Fox’s Absolution

Title: Fox's Absolution
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Published by: Claire Davon
Release Date: 6/28/23
Pages: 92
ISBN13: 978-1-946621-32-0
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Once upon a time, Cordelia Reynarde had the best of everything. Now, she has a lot to apologize for. Sure, she was a teenage victim of her toxic family, but she owns her bad behavior, and she’s determined to atone. Starting with Trent Reveson—who spent years exiled from their fox shifter clan.

If only she could ignore his rock-hard muscles, a masculine face that’s weathered more than just bad times, and a steely gaze that tells he’s neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Once upon a time, Trent believed in love. Time and life—and Cordelia’s betrayal—fixed that. Trent doesn’t trust the “new and improved” Cordelia as far as he can throw her, but all these years later, she still dances in his imagination. And her tantalizing scent entices his fox to get closer.

As Cordelia throws herself into his makeover, Trent finds himself envisioning what a relationship with the poised, lovely woman would look like. But even though Cordelia has changed, her family has not. They’re not above using Cordelia’s love to get what they want, even if it means sacrificing the heart of the only man she’s ever loved.

Note: Fox’s Absolution is the third book in the “Heart of a Fox” series. It can be read as a standalone.

Trent brushed a lock of her hair back. She longed to crane her head to his and kiss him. They were alone in the house. No parents, no sisters…no chaperones. Nothing but her and Trent and delicious freedom stretching before them.

The two of them…with nobody else around.

“Whatever their secret may be, it’s unimportant. Let the past go.”

His gaze shifted to her lips and his head started to move. Just one more inch and they would be kissing. Her breath whooshed out and she turned her head to him in clear invitation.

Her phone buzzed with a familiar ringtone. Trent drew back and stepped away from her as the harsh sound filled the room with its ring. She considered not answering it, but better to yank the band aid off.

When she connected, her father didn’t even attempt niceties.

“Cordelia, get back here right now.”

She pulled the phone away from her ear. His ranting could still be heard, though tinny and distant. Cordelia waited until he stopped talking and put the phone back.

“I’m fine, Dad, thanks for asking.”

“Don’t be smart with me. Get back here and do as I say. How dare you walk out on me.”

A thousand replies went through her mind, none of them ending in anything but anger. To say the words would be to destroy their relationship. She wasn’t sure she cared, but she was aware of the irrevocability of certain actions. Some echoed well into the future, and could never be taken back.

“I’m fine, Dad,” she repeated. Trent stood there, just an arm’s length away and to her surprise, he reached out to her. She took his hand and he drew her to him.

“Don’t you defy me.”

She wondered if he had an app loaded to track her. She would have to check. Cordelia couldn’t put anything past them.

“We said everything that had to be said at the house. You gave me a choice and this was the one I took. I’m not coming back. I’ll be in touch when things are less heated.”

She ended the call before he could say anymore. Cordelia turned the device off and tossed it on a nearby table. Trent watched its trajectory and then focused on her.

“Dakota is around the same size as you. Should I ask her if she would let you borrow some clothes? Or is that too weird?”

She considered the boxes and the house. She was in an unfamiliar location with an uncertain future. She had every reason to be scared. Instead, electricity danced through her.

She was free.

“It would be strange. Your sister and I are not friends. I won’t impose on her. Is there a store nearby? Maybe I could pick up some things to hold me over while I figure out what to do next?”

The farm had lots of open spaces and her fox surfaced inside her. In this place she could explore new areas and check out forests. So many delicious possibilities. She shivered, a shudder that rippled through her. Trent’s eyebrows drew together.

“Are you cold? I’ve got a college sweatshirt around here somewhere from when I was a skinny kid. I filled out late. It might not be too ridiculous on you.”

“I’d like to wear something of yours. If the offer to crash still stands.”