Along Came A Spider
by Kate SeRine
Published by Kensington Publishing
Book 3 in the Transplanted Tales series
When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue.
But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help.
Although Nicky’s renegade style goes against everything Trish stands for, she’ll do what she must to bring Dracula down. With danger stalking her, Trish knows the only person she can count on is the one man who has the power to leave her breathless. There’s no way she’s letting this spider frighten her away…
Urban Fantasy Retelling - Romance
Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine is the third book in her Transplanted Tales series, and centers around Trish Muffet, who is attacked why investigating a brutal murder, and is saved by the vigilante called the spider - aka Nicky "Little Boy" Blue. Despite Trish being again what Nicky is doing, she is willing to do anything to bring down Dracula, who isn't only a danger to all Tales, but in particular, her best friend Red. And when danger seems around every corner, Trish is thankful for her unexpected partner - even when it becomes difficult to hide her feelings from him.
I did not think I was going to like this one, but why I doubted it, I have no idea, because Kate SeRine did it again with Along Came a Spider. Once again, she manages to twist these nursery rhymes into some pretty incredibly, well written, adult characters. The REASON why Trish was scared of the spider in her storyline - I never would have thought of that, but it leads a very handy ability in the Here and Now. The storyline has been pretty consistent from the first book, but with different dangers with every book, and this is no different. I loved the plot. I LOVVVVVVED the romance. Nicky is just perfect, and I love his bad boy, flirtatious vibe. And I love that Trish, despite her big blue eyes and blonde ringlets, isn't a naïve girl, but a strong, independent woman, who knows what she deserves. And while I generally dislike love at first sight tropes, I enjoyed this one, BECAUSE of Trish's ability. It made sense, and it made their friendship and romance that much beautiful to read.
Don't go into this book with any doubts. It's my favorite of the series to date. Honestly though, this series is kicking ass, and I highly suggest you read it asap!
He shoved his hands deep into his coat pockets.
McCain: “Red sent me. She thought maybe you’d like—”
I held up my hand, cutting him off.
Trish: “Let me stop you right there, sparky, before you embarrass yourself,”
I said, my tone a little pitying.
Trish: “I’m not going out with you.”
He blinked at me.
Trish: “Listen, I know Tess totally busts your balls and makes you nervous as hell, but I think you’re doing a pretty amazing job. And, I’ll admit, you’re seriously good-looking and seem to be a great guy—you know, once you get past the constant ass-kissing.”
His brows came together.
McCain: “Um, thanks.”
Trish: “So, really, it’s nothing personal. You’re the tenth guy she’s tried to set me up with in the last few months, but I’m married to the job. I don’t have time for a personal life. So, you can tell Red thanks, but I don’t need her to play matchmaker just because she’s happy and wants all of her friends to be happy, too.”
McCain: “Okay. I can do that. But she only sent me down here to see if you wanted some coffee. She’s sending me on a Starbucks run since it looks like we’ll be here awhile.”
I felt the heat rising in my face.
Trish: “Oh.” Nicky: “I wake up and find you curled up in my arms, and you mean to tell me nothing happened? I didn’t even kiss you or anything?”
I said, somehow managing it without adding a disappointed sigh. I could feel his pointed stare at my back and turned around to face him, leaning against the dresser and crossing my arms.
Trish: “All we did was talk. I swear.”
Nicky: “I remember the talking part, doll. I just want to make sure I didn’t drink so much that I missed anything else. It’s bad enough I missed out on the hours when I was sleeping.” Nicky: “There’s gotta be something you can wear.”
Trish: “Let’s face it, Nicky. I’m five foot four and have cleavage. I’m not exactly the supermodel material your wife was.”
His even gaze met mine.
Nicky: "You are to me.” Red: “Nicky!”
Nicky stuck his head in the office, looking uncharacteristically sheepish.
Red: “I love ya, you son of a bitch. So I’m glad you’re back in town. But you break Trish’s heart, and I don’t care how off the grid you go, I’ll make it my personal mission in life to hunt you down and kick your ass. Are we clear on that?”
Nicky: “Crystal clear, kid.”
She jerked her chin toward the door.
Red: “Now get the hell outta here and go with Trish to pay a visit to Halloran’s girlfriend so she doesn’t end up as tiger bait." Nicky: “So . . .”
he drawled, a slow grin curving his lips,
Nicky: “does this mean you’ve had a little crush on me for a while, Trish?”
Trish: “Oh, God,”
I muttered, my face instantly on fire. I glanced out the window, briefly wondering how much it could really hurt if I bailed out.
Nicky: “It’s okay, you can say it,”
he teased, then added in a ridiculously high-pitched voice that was supposed to be all girlie,
Nicky: “ ‘Yes, Nicky, I’ve had a crush on you for ages. You’re so handsome.’ Go ahead. It’s easy.” Trish: “Goddamn it!”
I yelled, slamming my palm down on the counter.
Trish: “Stop treating me like a child!”
He jerked back a little at my accusation.
Nicky: “What the hell are you talking about? I’m not treating you like a child.”
Trish: “The hell you aren’t!”
I stomped toward him, hands back on my hips.
Trish: “What with the whole crush thing in the car. Crush, Nicky? I’m not a little schoolgirl who has crushes, okay? And you’re always ‘doll’ this and ‘honey’ that! Then there’s the tugging on my ringlets. I know they look ridiculous, okay?”
My hands were flailing around now in frustration.
Trish: “I know I look like a naïve little girl because of the freaking ringlets, but I’m a grown woman, Nicky. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have boobs and everything. Oh, and by the way—they’re really nice ones!”
My chest was heaving from my angry—and somewhat incoherent—outburst as I stared at him, waiting for him to respond. But he just returned my gaze, his expression blank. Then his lips twitched at the corners and his eyes twinkled.
Nicky: “I’ve noticed,”
he said finally. I frowned.
Trish: “What have you noticed?”
He sauntered toward me, his lips curving into a full-blown grin now. When his body was just inches from mine, he slipped his arm around me and pulled me closer.
Nicky: “I’ve noticed you’re a grown woman,”
he said, his voice low. His gaze flicked down to my chest, which was heaving now for another reason.
Nicky: “That you’re all woman.”
I managed to choke out.
Trish: “In spite of my ringlets?”
Nicky: “I like your ringlets.”
Trish: “You do?”
He nodded and dipped his head until his lips were near my ear.
Nicky: “But you’re still not going with me.” Snow: “Is this Trish Muffet? I recognized you from your sweet little ringlets! Oh, my darling—if things don’t work out at the FMA, you really must come work for me! I have men who love the whole little schoolgirl look!”
I managed a smile in return, but was so not in the mood to be patronized.
Trish: “Oh? Do they get tired of a used up, has-been princess who’d spread her legs for anyone?”
She laughed, but there was no amusement in it.
Snow: “Not as tired as they get of a cock-tease whose legs have to be pried open with a crowbar.”
I batted my lashes and smiled sweetly.
Trish: “I’d rather hand out crowbars to pry open my legs than ‘now serving’ tickets to the turnstile in my vagina.”
I caught a brief glimpse of Snow’s enraged expression just before Nicky stepped in front of me, his chastising look negated by his unsuccessful attempt to smother a grin.
Nicky: “Try to play nicely. We need information, remember?”
I rolled my eyes and heaved a sigh. Nicky: “You’re going to be the death of me, doll,”
he drawled. Now it was my turn to chuckle.
He nodded and slowly withdrew. But before he could completely pull out, he thrust hard, making me gasp. And as he began to move again, he put his lips near my ear and whispered,
Nicky: “But what a way to go. . . .” Lavender met his gaze evenly.
Lavender: “I’ve known you for a long time, Nicky Blue. And I know a lot about you, more than you probably realize. If I thought for a second that you were just dicking around with Trish and felt nothing for her, I’d have already turned you into a toad and sent you hopping. So stow all this brooding bullshit and tell me what we can do to help you out. Otherwise, you can get used to dealing with warts.” Lavender: “J.G.?”
Lavender gasped. He gave us a boyish smile in response.
J.G.: “The one and only—thank Christ, most people would say. Am I lyin’?”
Mab: “Not in the least,” King: “Ms. Muffet and Mr. Blue. Please do not leave on account of my children’s little squabble.”
Mab: “Oh, yes. By all means—please stay and witness the tragedy that is my family. I sit here surrounded by my husband’s bastard daughters and my future sons-in-law who are a werewolf and a gossip peddler. Yes, do stay and add your own lowborn blood to my lovely assembly.” J.G. grinned around the cigar as he lit it up.
J.G.: “I like you, Blue. I don’t care what anybody says.”
Nicky jerked back a little.
Nicky: “What are people saying?” Seth: “Just don’t tell ’em you know me. If they find out they’ll send you packing.”
Lavender: “What the hell happened between you guys anyway? You never have told me.”
Seth: “Let’s just say when I was first a wolf, I sometimes had a tough time determining what was off-limits for dinner. It was all a big misunderstanding.”
Trish: “You almost ate them,”
I pointed out with a grin.
Trish: “I think that goes beyond a misunderstanding.” His future son-in-law stared at him for a moment, but then finally caught on and hopped up and turned the chair toward the king.
J.G.: “Sorry there, Pops. Plant it right there.” King: “Sláinte chuig na fír, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo.”
I glanced to Lavender for the translation and saw her grinning fondly at her father.
Lavender: “Health to the men, and may the women live forever.” She grabbed the edges of her shirt and pulled it over her head, then started shimmying out of her skirt before Seth rushed forward to block her from Nicky’s wide eyes.
Seth: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What the hell are you doing?”
She looked at him like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Lavender: “I’m going to put a protection spell around the house like I did at your cabin last fall.”
Seth: “And you have to be naked?”
he whispered, jerking his head toward Nicky.
Lavender: “Oh, Seth, for crying out loud,”
Lavender: “Nicky doesn’t care what I look like naked.”
Seth turned around with a protective snarl, his face beginning to shift a little ominously, and Nicky threw up his hands.
Nicky: “I’m turning around,”
Nicky said, making good on his words.
Nicky: “Promise not to peek.”
Lavender: “Sorry, Nicky,”
Lavender said as she finished stripping off her clothes.
Lavender: “The full moon is coming in a couple of days and Seth gets a little more territorial than usual.” The minute they were gone, Red’s eyes welled up with tears.
Red: “What the hell is going on, Trish? The baby can’t come this soon!”
I shook my head, then placed a hand on her belly.
Trish: “I don’t know, honey. But will you let me take a look?”
Red threw her arms out in frustration.
Red: “Why the hell not? Everyone else in this place has taken a look. For a while there I thought we ought to be charging for a peek at my uterus.”
Trish: “That’s not what I meant. I just want to look in your eyes. Maybe I can pick up on something that the doctors are missing.” Nicky: "By the way, you look damned sexy in those scrubs. Might even top the nighty.”
Trish: “Good thing I get to keep these, then,”
I said with a saucy grin. I leaned down and kissed him, so glad to feel his warm lips against mine. When I felt him smiling, I pulled back.
Trish: “What’s so funny?”
It was his turn to chuckle. He took my hand and slid it down to the sizable bulge under the sheets.
Nicky: “Want to climb on in here with me, doll?”
Trish: “Nicky Blue, you’re still healing! Besides, there are people coming in here all the time.”
Nicky: “You’re the only one I want coming in here,”
he said with a wicked grin. When I gave him a disapproving look, he added,
Nicky: “Hey, I nearly died, you know.”
Trish: “Oh, is that right?”
I drawled, looking down my nose at him. He nodded, donning a comically serious expression.
Nicky: “It was terribly frightening. I think I’ve been traumatized. I could really use a little comforting.”
I couldn’t help laughing.
Trish: “Don’t be ridiculous!”
Nicky: “What’s ridiculous is that you’d deny a man a little post-near-death lovin’,”
he said, lifting the blankets.
Trish: “Post-near-death lovin’?”
I rolled my eyes.
Trish: “If you’ve healed enough for sex, you’ve healed enough to get the hell out of here. Let’s go home and I’ll give you all the lovin’ you want.”
As he sprang up from the bed and shed the hospital gown, reaching for the scrubs the hospital had given him to replace his ruined clothes, I couldn’t resist smacking his bare ass.
Trish: “You’re pretty spry for someone who nearly died. . . .”
Big mistake. He quirked an eyebrow at me.
Nicky: “Oh, is that how we’re gonna play it?”
He went to the door and turned the lock, then came toward me, a wicked look in his eyes as his gaze traveled the length of my body in the baggy teal scrubs I wore.
Nicky: “Spry, was it? Doll, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. . . .” Nicky: “I seem to recall hearing Al say that none of his intelligence officers had been able to find the Agency’s headquarters.”
I said, sauntering toward him and slipping between the V of his thighs to loop my arms around his neck.
Trish: “But they aren’t Nicky Blue.”
He gave me a sideways glance but was grinning, no doubt wondering where I was going with this.
Nicky: “Yeah? So?”
I kissed him briefly, then returned his grin.
Trish: “I can make anything happen,”
I said, mimicking his accent. Then I shrugged, exaggerating his typical nonchalance.
Trish: “I know a guy.”
He laughed and grabbed me around the waist, tackling me onto the bed.
Nicky: “I know a guy?”
he repeated, tickling me.
Nicky: “I know a guy? I don’t sound like that!”
Trish: “Stop! Stop!”
I squealed, wiggling to get away. He stopped tickling me to cage me with his body. After peering down at me for a long moment, he gave me a wink.
Nicky: “Know something, doll? I love ya. Love ya like nothin’ I ever felt before.”
Trish: “And . . . ?”
I asked archly. He chuckled.
Nicky: “And what?”
Trish: “Was I right? Can you find the Agency’s headquarters?”
Nicky: “Yeah. Sure. At least, I can find out where they’ve set up shop at the moment. Maybe get us inside.”
I asked, actually a little surprised. I pushed up to my elbows.
A slow grin grew on his face, and he shrugged again.
Nicky: “I know a guy.” Truman: “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Little Boy Blue. Did you finally decide to come blow my horn?”
Rumpelstiltskin: “Stop being such a man-whore. You know Nicky doesn’t play that way.”
The man sighed dramatically.
Truman: “A boy can dream.”