Forget her.Cooper had repeated those two words to himself over and over in the weeks following the explosion. They’d become something of a personal mantra for him as he tried to come to terms with what had happened.Forget her.He’d waited after his run-in with Elle at the hospital, expecting Lou to call him or show up, to tell him everything would be normal again. But it had been two weeks, and nothing. He knew she was out of the hospital, because he’d heard Marnie Jackson talking about it nonstop.But it seemed apparent that Lou really had forgotten him. And while he wanted nothing more than to go see her on his own, Elle’s warning haunted him. What if she wasn’t lying? What if he explained to Lou who he was and it hurt her?Anyway, hadn’t he wanted it this way from the start? When he had first met Lou, he’d done everything he could to convince her not to bother with him. Hell, the whole damned town had tried to push them apart. And in a way, he’d gotten his wish. She had no clue who he was, and because of that she was free from all the inevitable pain he would cause her.He should be happy.He should be thanking his lucky stars the pool of people he would devastate on his eighteenth birthday had one fewer person in it. This was a good thing.He should be grateful she’d be spared losing him.But he was miserable.The burden of being cursed was bad enough, but during his time with Lou, he’d been afflicted by something much, much worse. Hope. She’d made him think there was the possibility of a cure. Well, maybe not a cure, but a way to change his fate. She had seemed so certain they could fix things and help him retain his humanity.And now he’d lost her, and with her went all that hope.If he didn’t have Lou, he was definitely going to end up on four legs, covered in fur, and howling at the moon with his brother.He pulled his truck into the lot behind Poisonfoot High School and sat there, staring at the football field. It was late October, and all the grass around town had started to turn an ugly, dry brown color, yet the football field remained an immaculate green.Cooper wondered how much of the school budget each year was set aside for lawn care.Grabbing his duffle bag from the truck bed, he made his way to the locker room to change for practice. They had a big game on Friday, and coach would be riding them harder than usual, so he’d arrived a half hour early for practice to run a few laps before the rest of the team showed up.Running was one of the rare occasions he felt at peace. It was like his conscious mind slipped away, and with each footfall he took another step farther from his troubles.They always caught up in the end, but for the time he was in motion, he was calm and almost happy.He was out on the field when he noticed another car in the lot, a pristine red sports car parked directly next to his rusty Ford pickup.Archer.There was no sign of the other boy outside, and Cooper hadn’t seen him in the locker room, yet it was unmistakably Archer’s car. And if there was anything that could ruin Cooper’s running calm, it was the presence of Archer Wyatt.Though Cooper didn’t know what had happened at the library, he suspected Archer had a hand in it. They’d had a run-in less than an hour before the explosion, and Archer had told him point-blank to stay away from Lou or there would be consequences.And now Lou didn’t recognize Cooper anymore.He didn’t know if Archer was capable of mind control, but the parallels were a bit too weird to be mere coincidence.Grumbling to himself, Cooper set about running laps, figuring if and when Archer wanted to get in his face, the bastard would, and he wasn’t going to be able to stop it. He was on his third go around the field when Archer appeared—like out of nowhere—on the bleachers, sitting in the front row, watching Cooper run.There was no way he could have walked there from the lockers or the parking lot without being seen.Strange.“What do you want, Wyatt?” Cooper jogged a bit closer so they weren’t shouting at each other, but kept a minimum safe distance between them. The urge to punch Archer in the face without provocation might prove overwhelming, and he certainly didn’t need to get expelled. His mom, as the sheriff, wanted him to graduate, curses be damned. And if that was the last thing he could do for her before spending the rest of his life as a coyote, well…he’d do it.“What do you mean, what do I want?” Archer shot back, looking calm and relaxed in spite of the mostly faded remains of a large bruise on one of his cheeks. He had taken quite the blow in the explosion to leave a bruise for this long.It was a shame he hadn’t broken any bones, especially the ones in his face. Or suffered some burns. Anything to make him as ugly on the outside as Cooper knew him to be on the inside.“It’s a practice day,” Archer continued. “I’m the quarterback. So…I’m here to practice.”“Right now you seem to be practicing staring at me like a creep.”“Maybe I’m just observing your form to make sure you don’t get hurt. The Padres need their star running back, you know.”Cooper snorted. He wasn’t the team’s star anything. Yes, he was the best running back they had. And sure, during a game it was the only time anyone in town gave two craps what he did or even that he was alive. But no one was making Go Big #40 signs, or cheering his name. They cared about the points he brought in, and once he stepped off the field, no one congratulated him or patted him on the back with a chorus of good game.The ninety minutes he spent on field in a game were the only time he existed, as far as anyone in the school was concerned.Archer could walk into any store or restaurant and get high-fived or have someone vigorously shake his hand. Cooper had once witnessed Archer getting booze for free at the local convenience store. Archer was a goddamn conquering hero to these people.He was perfect.A perfect asshole, in Cooper’s opinion.But more importantly, there was something sinister and unnatural about the blond boy that set Cooper’s internal alarm bells ringing. And it was a veritable five-alarm fire going off in his head right then.“How’s Lou?” Cooper asked, his tone conveying a kind of accusation he couldn’t verbalize any other way.“She’s fine.”So, suddenly Archer wasn’t interested in talking about Lou anymore? It seemed to be all he’d cared to discuss two weeks earlier.“I’m guessing she hasn’t asked about me much.”“She wondered who you were, and I told her.”Cooper grunted. Sure, Archer would have told her what everyone had told her the first time around. He’s bad news. Stay away from him. Only this time the warning had apparently worked.He wondered briefly how it would go tomorrow, when they were partnered up together in Mr. Price’s lab. Wouldn’t she find it strange that she had no memories of him when they’d supposedly spent every morning for almost two months working side by side? How would she explain that to herself? How would Archer and Elle convince her it was normal not to know a single thing about her lab partner?You can still get her back.Maybe it was crazy, fighting for a way to hang on, but Cooper wasn’t quite ready to give Lou up just yet. He remembered the way she’d looked at him outside the library, her expression vacant, like he meant nothing to her, and though it pained him, he knew the real Lou was still in there somewhere. She had to be.He loved her. Loved everything about her. Lou had made him crazy enough he’d actually been able to forget his problems for a moment or two. In an instant it had all been wiped from the earth. The kisses they’d shared? Gone. The secrets she knew? Vanished. There was no way all that could have disappeared completely, was there?If a tree fell in the woods and no one was there to hear it, did it make a sound? Who cared? But if a boy kissed a girl he loved and she forgot who he was, did the kiss ever happen? How could a memory be real if only half the people involved could recall it?“What do you want from me, huh?” Now Cooper was downright surly. He had no interest in playing games with Archer. “You want me to say you won? Want me to pat you on the back and say she’s all yours and give you my blessing or something?”“I want you to say you’ll back off,” Archer said, finally dropping the innocent act. “She’s better off this way.”“Who are you to decide how Lou is better off? You don’t know a thing about what we had.”“What you had is over.”“Because of you.” Cooper wanted very badly to clear the distance between them and beat Archer to a bloody pulp. He wanted to punch and kick and…bite. He wanted to rip the other boy apart.And that urge kept him planted where he was.More and more often of late, the whims and wants of the coyote had begun to come through. The animal he would become was starting to eclipse the human he was, and when his eighteenth birthday came around, he wondered if there’d be any of the boy left inside the animal.Would he know who he’d been?His brother, Jeremy, had changed already, and though he seemed to know who Cooper was, the animal Jeremy had become was not human in the slightest.Would Cooper remember Lou? Would any of this matter by the time next August rolled around?“You need to get over this,” Archer said, bringing Cooper’s attention away from his revenge fantasies.“You could have killed her. What the hell were you thinking?” If he was going to go for broke, he might as well see if Archer would admit to something.“You have no idea what happened that day.” Archer’s face had gone pale, no easy feat given how tan he was. He got to his feet and seemed to consider coming towards Cooper, but when Cooper took a step back, Archer stayed put. “You’ll never understand. You can’t. But leave Lou alone.”The same warning Cooper had gotten from Elle. “Or what?”“Don’t test me, Reynolds.”Cooper tried to think of a threatening reply, but instead he stood in silence and watched Archer cross the field as the rest of the team began to pull into the lot.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Dog Days: The Complete Saga (Dog Days # 1-4) by Sierra Dean
Dog Days: The Complete Saga (Dog Days # 1-4)
by Sierra Dean
Release Date: 07/07/15
Collecting all the Dog Days novels, this volume includes the complete, epic story of Cooper Reynolds: a boy cursed to become a coyote on his eighteenth birthday, and Lou Whittaker, the girl who can either save or ruin him.
Combined here for the first time, you get all four Dog Days novels:
Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer
Cooper Reynolds's life is going to the dogs... literally.
As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn't hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he'll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever.
The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise "Lou" Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She's grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse.
The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he's willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it's too late.
Eloise “Lou” Whittaker can’t shake the feeling she’s forgetting something.
After surviving the explosion of the Poisonfoot Library, she struggles to find her footing again, and she’s grateful Archer Wyatt is there to make sure she’s all right. But Archer seems to be around an awful lot and Lou has trouble controlling herself when she’s with him. She should be thrilled the most popular guy in school wants to be with her, but still, there’s that nagging feeling…
Cooper Reynolds knows he ought to let Lou go. He was putting her at risk by letting her in the first time, and now that she’s a blank slate he should just let her go on blissfully unaware of his curse. But she’s given him a taste of something dangerous… hope.
Can Cooper and an unlikely ally help Lou break free from the spell she’s under?
And can they do it before a new force threatens to destroy the whole town?
Just when Cooper Reynolds and Lou Whittaker think they’ve weathered the worst of their trials, they come face to face with the most dangerous, clever villain they’ve ever experienced. One Wyatt brother was bad enough, but now that Archer has called on his brother Christopher for help keeping Lou and Cooper apart, the young couple is about to learn what real trouble looks like.
Christopher has come home determined to get Lou away from Cooper once and for all, and he isn’t afraid who he hurts or what bridges he burns to get the job done. With Cooper’s time running out and Lou struggling to control her growing powers, the last thing they need is more conflict. Too bad things are never as easy as they hope.
With a mysterious pair of FBI investigators in town and the clock ticking, Cooper and Lou need to learn to work together before they’re torn apart forever.
The thrilling conclusion to the Dog Days series!
Cooper Reynolds has been missing for months.
The whole town of Poisonfoot, Texas believes he has run away, proving they were right not to trust him. They believe he left like his brother and father before him: another good-for-nothing Reynolds man leaving the small town in his dust. No one is looking for him.
No one but Lou Whittaker.
Lou knows Cooper was taken, she just doesn’t know where he is or how to get him back. With the help of budding witch, Max, and an unlikely ally in her former enemy Archer Wyatt, Lou is determined to find Cooper and bring him back in one piece.
But time is running out. Summer is upon them, and if they don’t find Cooper before his 18th birthday, they’ll be bringing home a wild animal instead of their beloved friend.
Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.
Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.
She’s also a book lover (of course!), obsessive collector of OPI nailpolish and the owner of way too many pairs of shoes.