In her role as Aegis, Zoey Donovan has rescued and cared for hundreds of monsters and mythical creatures. Now humans are the ones in need of her help. Someone with a personal vendetta against the Board of Hidden Affairs has kidnapped all the other Aegises in the countryincluding Zoey's mother.
With the Hidden government in shambles and a string of deadly clues to follow, Zoey and her reaper boyfriend set out on a cross-country chase to stop the kidnapper from killing the captured Aegises. Along the way, they pick up a miniature golem who's on a quest to find his humanity and may be the key to solving the grisly clues.
If Zoey succeeds in defeating this new evil, she'll finally be reunited with the mother she lost over twenty years ago. But if she fails, she'll become the final victim.
Don't Miss Monster in My Closet, Pooka in My Pantry, and Fairies in My Fireplace, available now!
About the Author
She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.
Come hang out: Twitter: @RLNaquin Facebook: /RLNaquin www.rlnaquin.com
Read an Excerpt
In spite of its light and airy appearance, my ceremonial dress made of flower petals and spider silk itched like an STD through horsehair underwear. And scratching made a mess of the delicate design. I scratched anyway.
Maurice, my closet monster roommate, slapped my hand away. "Dammit, Zoey," he said, his yellow eyes pleading. He dropped his voice to a whisper. "You're already flashing side-boob. This is a solemn ceremony. I don't want to have to glue a leaf on you to hide a nipple slip. Quit fussing."
I found a spot on my hip where I'd already sprung a hole and rubbed my fingers over it. The motion wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped.
I stood in a clearing in the woods behind my house, surrounded by a menagerie of odd creatures. A low-hanging branch held the tiny, month-old star of the ceremony, along with the rest of the party involved. Plus me. I was too big to stand with them, hence their position on a tree branch. Even if I squatted in the grass I'd be too large in comparison. The only other solution would have been for me to lie on my belly. I didn't want to think what that would have done to the dress.
The chubby brownie vicar stood waving his arms at the surrounding mix of monsters, mythical creatures and urban legends. "May all who witness take to heart the joy and solemnity of this occasion. Today, we welcome this child as a citizen of the world, of the community and of her family. Today, we present her name, that she shall go forth in the knowledge of her place in the world, in the community and in her family."
Molly held her month-old daughter, and Molly's husband, Walter, beamed with pride beside them. The brownies' sons, Fred and Aaron, stood next to their father, stiff in their formal robes, and little sister Abbey, dressed in a ceremonial dress of her own, clutched her mother's petal skirt.
My skirt hit about mid-thigh, while theirs were floor length. My woods didn't hold nearly enough spiders to complete the dress in my size. As much as I'd like to be fully covered, having another inch of my body coated in the sticky stuff would have been unbearable. I scratched at my arm and realized a welt had formed. Obviously, I was having an allergic reaction.
Don't scratch, don't scratch, don't scratch. If I sang it in my head as a mantra, maybe the itching would stop.
One additional brownie stood on the branch with the rest of the family and the vicarMolly's brother, Jack. He was there for the same reason I was, but he had the good taste to be an appropriate size.
The vicar touched the baby's forehead with his fingertips. "Whose tongue holds the familiar name of this child?"
Jack bowed at the waist and stepped forward. "My tongue holds her familiar name."
"Give this child her familiar name, that all who meet her may know her."
Jack's voice, as he'd been taught in rehearsal, was pitched loud enough for those in the first few circles of onlookers to hear. "Susannah."
Baby Susannah cooed, and the air around us shimmered, as if heat were bouncing off asphalt.
The vicar touched her forehead again. "Whose tongue holds the private name of this child?"
That was my cue. "My tongue holds her private name."
"Give this child her private name, that she may know herself better than all others."
I bowed at the waist, feeling the sides of the wispy dress shred with the movement. At this rate, I'd be wearing nothing but hives and a few modestly placed daisy petals by the time the ceremony was over.
I stepped forward and bent over the tiny baby in Molly's arms. I bit my tongue to hold back tears that threatened to gather, and reminded myself this was a happy moment, not a time for sadness.
As we'd rehearsed, I whispered so only the brownie family could hear. "Iris."
Petals fell from the tree above, and a scented breeze blew over us. My heart clenched. Iris had been my friend. He'd died a hero. Giving his name to Molly's child filled me with both pride and sorrow.
Molly and I exchanged a sad smile, and I returned to my place, silently cursing my inability to keep my eyes from puddling up. You'd think, after a whole month, I'd have my shit together.
I'd done so well the night before in rehearsal.
The vicar touched Susannah Iris's forehead a third time. "Whose tongue holds this child's family name?"
The entire brownie family, mother, father and three older children answered in unison, in voices loud enough to carry through the forest. "Our tongues hold her family name."
"Give this child her family name, that she may always have a place in this world."
They bowed, though Molly's bow wasn't as deep, since she held the baby in her arms.
"Wheatstalk!" Their voices echoed into the sky, and the sky answered with a clap of thunder.
All around us dryads, a pigmy dragon, a closet monster, two visiting chupacabra, a yeti, a satyr, a large tribe of fairies, a host of other creatures lurking in the forest and a few special humans cheered as the vicar took Susannah Iris Wheatstalk and held her in the air for all to see.
Baby Suzie, startled by the noise, burst into frightened tears. The vicar smiled and handed her back to Molly, then stood waiting for silence to resettle over the congregation.
When all was quiet again, he cleared his throat. "Will the godmother and godfather lay their hands upon this child?"
Jack placed his hand over Suzie's chest, and I touched her peach-fuzzed head with the tip of one finger.
"Do you, Jack Brambletuft, swear to be a source of wisdom, safety and love to this child for all her days upon this earth?"
"I so swear."
"Do you, Zoey Donovan, swear to be a source of wisdom, safety and love to this child for all her days upon this earth?"
I swallowed. "I so swear."
"And do you both swear to care for her as your own, should her natural parents become unable to do so?"
Jack and I waited two beats, then responded together. "We so swear."
"Then by the power of the great oak and the humble dandelion, I declare this child joined forever with this brownie and this human Aegis as a part of her family tree."
After the clap of thunder earlier, I'd expected something big, like fireworks or a choir of howling wolverines. Instead, the effect was internal. Something clicked inside me, like when you place a puzzle piece into the right space. I saw in his eyes that Jack had felt it, too. The tiny girl in Molly's arms was now a part of us, and we were a part of her.
With the formal ceremony complete, guests moved through the clearing to congratulate the family and to mingle with each other. I shifted my feet and scratched a new welt on my ribcage.
Sara, my best friend and business partner, closed in on me, her lips pursed in fake disapproval. "We can't take you anywhere." She poked me in the ribs in a spot where the dress had already been thoroughly destroyed. "Even when you're given an outfit to wear, you're a fashion disaster."
I scratched the spot where she'd poked me. It felt so good I expanded the scratching zone, which widened the hole.
Molly shifted the baby in her arms and moved closer on the tree branch. "Go change, Zoey," she said. "There is no reason for you to be uncomfortable." She smiled at me and made a shooing motion with one hand. "Go."
I displayed a tremendous amount of willpower to keep myself from running to the house. I made my way through the guests, a fierce grin plastered across my face. My friend, Andrew, and his boyfriend, Daniel, stood talking to Maurice a few yards away. They followed my progress with raised eyebrows. The holes in my dress were now large enough to be seen all the way across the clearing. I didn't see my reaper boyfriend, Riley, but I'd be back in a few minutes. If he missed me, someone would tell him where I'd gone.
I skirted a toadstool the size of a dinner plate so I wouldn't disturb the fairies spread across its surface. At the edge of the clearing, I prepared to make a dash for it, but someone grabbed my elbow and spun me around.
Riley stood over me, gray eyes twinkling. "You're just going to run off and leave me at the party by myself?"
"I'll be back," I said. I scratched my upper thigh and sprang another hole. "Five minutes, I swear." I tried to turn toward the house, but he held me in place.
"It seems rude to leave the party when you're part of it. Don't you think?"
While he talked, he ran soft fingertips up my sides. His thumbs moved over the ragged holes that exposed the sides of my breasts. Under any other circumstances, his light, teasing touch would ignite a fire in me and lead to sweaty, breathless things. This time all it did was cause the itching to feel like I'd caught a bad case of poison ivy on top of chicken pox after being doused in itching powder.
"Riley, I really have to go change."
He kissed me. I melted into him, while his fingers traced a delicate line up my spine, causing new places to itch. Of their own volition, my arms curled around his neck, and my mouth welcomed his kiss. The rest of my body struggled for freedom to scratch. A low keening started in my throat.
Riley chuckled and let me go. "Let's get you in the shower. I'll scrub that stuff off your back and get you an antihistamine."
I slapped him in the chest with my open palm. "Seriously? You were torturing me on purpose?"
He grinned and shrugged. "I'll race you home."
I returned his grin and bolted across the yard before he had a chance to move.
We took a bit longer than the promised five minutes. Riley's fault. Showering alone takes a lot less time than showering with a helper. He did clean off every strand of spider web on me, and even took care of some places the webbing couldn't have possibly gone.
He was quick, but thorough. After all, we did have a party to get back to.
Downtime alone was hard to come by these days. In the last month, we'd been so busy. Sure, we'd rescued a lot of Hidden from the Collector and her auction, but people were still missing.
We had families to reunite, wounds to tend, and dead to bury.
The auction we'd stopped hadn't been the first, so we were in the process of setting up a missing Hidden network to try to work out who was remained out there.
Alma Dickson, the head of the Sausalito City Council had been keeping fairies in iron cages in her greenhouse. How many more Hidden were out therecaged or forced into servitude? I couldn't go door-to-door all across America looking for them, but I could at least learn who we were searching for.
It was a start.
Of course, we were looking for a few humans, too. The Collector had taken all the other Aegises to care for her inventory of Hidden. When we defeated her, someone else took all the Aegises from right under our noses. Including my mother. This was more than my wish for other Aegises to share the burden of helping the Hidden.
I wanted Mom back.
I turned off the shower and the buzz of my phone vibrated across the bathroom sink. It stopped and Ri-ley's went off. We exchanged a worried glance and scrambled for our phones, both of us dripping on the tile and dangling our unused towels while we checked our messages.
In the short time we'd been otherwise engaged, I'd received four frantic voicemail messages, and Riley had three more. Bernice, the head of the Board of Hidden Affairs, needed our help.
So much for the party.
I dialed her number and put her on speaker so Riley could hear, too. And also so my hands were free. If there was a major problem, I didn't relish the idea of hearing about it while I was naked and standing in a puddle of water.
Bernice answered on the first ring. "Zoey, hallelujah. I'm going nuts over here. I need help."
That was a new one. I often called Bernice for advice or information. She would then try to convince me to move to her super-secure compound in Kansas, surrounded by barbed wire, miles of nothing as far as the eye could see, and probably some sort of supernatural mojo to keep out invaders. She wanted to keep me safe. The conversation had almost become a ritual between usthe price I paid to get her assistance on whatever new thing had cropped up. Not once had she called me for help.
"Riley's listening too, Bernice. What do you need?" I did my best to sound professional and hoped like hell the acoustics in the bathroom didn't give away our location. Nothing ruined a person's street cred like conducting a business meeting near a toilet.
The woman's stress leaked through the phone and washed over me in a tight wave. My shoulders tensed in response, and my heart pounded faster in my chest. As an empath, I tend to keep my defenses up so I don't feel all the emotions from every person I come in contact with. At home, I don't keep myself quite as guarded. After spending time in the shower with Riley, all my walls were down.
I couldn't help Bernice with whatever her problem was if I couldn't think past her emotional upheaval. I took a deep breath and rebuilt my barriers. My shoulders lost their tension.
"The goblin switchboard is lighting up with reports," she said. "We have multiple Hidden sightings all across the country, and one of them is in your area."
I frowned and looked at Riley. "Goblin switchboard?"
He shook his head.
Bernice grunted in frustration. "I can't explain how it works right now, Zoey. If you'd come here for training like I'd asked you to a million times, you'd already know."
Riley covered his mouth so his boss wouldn't hear him laugh, and pointed, as if to make fun of me for getting in trouble.
I rolled my eyes, though I wasn't sure if it was at his immaturity or her lecturing. "What do you mean, Hidden sightings, Bernice?" I refused to give her the satisfaction of an argument.
The first time I'd gone to the Board's headquarters, Bernice almost didn't let me leave. She'd had me locked up in a suite while her creepy golem automatons stalled for her and told me they'd let me know when Bernice had time to see me. So much had happened since then, our initial meeting seemed a bit ridiculous in retrospect. We knew each other now. I knew her limitations, and she knew I couldn't be pushed around. Besides. I was the only active Aegis to the Hidden in the entire country right now. That meant all the supernatural creatures would have no one to go to for help if I ran off to the middle of the country and hid from danger.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I started with the first book, I was happily hooked. It was so much fun reading this series. Love this series. Have read them more than once.
Read them all!
I was introduced to the Monster Haven books on another blog a couple of years ago. I loved the look of the covers and the idea behind the books. When I won a copy of the first book, I was thrilled, but put off reading it. I continued to oooh and ahhh over each new book cover and add them to my TBR pile. I even introduced them to my sister and she read hers, while mine sat, still unread. That changed though when I saw that Golem in My Glovebox was on Netgalley. Getting this book was the perfect reason to finally read the series. So glad I did. After the downfall of The Collector (Fairies in My Fireplace), the Aegis were stolen away before they could be freed from their bonds. Zoey was left with a quickly penned childish dare, no closer to having a true reunion with her mother. Now as the only Aeigs left, it becomes Zoey's responsibility to protect not only the Hidden from humans, but also the humans from the Hidden. Zoey is dragged across the country, stumbling from one crisis to another trying to keep the Hidden where they belong - Hidden. While Zoey and Riley are out trying to get the O.G.R.E.S. re-established, the kidnapper begins communicating with Zoey. They want to play a game of deadly hide and seek. They are hiding the Aegis and it is up to Zoey to find them before they end up dead. Unfortunately between trying to make sure that monsters and creatures of legend aren't discovered by humans while trying to solve the macabre clues that keep ending in the deaths more and more Aegis, Zoey is not having a good time. Basically - Worst Road Trip, Ever. Zoey is such a great character. She is nurturing and caring to her friends and family, while having this offbeat, slightly kookie vibe. She is totally, completely herself and nearly all the time, she is completely happy just the way she is. This book shakes up that belief in herself just a bit and I think that Zoey comes out stronger on the other side because of it. Zoey is still learning what she is capable of with her empathy and Aegis powers, and without anyone to tell her she can't do something or shouldn't try something, she makes up her own rules as she goes along. I enjoyed this book, though I missed many of the regulars from the previous books. The author took us on plenty of twists and turns throughout the story, many of which I never saw coming. I was kept glued in and couldn't put the book down for much of the read. The story arc isn't done, so I am looking forward to the next story and seeing where the author is going to take Zoey next. I gave this book 4 stars.
Just finished Golem in My Glovebox.You know that feeling you get when you read a really good book and once you've finished it you feel a little lost?Yeah,that's me right now.I've been in Zoey's world for the last 3 days(read all 4 books in the series)and I seriously can't even think about starting another book right now.Love this series!
Zoey Donovan is an Aegis, she takes care of members of the Hidden. They are the beings that normal humans don't know exist. Trolls, closet monsters, and mermaids are just a few of the many different types. This time around Zoey and her reaper boyfriend Riley are on the road trying their best to keep things under wraps from the humans. Oh and they're also on the trail of a killer. With a pocket sized golem in her glovebox, a sexy reaper boyfriend, and the help from a few members of the OGRE squad, Zoey has quite a challenge in this book. The Hidden government is trying to rebuild, but is having a hard time keeping up due to some Hidden members deciding they don't want to be in hiding. Since the OGRE squads haven't been paid in months, there is no one keeping things in check so Hidden are rebelling and walking the streets. Zoey and Riley come to the rescue, help reinstate the OGRE squads all while hunting down a crazy lady killing other Aegis'. The villain in Golem in My Glovebox gave me goosebumps. She's psychotic, cold and calculating. Did I mention creepy? She's creepy too. I couldn't wait to see how Zoey would handle facing off against her. RL Naquin's writing just keeps getting better, I've loved all the books in the series so far, but this one is the best yet. I highly suggest this series for anyone who enjoys paranormal or urban fantasy. If you haven't read it yet pick up book one, Monster in My Closet.