by Bailey Bradford

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781841693
Publisher: Totally Entwined Group Ltd
Publication date: 12/24/2012
Series: Leopard's Spots , #7
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 137
Sales rank: 292,648
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn’t happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey’s brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey’s office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey’s presence can result in what is know as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

Read an Excerpt

Ward watched the smooth rock he’d thrown skip across the glassy surface of the lake. He counted six decent hops, then the stone sank with a plop on the seventh. Ripples spread out from the point of entrance, and he wondered what the overall effect was on the lake. Did the ripples cease when he could no longer see them, or did they continue on in some miniscule way, maybe even under the surface? Were there fish and other critters being disturbed by his melancholy mood?

A duck flapped its wings then took flight, perhaps irritated by Sully’s stone-skipping, or merely his presence. Sully frowned as he squinted, putting a hand above his eyes to shield them from the sun. It took him a second to focus as he tried to make out what kind of duck it was, but soon he saw the white patches on its wings, and he had his answer.

"Black-bellied whistling duck," he murmured, surprised to see one on the lake. It was only the third time in his twenty-three years that he’d encountered the odd duck. Well, odd to him. The white bar of feathers on the wings were distinctive, but they’d always looked almost creepy to him with those long pink legs. He looked for another black-bellied whistler and was saddened not to find one.

The ducks tended to be monogamous for the most part, pairing up for years, which was more common in swans and geese, as far as he knew. Sully wasn’t an ornithologist by any means, but he did like to read and research.

Sully hoped the duck hadn’t lost its mate. Maybe it was a young bird—and why was he stressing over a damn duck? Sully sniffed and tipped his chin up. He closed his eyes and dropped his hand to his side as a cool breeze wafted over him. The scent of the water filled him, adding to his melancholy. He was going to miss this place, but he had to leave. Attending UTSA had been a dream of his for ages. Their geological programme might not be listed as one of the top three in the nation, but for whatever reason, Sully had always wanted to attend the large college.

Actually, Sully knew exactly why he’d focused on the University of Texas at San Antonio. He’d had a neighbour—an old, old man who’d passed away years before. But the man, Mr Gustav, had spent hours showing Sully rocks and fossils, telling stories Sully still remembered every word of. Mr Gustav had taught at UTSA until he’d retired. Sully supposed he’d had a doctorate or two, but the man had never said anything about it. He’d just been nice to Sully, giving him attention when he often felt forgotten.

Mr Gustav probably wouldn’t have been so nice to him if he’d known what Sully really was. Well, Sully and his family. They were snow leopard shifters, which, in all fairness, would likely freak out anyone who wasn’t a shifter. And, much like the duck Sully had watched take flight, his kind also mated for life, apparently. That was a relatively new discovery—much of their family heritage had been lost when his Grandma Marybeth’s entire clan had been slaughtered in the Himalayas decades ago. Marybeth had been too young to have learned much about what she was, and so it was still a learning process for all of her family.

It was weird to think that if Grandma Marybeth hadn’t been sick that day long ago, she’d have been killed right along with the other snow leopard shifters. Then Sully wouldn’t be here, and neither would his parents, his siblings...

Sully derailed that train of thought. He wasn’t up to being all deep and moody. Besides, he was leaving for San Antonio soon, and his whole reason for coming out to the lake was to think of the perfect prank to pull on his younger brother Wesley. No way could Sully leave without getting the little shit good. Sully knew he might not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but he wasn’t as dumb as people thought, and he had a wicked sense of humour.

The idea that came to him then wasn’t his best prank ever, but it’d be good, and he wouldn’t have to work too hard to accomplish it. The challenge would be getting Wesley away from his bedroom, but if Sully could do that, well... Sully chuckled and tossed another stone, imagining Wesley’s reaction to the plan spinning in Sully’s mind.

* * * *

"Did you pack your toothbrush?"

Sully slapped down the little niggle of frustration he felt upon hearing his mom’s question. He knew this was hard on her. He plastered on a smile as he turned around to face her. "Yeah, Mom, and I took a new one, too, so I have one to swap out in three months." That practice had been drilled in him for twenty years now.

His mom’s face scrunched up and her eyes turned watery. "You’ll be back for a visit before then, maybe if you have a long weekend. I can—"

Sully’s heart just about broke and whatever irritation he had been experiencing over his mother’s clinginess vanished under the threat of seeing her cry again. He was in front of her and holding her in two strides. "I’ll be back every time I get a break from college, Mom. I will. And you can come to San Antonio and visit me. We’ll do the tourist thing and eat a lot of Mexican food, walk along the River Walk, remember the Alamo..."

His mom sniffled and clung to him for a moment, then she pulled back and wiped at her eyes. "I’m being ridiculous, I know it. But you’re my baby—I don’t care if you are twenty-three. You’ll always be my baby, and I want you to go." She gave him a weak smile. "I just also want you to stay."

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Sullivan 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yet another great series! I don't participate in blogging or other online forums, but I am a big fan of this writer and I'm never dissapointed after spending my hard earn money on her books. Keep up the good work Bailey Bradford!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Sully, one of the cousins, and Bobby. It is as good as the others in the series. I have enjoyed reading the whole series and can't wait for more. Sully goes to Texas to school and Bobby is asked to check up on him. Bobby has a stalker and bad things are happening. In the end love wins out.
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