Churchill Polar Bears, Book 2
Pack up those troubles in a designer bag and…ignore them.
Forced into a corner by her family, Kendall Essex has one option if she wants peace. She leaves her Devon home to visit her friend in Churchill, Manitoba. While she’s aware her ostrich-head-in-the-sand plan isn’t the best, she hopes for breathing space from familial pressure and distraction. The big, burly Hallsten brothers provide that and more…
Half-breed Saxby Hallsten has never fit in the polar bear shifter world. If he had his way, he’d never return to Churchill, but personal business forces him to venture north. His two younger half-brothers—both full polar bear shifters—are ecstatic at seeing their home and family again, but the memories of the past haunt Sax.
The only good thing about Churchill is meeting Kendall, but even she presents a dilemma because both Sax and his two brothers are attracted to her. She’s curvy and smart and the perfect woman for them. Persuading her to date them takes finesse and creative strategy. Coaxing her to accept them as a package deal might take a miracle since she knows nothing of shifters.
But one night Kendall disappears, and the Hallsten brothers’ secret collides with Kendall’s past and her future. Ignoring trouble is no longer the solution if any of them want a happy-ever-after in this non-traditional relationship.
Contains a curvy blonde with an interfering mother, three brothers with their own family problems and sweet, sexy times for four. There’s danger and adventure. Oh, and a cell phone that is much the worse for wear.
Other Books in the Churchill Polar Bears series
Read an Excerpt
“Folks, we’ll have you on the ground in Churchill in five minutes. Please keep your seatbelts fastened until the captain switches off the overhead signs. Make sure your seats are upright and your tray tables secure. Thank you for flying Eagle Express Air and have a great day.”
Kendall Essex closed her book—an autobiography of her favorite chef—pushed the button to maneuver her seat to the correct position and yawned. Her brain told her she’d spent days on the plane since leaving Heathrow. Fatigue clung to her mind, griminess to her skin. And for not the first time, she wondered if fleeing England was a mistake.
Her thoughts flashed back to the last scene with her brother, her mother, her grandmother and her hands curled into tight balls. The one acceptable alternative for her—to leave.
The plane thumped against the runway. Once. Twice. Three times. Somewhere behind her, a woman shrieked. Other passengers murmured uneasily. The man seated to her left muttered a curse as the jet wavered in a gust of wind. The aircraft smacked off the tarmac one more time before landing again and remaining on the ground. Gradually, the velocity of the plane slowed, and the pilot taxied closer to the terminal. Once the plane came to a halt, men and women leaped out of their seats and collected their carry-on from the overhead lockers.
Kendall stood, ready to stretch her legs after the one-hour forty-five-minute flight from Winnipeg. Fiona McDonald had promised to meet her at the airport, and despite the mess her life had become, Kendall was looking forward to meeting the woman she’d encountered online during her search for a graphic designer. Fiona had invited her to stay for a few days until she found a job. An easy task, according to Fiona, since the polar bear season kicked off soon.
The woman standing in front of Kendall in the aisle dragged out the suitcase she’d crammed in the overhead locker. The heavy bag hurtled down and hit Kendall’s shoulder before a tall dark-haired man caught it.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” The woman’s pink, puckered lips formed a moue, and she shrugged.
Kendall rubbed her ouchie, irked by the woman’s casual manner. “It’s fine.” She offered a smile to the man who’d grabbed the case before it did more damage.
Black hair. Blue eyes. Tan skin. Taller than her by six inches, he wore a tailored charcoal-gray suit. No return smile on his sexy mouth. Okay.
“Thank you,” Kendall said.
“No problem.” Brusque, he added nothing further.
Kendall stared at him for a fraction longer but he remained dour. Maybe he had a wife or a girlfriend. She offered a second more stilted smile and a curt nod and reached up for her own leather satchel and heavy jacket.
“Let me get that,” he offered.
He might not smile much, but he was a gentleman. Kendall didn’t meet many in the course of her work. No, it was everyone for themselves in the food industry.
“It’s fine. Thank you, but I can get my bag.”
The line of people in the aisle started deplaning, and Kendall seized her satchel and shoved her book away.
“Good book?” a deep voice asked.
Kendall cocked her head. Two men, both blue-eyed blonds stood behind Tall, Dark and Somber. They wore jeans, button-down shirts—pale blue and gray, respectively. She gawked from one to the other, taking in their similarities.
“We’re twins,” the second man added, his lips curving into a charming smile. “Although I have a sexy scar on my chin, so you can tell us apart.”
The dark-haired man snorted.
“You didn’t answer my question,” the man interested in her book said.
Kendall stared, meeting his twinkly blue gaze. The silence lengthened, and she felt as if she were drowning in heat. She shook herself from her daze. “Um…a bio for Nigella Lawson.”
“Hmm, a pity. I was hoping it was a romance.”
She blinked. Of all the things she’d guessed he might say, this wasn’t one of them.
He lifted his e-reader, his easy grin still in place. “I’m reading a romance.” He leaned closer to whisper. “A hot, spicy one. My favorite kind.”
Was he taking the Mickey?
“Ran reads romances,” the second twin—the one with the scar—informed her. “He’s not giving you a line. He used to read to Marie.” His broad smile dimmed a fraction as if the memory held pain. “Ran reads to relax.”
Unsure of how to answer, Kendall stepped forward when the line moved. Her back prickled, and she had to work hard to keep herself from glancing over her shoulder at the brothers. She shuffled down the aisle, smiled at the cabin staff and navigated the metal stairs to reach the tarmac. Wind buffeted her, tugged at the strands of her hair until blonde locks obscured her vision. With her free hand, she swiped away the errant curls and trudged toward the terminal.
“Smell that air,” a masculine voice said from behind her.
“It’s great to be home,” another man replied.
The twins. Kendall recognized their husky tones from their earlier discussion.
“I’ve rented a vehicle. We’ll drive to the property before anyone knows we’ve arrived,” a third voice said.
The gentleman. Kendall slowed her steps a fraction, acting on an instinct that had her sliding into nosiness.
“Aw, can’t we—”
“No, Sax is right. We can visit once we sort out Marie’s place. We discussed this earlier. Something isn’t right, and we need to help Sax fix it.”
Kendall pushed through the door and entered the crush of passengers and people waiting to greet them.
“Kendall. Kendall! Over here.”
Kendall swiveled toward the excited shout and spotted Fiona, who was waving and bouncing up and down. She wove through the crowd of new arrivals to reach Fiona’s side.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” Fiona, a blue-eyed blonde, threw her arms around Kendall and hugged her. When she released Kendall, Fiona stood back to scrutinize her. “I knew you were blonde but we look like sisters. How cool! I’ve always wanted a sister. This is Arve.” Fiona winked at him. “I brought him to carry your bags.”
There were no luggage conveyors at this airport. Kendall spotted the bags lined up, ready for passengers to collect them.
Arve towered over Fiona, yet the love on his face as he grinned down at her made unwarranted envy surge in Kendall.
“Pleased to meet you, Kendall. Fiona has been talking of your visit all week. What color is your bag?”
“It’s a white case covered with rabbits and red arrows.” In a fit of pique, she’d appropriated her mother’s designer luggage. An excellent move since it was always easy to locate.
Arve barked out a quick laugh. “I should find that okay.” He took two steps, scanning the crowd. “Well, hell. That’s the Hallsten boys. I wonder what they’re doing in Churchill. I haven’t seen them for years.”
“Kendall and I can grab a coffee while you have a chat,” Fiona offered.
“No, they’re younger than me. Kirk’s age, I think. I—Sax is here too. I never—” He broke off, his forehead creasing as if his thoughts were deep and entrenched in the past.
“Say hello.” Fiona made flapping motions with her hands.
Arve took one step and halted. “They’re leaving. I’ll catch up with them later. Ah, I see Kendall’s case. Won’t be long.”
“Kendall,” Fiona said in an undertone. “I need to tell you something while we’re alone. You’ve met Arve already.” Fiona looked her in the eye. “What I haven’t told you is that I am involved with Arve and his four brothers.”
Kendall’s mouth dropped open. “A-all of them? How does that work?”
“It is perfect for me. I usually have one of my men around when the others are away working. I wanted to explain before we arrived home. If this makes you uncomfortable, we can drop you off at a hotel.”
“No, it doesn’t upset me. Actually, I’m in awe. I’ve had trouble trying to have a relationship with one man. Five men…” She trailed off, giving her head a shake. “You’re my hero.”
Fiona beamed. “I knew we’d get on great.”
“I promise not to hang around your place for long.”
Fiona linked their arms. “You’re not a bother, Kendall. My men have assured me you’re welcome to stay for as long as you need.”
Read the Reviews
“The fast-paced and smooth flowing plot keeps readers glued to the pages as Kendall tries to fit into her new world and step away from her overbearing family and the decisions that they keep making for her. There is also some intrigue and danger afoot in this story as the bears past rears its ugly ahead and tries to take Kendall away. There was no way I could put this delightful and sensual story down once I started reading it and I can’t wait to visit Churchill again.”
~ Stormy Vixen Book Reviews