Raven Wood, an ancient and powerful witch, had been forced to help King Butler gain immortality. Butler had killed Raven’s mother anyway and for her part, even though it was unwilling, she paid the price for the deed with her sight. For centuries she has lived in darkness with only the earth and her pet raven to help guide her way.
Lewis McCade would be opening his restaurant, The Dragon’s Lair, soon. Between the pressure of the opening and a wedding he was catering for his brother, his nerves are shot. And the news that his new mate is probably nearby and blind to boot couldn’t come at a worse time.
Butler may have forced Raven to extend his life, but she cheated him and put a time limit on his magic and immortality. Now his time and magic are running out. He has to bring all the pieces of jewelry together and call forth the dragon before it’s too late. He will do whatever is necessary to see all the McCades dead….
Recommended for 18+ Erotic Shapeshifter Romance, fantasy romance, paranormal fantasy
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Emma Gentry felt like she was losing her mind. From the time she had picked up the pretty ring to examine it, she’d been hearing a voice in her head. When she ran from the demolished building, she’d slipped the ring on her finger so that she wouldn’t drop it, now she couldn’t get it off. She was in dire need of medical attention, but the voice wouldn’t let her stop to get help. There were others looking for the ring and would kill her for it. Emma was on the run.
Kenton McCade was the doctor in the family. When found Emma in his office treating a badly infected wound on her leg, he had to help her. The infection had spread and she was near death.
Kenton and his brothers were dragon shifters born without the ability to shift into their other half. The magic, it seemed, lay dormant in a sleeping dragon that was tied to six pieces of jewelry. When the ring found its way to Emma, her touch had woken the sleeping beast. When Emma touched Kenton’s sigil on his chest, he shifted to his beast for the first time. But the beast from the ring would not be complete until all the jewelry found its way to their rightful dragons….
Emma was still on the run…they need her to survive…but Emma trusted no one…
Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.
The dragon had told Kenton and Jorden McCade that another piece of jewelry had been activated, and the boy that had just come into Jorden’s studio was her son. The dragon didn’t know which brother she was mated to, but she had sent the boy and her granny ahead to keep them safe. Now, another attempt had been made on her life and she was in a hospital an hour away.
The cop at the scene had been in on it, and Jasmine found herself in a pickle. She’d been drugged and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Her body hit the floor by her hospital bed and she was looking into the lifeless eyes of her nurse.
As soon as Jorden scooped Jasmine up off the floor and her earring touched his skin, he knew that this woman was his. The earring left a brand, marking them both. He couldn’t be happier about finding her, now to convince her to stay was going to be the problem….
Harper Bailey was in way over her head, and the trouble just seemed to keep coming. Her brother-in-law had frozen her personal accounts, and now she was on the run because she wouldn’t do as she was “told.” She had been told to abort the baby. Harper hadn’t wanted the baby she had been forced to carry in the first place, but now that she’d felt life, she would protect the child with hers.
Grady McCade knew that his mate had been found when she touched the piece of jewelry. The dragon had told him that if he didn’t hurry to her side, she would be found by the dragon slayers and her life could be ended as well as the life of the babe that she carried.
With Grady and Harper together, the dragon grows stronger, and the slayers pick up the pace in their quest for all the pieces of jewelry. Can the McCades stop them before they strike again? Are any of them safe? Find out in The McCade Dragon—Grady
Dr. Gabriela Nola, Gabe to everyone, hadn’t been in town long. Kenton McCade was looking for a partner in his practice, and she was hoping to fill the spot. A nice small town beat the last hospital job she’d just recently quit—90 hours a week with a shorthanded staff. She just wanted normal, and the voice in her head to stop already about opening the box and wearing the item inside.
Dalton McCade knew when he heard the dragon’s voice that he was next on the list, and ready or not his mate was coming. According to the dragon, she was already here and had refused to put the combs in her hair.
But as always, danger followed the jewelry, and Gabe was no exception. The mysterious stranger would have all the pieces for his own collection, and didn’t care who he had to kill to get them….
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Lewis had no idea who he had hired as yet. Nor, and this one frightened him just a little, what they were going to do when they started working. He supposed, like the first group he’d brought on, they’d figure it out among themselves, but he was exhausted. And he was sure that he’d not eaten a decent meal in a month. Taste testing, to him, didn’t count. He looked at his mom when she cleared her throat. “What can I do?” He took her hand into his and kissed the back of it. “That’s very lovely, son, but it’s not getting this wedding going. Dalton and Gabe have been very nice in waiting for you to get your feet under you, but I need a wedding. And I want you to let me help you.” “I don’t even know where to begin. In the month since I had you guys here to sample my food, I’ve been running on empty.” A plate, a platter really, of food was set before him. “What’s this? Mom, I don’t think I can taste another bit of food today.” “It’s your lunch. Eat. And I’ll get the list I have to go over with you.” She pulled out a notebook, not a list, and turned it to a page filled with her pretty writing. “Eat, Lewis. I don’t have time for you to faint away on me at this point. I need you healthy and happy. Your mate will never forgive me if you’re too exhausted to give me grandchildren.” “Mom, I think you should be happy with the ones you have now.” She hit him in the back of the head and handed him his fork. “I love you, my dear, but you’re a tad on the violent side.” “You drive me there.” He took his first bite of food and moaned. “There, you see? Food is just what you need. And there is supposed to be…. Ah, there they are. Biscuits and tea too. Okay. The cake is being made by Emma. Oh my, it’s going to be beautiful. Also, flowers are being done by the pack. Some of them can be left here, should you want them.” “I can use them as table toppers. There is a place in the back that was put in for that kind of stuff. Who made this meal?” She said that several of the cooks had put their heads together and done it. “The meatloaf is really tasty, and I think I might use these potatoes too. They have pieces of garlic in them.” He gave his mom a bite of them and she moaned at it. She got up and got a fork, and asked one of the waitstaff that was putting the chairs under the tables to bring her something to eat as well. Lewis asked his mom about the luncheon that she was going to. “They won’t be serving anything but those nasty little sandwiches that I despise. And who can fill up on a slice of cucumber on a tiny piece of toast? No one, I tell you.” She was given a plate of food too. “Oh my, Lewis, these green beans are heavenly.” The two of them ate without working on her list. They talked, instead, about the food they were eating. He was going to serve this meal one night and see how the rest
of the family liked it. As he was shoving his plate away, a plate of cherry crunch was set in front of him. This was his favorite dessert. Piling whipped cream on it, not even caring that he was already stuffed, he asked his mom about Dalton and his job. Dalton was working for the diner down the street, as well as consulting on crimes that came in. So far there hadn’t been much of that going on. Lewis thought his brother was happy not being stressed all the time. “He loves it; and Gabe is happy, so that, to me, is all that matters. Are you going to share that, young man?” He thought about telling her no, but she had that look in her eyes that told him the question had been a demand, not a request. “Also, you should know that I went to your house this morning. I have to tell you that I love the work you’ve had done on it so far. The colors that you’ve used in the living room, they’re very soothing.” “Yes, well, you can thank Kenton for that. He gave me a chart that told him what colors to paint for a soothing waiting area. I don’t think he used it. That waiting room of his resembles more of a kindergarten room, with a mixture of adult stuff added in at the last minute.” They both laughed. When the crunch was finished, he knew that he was going to have to take a nap. For about a month. “Have you heard much from the others about Vance?” “No. He’s out doing something I’m sure that he’d not tell me about if he was right in the middle of it.” He could see the worry on her face, and regretted bringing it up. “But, he’ll be safer now that he has the magic that came with all this. And that, right there, that’s what makes it so that I can sleep at night. I worry for all my boys.” “I love you, Mom.” She said that she loved him as well. “Well, now that I feel fortified, let’s have a go at that list of yours. I do have the linens taken care of. And there is the wholesaler that I got from Gabe, her friend. He’s a good guy. And I’m sure that he’s getting me the best prices too.” They talked for another hour. It was good to know that he had so much support from his family. Lewis was sure that he’d not be able to make it without them. He just hoped that his mate would be just as supportive and a little like the women already here. His mind drifted a bit when he thought of the conversation that he’d had with Kenton last night. “She might be more than you want. Just putting that out there.” Lewis asked him what he meant. “You know, you’re so laid back and easy going. What if she’s not? What if she’s intense all the time? Like on the go?” “I guess we’ll work it out. Have you all been talking about me and my mate?” Kenton grinned at him. “I see. And what else is being said? Like, will she make me toe the line? Will she be a ball buster like your wife is?” “My wife is a ball buster, and I love her for it. But you, I worry about you and having a ball buster.” Lewis frowned and asked him why he’d say something like that. “I don’t know. As I said, you’re so laid back and easy going. I worry that you’ll have more clashes than we all did together.” He didn’t want to think about clashing with anyone. And Lewis supposed that was his brother’s point. Lewis did like things quiet, and he preferred reading over
television. It was why the one that he’d bought recently was still in the box. And that the first thing he’d set up to his liking was the library, when he’d put all his books on the shelves. He was a man that liked peace. After his mom left him, Lewis sent most of the crew home. They would be back in the morning, and they’d practice what they were going to do on their grand opening. But first he had to figure out what he wanted to cook for his brother’s wedding that was in four days. It would be huge since Dalton was well known in this town, as well as Gabe had met a lot of the people through her work. They wanted simple. Something that could be eaten standing up, as well as things to eat hot or cold. The veggie trays were all lined up, ready to be filled, and the wings that Dalton had wanted were in the walk-in thawing out. He was going to make a variety of them, from mild to very hot. His family loved the very spicy. When he turned to go see what he might need to order extra, he saw the woman standing there. “Can I help you?” She didn’t say anything, but he could see that she was ready to take off should he move too quickly. He felt a small invasive touch of his mind, but didn’t let her in all the way. He knew it had to be her; everyone in his family knew him better than he did. “Are you a part of the staff that was hired today? I’ve sent everyone home but a few of the dishwashers. Are you a part of that crew?” “No. I’m looking for Lewis McCade. I’m supposed to meet him at five o’clock here.” She didn’t move, didn’t look around. Lewis took a step toward her, but when she lifted up a gun, he froze. “Don’t come any closer. If you do, I might have to hurt you. As I said, I’m looking for Lewis McCade. Where is he?” “I’m Lewis.” The gun disappeared. Not that she put it away, but it was simply gone. “Who are you and why are you here? If we had an appointment, I wasn’t told about it.” “My name is Raven. I don’t remember if I had a last name or not, but when pressed, I just use Smith. Not very inventive, I know, but then I don’t much care for people as a general rule, so I avoid them. I’m sorry, I’m babbling. Caelin said that I do that a great deal.” Lewis asked her if she meant the dragon or the man. “Dragon? No, the man. He’s not here yet, but he sent me to find you.” “Why would he…? You’re my mate.” She nodded and walked toward him. There was something about her that made him see that she was careful where she was walking, and he realized that she was blind. “Can I help you?” “No. I mean, that’s very nice of you, but I use my magic to get around well enough. Unless you push something in front of me when I’m walking, I tend to do all right.” She sat down in the chair that he’d been in earlier today. “This is a nice place you have here. I mean, I can’t see it, but I can feel it. You’ve done a good job.” Something touched his head. Not a search this time, but more like a bit of fear. Like he shouldn’t be there. Not just in this room, but anywhere this woman was. Fear was there, but he was slightly nauseous as well. Strange combination when one meets their mate, he thought.
“I’m confused.” She nodded and told him she was as well. “You just came here? Without the jewelry? Usually we’re warned when we have someone coming. Not only something about them, but also which piece they have.” “Oh no, I have it. I’ve not had to wear it yet because I didn’t come here by conventional means. I have the brooch. But I’ve not worn it, for the simple reason that I cannot figure out how to put it on my clothing. I mean, I’d look really silly, don’t you think, if I were to wear it upside down or sideways?” Lewis sat down and told her he’d help her, but he didn’t want to touch her. Not even to get close enough to share the same air. “You will, but not today. The second that I put it on, then the others, the men that want it, will come here. Right now, I’m all right with getting to know you and your family. I’m harmless for now.” Harmless? For now? He wasn’t sure what that meant, then he thought of what she’d said. Her last name…she didn’t remember it. Before he could ask her, even if he wasn’t quite sure that he wanted to know, she stood up and put her hands in front of her. “I’m a witch. Or, I suppose you could call me a little of everything. Black and white witch, and a little faerie as well as some brownie. My mother was a very powerful and beautiful witch. My father…well, not as nice nor as beautiful in his creation.” He nodded, but realized too late that she couldn’t see him. “Please stand up, Lewis. I should like to get to know you a little.” He wasn’t sure what to do. Any thoughts he had of letting this woman be near him seemed to double his need to back off, run. Standing up, he didn’t feel like this was right. Not even a little. But when she reached out to touch him, just to put her hands on his face, he felt himself getting sicker. That he wasn’t able to hold down his lunch. So, taking another step back, he reached for his family. Something is off. A lot. My mate, or someone that says that she’s my mate, is right here in the room with me. And I locked up, now that I remember, so how did she get in? But I’m feeling sick by the thought of her touching me. Dragon told him to get away, and before he could think that was a wonderful idea, he thought of the dragons. Come to me, my babies. As soon as they entered the room with him, he felt better, stronger even. They didn’t move other than to stand in front of him, but they were staring at Raven like they weren’t sure either. Then it occurred to him. She was backing up as well. “You shouldn’t be able to call them to you as yet.” He asked her why not. “Because, you have no mate.” “I thought you said you were my mate.” She took another step back, and Lyna moved to stand behind her. “You cannot leave here until I get some answers. Who sent you?” “Call them off, Lewis. I’m not kidding around here. Call them off now.” Lewis shook his head. “Call them off and I’ll be on my way. Perhaps it was a mistake. I’m not your true mate. Maybe I’m mate to your other brother. That’s it. Just call them off and I’ll be on my way.” “I don’t think so.” He told his family what was going on. She’s standing here backing from them, and the dragons are waiting. On what, I have no idea, but they’re not hurting her.
Maybe you’ve made a mistake. He told Kenton that he didn’t think so. We’re nearly there. Just don’t…I was going to say do anything stupid, but that isn’t anything you would do anyway. Lewis wasn’t sure what Kenton meant by that, but the woman in front of him started to move her mouth, to wave her hands in a way that made him think of spells and magic. Roderick went to her and sat upon her shoulder, and when she cried out her mouth stopped, as did the motions with her hands. Black goo started to run from his claws at her shoulder. He knew that he was holding her, but he didn’t know why. “Roderick, is she who she told me she was?” He shook his head, and Lyna landed on her other shoulder, taking the woman to the floor. Whatever was going on, they were unsure as well. “Is she my mate?” “No, my lord. She isn’t who she says.” He asked him to explain. “She is…. Shall I show you who she is?” “Yes, please. But don’t let her go.” In seconds the woman was gone, and in her place was a creature that he had no idea what to even guess it was. “What is that?” “It is very old, sir. A shifter. Not like you have here, in this time frame. This is very old, like the person who made it has less magic, but what it has is all black. This thing isn’t like your shifters, but one that can take on the appearance of anything that it is ordered to. May I check its mind?” Lewis nodded just as his family filled the room. “It was hired by King Butler. Its job was to come here, kill you and the rest of the family. Then to take what did not belong to them.” “You keep calling it an ‘it’; does it have no gender?” Lewis wasn’t sure why that mattered until Grady continued. “I mean, by it being called an it, can we assume that it would be able to be anything. A car, a…I don’t know, something else that might kill him?” “No. But that is a good reasoning. No, it can only take on the appearance of something that is alive. With a heartbeat.” Lewis asked Roderick if that meant his mate was still alive. “Yes. If she were dead, then this creature could not assume her identity. I can tell you more should you wish it.” “Yes. Please. Tell us whatever you’ve found out.” Lewis sat down while Roderick told them what he’d been able to find out. His knees just simply gave out on him as he fell more than sat. His mom came to sit by him and he just looked at her. “My mate is alive and coming.” She nodded and asked him if he was all right. “I am, I think. I’ve…I was willing to let her touch me. To kill me. Does that mean that I’m too trusting?” “No. I think that she was very good at convincing someone that she was who she said she was. I wonder if what she told you, the part of her being blind, is true to your mate.” Mom turned and asked Roderick, and Lyna answered. “Yes, my lady. Raven is blind, but she is much more beautiful than this hag has portrayed her as being. Long dark hair, beautiful skin that is kissed by the sun. She spends a great deal of time in the daylight.” Lewis wasn’t sure it was good for him to have more information, but he thought it might help him. “When she arrives, she will
come to you and know who you are. Raven is a witch, and a powerful one. She has been practicing for a great many decades.” “Her last name…does she have one?” Lyna said that she went by Wood. Her name was Raven Wood. “She is on her way here, my lord. And when she arrives, she will deal with this creature.” “Why?” Everyone nodded at his question. “I mean, can’t you two take care of it? I don’t want to assume that you can or can’t, but why wait on her?” “This is a creature of black magic. To kill it, we would receive the magic that it holds. Black magic.” He didn’t know what that meant, but she answered for him. “Black magic is tainted. We are white. If we kill it, then our magic would also be tainted. With the power of the one who created it.” “King Butler created this one.” They both nodded. “I see. So how do we contain it? So that when Raven gets here, it can be taken care of.” “We can hold it as we are now, but to do so would make it so that only one of us is ready to come to you. I should like to suggest that the creature be put into a place that it cannot escape from.” Lewis was almost afraid to ask. “Do you, perhaps, have a glass jar? One that has a metal lid?” He stood up and went to the sink. He’d just that morning emptied out a large pickle jar. He was drying the pickles so he could deep fry them for the staff. Not even bothering to rinse it out, he held it open while Lyna and Roderick picked the thing up and hung it over the jar. With a sudden pop sound, the creature was inside it and the lid closed. A blackish cloud moved around the jar staring at him. Eyes moved around the cloud, first being side by side then one under the other. It was sort of sickening, watching it, and he put a towel over it to hide it from his sight. Lewis put the jar and the creature that had meant to kill him on a shelf in the back of the restaurant. It would have killed him, too, if he hadn’t smelled something so vile that it made him ill. He wanted to ask someone what it meant, and he would, but right now, all he could think about was that he might well have been dead had it not been for the dragons. “She made me sick.” The words, not meant to be said just then, slipped from his mouth. He looked at the tiny dragons when they didn’t say anything. “When she was close enough to touch me, I could smell something…I think it was evil. I don’t know how that happened.” “Evilness is something that all creatures of magic, black magic, can smell. I have never heard of a dragon being able to smell such a thing, but you might have gained that ability from Raven.” Lewis pointed out that he’d not seen her yet. “No. But that doesn’t mean that she isn’t protecting you from afar, my lord.” She wasn’t even near him and she was already protecting his ass. How stupid would she think he was when she got here? he wondered. Feeling slightly put out, he told everyone that he was fine now and that they should go home. Lewis thought they’d seen enough of his failure for one day. When they were gone, none of them very happy with him, he thought, he sat down again.
“My lord?” He told Warrior that he wasn’t in the mood to talk right now. Yes, I can understand that, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. “Don’t I? I nearly got myself killed because I didn’t think before acting.” Warrior pointed out that he had called the dragons. “Yes, to save my ass. I’m not sure this is going to work with this woman, whoever she is. She’s blind and I’m stupid. Stupid enough to nearly get myself killed. What a pair we’re going to make, don’t you think?” When Warrior started to speak again, he told him he’d had enough for one day. Going out to his car after locking up, he sat there for several minutes, trying to wrap his mind around his life right now. He had a mate coming soon, probably on her way, and he was, in a way, just as blind as she was. Pulling into his drive and entering his house, he could see that the workers had gotten a lot done today. The walls were up in the dining room where he had enlarged it. The windows had arrived for the kitchen just yesterday and they had been put in, and some of the cabinets were already in place. He loved his home even though he was redoing a great deal of it, but he wondered what his mate would think when she got there. “Nothing, you moron, she can’t see it.” He was having himself a full out pity party, and hated himself for it. As he wandered around the house, looking at what had been accomplished, he kept going back to how the thing had tricked him. How easy it had been for it to do so. He wondered if Butler thought the same thing, that he was easily duped. “Yes, and why wouldn’t he? You’ve had it pointed out to you on several occasions that you’re laid back. I wonder now if they were all thinking that I’m a fool.” He didn’t really think that, he supposed, but his pity party wouldn’t be complete without him thinking the worst of his family, now would it? What is going on in your head? Lewis smiled when he heard the voice of his mother. I swear to you, Lewis, if I wasn’t in bed now and trying to read my new book, I’d come over there and give you a good pop to the head. What is the matter with you? I nearly got myself killed today. She said that he hadn’t, so that’s what he should be thinking about. Mom, we’re so close to having this end, and I nearly made it all have to start again. Lewis, you didn’t. You used your smarts and called for help. To me, that makes you the smartest man I know. Yes, you could have easily died. But you have to remember something son…you’re immortal. He hadn’t thought of that, and told her. Yes, well, how do you think you got to be so smart? Now, go to sleep and we’ll have breakfast together. You and me. I’m in the middle of a good part, and I’d like to finish this tonight. I love you, son. I love you too, Mom. And you are brilliant. She told him she knew that and to hush. Laughing, Lewis headed to his bed and closed his eyes. He was an immortal.