Powerful sea witch bewitching a vampire for power. Check.
Freeing said vampire from your crazy mother? Check.
And mate—when the spell backfires and now he thinks he loves you.
A stand-alone paranormal/urban fantasy vampire romance from NYT bestseller Marie Harte.
Kaia has had it with her mother. Talk about touchy. Offend the sea witch and pay the price. Oy. Nearly sacrificing Kaia’s last boyfriend to a dark god had been totally unnecessary. And those deals her mother keeps making with demons to obtain more power? Not a healthy way to achieve balance.
To stop her mother from sacrificing some other poor sucker, Kaia sneaks into her mother’s lair and finds more intended sacrifices. But one of them has fangs.
Needing to get to safety before her mother returns and loses her mind, Kaia, a sea nymph, swims away with the vampire and soon learns he’s under a spell.
In order to cure him, she overrides her mother’s magic with her own, weak though it may be. But now this fanger—a freaking death-bringer who can swim like a merman—thinks he loves her. Curing Orion of the enchantment should have ended their association, but he’s still obsessed with her.
And for some reason, she’s obsessed with him as well. But the dark one to whom her mother promised a soul doesn’t care where it comes from. And since her mother has reneged on Orion, the dark one decides Kaia will do nicely in his place.
Bright moonlight streamed through a barred window high up on the far wall, and as she moved farther into the room, illuminated her presence. Upon seeing her, the imprisoned lycans did their best to stand up and threaten, but so woozy, they didn’t scare her.
The largest one sighed. “We swear not to harm you, By the Moon Our Mother.”
“Okay.” Kaia hurried to undo their chains that came apart under her mother’s magic and ignored their grumbled insults.
“I’m not her,” she said, though she knew they wouldn’t believe her. Even in their own forms, she and Sabine looked incredibly alike, though her mother had height, a bustier frame, and a head of snow-white hair. “But the White Sea Witch is coming back soon. If you know what’s good for you, you three will get out of here while you can.”
“Before the demon comes back,” the smallest of the three said. He leaned closer and sniffed her. “She’s right. She’s not the one who caught us. Different scent, but still a witch.”
The others grunted, grabbed him, and left without thanking her.
Part one, complete. Now she just had to execute part two and pray the vampire didn’t kill her for sport.
Too easily, she followed the trail of power throbbing inside the walls and took step after miserable step back upstairs and up again, toward her mother’s bedroom. Kaia hated stepping foot in the room, grossed out by the oppressive sexual hunger for pain and pleasure her mother—ew, her mom—felt deep under the skin.
Her mother might hide her real self from the world under spells, but here, where she dreamed, where she let her unconscious mind go free, Kaia could feel all the ugly covered by superficial beauty. In this one place that should have been her mother’s sanctuary.
She immediately felt guilty stepping foot inside.
To her relief, no one lay chained to the bed.
“Witch, get your ass in here,” a deep voice rumbled from down the hall.
She flinched. He sounded upset.
Tuned to the foreign energy pulsing in a bedroom down the hall, she entered and found a giant, dark-haired male with red eyes and fangs wearing nothing but a ragged and stained pair of jeans. His chest and arms were corded with muscle, his chest spattered with dried blood despite the healthy skin beneath.
Though not bound, he couldn’t be comfortable in those dirty pants, could he?
He snarled, “Where the fuck have you” —he added in a lower voice— “been?”
His gaze raked her, and she studied him as well. Tall, dark, and not so much handsome as fiercely captivating, the vampire attracted with a presence no one could ignore. He was just there, so much power in a raging male form. He looked more muscular than the upir she’d once seen. Delicate was not a word she’d ever use to describe him. He was brutish, with so much height and mass.
“Fast” described him well enough though, because he had her up against the wall, caged in his bare arms, between heartbeats. He didn’t seem to feel the cold as he stared into her eyes and smiled.
“Finally, you’ve returned.” He stroked her cheek with a gentle finger, threading his hands in her hair.
Pleased he didn’t seem ready to bite her, she relaxed.
She wasn’t prepared for the kiss that came next.