An Erie Garden Party by V.L. Locey
Series: Lake Erie Shifters, Book 3
Publisher: Torquere Press
Release Date: 4/13/16
Length: 32k words
Genre/Tags: Paranormal, M/M Romance
Spring has finally arrived along the shores of Lake Erie and no one is happier than skunk shifter, Templeton Reed. Now that the snows have melted, he can frolic and play on the grounds of Lupei Manor, the formidable home that he shares with his life partner, Mikel Lupei, the alpha of the Lake Erie pack. What a pity that his joy is short lived.
Not only does a stranger appear to shake things up in the manor, bodies begin showing up on the grounds as well! Could the newcomer to the pack be the one viciously killing innocent humans and shifters? Or is there a more nefarious force at work lurking just outside the boundaries of the ancient manse Templeton, Mikel, and their LGBT friends call home?
“Son of a human,” Mikel snarled. He stripped and shifted. I stood with his clothes over my arms, watching the wolf work the scent. He padded to the lake, snuffled the shore intently, and then slowly made his way back to the corpse. I turned my head to stare at Erie when he shoved his head under the bloody sheet to smell the body. The water seemed almost tranquil today. How I wished we were planning our spring fete instead of standing here beside a dead man. Mikel tapping my arm brought my attention from the Great Lake back to him. I handed him his pants.
“So, what can you tell us about this poor man’s fate?”
“He’s human.” Mikel zipped his trousers vehemently. “And he was killed by a large animal, either wolf or bruin. Whoever did this dragged him through the lake to mask the scent. I’ll have to gather the pack to scour the woods. Damnation.”
“Oh dear me,” I sighed. “I suppose the call must be made then.”
Mikel threw his head back and stared at the soft white clouds ambling past. “Yes. We have to notify the Elder counsel. That is standard operating procedure when a human is involved in mystical matters. Damnation!”
I reached out to pat his thick bicep. I wasn’t sure he wanted consolation but I offered it anyway. He placed his hand over mine.
“Let me know when they plan to arrive. I’ll take a long stroll through the woods.”
Mikel’s lip rolled as he turned to look down at me. “I hate that as well. You should be at my side. This mansion is as much your home as it is mine.”
“Yes, well, the times they aren’t a changing as rapidly as needed,” I smiled then snuggled into his wide chest. His arms cinched around me tightly, his smoky shirt smashed between us. My ear rested over his strong heart. “If one of the Elders saw me here it would raise questions. I know we have a lie all in place, but I for one do not wish to put that lie to the test. Better I enjoy the forest for an hour or so while they attend to this mess.”
“I love you beyond words, Templeton,” Mikel said into my black hair. “Someday, I swear, we shall not have to hide our love for each other.”
“From your mouth to the Elders’ ears,” I whispered, then tipped my head up for a kiss. We both needed one. Pity it couldn’t be a longer one, but it was tender.
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.
VL Locey writes a tale of mystery, suspense and magical creatures in An Erie Garden Party. Mikel is a local shifter and leader of a very old and prestigious pack. His lover is a skunk shifter, Templeton. They’re navigating keeping their lifestyle a secret from the higher council while protecting others in the LGBT spectrum or their allies. Their little pack is safe at Lupei Manor, as long as their secrets remains just that, a secret.
Someone is wanting to bring them down by making them the suspects in the murders of a human and shifter. Two bodies have been left on their doorstep and that will bring the council in to mind sweep. Once that happens, their secrets will be out, pack dismantled, and all the members of the house imprisoned or worse.
As if that wasn’t enough trouble and stress, Templeton is dealing with a randy Mikel as the full moon nears. Mikel has a much harder time resisting his predatory senses to hunt and mate during this time. Just when Templeton needs home to be Mikel’s focus along with the murders, Mikel is muddied with full moon head fog! Not to mention Templeton being a bit sore from his excitable and insatiable wolf!
I loved Templeton’s voice. He’s witty, will stand up to the bigger predatory pack members, and has his dominant wolf at his mercy…. somewhat! Templeton is a fierce little skunk!
I also enjoyed how much went on in this shorter length story. Packed full of action, issues, and steamy sex. There’s so much happening it was over before I realized I was so close to the end. A truly delightful paranormal encounter.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!
Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of An Erie Garden Party