✅Fierce Lady Friendships
✅Cinnamon Roll Alphas
✅Good Witches, Bad Magic
Driven by a lust for powerful blood, the first LeFey plunged the Four Houses of Magic into a century of conflict. Survivors of the Great War, desperate to repair their tattered worlds, signed a treaty banning any contact between the Houses of fae, werewolf, vampire and witch. And for over a thousand years that treaty has held strong...
Haunted by the dark talents she once embraced, Rose LeFey is determined to confront her manipulative aunt and prove she’s finished with blood magic. Instead, she finds a basement full of prisoners and a false-mate bond with an insanely attractive, and utterly forbidden, werewolf.
As lust tears into her hard-earned self-control, Rose realizes the werewolf was bait. Her aunt wants to unleash war on the magical Houses and humans alike—with Rose at her side. To stop that from happening, Rose must deny both her own deadly powers and the temptation to turn the false mate-bond real.
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An Inheritance of Curses (The Four Houses) by Dee J Holmes
CAUGHT BETWEEN THE SQUAT WOODEN building and the searing August sun blaring through her windshield, Rose LeFey pressed her hands to her eyes.
The scars crisscrossing her palms filled her vision, forming faint lines against the bright pink of her sunlit flesh. Most of the marks were no more than faded ridges, the lines barely a shade lighter than the rest of her skin—except for the one crossing her left palm. That line still had the defined, darker edges of a more recent wound. But even that mark lied, its ruddy streak a pale mockery of the real damage she’d wrought with its making.
That hurt ain’t gonna heal anytime soon.
She jerked her hands away from her eyes. Letting out a shuddering breath, she laid her forehead on her steering wheel.
It’s just a little spell, she’d said. Just need a little blood. Famous LeFey last words—and the exact moment her so-called plan went catastrophically cattywampus. One blood spell? She snorted. If sense was leather she couldn’t saddle a flea. It was never going to be just one spell, not for her.
Bing. Her phone buzzed within her purse.
Flinching at the insistent tone, she peeked between her fingers at the yellow satchel on her lap. How in the heck did a simple metallic beep manage to convey such disapproval? But it did. She didn’t need to look at her phone to know who was messaging—her grandmother, no doubt with last-minute instructions.
She dug her phone out of her bag, scrolled through her messages.
Sure enough, four text messages blinked up at her: three from her grandmother, one from her friend.
Swallowing back the lump in her throat, she clicked through them.
Grand-maman: Rose. Remember. I am trusting you to carry out this check-in. It is a simple task. And for God’s sake, don’t involve the locals.
No worries there. Rose hadn’t seen a single local since rolling through town. They were probably all in church, just like her Grand-maman—though Rose hoped they weren’t all texting. For all her grandmother stood as a pillar of Louisiana witch society, she had a terrible habit for checking her phone during Sunday service, messaging while their priest gave thanks to the elements or lectured on the magical deeds of Saint Merlin. Whereas Rose had simply sat beside her in the front pew, worrying that the white-painted eyes on the statue of their magical savior was judging her.
Grand-maman: Remember, this must be handled with the utmost discretion. No scenes.
Rose scoffed. Her grandmother’s conviction to the contrary, the last thing Rose wanted was more trouble. Risk a public hissy fit? Not a chance.
Heck, she wasn’t even risking a personal hissy fit.
She’d more than added that scar to her palm when she’d cast that stupid spell—she’d gone and taken a knife to her oldest, dearest friendship. Because when everything went belly-up, she’d begged for help. And Julian, her law-abiding friend, had compromised his iron-clad principles to bail her out. Now she was fixing to make amends.
Stage one: drive from New Orleans to the tiny Western Washington town of Pinemount and take her family drama on the chin.
As far as plans went, it was kind of a mess. But it’s what she had.
Julian: Looking forward to your visit. We’ll see your aunt tomorrow.
Tomorrow she and Julian would be doing a lot of things, but Rose was damned sure it wouldn’t include visiting her aunt. Coming to Pinemount might have been the stupidest of stupid plans, but she owed it to Julian. Nine months ago he’d literally saved her from herself, not to mention the object of her magical affections. And three weeks ago, he’d done it again—he’d gone and signed the betrothal contract drafted by their families.
He’d done all that, and she hadn’t even gotten out of the dang car yet.
Rose gave herself a shake. Quit being a chicken-chanting ninny.
She had a fiancé and a way out of her grandmother’s house. Time to prove that she wasn’t an impressionable teenager, tempted by secret journals and forbidden spells—or a love-struck moron, letting lust derail six years of hard work.
Sure, lying to her new fiancé about her arrival wasn’t the best way to start that betrothal, but it’s the only plan she had.
Needs must. Lifting her chin, she looked in the truck’s rearview mirror, cringed, and quickly finger-combed her hair into some semblance of order.
The white streak running from the peak of her forehead flashed in the sunlight, like a pale serpent coiled in copper grass. She glared at it. The mark of a LeFey witch, and a damn warning—she couldn’t trust her powers. Or herself. Not yet. But if she could face her aunt—alone, without Grand-maman to shield her or Julian to clean up her mess—with nothing standing between her and the past she had to put behind her? Then she’d finally be ready to begin a respectable life with a decent witch.
Assuming she got through the next five minutes without setting the shop on fire.
Bing. She looked down at her phone.
Grand-maman: Don’t forget. LeFeys look after their own.
“More like sweep their own problems under the rug before the neighbors can see. Argh.” With a disgusted huff, Rose tossed her phone onto the passenger seat. So many dang lies, in an itty bitty metal package. Her so-called important family mission wasn’t nothin’ more than a puffed up PR exercise. “LeFeys look after their own, huh, Grand-maman?” she grumbled. “Doesn’t mean I’m the LeFey to do it.”
Which was nonsense—there were only three LeFeys left.
She pushed out of the vehicle, slamming the door behind her. Gravel crunched under her boots, sending plumes of dust swirling around her ankles. A crisp, mountain-edged breeze brushed her cheek and, despite the sun blazing overhead, she shivered.
Bracing herself against the vehicle’s side, Rose drew in a calming breath.
The long strands of her beaded belt—a witch’s casting arsenal—rapped against the side of her car. It should have made her feel prepared for anything. But it didn’t. Not even an army of trained battle mages could have done that.