A Generation of Vipers
A Shifter Shield Novella
Capturing the killer who was stalking the shapeshifter community should have earned weresnake Lindi Parker and her new boyfriend, mongoose-shifter Kade Nevala, a vacation. Instead it earned them a basket of baby lamias and a whole heap of trouble. Someone in the shifter community doesn’t want those infants—or Lindi—to survive. Not knowing who or what they can trust, Kade and Lindi must use every skill they have to stop a killer—again.
Release date: September 2
“Don’t panic,” Kade said that evening as he stirred a pot of his homemade spaghetti sauce. “It’s not like you’re bringing all these new lamia babies home to live in your house. We’re going to set up a group home for them, with a live-in staff. You’re their counselor, Lindi, not their mother.”
I poured a glass of Chianti and settled in on a barstool at the island in the middle of his large kitchen. “That’s the thing. I’m not sure a group home is the right way to go with these kids.”
“You signed off on it when we came up with the idea.” He narrowed his eyes at me and tasted the sauce, then added something to it. “Janice thinks it’s the best option we have,” he added, knowing that the leader of the shifters’ Council had been tutoring me in all things shapeshifter recently, and that her endorsement mattered to me.
“Yeah, but…” I trailed off, trying to find the words to explain what I was trying to say.
As usual, I didn’t have to find the exact phrase for Kade to understand. Or any words at all. “You’re worried that without a stable home-life, you won’t be able to give these children the same kind of emotional training that your parents gave you.”
I nodded and took a long drink.
“We can provide stability. Everyone wants this to work.”
“Not quite everyone,” I muttered darkly.
“Everyone who is directly involved wants this to work. You cannot be completely responsible for the entirety of the lamia race.”
“It’s more than that.” I considered what to say, how much to share of my own recent insights. “We will have plenty of other weres stepping in to help raise these kids, lots of people to teach them how to be solid shifter citizens. But until they’re grown, I will be the only adult lamia in their lives. I will be the only weresnake they can model themselves on. That feels like a lot more responsibility than simply being their counselor. In that sense, I am kind of responsible for the entire lamia race.”
“Your parents did fine with you, and they’re not shifters at all,” he pointed out.
“But they managed it by encouraging me to focus almost entirely on my human side. I would like to give these children even more.”
Turning down the heat under the sauce, Kade put the wooden spoon down and made his way around to my side of the counter, where he spun the seat of my barstool around until I faced him. Then he took my face in his hands and leaned his forehead against mine. “You’ll do a great job with them.”
Then he pressed his lips against my mouth.
As usual, his kiss almost took my breath away. We hadn’t been together long enough for the sense of wonder at his touch to fade. The sheer heat of our connection didn’t show any signs of abating, either. The brush of his tongue against mine sent sparks shooting through my veins to pool in the pit of my stomach. It wouldn’t take much to stoke that heat into a raging fire.
But if we did that, his lovely dinner would be ruined.
Not that I was sure I cared.
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About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is addicted to coffee (mmm…caffeine) and SF/F television, especially Supernatural (mmm…Winchesters). She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She lives in Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Although she teaches college-level English courses online, writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and the women who love (and sometimes fight) them.
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