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Mai Hayashi #1

Stone-Cold Fox

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Mai’s plans for a weekend of cosplay fun and games at Fan Expo come to a screeching halt when a smokin’ hot fae with a vendetta against her father decides the best revenge is claiming her for his own.

Her father cost Ryuu everything: his home, his family…and his mate. Ryuu wants his pound of flesh, and he’s willing to take it out of Mai’s hide, bite by sensuous bite.

While she’s quick to bare her teeth and snap at Ryuu’s gentling hand, she sheathes her claws once he offers her secrets about her life and her father that rock the foundation of her world.

Caught between Ryuu’s tender persistence and her father’s iron will, Mai’s not sure who to trust, but before it’s all over this kitsune will show them both why she’s one stone-cold fox.

106 pages, ebook

First published October 30, 2015

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About the author

Hailey Edwards

82 books2,468 followers
Hailey Edwards writes about questionable applications of otherwise perfectly good magic, the transformative power of love, the family you choose for yourself, and blowing stuff up. Not necessarily all at once. That could get messy.

Hailey isn't on Goodreads.

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5 stars
460 (38%)
4 stars
417 (35%)
3 stars
232 (19%)
2 stars
55 (4%)
1 star
18 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 93 reviews
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,997 reviews1,639 followers
March 14, 2021
So this is billed as first of a series. Only that's a lie. It's actually a kind of epilogue to the author's Black Dog series whose heroine, Thierry, plays a big role in this story. Which makes it kind of crowded for how short it is. I haven't read that series and could feel the gaps it left not having read them. So read those first and then decide if you wanna indulge the epilogue.

So this isn't really a complete story. And it definitely isn't the start of a series like it's labeled here on GoodReads. I mean, it has been six years and there's still not a second and that says all you need to know, really. That said, at least all of the various plot points conclude adequately, including the romance, such as it was. And yeah, that wasn't great, either.

So I'm going to give it 2½ stars that I can't bring myself to round up because I feel taken in by the marketing.

A note about Chaste: There's no sex, explicit or otherwise. So it's pretty chaste.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,094 reviews665 followers
July 6, 2023
The audiobook is narrated by Mooreghan Martin, who does a pleasant enough job, but Mai’s voice and Thierry’s voice were too similar. Thierry is Mai’s best friend and has her back throughout the story.

I recommend you listen to the Black Dog series first, since we first meet Mai in Dog with a Bone. Thierry and Mai are enjoying some cosplay when she notices a man and feels drawn to him. Things quickly take a turn when he knocks out her BFF and kidnaps her. We soon learn that the two share a past.

Despite the short length, I was pulled into the history of the Kitsune culture, the betrayals and the twists. Without having listened to the Black Dog series, I am not sure I would have been as satisfied. The length hurt this, as it didn’t allow enough time for me to become invested in the romance despite their history. I am also concerned that this was released in 2015 and I don’t see a second novel.

As much as I love Hailey Edwards, I am not at all sure if I will continue with books tied to the Black Dog world. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
Profile Image for Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures).
1,572 reviews875 followers
March 11, 2016
~ 2 Stone-Cold Stars ~

Stone-Cold Fox is a short quick read that takes place in the same world as the Black Dog series by Hailey Edwards.

If you have not read the Black Dog series then you should pick it up first. Mai is introduced to us in Dog with a Bone.

Mai is Thierry's friend. She is also a strong independent women who has this drive to find her true mate, but doesn't understand why she keeps searching so hard. Ryuu I didn't like the guy, but we really don't get to know him.

To start I don't like how this story begins with Mai being kidnapped. Not a way to win your mate over. I felt that Mai deserved so much better then Ryuu. He didn't handle things correctly and then close to the end he does a big no no, which hurts Mai deeply. Mai and Ryuu also don't get a chance to grow closer together or to know each other. It's like the story is an introduction to "How I Meet Your Mother (Mate)," but with all the wrong things happening. I just can't see these two together.

The one thing I enjoyed the most was Thierry. She is there to help and support her friend in what every decision she makes. She also brings a little levity to a bad situation.

Stone-Cold Fox left me in the cold. I picked it up; because Mai has become a character I have come to love from the Black Dog series. I wanted to read her HEA, but I was disappointed in this short story and sad that it did not have the elements I have come to enjoy and love from this author.

Profile Image for Jeanny.
1,898 reviews153 followers
November 5, 2015
I wasn't happy with the story but that's strictly personal preference. I believed Mai deserved better. I rate it 2 stars

Profile Image for Lexxi Kitty.
2,013 reviews436 followers
February 16, 2016
There's a chance, not sure how large of a chance it might have been, but a chance I might not have finished this story if I hadn't read four books by this author before reading this one. I don't know, maybe a 25% chance?

The whole kidnapping someone, holding them against their will, forcing them, or attempting to force them into marriage . . . really rubbed me the wrong way. I was looking for a nice good short story. Not a 'damsel in distress' story. mmphs.

Luckily I continued reading and I was able to enjoy the story.

If I had the power to rearrange series, and the like, I'd rearrange that Black Dog series. The first book would be renumbered 0.5. Everything else moved up (as in, book 2 is now book 1). And this story here would slot in as 3.5 (or, if I didn't move book 1 to 0.5, this would be 4.5). Why? To show the importance of reading the other stories first. Mai was in those other books. Not a main character, but there are important tidbits of information in those books which would help with this story here. Plus, Thierry, the main character of that other series, does play a role in this book. Granted her role is that as a side character, but still. Chronologically this story falls at 3.5 (reordered series) or 4.5 (original numbering on series).

One of those tidbits that would have been picked up is how kitsune have this need to find their mate. And it's determined by the female. She goes around testing people, and the test 'sparks' something, like magic. This little tidbit helps to be known because the story starts with Mai and Thierry at a cosplay convention/contest. Mai spots a man and feels drawn to him. Which is fine and dandy, except moments later said man knocks out Thierry and kidnaps Mai.

Story unfolds from there - with Mai all pissed off, and um . . I forget the guys name now. Ryu I believe. Acting all . . . 'this is for the best'.

Well, as I mentioned, I enjoyed the story. Started off feeling like I wouldn't, but I did. Learned more about Mai and the Kitsune culture. Thierry's characterization is kind of thin, unless you, the reader, had already spent time with her through 4 works. In which case you have the information to fill in the blanks.
Profile Image for Emmeline (The Book Herald).
384 reviews46 followers
November 14, 2015
I received a copy of this book from Hailey Edwards via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

"Wolves has their Alphas, Kisunes had their reynards.

Mai Hayashi, is one day casually rocking the cosplay convention,
and the next moment she's abducted by a man who was her childhood friend.
He says he has to do it for a wrong that was done to his brother.
However, when she meets the brother (Ryuu), something rocks her world.
She knows this man...but how?
Everything is screaming that she has met him before, but her mind is blank.
But trouble is coming.
Her father will not allow her to be taken like this, especially by a group who are considered outlaws.
However, the more she spends time with this rag-tag bunch, the more she begins to care.
This is a nightmare,
A nightmare that reveals the truth,
A nightmare that's surprisingly enchanting.

So this is a novella that branches from the black dog series.
If you haven't read that series before, do it, because you'll be really confused.

Majority of the characters from that series are in this one too.

This book was nice and intriguing, not to mention short as Novellas are wont to be.

I liked it, it certainly was an interest and different concept on fox-shifters.

so if you enjoyed the black dog series, make sure you pick this one up!

Stay awesome!

-The Book Herald
Check out my blog- The Book Herald Blog (help the little people!)
tweet me @thebookherald

Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books705 followers
May 10, 2020
I thought this Black Dog spinoff novella was...okay. It's been a couple of years since I read the books that introduced Mai, and maybe had I jumped into this right away, I might have connected to it more. But I don't think so.

Mai is Thierry's best friend from the Black Dog series, and all I really remember about her was that she was kind of a party girl and went through guys like water.

Here, she is kidnapped at a cosplay event by a guy who claims to be her mate, and the story follows her realization that he has a prior claim to her and why she doesn't remember it.

I think my issue here is that I never really felt anything. It's from Mai's POV and she doesn't remember Ryuu. At most, there's a pull, but it's in no way the kind of angsty burning need that would have made something stir in me. It was all kind of superficial. Not a bad story, but a fast one. It wasn't a bad way to spend an hour of my time, but I doubt it will stick with me.
Profile Image for Shasha.
940 reviews28 followers
January 20, 2020

I loved this addition to the Black Dog universe! Mai deserved her own story and it rocks!

Read in KU
Profile Image for Margaret.
873 reviews18 followers
December 20, 2015
The kitsune are one of my favorite underutilized supernaturals, so I was really excited to see Mai, best friend and roommate to Thierry—who stars in the first four Black Dog books—get her own story. Though, frankly, I’m a little confused about whether this is a spin off series or a tangent within the Black Dog series—something like the Night Huntress World books. I thought it was the former, but I’m now leaning toward the latter since there’s another book scheduled to release in January starring a different character.

In either case, Stone-Cold Fox puts a supernatural twist on the best-friend’s-older-brother romance, in an especially twisted way. There also seems to be a lot more politics than romance involved. I was happy to see a different side of Mai. I had never seen any indication that she was such a fan of sci-fi—she actually says “frack”—or cosplay. (Fans of Labyrinth are in for quite a treat! It’s not really my thing though. I actually get it confused with The Neverending Story.)

As Mai and Thierry are about to enter the costume contest, she runs into her childhood best friend Katsuo whose family abruptly moved away when Mai was twelve. After allowing Mai to admire his Inuyasha costume, Katsuo proceeds to help a mysterious stranger kidnap Mai. When that stranger turns out to be Katsuo’s older brother Ryuu, who claims to be Mai’s mate though she has no memory of him, she realizes that her parents have been lying to her for years.

The insight into the kitsune mating customs is interesting, but it was also somewhat depressing. The females initially seem to have the power in the process, devising tests for their prospective mates. But their matches are also fated, so presumably only the fated mate would pass the test. Once the mate has been accepted, the female becomes more or less the male’s property. Parts of the system resemble other versions of kitsune culture I’ve read, but others contradict the idea that they are strong, independent women, which Mai usually seems to be. I was just a little bit uncomfortable with the whole process.

Ryuu is also the reynard (alpha) of a renegade kitsune skulk (pack) who became outcasts when Mai’s father banished Ryuu’s family. I usually enjoy supernatural politics, but this refugee story was kind of a downer as well. However, I did enjoy the optimistic ending and I look forward to seeing more of Mai in later books. I just hope that she continues to be the sassy, opinionated woman that she is at the end of the story and not the damsel in distress that she became there for a while.

Originally published at Vampire Book Club and based on a copy provided by the publisher
- See more at: http://vampirebookclub.net/review-sto...
Profile Image for Kelly.
5,000 reviews173 followers
May 12, 2016
I genuinely love diving back into the Black Dog world and all the insane craziness these characters end up in. Mai, Thierry's best friend, has been in the middle of several of Thierry's schemes and she's kinda fun. In a "I wouldn't get in a car with her because she drives like a maniac" sort of way.

In previous books, Mai came across as... I don't know. Flighty? Maybe? She has focus and everything but the way she was testing men to find her mate was worrisome. And the reason for her desperation on that front is explained here. Honestly, as things started to unfold, I wanted to pound her father. Still kinda do. I really hope Mai isn't quick to forgive him, too. Maybe I'm a little bloodthirsty, but I wouldn't mind watching him wallow in despair over the crack he's caused in his relationship with his daughter.

Lots of wallowing. Oceans of it.

But Mai wasn't the only one wronged here. Ryuu might have it even worse than Mai because he knew what he'd lost when Mai's father did what he did and he had to soldier on despite it. Basically, Mai's father can suck it. And I hope he gets fleas.

Still love the world. Still love the characters (both old and new). I really want Mai to get her pound of flesh. So, here's to more adventures of the foxy kind!

-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
Profile Image for Jess the Romanceaholic.
1,033 reviews471 followers
June 3, 2016
I have to preface this with I LOVE Hailey Edwards' books. Love them. Hands down one of my favorite authors EVER.


This one didn't really do it for me. Mai has sadly never been my favorite character in the Black Dog series (Go #TeamShaw!) and there were just too many things I typically avoid in romance all going on at once. I'm not a fan of kidnappings, but I DO like when the kidnappee (is...is that a word?) gives their captor a huge run for their money. Mai... didn't. Not really, despite her initial escape attempt.

Now, I understand that there was a deeper reasoning behind it, but I really wanted to see her make him suffer rather than convert to his side as quickly as she did.

I love the idea of fated mates. It's TOTALLY my jam. Yet I felt cheated out of that in this book due to the amnesia thing and the flashbacks. Plus, I honestly wasn't feeling the romantic tension between the two.

Sure, her dad is an oppressive dick and I enjoyed that angsty bit of betrayal (especially the chubby kitsune thing lol), but in the end, this was, for me, by far the weakest entry into this series/world.

Even so, it wasn't all bad. There was humor and family, and pop culture references (hell-O Japanese Dean Winchester!) and of course, Thierry plays a nicely sized part.

In the end though, 3.75/5
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather.
2,020 reviews14 followers
November 14, 2022
Mai’s plans for a weekend of cosplay fun and games at Fan Expo come to a screeching halt when a smokin’ hot fae with a vendetta against her father decides the best revenge is claiming her for his own.
Her father cost Ryuu everything: his home, his family…and his mate. Ryuu wants his pound of flesh, and he’s willing to take it out of Mai’s hide, bite by sensuous bite.
While she’s quick to bare her teeth and snap at Ryuu’s gentling hand, she sheathes her claws once he offers her secrets about her life and her father that rock the foundation of her world.
Caught between Ryuu’s tender persistence and her father’s iron will, Mai’s not sure who to trust, but before it’s all over this kitsune will show them both why she’s one stone-cold fox.

Heather's Notes
I have to say I was very disappointed in this story. I had been looking forward to Mai's story because I liked her and have always enjoyed reading books about Kitsune. I feel like she let Ryuu off way to easy. There was no grovel, nothing. A very disappointing book.
Profile Image for ImABookAddict.
256 reviews13 followers
January 1, 2022
Hailey Edwards is one of the best, but...

The Black Dog books were my first introduction to this author. And she's become one of my favorites ever since. I haven't ventured into this universe again until now because I like her latest offerings better. When it comes to writing heroines, she always delivers. They're no Mary Sue. They usually aren't all that good. And they need to make up for past sins. Now, Mai isn't really like her usual heroines. But she doesn't disappoint.

What does disappoint is that this is a novella. I wish we could have spent more time getting to know the characters better. Maybe more time spent between Ryuu and Mai. I enjoyed the story, but it left me wanting. Hence, the 4 stars. So, I'm off to reread the Black Dog books again to reacquaint myself with Thierry while I wait for her newest Black Hat series book to come out.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,122 reviews47 followers
June 10, 2021
A story set in the Black Dog world, Mai Hayashi is Thierry’s best friend, and Thierry is always there for her. When Mai is kidnapped by her childhood friend Katsuo’s brother, she learns that there is much that she doesn’t know about Ryuu's situation, her father, and even her own past. The more Mai finds out, the more she knows she will have to confront her father to find out the truth, because her future happiness depends on it. I enjoyed finding out more about the kitsune world and Mai’s life and seeing Thierry was a bonus.
Profile Image for Heather.
450 reviews39 followers
November 23, 2022
This is the story of Mai and her mate. Mai is Thierry's best friend and we do get some Thierry time, which is also why this is 3 stars and not 2. The Mai and Thierry interactions are delightful. Sadly, the same can not be said for Mai's mate and the way in which he "courts" her. Equally appalling is the truly insufficient groveling done by him. The only saving grace in that " relationship " is that Mai didn't fully commit to the mating and it was left as more of a happy for now, with supposedly more off page groveling to ensue. 🤨
Profile Image for Ellen Williams.
309 reviews1 follower
October 23, 2018
Mai gets a spin off

what a great spinoff for Mai - with all the interaction snippets I read during the Gemini series and really seeing her friendship with Thierry - this book was a breeze to read. I love Mai and her protective and fierce attitude and I like seeing more of her interaction with her family and that expansion on why she never really fit with her Skulk. Love it. Definitely love this author.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,667 reviews86 followers
March 16, 2021
This was a cute novella featuring Mai, Thierry's best friend. I haven't actually read the Black Dog trilogy (Thierry's books), but I did read the Gemini series and we met Mai there, so I wasn't totally lost about who she was. I enjoyed learning more about her and seeing a different culture inside this world. I didn't love Ryuu at first, but he grew on me over the course of the story. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
Profile Image for KindleJo Jo.
471 reviews46 followers
September 23, 2019
Cute novella, I like the world set up in the Black Dog Series and it was great to see life through Mai's POV. Felt a little more adult than the previous trilogy (plus a novella). I'm on to the Gemini books next.
I like the Hailey Edwards's writing style, her voice works well for me and I enjoy the worlds she has created. If you're into Urban Fantasy, give her a try.
Profile Image for Jodi.
1,072 reviews
February 5, 2023
I have not read the Black Dog series but I didn't feel that it detracted from this story. I liked Mai very much. She strong, loyal, determined to make her own way in the world until she can't. Kidnapped and forced to face truths about her father, Mai is at times angry and frustrated. I liked the ending with her mate Ryuu
Profile Image for Sarah.
569 reviews3 followers
June 13, 2017
I really liked this story! It was such a lovely novel and the characters were wonderful. Having never read the Black Dog series, I found this easy to follow. Hopefully Ms. Edwards will write more about Mai and Ryuu.
237 reviews
June 27, 2018
Great companion novella

Mai was an integral part of Thierry verse and I loved reading her ending. Finding a mate that she can’t remember and the lengths friend go to were great in this story. On to the next series.
Profile Image for Anne.
39 reviews4 followers
February 5, 2019
I'm enjoying the whole series. The characters stay consistent, and the plots are believable. No shark-jumping here! This is a novella, but still a good fit with the rest of the characters and plotline. it has a HFN ending.
Profile Image for Maria.
662 reviews9 followers
February 15, 2020
Good story.
Thierry was in it with small updates about Shaw and her Father which I liked a lot.
I always like Mai, she is a great friend to Thierry and has a great personality.
Delighted that she has found her mate.
Enjoyed this novella.
Profile Image for Paranormal Books R Us.
461 reviews32 followers
May 9, 2020
Stone-Cold Fox Review

Not at all what I expected for Mai's story but I really enjoyed it.
I love this Universe and hope there are more books in the future for these characters. I would definitely say this one is worth a read.
97 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2022
Stubbornness wins

Mai, as stubborn as a "kitsune" can be, of course wins in the end. But the ride on the way there is quite charming (at least for the reader). So no fears that you will not enjoy the twists & turns even knowing no cliff hanger awaits you!
Profile Image for Arielle Pettis.
235 reviews
July 25, 2017

OMG I am so happy to find a series about Mai! I love her as Thierry's bestie, but it's way better to see her story.. I truly hope there might be another book for her.
Profile Image for Torrina.
103 reviews
August 16, 2017

I loved Mai in the Black Dog stories and was very happy to see she got one of her own. The only disappointment is that it's not long enough!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 93 reviews

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