Coveted

Mass Market Paperback | April 24, 2012

byShawntelle Madison

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“A smart, sexy, rip-roaring good time.”—New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox

“I’m obsessed with Shawntelle Madison’s fantastic urban fantasy debut, featuring hoarding werewolves, magic, and mayhem! More, please!”—Michelle Rowen, bestselling author of That Old Black Magic
 
SOMETIMES WHAT YOU COVET IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP.
 
For werewolf Natalya Stravinsky, the supernatural is nothing extraordinary. What does seem strange is that she’s stuck in her hometown of South Toms River, New Jersey, the outcast of her pack, selling antiques to finicky magical creatures. Restless and recovering from her split with gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn, Nat finds comfort in an unusual place: her obsessively collected stash of holiday trinkets. But complications pile up faster than her ornaments when Thorn returns home—and the two discover that the spark between them remains intense.
 
Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a more immediate and dangerous problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves—and Nat is their first target in a turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it’s enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all of her strength to save her pack and, ultimately, herself.

“If you like your urban fantasy original, quirky, and offbeat, this is the series for you. Natalya is the craziest heroine since Carolyn Crane’s Justine Jones, and you will love her just as much.”—Ann Aguirre, bestselling author of Devil’s Punch

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From the Publisher

“A smart, sexy, rip-roaring good time.”—New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox“I’m obsessed with Shawntelle Madison’s fantastic urban fantasy debut, featuring hoarding werewolves, magic, and mayhem! More, please!”—Michelle Rowen, bestselling author of That Old Black Magic SOMETIMES WHAT YOU COVET IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP. For werewol...

Shawntelle Madison is a Web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detassling corn, Madison performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university Webmaster. Writing eccentric character...

other books by Shawntelle Madison

This Wedding is Doomed!
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Kept: A Coveted Novel
Kept: A Coveted Novel

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see all books by Shawntelle Madison
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.9 × 4.17 × 0.8 inPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345529189

ISBN - 13:9780345529183

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A werewolf with issues A great recipe for a good story. Maybe not "a day in the life of" but rater "the challenges in the life of a werewolf with issues." And lots of issues: anxiety, OCD, "collecting", ex-boyfriend returns to town, an invading pack, therapy sessions...gosh! The best: how the tale is woven together, how the characters interact, and the skill of the writer. Can't wait for the next one :)
Date published: 2015-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A promising series! You hear about people that have OCD, but this book smacked me in the face with reality. I’ve thought multiple times that I have a small form of OCD, and I might, but Natalya has a whole other level and it is crazy. Throw in the fact that she is werewolf and her pack sees her as weak and BAM I’m done like Christmas dinner. In the beginning I felt like her OCD took the front seat to her life, but as I kept reading I realized that that was the point. It was over taking her life, and it wasn’t until a couple of chapters in that you learn more about Nat and start to see her wanting to change. I wasn’t 100% sold on Nat at first because she is very submissive and does not stick up for herself, but that is something that comes as a side-effect to her condition, thankfully it does start to change when she realizes the things that are important in her life. And she tries to change for her own good. She goes on an extremely awkward date, invites an old friends into her home, and gets completely confused by her ex-boyfriend. That’s ok cause he confuses the heck out of me too. Many times while I read this novel I questioned whether or not Thorn actually liked her or if he was just conflicted because of his responsibility to the pack. Oh, Thorn…you’re pretty hot. I can tell. Oh, and then she starts to get funny feelings from Nick (another supernatural creature who is very persistent-me likey). I feel a love triangle come on. So, that being said the characters were awesome and interesting, but the writing was very awkward and hard to follow in this novel. That is the only thing that made me give it a four out of five. For one, I felt like things didn’t really get explained very well. Some things did, but unless I’ve missed something I felt like it as never really explained why Thorn left five years ago and never came back. I also found her relationship with Aggie to be confusing at first. She seemed cold to her at the same time she said she as thankful that Aggie was at her door, and I also felt like it was never really explained how her and Aggie lost touch (I’m assuming it was because Nat moved from New York). Then there is the transformation. I got very very confused about when people were in wolf form or not, and near the end of the novel it stated that only older powerful Werewolves could stop the transformation in the middle of the change, so sometimes when she was talking about her claw, pouncing, sniffing, and nipping at people’s heels then stated that the same person talked or was in human form I had to re-read a page or two to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Otherwise, if it wasn’t for the confusing non-explanations and writing style I really enjoy this novel. Good: Nat—She really grew on me and I’m proud of her. A fictional character…I know, I know. Thorn—He’s interesting and I want to know more Nick—I like Nick. He makes me smile and I think he might be good for Nat. Aggie—She’s funny. The Cover—I know, I know a weird thing to like, but to be honest that is exactly how I picture them! Sometimes you read a book and you realized that the cover characters were not exactly how you pictured them…well, I had no complaints this time. That is Nat, and that is Thorn to me. Bad: Thorn—I’m confused of his intentions. I don’t know if maybe that is what Shawntelle Madison wanted, but she got it. The writing—A lot of things we not explained, or explained correctly (although I hear the reason behind Thorn leaving is in her Novella, I may have to check it out). And many times I was confused about what exactly was going on. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall the book was enjoyable. It felt like a mixture of Sookie Stackhouse (the brother, and multiple different Sups after her), Alpha & Omega (a scared and damaged female wolf), and Mercy Thompson series (an independent and lone wolf). Its definitely a good story and one I plan on continuing with (in fact I’ve requested an ARC of Kept), but I hope the explanations and writing gets better in the second book because it sort of did drive me a little crazy. View more of my review and others at my blog: www.mynotsovacantshelf.blogspot.com
Date published: 2012-11-24

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Chapter 1Werewolves in no shape or form should own a fast food restaurant. No pancakes, no frozen custard, and for goodness sake, my people needed to stop peddling pizza. In my opinion, any establishment where my food could potentially grow microscopic wildlife wasn’t my kind of place to eat. That pretty much left fire-­grilled food on the menu, and the only good thing any werewolf grilled well these days was a well-­done burger. And Archie’s sold the best double-­stacked burger on this side of the Toms River. If the animal walked and men speared it, then Archie burned it the best.“Hey, Natalya, you’re here early,” said Jake, the cashier.I averted my eyes after I placed my order. As usual, I was the lowest-­ranking werewolf in the whole joint. “We’re really busy now that the weather’s cooling off.”Jake offered a friendly smile. “How’s Bill?”“He’s fine. Still the grumpiest boss ever.”I ended the conversation and hid out in my usual booth while my food cooked. As much as I loved Archie’s burgers, I preferred to keep to myself while I ate.As I waited, travelers coming off the Garden State Parkway came by for chow. They weren’t like those tourists who walk around with fanny packs and cameras. Instead, they smelled of money—­the cash they were about to spend on other people’s old junk at one of the many flea markets that lined the Parkway.Ten minutes later, Jake’s younger sister, Misty, brought out my food on a tray. My mouth watered at the sight of the double cheeseburger and fries. But that snotty werewolf didn’t even bother to acknowledge my presence. She simply dumped the food in front of me and strolled off. A single bright-­red gob of burger sauce landed on my pristine blouse.My eyes wide, I gaped at the stain as my chest tightened with alarm. And I thought I was crazy. The way she flung food on my table each week, it was clear that she had no idea how every spill, glob, and splatter drastically increased my stress level. With a shaking hand, I frantically wiped the spot with a stain pen.And all this after I’d spent a half hour this morning meticulously pressing my clothes. With my light chestnut-­colored hair brushed to perfection and my low-­heeled shoes shined, I’d felt like I could survive the day in relative peace.Well, as peacefully as a werewolf who obsessed over everything could. I didn’t advertise my condition, but if you saw a chick scrubbing her clothes with an industrial-­strength stain pen, you might assume she’s a bit of a clean freak. With an obsessive-­compulsive disorder, I took clean freak to the next level. But even with my condition, I lived what could be called a normal life.Archie’s had been my lunch spot for the past few years. And no matter how bad the service was, or the conditions, I refused to eat lunch anywhere else.My food was cold before I had a chance to take a bite. But it didn’t matter. I savored the burger anyway—­that is, until two familiar faces entered the restaurant.Everyone in South Toms River knew Erica Holden and Becky Knoll. They didn’t work. Well, they worked at being rich, I guess. After college in New York, they came back into town to spend Erica’s rich daddy’s money.“Jake!” Erica gushed. “You have the order ready?”Jake’s hungry eyes took in Erica’s perfect blonde hair and cotton candy–­pink sweater. The garment stretched across her boobs and hung on for dear life.“It’s coming up right now. Took us awhile to grill that many deluxe burgers.” He leaned forward. “Are you having a few guests over?”Becky laughed and flipped her chocolate-­brown curls behind her ear. “Erica’s picking up Thorn’s favorite burgers. She’s so sweet.”“Nice to hear the prodigal son’s returned home.”They were ten feet away, but even from that distance I could sense the excitement sliding down Erica’s back. The name gave me the same honeyed feeling.Thorn Grantham.My heartbeat quickened and the burger nearly caught in my throat. I flared my nostrils and focused on Erica. Through the scent of fancy perfume and chemical-­strength deodorant, an underlying scent was there. Thorn was back. And Erica had likely tried to run her manicured fingernails all over him. Probably made a valiant attempt to rub herself against him too. Over the years, her stints at becoming Thorn’s groupie weren’t anything new to me.I averted my eyes and finished my food. I had just seven minutes left in my lunch hour—­and no time to waste sitting there staring at Erica.By the time I left for work, she was long gone. As I stalked out of Archie’s, I caught the scent of Misty’s satisfaction as she cleared my table. Even though she always mistreated me and never cleaned up after her customers, I’d still left her a full tip.I worked at the Bend of the River Flea Market, or The Bends as the locals called it, which was three blocks away from Archie’s. I didn’t mind walking over every day. The fresh air was good for my soul.And maybe I would even see Thorn on the way to work. I had a feeling, though, that he would be back at the Granthams’ log cabin off in the woods—­meeting with his father, the town’s abominable pack leader.On the way back, a local organic farmer in overalls waved at me. “Have a good afternoon, Nat.”“Same to you, Stanley.”Every day after lunch he waved at me, and then, after I passed by, stared at my legs. I didn’t have any interest in sixty-­year-­old men—­especially ones with pencil-­skirt fetishes. But like the majority of humans in the world, he didn’t know that he was ogling a werewolf every day.And perhaps he’d be even less inclined to act so friendly if he knew that werewolves weren’t the only strange thing lurking around here.Eventually, I reached The Bends, a large, old building nestled between a parking lot and another flea market. But The Bends wasn’t just another flea market.The Bends offered the best deals among the flea markets along the eastern seaboard. Bill was a great employer and all, but I was the brains of this operation. With a computerized inventory system and online store for our more expensive stock, we offered a level of service most flea markets—­supernatural or otherwise—­just couldn’t match.Growing up as a natural-­born werewolf, I’d been exposed to the supernatural world from the crib onward. It ranged from witches visiting for grade school sleepovers to band practice with the fairy folk. After selling all the strange things we had in the store, I suspected that even stranger things than crooked witch wands and haunted capes lurked around New Jersey to buy. If you checked the right places and had the enchanted eyesight to find them you had a chance. Of course, that left humans out of the mix.I entered through the back, an outdoor area covered with a long, steel awning. During warmer weather, we sold more of our wares on the rows of tables out here. I headed inside the shop and dropped off my purse in the business office. The office was closed off from the shopping floor by a large set of wooden doors. Two minutes later, I was back in the mix—­in the crowded main room, with a roomful of Saturday shoppers browsing the long aisles.My boss approached me from the loading dock. “Hey, Nat, about time you got back. The harpy who bought that Victorian vase on Thursday is back. She said the merchandise had flaws.”To regular folks, Bill looked like a tall, thin man with wire-­framed glasses. To my eyes he resembled the cartoon character Dilbert—­but to my nose he reeked of magic with a bitter tang of iron.He was a goblin, entrenched in a glamour—­an invisibility spell that hid his true appearance.“Flaws? You’re kidding, right?”He pushed his glasses up his nose. “She said something about scratches on the bottom.” He tilted his head to glance at the customer. “She’s upsetting the other patrons.”Normally, I would have taken over for the other cashier so she could have lunch, but now that would have to wait. “I’ll handle it.” Like I always do.As I walked over to the harpy, I first noticed another scent overpowering the haze of magic. The woman had doused herself in cheap vanilla perfume. Her flashy ensemble matched garish bright pink sandals with a beaded denim shirt and capri pants. Her platinum-­blonde hair was stark against her penciled eyebrows. I stifled a laugh as I wondered what wildlife dwelled within her teased mane.My irate customer wasn’t an ordinary woman. Under the guise of a heavily makeup-­covered dame she lived day to day as a ghastly birdlike creature with sharp claws. She hid from human eyes using her magic. This whole encounter didn’t surprise me, though. Along with the unfortunate circumstance of having a human head on a bird’s body, the poor thing’s name derived from the Greek word for “snatching stuff.”“Can I help you?” I asked.“I bought this original 1889 Moser glass vase on Thursday.” She pushed the fragile vase into my hands. “I unwrapped it this morning to find my purchase scratched on the bottom. I paid a lot of money for that damn thing.”“Scratched? That’s impossible. I wrapped this particular package before you picked it up.”“Well, you don’t know how to handle expensive antiques, then.” She shifted and put her hands on her hips. I could almost imagine black feathers rustling.With a huff, she searched for Bill. “I asked to talk to the manager.”I leaned forward. “I’m more than qualified. First of all, you bought an 1885 vase. I had our specialist catalogue it. And second, I don’t mishandle the merchandise.” I checked, and sure enough the bottom was marred with scratches.“Well, your staff is incompetent.”“Incompetent? I handled and prepared your purchase—­” I was just about to really begin my rant when the door swung open and Thorn Grantham entered the store. For half a second, I paused. The mere thought of him being in the store knocked me off-­kilter.At over six feet tall, he towered over the rest of our customers. His messy wheat-­colored hair appeared windblown. The man was as attractive as I remembered him. He didn’t look in my direction, but before he turned his back to me, I caught the glint of his amber-­colored irises. How many times had those eyes hypnotized me? My belly quivered slightly. From the back of the room at one of the computers, I continued to explain to the harpy how the staff, or should I say, how I meticulously catalogued everything on the computer.