Her Warlock Protector Book 7
Two wild souls unlock passion and love, until duty and destiny make claims on them both.
Lieutenant Trent Williamson of the Magus Corps wants a promotion. How that can possibly happen in the hick town where he’s been banished, he can’t imagine. Though he ought to be slaying Templars, he’s babysitting.
Of course Wiccan novice Elaine Blackhawk doesn’t know that. She barely knows she’s a witch. Despite the blood of Medicine Women running in her veins, she’s at a loss to explain her bizarre nighttime escapades. On the verge of thinking herself insane, Trent appears. As feral and wild as herself, something in him calls to her.
Their shapeshifting and love-making are a revelation to her, but to him she’s a means to an end. Forced to choose between the only home she’s ever known or protecting her loved ones by leaving, Elaine is caught in a dangerous game that quickly grows deadly.
What Readers Are Saying
The love between the main characters was well drawn and the stuff of smiles and sighs and pretty darn hot. I recommend you start with the first book and read all seven of them You will be in for a enjoyable experience.
Great book broody hero, independent woman become a team to fight the bad guys, throw in a couple of magical gifts and voila– Magic.
Wonderful book and enjoyable experience!
A very entertaining read filled with mystery, magic and sex…what more could you ask for?
This is my favorite of all seven stories in the series.
“Freaking horse crap,” Trent Williamson cursed as he stepped out of the pile he’d accidentally wandered into.
His sneakers were ruined, and he’d always loved those vintage Air Jordans of his. What else could he expect? He was banished, sent to the middle of nowhere in Alabama, and exiled from the actual civilization of the Washington D.C. coven.
Ergo, of course he’d step in a giant pile of horse turds. It was as if even the Goddess was out to spite him now.
Beside him, the hand just snickered. The other guy wasn’t overly tall, a few inches shorter than Trent, but he was huge in frame. The dark-haired cowpoke laughing at him must have spent years lifting hay bales. Granted, as a second lieutenant for the Magus Corps, Trent had spent over two decades fighting the Knights Templar and brandishing a broadsword. He wasn’t a weakling. On the other hand, he wasn’t part gorilla either.
“Is something funny?” Trent asked.
The other man shrugged and spit a black wad of chewing tobacco into a copper bucket in the stables.
“Not especially. It’s just you’re city folk through and through. You don’t know nothing about riding.”
“I wanted to try it,” Trent lied. “I’ve heard it can be a great stress relief, and I’ve always liked animals.”
That much was true. Besides his own familiar, a wolf-husky hybrid back in D.C. named Titus, Trent had always been drawn to the creatures of nature. He liked to think that some of that was just a natural affection for them. Hell, even before he’d grown into his warlock abilities, Trent had loved nothing more than hanging out in the streets in Brooklyn and picking up stray dogs and cats to bring home. Since he’d come fully into the Magus Corps and embraced his abilities as a shapeshifter, well, Trent definitely had a wild side.
On days like this when that hayseed in the brown-stained flannel was mocking him, Trent could safely say he felt closer to animals than humans. No contest. Obviously, he just wasn’t a farm guy. Canines and felines, even some birds, those were all fine. Horses and cows and their crap? He’d pass. Except when he was on assignment, and his damn superiors knew that.
The hick shook his head and, reaching into a pocket, shoved another wad of tobacco in his cheek. It popped out like a chipmunk, lessening his menace just a bit.
“Doesn’t look like you’re less stressed, city boy.”
Trent fought back the growl building in his throat. Twenty-five years of shifting forms, especially into his favored shape of the wolf, sometimes put his instincts far too close to the surface. It wouldn’t do to growl at this moron, even if part of him deep down wanted to tear Chuckles’s head off.
“Look, I’m supposed to be getting lessons. I know I’m a beginner, but I’m looking for Elaine Blackhawk. She’s supposed to be the instructor.”
The other man’s easy expression changed, suddenly less amused.
“You lookin’ for Elaine?”
Oh great, some Neanderthal with a crush. Exactly what I need, not.
“Yes, she’s supposed to help me learn to ride.” He sighed and gestured down to his ruined and stinking shoes. “Maybe I can salvage at least part of the day.”
“You just decided, city boy, that you wanted to do all this?”
“Yeah, imagine that Mr. …”
Trent didn’t know Chuckle’s name.
“Floyd, Floyd Lockwood,” the cowpoke interjected.
Trent stepped forward to shake his hand and tried to ignore the slight when the other man refused to take it.
“Or not. So can you just show me to Mrs. Blackhawk?”
A raspy alto voice sounded behind him.
“It’s miss, actually.”
Trent turned and, for a moment was convinced that Elaine Blackhawk had to be a fully initiated witch and that the Magus Corps had misled him. After all, she was surely spelling him. She was tall, with legs that went on for miles and were hugged in all the right ways by the tight denim she wore. Her skin was dark, the color of brushed copper, and large, luminous brown eyes blinked back at him. Her hair was long and pulled back in a high pony tail. The long locks looked so silky that he wanted to run his hands through them right there. They were the color of the bird she was named for, black as a hawk, black as coal.
He gulped and tried to remember English again.
“Mrs…um, Ms. Blackhawk, thank God. Floyd over here? Not exactly helpful.”
She shook her head. “Floyd play nice with the city folk. We need anyone who wants to ride to keep the ranch going.”
“But they make it so easy! You see what he’s wearing.”
She laughed, and it stung to have that throaty alto aligned against him.
“Well jeans will work. We do mostly Western style here and not English. At least for you we’ll start as easy as we can. But the shoes? Have you ever heard of cowboy sneakers?”
He blushed and desperately wanted to reveal everything about who he really was. No, Trent wasn’t the dumb city interloper. He was a badass soldier who had saved witches from certain death at the hands of psychotic knights. But there was supposed to be a time and place for that kind of revelation. Covered in horse shit probably wasn’t it.
“Well if sneakers are good enough for basketball, aren’t they okay?”
“Won’t be if a horse steps on you,” Floyd said, “and breaks every bone in your foot, yankee.”
Elaine laughed again and pointed to the line of stalls. “Floyd, get to scooping out. I’ll help this poor mess over here, okay?”
“Sure, but if he turns out to be too hopeless a case, then you’ll know where to find a real man.”
Trent bunched his hands at his sides, curling his fingers into fists. He wished he could enchant the way others could, maybe a little mind control suggestion. Yeah, that would have worked. Floyd wouldn’t be so suave quacking around like a duck.
As Floyd stalked off, Elaine offered Trent a megawatt smile. Despite everything––being stuck in a cowtown, this close to a demotion, and far from an assignment he wanted––the sight of her beaming made him almost glad that General MacCulloch had sent him here.
“So do I still ride in the sneakers?” he asked, gesturing to his stinking and pretty much ruined Air Jordans. “It’s all I have right now.”
Elaine shook her head and her hair scattered across her shoulders like dark ink.
“We have a few sets of boots in the lost and found, come on and we’ll save your foot from certain crushing. Follow me,” she said, beckoning with a slender finger.
With the view he had from behind of the jeans hugging her curves, well, Trent would have followed her anywhere.
• • • • •
“Whoa, crap!” he said, pulling on the reins in front of him. The horse didn’t stop so much as almost start to rear. Frustrated, Trent tried to counterbalance the disruption to his equilibrium but, instead, fell forward into the horse’s long neck and mane. “Isn’t there a brake?”
Elaine sighed and clicked her tongue. The giant chestnut-colored monster she’d put him on stopped smoothly. The novice witch walked over and petted the horse’s nose while shaking her head up at Trent.
“The reins don’t work like a car’s brakes. Besides, what happens if you jam on the brakes too fast anyway? You skid, right?”
“It’s worse with a horse,” she said giving the horse’s nose one final pat. “The reins are connected directly to Rainstone’s gums. How would you like it if someone were yanking on your mouth but trying to tell you to calm down?”
Trent considered that and reached up to massage his own jaw. The thought of someone with his strength and a bit pulling as hard as they could against his mouth would make him stampede too.
“I never thought about it that way.”
She shrugged and stepped back from him. Elaine had a long green rope, almost like a leash, but about ten feet longer and made for a horse. She’d said it was a lean line, maybe? Or a lead line. Anyway, it meant that so far he was riding around on Rainstone with the horse riding equivalent of training wheels. He wouldn’t be able to, in theory, go too far without Elaine stopping him. On the other hand, if Rainstone made for the border, he didn’t think one woman would hold the horse back either.
Trent had no idea how his comrades, many of whom were not only immortal as he was but had gained immortality hundreds of years ago, had ever ridden horses. His ass was sore, his legs felt like Jell-O, and slipping around in a saddle had nothing on sitting down in a molded leather seat. Give him a crack at one of the Magus Corps Porsches any day. He liked muscle cars too, anything with an engine that purred.
Something that could stomp or bite him?
Good thing they were past medieval wars and jousting matches with the Knights Templar. He’d be down for the count in no time.
“You know,” Elaine replied as the horse started walking again. “You’re actually doing fine.”
As she said it, Trent struggled to remember everything she’d taught him about posture. The most he could manage was to grip the horn of the saddle with one hand and keep his heels mostly pointed down. It still felt like he could slip out at any minute.
“I’m making a fool of myself,” he said, catching a glimpse of that Neanderthal Floyd moving some bales by the riding ring.
It was certainly not Trent’s imagination how the other man was sneering at him. Well, at least Trent could count to twenty with his shoes on.
Elaine shook her head.
“You’re keeping your balance better than you did even forty-five minutes ago, you’re not yanking on the reins, and you’re actually taking my feedback. I can’t tell you how many first-timers have a million excuses and don’t actually want to learn. It’s refreshing.”
“I’m still basically ready to ride at a petting zoo or a first grader’s birthday party,” he complained gesturing to the green lead.
She rolled her eyes and clicked her tongue again. The horse stopped, and flicked its tail at the stray flies flying past. Trent took that as his cue the lesson was over and swinging a leg over the saddle, slipped down to the ground. He miscalculated how jelly-like his legs had actually become and fell to his ass when his legs wouldn’t hold his weight.
Rainstone at least didn’t take advantage of his fall to stomp him. That was something.
“Damn it!” he muttered.
“You really are a New Yorker, aren’t you?” she asked, coming over and helping him to his feet. Piercing brown eyes, the color of milk chocolate assessed him. “It can be a little rough coming back to the ground too. You’re going to be walking bow-legged for a few hours.”
“Joy. And how’d you know I was from New York?”
“The accent’s pretty obvious. It’s like Brooklyn maybe?” Again, she rolled her eyes and he found the exasperation a turn on. He wondered how else he could vex her, and then blood started rushing to other places besides his head. “Oh please, like I’ve never been to New York. I went for a presentation just last semester and, besides, when I graduated from high school my mom and I did a week of the tourist Broadway thing. We’re in Alabama, not a completely different country.”
Trent chuckled, comfortable for the first time since he got to the stables.
“It’s certainly not what I like. It’s too quiet here in Tuscaloosa.”
“There are bars. It’s a college town.”
“It’s got a street, big freaking deal.”
She drew closer to him and stood up on tip-toe. He wasn’t sure she realized she’d done it––a challenge. Suddenly his own magic stirred, being this close to her. While he was an adept caster as long as it involved animal transmogrification, there was still one form that Trent favored over all others. While flying as an eagle could be breath taking or swimming with the skill of a shark intoxicating, it was his wolf form he preferred the most, the ritual he turned to frequently. Over the twenty-five years he’d been a fully immortal warlock, the wolf had become a part of him, a set of instincts and increased senses that called to him even when he wasn’t near the fur belt that allowed him to change.
That was the bitch of being a shape shifting Wiccan. Sometimes the wild became a part of you, more deeply than you could even imagine. Commandant Worthen was close to five hundred years old and had told him once that there were shapeshifting spell casters who sometimes went into the forest, chose the shape they’d turned to for centuries, and never came back out.
He wasn’t there yet, never planned to be.
Still, it didn’t mean that the wolf instincts that had bled into his own didn’t recognize a challenge when they saw it. It was damn sexy if he did say so himself, that this novice witch would even try to challenge him.
“You want it to be too quiet in Alabama, but it’s not. You’ve been here long?”
“I just got to Tuscaloosa a couple months ago.”
He knew that it would be best not to add that the reason he’d been sent here was to spy on her.
“So you haven’t gone into The Magic City, much?”
Elaine slapped her forehead lightly with the heel of her palm.
“So you’ve never been to Birmingham period. It’s on the sign, city motto and all that. So you can’t really condemn a place as not as good as New York–”
“Which is the best city on Earth,” he said, smirking back at her.
Elaine looked away from his gaze and the wolf side of him sensed her arousal. Oh, he’d have to make that expression at her more often.
“It’s crowded, has pigeons and rats, and everyone’s damn rude. I’m not sure New York is the best anything. If you haven’t been to Bham though? Trust me, you’re missing out.”
“It’s probably just Mayberry,” he said, leaning closer to her, enjoying the heat rising from her cheeks. “But, maybe you can show me around this weekend, Miss Tour Guide.”
Elaine swallowed and stumbled back suddenly. She would have fallen on her ass if he hadn’t caught her by the shoulders. It was then that Trent noticed the way her nostrils flared, as if she were scenting him and he wondered if her gift was more than just mental control or influence over animals. Perhaps their intel was off and she had shapeshifting capacities as well, at least with the right ritual training.
“Are you serious?” she asked.
“Very,” he said, realizing he meant it. His wolf side was practically howling, demanding he kiss her right there and make her his. He shoved that aside and reminded himself he was a wizard and a warrior and that even if he could change shapes, it didn’t mean he had to carry those instincts with him. “So, country girl, you think you can prove to me this is a worthwhile place and not some cowtown?”
“Is that a dare?” she asked, and he wondered if Elaine noticed how her breath was coming in shorter, more ragged gasps.
“It definitely is. So you pick a place, and I’ll meet you there at seven on Saturday. We’ll see the city and you try and rock my world.”
Elaine gulped and he loved this, getting to her, seeing her limits. Goddess, yes, seeing where all her limits were would be exquisite.
“All right,” she replied extending her hand for him to shake. “You have a deal.”
Trent would have left that place howling triumphant, at least figuratively speaking, if on his way out Floyd the Neanderthal hadn’t been glaring hard at him. Hopefully it was typical jealousy, but he filed it away to put in his notes later. There was something dark in Floyd Lockwood, and he didn’t like his proximity to Elaine at all.