TITLE: An Erie Garden Party
SERIES: Lake Erie Shifters
AUTHOR: V.L. Locey
PUBLISHER: Torquere Press
COVER ARTIST: Kristian Norrise
LENGTH: 32,100 words
RELEASE DATE: April 13, 2016
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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 theElders 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.
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
The last time I read Locey was Long Change and I absolutely loved it. Then I picked this one up and right about the first page, I realized this was part of a series. Fortunately, this writer is good in building up this shifter world that I was not once lost. However, now I want to read the other stories before this because the cast of characters are in a word: delightful.
Normally, I wouldn't be using 'delightful' to describe a shifter book but this one has such an air of formality in it that it's impossible not to. Templeton, the main skunk shifter character, thinks and talks to beat the Victorian era and it's all kinds of amusing and fascinating. His formality is poles apart from his raunchy scenes with mate, the alpha wolf Mikel.
Mikel provided for me, the comic relief. He is caught in the trance of the moon so is more canine than human and so think doggy baths and where they dry off after? Personally, I already set aside a pile of towels for my dogs to use but there are times when said dog jumps on bed and comforter and I leave you to imagine the rest but instead of my doberman, you have Mikel. In human form. Needless to say, I was laughing at this point. Poor Templeton, has to change the sheets and tries his best to discover who is killing the poor innocents while busily spraying musk over whoever threatens him.
The side kicks are hilarious. A major domo who successfully scares the skunk and the alpha wolf. Mikel's cousin who shows up in fur and comes out in...I'll leave you to find out this one. Then there's the badass of all badasses bruin or bear shifter who is in reality, an Amazon of a woman who can eat and fight her way through mortal enemies and still come out beautiful.
I loved reading this book and will make sure to grab the other stories in this series. I need to know how the vampire misted to his human lover and how Mikel won Templeton...or is it the other way around? I need more.
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, two dogs, 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. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.
Winner’s Prize: Digital copy of An Erie Garden Party.
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