Festive & Seduced
House of the Cat, Book 5
Santa Claus is coming to town…
Feline mates and best friends shouldn’t hold secrets close to their chests, yet Camryn O’Sullivan is convinced something is going on with her shapeshifter man, Ry Coppersmith. Their lovemaking has dwindled to almost nonexistent and she’s tried everything from sexy lingerie to bluntness but nothing breaks the sexual drought.
Life on the planet of Viros is everything Ry has ever wanted. He has a beautiful mate, two cute children and many close friends, yet all is not well in his world. Problems—nagging personal concerns—abound. This time last year, he and his crew visited Camryn’s home planet of Earth and celebrated Christmas. They have their memories, yet they aren’t the same, and he knows Camryn misses her twin brother. A Christmas-tinged diversion might help while he struggles to subdue the complications messing with his head and his relationship with Camryn.
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“Ry Coppersmith is impossible.” Camryn O’Sullivan, former jockey from Earth, glowered at the retreating back of her feline shifter mate. His black hair, currently loose, lifted in the gentle breeze as he dodged locals shopping at the market stalls and socializing with friends in the cobblestone market square. She lowered her gaze to his perfect backside and watched until he disappeared under the archway into the honey-colored stone castle.
The castle, hereditary seat to the House of the Cat and home to the king of Viros, perched on top of the hill like a benevolent dragon guarding the residents of Viros, the only city on the planet of the same name. Buildings spilled down the terraced hillside until the city reached the protective walls below—a legacy of the on-again, off-again, currently off war with the neighboring House of Cawdor, inhabitants on the planet of Gramite. Luxurious houses and the businesses to cater for them stood on the first terrace below the castle, the accommodation and stores becoming smaller and less illustrious with each successive and larger terrace. A central staircase leading from the bottom terrace, just near the city gates, allowed citizens and visitors access to the various streets and ended at the public square outside the castle.
“What’s wrong?” Jannike asked, her frown fierce as she rubbed her swollen belly.
“Ry is driving me crazy with his overprotective careful-you-might-break-a-nail behavior.” Camryn threw her hands up in a theatrical gesture, raising her gaze from the sea of dwellings and businesses, past the sliver of forest visible beyond the wall to the perfectly clear blue skies of Viros.
A snicker came from one of her friends and she whirled to nail them with an evil eye, but the culprit had turned poker-faced. She suspected Kaya—the only unmated one of her friends. Kaya’s bright blue eyes, the exact color of her chin-length, straight blue hair, held explosive humor, and Camryn wanted to yank on her pointy ears in retaliation.
The truth—the blue-hair minx didn’t know any better.
Camryn folded her arms across her chest in a silent dare for Kaya to laugh again. Just wait until Kaya found a mate. Camryn would make popcorn, sit back and observe the show.
“It’s not funny,” Camryn said. “I can’t leave the room without him panicking, and if one of the twins starts to cry, he loses every scrap of color. Quick, let’s go to the refreshment shop on the corner of the square before he changes his mind about letting me go out for a few cycle marks.”