Faint heart never won fair…mage? What's a werewolf to do when his mate runs away? Chase him, of course
Aspen, a master mage, has loved his foster sister Brie for years, but now that she's been forced to become an acolyte, the only way to ever win her is to find another source of the power their faction needs before the new moon. Seeking information about the were, Aspen walks into Locke's café and finds what could be the solution to everything. He could finally have Brie…but sometimes what you think you want and what you get are two very different things.
Locke is shocked when Aspen walks into his life. He'd always been told that as an omega, he would never have a mate. But the joyous occasion is marred by his banishment from the only life he's ever known, and even worse, Aspen has disappeared. Now, with nothing more to lose, he must track down his wayward mage. But trouble has beaten him there and unless he acts quickly, Aspen could be killed. And that's not even the worst possible outcome…
Reader Advisory: This book is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.
General Release Date: 5th November 2012
Fifteen Years Later
"In here," he replied absently to Raine, preoccupied with the myriad problems that had descended onto his shoulders along with the mantle of leadership he'd assumed from Gideon. Uncle Gideon was still very much alive, of course, but now that Aspen had surpassed the elder mage in magical abilities, it was expected that he take on a superior role in the clan...even though he didn't think he could ever think of his mentor as a subordinate.
"It's been confirmed," Raine offered grimly in lieu of a greeting. "They'll be consecrating an Offering to the vamps this new moon."
Aspen felt his heart drop. Brie was lost to him...for no gain. It had been a long and arduous process for the family to come to the decision to consecrate her as an Acolyte-those vows binding her to a lifetime of devotion to magical practices-at the expense of ever having an intimate relationship.
He'd been poring over ancient tomes ever since, trying to find some other way to maintain the balance of power between the clans so that he could free Brie from her vows without giving their enemies a chance to subsume their family.
His beloved Brie...forever beyond his reach? Impossible to imagine. He'd loved her since they were children, had never imagined being with anyone else. If she were to remain an Acolyte, Aspen would end up alone for his long, long life.
His mind raced as he thought through the ramifications of the other clan's actions. They'd been matched tit for tat with gaining an Acolyte into their respective folds, and now the rivals of the Black's clan had now upped the ante by sending an Offering to the vampires.
There were only a very few ways to add magical strength to a clan of magi. One was by the further devotion to craft by a member, such as when Brie had become consecrated. Another was by recruiting a mage from another clan. However, since most clans were divided by family lines and loyalties, that sort of defection rarely happened. Yet another had happened when Aspen had come to join the Blacks-when an unaffiliated, 'wild' mage was discovered and joined a family.
Seldom did any of these occur. So when a bid for power was planned, the most reliable way to gain power was to Offer a Delegate to the vampire community. The mage who was sent as a Delegate would become life-mated to a powerful vampire, and would then bring that source of power back into the fold. In the Offering, the three potential life-mates were 'visited' by the mage during their dream cycles, in order for the mage to become familiar with each vampire. Sort of like dating in one's sleep. By the time the introductions occurred, the mage already knew which vampire was the most interested and interesting to them.
Occasionally, an Offering did not result in a mating, though that seldom happened. The selection process had been honed over the years and was usually done by the best seer in the family group, which typically made for successful matches.
It wasn't an uneven exchange, since the vampires gained as well. Mages were demi-mortals, thus much longer lived than humans, so there was an obvious benefit to the vampire of having a mate without the frail and short lifespan of the general human population. Plus, the elemental magic within a mage's blood was very potent to vampires, kind of a super-food.
The problem was finding a mage within their small group that wasn't already mated and was willing to bind themselves for life to a stranger.
Aspen froze as Raine's determined offer registered.
"What? Your sister would kill me. There must be someone else."
"No. I'm the obvious man for the job."
The emphasis confused Aspen as did the slow smile spreading over Raine's face. Frustrated, he slammed his hands down on his desk and rose from his seat. "Spell it out for me, then, because I'm not getting it."
"I'm the obvious man for the job," Raine repeated, only this time he mimed a crude gesture up by his cheek. "Oh, come on, Aspen. I know you're not dense. And I'm gay. Hello?"
Word Count: 18,345
Book Length: NOVELLA
Devon started reading and writing at an early age and never looked back. At 39 and holding, Devon finally figured out the best way to channel her midlife crisis was to morph from mild-mannered stay-at-home mom to erotic romance writer. She lives in Oregon with her family, who are (mostly) understanding of all the time she spends on her laptop, aka the black hole.
Reviewed by Prism Book Alliance
This one was light on the sex and light on the relationship as this was an instant mating and had a bit more action and plot than the previous stories. I am loving this series because it is light and f...
Read more reviews
Reviewed by Rainbow Book Reviews
If you like stories that make you laugh, yet want some action and suspense, if you enjoy men learning new things about themselves, then trying to cope, and if you have eagerly awaited Locke's story,...
Read more reviews