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Why does she want me to spend the rest of my life with a man she calls ‘lizard breath’? She’s an enchantress and she cast a love spell over Tyson Drake fifty years ago. It failed pretty spectacularly, and he’s been trapped in his human form ever since.
But she's convinced I can change things. That the magic she’s been teaching me about is enough to make the spell come true. Now Tyson’s willing to give Gran’s magic one more try and take a chance on me.
I can’t stop thinking about him, but will becoming Tyson’s mate be enough to make him finally shift into his dragon form, or will my magic be the death of him?
- Growly, protective dragon shifter
- A decades-long curse
- Curvy heroine learning magic
- Sassy Grandma
- Small town romance
- Beltane celebration
Read Chapter One
Read Chapter One
I was no stranger to doing horrifying things, but this was a new personal low. My gran just literally caught me with my panties around my ankles and a big pink dildo vibrating in my hand when she knocked on my bedroom door. As her houseguest for the foreseeable future, it was technically her guest room door. That technicality was the least of my worries.
She furrowed her brow when she caught the very obvious tail end of me pulling the blankets over my bare lady bits. So mortifying.
“Are you feeling okay?” she asked.
“Great.” Shit, the vibrator still buzzed like an electric toothbrush. I pushed it under
the blanket and gave her the best smile I could manage under the circumstances.
This faux pas wasn’t for my pleasure, it was all business. I was living with Gran so I could start my life over, and a big part of that plan was to start a sex toy
blog. My vision was bigger than that. I hoped to give all my perpetually relationship challenged sisters a forum so we could talk about our struggles,
and of course, I wanted to make sure everyone was satisfied, whether they were traveling through life solo or they found that mythical creature, their soul
And a sex toy blog was a totally practical new career. Gran’s house wouldn’t be my home forever, and I wanted to build a career I didn’t have to leave behind in Summerland, Tennessee. Some days, the idea of being a digital nomad sounded sexy, but so did having a place I could always call home.
I was keeping my options open.
Gran wasn’t the type to judge, and I’d come clean about my intentions eventually.
When I had my pants on.
She suppressed a laugh as I arranged the blankets to quiet the dildo. “I came to ask if you’d like to come to the yard sales with me. After that lady on TV told everyone getting rid of their stuff would bring them happiness, I’ve been
cleaning up at these things. Maybe you can find some stuff for your next apartment. Not that I’m kicking you out, of course.”
I sold everything I had when I came here. It wasn’t exactly a nervous breakdown.
Certainly NOT a midlife crisis. I’d had an incident at my best friend’s baby shower. I was tired of always being the single one, the one who noticeably did
not have her shit together when everyone else had theirs wrapped in a pretty bow. I didn’t want to end up like one of those sad spinsters in a comedy movie—the one who has a nervous breakdown right before the totally together heroine dumped her for a new life.
So I was one of those people who got rid of everything that didn’t make me happy before I headed to Gran’s house to regroup.
“I’d love to check out some yard sales.” I sat up and smoothed my hair out. Gran had actually come at the perfect moment, before I got down to business. Had this
toy earned a five-star review with my grandmother on the other side of the door… I’d never live it down. My new career path clearly required my own space.
Gran waited for me by the door with her usual death grip on her purse. Summerland was a cute little village that constantly won awards for the best place to live
in the Smoky Mountains, but she always clutched her purse like she was walking past a prison lineup. Those best-of lists weren’t what drew me here. I came to Gran’s house for her mystique. She was an enchantress—according to the rumors, anyway. My mom always shut down any questions about that part of Gran’s life. All I knew was that whatever she carried in that bag was much more powerful than money.
It was magic.
And I wanted to know all about it.
Gran didn’t say anything about the incident, which was how I planned to think of it from now on, until we got in the car. “I
debated if I would ask you what you were doing—”
“Please don’t.” I wondered how much it would hurt to jump out of a moving vehicle.
“I won’t let you off the hook that easily, Sophie Rae.” She chuckled. Yeah, this was hysterical, Gran. What was a little road rash? “I’m not judging you. Goddess knows I’ve done plenty of experimenting—”
“Gran,” I groaned. My hand was on the door handle in case she didn’t drop it. Okay, it was time to own up to my plan. “I’m starting a sex toy review blog.”
“Really?” She hit the brakes hard enough to make us both buck in our seats. “That’s wonderful, honey. It’s important for people to celebrate love and do what makes them happy.”
“I want it to be a safe place where women can research and find things they like.” Even though I had the world’s coolest grandmother, my cheeks still burned. I’d use a pseudonym on the site, but it was time to get comfortable talking about all things sex if I planned to make a living from it.
“If you need any suggestions.” She laughed when I gasped. “What? You think I don’t
know my way around one of those things? Your generation didn’t invent this stuff. And I might be old, but I’m certainly not dead.”
“This is my reality now,” I said as I got out of the car, more to myself than to her.
She came up right beside me as we approached the sale. “Get the kind that plugs in. Those things will shoot you to the moon.”
I had to walk away from Gran for a minute.
The yard sale was packed. Those best of lists always mentioned it was possible to find a real diamond in the rough at these sales, especially in the jewelry
department. There was some great stuff here. Classic vinyl, art way too cool to be sold at a yard sale, and we came early enough that there was still a great selection of mid-century costume jewelry.
As I pored over the collection, I realize whoever owned these things had held onto them for a long time, and the romantic in me was sad that something made them want to liquidate now.
I picked up the cutest dragon pin. It breathed gemstone fire. Whoever was getting rid of this stuff would be pleased to learn that this guy would be going to a
“Look at this little guy,” I said to Gran, but I wasn’t sure she’d heard me. After the incident, it was possible she didn’t want to look at anything I referred to as ‘a little guy.’
Her attention was fixed on a gold box. It wasn’t big, but it was heavy enough she held it with both hands. Encrusted with jewels that couldn’t possibly be real,
it was way too nice for a yard sale find.
Either whoever was selling this stuff was desperate or someone had made a mistake.
“It’s pretty,” I added. Nope, she still wasn’t listening.
“What’s the price of that box?” A man with a voice as smooth as whiskey asked. It vibrated deep inside me, like the beginning of many of my bad decisions. “I’ll
“Forget it, reptile.” Gran waved him off. She never talked to anyone like that. “The box belongs to me. Go back to your hoard.”
When we finished the yard sale circuit for the day, I was taking Gran to get her eyes checked. The man who’d asked her about the box was absolutely gorgeous,
with his long, dark hair, tight T-shirt that didn’t hide his muscles, and his
worn jeans. He looked like he took a wrong turn on his way back to Nashville and wound up in some stranger’s front yard.
“I’ll make it worth your while, Nora.” His grin was all for Gran. Leave it to her to get this gorgeous creature’s full attention.
I jumped like a jolt of electricity hit me. The little dragon pin fell out of my hand and clattered against the table. Finally, I had the man’s attention. That electricity was coming straight from him, I was sure of it, and it was pulling the two of us together. Those eyes. Damn. I couldn’t look anywhere else. They
were green, like peridots, and more stunning than any stone in that box he hoped to lure away from my grandmother.
Gran grabbed my arm, and it was like glass shattered. “Pick up your pin. Let’s see if Jerry’s in the mood to bundle.”
I looked back over my shoulder as Gran dragged me to the guy who owned the house.
Jerry, who’d probably realize he’d made a mistake putting that beautiful box out on a tag sale table. Gran would pitch a fit if he decided not to sell.
That tall, dark shot of whiskey didn’t move, like he was some of the art for sale.
“What can you do for us, Jerry? My granddaughter wants this pin, and I’m willing to make a fair offer for the box, if you’re looking to make a little money this
Jerry eyed Gran warily. “You don’t want that box, Nora.”
I knew it.
“Are you in cahoots with the overgrown lizard?” she snapped. Gran liked what she liked, but she was acting awfully territorial over this box. “Both for twenty.”
Twenty bucks. Jerry pressed his lips together, and I mouthed sorry.
“I’ll take your money. But you’ve been warned.”
“There’s no such thing as bad luck. Just bad intentions,” she muttered as she handed him
the money. She turned on her heel and jerked her head for me to follow her. As far as Gran was concerned, this yard sale was over.
I had no idea what just happened. I followed Gran back to the car, past that beautiful man she’d referred to as a reptile, who was still standing at the
jewelry table, stunned.
Gran might have burned rubber on the way out of the parking spot.
“Want to explain what just happened?” I asked.
She harrumphed. “I wanted the box. And I wasn’t going to let Lizard Breath haggle
“I doubt that guy had lizard breath. He looked…” How could I smooth out absolutely gorgeous, since Gran obviously harbored some ill will toward him? “Like he smelled really good.”
No wonder I was still single.
She let out a long sigh. “Yes, he’s good-looking, but you need to forget about him.”
about him? Those eyes? That voice? Not happening any time soon. I had a whole box full of sex toys waiting for a test drive and I was in desperate need of
that sort of inspiration.
“The two of you obviously have a past.” I gave Gran a chance to plug in the massive holes in this story, but instead, she pursed her lips together. “It would be a
lot easier to hold this grudge with you if I had an explanation of how he wronged you.”
“The longer you stay in Summerland, the longer you’ll realize not everything’s what
it seems.” Gran slammed on the brakes again. A car pulled out of a spot like they didn’t even see us. “That was close.”
“They didn’t even look.” My heart was pounding. “If it’s a magic thing, I’d love it if you explained it to me. I’m here to learn. Mom wouldn’t answer any of my
questions about it.”
“Your mother certainly didn’t make things easy on me.” We didn’t talk about my mom
often for this reason. She was the opposite of Gran, embracing the ordinary, where Gran reveled in the extraordinary. “I can’t teach you everything in one day.”
“You’re talking in riddles.” I groaned. “If you don’t tell me, I’ll assume you had a torrid affair with that man and the reason you want me to stay clear is because
he was lousy in the sack.”
Gran laughed. “Think whatever you want, Sophie. I agreed to teach you magic, but
that means we’ll do it on my terms. Magic needs the right kind of energy to thrive. Hatred and intimidation will smother it like a snuffed candle.”
“Sorry,” I said. Her resistance to tell me about this guy was making my curiosity blossom.
She pulled into her driveway, cut the engine, and then put her hand over mine. She didn’t look seventy-five at all. I’d inherited that. My friends got called
ma’am, and I still got asked for ID when I bought boxed wine. “I didn’t mean to insinuate you were being disrespectful. But consider that today’s lesson. And
forget about that man.”
“Okay on the first thing.” I leaned over and kissed her cheek. “But the second one? Impossible.”