The Matawapit Family Series Book 3
by Maggie Blackbird
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two enemies of opposing families fall in love…
After suffering a humiliating divorce, infuriated Catholic Jude Matawapit bolts to his family’s Ojibway community to begin a new job—but finds himself thrown into a battle for chief as his brother-in-law’s campaign manager. The radical Kabatay clan, with their extreme ideas about traditional Ojibway life, will stop at nothing to claim the leadership position and rid the reserve of Western culture and its religion once and for all, which threatens not only the non-traditional people of the community, but Jude’s chance at a brand-new life he’s creating for his children.
Recovering addict Raven Kabatay will do anything to win the respect and trust of her older siblings and mother after falling deep into drug addiction that brought shame and anger to her family. Not only does she have the opportunity to redeem herself by becoming her brother’s campaign manager for chief—if he wins, she’ll have the reserve’s backing to purchase the gold-mine diner where she works, finally making something of herself. But falling in love with the family’s sworn enemy—the deacon’s eldest son, Jude—will not just betray the Kabatay clan. It could destroy everything Raven believes in and has worked so hard for.
Raven was the type of girl Mom and Aunt Patti would’ve disapproved of when Jude was in high school. But he wasn’t in high school. He was an adult, and he and Raven sported thick bruises from life’s many kicks. “Do I get a ride home again?” Flirting was new. He hadn’t flirted in years. Unless his ex-wife counted. “Sure. It’s cold outside. Y’know, I could’ve gotten you.” Raven’s hands trembled. She was nervous. So was he. Heart pattering a little too fast. Saliva gone sticky in his mouth. A smidgen of sweat at the back of his neck. He’d only gotten divorced last month, after a year of separation required by the province of Ontario. Raven was a recovering addict sorting out her life. But she’d been sober for two and a half years. “We should…” She licked her lips. “I guess we’re done, hey?” She reached for her parka. Jude’s stomach drooped a smidgen. He stood. “You’re right. We should get going. I have to finish packing.” “Going back for the weekend?” Raven zippered the coat. “Bright and early. Emery and I are returning the U-Hauls. And I need to get my kids and the truck.” Jude forced himself to the teacher’s desk. He donned his coat and slid the files into his briefcase. Part of him anticipated seeing Noah and Rebekah, but the man who’d spent since the age of nineteen enjoying a healthy sex life needed a companion for the night. He was more than a father, teacher, so-called Eucharistic minister, so-called lector, and so-called member of the Catholic Men’s Association. He was a flesh-and-blood man. And his flesh burned hot for a real woman, not one on his laptop undressing ala burlesque style. “Ready?” Jude swiveled, clutching the briefcase. Raven stood at the doorway, hugging the books against her chest. “Yep.” Jude strode across the floor. They meandered down the hallway as if neither wanted to reach the main door. Jude wasn’t in a hurry. He was returning to an empty house that wasn’t a home yet. Once the kids arrived, maybe they’d add something to the cold place devoid of warmth only a family produced. “You working tomorrow?” “Yeah. I get Sundays and Mondays off.” “Those the quiet days at the diner?” “Sunday is, but Mondays are nuts.” Their footsteps were the only sound present. A click click from his boot heels, and a smoosh smoosh from her mukluks, reaffirming they’d reached the dreaded uncomfortable silence. Jude couldn’t ask for a date. His parents would freak. His brother and sister would freak. Okay, maybe not Emery. But Bridget…oh boy. Raven pushed on the door. A blast of cold and the familiar scent of winter swept into the building. “How’s your, err, brother doing?” “He’s fine.” Even with the icy air nipping at their skin, Raven didn’t dash for her truck. She kept dragging her feet along the walkway. Jude ambled beside her. He stole a peek at her face hidden by the faux fur lining of her upturned hood. Screw it. He’d been alone for too long. “How about a coffee?” Raven stopped. Her mittened hands drew the books even tighter against her parka. Tight enough to show off her flat stomach hidden beneath the barrier of clothing. “We…um…yes, sure, but can we go somewhere besides the diner? I…um…I work there all day. It’s, uh, the last place I wanna be.” Jude swallowed. “Sure. Where do you wanna go?” “Uh…what about the staff room? We’re already here?” “True.” Downtown and Old Main were the hub of the reserve. And they both lived in the busiest areas of the community. “I’d like to say yes, but I can’t use the school for…err…personal business. And having a cup of coffee off the clock would be…personal.” “What about the church?” “The church?” Shock gripped Jude’s spine. Miss Anti-church and religion was willing to go to a place she hated, just so people wouldn’t see them together, but was desperate enough to be with him that she’d step inside a place she considered the annihilation of their once prosperous race? Dad had given Jude a key, first thing he’d received upon moving here. Funny how he’d been annoyed at receiving it, thinking he might be able to put in his obligatory Sunday for the sake of his kids and family. Now it came in handy. “Okay. To the church.” There was a nice seating area at the back where the chair lift staircase was located.
The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.
Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.
Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly-paroled. Through counselling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle he’d previously corked. He can't escape the damage he caused so many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit of forgiveness and a second chance. There's nothing he isn't willing to do to win back his son--and Bridget.
When an old cell mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care, Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.
When the truck pulled up at the halfway house, Adam’s disgust threatened to spill over. No woman could slam on the brakes like Bridget. He threw off his seat belt. “I didn’t mean to make you pissed.” “I’m not pissed.” She stared straight ahead. Adam cracked open the door. She was going to let him go? Damn her. Promising himself to use patience was a stupid idea. The woman was stubborn enough to wait out the next coming of Jesus. The twelve-step program, the anger management classes, his one-on-one counseling all screamed at him to leave his desires in the hands of his higher power. Yeah right. Creator had forgotten He’d shaped and breathed life into a woman a pack of mules couldn’t push. Welp, he could be stubborn, too. Adam shut the door. Bridget almost jumped in her seat. “What’re you doing? I told you I have things to do.” “Cut it. It’s only eight-thirty. You’re going home to pout.” Adam folded his arms and sat back. “P-p-pout?” Any second his beloved kwe’s internal volcano should erupt. Time for the countdown. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five … “Listen here. Don’t you dare assume anything about me. Got it?” Bridget swiveled to face him, steam almost exploding from her flared nostrils and flaming-red ears. “Got it.” Keeping his cool was easier than expected. Maybe because Bridget’s temper had never unsettled Adam. Her spunk was the lighter to his wood. Any kind of wood. A certain kind of wood in his pants. He shifted as much as he could in the seat. And these were big, comfy seats. He met Bridget’s glittering eyes. “Kwe, you’ve been pissed since you first looked at me. Let loose. I’m serious. Tell me what you really think of me.” If cussing him out cleared the fog thickening between them, Adam could hack a slap or two. Bridget’s red lips flattened. “I have nothing to say because we have nothing between us but Kyle. That’s it.” Adam’s own temper grumbled at the back of his neck. His skin burned. This woman’s words always cut a man’s balls in half. No con in the pen knocked the wind from him like Bridget Maria Matawapit. He had one up on her, though. She’d never taken an anger management class or earned praises from the instructor. This might secure him a smack or something else, but at least he’d know the score. “Kwe, did I ever tell you how beautiful you are when you’re pissed?” The flash in Bridget’s eyes died. The flatness of her lips faded. The fiery red shade coating her ears ebbed. Her mouth formed into a delicate O. Fire flickered behind her dark irises. Adam’s heart rattled. He lifted his hand and ran his index finger across her narrow jawline. The smoothness of her skin softened the rough edge of his fingertip. When Bridget’s gaze continued to hold his, she locked Adam in a moment he’d dreamed about behind bars with nothing but his beloved kwe’s picture to keep him company. The tight bones of Bridget’s jawline diminished beneath his touch. She kept staring. Adam’s heart kept rattling. He leaned in and brushed his lips against hers. As soon as his mouth met Bridget’s, her yielding lips released an ache in his chest. An ache he’d carried for almost four years. He moved his mouth into a light pucker. Bridget’s kiss matched his sweet movements, and his heart swelled. Her scent invaded him. The familiar feminine fragrance teased his muscles, stroked his skin, caressed his flesh. Her deep breaths fluttered against his ears. Their mouths moved in the same slow rhythm, a waltz of sensual heat full of longing and wanting. His tongue yearned to taste her, claim her as his own again. He forced himself to draw back a breath from her. “Kwe,” he whispered.
The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
Genre: Contemporary M/M Inspirational Romance
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and his church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.
“What’s wrong?” Bridget stirred her coffee. “Nothing. What did you need to talk about?” “I can’t believe he used to be your... best friend.” She shook her head. A hot coal burned inside Emery’s stomach. Bridget was referring to Darryl. Emery stood and turned to the counter. He couldn’t let her see his face. “What do you mean?” “Do you know what he’s doing?” The moisture in his throat vanished. He shook his head. “Did you know he moved back to the rez?” Nodding, Emery opened the fridge and reached for a container of water. He poured a glass and sipped. The cold liquid washed away the heat in his throat, but sweat formed in the pits of his arms. “I never thought he’d do this to us.” Bridget’s tone almost froze the ice water Emery held. “Especially after everything Mom and Dad did for him. Y’know, I used to really like him. I mean, whenever I’d go up to the rez and visit, he seemed genuine about his beliefs and so nice. But he’s taken this Traditionalists Society a bit too far.” “What’s he done?” “First, he joined team Clayton. Dad speaks about that weasel a lot. He’s always giving the church grief.” Dad wouldn’t mention any problems the church was encountering. Whenever they spoke on the phone, he insisted Emery stay focused on his discernment. “I remember Clayton. Vaguely.” “Darryl’s on band council. So’s Clayton. Put the two of them together at the leadership table and they think they’re Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.” “I see ...” As for Darryl’s rise in the political ring, this wasn’t news to Emery. He checked Ottertail Lake’s web site on a weekly basis. Seemed Darryl had made part of his dream come true. “At the band council meeting, they voted against the donation Mom and Dad requested for Healing the Spirit. According to Darryl and Clayton, anything Catholic goes against their so-called traditional beliefs. You know what this workshop means to us. Especially Dad. He wants to give everyone the same chance he had to put the past behind them and move on.” Darryl did... what? Perfect. There went Emery’s chance at making amends. Why was Bridget telling him about their parents’ problems anyway? If she expected him to fly home and confront Darryl, she was asking the wrong person. Returning to the reserve meant a fist in Emery’s face, or maybe two fists. Wait. He must try to make amends. If he didn’t, he couldn’t write to the bishop in January. Still, only a fool would think to approach Ottertail Lake’s most stubborn, opinionated, hard-headed man. Emery chastised himself for being a tad negative and judgmental. Darryl behaved in an all-or-nothing manner because he was passionate about his causes and beliefs—which had drawn Emery to Darryl in the first place. Imagine being bold and courageous, the kind of man ready to stand proud and face ridicule, instead of silently obeying and quietly accepting. If Darryl had lived during the Indian wars, he would have tossed down the pen instead of X-ing the dotted line on the Treaty and died fighting for their freedom. “Are you even listening?” Bridget was still speaking. Emery pivoted. “Yes.” She raised her black brows. “No, you weren’t.” “Yes, I was. Tell me what else he’s done.” He sank in the chair to listen.
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
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