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How Crazy? Book Review

Crazy for Loving You: Book Cover Crazy for Loving You:
Bluewater Billionaires
by Pippa Grant
Romantic Comedy
Bang Laugh Love LLC
Kindle Edition

Is there anything hotter than a growly, overprotective Marine cradling a baby? My melted ovaries don’t think so. When you work hard and have the bank account to prove it, you’re entitled to play hard. I’ve seen some crazy things. I’ve caused some crazy scenes. And there’s no shame in my game. But I’m still knocked off my stilettos when an insane chain of events leads to me inheriting a baby. The craziest part? The baby comes with a by-the-books, no-nonsense retired Marine who's so regimented that I wouldn't be surprised if he irons his boxer shorts. Parenting? Bring it on. I don’t need sleep—I once started my day with business meetings in Cairo and ended it three days later at a club in Melbourne. Changing diapers? Please. It can't be any more challenging than changing out of Spanx on the back of a moving motorcycle. Training the little guy to run the family’s real estate empire? He’ll be all our bosses by the time he’s four. But living with my new co-guardian? The gruff, muscled, tattooed former military man who manages to check all my boxes while trying to sneak under my skin? He needs to go. Because the longer he stays, the more layers he’s peeling off my heart. But love isn’t something that’s ever diluted my gene pool, and I like my life just fine without it. I have awesome friends, this adorable baby and an obscene amount of money. Who needs love? Turns out…maybe me. Crazy for Loving You is a larger-than life ride through accidental parenthood featuring a fun-loving billionaire playgirl, a crusty Marine with a gooey center, a horny dolphin, the world’s most obscene pool, and all the fun you’d expect from a world built by Lucy Score, Claire Kingsley, Kathryn Nolan, and Pippa Grant. The Bluewater Billionaires are four shared-world hot romantic comedies written by Lucy Score, Claire Kingsley, Kathryn Nolan, and Pippa Grant. They can all be read as stand-alone novels.

So Blue Water is an area of high priced places to live with all sorts of amentities designed by women. With their own special touch added to it.

One special woman has a mother obsessed with reproductive organs and making them into art, of all types, and helped by the some of these women, they have made a fortune.

So these women, fed up with men dominating real estate have also created their own special oases for themselves within Blue Water – and yes, you might have guessed, the amenities such as the harbour and the swimming pool are all designed as…

And also sold some of these oases at a very nice price. They are now Billionaires in their own right.

Such a fun idea and a fun book too. Pippa Grant writes flirty romcoms with gusto and a wild imagination.

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Guess who’s written what: Book Review

The Bewitched Family Book Cover The Bewitched Family
Iman's Journal Book 2
by Emily Flowers
Romance | Sci Fi & Fantasy
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 30 Jun 2020

A tough battle between the wizards and the witches is ahead! When Iman meets Troy's family, his mother comes across as really sweet and kind in the beginning. However, Iman sees beyond her fake smile and senses there is something sinister about this family. She decides to investigate and the more she finds out, the more she puts herself and Troy in danger. Standing by is not an option. Iman must confront the dark force head-on or humankind is doomed. The spell book and the wizard's wand are ready. A duel is inevitable. But that also means Iman may lose Troy for good ... What is Troy’s mother up to? Is there hope for humanity? Will Iman be able to protect the love of her life?

Witches have nice grandfathers who give them recipe books it seems, who give them jewels too, and sometimes they are wizards too, but meeting the boyfriends’ family is an whole ‘nother matter… But still, you take a pie, don’t you? Especially one made from Grandpa’s recipe book.

And it isn’t good when Iman finds that her boyfriend’s sisters are witches too and want something, she has that Grandpa gave her, and no, it isn’t the recipe book.

Iman hadn’t expected this as Troy is a normal and she had thought all his family were too, unlike hers – after all Grandpa was chief wizard (see Book 1 for details of their romance).

It is a short book – but part of a set of 5 – only 40 print pages – thus good for young adults who prefer not to read complicated story lines. Consider all 5 as one book. This is book 2 in the series which is easy enough to enter as a standalone.

The writing is light and moves along at a good pace with short chapters, a magical battle, and enchanted objects. The ending could leave you wanting more – and if you want it enough there are 3 more to read…  I wasn’t bothered. .

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Winter is going? Book Blitz

Wynter
(Silver Skates, #1)
Mia Harlan
Adult, Comedy, Paranormal, Romance
January 18th 2021

When a pair of magical skates helps me find my fated mates, the last thing I expect is to get rejected, betrayed, and framed for a crime I didn’t commit.

I moved to Silver Springs to escape my past. Fell in love with the small supernatural town. Made friends with its quirky residents. Even got my dream job.

But just when life’s finally looking up, disaster strikes. The cleaning company I work for falls under threat, and I’m framed for a crime I didn’t commit.

Then, I find my fated mates:

  • A shifter hockey player who knows how to handle his stick.
  • A sweet journalist who shifts into a block of ice but is oh so hot.
  • And a mage detective who already broke my heart once.

This should be the happiest time in my life, but my mates reject me, one by one.

As the new life I built starts to crumble around me, can I work things out with my mates and catch whoever framed me? Or will I end up broken-hearted, alone, and behind bars? Because I may be the best magical maid in town, but my life is one mess no spells in the world can fix.

When a pair of magical skates helps me find my fated mates, the last thing I expect is to get rejected, betrayed, and framed for a crime I didn’t commit.⁣

⁣If you like sassy witches, wonky magic, panty-melting fated mates, and intriguing mysteries, you’ll love this steamy, laugh-out-loud paranormal romantic comedy with all the feels!⁣

⁣Wynter by @miaharlanbooks is a standalone in the Silver Springs shared universe and comes complete with a happily-ever-after. Click here to read this fun, quirky romance today ➞ https://amzn.to/2ZaGYfl⁣

⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣#Bibliophile #Bookshelf #BookClub #Bookish #Booksy #BookNerd #BookWorm #PNR #miaharlan #XpressoTours @XpressoTours #BookBlogger #BookQueen #BookLove #BookStack #GoodReads #BookShark #BookCommunity #ReadersOfInstagram #BookBabe #Reading #BookAesthetic #BookishPost

Excerpt 1:

“I thought I’d test out the rink,” I tell Hockey Hottie—who I really can’t keep calling that, even just in my head. Not unless I want to risk blurting it aloud. “I’m Zoelle Wynter. Zoe for short.”

“Wynter, eh?” He lets out a deep, throaty chuckle that I can feel right down to my toes.

Then he extends one large hand, palm up. For a second, I think he wants me to cross the distance between us to shake it. But then he looks up at the sky and watches as the snowflakes drift down onto his skin. They melt against his bare palm and suddenly, I want to melt against his palm, too. To feel his hands all over me. To see what those long fingers of his can do.

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong reaction to a man. Not at first sight. I’ve had one-night stands before, but I’ve never wanted to strip a man naked outdoors, in the dead of winter. Or wondered if a hockey player might want to do any other type of scoring on the ice.

“Leaf,” he calls out.

“What?” I stare up at him, wondering if I just zoned out on half of what he was saying. Why else would he be talking about leaves? Unless he means the Maple Leafs? But why even bring up a human hockey team, when as far as the NHL is concerned, supe teams—and supe players—do not exist?

“My name.” He rewards me with a throaty chuckle. “Scottish mother. Jewish father.”

“And they called you Leaf?”

“Leith, with a TH.” He grins as he spells it out for me. “It actually means wet. So nothing to do with leaves.”

“Wet,” I repeat and swallow hard.

Leith rewards me with a knowing grin. One that has my body reacting in… well… the way his name would entail.

Image result for hockey player cartoon images

Author Bio

Mia Harlan lives in Canada with her husband (who’s definitely Not a Vampire) and their adorably fluffy cat. They recently welcomed a Mini Mortal (a baby girl) into the world and are happy to report she doesn’t have fangs. Mia is a librarian by day and an author by night. She’s been reading romance since she turned thirteen and published her first one in mid-2019. She writes humorous, quirky (and mostly paranormal) reverse harem romance.


Author links:

http://www.miaharlan.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/miaharlanbooks

https://www.instagram.com/miaharlanbooks/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mia-harlan

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19214375.Mia_Harlan

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How many children? Book Reviews

In Her Candy Jar Book Cover In Her Candy Jar
Svenssons
Alina Jacobs
Romantic Comedy, Womens' Fiction
Kindle

I am always fully in control of my company, my family, and my life. Even my diet is perfectly regulated—that includes no candy.

Except when my new assistant sprays chocolate sauce all over me and passes out drunk in my car, it marks the point where my control over everything starts to unravel.

Josie is a walking disaster and some sort of sugar addict.

And she's determined to turn me into a fiend for her candy.

Josie

Routines are the enemy of life. I live to be spontaneous.

My new billionaire boss looks like he needs something sweet in his life. I graciously offered to let him stick his hand in my candy jar.

It has salt water taffy and gummy worms! I can't believe he thought it was inappropriate!

I feel sorry for the guy. His little brothers are miserable, his PowerPoints are uninspired, and his life is seriously lacking in joy. And candy.

Though if I'm being honest, I could use a little more discipline. My YOLO, fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants philosophy already sent my life into a tailspin.

It cost me the entirety of my life savings.

I'm living in a dilapidated tiny house that’s trying to kill me.

I regularly eat chocolate chips and boxed wine for dinner.

In an effort to redeem myself, I set out to show Mace that I wasn't a clumsy, car destroying, electronic-killing, accident-prone, walking disaster. That lasted all of five minute before I set his seaweed and quinoa lunch on fire. Yeah, I didn't know that was a thing either. 

I can tell I'm a bad influence. I see him lick his lips when we're alone. I just have to convince him to take one little bite…

Because once he has a taste, he's going to want to stick his whole face in my candy jar!

Alina Jacobs’ books
So Alina has written quite a number of books in a very short time.  She writes at night as she is an architect by day – but when does she bake? Or look at Instagram for baking ideas? I say this because baking of cakes, muffins, biscuits and the like, appear in nearly all the books as being main characters. And the contents are inspiring for the amateur baker – inspiring them never to try anything quite so complex!
[PS, I asked her directly, and she admitted she didn't bake, but got inspiration from others on the Net.]
She has a number of series running - all about (at the moment) hot brothers who have turned themselves, after a bad childhood for different reasons , into billionaires. Oh, and they all seem to look alike. 
The Svenssons all look like blond Vikings and the Frosts all have whitish hair and like the cold weather, and the Holbrooks have brown hair. They are all 6 foot 5 or more. 
The Frosts have a sister who is mentioned, Belle, The Holbrooks have a sister, Dana, who is mentioned, and the Svenssons don’t quite know how many sisters they have – their father is on his, at least, 11th sister-wife, as he runs a polygamist cult in the desert. He keeps the girls well secreted away as they are valuable resources in such cults; the boys are sent off to Harrogate and the eldest boys – Remy, and Hunter, and any others who happen to be in residence. They estimate that there are around 100ish boys that their father has had through his wives. So plenty for Alina to write about, although some are quite young when this series starts. And we don’t have the names of all of them yet, nor which wife is their mother, although nearly all wives have multiple children.
The boys that marry in this series seem to fall for curvy girls/women – which makes sense that they would like similarly built women, as the Svensson genes are very predominant and the father marries blond girls to enhance the ‘look’.
And the wives in these stories usually manage to cook something for the majorly hungry boys – imagine having over 30 people for EVERY meal! Help always needed to feed hungry young stomachs.
 In the series about the Frost brothers, they relate what happens at a reality TV show about Baking at Xmas and the bakers that the brothers fall for.
The Svenssons tend to have a variety of girlfriends and wives, all of whom can cook to some extent, but may have other jobs too.
The Holbrooks get involved and involved with, the artisans of the Weddings in the City co-operative.
 I found myself confused with the Svenssons particularly. And with there being so many of these guys at all ages from the triplets at 28 months to Remy at well over 40 it was tricky, so I was delighted when I found the book in which Alina identifies all the Svenssons and which wife they come from. It is worth noting that not all of them visit Harrogate, as at some point there was a major rift and some live in Boston or Seattle. [books on these will follow]
But full brothers tend to stick together. 
The young boys are put on a train by their father and sent from his desert home to Harrogate, a journey of around 72 hours. Alone. Henry being the youngest to whom this ever happened at age 4 or 5, they weren't sure. But Hunter normally knows when they are coming because he has paid his father for them! The brothers have founded several companies together. Some consultancy, some real estate, others computing. They prefer to do this than work for other people. They then employ the younger guys as Interns and Juniors to learn the business. The Holbrooks operate in much the same way, although there are far fewer of them.
So here goes – Svenssons.
1.       Merla Vee
                               i.            Remy : Rural Trust - a veteran who came out with some small mental issues that make him very shy and very fond of animals.
                               ii.            Hunter : Lawyer : very controlling as he keeps order with all the boys that come to him. When they arrive, the young boys tend to be semi-feral, with no social graces, unable to speak properly, and very underfed.
                             iii.            Gunnar : Romance Creative: TV Guru.
                             iv.            Mace :CEO Svensson Pharmatech
                               v.            Archer : CEO Greyson Hotel Group - appears very laid back but has a surprisingly  successful business.
                             vi.            Garrett: CFO Pharmatech: lots of medicines and other such items.
                            vii.            Weston : CEO ThinkX: consultancy of various types especially projects.
                          viii.            Blade: COO Thinkx
                              ix.            Parker: CTO Pharmatech
2.       Athlyn
                              i.            Greg : CEO Svensson Investments: tends to be the funder for all the investments and improvements for the family.
                              ii.            Walker: COO Quantum Cyber: the very technical end of the businesses. including Security and Govt contracts.
                             iii.            Mike : COO Greyson
                             iv.            Beck: CFO Greyson
                              v.            Liam: COO Platinum Provisions: amazing cooking implements with great precision.
                             vi.            Carl: Managing Partner Investments
3.       Amyra
                                 i.            Salinger
                               ii.            Unknown how many more
4.       Mary Beth
                               i.            Crawford
                               ii.            Josh : Svensson and Svensson Law
                             iii.            Eric: Svensson and Svensson law
                             iv.            Unknown how many more
5.       Sueanne
                               i.            Unknown how many
6.       Brenna: younger boys
                              i.            Tristan: college
                             ii.            Eli: college
                             iii.            Isaac: high school
                             iv.            Calvin:
                             v.            Ronan
                             vi.            Theo
                            vii.            Payton
                          viii.            Andy
 
7.       … not yet named with children
8.       …not yet named with children
9.       Idonna
                               i.            Bruno
                              ii.            Oris
                             iii.            Ellis
                             iv.            Orlando
                              v.            Scout
                             vi.            Oscar
                            vii.            Arlo
 
10.   Payslee
                              i.            Adrian
                              ii.            Nate
                             iii.            Billy
                             iv.            Henry
 
11.   Kimberly
                                 i.            Davy
 
There are also triplet toddler boys, as yet with no name or mother identified.
List of books in series:
Holiday Romance:
Eating her christmas Cookies
Eating her Baked Goods
Tasting her christmas Cookies
Tasting her Chocolate Cake
Frosting her Christmas Cookies.
 Svenssons:
 After his peonies
In her candy jar
His candy crush
On his paintbrush
Paint him
In her pumpkin patch
                  This is one of the stories about the Svenssons and how Garret is trying to rescue all the boys his father had had with his 9, and counting, wives.
See also Japanese Pancakes – which again are a new item of baking to me, but sound delicious.
 In her pumpkin pies
Between her biscuits
Peaches and cream
Peony for your thoughts
After her fake fiancé
After her wedding cake
In her jam jar
In her pumpkin butter
Tulips together
 
Weddings in the City
Bridezillas
Short engagement
Wedding bells
Wedding mayhem
 Now I have read all the books and the freebie Epilogues provided by the author, but I won’t review them - but I recommend them all for a lighthearted, humorous look at a type of life most of us will never encounter. The boys all tend to be adventurous, inventive, entrepreneurial right from a young age, and end up with money - lots of it. Their romances don't go well but they end up happy. The main pull of these books for me is the humour and the amazing set up of the family. An author who starts with a potential 100+ characters to follow as they grow up has ambition! Several families and good female friends get involved at various points and then there is a lot of cake involved!
 

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And the cat does what? Book Review.

Murder Mittens
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #13)
by R.J. Blain
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Urban Fantasy
Independently Published
Publication date: December 25th 2020

Becoming a bounty hunter and taking on the call sign of Murder Mittens wasn’t Harri’s brightest move, but what’s a lynx to do with millions of debt while working a customer service gig? The scars deforming her face won’t remove themselves, and she’ll bag and tag every criminal in the United States to get rid of them if necessary. Being assigned a handler could make or break her, but did the powers that be really have to toss Sebastian Sumners her way? The lion with a stubborn streak as wide as hers tests her patience on a good day, but nothing makes her purr more than goading him into roaring. Add in a protective family, a serial killer on the loose, and more trouble than any one cat needs, and it’s going to take a miracle for Harri to get through the most important job of her life. Warning: contains magic, humor, cranky shapeshifters, cats, murder, and mayhem. Proceed with caution.

𝗪𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠: 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜, 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐨𝐫, 𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐲𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐬, 𝐦𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫, 𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐦𝐚𝐲𝐡𝐞𝐦. 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧!!⁣

Becoming a bounty hunter and taking on the call sign of Murder Mittens wasn’t Harri’s brightest move, but what’s a lynx to do with millions of debt while working a customer service gig? The scars deforming her face won’t remove themselves, and she’ll bag and tag every criminal in the United States to get rid of them if necessary.⁣

⁣Being assigned a handler could make or break her, but did the powers that be really have to toss Sebastian Sumners her way? The lion with a stubborn streak as wide as hers tests her patience on a good day, but nothing makes her purr more than goading him into roaring.⁣

⁣Add in a protective family, a serial killer on the loose, and more trouble than any one cat needs, and it’s going to take a miracle for Harri to get through the most important job of her life.⁣

⁣⁣⁣Chapter One

Why was murdering irate, irrational, ignorant, and flat-out wrong customers illegal? The idiot on the phone rambled about how it wasn’t fair that dumping coffee on his router invalidated his warranty.

I thought it wasn’t fair his stupidity might lose me IQ points, and I’d learned long ago that humans—or lycanthropes, such as myself—didn’t come with warranties or guarantees. I had bills to pay, and murdering one of the customers wouldn’t pay my bills.

Then again, in prison, I wouldn’t have to pay any bills. Every day by the end of my shift, I considered incarceration as a viable option.

Free board, free food, good medical care, and asshole inmates to beat on sounded a lot better than dealing with an idiot customer.

“Sir,” I said in the hopes of circumventing his tirade. Mr. Edward Lavell ignored me.

The idiots always ignored me. I bet my gender had something to do with it. On average, the men finished their calls five minutes faster, and every supervisor to review the situation came to the same general conclusion: customers took men in tech more seriously than women, and I, unfortunately, sounded too feminine.

“Sir,” I repeated, only to be ignored again.

Why couldn’t I just hang up on him? Oh, right. I valued my job. As I valued my job, I couldn’t hang up on him, I couldn’t curse, I couldn’t threaten to rip his throat out, and I couldn’t indulge in my desire to murder him.

There was a time and a place for murder, and on the job at a call center for a cable internet company was not the time nor the place.

For the fourth time since calling in, Mr. Lavell explained that it really wasn’t his fault he’d dumped coffee on his router.

“Sir, liquid spills are right in the contract for the router. I’m sorry, but I can’t change the rules for you. Spilling coffee on your router invalidates its warranty.”

“It’s not my fault the cup holder in my computer has a mind of its own,” he complained.

Wait. What?

His computer’s cup holder has a mind of its own? The realization I dealt with someone far worse than just an idiot sank in. Every call center had legends of Code Red customers, who were in an entirely different class from the standard 1-D10T and the unfortunately common PEBKAC. With Mr. Lavell, I had it all. A problem certainly did exist between the keyboard and chair, and he’d definitely deserved his flag as an 1-D10T.

Until his call, I had remained safe from the evils of a Code Red customer.

By the time I got off the phone with him, I’d need some alcohol and someone to kill.

It’d be easier to find someone to kill than the alcohol; me and booze just didn’t mix, and I’d been banned out of every damned bar in town to keep the peace.

Maybe I could whip on some makeup, grab a gray wig, and pass for a little old lady. With my face covered in burn scars, it wouldn’t take much to pull off some makeup artistry and transform myself into an older woman rather than a mutilated one. I could become a conventional beauty given an hour and the right products. An old lady wasn’t an impossibility.

Alternatively, I could shift, pay my family a visit, and steal a bottle of liquor from one of the cabinets. With the number of lynxes running around the place, they might not even notice me before I made off with my alcoholic prize.

As sighing was not acceptable when dealing with paying customers, I took a moment to steel my nerves before saying, “Sir, computers do not include cup holders.”

That caught his attention. “What?”

“Sir, computers do not include cup holders,” I repeated, already dreading the moment I would have to explain what a CD was, how they were used, and what the player’s actual purpose was. Few systems still had any disc drives at all, as most companies had moved to online downloads of their programs and games.

The next few minutes of my life would not be fun, and I typed a message to my supervisor warning him I had a major 1-D10T on my hands, a possible Code Red situation, and to make sure he was aware I faced the demise of some IQ points, I notified him the customer had opted to use his disc drive as a coffee cup holder.

“What the hell is this thing for, then?”

“CDs, sir.” I closed my eyes and waited for the meltdown.

“First, you claim I invalidated my warranty, and now you’re telling me my cup holder plays music?”

“As this is an internet company, sir, I can’t help you with your CD player. However, it is not a cup holder, nor should it be used as one. As for your router, you owe $35.79 on the device. Once you finish paying for the damaged equipment, I can schedule a tech to come to your home and install your new router. Since you’ve been a customer for so long, I can waive the fifty dollar installation fee. Your monthly bill will not change if you opt to pay off the damaged equipment and start a new rental.”

If he gave me a hard time, I’d take my time and give him all of his options. None of them would be as good as my initial offer. I cracked open an eye and checked my messages with my boss.

He wished me the best of luck and promised to send flowers to my funeral. He also begged me not to tell my brothers about the menace wasting my time. If any one of my forty-seven brothers found out I dealt with customers screaming at me five days a week, they’d go on a rampage.

That my boss knew my family drove me crazy on a good day.

I figured my idiot family had gone on a hunt to meet my boss, and because we were all infected with lycanthropy, my boss wouldn’t have thought twice about their behavior.

Lycanthropes had a reputation.

Most days, it wasn’t a good one.

Only an idiot would piss off a bunch of male lycanthropes out to protect their precious little sister. Unfortunately for me, I counted as an endangered species, as the odds of a lycanthrope having daughters in the first place fell somewhere in around ten thousand to one.

I needed to notify my mother she needed to have more daughters. While she was at it, she needed to give me a new name, because nobody ever believed Harri was a woman’s name. I figured she’d meant to name me Harry because she’d expected yet another boy, swapping out the ‘y’ for an ‘i’ to make things easier on her.

When on the job, I went by Christine because Christine seemed gloriously feminine and nobody on the team used their real names. Technically, I was supposed to change my name every day, but I went by Christine for all new callers, and I only rotated through when I knew I was dealing with someone who gave me issues.

My method worked well enough, so my boss didn’t complain.

While Mr. Lavell spluttered and began the tedious process of mulling over his options, I began making plans for after work—assuming I escaped from my job without succumbing to the temptation of informing the customer he was most definitely wrong, he needed to go back to school to join the modern world, and it wouldn’t hurt if he learned to be civil.

I had to explain his options four times before he finally conceded he should stick with his old plan, pay for the damaged router, and move on with life. It took an extra ten minutes of listening to him whine before he finally hung up.

Above all, I hated the rule that we were not supposed to hang up on clients. It wasted time. Had I been allowed to just hang up, I would have wished him a good day, disconnected the call, and began the tedious process of adding notes to his file so the next customer service representatives stuck with him knew they had trouble on their hands.

My phone rang, but instead of a customer, my phone reported my boss wanted to speak with me. With slumped shoulders, I accepted his call and answered, “Sir?”

“I listened in on your Code Red.”

I hated when my boss actively monitored my calls; thanks to how the system worked, he could listen in on me at any time. But, a job was a job, and with my scarred face, finding a job became troublesome at best—and nobody in the call center knew or cared what I looked like. Oh, well. Before I jumped to conclusions, I’d ask. “What’s my grade, sir?”

“You did fine. You stayed professional, you didn’t come across as too condescending, and frankly, there’s no sane tech on this planet stays totally cool a Code Red. It could have been much worse.”

I checked the clock, breathing a sigh of relief that I’d hit the end of my shift and wouldn’t have to take any more calls. “What do you need?”

“I had a question about your schedule. You’re off for the next week, correct?”

“Yes, sir.” I had plans, and they involved the International Most Wanted List along with every legal bounty list I had managed to get my hands on in the past month. If my boss tried to put an end to my hard-earned vacation, I’d finally do what I should have done months ago, snap, and quit.

I wanted him to cross my last line so badly.

“Ted wants an extra shift. How would you feel about an unpaid day added to your vacation? I’ve already gotten approval if you’d like to claim the unpaid day.”

Score. I’d bid for time off almost a year ago, but sick days were the bare minimum the state allowed, which accounted to five for the entire year. An extra day tacked onto my vacation might let me bag an extra bounty.

Any day I bagged an extra bounty was a good day in my opinion.

“I can take an unpaid day, sir. That’s fine. Can you send me an email confirming the unpaid day off?”

“It’ll be in your inbox within the next ten minutes, and I’ll CC human resources notifying them you’re excused for that day.”

“Okay. Will the rest of my schedule remain the same once I’m back from vacation?”

“Yes. Ted just asked for extra hours, and the others with seniority declined the day off.”

I bet; on our income, every hour mattered. Most who worked for the call center had seen better days. I lived like I’d seen better days and I looked like I’d seen better days, but appearances lied. I only worked at the call center to maintain appearances. Thanks to depression in my teens and therapy that hadn’t gone like my parents had wanted, my entire family demanded I check in at least three times a week to ensure I remained human.

They believed if they took their eyes off me, I might shift into a lynx and never come back.

Two years ago, they wouldn’t have been wrong, but I’d found a new purpose in life. Not a single one of my brothers would approve, my mother would have yet another litter of kittens, and my father would be so disappointed.

Personally, I thought it was obvious. I worked in customer service. I was a prime candidate to become a murderous asshole. I did so legally, on behalf of the government and other legal entities, and I did so for a filthy amount of money.

Smiling stretched my scars, but I did it anyway. “If anyone needs any extra hours, I can afford another day or two off,” I offered. “I can take up to a week unpaid. I’ve been saving up to take some time off if any opportunities allowed.”

It would delay paying for the expensive procedure required to piece my face back together and remove the evidence of the fire that’d almost killed me as a child. It took a lot of magic to convince the lycanthropy virus I wasn’t supposed to be a scarred wreck.

A lot of magic cost a lot of money, and I figured I might have the three million dollars within five years if I landed a bounty every weekend and took on some of the more dangerous jobs. While I waited for my boss to mull over my offer, I considered the various jobs on offer.

I liked hunting other lycanthropes. Unmated males were easy catches, and the fugitives usually brought in a pretty penny. The last one I’d bagged as a live capture had added fifty thousand to my bank account.

Then again, if I landed an entire extra week, I’d make up the lost hours with a single small bounty, and anything else would be extra cash in my savings account.

My boss grunted, signaling he’d come to a decision. “I’ll keep that in mind and pitch the offer. I’ll email your personal and work addresses if there are any takers plus text your phone.”

“Thanks, sir. Have a good evening.”

“You, too.”

He hung up, and before something could go wrong, I clocked out, filed my paperwork for my final call, and logged out of the system so I couldn’t be sucked back into doing even more work.

If all went well, I’d be a hundred grand richer by the end of the week and that much closer to being able to look in the mirror without wincing.

Purchase

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/murder-mittens/id1498988866

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AUTHOR BIO:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.


Author links:

https://www.thesneakykittycritic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author/

https://www.instagram.com/rj.blain/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7190903.R_J_Blain

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