With the release of the next Masters of Maria book rapidly approaching on July 23rd, I thought I’d offer a handy-dandy series shortcut for the readers who are still working their way through the collection. In case you didn’t know, Masters of Maria is actually the third phase of stories set in one story world. The first series was Sons of Gulielmus. I spun that off to Desert Guards. The three phases are set on one timeline spanning less than five years. The characters from Sons of Gulielmus know/are friends with/are related to characters in Masters of Maria.
I know it can be overwhelming to jump into a story that has already had so many set in the world before that. While I do try to make each novel stand on its own, there’s always some continuing background plot or unresolved relationship issues with certain secondary characters. That’s what keeps the series fresh and dynamic!
Now, let’s talk about what you might want to read before The Coyote’s Bride. Here’s the summary for that, by the way!
Related to one of the oldest shapeshifter legacies in Maria, Lily Baxter grew up knowing there was a chance she’d find romance among the supernatural. But certainly her idea of romance wasn’t a drunken one-night stand with a Coyote she loves to hate, a Vegas wedding, and soon after, a heartrending miscarriage. She and Lance Aitkenson obviously aren’t meant to be.
But while secretly coordinating their divorce far from the snoops back in town, her new husband gets jumped by man-hating jaguar shifters, and it’s up to her to smooth things over. There’s something stranger than usual about these Jaguars. Not only do they seem to have abilities no other shapeshifters have, but they claim a centuries-old connection to Maria’s resident goddess. They see strong-minded Lily as a kindred spirit, but Lance fears they harbor sinister motives.
Together, he and Lily might be able to unravel the secrets of the mysterious cult and prevent them from disturbing the peace back in Maria, but can they really work cooperatively when they’re so close to calling it quits? Or will they realize that they don’t need an accident as their excuse for sticking together?
Lily and Lance definitely aren’t new characters to the series. Lance was introduced earlier in Masters of Maria. Lily, however, has been around a lot longer. She goes way back to Desert Guards. She hasn’t appeared in every story since then, but she’s mentioned a lot.
If you’re short on time, these are the stories I suggest you read before The Coyote’s Bride hits your e-reader:
1) The Cougar’s Wish (Desert Guards #4) [I just found out the Desert Guards bundle with all four books is on sale for $1.99! I have no idea how long that’ll last, but that’s a great deal over the single title prices.]
Lily is introduced in this series finale. She’s the roommate of her cousin Belle Foye.
2) The Cougar’s Mate (Desert Guards Prequel)
This is a short story that should be free at most e-book retailers and is also available to download at Instafreebie. While the story is really about the Foye family’s origins, there’s some interesting backstory about the Baxter branch of the family tree and how it became estranged from the Foyes.
3) The Coyote’s Chance (Masters of Maria #4)
Lance is introduced as the lieutenant of Blue Shapeley, Maria’s new Coyote alpha. He and Lily meet for the first time near the end of the story. This story also sums up the history of tension between the Coyotes and Cougars in Maria.
Bonus “If You Have Time” Suggestion: The Demigod’s Legacy (Masters of Maria #1)
You’ll not only learn about Maria’s Cougars in this series opener set a year after the close of the Desert Guards series, but also the town’s fallen angel population…who become increasingly important as the series progresses.
Check back soon for preorder links for The Coyote’s Bride!
It’s currently listed at Amazon, but I’m still working on getting it uploaded to other retailers. Like the rest of the stories in the collection, it will always be widely available.