Release date: June 22, 2015
The daughter of an alcoholic single mother, Asia Blue learned young that if she wanted to survive, she’d have to take care of herself. Tough and independent, she never encountered a challenge she couldn’t conquer…until Asia discovered she was a were-lynx. Befriending sexy fellow were-lynx Conrad Pike and finding a colony helped her adjust to the startling revelation and get through college.
Now an investigative reporter, Asia faces an entirely different sort of problem when her mother goes missing and she suspects the mysterious Nexus Group…who seem determined to wipe out her colony. She reaches out to Conrad, now an investment banker and serial heartbreaker, for assistance, and they must once again join forces to save their tribe—and her mother.
Will this strong-minded duo risk opening up their hearts and owning up to their long-simmering attraction?
by Lynn Crandall
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 Heartfelt:
Asia Blue sat across from her date, Gavin Strong, watching his lips and trying to understand what he was saying. She slanted her head, centering her focus.
“How are your scallops? My steak is great. I didn’t know about this restaurant.” He twisted his head to take in the dining room. “The atmosphere is very artsy.” He flashed her a beautiful smile. The kind a male model would produce.
Struggling to make sense of the words in her brain, she smiled back. “The scallops are delicious.” Inside she frowned. The sentence she gave him sounded more like something a young teen would say. What she wanted to say was, “Did you know the owners are artists? Much of the décor is their artwork. They have a patent on the beer tower, which they constructed from recycled materials.”
But she couldn’t concentrate. So many other words and phrases and thoughts, ones that were not her own, were piling up in her mind, confusing her.
This steak is not done.
With all this traffic, I’m going to be late for the meeting.
The waiter is cute.
On top of the thoughts coming from the room and out on the street, every thought in Gavin’s brain was spilling out for her to pick up. As a were-lynx, Asia had heightened senses of smell, sight, and hearing. She was very strong and fast. She’d also been able to read animal minds since she turned eighteen, which was the age her were-lynx genes expressed. At first she’d noticed impressions popping into her mind from animals. She’d quickly learned to shut down the link and only got impressions when she’d opened to a connection and asked for it. While open, animals could receive emotions from her, too, she’d learned by observation. Their thoughts carried feelings and were given to her in images, not words. Telepathy came easy to her and she enjoyed having access to the minds of animals. But she’d never tried to make a connection with her fellow colony cats. She didn’t want them to feel invaded, so had promised years ago never to attempt to read their thoughts. Her skill had proved helpful a number of times and it made her feel good.
Up until two days ago. Then suddenly she could read human minds. And not with much elegance. Fortunately, the problem, her expanded telepathy, had only involved humans.
Look at those stellar boobs, Gavin thought. Too bad the neckline on her dress isn’t lower.
Asia shook her head to clear the competing thoughts and focused on shutting down the inflow of thoughts, just as she had been trying to do for two days. It wasn’t working. Human brains were so full of chatter, unlike animals, and so complex. It was challenging to listen to his verbal conversation about the weather and his day at work when she knew he was thinking that.
A chuckle escaped her lips, startling him into a big-eyed stare. She didn’t like the scrutiny, but at least his eyes were beautiful.
“Something funny?” he asked. “Do I have food in my teeth?”
“No. No food in your teeth. Sorry. There’s nothing funny. I think the wine is getting to me, that’s all.” Really, how could she be honest? She liked him—his thoughts were crude, yes, but, after all, he was a man. In a weird way his thoughts were also flattering. But there was little doubt that if she told him she could read his mind, he would be out of her life so fast he’d create a wake.
Gavin leaned back in his chair, relaxing, and wiped at the corners of his mouth with his white linen napkin. “Well that’s a relief.” He reached across the table and laid his hand on hers. “I’m having a really nice time, Asia.”
“I know. I mean, I am, too.” This wasn’t going very well. Men in general did not make her nervous. But with the recent changes in her telepathy skills, Asia hadn’t realized how out of control she would feel with Gavin. They’d been dating for a couple of weeks. She’d thought the worst situation to deal with would be their identities—his human and hers were-lynx.
Gavin wasn’t the first human she’d dated. Typically, though, the dating process hadn’t achieved what she’d hoped for: a normal life with a normal man. She’d never had normal, and it was something she really longed for.