THE CAT’S MEOW

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Series: A Witch’s Brew, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 9781622668571
Original Publication Date: December 13, 2012


DESCRIPTION:

When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. But being a witch gifted by the Goddess won’t protect her from the talented warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen–and he’s sexy as sin. But why he’s even needed for such a simple mission is beyond her.

While having some muscle around can’t hurt her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering she knows he—and their Coven—are hiding something from her. When she turns up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, though, the elusive warlock isn’t the her only concern. She now has a political rebellion on her hands, too. And when the truth about who she really is begins to surface, the only person Libby can trust is herself.


PRAISE FOR THE CAT’S MEOW:

“Stacey Kennedy provides an intoxicating brew of magic, suspense, and sizzling characters. A wonderful read!” —Linda Wisdom, national bestselling author of Hotel Hex.

“The Cat’s Meow was fast paced and a mixture of sass filled comments, a building passion with explosive potential, and a magical suspense – all of which had me wondering what each new page would bring.”—Joyfully Reviewed 

“…Stacey Kennedy’s books always keep you on your toes with suspense or she has your toes curling for the epic sexiness! Can’t wait for the next book in this series.”—Awesomesauce Book Club 

“THE CAT’S MEOW also has one of my favorite sex scenes ever for its sheer hilarity involving Libby, Kale, and a conversation with a ghost.”—All Things Urban Fantasy 

“CAT’S MEOW is a fun romantic Urban Fantasy story you don’t want to miss. It’s a big cauldron of witches, warlocks, demons, spell casting, bloody rituals, close encounters topped with hot and spicy chemistry between Libby and Kale, it’s a challenge to put the book down.”—Talk Supe 

“I am in LOVE with KALE!! Oh my goodness…he is going on my HOTTIE List for Book Boyfriends this year and maybe for ALL time.”—Book Lovin’ Mamas 

“One aspect about Stacey Kennedy’s stories that always amaze me is her ability to write lighthearted stories that have dark aspects weaved through them. Stacey, girl, your a little wicked and….I like it!! =)”—Booked And Loaded 

“The Cat’s Meow was incredible and I really LOVE this hero!! Kale is sigh worthy… He’s strong yet sensitive. Smart yet down to earth. Honorable, passionate, thoughtful, seriously kick-@$$ and oh yeah… SEXY.”—Literal Addiction 

“Stacey Kennedy has done it again; she took a used theme like witches and made it new and refreshing.”—The Bookaholic Cat


EXCERPT:

I continued to ponder the fluff ball at my feet. If magic were present, clearly someone had either spilled its blood as an offering to dark magic, or simply practiced a spell to kill. Either one sucked, at best. Resolved I’d get nowhere in discovering the truth right now, I moved along. “What does the coven expect me to do about this?”

Peyton rolled her eyes, giving her customary flippant look. “Find who’s responsible.”

I snorted. “What am I, a pet detective?”

“Yes, Lib, that’s exactly what you are.” She frowned. “Must you be a smart-ass all the time?”

I grinned. “I must.”

She ignored my dig—as usual—and carried on in a hurried tone. “Stop stalling, conjure a spell, and fix it.”

“You know I can’t—it’s dead.” I glanced at the cat and groaned. Yes, still very dead. “The coven would wring my neck if I brought it back to life.”

The role as Enchantress with the coven came with one rule—never step out of white magic boundaries. Resurrecting a dead cat hit the no-no list. My job within the coven: stop those who went against the coven rules to protect human lives, since the last thing we needed was the human population going out on a witch hunt. The coven existed to keep witches in Charleston safe. That one law ruled my life.

Peyton’s shoulders slumped and her eyes saddened. “Okay, okay. I know we can’t, but it’s so sad, the poor little kitty.”

My best friend at her finest: her soft heart in this cold magical world had never changed over the years. Yet Peyton’s innocence had once been damaged by loss and pain over the death of her mother, and ever since she’d been emotionally fragile. Three years ago, I’d seen her go into a deep depression at the death of a teenager, and it took her a good month to recover. I would give my life to ensure she stayed away from anything that could damage her again.

Especially now, seeing the vulnerability in her eyes, confirming that any death still rattled her. “Who’d do this?”

“Someone after a higher power.”

At the low velvety voice, I glanced over my shoulder, scowling at the approaching warlock. The coven’s muscle came after I found the offenders. I preferred no help, so his presence at my scene awakened my inner bitch.

Not to say I didn’t realize their worth to the coven. I might be brave, but I couldn’t kill, and warlocks held that desire in spades. However, his presence this early in an investigation meant this matter leaned to the serious side. The coven wouldn’t have called him in if something wasn’t up. More to the point, called in a warlock I’d never seen before. Two strikes against my coven on the “what the hell are they doing” meter.

“Go away.” I pushed the bitch to the forefront of my voice and snapped, “I’ll call the coven when I’m done.”

“I’m looking for Libby Jenkins.” The warlock stopped a foot away by a fallen tree, ignoring my demand, and in the same low voice with a slight Southern accent said, “Would that be you?”

I grunted, not at all impressed with the confidence he exuded, either in his voice or his powerful posture. Doubly annoyed, in fact. “I’m Libby. You are?”

As he took a step into the moonlight, the shadows of the night left his face. He appeared relaxed, shoulders back in his black T-shirt, chest out, and chin lifted. Typical I am a fine specimen of man.

His eyes were a shadowy gray and his face was defined by hard angles, from his high cheekbones and sculpted jaw to lips that seemed carved out for a serious smooch. His chocolate- brown hair reached the bottom of his ears, all scruffy and sexy-like, and he filled out his pair of faded blue jeans well enough.

Not like that impressed me either. Warlocks tended to be pretty. Maybe to some I’d be easy on the eyes with my small frame, longish light-brown hair with honey and auburn highlights, and my dark-blue eyes. But it came from the magic, not a natural gift. Besides, witches aged the same as the humans we lived among. We just tended to do it a little more gracefully, and typically lived to be over a hundred.

The warlock’s focus swept over Peyton as if he took a measure of her before his firm gaze returned to me. “I’m Kale Griffin. The coven requested I join you on this case.”

Great. What serious danger had I landed myself in? “They what?”

Sure, Kale looked nice, but I didn’t want—or need—his help. The idea of being teamed up with a warlock interested me about as much as if someone pulled out my hair strand by strand. Besides, never in all the years I had worked for the coven did they team me up with a warlock, which only made me wonder why they’d done it. I thought back over the past cases I’d worked. Perhaps some cases took longer to solve than others, but why in the hell had they sent me a babysitter now?

With more confidence than I felt, I returned his look of challenge, and had the urge to take my clenched fist and send it into his flat stomach. “Go tell the coven I refuse your help.”

His eyebrow arched, an emotion close to amusement crossing his face. “The choice isn’t yours. I’ve been instructed to take over this investigation.”

My already hot blood took a nosedive. I might abide by the coven’s orders, even if I had no idea what they were up to now, but it didn’t mean I had to like it. This brute needed to get one thing straight. “We are taking over the investigation.”

He smirked. “Is that so?”

Damn the warlock for making the smile look sexy and damn me for noticing it. “Yes, that’s so.” Warlocks could kick some serious ass, and the coven needed them, but they were so haughty and always the ones to grab the glory.

Of course, I might be—scratch that, was—the only witch in Charleston to dislike warlocks, since most swooned over them. Well, the witches did. Non-magical folk lusted after their hot butts, never knowing what they were up against.

After the Salem incident, we magical folk kept our powers to ourselves and hid from the humans for good reason; a repeat in history wasn’t on anyone’s to-do list. Especially not mine.

Inhaling to shed my frustrations, I fought my gag reflex as I drew in the cat’s putrid scent. “Know this, if you get in my way I’ll hex you.” I poked his chest and met taut muscle.

With indifference, Kale watched my finger hit his hard, delicious pectorals. Seeing that my action unsettled me more than him, I withdrew my finger and shoved my hands into the pockets of my skinny jeans. His head slowly lifted, and when his eyes settled on me, they had darkened. “Warning noted.”

The weight of his smooth voice melted across me like a warm bath. I bit my lip and refocused my thoughts to my angry position. “Good.” My voice sounded harsh, pleasing me since on the inside I’d become gooey. “As long as we understand each other we won’t have a problem.”

Peyton stifled a laugh by coughing. No doubt she’d taken notice of Kale’s attributes too. “I guess I should be…uh… going home to Jace. Call me…ah…” Her eyes twinkled as she fought her smile and turned. “Just call me later, Lib.”

I snorted softly, only imagining what she’d go home and tell her boyfriend, Jace, about this moment. I could do without him having the knowledge that I tried to dominate a warlock and failed miserably, even if Jace was the only warlock in existence I tolerated. “Let me know if the coven contacts you again,” I called after her.

“Will do.” She waved a good-bye, striding down the trail, and her laughter followed her out of the forest.

I watched Peyton until she faded into the shadows before I finally looked at Kale. He regarded me with such a probing look it became all the more irritating. “Before we start, I need to give the cat a proper burial. Which I’m sure you won’t understand since you’re a big ol’ bad warlock.”

His gray eyes sharpened, voice equally so. “You appear to have misconceived notions about warlocks.”

“Sure I do,” I muttered, grabbing the cat by the tail and ignoring the guts flapping in the wind. Without a glance back, I headed out of the forest.

READ CHAPTER 1

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