Fairy tales do come true, whether you like it or not. Reclusive artist Annabelle Browder is well aware she has mixed blood. Non-human blood. Her family barely survived the last encounter with them.
Assured that no further contact is possible, she chooses a beautiful Norse/Celtic jewel from the stolen treasure trove of her Irish ancestor.
But as soon as the pendant settles against her breasts, the games begin anew. First chanting only she can hear. Then intense visions of a dark angry warrior who hijacks her art, her life and her heart. Then her kinsman is kidnapped.
This time the Fae will not be denied. To protect her family and regain her life, she must discover what happened to the Fae king’s heir, missing for a millennium. Aided only by a ditsy pixie, she must search the UK for him, one step ahead of pale assassins.
“Do you still like what you see? Shall I turn?” He stretched out his arms at his sides and turned slowly so she could ogle the backside of him. And against her will, ogle his backside she did. From his broad muscled shoulders to his strong straight heels and back up. Well, half-way. Funny, she’d always pictured fairies with flat butts, flat muscles, narrow shoulders, willowy and stringy like underfed marathon runners. Elongated, like an El Greco figure. But his form was muscular, solid and his half-way up anything but flat. Pattable, even. She swallowed and noticed she no longer had a dry throat.
Keep eyes on face. Keep eyes on face. “And I’ve been painting your likeness for months. Can’t manage to do anything else. Oh, and about that. How are you doing that? Making me paint your portrait? I know you are…” What she wouldn’t do for a stiff case of laryngitis and maybe temporary myopia so she could stop gawking. Hah. In her present condition, she’d probably resort to Braille.
Hettie’s dilapidated inheritance comes complete with a spiteful leprechaun who imprisons her and demands she find his master’s purloined treasure. But if she succeeds, she risks becoming the slave of the Fae. Her only hope lies with the surly but delectable Irish professor who draws her in with one hand as he pushes her away with the other.
Luck of the Irish. First his woman cheats, then he loses his position because of his papers on the Fae. Cynical and angry, Prof. Declan Kelly agrees to search for supposed Fae artifacts in America. Instead he finds a pretty, innocent little red-head with an imaginary friend. Or so he thinks until he comes face to face with the arrogant Fae, Riordan. Now Declan must choose. Will he surrender the magic-laden treasure to protect and keep what he has found with Hettie, or betray her to secure his own future?
I blinked to clear away the red haze flooding my vision. It didn’t help. So I abandoned dignity, whipped around and got up in his arrogant grill. “How do you do,” I seethed.” My name is Hettie Lynch, as in Hettie-hang-people-without-benefit-of-trial.”
I don’t know what I expected him to do. Back up, I suppose. Faced with a wild-eyed redhead most people would. But no, with a triumphant twinkle in his eye, no doubt because I took the bait, he leaned down and closed the three inch gap between our noses. He smelled faintly of spice and masculinity. My head began to spin. What had I been angry about?
He smiled evilly.
Now I needed to back up. Badly. But damned if I would. So I nudged my nose against his and glared back at him, eyeball to eyeball.
I was holding my own until a lion-like purr rumbled out of his chest, “How do you do? I’m Professor Declan Kelly, nut inspector.” Then he did it. Oh, yes he did. He leaned back and canted his head just enough to slowly run his gaze over me from Keds to braids and down again. Then the corner of his pretty mouth twisted in dismissal. “Some local type of pecan, I imagine. Still too green though.”