After Josephine Woods' father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?
“Please. Tell me what you are thinking,” he eagerly asked her, still holding her hand as they sat in opposite directions on the bench.
“I, uh, um…it’s just. This isn’t normal for my world. I’m just surprised, I guess,” she stammered trying to collect her thoughts.
“Are there many of you? Well, I guess yes if it is anyone with royal blood. Anyone? That wolf the first night I came here, it was you? Wait, what about the other one? Who was that?”
Her look was intense while she searched for answers in his face. Lucius tried to appear calm. “Let me explain. I often go on hunting trips in the woods. I bring few supplies for when
I shift I carry nothing.”
“You hunt as a wolf?”
“Yes. I was on one such hunting trip when I found you; when I heard the other wolf attacking you.”
“Is he royalty? Do you know him?”
“The answer is no on both counts. That wolf was what we call a half-gift. There are numerous lords of various decent from the royal line. You may see who we are in human form from our black hair. You could say that hair color is a sign of status. On occasion a lord may have an, indiscretion, with a commoner. This may result in a half-gift offspring.”
“But what does that have to do with me? Why was he after me?”
“Without education and civility, a person that is given great power may not choose to use it for good. You were a victim of circumstance. A beautiful young woman alone in the midst of nowhere, and your scent made you irresistible to a rogue.”
“What do you mean my scent made me irresistible?”
Lucius wondered if there was a tactful way to explain it to her. He didn’t want her to feel like he was referring to her like a dog in heat. He cleared his throat a bit before beginning, “It has to do with your womanly cycle. Your scent becomes more…appealing, when you are…”
“When I am what?”
“Your scent is most appealing when you are in a condition to conceive a child. It is an animal instinct to procreate.
Increased sense of smell is part of the gift.”
“You can smell that?!”
“He had you cornered. I imagine he intended to shift and overpower you. I was lucky to arrive when I did.”
“He was going to, oh.”
She covered her mouth with her free hand at the new realization of the manner of danger she had been in. Lucius tightened his grip on the hand he held as she gave a little shiver. The air had become quite chilled as the night deepened. He wanted to be with her, but not at her expense.
“You are safe. The purpose of my absence was to capture the half-gift. He will go on trial soon and make restitution for his crime,” he told her in the most reassuring tone he could
muster. “You must be cold out here barefoot. Please allow me to escort you back to your room.”
“I don’t think I could find my way out of here on my own if I wanted to. Can we go back to the balcony first? I left my candle there.”
He smiled offering his arm to her in a gentlemanly manner, “As you wish, Miss Josephine.” When she stood and accepted his offer, Lucius was acutely aware of her icy thin fingers wrapping around his bicep. He wasn’t sure if it was the chill from her fingers or her touch that gave him goose bumps. He had never been half undressed in front of a girl before let alone to have her touching his bare skin. At the thought he tightened his arm to form a bigger muscle and stood up a bit straighter to broaden his shoulders. If old Cassie saw this impropriety she would scold me. For now, if Josephine does not mind, I will enjoy it.
THANKS FOR LOOKING!