Someone is making homeless cats disappear and Michelle Slade wants to put a stop to it. The office manager at Aegar Investigations and owner of cat rescue Cats Alive, she struggles to keep together the life she’s forged since the one she knew shattered five years ago on the night she was raped. She couldn’t have predicted that the rape’s impact would reach into her present life and put a strangle grip on all she holds dear, thanks to the evil machinations of powerful businessman, William Carter.
When Michelle’s problems with Carter escalate, friends rally to help her, with private investigator Casey Mitchell at the top of the line. When Casey finds his investigation takes him down a very dark path of diabolic and life-threatening research conducted by Carter Enterprises, he attempts to keep his work life and his private identity as a were-lynx separate. However, though he’s been trained his whole life to keep his identity and his colony of were-cats protected, he now struggles with terrible aloneness.
As they are thrown together to save the missing cats and remedy worse problems, Michelle and Casey can triumph and find true love, or lose everything.
A full moon in the starry night bathed the yard in a soft glow. She started imagining the things she could do here. Maybe even dance in the moonlight. The thought lifted her mood. Why not? Humming to herself, Michelle sunk into the sounds, scents, and feelings of the moment, and began moving to her inner music. She was free, alone here in her own yard. Nothing to worry about. Tension seeped away from her muscles. She slowly turned to a rhythm inside her, savoring the sense of self that rose in her, her eyes closed.
A noise from the bushes crackled, and instantly her muscles tensed. Still and on alert, Michelle peered through the darkness. It could be a stray, she thought, seeking food. If it was a homeless cat, it was too late to prevent scaring it. A movement of any sort would send it running. So she stood still in the spot, waiting and squinting her eyes for a better look.
She held her breath, and as she did, a large figure of a furry animal slipped silently through the hedge, away from her.
Automatically, her hand slapped over her mouth. Her heart raced. Her breath came in deliberate pulls. That figure, that animal, was not at all what she’d expected to appear out of the shadows. She dropped her hand to her side and stepped cautiously toward the spot where the animal had disappeared. The hedge bordered her half-acre backyard and split it from the rest of her property.
The place in the hedge where the animal slipped through meant a short walk away from the security of her house, but she’d be damned if she was going to let that deter her from a possible identification of that animal.
She shivered in the cold air, taking measured steps to the spot, her senses perched on the edge of her nerves. She noticed a small opening in the hedge. The large animal would have had to crouch low to the ground to get through. She leaned low and tried to see through to the other side, but she saw nothing but dry weeds. The hedge stood about to her chin, so standing on tiptoe, Michelle searched the field on the other side for another glimpse of the animal.
“Geez!” She instinctively took a step back when her gaze collided with the animal as it sat still in the field, barely visible. Inexplicably, it sat motionless, staring at her. Can it see me? she wondered. Her heart thumped wildly in her chest. She longed to get a better look, but she didn’t dare slip through the hedge. It seemed completely at ease, sitting there staring at her through glistening eyes.
Dare she speak? Fairly mesmerized, Michelle whispered to the animal. “I mean you no harm.” She waited. Her eyes were adjusting to the darkness, so she focused them on the figure. It looked to have a large body covered with thick fur. Its head had a feline appearance and ears tipped with dark tufts of fur. Distinctive markings of a lynx.
Chills rolled up and down her spine. She couldn’t explain why she wasn’t afraid, other than the vibes she was picking up across the space between her and the animal were gentle, not threatening.
“I mean you no harm,” she repeated.
The animal chuffed, then stood and began walking into the woods at then stood and began walking into the woods at the outskirts of her property. She didn’t move, instead taking in its graceful walk. A few steps away, it stopped, twisted its head around to look at her, and chuffed again. A few more steps into the night and the animal was gone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I like paranormal romances, especially shifters. Secrets isn’t your average shifter romance. This book revisits characters from Lynn’s other stories but completely stands alone. Casey is the leader of his shifter pack and he’s in love with Michelle – a psychic. She’s a secretary for local private investigators and runs a local cat rescue. But Michelle was the victim of a sexual trauma and whenever Casey gets close, Michelle shuts down. Casey knows it’s for the best because he can’t reveal to Michelle his true nature or risk the identities of his pack and her abilities pose a unique threat however he can’t stay away or deny his feelings. When Michelle becomes the target of a dangerous criminal, she relies on Casey and the relationship both feared, blossoms. There is a lot going on in this book. Lynn does a lovely job of keeping the reader on track while she juggles. Though at one point, during a pivotal moment in the climax, I just couldn’t figure out who a secondary character was for a few paragraphs. But that said, I never lost track of Casey and Michelle. Their story is Lynn’s focus and is well done. Overall it’s a book I enjoyed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.