Title: A Veiled Truth
Author: Amanda Shofner
Price is 99 cents through June 30th... then the price increases to $2.99
A 31,000 word novella set in The Hunted worldShe’s about to learn life isn’t like her controlled experiments.
Edie Brown is a lab rat, dedicated to improving the lives of her fellow Gifted. And while she saved countless Gifted soldiers with her research during the war against the Hunters, she’s haunted by the one person she hasn’t saved: her aunt. With a new pair of joint illusionists to help her, Edie’s closer than ever to a breakthrough.
But her well-ordered scientist’s life unravels when her best friend Marcus proposes a different kind of experiment — one that puts her heart at risk — and her aunt collapses, leaving Edie wondering if she’s too late to help. She’s not about to give up yet, though, not when there’s still a chance she can cure her aunt — and find the one thing she didn't even know she needed.
He cleared his throat. One corner of his mouth hooked up. “You’re avoiding me. There’s a difference.”
Her eyes darted to the door. Marcus was between her and freedom. Trapped. She put a hand over her stomach to settle its churning. He was right. She wanted to rewind to before this happened and continue on as if it hadn’t. If only she’d invented the time machine she’d attempted when she was twelve. A scientist’s regrets.
His gaze calculating, he continued his prowl through the room, invading her space. She escaped backward, held in thrall of the noiseless way he hunted her around the middle table. The counter was hard when she bumped into it. He crowded her, closing the gap until there was a bare inch between them. He was so close she could feel the heat radiating from his body, and her body answered, tilting toward his as if to steal his heat for herself. He raised his hand and twirled a stray piece of her hair around his finger.
“Think of it as an experiment.”
Her breath hitched, and time slowed, the increasing thump of her heart and his fingers in her hair the only two sensations capturing her attention. Her voice came out soft and slightly breathy and far too close to signs of arousal for her comfort. “An experiment.”
How intriguing. It would give them a definitive time limit and parameters. A way out. They could go back to friends when their sexual attraction ran its course — it always did for her. She could gracefully exit before they reached crucial tipping point; relationships ran the risk that one would end up like Judy. Will was already headed down that path with Jane. One of them had to keep their sanity — and their pants zipped.
“We can try it and see what happens.” He dropped her hair and tipped her chin up. “If you want more detail than that, you’ll have to come up with that yourself.”
“I’m not sure,” she said, but inside, her heart was tapping a yes. Yes to the way his fingers trailed desire across her skin.
His thumb brushed her bottom lip; his eyes lowered. “Perhaps a quick test to determine our compatibility?”
Her body thrummed. He knew how to play her, knew her well enough to say the right words. She was riveted by the way his green eyes had darkened and his head began the descent.
He was going to kiss her. Marcus was going to kiss her. And more than that, she wanted it.
I was lucky in that I got to be an alpha reader on this book. I've loved this Urban Fantasy world, but the sexual tension and romance heightens in this newest installment.
This book focuses on Edie and Marcus. They've been good friends for a while...yes, I love friends to lovers stories...but Marcus wants more. Edie isn't going for it. As far as she is concerned, sex messes up everything. Edie is a scientist and in her world, things are pretty black and white. She's stoic and analyzes everything to the nth degree. But Marcus...hmm, I did love him...is falling for her anyway. He sees beyond her cold, analytical persona and knows that they could be great together if she'd just give them a chance. I love how he knows her...her faults and the things he loves about her. It makes his romancing her so sweet (did you read that excerpt above?? Love it!)
In the midst of all this, Edie is trying to save the life of her beloved aunt who's been in a fugue state, but suddenly things are changing...and Edie doesn't know what that means. She's in a race to uncover the medical science of it all, but Marcus has laid out his own deadlines....and Edie is just not sure that she can fix any of the problems in time.
It's a fun and entertaining book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
You should also note that while this is listed as book #2.5 in the series, you absolutely can read this as a stand alone. There is some slight world building you may miss out on, but in this book, the romance takes center stage and I don't think you need all the back story for it to work. (Although, I did really enjoy the first two books and novella also!)
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.