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Hiding out in a mental institution isn’t glamorous. I call it surviving.
I’m blissfully unaware of the world outside the walls—and spell—that hides me. Until the ghost shows up with talks about his friends being marked by a demon. Oh, but not just any demon. The same one who has marked me and wants me dead.
Fearful daddy dearest would be my next uninvited guess, I make the choice to follow the ghost to his four, very alive friends. To my relief they want my father dead as much as I do. One thing I’m not prepared for is finding out that Zane—the alpha wolf shifter—is my mate, and the demon mark links the five of us—ghost included—together on a deeper level than I thought.
Teaming up and facing the demon stirs up passion and dark secrets none of us are ready to face.
Part witch and part demon Reese has hidden herself away in a metal hospital, the drugs keep her demon father from finding her. The hedge witch part of her can communicate with the dead and she can see ghosts as well.
A couple of things happen when a ghost named Wade shows up. First he is trying to convince her to leave with him to aid his friends in killing the demon that marked them and second her father Selros (the demon) shows up. Jumping through realms with Wade to evade Selros, she ends up at the Rose Lake Coven, a coven which is no more, destroyed by Selros and now inhabited by Deimitri and Zane.
Reese felt an immediate attraction to both Zane and Dimitri. One she would need to investigate further. However they needed to strengthen the wards around the coven before anything else. They didn’t need Selros popping in.
This is a favorite scene.
Turning to face the house, I tried to collect myself, calm the whirlwind of desire and need the wolf had stirred within me. I considered telling them to go inside, to leave me to it. But I needed their strength to secure the wards. After being in the hospital for so long, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure how stable my magic was. With bottled-up emotions about my dead mother and anger at my father, I didn’t want to blow up the house. It may be our only sanctuary for now.
I took another deep, cleansing breath and forced a smile as I faced the guys again. Holding out my hands, I explained the rules. “Take my hands and don’t let go. No matter what. It’ll break my concentration, and we’d have to start over. Since I’m more connected to Salrus than you two, he will know as soon as I reach out to a ley line. Which also means we need to be quick about this. Well, as fast as we can be without blowing up the house.”
“Blowing up the house?” Dimitri said with a tremor in his voice.
“She’s joking.” Zane sent me a sharp glare as if warning me. About what, I wasn’t sure.
I dismissed it and grabbed their hands, linking my fingers with theirs. “Try to clear your mind. Or at least think happy thoughts.”
Dimitri was the first to relax. The tension in his arms and stance left him as if it had melted away. I glanced at him. His eyes were closed, and his face appeared peaceful.
On my other side, Zane seemed to have trouble releasing the tension. I clamped my jaw together and spoke through my teeth.
“I am,” he growled back.
I sighed. Whatever. Closing my eyes, I stretched out my senses to where the salt outlined the quarter-acre lot the house sat on. It was easy for me to do since I was half demon. The demonic half of me recoiled at the salt, but I forced the feeling aside. I was not evil, and I wasn’t going to start acting like it.
No matter what the Council said.
I created a circle around the guys and me. I felt Zane tense next to me, so I tightened my grip on his hand. Don’t let go. Pushing the stored-up magic in my system outward, I expanded the circle, stretching it toward the salt outline.
“Dimitri, when you sense weaknesses in the circle, concentrate on it to help me add to it.” I felt him bob his head up and down. The idea that he was afraid of performing magic entered my mind. I’d have to remember to ask him about it later. Right now, I hoped he’d trust me.
To help him, I opened up completely to both guys, letting them into my mind, my thoughts, and showing them my intentions. It seemed to work because Zane relaxed more, and Dimitri became more confident.
Just then, Zane started adding his own power, strengthening the circle as I pushed it into place. Once I had it where I wanted it—just inside the salt—I spoke the incantation that would set the wards. “I set these wards to shield us from those who wish us harm. May they withstand the strongest of evils and bounce back the ill will and dark power to its wielder. I command it to be. Blessed be.”
A zap echoed around us as the wards snapped into place.
I opened my eyes and smiled. The air stilled for a moment as the power of the barrier hummed. A few moments passed, and the breeze picked back up, crisp and clean. Positive energy radiated within the invisible walls of our new magical security system.
“It’s done.” I turned to Dimitri. “What’s for dinner? I’m starving.”
The corners of his lips twitched. “We can call for pizza.”
“Sounds perfect.” In that moment, I would eat anything. It was a plus that I loved pizza.
Dimitri and I turned to the house. Zane hesitated. Glancing back at him, I frowned. “What’s wrong?” Did he sense something I didn’t?
“Are we going to have to meet the delivery guy on the curb?”
Davis, Lia. Marked for Them (Witches of Rose Lake Book 1) (Kindle Locations 493-526). After Glows Publishing. Kindle Edition.
I did a lot of giggling at some of the interactions here. That would be changing soon enough.
Educationing herself on demonology and Wade finding more information on the council helps to expedite things. They did have to get Wyatt and Trevor on board though. Something that wouldn’t be easy, since Wade is Wyatt’s twin.
Lots of suspense, plenty of heat and a bit of a cliff hanger. Fortunately book two is out so it’s not terrible.
5 Contented Purrs for Lia!
In 2008, Lia Davis ventured into the world of writing and publishing and never looked back. She has published more than twenty books, including the bestselling A Tiger’s Claim, book one in her fan favorite Ashwood Falls series. Her novels feature compassionate yet strong alpha heroes who know how to please their women and her leading ladies are each strong in their own way. No matter what obstacle she throws at them, they come out better in the end.
While writing was initially a way escape from real world drama, Lia now makes her living creating worlds filled with magic, mystery, romance, and adventure so that others can leave real life behind for a few hours at a time.
Lia’s favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers, but it’s her home and she loves it!