Today’s snippet is to be about family. Family is on my mind a lot this time of year. Though actually, family is always on my mind. More so this year than most any other. I’ve gained new family and at times feel as though I have lost other family.

I don’t write a lot about family in my books, but there are a few that have mention or the characterization of family. For today’s snippet, I have chosen to pull out Arctic Shift. The hero Carson, has three brother and the heroine Ruby has a sister she’s very close to. I have always wanted a close relationship with my sister but we are such different people, live such different lives… I miss her a great deal and haven’t done the best job at trying to maintain the relationship, however, just as in Arctic Shift, I would travel to the ends of the Earth and far outside my comfort zone to help her if she needed it.

Now, I know readers are waiting on the next one, so, maybe going through it again will spark something in me to think about the second one…

Artic ShiftSnippet:

“Are you really okay with this, Mel? Living up here, working from here? Being married to a shifter? I mean… What did you tell your friends? What are you going to tell Mom and Dad?” Ruby and Melanie sat on the couch in Carson’s living room, the same couch she and he had… The heat crept up again. Damn. She was turning into a regular old slut. Inwardly she smiled. If it meant sex with him wherever and whenever, being a slut was okay with her.

Luckily, Melanie hadn’t been looking at Ruby or there’d have been some explaining for Ruby to do about the color in her cheeks.

“Yes, I am really okay with this. Ruby, it was love at first sight for me when I met James. I can’t explain it and I never fought it. Not like I had with other men. Whereas I always wanted my independence with most of my boyfriends and lovers, one look at James and I wanted him all the time, every moment I was awake. I have to say though, I’m very surprised that you are fighting it with Carson.”

Ruby nodded. “So am I. I’m the believer in the family, and you’re the scientist. Of the two of us, you should be the one having issues, not me.” So then, why did she have issues? They weren’t as prevalent right now as they had been before last night. Something shifted, gave way, opened up during sex with Carson and where before she was concerned with logistics and how it would work, now it didn’t seem as important. Yet, she was clinging to it for all she was worth.

“What exactly is it you have a problem with?”

“Being isolated.”

Melanie nodded. “I understand why that would bother you. I’m used to being off in remote regions sometimes, out in the middle of the ocean others, but you’re used to being surrounded by people, the city, culture. This would seem a little daunting.”

Yes, daunting. Looking out the large floor to ceiling windows of Carson’s living room, the mountains in the distance, the trees surrounding the cabin, the vast sky stretching as far as the eye could see, daunting was a very good word for it.

She was often lost in her own mind, a private person, an introvert, however she was quite at home in a crowded apartment building with people living just on the other side of the walls.

“Is quiet your only issue?”

Melanie’s words brought Ruby’s attention back to their conversation. Was it? Each time she thought about it, she came up with nothing else. Surely there was some other thing keeping her on the fence, something much more substantial than the fact that it was quieter in Alaska than it was in Chicago. “Well, I don’t know Carson all that well. I mean, I’ve known him for what, four days? Or is it five? See I can’t even tell you what day it is. I’m so turned around up here.”

Melanie laughed and hugged her. Ruby clasped her sister tightly, glad to have her solid and strong and familiar there with her. Mel pulled back but held on to Ruby’s hands. “I know. It’s fast. It hits you right between the eyes and doesn’t let go. These men are like magnets and once one of them sets his sights on the woman he is meant to be with, there’s nothing to be done about it. In his mind, the die has been cast and there’s no out. You feel the same pull I did with James, Ruby. You feel the same pull Carson does.”

“His is different than mine.”

“No, Ruby, it’s not. Not really. He feels it in his blood, coursing through him. You feel it in your gut, in your heart. It’s a part of both of you.”

“His is… I don’t know.” Ruby shook her head, failing at finding the right words she was searching her brain for.

“Okay, let me ask it this way. When you first met him, what did you think? What did you feel?”

Hot. Hard. Sexy. “Well, he was naked in my hotel bed.” Melanie laughed and so did Ruby. “I felt safe, no panic, no fear. I thought he was gorgeous, the most beautiful and striking man I’d ever seen.”

“And you trusted him, yes?”

Ruby nodded. She had. Immediately and without question. Thinking back on it now, it seemed rather stupid. He was a perfect stranger, the emphasis on the perfect part because he’d never really felt like a stranger. She should have been scared, full of panic, but it wasn’t until sometime later that the absence of those feelings actually dawned on her.

“He’s your own hero, Ruby. Your own Prince Charming. This is your fairy tale, and he’s his own legend, just like the rest of the men in his family. They are living legends.”

“And no one can ever know about them.”

“No,” Melanie shook her head. “No one can ever know about them, at least not what makes them so very special.”

“You still didn’t answer me about mom and dad. What are you gonna tell them? Hell, I don’t even know what to tell them. ‘Hey, Mom, Dad, Mel and I have shacked up with a couple of ice bear shifters’.”

Melanie laughed. “Yeah, I’m not sure the parental units are going to understand, but you know them, they live their own lives in their own little world. The farm has always been everything to them.”

“True.”

“Look, Ruby, I have a confession to make. I didn’t call or answer your calls because…because I needed you to come find me. I needed you to see them for yourself. I needed you to meet Carson.”

“Why?”

“I saw the way he looked at the pictures of you I had. It was the same way James looked at me the day I met him.  It was an all-knowing look, and I knew that you were the one. The way he would go completely still when he heard your voice on my voicemail saying that you were coming to find me. He got this intense look in his eyes. James said it was the animal kicking in, the need for his mate.”

“But bears don’t really have mates. Not for life anyway. The males don’t even stick around.”

“These hybrid bears do. Fiercely loyal and possessive, protective. They were humans first, but the need and animalistic urge to mate… Once it kicks in, it’s there for good. Besides, Carson’s a catch.”

Ruby couldn’t argue with that, but she wanted to know why Melanie thought so. “Why?”

“Oh don’t pretend you don’t know why. Honey, the man can cook.”

End snippet

Have a great weekend, y’all! And enjoy the snippets from the following authors:

Lauren Dane
Rhian Cahill
Eliza Gayle
Selena Blake
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Vivian Arend
Alison Kent
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Shelli Stevens
Shiloh Walker
Leah Braemel
Louisa Edwards
TJ Michaels

~lissa