Title: Perceptions of Love Boxed Set
J. L. Addicoat
C. L. Kraemer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5
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Read First Chapter
Five complete novels that challenge conventional Perceptions of Love.
Licking her wounds after ending a six-year marriage to a serial cheating husband, Julia has run away to her grandfather's house high in the Australian Mountains, hoping to fix the old neglected building up while she contemplates her future, only to discover a huge white Siberian tiger on her door step. Tiger shifter Mohan has escaped, jumped ship and is in hiding from the hunter who has ripped him from his world and murdered those he loved, when a curvy Aussie woman turns up at the old house he’s managed to shelter in these past weeks. He offers his services as a builder by day, returning to her by night as a tiger. Despite the strong attraction he has trouble fighting, what he discovers in Julia is a new kind of warmth and kindness he is in desperate need of.
Spirit of Love
J. L Addicoat
Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17thCentury Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives, she realizes it’ll take more than a quick clean to put the dilapidated old Manor to rights.
While exploring the house, she feels as someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements, seen from the corner of her eyes, seem to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.
Dragons Among Us
Christie L. Kraemer
In a world full of anomalies such as the platypus and self reproducing Komodo dragon, is the human race willing to accept that dragons may be real? Sapien Draconi-human-dragon shape shifters-all over the world face this dilemma every day. The question has become life and death as their species is plagued with unexpected and unwanted shifting in the most unlikely of places. The Ancient Ones-full-blooded dragons-can offer advice, but few seem to put forward workable solutions to the problem. The fate of the shape shifters hangs in the balance, and an answer must be found before the Homo sapiens find, dissect, and hunt Sapien Draconi to extinction.
Six hundred years of peace are destroyed when Daria’s settlement is attacked. It is the start problems for the land of Majura. Daria saved people with magic and must join the magic wielding Mask wearers who rule the land. Her dreams have warned if she became one it would be the end of Majura. Are the Mask wearers keeping secrets or is she the only one who can see the power in the land is changing. A Mask wearer called Alenze believes her and offers to go on a quest with her to fix the Essence where the magic comes from, but he is keeping secrets from her that could be the death of them all.
Sweet Sexy Sadie
Fromthe first time Sadie’s eyes met those of Brody McKenna in the hot Sierra Madre Mountains, theirs was a potent attraction—not gentle, slow, and easy, but hot, hard, and all-consuming. The daughter of a dysfunctional family, Sadie had dreams no man could wrench from her with hot sex and an all-consuming passion. She’d challenge this alpha male with all the strength she possessed. But her red hair, fiery temperament, and indomitable spirit obsessed Brody...and he knew he had to find a way to show her he was more than he appeared and convince her to make a life with him.
Desperation was becoming a prevalent emotion in Mohan's life. With each passing moment, he slipped deeper into the unwanted state.
His food supply was limited, and he grew weaker with each passing week. Soon, he would be forced into the situation of journeying back into the human populace. It was dangerous for a creature in his situation.
As long as he remained in animal form, he had a chance of surviving. Yet, with each necessary shift to his human side, he grew weaker. His body ached with a gnawing hunger. Even in the warm climate of this new land, he was cold.
Mohan had been fortunate to find shelter; an old, abandoned farmhouse. It had several rooms and would have once been a comfortable home. Someone had left it to the ravages of time and was in need of much repair.
He would restore it if he had the resources. For now, it was a roof over his head and kept out the chill of the cold mountain nights. Still, even with a full blaze in the solid stone fireplace, it only partially kept the chill from his bones.
He had nothing with which to trade, nothing to barter, and he had limited English. All he would need to do was open his mouth to speak, and they would know he was not of this land. The clothes on his back he had taken from a pile discarded next to a large bin on a seaside street, near where he had come ashore. By day he had walked over many fertile, abundant fields through strange forests. As darkness fell, he had shifted and used the strength of his animal form. He hunted rabbits to help him continue on. As he moved further away from people and higher into the mountains, the safer he began to feel.
Stumbling across the farmhouse had been an answer to an unspoken prayer. He had collapsed in the old building, staying still until his exhaustion had faded.
Spirit of Love
J. L Addicoat
A sense of foreboding settled in Julia's stomach as she quickly returned to the car. She didn't know what it was about the manor, but each time she visited, the hair stood up on the back of her neck. It felt as if something or someone was watching her.
Starting the car's engine, she drove slowly down the weedy, rutted path, the car bouncing as its wheels sank into the potholes. Julia cringed at the jolts and scraping sounds coming from underneath the vehicle. "I should never have sold the Landcruiser. What was I thinking, bringing the Jag?" She knew what she had been thinking. She was the Mistress of the Manor now, and wanted to show off.
As she bumped along through the avenue of trees, the manor revealed itself. Grey stone blocks of the façade gave a haunting welcome. Julia swallowed a lump in her throat and tears pricked her eyes. It wasn't right. Richard should have been here with her. He'd wanted to restore the old mansion for a while. This was his dream house.
Instead, it had become his burial place.
She'd promised, while she knelt at his graveside, to restore the old manor in his memory. That had been two years ago. The memories of the time still haunted her. Grief and loneliness had held her back. Mentally, she felt stronger now, and able to accept having to carry on alone. "Get a grip on yourself Julia. It's an old house. It's bound to have a few creaks and groans."
Parking the Jag next to the front door, she unpacked, placing the bags in front of the massive wooden doors. The leering gargoyle face on the door knocker sent a shiver through her. Placing a hand over its face so she wouldn't have to look at it, Julia turned the door key in the lock and pushed the door open.
Dragons Among Us
Christie L. Kraemer
Aleda crawled from her sleeping bag and, individually, stretched her muscles. She’d always enjoyed camping. It was the only time she slept well. Something about the unpolluted air, the nights sounds of nature and knowing there were no other people about produced a sleeping potion no doctor could recreate. She dressed warmly against the morning chill and meandered to the stream to get water for coffee and cooking. Not having done much the day before, her ravenous hunger puzzled her.
“Must be the good mountain air.” She made coffee, scrambled eggs, and toasted bread with a slender wire camp toaster, which she held over the fire. As she sat in her chair enjoying the taste of food and quiet of the surrounding woods, hair on the back of her neck began to stand on end and her skin tingled. She shook off the feeling and poured another cup of coffee. The sensation of eyes observing her movements overpowered her senses and her amulet began humming, the sound increasing in volume with each passing minute.
“Enough!” Aleda tossed her plastic plate to the table with a clatter, stomped to her tent and retrieved a heavy coat. “I’ll nip this foolishness in the bud, right now!”
She hesitated as she started to storm from the camp. Camera.Quickly returning to her tent, she stomped away from her personal sanctuary, Nikon in hand, stomach complaining. Half a dozen paces from the camp, after wreaking a rushing flurry of birds into flight, Aleda realized, if she was to find out what was inducing her amulet to hum and her hair to stand on end, she would need to slow her pace—think before she stumbled into trouble. She proceeded into the stand of trees serving as the backdrop for her camp. Sauntering to nearest the evergreen, she placed her hand on the bark and felt a buzzing sensation tickle her palm. Aleda stumbled backward, dumbfounded by the commotion stirring within her. Logic and reason said she shouldn’t be sensing anythingby touching the tree.
“This whole trip is turning out to be totally illogical.”
If most of the other Masks were like Alenze, then she was never going to fit in. He didn't have a hair out of place. His clothes were grey but of the highest quality, with a beautifully fitted long tunic and breeches and well-made knee-high leather boots.
"During the travelling, you'll be placed in a trance. This is done so you're not alarmed by the experience. I'll be in control, and you'll not be aware of what's happening around you."
He spoke to her as if she were a child. The fact he was at least a head taller than her didn't help matters as he peered down.
"I assure you growing up here has made me resilient." Daria crossed her fingers behind her back at the lie.
"Many people struggle with the experience. I myself was glad I wore brown britches the first time. I agree though. I sense you'll not be alarmed easily," Alenze replied.
For a second Daria saw a smirk on his face. He had a sense of humor, who would have thought. He even almost looked handsome when he smiled.
"Traveler Quatrome, the sun is setting," her father interrupted. "The Chamber is ready." He bowed his head to both of them.
Alenze offered his arm to escort her into the Travelling Chamber. Daria stared at his hand as her heart pounded in fear, but knew she had no choice but to eventually take it. Pell stopped outside the Chamber and smiled at her, then looked to Alenze.
"Take care of her, and warn your fellow Masks to watch out for her temper; she didn't inherit her mother's green eyes and red hair without reason," Pell warned.
"You have my word, Master Gallo," Alenze replied as he shook her father's hand.
Atia and Chelle hugged her with tears streaming down all their faces.
"It won't be long, and I'll be back, especially if they don't want me, which is highly likely," Daria soothed them as she tried to get her tears under control.
Alenze coughed and Daria couldn't delay any more. Again, his arm was offered and this time she accepted. He escorted her into the chamber and as the doors shut behind them, she could hear Rumus howling and her breath caught in her throat.
Alenze let go of her arm and walked into the center of the circular, windowless room. With the doors closed, there was an oppressive feel to the space, with the only illumination coming from the oil lamps placed about the walls. The floor was covered with a beautiful painting. The tales were that the settlement had been built around this place.
Alenze was studying the markings on the floor. Daria's breath was catching in her throat and the room was getting smaller. She couldn't go through with this, they couldn't make her go. Her chest was getting tight as her panic increased. She ran to the door of the chamber and raised her fists, thumping hard again and again. The yells coming from her throat blanked out the pain as her fists started to redden and bleed.
"Let me out."
A hand touched her shoulder, causing her to spin around screaming, her clenched fist aimed at Alenze. Placing his hand over hers, he brought her fist down. He stared intently at her with his dark grey eyes as he spoke.
"When I went to the Domain in Denarius, I believed no one would want someone like me. Those who came with me at that time were filled with a confidence I never had. I didn't feel I'd ever belong, but now I do. Becoming a Mask has given my life meaning beyond what I would ever have thought possible. I've grown to love what I've become. You must trust me, and believe you'll feel that, too." He paused. "Are you ready?"
Daria nodded as he let go of her hands and walked over and stood over the open mouth of the winged serpent painted on the floor. She stood on the outside of the circular floor painting and thought her eyes must be playing tricks on her. The painting was starting to move as the serpent's coils began to entwine one upon another hypnotically.
"We can delay no longer. Stand on the mark of the moon." Holding out his arm, Alenze beckoned her to move forward.
She took the step, her breath coming in gasps. The outer circle had symbols of the sun, moon, stars and the Goddess Ikrar. The Goddess stood with her hands clasped around a crystal.
Alenze removed a small, plain brown mask from a pouch hanging around his neck and put it on his face. It had no hooks or fastenings, but melded to him on contact.
"Enter the circle, Daria."
Daria stepped forward onto the moving picture. Alenze took her hands in a firm grip, and needing something to hold onto, she gripped equally as hard around his wrists. She wondered if he could hear her heart beating. He should, as it felt as if it was going to explode through her chest.
"I don't want to do this. My life is here, Crane is here, I love him and I want to stay." Tears flowed down her face.
"Trust me, Daria, and you'll be safe," Alenze instructed.
"I don't want to trust you. I don't want to go and no one there will want me. They think I'm bringing doom with me because I touched the crystal," Daria sobbed, but Alenze wasn't listening anymore. His eyes were shut and he was chanting strange words over and over. There was a humming noise making her dizzy, and then something touched her foot. She jerked her knee up. Peering down, she let out a scream as the coils of the snake picture on the floor started slithering over her feet and around her ankles - where was the trance Alenze had promised? The Mask was no longer solid on his face; the flat surface was bubbling as though something was trying to erupt. Then the small heads of two snakes broke free from the surface and bit into his temples. If he felt any pain he didn't react.
More snakes oozed from the Mask until the whole of his head was a wriggling mass moving down his back and entwining around his arms. Two vipers separated from the others encircling his arms. The snakes stopped their movements at his wrists and raised their bodies up as though to get a good look at her. They swayed hypnotically. Daria tried to pull free of Alenze's grip, but he was too strong. Then without warning, both snakes struck at her wrists in unison.
"Alenze," his name burst from her mouth as the pain hit her arms and the poison burned into her. His eyes opened, looking first to her face and then at the vipers injecting their venom. She could hear his thoughts.
Forgive me, Daria.
Sweet Sexy Sadie
Sadie didn't know what to make of Brody. Exceptionally handsome and charismatic, he'd made her smile the first time she saw him sauntering down the road toward her. Good lord, but he looked as if he owned the world. Tall, tanned from the sun, amber-green eyes that sparkled as if he saw some light humor in everything. He was wiry and sleek; a quickness about him surprised her. His blue-black hair was tied back with a leather thong, his chin angular.
Perhaps he did own this part of the Sierra Madres. His family seemed to own most of this town.
Her research had brought her to this place, Cactus Junction. Now the prospect of getting to know an interesting man would be an added perk. In the bathroom she slipped out of her clothes and into a tepid shower. A few minutes later she emerged squeaky clean and ready for the next part of her adventure.
Unpacking her clothes and taking out her laptop, she opened it. What do explosive experts do? Hmmm....
Why, they blow up things. What would he blow up around here?
Lord but that sounded crazy to her. Before typing in the necessary info to pull something up on Google, she leaned back, relaxing into her chair. The wallpaper was outdated, and the old fan complimented the air conditioning. She realized she liked the atmosphere.