As the only state trooper assigned to Last Chance, Alaska, grizzly-shifter Jack Barret knows the law like he knows the back of his own paw. He's serious about his job... some might say too serious.
When a sexy little fox-shifter with a secret comes to his town, he's on the case and on her ass. She just might be the love he's been looking for to make him "grin and bear it all" -- if she doesn't turn tail and run when he turns on the heat.
Being wanted by the law has never been so much fun.
Praise for Grin and Bear It
"...a fast-paced story that is filled with cute banter between the two main characters and several steamy sexual encounters too. I like Katia. She was smart, vibrant and full of life. She knew how to enjoy life and have fun."
-- Janie Esparza, The Romance Studio
"The writer has penned a charming story with characters that are alive! They think and act in a believable manner. She gets you interested in her story after a few paragraphs and does not let you go until the end."
Foxy: Grin and Bear It
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Cassidy McKay
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The name's Barret. Jack Barret.
I'm a state trooper, based in Last Chance, Alaska. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere, population 1,479 humans. Most people who end up in Last Chance come here for a job -- or with a pressing need to get lost. Usually I get to deal with the second sort.
Now I don't have a problem with getting a fresh start, but if you're in my town to cause trouble, you're going to have a bear of a time getting past me. Yeah, I said bear, as in grizzly bear. I'm a shifter, like a lot of folk around here. It's not a real big secret among us.
The humans are another story, although they tend to ignore what they don't understand. It's not really a problem as long as we do our shifting elsewhere.
As a cop, I don't like problems. As a grizzly, I end them. Believe me; you'd rather meet me as a cop than a grizzly. Human laws don't always apply when it comes to shifters. What I have to do in either form isn't always pretty, but it gets the job done. I'm all about the job.
Weird thing is, with all the different types of shifters around here, we mostly get along. We interact, sometimes we intermarry, and we understand that everyone has their quirks. Believe me; Last Chance can be pretty damned quirky sometimes.
The loud burst of giggling down the street draws my attention. It's those flirty little fox-shifters again, the ones who come to town every week to ogle any male over the legal age limit. I really don't see why they keep coming, or what they have to laugh about.
But foxies are like that. They laugh and play for no reason at all; it's in their nature. There's a bunch of them around here, so I see a lot of their foolishness. Their comments are loud enough for me to hear; I know they do it on purpose.
"Do you think he's really bear under that uniform?"
"He doesn't look very scary to me..."
"I wonder if he uses those handcuffs in bed?"
"He wouldn't have to cuff me, he's hot!"
"Who cares? He's grumpy, and he never has any fun. Who wants a guy like that?"
"Not me! What's life without fun?" Their chatter fades as the bar door closes behind them.
Silly foxes. Yeah, it's kind of cute the way they're always so full of laughter and upbeat. But you can bet if I ever showed any interest -- serious, sexual interest -- they'd turn tail and run to their dens faster than snow turns to mud when it warms up.
So I let them play their games and ignore the innuendo. I know they aren't really interested. When their foolish fun turns into stupidity and gets them into trouble, that's when I'll step in to set things straight. Because I'm a cop. It's what I do.
"Please, can you tell me where the police station is?" The lightly accented voice coming from the other side of the street rises in distress. I don't recognize it, or the woman speaking.
"Nope. No police station here." Charlie Brenner, one of our more colorful locals shrugs as he stonewalls the woman. He hates tourists. It's almost funny to watch him in action. He's human, but I swear the man must have some grizzly blood in his family somewhere -- he's that grumpy.
"Surely you must have someone people can go to when they have a problem?" The redhead's voice purrs deeply, slightly rolling her r's. The accent is faint, but it's there. Russian, if I'm hearing it right. She pushes the hairpins back into the loose bun on top of her head and straightens her clothes.
"Nope. No shrinks here either."
"I don't mean mental help, I mean legal help."
"No lawyers, either. Nearest one's in Juneau. Just hop back on the ferry, get motion sick for about two hours, then turn left at the first street. Follow the ambulances and you'll run right into them."
"You don't understand, I can't get back on the ferry! Someone stole my purse. All of my money, my identification, my passport -- everything was in there."
"Well, why didn't you say so, lady? The state trooper's office is across the street. In fact, he's standing right there, checking out your ass. You should have just asked for him in the first place." He wanders down the road, shaking his head. "Tourists."
* * *
I have to admit -- he has me dead-on. I was staring at her ass. Grumbling under my breath, I start across the muddy, slushy mess of a road to save the latest damsel in distress. Tourist season is just around the corner, so I'd better get back in practice.
With a sigh, the woman perches on her battered suitcase. It falls over with a muffled thud, dumping her into a pile of freezing slush. Her quiet desperation turns into noisy, sniffling tears as the snow starts. Great. Now I have a soggy, blubbering tourist instead of just a missing purse. Still, she's kind of cute, in a wet, muddy, librarian sort-of-way.
Hearing the familiar screaming whine of snowmobiles, I see two of the local boys racing toward town, weaving back and forth in the street. Swerving at the last minute, they barely miss a car parked in front of the general store.
I growl as they draw near, letting my grizzly shine in my eyes. Not surprisingly, the boys slow down. Yeah, that's right, cubs. Respect the grizzly, or I'll swat your asses all the way into next year.
The woman hasn't moved an inch; doesn't even look up as I approach. "Miss, I think you've absorbed all the water you're going to. Why don't you come in out of the cold and put on something dry? I have a hot pot of coffee in the station and a place you can change." I hold my hand out to help her up. She stares at it, and then wipes the muck off her hand before grabbing mine. A rush of heat swells within me at her touch. Well, fuck me with a coconut... what do we have here?
Her copper-brown eyes widen when she sees my badge and she hesitates. I've seen that look before; this girl's got something to hide. Never mind my cock rising in my pants, demanding I slam the sexy little red fox up against the nearest wall and fuck her till she yips in surrender.
"I need your help."