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Rogue werewolf Elijah Johnson would have been better off dead. After being held hostage by a coven of malicious witches—witches who seem to know much more about the dark arts than they should—he takes the first chance he can to escape, only to fall into a trap a month later. When he’s captured during a DPI bust, he expects to be thrown into prison. He doesn’t expect to learn his interrogator is a curvy young witch with hair the color of fire and enough passion for the law to match…
Verika Tate has spent her career trying to uphold the values and morals of law enforcement in the Underworld. Only twenty-six, she is heralded as one of the most gifted witches in the southeastern region. Her life is, for the most part, uneventful. She attends her weekly spellbook club meetings, works out daily to try to shed some stubborn fat that refuses to leave, and buries her nose in the latest witchcraft magazines. Learning is her shield and her only defense for being able to forget the werewolf who broke her heart—Nik Johnson…
When she’s assigned to Elijah, she can hardly believe how rotten her luck is. He looks enough like Nik to haunt her, and his hard muscle and flirtatious quips are enough to make her pant. Verika struggles to keep her heart out of her work, a point which proves especially tricky when Elijah reveals an astonishing secret that could finally break the case she’s been trying to crack—the whereabouts of the mysterious Mistress Black, leader of the witch mafia. The tip is too good to pass up, and she reluctantly agrees to help him escape the witches who have placed a bounty on his head in exchange for information.
Will Verika uphold the law at any cost, or will she risk everything for the sake of a once-in-a-lifetime romance?
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EXCERPT (SPOILER ALERT: Please do not continue if you haven’t read Fever, which is free, BTW!)
Elijah Johnson stumbled in the darkness. For all his grace as a werewolf, he was clumsy as an injured human.
More like a drugged human.
The potion he’d drunk to break the Tracking spell on him was strong. It laced his veins with venom, making him delirious as he ran. He would have preferred to run on four paws, but one of the side effects of the potion was that it muted his ability to change.
Fine by him. No price was too high if it meant escaping this hell on earth.
He didn’t dare look back at the mansion behind him, though he could feel it watching him, like a sentient being.
Damn those witches.
The place gave him the damn creeps. Not for the first time, he inwardly kicked himself for being so reckless and getting drawn into their fucked-up world.
Not that he had anything against witches. That is, he didn’t have a grudge before all this shit straight out of a horror movie happened.
Now… he’d never go near another damn witch again.
Run. Run faster.
The woods seemed to be closing in on him, but that was probably just his paranoia. At least, he thought it was until a tree root lifted of its own accord and tripped him. He swore, swinging his arms out to right his balance.
A groan, followed by splintering wood, came from beside him. He looked up to see the tree bending over.
Shit like this shouldn’t have surprised him. God knows he’d seen enough weird things in the Order to make most sane people lose their minds.
But seeing a tree falling toward him, to watch its bark twist and snap as it fought to angle itself just right, still made him pause.
Snap out of it, dipshit!
Shaking his head, he blinked and leapt out of the way at the last second. The tree came crashing down, making the ground shudder.
Dammit, if they hadn’t realized he’d escaped before, they sure as hell would now. He needed to haul ass out of here, pronto.
Scrambling to his feet, he struggled up the hill as the air filled with the rustle of thousands of leaves and the groan of snapping wood.
He caught movement from the corners of his eyes, and he glanced around him.
His eyes widened. Shit.
The whole damned forest was coming to life.
Moonlight shone through the trees, dappling the forest floor with patches of silver light. It danced and shifted as the trees uprooted themselves and began to stalk toward him. Even the bushes rustled and chittered like angry dogs.
He knew there was a spell around the perimeter to keep him from leaving. He thought he’d broken it, along with the other five back-up spells they’d cast. He had not detected this.
Those bitches had sent a tree army after him.
He growled and tried going faster, but it was all he could do to keep up the pace he was going. The potion made him slow. He hadn’t counted on it being this bad. In order to keep them from catching on, he couldn’t afford to test the potion before using it.
Another reckless risk on his part, in a long list of many.
He squinted. Just ahead, up on a hill, sat the dirt path leading to the enchanted mansion. Seeing that road filled him with renewed hope, spurring him to run faster. His heels dug into the earth, swiftly finding purchase on the soil as he scurried toward the path to freedom.
Not far now…
He was going to make it.
A whip-like vine shot out of the darkness, lassoing his neck. It jerked backward, tugging him back toward the woods. With a yelp, he lost his footing and fell over a log that had positioned itself to trip him.
So help him God, he was going to set this whole place on fire if he ever did escape.
The hill flew past his line of vision in a blur of moss, weeds, and moonlight. The breath left him as his back slammed against the ground. The back of his head banged against a rock, making him see stars for a few seconds. Sharp pain shot through the back of his skull, and he bit down on his lip to keep from crying out.
Vines tangled around his limbs as he struggled to get up. He snarled and fought, reaching inside himself to try to summon his inner wolf, but it wouldn’t come.
He was alone.
The ground began to sink around him. Feeling fresh, damp soil pouring onto his body, his terror spiked and he fought like a man possessed.
Apparently, the plants had decided it would be a good idea to bury him alive. More like, the witches had decided to bury him alive.
This was just like Black to pull this twisted shit. She was probably watching him right now in a crystal ball or something, laughing her ass off.
At one point in his life, he might have found it funny, too. A practical joke. He had been a very different man a year ago, had done a lot of shit he regretted, things that kept him up at night.
He never should have come here. Now, it looked like he was never going to leave.
As he sank deeper into the earth, surrounded by darkness, a seductive voice whispered a message inside his head.
“I told you, Elijah. We’re meant to be together. You’ll never be able to escape me.”
“Damn… you…” he got out, right before the earth collapsed on top of him completely and all went pitch-black.
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