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Twice more she tried moving around the room, but each time she neared the front door, the raven chased her back. Bridget was beginning to feel uneasy. The consistency of its actions and the eerie way it looked at her gave her the impression it was actually intelligent. She wasn’t up to dealing with a bird capable of critical thinking.
It was definitely time for a Plan B. For the first time she wished she hadn’t hidden herself so far away from civilization. The only people she could really call for help would be the police or fire departments—assuming anybody was available. It was after midnight. It would take somebody at least a half-hour to reach the cabin, and the long, winding dirt path that passed as her driveway could be treacherous in the dark, especially now in the spring. She wasn’t going to ask that of anybody just because she had a bird in her house.
Another option was retreat. She could return to her bedroom, close the door and deal with the problem in the morning. But Bridget knew herself well enough to know she’d never go to sleep with a raven loose in the house. She’d be listening for it, waiting for the rustle of wings. Wondering if it would damage anything. It had to go now.
“Look, buddy,” she said quietly. “I want to go back to bed. You need to go fly around outside and do whatever it is birds like you do at this time of night. So I’m going to open that door and you’re going to fly through it, okay?”
Hey, talking to it had worked getting it out of the bedroom. Now, though, it only stared at her without so much as twitching. Hoping they’d come to some kind of understanding, Bridget started once again for the door. The raven reneged on the deal, however, and took flight, once again trying to drive her back.
This time she was ready for it. Holding the two corners of one end of the pillow, she swung it like a plank, knocking the damn bird clear across the room. She felt a spasm of guilt—but it wouldn’t let her open the door, dammit—as it tumbled through the air.
Then things got a little crazy. Bridget’s vision blurred and a split second later a very large, very naked man bounced off her pine paneling and hit the floor with a thud.
Oh shit. That did not just happen. There was no such as thing as…whatever the hell that was. Like a werewolf, only a bird. A werebird?
He lifted his head and blinked at her with those same dark eyes.
Ohshitohshitohshit. What the hell was going on? She had to be dreaming. But on the off chance she wasn’t, Bridget dropped the pillow and ran for the door.
“No,” the man called in a husky, cracking voice. “Do not…open the…door.”
Yeah, sure buddy. Like she was going to listen to a naked man who’d just been a bird flying around her house. Bridget turned the knob and yanked open the door.
The shadows of the cabin’s deep porch erupted in a whirlwind of black wings and hoarse raven calls. Oh my God. There had to be hundreds of them. Her mind blanked, instinct took over and she slammed the door closed. Just in time, judging by the thuds against the heavy wood.
What the hell is going on here?
She’d landed in a horror novel. Shit like this did not happen. Bridget whirled, relieved to find the naked man still on the floor. God, he was tall. And writhing in pain, clutching his head. She thought about conking him a good one with a frying pan, knocking him unconscious long enough to tie him up, but then she heard a sound that made her blood run cold.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Hard beaks on glass.
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“Bridget and Khail meet under very unusual circumstances and fall fast but their time together is uncertain. Khail must face the consequences for defying the flock by protecting Bridget. A wonderfully captivating story by Shannon Stacey! Bridget could never foresee a happy ending for herself because of her past but with Khail, she’s ready to risk it all for the man she loves. KISS ME DEADLY is a great novella!” —4 Blue Ribbons from Tracy of Romance Junkies
“KISS ME DEADLY is a great way to spend the evening and it seems to be the beginning of a great series if the rest are as good as this! Bridget is a woman whose life has been filled with a series of tragic events and she has decided to just live a quiet solitary life. She does not see happiness in her future. Khail has been cursed to live his life of bringing death to people after killing an innocent person centuries ago. I was totally drawn into the lives of Khail and Bridget trying to find a way to each other and a happiness they never expected. Shannon Stacey writes poignant, heart felt, and very sexy stories. I cannot wait to read more by her. KISS ME DEADLY is a winner!” —Gracie, Joyfully Reviewed
“Shannon Stacey has crafted a mystical tale that tantalizes the imagination. Khail and Bridget are each damaged souls who find redemption with each other but know the odds are stacked against them. With its poignant romance and Hitchcockian setting, KISS ME DEADLY is a treat of a read for a dark, fall night.” — Isabelle, RRT Erotic
“Khail is fierce, lonely, and cuts quite picture as a tortured romantic hero. His story of redemption and love is heart-rending and noble as he proves himself willing to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves—Bridget.
“Bridget’s story in TALONS: KISS ME DEADLY would bring anyone to tears. The multiple tragedies in her life have driven her to self-imposed solitude and a life of lonely contentment. As Bridget’s back story is revealed, I found myself needing tissues more than once! When Khail falls into her life, she is stunned to recognize him, and even more stunned to find herself falling for him. Not so surprising, the reader finds themselves falling for Khail right along with her…
“This is my first read by Shannon Stacy and I daresay it will not be the last!” —5 Klovers from Jennifer of ck2s Kwips and Kritiques
“KISS ME DEADLY is a beautiful and powerful story. Set in a backdrop reminiscent of the horror movie, The Birds, my heart was pounding from beginning to end. Khail is wonderful, gentle and amazing while Bridget is sweet, funny and adoring. The love scenes were hot and sexy as well as beautiful. Until the last page, I had no idea how this tale would end. It was fast-paced and exciting and I strongly recommend reading it.” —4 Lips from Kerin of Two Lips Reviews
“The five tales featured in this unique anthology all revolve around one thing: shape-shifting birds of prey. Each author crafts a believable world populated with creatures who are realistic in their chosen situations. While some of the novellas are faster-paced than others, each features passionate characters in very (a)rousing situations!” —RT Book Reviews