- Bear in Mine
When a young shifter girl’s parents are violently killed, Emily Matthews is sent in to help her cope with her tragic loss by using her unique gift. The only problem is that using her gift always throws Emily into a whirlwind of debilitating pain. However, she’s happily surprised when she finds solace in the shifter’s older brother.
It breaks Jackson Brooks’ heart to see his sister trapped within her grief, quickly fading away from life. Although his Itan has brought Emily in to assist, he orders her as far away from his family as possible. Jackson doesn’t care that his bear screams mate – he wholeheartedly refuses to mate with simple human like her. Just when the pair find common ground to stand on, Emily’s gift suddenly puts them at odds with each other. Jackson is forced to decide whether to fight for the special connection that’s brewing between them, or retreat to his initial assessment of humans and belief that Emily is using him and his baby sister for her own personal gain.
CHAPTER 1- EMILY
I had been sitting in my Mini Cooper for the last forty five minutes attempting to put all of my protective layers into place. Why? Simply because my curse would not allow me to be near other people without tremendous effort on my part. People didn’t really mean to shout their emotions at me and God help the ones whose thoughts were so loud sometimes I thought they were my own. Nope, all of this was my problem and it has taken me years to be able to function as well as I do. Well that, a little planning, and a lot of time alone. So much time alone that sometimes my voice was the only one I would hear for days on end.READ MORE
Sadly I knew I could not cower in my car for much longer. I was here to do and job even if I was scared shitless I was going to do it. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life would change here in Grayslake, Georgia. Fate had seen fit to ensure that I had that little tidbit of knowledge. I knew I was sent here to help someone and that I would end up protecting someone from death. The problem was I didn’t know who or how. Fate sucked balls! This curse sucked even bigger balls! Okay so maybe it wasn’t a curse to some people, but those people could suck it as well. All I want is to be normal for once.
Gathering up my bag I got out of the car and immediately fell to my knees. The jolt of emotion slapped through my walls like they weren’t even there. This was the worst I have ever felt it. Being an empath meant I felt a lot, but this was like being in a tornado of emotion. If I didn’t get it under control, I was going to pass out and wouldn’t that just make for a confident first impression.
“Are you alright?” a deep-voiced called out, and within a few seconds, a pair of black boots came into view. “Are you alright?” The voice made a shiver run down my spine but at the same time all of the emotion stopped. It just stopped! No feelings other than my own, no voices…. Nope, not even one that didn’t belong to me. While at the same time something snapped within. Like a rubber band popping and I knew right away what this meant for me. As he bent to help me up, I braced for the pain I knew was coming. I felt it in the way he breathed in as deeply as he could. He dropped me to the ground like I had bit him or something.
“What do you want?” the anger in his voice was like a knife to the heart. Looking into the deepest chocolate brown eyes, I had ever seen I had to work at controlling my own emotions. Imagine that! Me! The freak of a person who could feel other people’s emotions and thoughts had to work to hide her own. This man was more than I had ever expected him to be. I was on the short side at 5’3” while he was at least six feet tall. If not taller with broad shoulders and muscular chest that just screamed for me to lay my head against it and never get up again. Every second in his presence I could feel a heat burning unlike any other. Not to mention the silence! What is the world was up with that? I had suffered this curse for as long as I could remember. If there was ever a time in my life that I didn’t feel other people in my head in one way or another, I don’t remember it.
“Jackson! Come here” a new voice called out, and from the authority in it my guess was this was the Itan. Ty and Mia Abrams were the Itan and Itana (respectively) here in Grayslake and Terrence said they were expecting me. Which would explain why the guy that just dropped me like a hot potato was hanging around like he was waiting on someone. The two men spoke and then the angry one stormed off around the side of the house. The second he was out of sight all the emotions and voices poured by in.
“Are you alright?” the Itan bent to peer into her face.
“Yes, I am fine, Itan. Thank you for asking. My name is Emily Matthews, and I believe you are expecting me.”
“I know who are and why you are here. What I didn’t expect you to be so…”
“Human?” Ty threw his head back and laughed.
“Yes, human is exactly right. Terrence said that he was sending us a special healer from his clan.”
“Which led you to assume it was a bear or at the least another shifter.”
“Correct and then there is the fact that you don’t seem to be mated.”
“Which is against the rules.” The Itan looked as though I was frustrating him by cutting him off. Baring my neck to show him the respect he deserved I thought I would throw him a bone. Because there was no way, I was kneeling for any Itan that wasn’t my father.
“ You’re correct on both accounts. I am human and I’m not mated although my family are all bears.”
“And you think you can help the cub?”
“I can try. That is all I can offer you.” The truth was that was all I would offer him. The cub that needed my help had been haunting my dreams for months and the guilt I carried is what led me to agree to come here. That wasn’t something I was willing to share with anyone. I should have been able to do more to stop everything that happened. I was weak in the moment I was needed the most and I would do my damnest to not fail again.
Rubbing the back of his neck a little too hard the Itan looked more like he wanted to gut me than allow me to help. “As much as I don’t like it both the Southeast Itan and my brother, Issac, have faith in your skills. They have assured me that you could help where no one else could and if you are able to help Sage I won’t care if you’re a fairy. However, if you harm a single hair on that cub’s head and I will bath in your blood.”
Oh, he meant that. How could I tell? I’ve seen that look before, you know that dark look that clearly says run for your life. The problem was I was broken and while I should be running my inner self shrugged. I’m nuts, what can I say?
“Fair enough. I get why you don’t trust me and I can assure you that I wouldn’t be here if there weren’t the slightest chance that I could help. Terrence told me that you had all tried everything that you could think of to help the cub.
“It’s always odd to hear others call him Terrence and not by his title.”
I wanted to laugh at him but thought better of it, “To shifters he’s the Southeast Itan, but he’s just Terrence to me and to you as well. You called him by his title to see what I would do. After all, he has helped here from time to time, and his niece is married to your brother. So, in a roundabout way you are related.”
“Only in Georgia could we be related like that. I would assume that in most other parts of the country and world he would simply by my brother’s uncle-in-law and nothing to me.”
He was right of course. Only in the South could you be related to some cousin many times removed and still call them cousin but for me, family was still family. I didn’t have any other than the ones I had found for myself. They didn’t start out belonging to me, but then I didn’t really belong to anyone. No, they took me in and loved me for the freak that I am.
“Tell how you think you can help Sage?” Oh, so it was time to get down to business.
“I won’t know until I meet her. I can give you broad strokes, but even those aren’t a certain. I don’t know what Terrence or even Issac told you about me, so I’m not sure where to start.”
“How about you just pretend they didn’t tell me a thing and tell me what I want to know.”
Wow, this guy was intense and not in the “I want to climb you sort of way”. Where did that other guy go? I bet he would have been a little more fun if he didn’t hate me because of my species.
“Alright, I am a psychologist who specializes in trauma especially shifter trauma. I do take on the occasional human patient, but they are always extreme cases and only children. I don’t work with human adults because they can be a drain on me.”
“Yes, on top of the clinical work I do I am also an empath which means I can feel others emotions. It helps me get through to them, but it can be physically draining for me. Shifters tend to have their emotions in layers where their animal can take on the burden of some of them. In doing that as far as I can tell shifters heal much quicker from emotional trauma. I can help when not only the human but the animal has suffered. I do it in stages healing first the animal who will then assist the human part. Since humans don’t have animals, it takes more out of me to heal them.”
The look on his face said it all. It said CRAZY! It was a look that I was familiar with and wondered how long it would take him to either have me arrested or to call Terrence and have me removed. I figured the best thing was for me to just change the subject.
“Itan, Terrence told me that you have a lake near here and that I could possibly camp there while I was here.” Staying out away from other people was important while I was working. There was too much going on with whomever I was working with to be able to function around normal people. I needed the space to recover and the fewer people, the better.
“Please call me Ty. Yes there is a lake, and you may camp there if you wish but I would rather you stayed in the house.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t. I can’t be around people when I am working, and it’s easier if I limit the number of people I come in contact with until Sage is healed. It will allow me to help her more thoroughly.”
“It’s more than that.”
Damn! He was too perceptive and I didn’t want to share all of my reasons. I knew that if I stayed in his home, there was going to be hell to pay. That was why I rented the motel rooms before I came out here. It would allow me a place to stay if he wouldn’t let me stay in the woods. I needed to be out there so I could attempt to ease my own guilt.
“Yes, you have some very strong emotions which work well because of your job, but your anger and grief can get in my way.”
Ty began to pace around the yard and I for a moment I thought maybe I should have kept my opinions to myself.”
“You’re right,” he growled with a fierceness that almost made me want to drop to my knees. “I am having issues. You don’t know what happened before or maybe you do. I can’t have things happening like that again.”
“I do know what happened and I would love to tell you that will never happen again. All I can ask is that you have faith in fate and know that when the time comes, I will give my own life for your clan. I will do so without hesitation and ask that you remember you are not to blame for what will happen. It is simply fate doing what she must just as she did when your Itana was injured. You have to trust that she knows what she is doing and we are merely pawns in her game.”
Ty ran his hands back and forth across his face clearly irritated this time. I knew this was hard for him; he was an honorable man and the thought that anything to could happen to one of his clan something he wanted to prevent. Sage’s parents had already been killed, and Sage suffered because of it. I knew he would have given his own soul to prevent that from happening again if he could. He finally stalked off around the house like he couldn’t stand to be near me anymore. What was the deal with men stalking away? A second or two passed had before he stalked back around to where I was standing.
“Are you coming or not?”
I liked that the author was new to me. I had a great time reading this book. The story line was a little different but good. I would recommend this to anyone as a great way too spend time reading.
Love this book it was fast reading and I just love it. You should read it you’ll love it too.
I have mixed feelings about this book, but overall I liked it. The story was good and interesting with enough tie in to the Grayslake books (Celia Kyle) without being dependent on them. I felt the author captured that tie in very well, which is where many of the other “kindle worlds” novels failed.