh Ben Rassad, Dakota Lewis, Matthew Walker – have recovered two of the stolen jewels from the plane crash, but still looking for the third – looking for the traitor – keeping the 2 women safe – and Asterland saved from rebellion;
Princess Anna von Oberland / Gregory Hunt: offer to help Helena, but the press make that impossibe
Dr. Justin Webb : cattleman’s club – helena’s doctor -
Summary: With their time together, their walls lower, and they get to know one another, and fall in love…
Memorable scenes: “…he’d been at once charmiong yet subtly and purposefully aloof. He was obviously a man of weath, yet the hand that had held hers in its strong grip had worn the calluses of physical labor without apology. His polished and gallant formality had been a fascinating foil for an understated man-of-the-earth essence that had both intrigued and captivated…”
Lois’ cherry-red electric cart: “Saves her a lot of steps from their house to the main house. And the bright color has probably saved a lot of lives… You can’t miss her coming at you. Frank calls it her little red mayhem mobile.” ...more