Every witch knows the rules: Stick to your own kind. Never reveal your powers to outsiders. Take a consort from the witching families or kiss your magic good-bye forever.
For years I’ve been quiet, obedient Rose Hallowell. I accepted the man my stepmother chose for me. But I never stopped missing my long-ago friends: brilliant Kyler, stoic Seth, passionate Jin, daredevil Damon, and Gabriel, whose self-assured warmth brought us all together.
Now we’re back on my childhood estate to arrange my marriage. The boys I grew up with? They’re still in town—and they haven’t forgotten me either. And damn if they haven’t grown up well.
They’ve got no magic, no place in my life. But they’re charming and sweet and infuriatingly hot, and I can’t seem to stay away. The more I try to resist, the more secrets I uncover about my family, my betrothal, and everything I thought was true about the witching world.
I’ve been lied to. I’ve been betrayed. So to claim my magic and my happiness, I’ll break every rule there is—and then some.
Don’t mess with this witch. Every rose has thorns.
The space smelled slightly earthen, like most basements I’d been in, but not in an unpleasant way. And there was no hint of nicotine in the air. No ashtray on the table or on the plywood stand beside the bed. Huh. So Damon didn’t smoke down here. I’d wondered how much that habit was an actual vice and how much just part of The Badass Show he was currently attempting to star in. “You know, normally people consider it polite to give a person a little notice before you turn up at their door,” Damon said. He’d recovered his snark. I turned to face him where he’d stopped at the bottom of the steps. “Are you really going to start giving me lessons on politeness?” His mouth twitched with what looked like a grin he’d caught. His body stayed tensed, though. “Just sayin’.” I shrugged off my jacket and draped it on the back of one of the chairs, since there didn’t appear to be any coat hooks around. Damon hadn’t moved. “It’s your apartment,” I said. “Aren’t you going to come in?” “I’m still trying to figure out what you’re up to, angel.” I inhaled slowly, gathering myself. Then I walked up to him, holding his gaze, and stopped just a few inches away. Close enough to make his breath hitch. My voice dropped. I was nervous as hell, but somehow I managed to keep the tremor out of it. “A few days ago you were talking about all the things you wanted. I’m pretty sure an awful lot of them, I want too. And I’m hoping you’re as done with waiting as I am.” The heat radiating off his body rose. He laughed hoarsely. “Do you even really know what you’re asking for, Rose?” “I think I’ve got the basics and an awful lot of the extras down. You’d be amazed what you can learn from books.” A glint lit in his dark blue eyes. “What the hell kind of books have you been reading?” I let a smile curl my lips. “All the best kinds.” Damon shifted forward, bridging the gap between us. His chest brushed mine. His hand came to rest on my waist. A faint rasp crept into his voice. “I’m not going to give you some kind of fairy tale. If we do this, we’re doing it my way. Are you ready for that?” When he looked at me like that, talked in that low voice, I felt ready to spontaneously combust. My pulse stuttered, but I found the confidence to set my hand on his chest. And then to trail my fingers down, down, over the solid muscles of his abs, past the hem of his jeans, to the bulge straining against his fly, exactly what I’d been looking for. He was already hard. As I cupped my hand around his erection, his eyelids dipped, lust turning his eyes almost black. “I’m sure I can figure out anything I don’t know as we go,” I said.
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