Once Upon a Time: The Grimm Truth by Nancy Gideon
Is it just me or is it impossible these days to throw a glass slipper without hitting a movie or TV show based on a fairytale? What gives? Why the sudden popularity?
I was pondering this while viewing Hansel and Gretel for the second time (the first was at an early screening in IMAX 3D and the second in less eye straining 2D so I could follow all the action nuances to better appreciate Mr. Renner in leather . . . and better yet, without it . . . but I digress!) When you consider that fairytales were the original YA paranormals, it makes perfect sense given the influx of young and new adult readers these days. Fairytales are teeming with the things young people angst over: popularity, abandonment, persecution from those in authority, the wish that an uncertain future could magically become all they’d ever dreamed of. These tales are not bedtime stories for little children (at least not the Grimm version unless you want them in therapy and sleeping with a nightlight for the rest of their lives). They’re life lessons for those on the cusp of adulthood. Being a grown up is scary business. It’s the monster under the bed, the wolf in a parental cloak, being left in the woods with limited resources to battle overwhelming threats . . . and win. There’s always the security of that happily-ever-after . . . unless, because you predated Freud and no therapy was available, you had to become witch hunters to deal with your childhood trauma.
Fantasy is much more fun than the pending obligations of reality . . . especially when you throw in dazzling CGI and Chris Hemsworth!
What are our paranormal romances but fairytales in adult clothing? Beauty and the shape-shifting beast, Cinderella at the ball, Snow White kicking urban fantasy butt and taking names? And always the happily-ever-after.
Readers grow up, but they never grow out of their dreams of Prince Charming.
Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get into in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s clan.
With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.
Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the Bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.
Brigit slit her eyes open to the brightness of midmorning. She was alone in the bunk. Harsh-smelling coffee warmed on the hot plate, and Giles was nowhere in sight. Then she heard the unmistakable crack of ax into wood.
Feeling tired and sticky and . . . fabulous, she stretched and reached for the crimson-colored sweatshirt Giles had left folded on the edge of the mattress. Harvard? She slipped it over her head to swim in generous folds that came almost to her knees. Rolling back the cuffs, she found the shoe she’d tucked Boyd’s cell phone into, discouraged to see no message from Silas. She tucked it under the sleeping bag on the top bunk, pushed bare feet into her shoes, and went to pour coffee. Her whole body ached gloriously, making her smile as she stepped out onto the tiny back porch.
Because she could still hear his voice, rough with passion.
Giles had his back to her, splitting wood in the glare of morning light, a beautiful sight in his revealing muscle shirt. Strong, sexy. A light sweat had broken out on his shoulders, gleaming amid scores of scratches, some nearly healed from their passionate tussle in New Orleans and some raw stripes from hours ago. Chagrined, she put a nail trim and manicure on her agenda for the day.
He’d taken the batteries out of the flashlight to power an old cassette player and was timing his swings to the raucous beat of a late-eighties hip-hop tune that probably dated back to days spent here in male bonding. Something ridiculous about Humpty Dumpty dancing? Her gaze followed the suggestive rock and bump of his hips as the sassy backup singers crooned, “Do me, baby.”
Oh, yay. Good idea.
Time to whip up something for breakfast.
She’d taken a step forward, intending to initiate some moves of her own, when the music dialed down and muted as another sound reached her.
The cup fell from her hands, shattering on the wood planking, as all her senses trembled and went taut.
And a single cry ripped from her.
“Giles, behind you!”
Giles spun, continuing his momentum with the ax so it caught his assailant midleap in the upper chest, flinging him to the ground. Even as he wrestled the blade free, his attacker was gaining his feet, falling into a menacing crouch as his lips pulled back from a mouth full of dagger-like teeth.
Alarm became coldly dangerous intentions when he recognized the disfigured Shifter from Brigit’s description.
“Brigit, get inside!”
He didn’t look around to see if she obeyed. There was no time as the creature sprang.
Driven to the ground on his back, Giles couldn’t angle for another swing as he was forced to grip the ever thickening throat to keep those deadly teeth away from him. A battle he knew he wasn’t going to win as the beast completed its change of form into something monstrous and impossibly strong.
Run, Brigit! That was all he had time to think. Run!
All he had to do was stay alive long enough for her to get a head start.
There was a deafening report from the porch, and suddenly, the figure hunching over him was plucked off and sent rolling away.
Giles risked a glance toward the cabin to see Brigit with her feet planted wide, his pistol braced in both hands. The pistol he’d wisely loaded with silver rounds.
As he scrambled to his feet, his attacker was gaining his own, obviously struggling not to revert back into humanlike form from the effects of the silver. Brigit’s shot had taken him in the other side of the chest. Giles’s first blow from the ax had already healed. Making him no less lethal as he sprang a second time. No less quick.
And this time Giles didn’t respond fast enough.
An author of over fifty novels since 1987, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms, she’s written award-winning series suspense, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure”, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant and feeds a NetFlix addiction.
a Rafflecopter giveaway