“A fabulous start to an incredible new Paranormal Romance series!” – Sara Fawkes
When Ever Jackson came to Arcadia to find her missing sister, she certainly didn’t expect the close-minded response by residents of the small town. Nobody, it seemed, wanted to speak with or help her in any way, but she was determined to figure out her sister’s whereabouts. Too bad the pesky sheriff decided to stick his nose where it didn’t belong but, lawman or not, Ever wasn’t giving up and leaving Arcadia without a fight.
Sheriff Aidan Tucker preferred it when the human world stayed out of his Shifter town. He has a low opinion of humans to begin with, and having one poking around does nothing to endear himself to them. That is, until he gets a whiff of her, and realizes with a shock that the little spitfire who won’t back down from a fight is human, and his mate.
The human could get herself killed without his help, so Aidan decides to help her, whether she wants it or not. But there are secrets in his town that go beyond mere shapeshifting, and Ever Jackson may be right in the middle of them…
Originally released as a serial, bound together now into one volume!!
Series is available EXCLUSIVELY on Amazon.com. Borrow it FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Who knew it would be so hard to find one little apartment in this town?
The last four places Ever had looked at all ended the same way: the landlord had taken one look at her and told her the place was rented. They’d all wrinkled their noses at her, frowned slightly, and delivered the message that, though couched in much more pleasant terms, she wasn’t welcome in their town.
In a freaking row.
Good thing she left her options open and had scheduled seven viewings for the day, but this was ridiculous.
Shoving back her dark hair and biting back a groan, Ever checked her GPS for the next location and got it going before pulling out into traffic. Her mood had soured over the fruitless afternoon. She had good credit, could pay cash for six months rent up front, and came with glowing recommendations if anybody had asked to see.
Nope. This town didn’t want her.
Too bad, because she wasn’t leaving.
The fifth location on her list was a small house, not an apartment. The lady had sounded nice on the phone, but Ever wasn’t taking any chances. Still driving, she put on fresh deodorant and checked her makeup quickly in the mirror. It was frankly more than she was used to wearing, but she’d hoped to make a good impression.
May as well have worn a burlap sack and frizzed your hair.
Ah well, might as well give it one more try before doing anything drastic.
There was an SUV parked outside the house already when Ever pulled up. An older lady stepped out and gave a small wave as Ever stopped her car. The woman seemed friendly, but so had all the others. This time will be different, Ever thought, taking a deep breath before opening the door.
“Pleased to meet you, young lady,” the other woman said, holding her hand out. “I’m Adeline Rhodes, we spoke on the phone yesterday?”
“Hi, Mrs. Rhodes.” They shook hands, and Ever felt some of the tension leave her. So far, so good.
The older woman beamed at her. “It’s always wonderful to see young people moving into town. My oldest went off to college and never came back, more’s the pity. I’d love to have my grandson closer, but some folks just don’t do well in this town unless, well, you know. I can’t blame her, it certainly has its ups and downs. So, I assume you want to see the property?”
“Yes ma’am,” Ever replied, unconsciously falling back onto her Southern upbringing.
“And so polite! It’s always such a pleasure to see young people today with manners. So many these days just have no respect. I like you already, young lady.”
Ever wasn’t sure how to reply. “Um, thank you ma’am.”
“Well, come on in, I’ll show you around.”
Wow, a big difference from the last four showings. Ever had been expecting a battle, not to be bowled over by a lonely old lady.
“Now I know it’s smaller than the pictures online make it look, but it’s homey, and everything works. It’s got all new carpet and padding, the appliances were updated five years ago, and a fresh coat of paint.”
A reluctant smile tugged at Ever’s lips. “It’s perfect,” she murmured, looking around.
“The rental company pays for water and sewage, but you’re in charge of electricity and gas. And I’m sure you’ve already checked in with Sheriff Tucker about moving in. He likes getting all the permissions and approvals before letting anyone stay long-term in Arcadia.”
The other woman’s back was to Ever when she said it, so she missed the confused look on the younger woman’s face. Ever recovered quickly however, nodding vigorously. “We spoke a couple weeks ago,” she said, the lie rolling easily off her tongue.
“Good. Come on, I’ll show you the bedrooms.”
An hour later, she’d signed the forms and written a check to cover the deposit and first/last month’s rent. The house was hers.
That had been easy. Well, easy-ish.
The house was tiny, cramped, and smelled heavily of fresh paint. It was completely different than anyplace she’d been before, and she loved it.
No. Adored it.
Filling a space like this wouldn’t be a big problem, but she didn’t intend to stay long enough to need furniture. Everything she owned was in the back of that tiny hatchback, including a blow-up mattress and sleeping bags. She had work to do, and no time to go shopping for furniture. Something told her that she wouldn’t have much time in this town, so she needed to hurry with her search.
Leaning against the wall, she pulled off her glasses and rubbed her weary eyes. Fishing her phone out of her back pocket, she clicked it on and checked her saved voicemails. She slid down to sit on her butt as the last message from her sister, sent almost two weeks ago, rang through the small house.
“Sis, it’s me. Listen, I need your help. I’m in Arcadia and…I don’t know, something’s up. I feel like I’m being stalked, or hunted. I know things have been weird between us lately, but there’s a reason and I’ve been trying to keep you out of it. But…I need you here, I need you to help me stay focused. I…I…Just please come. I’m at sixty-two twenty-three Strawberry Court, please just call me as soon as you get this.”
The message ended. Ever stared up at the ceiling. It didn’t matter how many times she’d listened to that message, it never failed to make her tear up. There was a desperate quality to her words, as if she knew something bad was about to happen. And maybe it had, because when Ever had called her back, Sonya’s phone had been off. Ever had left a handful of messages before packing up her stuff and driving nearly two thousand miles, only to find the address her sister had given the center of a demolished heap, and neighbors not having a clue where she’d gone.
What the hell had happened?