Measure of
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Brie rang the bell a second time. She could hear
the sound of movement from within, still no one
answered the door. There had been no visible
number on the house and she'd had to guess at
its location by counting down from the nearest
house that did have its address painted over the
door. It was a law that all houses be marked but
she somehow doubted that the local city hall
sent many inspectors out to monitor
compliance. She was about to pull out her cell
phone and try the phone number when the door
finally opened and an older woman in her sixties
answered. Her dark brown eyes were large and
held a wary smile. The black hair was more
grey than ebony and her face was tanned and
wrinkled from the Florida sun. “Can I help
you?” the voice carried a soft Latin inflection.

Brie removed her glasses and the woman’s eyes
widened. Cursing she slipped them back on. She
knew better. “I’m Gabriela St. Jerome, I’m
supposed to meet Alejandro Ramirez. Is this
the correct address?” She showed the woman
the address written on a small slip of paper.

“You have found the right house.” The woman’
s gaze was guarded. “You must be the doctor
Alej said would come.”

“Yes,” Brie breathed a sigh of relief. At least
she was in the right place. “I’m Dr. St. Jerome.
Is he here?”

“I’m here,” the low voice rumbled from the
darkened interior of the house. A man stepped
up beside the woman and Brie felt her breath
catch. He was impressive, the kind of man her
research assistant Caroline would call yummy.
But his look was wrong, good but wrong.

She frowned at him and Alejandro suppressed
the urge to smile nastily. “We better let her in
Mama, before she falls down from shock and
we have to explain it to the neighbors.”

The older woman gave the young man a patient
look and opened the screen door. “Come in
Doctor, I’ll fetch you something cool to drink.
Alej see that she is comfortable.” As she
passed him she gave a mock scowl, “And
behave yourself.”
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Romance Reviews Today
"Jacquéline Roth has managed to
create a world where the impossible
becomes possible and the
characters positively leap into life...
great paranormal read that’s well
worth your book-buying dollars...
emotionally satisfying read" ~Lori

Simply Romance Reviews  A+
"Measure of Healing is a
delightfully complex story that
draws you in and keeps you
reading. Sit down with a cup of
coffee and a warm fire and enjoy a
delightful romance."

Literary Nymphs Only  5 Nymphs
"I loved watching Alej and Brie
find everything that has been
missing in their lives and finally
accept what they were. I was
emotionally drawn to them and
enjoyed the way their shells are
chipped away little by little. Roth
did an excellent job and I look
forward to more of her stories."

The Good, The Bad and The
Unread  B+
"The way the pasts of these
characters are developed is very
emotional,...plenty of lies, deceit,
evilness, twists and turns,
shapeshifting, and just enough
sensuousness to make this a well-
balanced story."
The tall man stepped back and motioned for her to select a seat in the room. The house
was comfortably furnished with well worn and used furniture. Choosing a spot on the
end of the sofa, Brie perched stiffly. Alejandro was watching her unabashedly, staring
almost rudely at her. Lifting her head, she stared back. He wasn’t what she expected.
Most Were-Cougars did not look like this. They were tall but not abnormally so. Their
hair was generally somewhere between a silvery ash blonde and a dark golden blond
depending on where they called home. And their eyes were blue.

She’d never known of a Were-Cougar whose eyes were not blue. In the wild the actual
cougar kittens, Were and animal, were born with blue eyes. Were-Cougar kittens’ eyes
remained blue while the animals’ eyes changed to a golden yellow-green. It was one of
the identifying marks of their kind. Yet the man who stood there silently taking her
measure broke most of the rules. He was tall. Six five at a minimum. His hair was dark
and the eyes that seemed to be trying to see inside her were brown. Had Sister
Margarite not told her he was Cougar, she would never have known. He looked human.

His eyes held hers then looked away. He was amused. And he was aroused.

Good thing you’re not a Were, princess, cause I’d certainly be getting my face slapped
or clawed about now.
His thoughts and the accompanying images were broadcast so
that any Were could have heard him and they flitted through to her as the woman re-
entered the room.

“No, I’m not like you but I am empathic and telepathic. Don’t worry, though, I’m
actually more offended at being called princess. I’d suggest you don’t do that again.”
She straightened her skirt and accepted the iced glass from the chuckling woman. The
man had a vivid imagination, she’d give him that.

Alejandro stiffened and frowned.
Damn that Wolf! The least she could have done was
warn him. He’d not run across a gifted human in a long time, then again he’d not been
around any humans but his family for the past couple of months.

When she spoke again, it was with deep amusement. “And while we’re getting the
surprises out of the way, let’s just deal with this, shall we?” Her voice was filled with
impatience but he could hear the anticipatory chuckle it hid.

She pulled off her glasses and revealed a set of deep electric blue eyes. His breath left
his chest in a rush. She had the eyes of a Cougar. He’d never seen a human with eyes
that color and found he could only stare at her. She was laughing at him but he was too
stunned to be angry, yet. Something in him was reacting to her, or to what she seemed
to be, in a dangerous way.

“You should learn to trust your nose. For I, Mr. Ramirez, am no more what I look like
than are you,” she sat the glass down on a coaster.

So it was an illusion. Determined to wipe the superior smile off her face he shrugged.
“You may wish to rephrase that statement, Dr. St. Jerome. I am at least half of what I
seem to be.” He walked over to the couch and dropped down next to her, leaning back
insolently and stretching his arms out across the back. “I’m half human on my father’s

Her eyes widened and it was her turn to be shocked. A female Cougar mating with a
human? It was unheard of. Males had been known to toy with humans and even leave
behind mixed blood children but no female would ever…

“My mother was young, on her first estrus actually, when she came across my father
one evening. He was a bit younger and a bit more reckless back then and had fallen
asleep in his truck alongside the road.” Alejandro leaned forward and looked at her
with a wicked light in his eyes. “I’m afraid he was a bit wasted. Three days later she
was gone. Seven months later I arrived. And fifteen years after that, when she figured I
could fend for myself, I was turned out with nothing but a few dollars in my pocket and
my father’s driver’s license. She’d stolen it from him as a souvenir.”

Leaning back he spread his hands wide, “So I sit before you in the bosom of the only
real family I’ve ever known. A half Were with dark hair and eyes and a traumatized
kitten in his bed. Now that we’ve had our little ice breaker can we get down to