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Love Charms

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Love Charms

 

A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set

 

 

 

Blinded by Magic: A Witch Romance
by
Ava Catori
:
Raven's
weakness is mortal men. She’s fallen hard for Derek. There’s just one problem,
he doesn’t know she’s a witch. Can he accept her truth or will their relationship
crumble?

 

Blind Date
by
Selena Kitt
:
Selena
Kitt’s Blind Date ventures into the strange and surreal realm of magical
realism in a hot Valentine’s Day romance that takes on the classic Greek myth
of Eros and Psyche.

 

Breathless
by
Cerys du Lys
:
Sadie
and Evan live in different worlds. Brought together by fate, and held there by
hope, can they bridge the gap dividing humanity, or will long held fears and
prejudice force them apart forever?

 

The Passion Cure
by
Deanna Roy
:
Jet
is a Nix, an outcast enchantress with zero power. To conjure a love spell to
save her family, she seduces a handsome enchanter who is willing to break the
rules, and possibly, her heart.

 

Marked
by
Charisma M. Cole
:
Jade
Murray is a witch that can communicate with the dead. After a summoning goes
awry, two murders rock the human and supernatural world. One thing connects the
gruesome acts: Jade.

 

The Warlord's Concubine
by
J.E. & M. Keep
:
As a servant to the princess for much of
her life, Mirella sees the conquest of the land as an opportunity to elevate
herself.

 

A Demon and His Witch
by
Eve
Langlais
:
Remy’s seen a lot during his tenure in
Lucifer’s guard, but nothing can prepare him for the witch with the acerbic
tongue--and voluptuous figure. Can he convince her to love him and not kill
him?

 

Psychic Appeal
by
Michelle
McCleod
:
Psychic Sofia Parker has fallen in love,
a problem because her new relationship drives the lovesick ghost of her
ex-boyfriend to come back from the dead...anyway he can.

 

Memoir of a Reluctant Shaman
by
Ty
Nolan
:
When his love spell goes wrong, our hero
is exiled to be fully initiated as a Shaman in this spicy tale of New Orleans
Voodoo and Native American magic.

 

Vampire Lords of Blacknall: Trinity
by Shirl Anders: Only a creature of the
night can save her. Lady Beth Winslow never stays home at night. She fears her
stepbrother. Then a monster stalks her in the dark woods and she cannot tell
beast from savior.

 

Blinded by Magic: A Witch Romance

 

Ava
Catori

 

 

*This story was originally released under
the title of Witch’s Brew in 2012.

It has since been re-written and
expanded. This is a work of fiction.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

“Why do you always fall for mortal men?”
Ziara sighed, her fingers rubbing at her temples.

“You’re the one who insists we straddle
between our world and theirs.” Raven’s annoyance with her sister was growing.
It’s like she wanted to control every aspect of her life. “I can’t help it if
my tastes are different than yours.” She was a grown woman, not that Ziara
noticed half the time.

“What is this, the third one now? It’s
time to grow up and get serious. We have a perfectly good breeding season
coming, and you’re going to waste it like it means nothing.” Her glare cast
shards of ice. This wasn’t the first time they’d had this conversation, and it
wouldn’t be the last.

“I’m not ready to be a mother. Besides,
what’s the hurry?” It was nonsense. She still had plenty of good years in front
of her. Not that Ziara seemed to notice. As far as she was concerned, she’d
dallied too long.

“Season of the Witch is coming. You can’t
avoid it forever. Must you play these games during such an important time of
the year? How is it possible you choose the worst season every time? You do it
on purpose, don’t you?”

Benji piped in. “Don’t bother calling
Charlene for a love potion. We all know how helpful she can be.” He couldn’t
hide the sarcasm that dripped from his voice. 

“Toad, you’re not helping.”

“Dammit, it’s Benji! I’ve been a bulldog
for three seasons now. Can’t we move forward?”

 “Sorry, it’s just that you were a toad
for six seasons. I’m still getting used to the change. How much longer until
you evolve back into a falcon? Man, you must have really pissed Charlene off
this time.”

“Yeah, well, let’s just say she found me
fooling around with her sister.”

“Nice,” Ziara said flatly. “What is it
with the male species being unable to keep it in their pants?”

“Falcons don’t wear pants. I was in my
falcon form at the time.”

“So that makes it right?” Raven shook her
head.

“Her sister is hot as a dove. I couldn’t
help myself. Anyway, three more seasons as a dog, six seasons as a falcon, and
then I can shift back to my human form again. I miss having hands. I feel like
a slobbering fool, so heavy and plodding, stuck to the ground. I can’t wait to
fly again.”

“I can imagine,” Raven started. “Is there
anything you like about being a dog?”

“Raven, stop trying to change the topic.
It’s not helping matters. Benji has his own issues!” Ziara grew more
frustrated. It was like talking to a wall. “And Benji, don’t think for a second
I’ll defend you for doing Charlene’s sister.” She turned her attention back to
her younger sister. “Now for you princess.  How many times are you going to
fall for a mortal? Haven’t you learned by now? I understand you like this guy,
but it can’t end well. Let’s face it, he’s either going to be spooked or
intrigued. He shouldn’t know about our world.” It didn’t matter how many times
she warned Raven, she seemed to have her own mind about these things.

Raven pouted. “He’s really cute and
sweet. Did I mention cute?”

“Great, he sounds swell. It’s bad news,
and you know it.” She was
not
amused.

 “You’re always a party pooper.”

“Raven, just think about it, please.
Season of the Witch is coming. I don’t want you to miss that opportunity. It’s
important to carry on our traditions. There aren’t many of us left. Look how
our numbers have dwindled over the years just by blending with mortals.” It was
true. What was once a vibrant witch community, many in fact, had shrunk over
the years.

“I get that, but why should it be on me
to populate our brood?” It hardly felt fair.

“It’s on all of us, not just you. Do you
really want your nieces and nephews to have unsafe family members around? I
mean, what would it mean to our history down the line?”

Sitting down, she took her sister’s words
into consideration. Truly, she did. It’s just she wasn’t ready to stop seeing
Derek, not yet. He was different than the others. He was special.

She didn’t purposely go out of her way to
meet him, it just happened. She was minding her own business at the farmer’s
market when she bumped into him. Their shoulders bustled one another over the
produce. It was bliss when their eyes met, standing wordless and awkward
together. He was tall and handsome. His smile made her weak in the knees. And
his eyes… she could stare into them all day. Raven sighed thinking about his
eyes, even now. There was no hiding the mutual attraction. One thing led to
another, and within moments Derek had asked her on a date.  It all happened so
fast. How could she say no? Not that she wanted to say no, because, hello
handsome!

In all honestly, she figured she’d go on
a date or two, have some fun, and cut him loose. Only, it got complicated after
a few dates. She really liked him. She just couldn’t say good-bye, not yet. She
didn’t expect to like him so much. Then one day turned into another, and
another…

Ziara was afraid Raven would fall in
love, but Raven didn’t have blinders on. She knew he wasn’t “their kind.”  It
wasn’t easy for mortals and witches to have stable relationships. She’d just
have to be careful. 

 

* * *

 

“I’m just saying tossing me a table scrap
now and again might be nice,” Benji whined.

“They’re not good for you. Besides, we
buy you the best dog food there is.” Ziara was distracted. She didn’t see him
there. The instant it hit, it was too late. Her attention swung to the man
sitting in the kitchen.

Derek sat at the kitchen table, his eyes
as large as saucers. He swallowed hard and could barely choke out the words. In
a stutter, he finally spit it out. “Did…did that dog just talk?” He might be
going crazy, but he swore their bulldog, Benji, talked out loud.

Ziara’s hand shot up to her mouth. She
didn’t know he was here. She wasn’t expecting anyone, but there he was, a
mortal in the kitchen. She had to think quickly, before too much damage was
done. She cast a spell and watched as Derek turned to stone. Ziara let out a
deep sigh. At least this way he couldn’t absorb any new information. She knew
there’d be trouble. Raven just didn’t see it. Dating a mortal meant too many
complications for all of them.

Raven walked in from the other room, “So
Derek, I….oh crap. What happened?” Raven bit her lip, seeing her boyfriend
frozen in stone. Derek was a piece of granite!

Ziara and Benji watched Raven. They’d
have to explain. Ziara shrugged.

 “What the hell happened? And what are
you doing here? More importantly, why is Derek a statue?” Raven seethed. This
wasn’t how she expected her date to go. She invited him over for a picnic
lunch. They were packing up a few last things before heading out. What she’d
pictured was a romantic escapade; wine, finger sandwiches, and some heated
kisses. What she got instead was a rock.  Fuming, she waited impatiently for an
answer.

“He saw Benji talking. What do you
think?  What’s he doing here anyway?”

“Sure, blame the dog,” Benji grumbled.

“We were packing lunch. What are
you
doing here? I wasn’t expecting you.”

“Right,” Ziara started slowly. “I hit the
market and was dropping Benji off. I wanted to discuss some business with him,
so I took him with me.”

Raven shook her head. “My date is a
statue, a freaking statue. Could you kindly turn him back into a man?”

“He looks good in stone,” she teased.

“Not funny. Fix this!”

 “Before I do, let’s get this straight.
It was his imagination. We can joke about how funny a talking dog would be.”

“Fine.  Just bring him out of it.” Raven was
pissed.

Ziara mumbled under her breath. Raven
shouldn’t be playing with mortals anyway. Begrudgingly, she released the spell.
It took only a moment to fade. 

“Did that dog just talk?” He was unaware
he’d been stone a few moments earlier. He was mid-thought when he’d been
transformed.

“What, a talking dog? Imagine that.”
Ziara laughed. “Ludicrous!”

Raven rolled her eyes at her sister and
gave a false chuckle. “I wish. Imagine how famous we’d be!”

Benji toddled into the other room and
jumped on the sofa. He stared at the remote with frustration. Thumbs, he really
missed thumbs…and fingers. Damn curse. He’d have to wait for someone to come in
and put the ball game on for him.

Grabbing the picnic basket, Raven was
more than happy to leave. “Are you ready?”

Derek scratched his head. He was still
trying to figure out what happened. “Yeah, I guess. It’s so crazy. I swear I
saw the dog talk.”

“You’re so cute,” she answered while
playing into the charade. “Could you imagine? That would be cool.”

Derek’s car was waiting in the driveway.
Opening the door, he took the picnic basket and placed it behind the seat on
the floor.

How do these things get so complicated?
Maybe Ziara was right. Dating one of their own would be easier. It’s just that
mortals were so innocent and vulnerable. She couldn’t help but be drawn to
them. And love…a slow, delicious build-up, sensual kisses, who could ask for
anything more?

Maybe it was a rebellion thing and time
to grow up. Breeding season was getting closer. If she waited too long she
might lose her chance. And if she settled on life with a mortal she might not
be allowed to breed at all. Her elders got to make that choice. It was a weird
thing in the witch community compared to the mortal community. Things were just
different. They rarely meshed well together.

“How weird.  I have no idea what I was
thinking.” Derek shook his head. What on earth made him think a dog would talk?
How odd.

“Yeah, that was funny. Anyway,” Raven
continued, changing the topic, “I’m sorry I didn’t make a proper introduction. 
I guess we got sidetracked. That was my sister, Ziara. Benji likes to take car
rides, so she takes him out for me sometimes. Did you have a location in mind
for this afternoon?”

“Yeah, actually I do.” His deep voice
softened. “I know a spot by the lake that’s cozy and romantic.”

“That sounds great.” Raven reached over
and turned the radio louder, drowning out her thoughts.

Derek was a great guy. It was so easy to
like him. He was charming, sexy, and hot…a winning combination. Unfortunately,
he wasn’t a witch. If the others have anything to say about the situation, it
could cost Raven a lot to stay in this relationship. They weren’t thrilled when
a witch chose to date or mate outside of their group. 

Her brain raced.
Get out before I get
too attached, meet a nice witch and settle down. Or do I live my life on my
terms?
Raven’s stubbornness got in the way of common sense sometimes, and
in the case of Derek it was a hurdle she’d have to pass. They weren’t even that
serious yet. She still had plenty of time to enjoy his company. Just how long
was the question.

Derek wasn’t the first mortal she’d
dated. She had a dangerous habit of preferring mortal men over witches. Male
witches came on too strong and cocky. Not to mention the lack of romance,
because they relied on spells. Mortals were different; they were sweet, soft,
and romantic. Once she had a taste of romance, she could only hope and dream
she’d experience true love, like a delicate dance between two lovers.

Once she’d experienced romance, the
mortal kind, she craved more of it. Sure, spells are nice, but there’s purpose
behind them, predictability with an expected outcome. Romance with mortals was
new and exciting. It was unpredictable, a guessing game, always leaving
something to the imagination.

Derek made her tingle all over. Every
time his lips brushed hers, she craved more of his delicious, tender kisses
that left her weak in the knees, kisses that were warm and wet, kisses that
left her aching for another taste. 

She’d never experienced those kinds of
kisses with male witches. She’d dated plenty, but the “magic” – how
ironic to say that was what was missing. She was just supposed to pick one,
have a love spell cast, and that was that. Only, nobody ever left her wanting more.
Derek, though, had his own brand of special magic, and Raven was smitten.

BOOK: Love Charms
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