Fourth in the popular, light paranormal romance series by an author whose books have sold 13 million copies
In this sexy, funny paranormal romance by bestselling author Linda Wisdom, it's all beautiful witch Blair Fitzpatrick can do to keep a lid on her talent for revenge spells, but things are about to get a lot more complicated...
Blair loves running her vintage shop and hanging out with witchy friends Stasi and Jazz. She's forever had a crush on hunky carpenter Jake Harrison, whose Were nature (he's a Border collie) makes him loyal, lovable, and fierce when need be. Just as sparks are beginning to fly, Blair is served with a big surprise when Jake's mother shows up along with his pack leader, who threatens to make Jake heel! When the alpha does the unthinkable, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!
PRAISE FOR LINDA WISDOM:
"Kudos to Linda Wisdom for a series that's pure magic!"— Vicki Lewis Thompson, New York Times bestselling author of Wild & Hexy
"Clever writing, a high sensuality factor and an unfettered imagination." — Publishers Weekly
"The main tale is an intriguing look beneath the bravado of Wisdom's characters to their
inner fears and vulnerabilities." — Booklist
"Chick-lit meets paranormal in this witchy & vampy mystery-filled story and the combination works well thanks to the author's great writing style." — Paranormal Romance Reviews
ALSO BY LINDA WISDOM:
50 Ways to Hex Your Lover
Wicked by Any Other Name
Hex in High Heels
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About the Author
Linda Wisdom has published more than 70 novels with 13 million copies sold worldwide including traditional, paranormal, humor, action/adventure romance, and romantic suspense. Her bestselling books have been nominated for Romantic Times awards and the Romance Writers of America Rita Award. She lives with her husband in Murrieta, California.
Read an Excerpt
Hex in High Heels
By Linda Wisdom
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Linda Wisdom
All right reserved.
Chapter One"You turned them into teenagers?" Jake Harrison howled, which sounded eerily like his Were-Border Collie self, even though this morning he was deliciously human. He was lounging in a red vinyl and chrome chair by the 1950s diner table on display in the back of the vintage shop, long legs stretched out comfortably. Dressed in his usual faded jeans and flannel shirt, Jake's shaggy black hair was in need of a trim and his black eyes were bright with laughter. One hand rested idly on the Select-O-Matic jukebox on the table, while the other held a paper cup filled with coffee. The rich scent of cinnamon mocha filled the air.
"They were lucky that's all I did to them. And let me tell you, there's nothing scarier than trophy wives suddenly reverting to pimply face, original nose, stringy hair teens. Not one of them was a cute kid, either. All of their so-called natural beauty came from a surgeon's knife, hairdresser's skill, and make-up." Blair Fitzpatrick stood a short distance away, studying with satisfaction the primary colors adorning the walls of her shop, Blast from the Past. She specialized in selling vintage items and liked to make her shop bright and welcoming to tempt customers inside. But what really revved her engines was the way Jake was looking at her, with a dark gaze that held more than a hint ofhunger. Yep, Jake was the one who really stirred her hormonal cauldron.
"Some people just don't understand that my gifts are meant for the greater good." She sat down across from him and sipped the caramel latte Jake had brought her that morning.
He grinned at her. "Oh yeah, anyone can see that revenge spells are for the greater good."
"You craft the right spell, and husbands and boyfriends think twice about cheating on their women. A woman who's illegally run up a man's credit card suddenly finds the bill in her name, or worse." She absently touched her curly, dark auburn hair to make sure her '40s updo was still in place. Each week Blair took the time to decorate the shop in a different theme. This week was the 1940s and she was dressed accordingly. "Two small examples."
"It's a good reminder never to piss you off."
Blair rested her chin on her hand and studied his silky black hair and lean, rough-hewn features. In human form, Jake was one hot-looking guy; and even in dog form, any woman would want to adopt him. But she knew she could look into his dark eyes all day and never see all that was within. Jake had kept his Were nature secret for a long time and even now, despite her witchy senses, she couldn't detect a hint of Canis lupus familiaris. That didn't stop her from gazing at his mouth and imagining it on hers, or his hands running over her body or ... wowza! Was it hot in here or was she having a hot flash? "I have to say, you'd come out pretty good even as a toad or a warthog."
"Blair!" A young woman's voice echoed through the archway separating Blair's shop from fellow witch Stasi's lingerie boutique, Isn't It Romantic. "It's Horace again."
"'It's only for three days,' she says," Blair grumbled, rising to her feet. "'Trev's taking me away for a romantic long weekend. Ashley will watch the shop, so no worries there,' she assures me. If Stasi wanted no worries, she should have taken Horace with her. But I suppose her wizard boyfriend wouldn't be too keen on that. Not that I blame him." She walked through the archway into the neighboring shop. A moment later a multi-colored spike of light flashed between the shops, and Horace the gargoyle's yelp of pain was heard. Blair returned, rubbing her hands in a gesture of a job well done.
"Stasi only tells me no!" the gargoyle yelled after her.
"Yeah, well, I'm in charge now."
Jake glanced at Felix, the Kit-Kat clock on the wall, and stood up, pulling on his fleece-lined denim jacket. "You're going?" she protested.
"Agnes asked me to replace some boards in their front fence and I promised to do it today."
"And you decided to do it while she's at her hair appointment," she guessed.
He nodded. "Floyd, I can handle," he said, naming the town's mayor. "But Agnes seems to feel she should be out there supervising, when she doesn't know a thing about carpentry. Plus that heavy stuff she calls perfume makes me sneeze. With luck, I'll be done before she gets back. I'll see you later." With a wave of his hand he was gone.
Blair resisted to the urge to let her own inner teenager peek out the window and watch him walk down the street.
While she and Jake had become closer since the dramatic events of last Samhain, they still weren't as close as she'd hoped. She knew the man was interested. He stopped by just to chat a couple of times a week and often brought her favorite latte and muffins with him. Who could resist a man who brought her something that, in her mind, was better than roses?
Every so often Jake still showed up as his Were-Border Collie alter ego, and while Blair complained about the shedding-things could be worse.
She stared at the colorful flyer announcing the upcoming annual Winter Carnival, sponsored by a nearby resort. The town of Moonstone Lake was gearing up for attracting the tourists. Maybe the carnival preparations would provide the opportunity she'd been waiting for to pull Jake closer.
Jake glanced at the note Agnes Pierce had left him with her ideas for a new fence and tossed it into his toolbox. He'd rather be back at Blast from the Past, laughing and talking to Blair. Instead he was out in twenty-degree weather, freezing his ass off. Still, it was a job and he liked keeping busy.
He looked up as a buzzing sound blasted from his cell phone and he snatched it from the top of his toolbox.
"Come on, Agnes, give me a chance to get started," he grumbled, flipping open the phone. "Jake here."
"For someone who's kept out of touch for so many years, you sound very healthy."
A black haze covered Jake's eyes as he stared off into the trees.
"How did you get this number?" he spoke slowly and evenly, reining in the fury that threatened to bubble to the top. The last thing he wanted was to show how this call affected him.
"You're a smart puppy. I'm sure you can figure that out for yourself." The woman's voice held a cold bite. "We need to talk."
"Really. I thought we were doing that now, Mom. But I'm pretty busy at present, so let's get together later. Much later."
"It would be in your best interest to speak to me now." The icy edge to her tone could have frozen his ear.
"And it would be in your best interest to lose my number."
"This isn't over," he could hear her say as he clicked off the phone.
Jake's grip tightened until the cell phone snapped in his hand.
"Damn that bitch," he muttered angrily, feeling power begin to course through his veins. His steps turned into long strides as he headed for the cover of the trees. Within moments, fur covered his body and a sleek black and white Border Collie raced across the snow-covered ground.
The winter air made Jake's nose tingle as he leaped over fallen logs. He skidded on a patch of ice, but quickly regained his balance and was off and running again. A deer, sensing the dog's anger, took off in the opposite direction.
Rage. Don't need it. Hate her. Leave me alone.
His stride lengthened as he ran up a hill, halting for a moment at the top to catch his breath. A rustling sound not far off caught his attention and he lowered his head to the ground, creeping along the snowdrifts as the scent of enemy tickled his senses.
Jake rounded a stand of trees and came face to face with a coyote. The coyote's grayish-brown head snapped upward, a low growl emerging from behind his bared teeth as he tried to establish dominance against the dog staring him down. The Border Collie rumbled deep in his chest as his mouth widened in a doggy grin at the idea of an old-fashioned critter rumble.
Bring it on, dude. This is my territory, so I guess I'm just going to have to kick your furry ass.
Without any further warning, the coyote leaped. Not to be outdone, Jake bunched his muscles and met his adversary in mid-air with a snarl. The battle had begun.
The coyote wasted no time twisting his head to clamp his jaws on Jake's neck. Jake yelped and managed to get loose before too much damage was done. He knew his foe wasn't Were and didn't have his strength, but he wasn't about to make it easy on the animal.
Jake danced around, yipping canine insults, jumping forward to nip the coyote's haunches, then leaping back. Each time the coyote got in a bite or a scratch, Jake returned the favor with some damage of his own.
His blood sang with the glory of battle, every sense heightened as he threw himself into the fray. If he wasn't mistaken, the coyote was enjoying this just as much. Jake had no doubt that they'd leave the impromptu battleground bloody and satisfied.
Oh yeah, I really needed this.
Jake felt more than a few aches and pains, but he was grinning; he hadn't felt this good in a long time. He wasn't in the mood to return to the Pierces' to pick up his toolbox; Floyd would see it and stick it in his shed. He'd call the older man that night and explain that something had come up. His features darkened briefly at the memory of just what that something was.
He tipped his head up, sniffing the air, and then did what he did best-he followed his nose to the lake.
Blair had changed out of her vintage dress into clothing more appropriate for the cold weather and stood near the water's edge.
"Aren't you afraid the lake monster will show up and eat you?" Jake teased, walking toward her.
She turned her head and flashed him a bright smile. "Hey you." Her smile dimmed. "What happened?"
"As in what?"
She quickly conjured up a mirror and showed him a face marred with scratches and what looked like a nasty bite on his neck.
"Fixing Floyd's fence proved to be more dangerous than I thought."
She shook her head at his glib answer. "Try again, pooch. Agnes stopped by the shop and asked if I'd seen you. She said your toolbox was left there and what looked like pieces of your cell phone." She reached up and lightly traced one of the scratches. "I have a salve that would speed up the healing process."
He shook his head. "I'm fine."
"I thought shifting healed a Were."
"Not so much if you're Canis lupus familiaris. We tend to have a slower healing rate. Besides, these cuts are a badge of honor, courtesy of a coyote that won't be coming around here again any time soon." He stood next to her. "See any signs of life out there? Beany and Cecil show up on the Leakin' Lena?"
Blair smiled and shook her head. "Cecil was a sea serpent. Besides, the lake monster is only an urban legend."
"I don't know, stranger things have happened in this town." He grinned as he nudged her shoulder with his arm.
"Says the guy who once turned into a dog to save my life." She laughingly bumped him back. She tipped her head to the side and reached up, pulling a tuft of grayish-brown fur away from his throat. "Hm, from a new playmate?"
"I doubt he'd see it that way." He deliberately kept his gaze on the lake. "You know, I had no choice that night. You hadn't paid me for those new shelves yet."
"Goof!" But Blair was smiling as she turned back to the lake and its serene pale blue surface that echoed the moonstone gem for which it was named. "If there was a lake monster, surely one of us would have sensed it by now. In all the years Stasi and I have lived here, we've never even seen a sign of a living creature in the water."
"Maybe he or she is shy." His fingers itched to brush the stray strands of hair away from her face.
"Isn't it enough that the town has witches and a Were Border Collie? We have any other creatures around here, and we'll end up as an offshoot of Ripley's Believe it or Not, or a late night documentary on the Sci Fi Channel."
"So what brings you out here when the temp is dropping like crazy?"
"Sometimes I like to come out and just look at the water. When it's calm and beautiful like this I can't believe it was ever any other way," she murmured, tucking her hands into her pockets. She cast him a quick glance, her bright, blue-green eyes loaded with humor. "I can't believe any self-respecting lake monster would have allowed its home to be damaged by magick. And speaking of magick." She poked her finger against his chest. "Why didn't you ever mention you were Were? And don't say you didn't have any chances, because there were plenty of times you could have said, 'Oh, by the way, I'm a dog. Honest.'"
Jake shrugged his shoulders. "I had more fun showing up as the dog, even though you weren't always that welcoming."
Her jaw dropped. "You tracked muddy paw prints all over my new comforter!"
"And you gave me a bath." His grin widened at the memory. He reached out and took her hand. "Come on, little witch, you're beginning to look like a Popsicle. I'll walk you back to your place. I might even let you play nurse."
"Fine, change the subject. It won't stop me from continuing to ask," she said as they walked down the path toward the building where she and Stasi had their shops and home.
"Okay, I'll tell you-once you admit you and Stasi used to use binoculars to spy on me."
She cast him an innocent look that battled with the amusement dancing in her blue-green eyes. "We never did anything like that."
His chuckle floated in the frosty air. "One, I have Were super sight. Two, the sun tends to reflect on the lenses." He laughed as she muttered under her breath.
Chapter Two"Ashley's picking on me," Horace Grumbled, making his way into Blair's shop. It took some huffing and puffing on his part, but he finally got his leathery wings going enough to allow him to fly up and land on one of the counters. The eight-inch, gray-stone gargoyle had an elongated snout that resembled a monkey's, long arms, and short legs, along with pointy horns and leathery-looking wings. His long tail curved up behind him as he skated across the glass counter.
"He told a customer her thong showed all her cellulite," Ashley, the young woman who helped out in Stasi's shop, called through the archway.
"You know very well you're not supposed to speak to the customers. You do it again, and you'll be wearing a muzzle." Blair adjusted the display of World War II pinup photos. "Stasi warned you about doing stuff like that."
"I don't care. A thong wasn't a good look for her, and someone needed to tell her the truth." He used his claw the way humans use a toothpick, examined whatever he dug out from between his fangs, then tossed it to the floor.
Blair shot him a warning look and zapped it quickly away.
"Don't think you can hang out here," she warned him. She set her iPod in its dock and switched on 1940s-era Big Band music to play softly in the background as she rearranged her collection of World War II memorabilia, including ration books with tokens and a gas mask, courtesy of fellow-witch Maggie from when she lived in London during the war.
In keeping with her theme, Blair was dressed in a black rayon, satin-backed crepe dress with a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves. The gores of the skirt were spliced with a floral print of tiny red rosebuds; it was impossible for her to walk without swishing her hips. She glanced down and adjusted her seamed stockings. Black leather open-toe pumps completed the look. Her gold ankle bracelet, sporting a tiny golden broom with a blue topaz on the handle, winked as she walked.
"When's Stasi coming back?" Horace asked, flopping back on the glass and waving his arms and legs as if he was making a snow angel.
"Sometime tomorrow." Blair paused at the front window, adjusting a few items in the display, then standing there and looking out.
"I wish she'd taken me with her." Horace heaved a deep, dramatic sigh.
"Oh yeah, every witch wants to take a gargoyle along with her on a romantic getaway." She craned her neck to look down the street.
"He's across the street at the hardware store."
"He who?" she said, blushing.
"Jake, that's who," Horace hooted. "That's who you were looking for, isn't it?"
Excerpted from Hex in High Heels by Linda Wisdom Copyright © 2009 by Linda Wisdom. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blair Fitzpatrick is young, independent and pretty who is a boda fide powerful witch, whose specialty is creating hexes. Carpenter Jake Harrison appeals to Blair on many levels, but the loner took a long time before telling her he was a Were. He never mentions his former pack and always keeps his distance from people. Bair knows he is interested in her as she is with him. Jake's former pack comes to town looking to buy land from Blair; this would let them be in his backyard with his brother Roan as the alpha. She refuses to sell even as she sees Jake's mom Vera and Roan despise him. They are irate that he changes into a mere canine while everyone else becomes a wolf. Vera wants her son dead, but Jake has allies including Blair who have his back from the alpha female leader of the pack. The latest hexing romantic urban fantasy (see 50 WAYS TO HEX YOUR LOVER and HEX APPEAL) is a fabulous entry with a wonderfully ironic twist as Vera seeks to purchase a reverse spell from Blair to use against her son. There is plenty of action as mother and son confront one another, but HEX IN HIGH HEELS is character driven as the audience sees deep inside the pack and their thoughts and musing, know how Jake feels with his brood in town, and of course there is the bewitching heroine who will put a hex on those who fail to read her escapades. Harriet Klausner
Linda Wisdom did it again in her 4th in the series"Hex in High Heels." In this book Blair as a crush on carpenter Jake the sexy shape-shifter were and his ex-pack finds him and whats to ruin his life. The feisty witch has alot on her plate the mayors wife Agnes wants a winter carnival so she hired some santa-type elves,but she finds they aren't really what she thought.Elves are mischiefy beer drinking perverts, so the Mayor's wife ask's for Blair and Stasi's help.And the towns people also ask for Blair's help for revenge spells for someone that hert them she is more then happy to help with a good revenge spell,but she also has to help her crush Jake with his evil ex-pack.I just love Linda Wisdom's imagination in this series some writer's write about just one magical paranormal creature but Linda Wisdom has sooooo many: Vampire's,Elve's,Ghost's,Ghoul's,Fae's,Gargoyle's,Shape-shifter's,Werewolves and some sassy witches and more!I can't wait for the 5th in the series "The best hex ever" should be out in march! If you want a fun paranormal oddball characters,mystery,humor,adventure and romance then start with "50 ways to hex your lover" then book #2 "Hex appeal" book 3# "Wicked by any other name" then book 4# "Hex in high heels." A Fun Read!
Looking forward to the next book in the "Hex" series. We'll get to meet Thea in the 5th book. All the books a sexy, funny and great to read. U
What can I say, this series is wondergul! It is fast paced, funny, and very entertaining.
Linda Wisdom is another new author to me. This is the first time I've read her work. If you haven't heard of the Jazz Tremaine series, it's a series about witches or should I say "Hexy" witches. The first two feature, Jazz Tremaine herself, the third featuring Stasi Romanov and 4th and latest book Hex in High Heels features Blair Fitzpatrick.Blair runs a shop called Blast from the Past that sells vintage items and she's also a witch. One that has been crushing on shape-shifter Jake for a while now. When he starts pulling away she is one confused witch. But when he gets in a bit of trouble, she's determined. Nothing and no one is gonna stop her from helping Jake.Hex in High Heels is a light fun read. It was a joy to read. I loved the flirting and the dynamic between Blair and her hunk shape-shifter crush, Jake. In Blair's story you'll find romance, magic and adventure. If you enjoy humor along with your paranormal you'll be sure to enjoy this one.
Fun, fun, fun. That's my short review. I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this book. Ms. Wisdom has created a fascinating world filled with witches, weres, wizards, fae, elves, and so much more. I love the fact that she has added her own spin to each of these myths, making them different from all of the other supernatural series out there these days. The synopsis describes it as sexy, and I'll admit I was not prepared for its steaminess. However, I'm also not complaining about it either. That side of the story only made it that much more enjoyable for me. ;-) I love Blair. She has a confidence and zest for life that is both refreshing and inspiring. She makes me want to add a little flair to my own wardrobe, to play with colors, add kitschy decorations to my house and just stop being so compelled to make everything straight-laced and relatively boring. She inspires me to feel comfortable speaking my own mind and standing up for my beliefs. In other words, she gives me permission to show the world who I truly am. It may not be the message Ms. Wisdom intended for the reader to learn but it is what I take away from Hex in High Heels.The witches' back story is rich and fascinating. I would love to see Ms. Wisdom branch out into stories about each of the witches over the course of their 700 years, but I find no faults with the story as is either. While the character development is not the greatest, it is what I expect from a story like this and does not in any way detract from the enjoyment of the story. In fact, I can't wait to read more about Blair and her witch friends!
Hex in High Heels was my introduction to the world of Linda Wisdom and Blair Fitzpatrick. Though it is book four in the series, I decided to start from book four and then see how the series struck me, if it was something I would be in to. As it seems to be, the books are all loosely connected with the same characters reoccurring, but different ones taking the starring roles. So, though the series was new to me, I hoped that I wouldn¿t have to know too much about Blair and her life previously to enjoy Hex in High Heels.Blair Fitzpatrick is a witch who just so happens to run her own vintage store and has a thing for a were-collie carpenter named Jake Harrison. The drama is hot enough between the two of them as they work out mutual feelings for each other that could soon blossom to something more. Yet, it is never enough to simply have relationship drama. No. There is always more. Jake¿s family ad former pack come to town looking to buy some land from Blair and ease in close to. This pack is made up of wolves, far stronger than the mere collie that Jake becomes. The worst part is that the alpha of the pack is Jake¿s brother, working in tandem with their vicious mother, who wants him dead!Blair is as determined to keep Jake as the pack is to have him and see him dead. Good thing for the pair of them that Blair is as powerful a witch as she is. Does make it any easier that some trouble making elves are also causing Blair a considerable amount of distress.This book was a lot of fun, for sure. Throughout the story, even in times of drama and distress, the story was infused with humor. At the same time, the characters were not all lighthearted parody¿s of magical creatures and things. There was a really great balance to the story, to the drama versus the humor. I really liked Blair and rooted for her the whole time, though of course we all know that the good guys generally win in the end.I did, however, feel like I may have gotten more out of the cameos made by other characters if I had read the previous novels. A few times, characters were brought in or things were alluded to that I had no idea about and could only assume they happened in one of the previous books. Suffice to say I am going to put the other books on my wish list and get them one by one. If they are anything like Hex in High Heels, I know I am going to enjoy them immensely.
Blair loves running her vintage shop and hanging out with her witchy friends Stasi and Jazz, she has quite the knack for revenge spells and she's always had a crush on local, hunky carpenter Jake Harrison, whose Were nature (he's a Border collie) makes him loyal, lovable, and fierce when the need arises. Just when things are finally getting heated with Jake, she¿s thrown for a loop when Jake's mother shows up along with his pack leader, who threatens to make Jake heel! When the alpha does the unthinkable, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!Where to start with this one... well, I loved it. Blair is such a funny and witty character. You fall in love with her right away - she¿s spunky, full of sass, tough, and if she gets angry you better watch out, or she just might curse you. Jake is the perfect man for her. He's tall, dark and hairy handsome - their conversations were such a treat. I loved that she wanted him while he was playing all hard to get. A girl loves a good challenge and Blair knows how to fight dirty.Although this is the fourth installment in this witchy series - it was such a pleasure to read. It can definitely be read as a stand alone although I will say that I am now intrigued and want to get my hands on the first three in the series (50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, Hex Appeal and Wicked By Any Other Name
Great for a quick light read!
Cute quick read
Just enough sex and drama to make it a good chick book
I love this series-can't wait foe more