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After claiming Zora Mason as his mate, and fighting off a threat to the MacKinnon pride, Mac is more than ready to get back to managing his coffee bar and settling into mated bliss. But just when it looks like things are quieting down, Mac and Zora find more challenges ahead.
Plans for Zora and Mac’s official introduction to the pride, and the opening of the new coffee bar may be derailed when, gripped by a mysterious blood fever lingering after the leadership challenge, Mac is driven to the edge of his endurance as he fights to keep his inner lion under control.
Juggling her responsibilities in the business and her position as the mate of the pride leader becomes even more challenging when Zora is forced to confront her fear that Mac is changing into someone she doesn’t recognize.
As the fever pushes Mac to the edge, the revelation of an old, painful family secret proves to be the key to saving Mac’s life. Zora and Mac come up with a plan to end the threat of the fever forever, but that same plan may destroy them both.
Is their love strong enough to defeat the blood fever, so they can live happily ever after as mates?
Mac rubbed his forehead. "Look, I can't help everybody right now, okay? I'm up to my eyeballs." He went over to the table and checked his phone.
"Mackenzie! I can't believe I'm hearing this from you. You've never been like this before."
Now Lena was the one calling him by his full name, and when she did it, she was one step away from going full lioness on his ass. "Grandma, just a month ago I was in a challenge, and I got mated. Now everybody wants me to do something for them. I've got a coffee bar to run and one to open!"
Instead of replying, she looked him up and down like she was appraising him. In lion form, she was a seasoned hunter and fighter. Though she was in her 70's, age hadn't slowed her down. In fact, her trim, toned body was the product of countless activities she busied herself with in both lion and human form.
"I see." Lena came over to the table, pulled out a chair and sat down. "What did you and Zora have a fight about? The business?"
"Me and Zora? What? I--how did you know? Did she call you?"
Lena chuckled. "She didn't have to. You're wound up. I've seen you under pressure before, and you've never been like this. Mackenzie, you've been a nomad for most of your adult life. I knew it would be…challenging to get mated."
"Please don't say, 'challenging.' Especially not after what I went through with Eldon."
"You did the right thing to take the challenge for your father. But now that you've tasted blood, you'll never be the same again." Lena crossed her legs. "Perhaps that's the problem."
"Grandma, I could've killed Eldon. When we were fighting, I wanted to tear him apart. Especially after he threatened Zora." Mac ran his fingers through his hair. "I've never felt that before."
"It's time to accept the beast inside you. Don't be ashamed of it," Lena said.
Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers' Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. She's the author of non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.
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Family Pride: Blood Fever and Family Pride: Love and Challenges will be on sale for 0.99 on Amazon, B&N, Apple & Kobo from 12/26/22 – 1/9/23
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