Though she is a natural-born shifter from a prominent WerCougar family, Amber has been unwilling to change into her cat form ever since a terrible tragedy cost her the man she loved. And she has little patience with Wers of any species who embrace their otherness more than their humanity. She focuses on her life as a defense attorney in Mt. Hood, and stays out of Wer politics.
But after a blurry night of hunting, Amber begins to notice changes in her transformation. When she hears rumors of research to discover a treatment for shifting, she suspects she may have been unknowingly given the experimental therapy.
With the help of Adler, a WerEagle active in community politics, Amber tries to hunt down the truth about this cure, while staying off the radar of the FBI, which tracks and manages Wer communities in secret.
But Amber doesn't realize how much she depends on her Wer sense until, one by one, they begin to fade. And Amber is left increasingly ill—and increasingly human. Can shifter who is losing her abilities survive for long in either human or Wer society?
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Amber took a chance and dashed from her immobile perch atop the rock to the shadows beneath the towering firs and spindly vine maples.
A shout. Closer than she expected. Heavy feet crashing through the underbrush. A sharp explosion that drove pain through her ears and a stab into her flank.
Her left hind leg grew heavy. She tried to lope faster, to outrun the pain. A downed tree lay across her path. One of the forest ancients, the trunk thick enough to become a solid barrier between her and her pursuers. She couched to leap. Her hind legs collapsed.
Her belly caught on the rough bark of the dead fir.
Desperate to escape this unknown menace, she fought to clear the trunk. Her back legs refused to move. She dug her claws into the turf and pulled herself forward.
Now her shoulders grew heavy and numb as well.
“I am not ready to die,” she thought as darkness encroached from all sides and the Sky Mother dipped beneath the clouds, fat and glowing white. Four men stood silhouetted in the waning light. She held the image of their forms in her mind as darkness blinded her and sent her mind reeling.