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The Truth About Cats And Wolves: A Nocturne Falls Universe story Paperback – January 24, 2017
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From the Author
"My heroine, Kai Xanthopoulos, is a lot like me. She's Greek, her dadtells fortunes in coffee grounds, and she wears a mati (evil eye) toprotect against curses. Most Greek evil eyes are light blue, but the one I wear is green (green is my favorite color). I went to a Greekfestival once when I had very little money and told myself, "I'll onlybuy something if I find a green evil eye"--which never happens. Only,that day, it did. So of course, it was meant to be! Talismans like thishave always fascinated me." --Alethea Kontis
From the Inside Flap
--Excerpt, Chapter One--
Kai waved her arms, trying to get her bestie's attention. She could have abandoned her post for fiveminutes and walked across the street, but communicating from one storepicture window to another was so much more fun.
Bellamy had herelbows planted on the counter of Hallowed Bean, head in her hands, wings drooping sadly at her back. It was not the fairy who noticed Kai's wild gesturing but Maya and Kaley, the teen witches who just so happened tobe sitting at a table right by the window.
Kai smiled, waved, and pointed to Bellamy. She could have texted, but she wasn't supposed to have her phone on at work.
Maya and Kaley waved back. Maya walked to the counter and said something toBellamy, who perked up immediately and ran to the window.
Kai pointed to Verity, even though Bellamy couldn't see her, and then pantomimed frantic typing.
Bellamy also pantomimed typing and giggled. She made a sign for drinking.
Kai nodded, and then held up two fingers, placing an order for both Verityand herself. Unless some miracle occurred in the next couple of hours,there wouldn't be many more customers today, which meant that the timewould pass by incredibly slowly. A coffee would certainly help withthat. Especially one made by Bellamy.
Bellamy nodded backcheerfully, the colorful locks in her honey-blonde hair bobbing like adrunken rainbow. She gave Kai two thumbs up, did a little dance, andblew her a kiss.
And then a cloud went over the sun.
Itwas as if all the color drained from the world, and only a strange bluetint was left. Out of nowhere, the wind picked up. In the distance, Kaicould hear sirens. A tornado in November? Totally not the right time ofyear. Besides, before a tornado the sky usually tinted green or yellow,not blue.
Without opening the door, Kai strained to look as faras she could down one end of the street, and then the other...and that'swhen she saw him. He tore out of the alleyway like a dark streak andsped down the middle of the boulevard. She heard a whistle now, and more sirens. This was bad news.
Keep running, she said inside her head. Keep running. Don't stop here. There is nothing for you here.
But he did stop. Dead in the middle of the street between Delaney'sDelectables and Hallowed Bean. He put his hands on his knees to catchhis breath. Chunks of long, black hair fell forward, covering his face.
Danger. She felt the word in every fiber of her being.
Kai looked to her friends at the window of Hallowed Bean. Maya was standing now; the chair where she'd been sitting had fallen over on its side.Kaley's eyes were wide, as if she wanted to scream, but Bellamy's handwas over her mouth.
The guy in the road stood up. Seemed to sniff the air.
Not them, Kai's inner voice went on. If you need a place to hide, it's not there.
He turned his head to stare right at Kai.
He was the most magnificent boy she'd ever seen. Man. Young man. Like arock star. Or the son of a rock star. He was swathed in black: his hair, his jacket, his shirt, his jeans, his boots. As he came closer, Kaicould tell that the boots were scuffed. The jeans and shirt were torn.The jacket was held together in places with safety pins. Closer. Andcloser.
He stalked to the door like a death wish.
Kaistepped back, but she could not look away from him. Would not. If helost interest in her, he might go across the street and hurt herfriends. She couldn't risk that.
His skin was deeply tan. Hisjaw was square and hard with a shadow of stubble. His nose was cut onthe bridge. It might have been broken, and one eye looked like he'd been punched. His eyebrows were thick and shot with a streak of silver. Allof this was framed by a mane of wavy, shoulder-length hair.
The bells tinkled as the door opened, but no one was laughing.
Kai stopped moving backward and stood her ground. His eyes were all shecould see now. Gray and gold. Hunted. Haunted. The heel of his bootscraped against the polished hardwood floor as he stepped nearer. Theair smelled like lightning.
Verity wasn't tapping on her keyboard anymore, but Kai didn't dare look away from his eyes. He could have had a knife or a gun...but she couldn't look away. She heard muffled voicesoutside the shop: people running in the street, calling out to eachother. A lot of people.
There's no escape for you, buddy, Kai's inner voice said. Not in this town.
He lifted a hand to her cheek--his knuckles were bloody--but Kai remained as still as stone. One corner of his mouth turned up in what might havebeen a smile...but before she could decide, he was kissing her.
He was kissing her and his lips felt soft and kind. He was kissing her and the whole world melted away to nothing. He was kissing her and herheart stopped beating. He was kissing her and warmth spread through herbody, all the way down to her toes. He was kissing her...and she waspretty sure she was kissing him back...and it was beautiful. She had never felt so beautiful in her whole entire life.
She heard Bellamy's voice ring out in the street, signaling the search party, and it pulled her back to reality. She pushed at the stranger's exceptionally broadchest--all of it muscle--and he broke away without a struggle.
"Proclaim no shame," he whispered in her ear, his deep voice a cross between a growl and a touch.
The bells tinkled again, madly this time, again and again as the sweet shop filled with people. Sheriff Merrow took one side of the stranger andDeputy Blythe took the other. Together they pulled him to the door.Someone put a protective arm around Kai. Verity.
"Sanctuary!" the prisoner cried. "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!"
"I'll give you sanctuary, kid," said the sheriff. "Down at the station."
The rest of the crowd left with the prisoner, but Deputy Cruz stayed behind. "Kai, are you all right?"
That was the question, wasn't it? Was she all right? It had all happened sofast, and yet it wouldn't stop replaying itself in her mind. She wasn'tsure she wanted it to.
Top customer reviews
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Kontis' love story busts through urban fantasy tropes with glee. Kai is a wonderfully strong young woman, both in personality and in her emerging powers. Kai's powers give her options, as contrasted with some urban fantasy stories where the woman is constantly beholden to her dangerous companions. Furthermore, Kai's introspection--balanced well by the story's action and magic--is honest in a way that makes me want to be her. Where other protagonists might simper over the abusive bad boy, Kai evaluates her options and her emotions in a way that respects her self and those around her. As icing on the cake, werewolf Finn is not your typical 'bad' boy, either, or Kai would kick him to the curb in the second chapter.
There's plenty of magic and fun, too. Both cat and wolf carry endearing traits over to their human form. Kai's family and friends range from fairy to novice witch. Nocturne Falls is a delightful urban fantasy town (by Kristen Painter) where paranormals like Kai keep the human residents in the dark using spelled water. But of course, spelled water can't hide everything! Kai and her fae friends have to be careful not to give away the town's secret (or get in trouble with Harmswood paranormal school) as they seek to break Finn's curse.
I hope there's a follow-up to The Truth About Cats and Wolves. Kontis gives readers a light-hearted coming-of-age romance, with a tasty hint of more adventure to come.
As will all my reviews there are no spoilers and no story recap. This short story is written in third person and has no explicit language or sexual scene. While this is a part of the Nocturn Falls Universe created by Kristen Painter it can be read as a standalone without having read any other book in the series and it can be read in no particular order if you haven’t (for some strange reason) already gobbled up all the other stories/books of Nocturne Falls. I have not read any other stories by Alethea Kontis but she makes a great addition to the guest authors Kristen Painter has chosen.
This story is a YA story about teenagers. I don’t have any issues with that but it might be make a difference to someone else. The story was cute and quick without any real ‘problems’. If you haven’t read the main Nocturne Falls book you may be at a slight disadvantage reading this story. There is no recap or explanation about anyone or the town; it doesn’t hold the story back but it leaves out so much. This story could easily be expanded in to a whole book, and then a series with the friends or other teens in town, and marketed towards that YA group – If I was Ms. Kontis I would be trying to make a deal with Mrs. Painter to do just that – While not my usual read, she would have this adult getting each one. This story was very well written and flowed well enough to fit right into Nocturne Falls.
I hope the NFU continues and that we see more stories like this. I want to see these characters continue in other stories, whether Ms. Kontis writes them or K.P. These characters made me love them and want to know more about what is going to happen in the future.
The romantic tension is so tight it will literally pull butterflies from your chest.
She hypercolors the world she inherited in this series, with her gorgeous prose, immaculate writing & delightfully deep characterization.
It's a fast, fun, few bites of Kontis Perfection, that will definitely leave you ravenous for more of the same!
Phenomenal tale, highly recommend!
Most recent customer reviews
Nocturn Falls is one of my favorite universes and having more books in the universe is amazing.
I definitely recommend reading it!