Welcome to the most exclusive club in the world. The Novo Club. Novo is Latin for “change.” Our members prefer the word “shift” though.
It’s the hottest club in town.
The price of membership is your heart and your secrecy.
All you need to do to join is to be loved beyond your wildest imagination by someone powerful with an…alpha side so primal it’s in their blood.
Are you ready?
Good. Then let’s begin.
The art exhibit for their brother’s paintings was quite lovely, but Edward Stanton was beginning to deeply regret being a supportive sibling. Leaving his home in Montana, where the air smelled like freedom and people didn’t glare – because there were so few actual people – and coming to this festering hellhole called Boston gave him good reason to twitch.
His sister’s words made him groan inwardly, though. If he told her the truth, she would belittle him. If he lied, she would smell it on him.
Of course she would. She was a bear shifter, with a nose most vintners would kill to possess. Sophia could smell emotions. She could sniff out subterfuge and intrigue, sex and anger. He was certain she could smell lottery ticket winners, if she tried.
Not that a billionaire heiress would need such a skill.
Edward steeled himself, wishing he could hide scent the way he had trained himself to hide emotion. Even shifters had limits, sadly.
“I’m tired. The jet seats weren’t comfortable,” he lied. A powerful hum from some sort of heating and cooling system kicked in, making his back teeth rattle. How much longer must he stay to be polite? The city was full of too many unexpected vibrations and jolts, sounds like jeers and mockery. His head began to throb, a steady beat taking over.
Sophia rolled her eyes and took a small pastry from a tray as a server passed by, stuffing it in her mouth. “You are the worst liar ever. Didn’t you learn a thing from Derry? You would never guess you’re brothers.”
Half brothers, he thought. Of the five Stanton children, Edward was the only one without a full sibling. He was also the only mountain lion shifter. He needed to roam. Desired space.
Downtown Boston, at an art gallery packed into a gentrified district where people lived in apartments the size of thumbnails, was the absolute opposite of what he wanted right now.
But they were here to support Derry in his art, and by God, he would fake his way through this.
Even if Derry just ditched them to reunite with his human mate, the limo speeding them off to Derry’s loft, leaving his cheerleading squad stuck in this gallery, eating overcooked rumaki and pretending to enjoy the other exhibits.
“I know you hate the city,” Sophia said, her voice dropping into a compassionate whisper. “But that was years ago, a random tragedy. We can help you. It’s sweet of you to come here for Derry.”
Edward’s body went cold. He didn’t want to talk about the past. And he certainly did not want to talk about the last time he was in Boston.
“Super sweet!” Molly, his sister-in-law’s friend, approached him and Sophia, her bright blue eyes overly friendly, cheeks flushed with excitement or wine. Or both.
His body responded to her presence, skin heating up, muscles expanding as blood pumped with a ferocious, almost-unfair speed designed to make him ready for…
For something he’d given up a decade ago.