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Midsummer Spell

Midsummer Spell

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An ancient relic has a cursed dragon convinced I’m a goddess. Not just any goddess—his goddess. But for me to help him, he first must make me believe in magic.??

Just a little complication, right?

I’ve been busy building my pediatric practice and my dream home. I have almost everything I want, but there are parts of my life I’ve ignored. Specifically, my love life.

When Gran’s house burns down, I head to Summerland to help her get back on her feet. She and my sister claim a dragon fight is responsible for the destruction, and I’ll have to come to grips with the neglected parts of my life. Not just the magic I don’t believe in.

Sexy Chance Drake is willing to help Gran too. He’s also skeptical of Gran’s magic after he insists one of her spells went wrong and left him in trapped in his human form.

He claims he’s a dragon, and I’ve dared him to make me believe in magic.

When I can read an ancient text no one else can decipher, nothing in my life will ever be the same. But can Chance convince me to stay in Summerland and use my magic to save the thunder?

Main Tropes

  • Growly, protective dragon shifter
  • Decades-old curse
  • Woman in STEM
  • Sassy Grandma
  • Mountain Man
  • Litha celebration

Read Chapter One

Gran always said magic is only science we have yet to understand.

My reply was always the
same: I’d stick to things I could understand, thank you very much.

I’d totally underestimated my Gran.

I’d spent all thirty-four years of my life as a staunch supporter of the magic is bullshit camp. My grandmother claimed to be an
enchantress, but my mother had raised my sister and me to believe in things that could be explained by facts rather than faith.

“Have you cast a spell? How are you holding it together right now?” I asked. Gran had to be calling on some serious superpowers. We stood in front of the burned-out hull of the only
home I ever remember her living in. Police tape covered singed doorways and broken windows.

“It’s just a building, Monique. Everything that was inside can be replaced. All the important stuff”—she patted her heart— “I keep right here.”

I hadn’t set foot in Summerland in over a decade, but it didn’t matter, Gran had welcomed me back like we’d had lunch together the day before. While she dabbled in magic, I studied medicine. When I wasn’t working, I poured blood, sweat, and tears into rehabbing a neglected old house in East Nashville. I’d put my heart into that house.

“I can’t imagine losing
my home.”

“You put too much importance on things.” Gran walked up to the burned structure and pulled on one of those yellow warning tapes. She nodded, like she was saying goodbye to the place, and then walked away. No looking back. She motioned for me to follow. “What’s in your heart?”

“I don’t understand the
question.” Some things never changed. Gran loved to talk in riddles.

She sighed, forever frustrated with my practicality. My refusal to put faith in the unknown. Soon
she’d remind me I took after my mother. “What would you give up absolutely everything for?”

“My pediatric practice.” I’d just become partner. Finally, I was off the grueling treadmill of hospital
rotation. Now that I had a regular schedule and a home to call my own, I could start working on the life I’d been neglecting.  “And my house.”

She shook her head. “Those are things. Things can be taken away from you. Let me rephrase the question. Who will be there for you when you lose everything? Don’t fool yourself. It happens to all of us.”

What a sobering question. I could always count on my best friend Cecily, but she spent half the
year on tour with her band. When she was on the other side of the country, she couldn’t drop everything for me. But that wasn’t what Gran meant. She wanted to
know who completed me, who could unlock my cold, calculated, practical heart.

The lock was rusty and I couldn’t tell her I misplaced the key.

“I have you. And Sophie.” I forced a smile. It hurt to admit that was bullshit.

“You didn’t come to my wedding,” my sister countered from the backseat, pain still fresh in her voice.

I turned around and faced her disappointment. “I need more than two days' notice, and who gets married on a Wednesday?”

“It was Beltane,” Sophie
said, like that made it any more practical.

“She’s here now. No need to fight.” Gran would go to her grave trying to get the two of us to put aside our differences. She put her hand on my arm as I drove away from her house.
“One of these days, Monique will believe in magic.”

I was about to say that
was highly unlikely, but I’d noticed a few things on this trip to Summerland. Sophie had never been the poster child for responsibility, but the woman was always optimistic, and I didn’t think that had anything to do with her newlywed status. She was still basking in the afterglow of her wedding night. Gran just
lost all her worldly possessions and she wasn’t upset at all. Then, here I was, a ball of nerves, surgically attached to my phone, and I couldn’t think of one
person in the world who really had my back.

Sophie and Gran chatted
on the way back to the mountain, and for the first time, I’d felt like I’d missed out.

“Tyson and I are heading
into town for dinner soon,” Sophie said when we got out of the car. “Want to join us? I’m sure we can find another hungry dragon to come so you won’t have to be the third wheel.”

A hungry dragon. Not man. Sophie claimed Tyson shifted into a dragon on their wedding night, and his fire burned down Gran’s
house as he apprehended another dragon. Her new husband and his friends who
lived in this mountain—yes, inside
the mountain—weren’t the kind of men I  usually went to dinner with, and she had a long way to go to convince me of the charms of their alleged mystical side. “Sounds like fun, but not tonight.”

“Take your sister up on her offer.” No surprise Gran thought I should go. “Chance has his eye on you.”

Chance Drake. My brother-in-law. A rugged, absolutely gorgeous mountain man. I’d be lying if I
said I hadn’t enjoyed a fantasy or two about him since I’d arrived.  “He’s not exactly my type.”

“What’s your type?” Sophie asked. “Tyson knows a lot of people. We can find one to invite to dinner.”

People. Not dragons. That seemed a little safer.

“I’m sure he does.” I admired Sophie’s wide-eyed vision of the world. Like Gran, she unapologetically still believed all we needed was love. I wish I agreed. “I’m not looking to
settle down in Summerland.”

 Gran threw her hands up, shaking her head. “Who said anything about settling down? Take the free dinner. Have some fun, Monique Louise. You work so hard. It’s not the only important thing.”

“I know.” In theory, I did. If a patient came to me as wound up as I was, I’d tell them to take some time for themselves. But I wasn’t willing to take my own advice. Relaxing wasn’t in my vocabulary. “Sophie married Tyson after knowing him for a week. Things seem to move fast around here.”

Gran squeezed my arm.
“While you’re here, try things you wouldn’t do in Nashville. Your life will be waiting for you when you get back.”

Judging from the emails
and text messages constantly coming through, that was one hundred percent accurate. My office manager and practice partner were waiting for me to come back and fix their problems.

My problem was, I didn’t want to.

I loved my patients, and
they made all the long hours, hard conversations with other doctors, and red tape from the insurance companies worth it.

I didn’t realize how much I needed a break until I was forced to take one. The timing was
horrendous. Our new office was barely settled, and my house remodel had just been completed. My bank account bowed under the weight of both, but Gran was right. It could wait. My sister had a brand-new life I didn’t know anything about. Like she’d started a sex toy review blog. Classic Sophie. Normally, I’d
scoff at that, dismiss it for being frivolous, and quietly count the days until she asked me to loan her money for rent, but she was so happy she actually

Gran had just lost everything, and she thought I needed an attitude adjustment. This trip was an eye-opener.

I headed to my cavern room, stripped off my clothes, and drew water into the copper soaking tub. The dragons—as everyone insisted on calling them—had built a palace inside a mountain. As someone who’d fought tooth and nail to hire contractors for a home renovation, I was in serious awe of this accomplishment.

Each room dripped with luxury. Power. It set a mood.

The walls of my room were craggy and clay-colored, but not claustrophobic. A window, cleverly tucked into the side of the mountain, gave an endless view of the sky. The bed felt
like heaven and was layered with furry blankets, my feet sunk into soft area rugs, and the technology here rivaled my own house.

I tipped my head back,
realizing for the first time there was a skylight above my tub. This was a view made for two. It wasn’t the first time I’d felt lonely on this trip to Summerland.

I picked up my phone to text Sophie.

Is it too late to say yes to dinner?

She didn’t answer right away, and I tamped down my disappointment. I couldn’t expect her to jump after I pushed her away for the last thirty or so years.

We just ordered dessert, she said when she finally answered. Raincheck?

Tell me you’re eating something with chocolate. I considered myself a recovering chocoholic after going cold turkey on sugar
two years ago. My mouth watered as I dreamed about her dessert.

And Chance feeding it to me.

A brownie sundae with whipped cream and a cherry, she punctuated the message with a smiley face wearing a halo.

I kinda hate you right now.

There’s always more chocolate. I could see she was typing more, but the symbol kept disappearing. Interesting. Sophie didn’t often mince words—she said what was on her mind and dealt with the consequences. It made me cringe as much as I admired it.

The message finally popped up. Can I invite Chance to come
with us next time?

Did I want to have dinner with the handsome man, who might also be a dragon, and was nothing like my non-existent type? The one with the beautiful eyes who was good with his
hands? The man who was so intertwined with this tiny town that I had no business falling in love with if I planned to go home and pick back up where I
left off?

The answer should’ve been easy. My heart was screaming at me. Do it. Say yes. Why couldn’t I type those three little letters?


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