Title: Perfect Pitch
Author: Alex Hayes
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
All Dean wants is to escape…
But he can’t leave his younger brother, Ty, in the care of their alcoholic mother. And when their abusive father shows up, Dean has to get Ty out. Which means joining Shri — his best and only friend — in taking a job out of state and breaking the law by stealing his brother away.
Cadi’s life is almost back together after Dean blew it into a million pieces. She’s come to terms with her life as a shape-shifter — well, almost. She’s still trying to wrap her head around the fact that a vicious enemy is out to destroy the remnants of her people.
As if Cadi doesn’t have enough to deal with, Dean’s about to land on her front doorstep, forcing her to decide whether to let him into her secret world or slam the door in his face.
The Chameleon Effect series, starring shape-shifter teens with extraordinary superpowers, is sure to appeal to Young Adult and New Adult readers who enjoy romance with a paranormal twist.
Sorting Valdar’s memories from my own isn’t as easy as entering Valdar in Google, and the more scattered the memories, the easier I could lose focus. So we start small. Some teaching sessions. Family gatherings with both my parents and Idris’s. Trips to the playground, a rainforest where we crawl up purple trees and swing from turquoise vines.
The remaining memories are disparate but few enough that I think I can gather them into a single stream. I’ll be so glad to finish up.
“Last ones,” I say, glancing at the clock on the wall and taking Idris by the hands. It’s getting late and I’ve work tomorrow. Shri’s expected on Tuesday, and until she arrives, I won’t hear the final word on Dean’s summer plans.
Best not to think about that.
Idris looks weary and for good reason. Not all the memories I’ve shared have been joyous. He’s witnessed some frustration and regret, too.
After pushing on a smile, he tightens his fingers around mine.
I refocus on gathering those last memories, bouncing from one timespan to another, in no particular order. The crystal tree cutting comes into mind with a memory of Valdar and my parents discussing its preparation for storage. Mr. Scrim slips in with an image of the cutting wrapped around his chest. Then the forest around the cave and the black bear. Papa chats over the kitchen table about getting a dog, about offering Shri and Dean a job for the summer, and…
Idris snatches his hands from mine. “Guess you got distracted.”
I glance down at my palms, which still tingle from his touch. “Sorry. Those last memories of Valdar’s were harder to stay focused on.”
“Yeah, they were all over the place.” His tone says he’s had enough of this emotional ping pong, anyway. He rubs both hands over his black curls. “So… who’s Dean?”
A stone drops into the pit of my stomach.
The frown on Idris’s face furrows deeper. He’s got to be picking up my dread at that question.
I gnaw on my lip, then answer, “A friend.”
An eyebrow lifts. “So how come you never mentioned him before? You talk about Shri plenty.”
Subterfuge won’t work, not with our crystals tuned in to each other’s emotions.
I drop onto the sectional. “Because Dean’s…” Where do I even start with Dean? “Different.”
Idris crosses his arms. “That’s not telling me a hell of a lot, Cadi.”
A sigh escapes me. “It’s complicated.”
His lips flatline. “‘Kay, in what way?”
My head drops against the padded leather as I press my knuckles into my eyes. “I don’t know. He… we…” I straighten up. “He kissed me, okay.” I stare into Idris’s frozen features. “On Christmas Eve.” I shrug. “A mistletoe thing.”
Only it was more than that. He said he loved me.
“Last Christmas? Like a few days before we met?”
What is that weird emotion coming off him? Jealousy?
His crossed arms press deeper into his chest. “So you liked him?”
Accusation, too. Exactly the reason I didn’t mention Dean to Idris in the first place. The whole episode was better left in the past.
I scoot deeper into the seat cushions. “I hardly knew him. Then he saw me lift the tractor off Papa and his idiot best friend posted what I’d done on Facebook.” I narrow my eyes as I meet his. “That’s why I left. So I guess I’m mostly mad at him.”
Idris perches on the arm of the couch. “So why am I picking up a boatload of uncertainty from you?”
Damn crystal, leaking information. “I don’t know. I’d hoped I’d never see him again. Then Papa went and offered Dean a job.”
“Did he take it?”
Idris nods, his face looking anything but placated. “Seems to me there’s unfinished business between you.”
“Dean turned the offer down, so it doesn’t matter.” I reach for Idris and curl my fingers around his. “I left Vermont because of what Dean did. He opened his mouth and my life there hit the fan. So I doubt I’ll ever trust him again.”
“Okay.” Idris slides onto the seat beside me, nodding, slowly. “If you want me to kick his ass—you know, for old time’s sake—just let me know.”
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.
Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats.