Title: The Halo Effect (The Cupid Chronicles, Book Two)
Author: Shauna Allen
Genre: Light Paranormal
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
He’s gotta earn his wings…again.
Love Detail’s favorite angel has his sights set on his next target: the stoic and mysterious Noble Blackfeather. And it just may prove to be his toughest case yet. Noble’s reclusive ways keep his angel at wing’s distance, and love even further. But he’s not playing a part – he’s truly masking a painful secret and a profoundly wounded heart.
A cupid’s worst nightmare.
Noble’s been paired with Braelyn Campbell, the cute single mother next door. She’s adorable, friendly, fun…everything Noble needs. This should be a Love Squad slam dunk. Except she’s making a fresh start in Texas to protect her son from a volatile ex, and she’s not about to risk her heart or her son on another man. Even if he’s sexy as sin and always coming to her rescue.
Thank God for possibilities.
But, reluctantly, they are drawn together – thanks to their cupid’s dogged efforts and a whole lotta chemistry. Can the girl next door learn to trust again and help heal Noble’s wounded heart? Together, can they save the lost, hurting boy she's raising? Can the angels help it happen before it's too late?
Thank God for love.
Crash! Noble bolted up in bed at the resounding clang of metal hitting concrete. The ear-splitting rah-bah-bah drone of hardcore death metal music made his head pound. He glanced at the digital clock on his nightstand. Shit. He’d only managed to snag a couple hours sleep.
He padded to the window and cracked the mini-blinds. He reared back when the sun pierced his tired eyes and let the blinds snap shut with a curse.
He was about to give up and slide back into bed with a pillow over his head when the hideous grating noise started again followed by a screeching sound, then the obnoxious wailing music cranked up infinitely louder. His new neighbor wasn’t usually this noisy. Cute, yes. Loud, no.
With a tired sigh, he squinted his eyes to prepare for the sunny onslaught and tipped the blinds open again to figure out what in the hell all the racket was about. How could one tiny woman make so much friggin’ noise?! He wouldn’t be so tired if his boss and best friend, Jed, hadn’t left him babysitting the business while he went away on his honeymoon. All those extra shifts kept him up too damn late.
He scanned the tidy, postage-stamp-sized yard next door. She’d already planted some pink flowery things. That probably explained the sweet scent on the breeze when he came home at night, but there was no sign of her right now. He had no idea what her name was or her story. Only that she was little and cute and had a killer ass.
Wait. A movement caught his eye from inside the open garage. But it wasn’t Sweet Cheeks, as he’d come to think of her. A lanky figure dressed in a black hoodie snuck inside and disappeared almost as quickly as Noble caught sight of him. His heart began to beat double-time as he wrestled with what to do. Call the cops? Go make sure she was all right?
He let the blinds slap closed again and threw on the same jeans and T-shirt he had discarded just a couple of hours earlier. Barefooted, he ran down the hallway, ducked out the front door and raced across the yard.
Quietly, he pressed himself against the brick exterior wall, which was already warming with the sun’s rays. His eyes darted around, searching for any sign of his neighbor, but he didn’t see anything. The music was unbelievably deafening now and his eardrums rattled with each beat of the bass drum.
How could she not hear this? Was she already hurt? Had she turned the shit on and this guy was using it as his cover to get in and . . . His heart rate picked up speed as he thought of the possibilities.
He peered around the corner into the garage and caught sight of the guy in the hoodie and black jeans tinkering with something in the corner of the room near the door to her house. A protectiveness surged through Noble and he knew he had only moments to keep this hoodlum from getting inside.
Never taking his eyes off the back of the guy’s head, he inched his way inside the garage and along the wall. The pungent mixture of gasoline, degreaser, and fertilizer combined with the punch of adrenaline that pumped fast and furious through his veins, forming a potent cocktail. The bass drum now beat so loud it thrummed in his chest as he got almost close enough to grab the hoodie. Just two more steps. One more.
Noble grabbed the guy from behind and pinned him against his chest. He reached over and flipped off the stereo. His ears rang in the deafening silence. His ragged breathing filled the grease-scented air. “What do you think you’re doing?” he growled into the hoodlum’s ear.
The guy squirmed against him. He was much smaller than Noble had originally thought. “I, um . . .” His voice cracked.
Noble spun him around and stared him down. He was just a kid, and he was wide-eyed with fear. He looked ready to piss his pants.
The door to the house flew open. “How many times have I told you about that blasted . . .? Tristan?”
Noble and the kid both looked over. Oh, shit. Sweet Cheeks.
“Mom?” the kid croaked.
About the Author:
Shauna grew up an only child with two open and loving parents in Central Texas. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother to three fantastic (no, that’s not a typo!) teenagers.
When she’s not writing, editing, or acting as a personal assistant to a NYT Bestselling author, Shauna enjoys reading, movies with Gerard Butler, vacays to the beach, and hangin’ with the kiddos–even if they don’t like hangin’ with her!
1. What inspired you to write this book?
Angels and tattoos. Not a likely combo, I know! But I really love hot, tattooed men and angels, so I found a way to make it work. And when my hero in Inked by an Angel, Jed, said those infamous and unplanned words, “The Angel made me do it,” he set the wheels in motion for not only a book, but an entire series.
2. What characters do you connect with most?
I think that’s a tie between Noble and Tristan. They’re both emotional and I had to dig deep to write them, and I really enjoyed writing my first dabble into YA with Tristan as a teenaged character.
3. What's your favorite book-turned movie?
This is a tough one! There are several! I guess I will choose Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts. I’ve also enjoyed several of the Nicholas Sparks movies, especially The Notebook, of course!
4. If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
My Cupid, Michael.
5. Can you tell us about any other books you're writing?
Well, the third book in this series, Wounded Wings, will be out in December. In it, my Cupid, Michael, is back and is tasked with matching up a fallen brother. Is his heart up for the task? More importantly, is such redemption possible? I’ve also just released a separate title, Elvis is a Keeper, which is the story of a spunky female fishing guide, the brutal crime that threatens to tear her family apart, and the brainy Elvis clone who sweeps into town tempting her heart!
I’ve also started dabbling in my new love of YA, but it’s still blossoming at this point.
6. What do you do in your spare time?
What spare time? LOL! When I’m not working, writing, editing, working as an assistant to two NYT Bestselling authors, and being wife and mom, I do enjoy reading, movies, the beach, and dance shows.
7. Who's your inspiration?
On a personal level, my mom who’s battling Stage IV cancer right now and kicking its butt. On a professional level, too many to name. But, my critique partners who keep me sane, and all the successful authors out there who are humble enough to share their wisdom and knowledge and admit they didn’t do it overnight. Christie Craig, Lori Wilde and Kristan Higgins top my list right now.
8. If you were stranded on a desert island which character do you want by your side?
Hmmm . . . Michael for Divine Intervention, but if all else fails, Noble for eye candy.
9. Team Edward or Jacob?
Edward, all the way!
10. Team Peeta or Gale?
11. What are you reading now?
I actually need something to read. I’ve been on a book hangover since Real by Katy Evans! Plus I’ve been super busy! But I just finished Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris and it was super cute!