Excited to have Nicole Field on the blog today, with an excerpt from her brand-new paranormal romance, Changing Loyalties, which kicks off the Shadows of Melbourne series and just happens to feature a beautifully named main character 😉 Come check it out!
When Dahlia finds the body of her father, a werewolf brutally murdered and left to die alone, she’s left with more questions and grief than answers. But who or what killed him remains unknown, and it soon becomes clear her father isn’t the killer’s only target.
Adding to the growing pile of mysteries in her life is the new job—for a company that seems to be run by the kind of people who have no qualms about murdering werewolves. Even more frustrating, Dahlia’s new boss, Bianca, is curt and rude—and far more intriguing than seems fair.
And now, here’s the excerpt!
Bianca watched Dahlia go, exhaling slowly even as she unclasped her hands. Were she her direct employer, she might have suggested Dahlia be let go of right then. But Personal Documentation was hardly a normal company, and Bianca found she admired Dahlia’s spunk.
Besides, she wouldn’t need to let Dahlia go if Dahlia simply chose not to come back again for her next shift.
But Bianca had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. She’d seen a certain curiosity in Dahlia’s eyes. Certainly there had been the hunger for knowledge that so many people who came through induction experienced, but Bianca also thought she saw a thirst for power. Maybe that had been just her wish to verbally overpower Bianca, but she was pretty sure there was something else driving that. There’d been violent reactions before when people found out that Personal Documentation was a front for the Sisterhood, but this one had seemed personal.
It was so different from the previous two times she’d talked to her. The first time, Dahlia had seemed no different to any other bubbly intern. Bianca had already known she had the job, so that interview held little interest. The phone conversation hadn’t been enough to give Bianca much of an idea of who Dahlia was beyond that.
A smile tugged at her lips. She was already looking forward to the possibility of a second round. In whatever form it took. Provided she showed up again, she definitely wanted to get to know this kickass girl better.
Bianca looked down at the time as it read in the bottom corner of her screen. Less than three hours and she would find out if there was at least an immediate future here for Dahlia.
Three hours later, Dahlia looked less fuming and paler. Bianca frowned. Surely the knowledge that other people outside of her own close knit group knew about the supernatural elements in this world wasn’t something that had shaken her up so thoroughly. The conversation they’d had in Bianca’s office couldn’t have left her this upset?
“Are you all right?”
Dahlia looked up at her, as though surprised Bianca would care. “I’m here, aren’t I?”
“You are.” Bianca looked her up and down. “Based on what you said this morning, I wasn’t sure.” The words were a calculated attempt to pull her out of herself.
Dahlia narrowed her eyes, but she didn’t rise to the bait. “Maybe I’ve decided that the resources here could be useful to me.”
“Of course you did,” Bianca said, taking the seat beside Dahlia. “That’s how we all start here.”
“Even you?” Dahlia sounded unconvinced.
Bianca couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Especially me.”
Dahlia just looked stunned at the sight of Bianca laughing. Bianca just smiled, biting her lip at the corner as she contemplated Dahlia. “Do you really think I’m a complete monster?”
“Well,” Dahlia said. “Maybe not a complete one.”
“That’s something,” Bianca said, with another laugh.
The laughter did seem to be doing its part to relax Dahlia slightly. Very slightly. “Come with me,” Bianca said on a whim.
Again, Dahlia suddenly looked distrusting. “Where?”
Bianca rolled her eyes. “We’re in the middle of the city. I suspect anywhere is more fun than here. Besides, I don’t think sitting in front of a computer screen is exactly what you need today.”
Nicole writes across the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity. She lives in Melbourne with her fiancee, two cats, and a bottomless cup of tea. She likes candles, incense and Gilmore Girls.