Family and Reflection

The Sleepless City – Book 3

When a rebel werewolf and a vampire thief fall in love, only one thing is certain—trouble.

For as long as Lucas Coate can remember, werewolves have been taught to mistrust vampires. Lucas is an exception—he has close friends who are vampires. The werewolf pack in Boggslake—and their leader, Jacob Coate—have made it clear that Lucas’s association with vampires is barely tolerated, and another transgression will be his last. When Lucas finds out about the plague of werewolf deaths in the area, he wants to help even though his own life may already be in danger.

Declan has been away from Boggslake for ten years, but he isn’t surprised to learn that the internal politics of the Supernatural Council haven’t changed for the better. When a series of burglaries hit close to home soon after he arrives, Declan—a vampire and professional thief—is their prime suspect, although for once, he isn’t responsible. With the council keeping secrets, no one is safe. Time is running out, and for Lucas and Declan, everything is about to change.

Authors Note: This story was originally released in 2015 by another publisher. This edition has been re-edited.

Universal Link | Amazon & available through KU | Paperback

1st edition published 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
2nd edition published 2020 by LaceDragon Publishing
Cover Design by T.L. Bland


Declan turned the page of his book, read the first paragraph, then shook his head. He wasn’t sure why he’d bothered, as he couldn’t for the life of him remember what had happened on the previous page, let alone the last few chapters. He closed the book with a thump, got up from the table, went over to the fridge, and opened it.

He wasn’t hungry, but if he had been, the mold-covered plate on one of the shelves would have put him off whatever else had taken his fancy. Someone really needed to have a word with Lucas about leaving his science experiments to breed. Declan lifted the plate somewhat cautiously and sniffed it, then wished he hadn’t. City medical examiner or not, this wasn’t… normal. Normal people cleaned out their leftovers before they got the chance to become strange new life-forms.

Even if, in this case, his definition of normal was a werewolf.

Despite his reaction, Declan couldn’t bring himself to throw the—whatever it was—away. To him it was disgusting, but to Lucas it might be some new discovery crucial to whatever he was currently working on. And Declan didn’t want to upset Lucas. In the short time they’d known each other, he’d become quite fond of Lucas and enjoyed the time they spent together.

Declan sighed. He returned the offending thing to its previous resting place, ignoring the visions of reanimated zombie leftovers creeping up the stairs to attack him in the middle of the night, and instead got a wineglass out of the cupboard. He poured himself a decent-sized portion of his favorite red beverage and settled back down on the chair he’d recently vacated. As much as he enjoyed a good vintage wine, there were times when one had to quench one’s other thirsts. He sniffed the glass and savored the aroma before swallowing.

Hmm, not bad. The standard of blood available to purchase through the right sources made it so much easier to feed than it used to be, and less messy too.

He heard the light step on the stairs and human heartbeat long before Ben reached the kitchen and stood awkwardly in the doorway.

“Hello, Ben,” Declan said. “Don’t worry, you’re not disturbing me.”

“If you’re sure?” Ben Leyton ran one hand through his thick dark hair. He looked tired. “I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d make a Milo and see if that helps.”

“I heard Simon having a nightmare earlier. He’s never slept well on anniversaries.” He’d known Simon Hawthorne a long time. Jonas Forge had introduced them shortly after Simon had been turned. Declan had also helped Simon through a dark part of his life, triggered by the events he suspected had prompted this particular nightmare, given the time of year. “I also don’t mind if you turn on the light.”

Although Declan didn’t need much light to see, especially with the full moon casting its glow into the room, Ben would appreciate more illumination.

“Yeah, well, they’re the worst times for most people, I guess.” Ben flicked on the light before walking across the kitchen. He filled the kettle and put it on to boil then reached into the cupboard for a green can. “Do you want some? It’s a chocolate drink.”

“Thank you, but no.” Declan indicated the glass in front of him.

The loud howl almost made him jump despite years of practiced self-control. Even so, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and the howl sent a shiver through him.

Lucas howled again. Frustration, anger, and loss all rolled into a sound that was pure wolf.

Declan knocked his glass over, spilling its contents. Without thinking, he moved at vampire speed, catching what was left of the blood in his palm and drinking deeply.

The glass fell to the floor, smashing into tiny pieces. He ignored it and finished the blood, then wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. A low growl escaped his lips. He knew his eyes were completely green. They tended to do that when his fangs extended.

When he looked up, Ben was staring at him, his eyes wide. “I’ll clean up the mess, shall I?” he said hurriedly, already heading for the broom.

“Don’t worry,” Declan said. “I’ll do it. Make your chocolate drink, mon ami. It’s my mess, so my responsibility, yes?”


The Blogger Girls – reviewed by Nikyta – 4.5 stars
Inked Rainbow Reads – reviewed by Kara – 5 stars
Kimi-Chan Experience – reviewed by Morgan – 4.5 stars
Prism Book Alliance – reviewed by Caroline – 4 stars
Queeromance Ink – a double review from Maryann – Anne Barwell does an outstanding job with the storyline and continues to brings another action packed, eerie mystery, with so many twists and turns. And Linda – The characters are amazing, not wonderful but amazing. The search for answers finds betrayal and surprise after surprise – 5 stars.

5 Responses to Family and Reflection

  1. Pingback: The Sleepless City – Family and Reflection | Drops of Ink

  2. Poor Ben!

    I’m really excited by this update for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that awesome progress ticker bar included in this post. How cool is that? What is the projected release date for Family and Reflection?


    • annebarwell says:

      Thanks! I really enjoyed writing Declan and Ben interacting. They both took the scene and ran with it.

      I found the site for those progress bars a while back so now include them on my WIP pages – they’re great motivation and also lets the readers know how I’m going with the book. I update them once a month when I post Five Sentence Sundays.

      I’m submitting ‘Family and Reflection’ end of December – the rest is up to Dreamspinner Press.


  3. Phil Montemayor says:

    I’m a new fan, thank you for the gang, I love their dynamic….
    I was wondering if you ever saw pictures of Flint, OH; the forgotten Ohio… 😉
    I’ve just finished reading Electric Candle and started to search around DreamspinnerPress for more tales from the Sleepless City… and voila
    So I’ll patiently wait… 😉

    Thanks again..



    • annebarwell says:

      Hi PJ, nice to meet you, and no I haven’t seen any pictures of Flint, OH. I’d love to though.
      There is a freebie story on here for TSC as well, and hopefully not too much longer to wait before the next two books in the series are available to read.


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