Zephyr, apprentice of magical arts, is having a really bad day. Under orders to capture an uncanny creature for her mistress’s latest spell, she chains up a tall, gorgeous elf in a decaying castle only to find out he’s really a wizard with potent powers over human women. Uh-oh.
Theo has suffered heartbreak and betrayal more than once. He’s got a plan to escape, and when he does, he’s taking the curvy little apprentice with him. Her seductive curiosity about all things elvish makes his heart race, driving him into a sexual frenzy. He’s vowed never to unleash his powers of enchantment upon a human woman—yet while she kisses and teases him, longing for an elf romance, his fae side is slipping out of control.
Their world overturns when Zephyr unleashes a curse involving two magic rings. Under its spell, she becomes a mighty sorceress while the elf-wizard who loves her becomes her apprentice. As Zephyr works to turn the brooding, mistrustful elf into the hero the people need, Theo must find a way to contain Zephyr’s new powers before her wild magic destroys them all.
Madeline Iva’s magic romance fantasy is chock full of wizards and sorcerers. It will enchant readers who love castle romances, all things elvish, and can-do heroines.
“They all called you Prin,” he said at last.
“Yes.” He wasn’t going to mention how they behaved. Thank you. She took a bigger breath.
“That’s… an odd name.” His Berbainwick was strangely accented, his words all stretched out instead of clipped off. He kind of gargled them sometimes at the back of the throat. To her ears the language had never sounded half so charming before.
“It’s a nickname,” she explained, and then stopped, not willing to explain more. Touchy ground here.
“What does it stand for?” he asked. His voice was lilting and gentle, another tone entirely from before. “Princess?”
“Bet you say that to all the girls,” Prin replied. In fact, it was an abbreviation for ‘apprentice’ and a way of making fun of Hulgetta’s speech. She wasn’t going to tell him that, of course. Everything about him was gentle and refined. She kinda wanted to muss him up a little bit.
“I said nothing to them at all.” He looked puzzled.
She wrinkled her nose. “Never mind.”
“You are a princess then?” he said. He asked her a question in a language she didn’t understand. She looked down at her calloused fingertips and didn’t reply. Let him think what he liked. The silence stretched on. She looked up and his attractiveness hit her again like a physical blow.
His eyes had gone dark again, and he was a vision of sensitive torment. She felt herself involuntarily reaching towards him. Then, alas, the eyes changed back, and she regained a modicum of self-control. She stood up and paced around the cell, her heart still thudding about inside her chest.
“Who has imprisoned me?” he asked. “A murderous wizard? An evil enchantress?”
I did. “Technically speaking, she’s a sorceress,” Prin replied. “You don’t remember?”
He sniffed at the water in the tumbler.
“It’s not poisoned or tainted,” she said. “I freshened it with herbs myself. See?” She drank from the cup and then held it out to him to show him the sage leaves and borage blossoms. “Perfectly safe.” He took a tentative sip on his own, letting her hold the cup for him. The feel of his fingers sliding over hers. Her eyes widened, but he moved abruptly, pulling the cup away. As if he didn’t want to touch her.
“Thank you,” he said, not looking at her. Then he must have changed his mind about something. He looked up at her again, his eyes flickering black. “I thank you,” he said, this time with a tone of grave respect.
“You’re welcome,” she said, using the same formal tone. And did you know you’re smoking hot?
Lying there pliant, helpless, and half naked, he was so scrumptious her body itched to crawl on top of him. Moreover, all her fairy dust was up and screaming for him, and that just never happened to her with a guy. Ever.
She put the tumbler back on the wooden tray with the pitcher and stood there twisting her fingers up in her skirt. Nervous. Her mind strained for something to say. Her body looked for another excuse to bend over near him and reveal her cleavage. Get a grip, woman.
“And what are you called?” she asked, forbidding her fingers to play with her braids. The traitorous fingers took to the lacings on her corset instead, and she bit her lips a little to make them red. Where was her apprentice side? The scholarly side that wanted to learn? Pathetic.
“Princess, help me,” he whispered.
How was she ever going to refuse him anything when his eyes were all big and noble, yet softly luminous? She had felt loyal to Hulgetta. ‘Had’ being the operative word. Her loyalty was wobbling, big time. This was so wrong.
“Are you okay?” she said, filled with dread and concern. She leaned over the bed and put her hand on his brow again. Yes. It was warm now. She felt his cheek. It was hot. Spell all gone. Reluctantly, she took her hand away.
“Can you move your legs?”
He took her hand again and placed it back on his cheek, his lips parting a little. She went a little gooey and just stared at him, unable to think or move. He took that hand and kissed it.
“Help me escape.”
She stood up straight, breathless. Whoa. There it was. Bright needle-thin fear suddenly pierced the bubble.
“It would mean my life,” she said, simply.
Madeline Iva writes paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary erotic romance. Bitten by romance as a teen, she quit her day job in 2009 to start writing full time. In 2013, she started Love Fest, a day of romance panels at Virginia Festival of the Book and co-founded LadySmut.com, a blog devoted to all things intelligent and sexy. Her work “Sexsomnia” is included in THE LADY SMUT BOOK OF DARK DESIRES published by Harper Impulse.