Letha comes from the northern prairies and grew up in a religious, authoritarian commune, where they dressed in 19th century dresses and lived quiet lives inside the community.
She lost her beloved mother and grandmother quite young, but she had Ben, and they married as teenagers. After Ben's death she is truly alone. The elders have long thought her family carried demon blood and she needs to be watched. They choose a man for her to marry.
Instead, Letha takes the money she and Ben had saved, and flees in an old truck.
Her journey ends in a pretty little beach town in southern California, Encanto Bay. She finds a job at the Encanto Bay Cafe, a haven for paranormal and magical people.
I love Letha because she has had tragedy and sadness. She knows what life is like when you are all alone and unloved. She has faced unkindness. But she is not bitter or cynical, she is hoping for better days.
White Tiger Lover is a 'fish out of water' story. Letha, from a repressive old fashioned place, finds a home in an area where shifters, vampires and other magical people are drawn.
And she meets Jagger, a local contractor from an old world clan of White Tiger Shifters.
While she was finishing her tables at closing Heath called her over to the bar. “Have a seat.”
She swallowed hard and climbed up on a tall stool. Was she in trouble?
“It has come to my attention, young lady, that you are sleeping in your truck.”
She felt heat flood her cheeks. “Well, I ... um ... couldn’t afford a place right away, but I’ve been saving my money so I can get one soon.”
“Have you heard the weather report?”
“Bad storm coming. You can have the couch in my office until you can find a real place. It’s just too dangerous to stay in your truck, especially with the storm that’s heading our way.”
“I won’t take no for an answer.” He grinned but his eyes were somber.
“All right, boss. I’ll sleep on the couch.”
It was good to feel safe—she hadn’t really felt safe since Ben died, but here she was safe. Even with the spirit orbs flickering in and out. The couch was not quite long enough for her to stretch out on, but it was so much more comfortable than the cab of her truck. There was a small bathroom off Heath’s office, with a shower stall. Such luxury! She showered and put on a pair of pajamas from her collection of new clothing. The top was a pale pink, thin knit, sleeveless, with a gathered yoke, that came with a matching pair of tiny shorts. The set was decorated with floral embroidery and tiny ribbons in yellow, and was stretchy and comfortable. She sighed with delight as she crawled into her sleeping bag on the couch.
Heath had an apartment in the basement, and it was very quiet after closing. The two orbs she often saw around Heath’s office were present, but she no longer feared them, though sometimes she wondered why they stayed here. Their glow was gentle, almost peaceful; like the sound of raindrops was peaceful.
A loud banging woke her from a deep sleep. She looked around, disoriented and saw the clock on the wall. Five am. It was dark for five am. Another bang. She leaped off the couch and ran into the bar.
Thunder and lightning crashed, and the door of the Encanto Cafe burst open.
A nude man stood in the doorway as another bolt of lightning blazed, outlining the tall lithe form and pale silvery hair. Then, in the man’s place stood a tiger, white, with dark stripes, and he was enormous. Letha screamed in shock, whirled around, and tore off for the office.
There was a soft thud behind her, then a paw, white, with long claws, fell heavy on her shoulder, and she fell to the floor. The paw gently rolled her over as if she weighed nothing.
The white tiger with sky blue eyes stood over her, one paw still on her shoulder. Then the shape blurred, and a man crouched over her.
“Don’t. Ever. Run. From. A. Tiger.” His voice was harsh.
She tried to catch her breath. “A-all right.” She couldn’t look away from his sky blue eyes. The heat of his naked flesh, held just inches from her thin knit pajama top burned against her breasts. As she took a deep breath, the tips of her breasts grazed his chest.
He made a sound—something between a growl and a purr—that resonated all the way through her. Then his lips pressed against hers, hard and demanding. She gasped in a mix of shock and delight, and his tongue plunged in, while at the same time he lowered his hard hot body on top of hers.
Letha could feel the hard length of his erection pressing against her. Wildness flared inside her and she threw her arms around his neck, giving back the kiss with a passion she didn’t even know she had, while his arms pulled her tighter.
Thunder shook them. Jagger pulled away, and Letha became aware that the door was still open letting rain drive indoors. He rose, pulling her up with him.
“A noise woke me.” She filled the silence with the first thing she could think of.
He nodded, but his eyes were roving her figure.
Oh my god, I’m barely dressed.
He lifted a strand of hair from her shoulder. His hand brushing against her neck sent a shiver of desire to her center. Under the thin sleep shirt her nipples puckered.
“You should wear your hair down. It is so pretty.” He let her go. “I have a crew coming to sandbag the Encanto Cafe in about thirty minutes. You should get dressed.”
He walked to the door, giving a view of his round muscular buttocks and sculpted back. At the door Jagger paused and looked back at her over his shoulder, the dim morning light emphasizing the purity of his profile and length of his dark lashes. “Unless you want to play.”