Heart of Stone
Heart of Stone
Sin City Kilts
by January Bain
GENRE: paranormal romance, billionaire werewolf
Only one wild heart can claim another.
Esme Luceres, poor relation and outsider with the House of Luceres, devotes her free time to exposing fake psychics and charlatans who dupe and exploit a credulous public. She’ll never be anyone’s fool. And she certainly won’t make one of herself over the kilt-wearing, bare-chested Lachlan of the Highland Heathens Clan, even if he does looks like a plundering Viking right out of the mists of history with his magnificent body on proud display. No, she’ll expose his secrets…
Lachlan Creig certainly has a few of those. An illusionist and mind-defying hypnotist, he’s also a wolf shifter. In Vegas to perform at a prestigious venue on the Strip, he’s not above using his were heritage to his advantage. But the Scot has even darker, deeper secrets than most alpha billionaire weres…one which are about to surface.
When ‘ghostly’ events kill a tourist at the Haunted Museum where Esme conducts midnight tours, the feisty blonde and proud Scot are forced to put their heated differences aside and forge an unlikely alliance.
Can they find their way past their deep mistrust issues to solve the murder? If they can’t, Esme might lose her freedom, Lachlan all he holds dear…and both of them their fated mate…
The best part of this ghostly package, the most expensive tour by far that we offered, was the small number of the participants and the fact they would be given a free run of the place for a period of time at the end of the tour. That was always such creepy fun.
A final check in the mirror that my bonnet was tied on properly and I hurried through the dimly lit museum with all the macabre displays to open the front door where I liked to greet my guests. I stepped out onto the wide veranda, noting the eight people lined up waiting to enter, their faces ghostly under the streetlamps that were also period pieces. The black wrought-iron structures were right out of Jack the Ripper, Whitechapel stories. I shuddered. Thoughts of Jack always brought a shiver of fear down my spine.
I counted heads. There were nine names on the clipboard list—maybe someone had chickened out? One man carried an EMF reader that lit up when ghosts are located and a digital tape recorder with an external microphone and that was fine. We even allowed modern ghost boxes. I did notice he knew enough to wear an old-fashioned wind-up watch to avoid a dead battery. As long as they didn’t take photos and signed the waiver agreement that stated the museum wouldn’t be held responsible for anyone dying of fright on the premises, they could check for ghosts all they wanted.
I struck a pose, hands raised to the night sky, and spoke the usual words of greeting. “Welcome, brave guests, to the infamous House of Shadows. I trust that nothing untoward will befall you here.”
A giggle or two followed my pronouncement. One elderly lady clapped her hands.
“Tonight, prepare yourselves to hear the tales of the macabre, the stuff of nightmares. You will see displays set in the very rooms where the original crimes occurred, and maybe be visited by someone from beyond the ken. If anyone chooses to leave, now is your final chance to depart unscathed.”
The eight participants looked sideways at one another, but everyone stood their ground. I took a moment to assess them. Two elderly ladies, arm in arm, one touristy twentysomething male, a May-December romance between a balding middle-aged man who kept grinning at the young woman fawning all over him, the tall ghost investigator, one taller, thinner man who appeared to be channeling a character from Faust, and one heavyset man in a fedora that covered his eyes. Hmm, Mr. December looked somewhat familiar. Where had I seen him before? The memory eluded me.
The most striking of the group of course was the guy going for the Mephistophelian effect. The thirtyish man had dyed jet-black hair and eyebrows, and was dressed all in black. Way past gothic to truly odd. Maybe an actor? No way those evil slanted eyebrows were natural, though the pall of depression hanging around him had a ring of legitimacy to it.
“Anyone here suffer from seizures? A heart condition requiring medication? Do you all have your printed waivers with you? If not, you will be asked to sign another one.”
A flurry of paper was handed over and I smoothed them out to check that each was properly signed. I was in too much of a hurry to do more than give a cursory look, but the number of sheets added up, which was all that mattered. One per customer.
Just then a sleek black limo entered the parking lot at a fair clip and I looked up to observe the driver jumping out and opening the back door. I inwardly groaned. The ninth person was a possible celebrity. They were always the most annoying and demanding. And more often than not late. A huge mountain of a man climbed out along with a giant animal that I presumed was a dog.
I recognized him immediately. No. Frigging. Way. The very man haunting me. I rolled my eyes to the heavens. So, this was payback for some indiscretion, right? I promised not to piss anyone off more than necessary tonight and maybe someone could think about lifting this curse?
About the Author:
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination and touch your heart.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.
If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…
Blog Address - http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/
Twitter Name – https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
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January Bain will be awarding a $25.00 PayPal prize, U.S. money to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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