Release date: March 30, 2015
Were-lynx Kennedy’s world implodes when she’s sent to a facility for illegal and torturous experimentation. Only after she’s rescued does she learn she’s been living a lie for 22 years. She can count on nothing from her past—not her parents, her surname, or her safety. Only the brother she didn’t know and his colony of were-lynxes offer any semblance of stability. Suspicious of everyone and unsure of her path forward, Kennedy reluctantly starts to realize that charming were-bobcat Asher Monroe might be her only hope.
Sportswriter Asher has been trying desperately to ferret out the truth behind why the sinister Nexus Group has been kidnapping and experimenting on were-cats. But he’s also willing to use his special mind-controlling ability to discover whether the gorgeous Kennedy is a threat to the colony or simply a lost soul.
As their need for the truth takes them into escalating danger, they discover explosive secrets that could bring Kennedy and Asher together — or rip them apart forever.
Sensuality Level: Sensual
“The plot is meaty and complex with lots of danger to provide the conflicts necessary to carry the pacing … Crandall successfully sets the stage with characters who are strong, yet vulnerable, passionate and resilient. Reader enjoyment is in the suspenseful ride as secrets come to light.” — USA Today
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.
An excerpt from Cravings:
Kennedy quietly slid open the window, grateful Lara’s apartment was located on the first floor, climbed over, and jumped the short distance to the ground.
Her skin itched, and the longing to shimmer—to change into her lynx form—pushed up her adrenaline several notches. The urgency in her gut sent her racing down the street, past the line of apartments, past the strip mall, until finally she found an alley to disappear into while she made the transition. She pulled at her sweatshirt, then stopped. She caught a whiff of another were-cat.
“What are you up to, Kennedy?” It was Asher Monroe, a were-bobcat who was one of the colony cats and Lara’s brother, standing at the opening of the alley.
She sagged to the ground, clothes still intact. She watched him shuffle toward her and with little effort tamped down the adrenaline surge she’d been running on. She was all about control of her body and its mechanisms and emotions, thanks to her training with her fake parents and her handlers with The Nexus Group.
Asher’s blond hair caught a glimmer of sunlight, and suddenly, it was all she could focus on. The mussed-up look fit his devil-may-care expression. His broad shoulders and muscled biceps under his jacket spoke volumes about his fit physique. She might be numb inside, but she wasn’t dead, and her rapid heartbeat proved it. “I’m not up to anything, you idiot. I just needed some air.”
He looked down at her, his eyes a startling, pale yellow rimmed in brown, and chuckled. “I get that.” He squatted near her, not so close that her invasion alarm went off but not so far that he felt impersonal. “The colony can crawl down your neck without knowing it, but they mean you no harm.”
She sent him a glare. “What are you, the sentinel? Making sure the subject doesn’t escape?” Her remark landed hard, she could see that in his eyes, but she wanted him to know no one was pulling the wool over her eyes. They didn’t trust her any more than she trusted them.
Asher shook his head and pursed his lips. “You’re a tough one, aren’t you,” he stated rather than asked. “It should be obvious to you that these people are only protecting you and exercising caution. It’s prudent to do so. A skilled lynx knows that.”
The dried autumn leaves in the alley suddenly lifted on a cold breeze and whirled around briefly before scattering at their feet. “You didn’t answer my question. Are you the designated tracker?”
“No. But we are keeping an eye on you. The Nexus Group is a nasty bunch of people. Our colony got involved to protect the animals the group was hurting through their experiments aimed at developing a drug that would turn were-animals into warriors, and we’re going to see this situation through to the end. Lives, not just yours, are at stake. The colony is going to make sure The Nexus Group’s plans don’t go off well. We’re the good guys. You’ll find that out. I just hope you’re not on the wrong side of right when you do.”
He stood and offered her a hand. She stared at it for a solid minute, and he waited. Silently, she took his hand, and he pulled her to her feet. Walking beside him, a sense of calm settled over her. It stood in stark contrast to the flat sense of control she was accustomed to as her inner state. The calm soothed her as nothing ever had before. It penetrated her, relaxing her muscles and prompting deep, even breaths. This lull should have set off alarms, warning her to beware. Letting down her guard had never led to anything but emotional and physical pain. She’d nearly lost her ability to relax and just be while living with her parents and enduring the training that was her life.
Then she got it. Fury bloomed in her chest. She halted and stood face to face with him. “You did it, didn’t you? That’s your special ability. You somehow put me in relaxed mode so I’d come with you. You rat!”
Without waiting for some lame explanation or, worse, denial, Kennedy marched toward the end of the alley leading out into the street.
She kept marching, hurt and betrayal fueling her pace.
From behind her, Asher grabbed her shoulders and turned her to face him again. “I was going to tell you. It was very perceptive of you to recognize the energy. There are no secrets here about my ability to nudge—”
“Just shut up!” She put her hands to her ears and closed her eyes. She didn’t want to hear his words. Letting in the possibility that he meant no harm opened her to getting duped. That would be dangerous.
He took her hands in his and pulled them away from her ears. He held them in his, cradling them. “I’m not going to apologize. Yes, I used my ability to nudge. But it was not meant to control you. I just wanted you to feel comforted.”
She stared up at him, now angrier with herself than him. She’d been nudgeable. If it meant what she suspected, that could be deadly.