Jennifer enjoys listening to Alice Cooper, trying new recipes (to which she will add garlic whether it calls for it or not), watching television with her family, and playing with her woefully intelligent four year old son.
Jennifer spends most of her time drinking coffee from her X-Men mug and desperately trying to get all her ideas written down before her toddler can find that all magical button on her laptop to make all her work vanish.
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Loupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible.
Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the cure. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.
Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.
“You look like you’re trying not to laugh.” Loupe furrowed her eyebrows and briefly halted scrubbing the wolf pup. “What’s so funny?”
Etienne cleared his throat. “Ah, I believe the bath was meant for you.” He gestured to the clean nightgown lying folded on a chair.
Loupe turned red from her neck to the tips of her ears. “Oh. I see.”
Etienne couldn’t help it. He laughed, a booming sound that made the two pups he was still holding in his arms bark. Loupe frowned.
“No, it’s all right, Loupe, truly,” Etienne assured her, reining in his amusement. “I’ll have the servants bring up another bath.”
“No, don’t be silly, I don’t need another bath.” She pulled the pup out of the tub and wrapped him in the large towel that had been provided. The pup’s growls were muffled as she vigorously rubbed him dry. Etienne watched, amused, as she left the pup to stagger out from under the towel and across the floor. She grabbed the sponge that had also been by the tub and dipped it in the bathwater.
Loupe looked down at her dress. The bodice wasn’t terribly low-cut, but it did give a hint of cleavage. Loupe began scrubbing the mud from her skin. The smile died on his face. Etienne’s blood heated as her motions drew his attention to the smooth mounds of her breasts. Every vigorous scrub made the tempting globes of flesh bounce in the most mouth-watering display. He took a step forward.
“There,” Loupe announced. “My dress is a bit damp, but I’m sure it will be dry by morning…” she trailed off as she turned to find him staring. He took another step and her eyes widened.
Something of his less than pure thoughts must have showed on his face because her blush returned with reinforcements and her gaze bounced around the room like a bee in a field of tempting flowers.
The wolf pups hopped around on the floor, tumbling around Loupe’s skirts. An image hit Etienne so hard he almost swayed on his feet. Loupe sitting in a chair in his bedroom, wolf pups playing on the rug at her feet and a baby in her arms…
He shook his head, struggling to gather his thoughts. No one in his family had the gift of future-sight. The image wasn’t a premonition, it couldn’t have been. He was just tired, under too much stress from the witch’s blessing.
Without meaning to, he’d crossed the room and now stood only an inch or so away. Despite his brain’s ramblings, his body seemed to be perfectly clear in its goals. Loupe titled her face up, her wide green eyes locked on his like a frightened deer watching a predator.
And he did feel like a predator. For the first time since the witch’s blessing had cursed him, Etienne felt primal, animalistic. His body moved on instinct instead of rational thought as he raised his hands, slowly sliding them around Loupe’s waist. The desire to grab her and throw her down on the floor filled him with tension and he had just enough sense to grit his teeth against the urge. He didn’t want to scare her. He just had to taste her.
The first touch of her delicate lips against his stole his breath. He slid his mouth over hers, teasing and coaxing her to relax into the kiss. She sighed, her lips parting in what he took for an invitation. He caressed her full bottom lip with his tongue, reveling in the clean taste of lemon and tea.
Loupe moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck. The sound of her voice and the press of her body against his sent a fresh wave of heat through his veins. Etienne groaned and crushed her against his chest, delving his tongue into her mouth to taste as much of her as he could. The hard length of his cock strained his pants. She was so warm, so willing…
First, I'd like to say I am in love with this book and I have to know what happens next! Jennifer, please write the next one and have me review it! PLEASE!
That being said, I am not always a fan of crazy stepparents, but Jennifer makes hers perfect. I love the dynamic nature of the world surrounding Loupe and how you grow to know her, piece by piece as the story unfolds. Jennifer does a great job at character development, character arcs, and surroundings. I'd love to go and find this place that has a secret passageway! Maybe not the cottage with the creepy basement- maybe if the basement wasn't done the way it was... perhaps more artisy? Then I'd be down for that. Anyways, the world that is created is a magical one. The major elements from the story are there, but they have a new fresh take.
And the tree... I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE TREE! What about the princes?! You can't just leave a girl hanging... Well, I suppose you can. This book makes a great introduction to Jennifer's style of writing, and the larger picture she's painting- one I hope to read each piece of, by the way- without making this book lacking. It could easily be a standalone if there were certain pieces removed.
This is a great book, read it. Love it. It's a romance, so you'd probably have to enjoy a good romance to like this book, but if you're a fairytale lover, you might still like it too! Check it out!