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From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes a Standalone, Romantic Comedy a la Paranormal…
COLEL(Book #5, The Immortal Matchmakers, Inc. Series).
SOMETIMES LOVE BITES AND SOMETIMES IT STINGS.
Colel, the Goddess of Bees, has been looking for Mr. Right for over seventy thousand years. So when she meets the hunky owner of a small-town flower shop and explodes with flutters and tingles, she’s almost certain that he’s the one.
Only two problems: her tiny black-and-yellow army suddenly won’t let her anywhere near him, and…is that a freaking epinephrine pen in the fridge? “Dear gods! He’s allergic to bees? Say it isn’t so.”
If simply dating the guy will kill him, how will she ever know for sure if he’s really the one?
Colel has a solution, but it’s drastic. Even for her. And what if he says no?
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“Shush, my babiees. I know you’re hungry. Just a few more minutes, and I’ll have something for your empty bellies.” Colel, the Mistress of Bees, stroked the buzzing hive atop her head, wishing she could turn her flowing blonde locks into a field of golden flowers rich with nectar.
Or better yet, get them off my head to hunt for wildflowers on their own.
But, alas, it was only April—far too early in the year for anything to blossom in this small town of Crested Butte, Colorado. The snowpack had disappeared along with the skiers, but the ground remained frozen solid. It was why she’d come, having just arrived this morning from another hive community in upstate New York. She needed to see how the locals had fared the rough winter. And by locals, she meant the tiny black-and-yellow ones who needed to make it until June, when the hills and mountains burst to life with vividly colored wildflowers. It was the sort of glorious spectacle that brought people from all around the world. To the honeybee community, however, it was harvest time, and they needed to gather enough food stores for the next winter.
A challenge to bee sure.
Beehives around the world continued dwindling in numbers. Why? No one was exactly sure, but her very own hive had told her they felt a shift in the bee-force. A dramatic weakening.
Fear not, my tiny pollination Jedis. Colel will get to the bottom of this. She’d been on the road for months now, traveling from country to country, state to state, searching for answers and personally surveying global hive conditions. The bees she carried with her acted as her ambassadors and spoke all dialects of buzz. And French. They were classy like that.
A pinch on her earlobe gave her a startle. “Ouch!” She resisted swatting the little warrior, who now hovered in front of her face.
“Chuck, knock it off. I’m hurrying.” She pushed him out of her way and continued down the sidewalk, searching for the little convenience store she’d seen on the drive in. With a population of 1,600 humans during the off-season, she hoped the store carried more than just the bare essentials.
Chuck replied with an angry flutter. The other bees, nestled safely inside her warm hive hat, mimicked his warning.
“Stop it. You’re making my brain hurt with all that vibrating, you little psychos.” Honestly, she loved her bees, but in all their seventy thousand years together, they’d never behaved so crazy.
She pushed on the glass door of the mom-and-pop sundry shop, and a tiny bell announced her arrival.
“Good afternoon, ma’am,” Colel said, noting the alarmed expression of the old woman in a gray turtleneck standing behind the register counting change. “Have you any honey?”
Terrified, the woman silently shook her head no.
“Gah…really?” I thought for sure…
The hive roared and began beating their little wings to the rhythm of “We Will Rock You” by Queen, only they sang it with the words “We will sting you.”
Little bastards. They truly were incorrigible when they didn’t eat. The irony was that they didn’t need sustenance for survival. They ate out of habit, and seventy millennia had yet to change their honey addiction. “Might you know of another shop nearby? It’s an emergency.”
The woman’s mouth fell open to the fully slack position as she took in the enormous beehive atop Colel’s head.
“Oh no. Don’t do that. Chuck will think it’s an invitation.” He loved the warmth of a good human mouth or, really, any human orifice. Such a pervy little thing.
“Who-who’s Chuck?” the woman stammered.
“Never mind. Just tell me where to find some honey, and we’ll be on our way.”
“We-we just sold our last bottle.” With her trembling hand, the woman pointed to her right, toward the wall of cereal and instant coffee. “You’ll have-have to go to Gunnison if you want to buy some. The other store in town is closed for renovations.”
Gunnison was the nearest large town, but that was forty minutes away. “Wait. Why did you point to that wall?” Gunnison was in the other direction.
The woman’s brown eyes widened into giant saucers, like she’d just done something she painfully regretted. “Don’t know.”
Colel stepped closer and leaned over the counter, placing her nose to nose with the frail human. “You’re lying. Where is the honey? And tell the truth or my little friends will get upset.” Of course, Colel would never sic her fuzzy little army on this nice woman. In fact, it was engrained in the gods’ DNA to protect humans—the good ones at least.
“I sold it to Rys.”
“Rise? As in ‘sun rise’?”
The woman nodded.
Rise. What kind of cockamamie name was that? It entirely reminded her of an erection. So did cactus, the space shuttle, and that weird little symbol beneath the Amazon logo. Okay, fine. Just about everything reminded her of an erection. Seriously, if she didn’t get laid soon, it would be the death of her. Not that she could die, but seventy thousand years of virginity sure the hell felt like croaking. Add to that, she was unable to get herself off. Her existence was like a slow, incredibly frustrating death.