Fox’s Secret

Title: Fox's Secret
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Published by: Claire Davon
Release Date: 9/11/22
Pages: 138
ISBN13: 978-1946621276
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Silas Shunokh would rather chew off his own leg than attend yet another wedding, but as the “spare heir” of the ruling fox shifter clan, he’s obligated. Then he spots a sultry beauty with a husky voice that sinks into his libido like grappling hooks.

 The woman is unlike any fox shifter he’s ever encountered before. Who is she? And why does she seem unimpressed with his status? Not that Silas cares, but he’s…intrigued.

 Marlene Lisica’s family left Maine’s tangled web of fox society and politics before she was born. Except for her grandmother, who lives on its outskirts—figuratively and literally. With grandmother’s health failing, Marlene plans to move within reach, while keeping the Maine shifters at arm’s length.

 Then she shakes Silas’s hand, and a shockwave of desire bolts up her arm. Silas is going to be trouble—maybe the good kind. But the truth she learns from her grandmother is another kind of trouble. The kind that changes everything…

Note: Fox’s Secret is part of the Heart of a Fox series, but can be read as a standalone.

“Mrs. Lisica. I’m Silas Shunokh.” He said his words through the screen door that the woman kept latched. Her gray hair was pulled back in a bun but some strands of the delectable chestnut brown that made Marlene’s gleam like a beacon were still woven through the mass. Unbound, he bet that her hair would fall to her waist. He wondered how that translated to her fox, if she even still shifted into that form at her age. Silas tried not to listen for signs of Marlene. For all his planning, she could be out.

“Silas Shunokh? At my front door?”

Her voice was not welcoming. He waited, as uneasy as he’d been on his first day of school. Then she unlatched the door to admit him. “Hello. Come in before the flies eat you alive.”

Silas stepped inside to a house that was just slightly cooler than the humidity outside. Fans stirred the air overhead, but didn’t do much to change the internal temperature.

What he was doing was foolish, but Silas hadn’t given himself time to think this morning before he set out. Marlene might not even be staying there, but he had to start somewhere.

Her grandmother was what Silas imagined Marlene would be in sixty years, in an older version. Thick glasses hung from a chain around her neck and her lined face still held traces of the woman she’d once been.

“We weren’t expecting company.” Marlene’s grandmother’s voice was cool and just this side of hostile. Silas wondered if it had been a mistake to come over without calling.

Marlene was not the sort of woman he went for. He enjoyed women who were easy to love—and to leave. She was not that person.

“I apologize if I’m catching you at a bad time. I met Marlene yesterday at the wedding and I’m here to say hi. It’s also been far too long since we paid you a visit.”

Her grandmother let out a deep breath and her body stance changed to something more friendly. He caught a glint of awareness, if he was not mistaken in the dim, too-warm house.

“Never let it be said that I judge a person by their ancestors and not who they are. Welcome, Silas. It’s been a long time since a Shunokh has entered this house. I am sure that it’s not my presence you’re interested in. Let me get you some tea. Marlene went for a run before the heat of the day became too much. She should be back soon.”

By her tone, her grandmother didn’t mean jogging. Marlene had to be in her other form. His body tightened at the idea of seeing her as a fox. He bet she would be gorgeous, whatever color her fur was. Like so many that didn’t meet the Shunokh standards, the Lisicas were dismissed. Still, most foxes trusted his parents to guide them, but the old Lisica woman never had. That was odd, though it had never occurred to him until now.

“I’m here for both of you. Thank you for your hospitality.” His body stirred as a picture of Marlene swam into his brain. She’d been gorgeous in her green maxi dress, but she’d be even better in her fox form.

His mind stuttered over the things they could do together. Shivers of longing crept down his spine.