You cannot meet a more sexy, sassy, or imaginative than Ms. Jude Mason! She has come up with some of the most amazing concepts, not to mention just down right H-O-T! Not only is CC a re-issue, but with each version there is so much improvement its a pleasure to watch her grow.
I can't wait to see what this brilliant mind churns out next!
Cat's Claw by Jude Mason
Cover by Alessia Brio
Also available on Fictionwise
The death of a long time friend, leads Morgan Fields on an extraordinary quest into the backwoods where she finds love and so much more. Joshua Lansing, the son of her deceased friend helps her explore the heritage she never knew was hers.
Off balance, Morgan hesitated. Feeling a little foolish, after all this was where she'd been going, she strode through the door. The home she stepped into was like nothing she'd ever seen before. It was divided into two rooms; the room she stood in was the main one, a combination living room, kitchen and bedroom, straight ahead and to her right, she saw a partially opened door that led into a bathroom. Dark, richly oiled wood was everywhere; the floor, walls and ceiling. Even the countertops in the kitchen were a polished lighter wood, as was the headboard of the bed, which was placed at the left wall in a kind of alcove created by the bathroom wall. A large stone fireplace dominated the room. That's where the light came from that she'd seen and fled towards. Earth tones of browns, greens and oranges made up the colors of almost everything: bedding, the cover on the single couch and chair that faced the fireplace, as well as the heavy drapes that were drawn back from the windows.
"I asked who you were, lady." Joshua interrupted her silent appraisal of his domain. She looked back at him with a pang of regret. She hated being the bearer of bad news, even when she had no choice.
"I'm sorry," she stammered and turned to face him. "This is amazing, your place I mean." She did a slow spin, getting one last good look at the place and him, before breaking the news. "My name's Morgan Field. I knew your father—"
"Knew?" he interrupted, frowning. "You said you knew him. Has something happened to my father?"
"I'm sorry." She hated the quiver in her voice. At that moment, she'd have given anything to be somewhere else, have someone else break the news to this gorgeous man. Taking a deep breath, she went on before she lost her courage. "Your father passed away a week ago yesterday. I'm the executor of his will, he—"
"Passed away?" He looked as if she'd punched him in the stomach. His face paled, a haunted look shadowed his eyes. "You mean he's dead? My father's dead?"
"Yes," she said as softly and as gently as she knew how. His sorrow was like a blanket wrapping around not only him, but also her and the room. She dropped her bag and took a step towards him. "I'm so sorry."
Before she could say anything else, Joshua staggered and looked as if he was going to collapse. She lunged forward, slipping an arm around his waist. Taking his other arm, she wrapped it around her shoulders and guided him to the large, comfortable-looking couch.
The warm flesh of his hip under her palm stirred a longing she'd been trying to ignore ever since she'd seen him. The towel did almost nothing to hide his firm body. It had been much too long since she'd had a man. Circumstances made that difficult for her at the best of times. A flash of memory, a re-occurring dream, or nightmare of passion, of tearing flesh, the taste of blood in her mouth and a craving that left her weak and trembling, all mixed together made her shudder. Determinedly pushing her desire for him aside, she focused on getting him to sit down before he fell down. It was not the time to let her own problems surface. Glancing through the nearby window she saw the soft moonlight, and felt the pang of a longing she'd kept hidden all her life.
She heard a soft groan when she eased him down, and felt the muscles in his chest writhe when she pressed her palm against him. A familiar response to tension she thought; inside she had a niggling glimmer of something else.
"I haven't seen him for almost two years," Joshua said abruptly. As if that first confession broke the lock, the rest came tumbling out. "We disagreed about some things. Family mostly, they seemed important at the time. Funny," he looked into her eyes, and she saw the heart-wrenching pain of his loss, "it doesn't seem important now. I'd give anything to see him one last time. Tell him I loved him. Tell him that both of us were right."
Joshua lurched to his feet and pushed past her, nearly knocking her over. Startled, she reached out and grabbed. The towel came away without so much as a tug.
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