The most ancient of magic should never be summoned lightly.
Captain Jackson Daniels of the Magus Corps has never wanted to terminate a rogue witch so badly as he does Audrey Mather. The calculating use of her devastating sensuality to prey on helpless humans isn’t just repugnant. It’s a reminder of the fate of his own family.
But when he ensnares her with his own spell of enchantment, she bares her heart to him, and he is utterly shocked. Rather than the soul of a killer, he finds traces of an ancient entity so powerful that not even he can resist.
When the true killer learns that their ruse has been discovered, a dangerous game begins. Immortality is a blade with two edges. They will wield it to deceive and destroy the two lovers before their growing passion and power can’t be defeated.
This world is so compelling. I can hardly put the books down.Kindle Reviewer
Enjoyed it so much I couldn't wait to get to the next book in the series.Kindle Reviewer
This series and book is like a fine wine with a nice finish. Don't miss it!Kindle Reviewer
I thought it was impossible to have a favorite in this series but Jackson Daniels (yep, Jack Daniels) in book 6 just melted my heart.Kindle Reviewer
Great main characters, awesomely terrible bad guys, and intense plot! That all makes for an awesome story. It's one of my favorites from this series.Kindle Reviewer
“You’ve lived in Seattle your entire life, and you’ve never gone once to the Space Needle.”
Audrey Mather’s partner shook his head as he dated the call sheet on the clipboard. Norm’s military crew cut had grown out, but he still had a deep tan leftover from his last reserve tour in Iraq, which made his fair hair look almost white in contrast.
“That’s unreal, Audrey.”
“It’s a fifty-three-year-old observation tower, Norm, and it costs twenty-one dollars just to ride the elevator. Plus I already know what the city looks like.” Audrey ran through the last items on her prep list before she pulled her MEDIC cap on and threaded her long black ponytail through the back clip. “Did you check the portable O2s?”
“Topped off both, restocked meds and bandages, and checked both carry-ins.” Norm glanced at his watch and rolled his washed-out blue eyes. “Ten more hours to go. I hate night shift.”
“Learn to love it,” she advised her partner as she turned on the ignition key to make sure the rig had a full tank; the worst humiliation for any first responder was to run out of gas while en route to a call. “Rookies and new hires always pull graveyard.”
He made a scoffing sound. “I haven’t been a rookie since I first set boot in Basrah––and you’re not new.”
“I volunteer because I’m single, unattached and I don’t have kids. Plus I’ve always been kind of a night-owl.” She switched on the radio and performed a final signal check with dispatch. “Dispatch, Tango fourteen, in service, over.”
“Tango fourteen, proceed to standby location Delta five-seven, acknowledge,” the dispatcher’s voice said over the radio.
Audrey confirmed the assignment before she hung up the handheld mike. As she pulled on her seatbelt she noticed her partner’s scowl.
“It could be worse. Kilo eleven got stuck with covering that concert at the stadium tonight.”
“Yeah, standing around getting a contact high while listening to rock and waiting for an overdoser would be serious torture,” Norm muttered. “Instead we get to cruise the south end, where all the criminals and gang bangers are just waiting to shoot at us.”
“Not for long,” she predicted as she started the engine. “The rents here are climbing like crazy. Pretty soon all the thugs will have to move someplace cheaper, like San Francisco.”
“Believe me, I know. Pam and I are lucky her parents gave us their place when they moved down to Florida to retire,” Norm said, smiling a little as he did every time he mentioned his wife. “Not to be nosy, but how are you making it on a paramedic’s pay?”
“I moonlight as a groundskeeper.” She paused as she drove out of the parking garage and turned off onto the access road. “I get room and board in exchange for gardening and occasional house-sitting.”
“Sounds nice.” He offered her a stick of gum before popping one in his mouth. “Is this for somebody rich and famous?”
“More like rich and reclusive.” While she never gossiped about her landlady, she knew she could confide in Norm without worry. “I live in the guest house on Hannah Gardener’s estate.”
Norm almost choked on his gum. “You’re kidding me. You work for the governor’s call girl?”
“Former governor’s ex-squeeze.” She eyed him. “And don’t call her that. It’s mean.”
“Yeah, but if the Jimmy Choo fits…” He started to chuckle, stopped and gave her an uneasy look. “Oh, no. Please don’t tell me she’s your mother or something.”
“Godmother,” she corrected. “I never met my dad, and I was still in high school when Mom died in a car crash. Aunt Hannah was my mom’s best friend, and after the funeral she invited me to stay with her for a couple weeks. That turned into a couple months, and then she offered me the job and the guest house so I could go to college and not have to live on ramen noodles.”
Norm hmphed. “Pretty decent of her. Does she ever talk about, you know…?”
“The scandal?” Audrey shook her head. “Aunt Hannah is a very private person, and very picky about the people she trusts.” She thought for a moment. “Aside from me, I don’t think there is anyone else close to her.”
“Her millions probably get in the way,” Norm said, and then grimaced. “Sorry. I’ve always been envious of rich people. They don’t have to worry about anything.”
“Money can’t solve everything.” Audrey spotted a flare of orange light on the horizon and frowned. “You see that?”
Norm squinted in the direction and groaned. “Christ, not another one.”
The radio crackled to life. “Tango fourteen, respond code two to FIB, New Holly.”
Audrey flipped on the rig’s lights and accelerated as Norm called back to confirm the address and their ETA. Regulations required them to run with lights but no siren for the call, but she kept one thumb on the air horn she would use before crossing an intersection.
“How many fires does this make?”
Latex snapped as Norm tugged on disposable gloves. “Five for the month, and we’re not even to the fifteenth.”
Audrey parked close but out of the way of the fire engines responding to the scene and kept the lights on before jumping out and taking their carry-ins out of the back of the rig. Smoke stung her eyes as she glanced at the blazing structure of the burning home and the silhouettes of the firefighters blasting the front entrance with two hoses. The sight of one particularly tall, broad-shouldered figure made her heart skip a beat as she hurried with Norm over to the station chief.
“Too hot to go in yet,” the chief told them, almost shouting to be heard over the din created by the water and the destructive flames. “Neighbors say there are a couple and three kids inside.”
Audrey held up two fingers to Norm, who nodded and stepped away to use his handheld to advise dispatch. Five victims would be too many for them to treat and transport, so they would need at least two more units––if they were able to rescue the victims. Audrey had responded to enough structure fire calls to know that if they didn’t soon get inside no one would make it out.
A tall, broad shadow fell over her as one of the crew joined them, and removed his face mask to reveal his soot-stained, strikingly masculine features. A head taller than nearly everyone else on the scene, Jackson Daniels was built with the kind of heroic proportions that made women sigh and men buy gym memberships.
Even dirty and sweaty he looks totally fine, Audrey thought, shifting her gaze so he wouldn’t think she was gaping at him. Which she planned to do as soon as he wouldn’t notice.
“Chief, I think there’s a way in through the back.” As Jackson lifted his helmet to brush back the blackened fair hair from his brow, his brilliant blue eyes glittered with fierce determination. “Give this pretty lady here some work to do. Hi, Audrey.”
“Hey, Jack.” She offered him what she hoped was a casual smile. “My partner is calling in for more units to respond.”
“Daniels, take Parker with you, and make it fast,” the chief told him. “It won’t be long before that roof collapses.”
Jackson nodded and ran back, pulling another man from the crew in the front yard and disappearing behind the flaming house.
As the chief went to consult with the uniformed officers setting up road blocks, Norm returned and watched with Audrey as the men continued to battle the blaze.
“So looks like you still have a hopeless crush on the big ass Viking dude.”
“He’s not a Viking, and I’m too old to have a crush.” She suppressed a silly smile. “But he is very big and very cute.”
“Eh. I’ve seen bigger and cuter at the zoo.” When Audrey glared at him, Norm grinned. “You so have a crush on him.”
“What are we, back in high school?” She batted a drifting ember away from her face. “I don’t date, at all. That’s why most of the guys call me ‘Heartless Witch’ Mather.”
“Come on. Whenever that guy’s around you light up like an old lady’s birthday cake.” He gave his chin a thoughtful stroke. “You know, you could just use him for sex.”
“Keep it up,” Audrey told him. “I’ll get you assigned to Charlie seven, and you can spend every shift swapping inspirational Bible verses with Are You Saved Sarah.”
Her partner winced. “God, you are a heartless witch.”
“Damn straight.” She stepped over the curb to get a better view, and then dropped her bag. “Here they come.”
Parker emerged first from the billowing smoke with his arms supporting two coughing, terrified-looking adults, and Norm rushed over to help. Jackson followed a moment later with two small children in his arms and a toddler clinging to his strong neck, and handed off the toddler to Audrey. As he did his hand slid over her breast, and the contact made her nipple instantly bead and sent a hot streak of sensation through her belly to pool between her thighs.
Jackson’s eyes narrowed. “Audrey.”
She felt frozen for a moment, and then the little girl in her arms began to wail, breaking the spell.
“Hey, sweetie, look at me.”
She clicked on her penlight and checked the small face for signs of smoke inhalation before moving the light to her siblings.
“Burns on her legs,” he said. “I think the other two are okay.”
Audrey nodded, glad it was too dark for him to see how red her cheeks were. “Let’s get them over to the rig.”
By the time she assessed all three children’s airways and put them on portable high-flow oxygen, Jack had gone back to rejoin his crew. Two more ambulances and a fire rescue unit arrived and took over with the two older kids so Audrey could focus on the now-screaming toddler, whose legs were covered with the tell-tale white and red signs of deep second-degree burns.
Audrey knew that if no infections or complications set in the little girl had a very good chance of surviving her injuries. Yet as fair and delicate as her skin was, she would likely be scarred for life––unless Audrey did something about them right now.
You can’t keep doing this on the job, her conscience argued. Norm or someone else is going to catch you. How the hell are you going to explain what you’re doing?
She’s just a baby, her heart replied. Help her.
“It’s okay, sweetie,” she said as she moved the child to the gurney and then glanced at the rig’s open back doors before she placed her hands carefully on the little girl’s knees. “I’m going to make it better.”
Around Audrey’s fingertips, a soft, silvery-blue light appeared and spread over the child’s burned flesh, at first enveloping and then sinking into it. As the little girl’s body absorbed the light, the dark red burns lightened and the white dead skin flushed with healthy color. When Audrey finally removed her hands the little girl had stopped crying, and the skin on her legs only appeared faintly pink, as if she’d been out in the sun too long.
“There we go,” Audrey murmured. “You’ll grow up to have legs like J. Lo.”
The little girl reached up and gripped her uniform in almost the exact same place where Jackson had touched her, which made her smile slip. Audrey was forever bumping into guys on the job, but no other man had ever made her respond so violently to an accidental touch. All of her reactions to the handsome firefighter were very intense and physical, which baffled her.
Why him? What is it about him that gets me so hot and bothered?
“How’s she doing?” Norm asked as he climbed in, making her jump.
“Just mild first-degree burns to the legs.” Audrey unfolded a sterile sheet and draped it over the lower half of the child’s body before she turned to her partner. “How are the others?”
“No burns, and only minor smoke inhalation. They’re already on their way to county.” He nodded at the toddler. “You want to stay with her? I’ll be your wheelman.”
“Would you mind?” Audrey lifted her hand, which her tiny patient had grabbed and was now clutching tightly. “She’s got a real hold on me.”
Norm nodded and climbed back out, closing and securing the doors before starting up the rig. Audrey locked down the gurney and transferred the child’s oxygen feed tube to the portable tank clamped to the gurney.
“We’re going for a ride now, baby,” she told the toddler as she sat on the bench seat closest to the gurney and belted herself in with one hand. “You’re going to be with your mom and dad real soon.”
She glanced through the side window to see Jackson standing across the street. He seemed to be staring straight at her, but he wasn’t smiling anymore. For a moment she thought his eyes reflected the furious amber and red of the flames…but that was impossible. He had his back to the fire. When she blinked his eyes were back to their normal heart-breaker blue.
You know, you could just use him for sex, Norm had said.
“Stop it,” she muttered to herself as she felt her breast tingle. “It didn’t mean anything.”