Book One from the Shadowling Therian series.
Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie, summon seal across
the ocean, summon man from beast—liquid keys to break the curse. Freed
one night every seven years, Ronin is doomed to repeat that cycle into
eternity. Unless he can find a woman powerful enough to resist a
selkie’s irresistible pheromones and sex magick.
Maille believes she lost reality between Maine and New Mexico. Between
where she is now and where she should be. She believes in facts, not
magick. But facts can’t explain how she wound up naked on a beach with
the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Or how she knows in her bones
that losing herself in the passion Ronin offers is a path to disaster.
It’s going to be a long, hot, wet night. Caught between sex magick and a
sexy selkie, disaster is inevitable for Maille. To break the
enchantment she has to rely on the oldest magick of all—the power of
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A piercing cry rose above the thunder of surf. Human? A seal could sound
so human it was hard to tell the difference. Whichever, Maille
recognized it as a wail of mortal distress. She couldn’t say how she
understood that, no more than she could say how she wound up on the
beach. One fact she was certain of—she couldn’t ignore it.
Without thought for consequences she plunged into the surf, diving under swells, power-stroking through roiling water.
Once past the breakers Maille paused, treading water as she turned in
circles, searching in the inky swells for the curve of a human head.
Impossible with the waves breaking moonlight into sequined facets and
the rise and fall of swells tall as houses. She’d never find him. She
needed him to cry out once more.
“Come on. Give me a hint.”
An irregular shape, not seal-like or wavelike, caught her attention. As
she paddled closer, she made out a man waving, heard his hoarse cry
before his head disappeared below a wave. He resurfaced choking.
She dove under the water, swimming straight for where she’d seen him
last. She resurfaced as he went under again, but she was close enough
now to reach his long hair, swirling like dark kelp in the water. She
grabbed a handful.
It was surprisingly easy to pull him along, as if he had managed to
overcome his instinctive terror and submit to her rescue. He might not
have been so submissive had he realized, as she did now, that they
weren’t making progress.
Maille fought down a sudden kick of panic in her chest, struggling to
swim parallel to the shore, caught by swells that tossed them
dangerously close to jagged rocks. She had to concentrate her energy on
swimming north until they were beyond the rip where she was free to swim
When her feet finally found ground, a wave slammed her, flinging them
both onto the sand. Depositing them in a tangle of limbs. Maille on top.
A small wave washed over them, and the sensation was that of a liquid
blanket settling around her shoulders and then melting away. Panting,
draped over his body, Maille was too spent to lift her head from a
pillow of seaweed.
Another wave swept up, warm liquid fingers caressing her thighs.
She needed to move him higher up the beach, away from the rising tide,
see to his needs. With a groan she pushed up to hands and knees, still
straddling his body.
Damn! She’d hauled in one hell of a wet dream. Jet-black hair fanned out
on the sand. His body lean, long and lusciously muscled. She started to
lick her lips, caught herself, and forced her tongue back in her mouth.
She was supposed to be saving his life, not jumping his bones.
Something was wrong. That realization drowned attraction in a wave of adrenaline.
His chest didn’t seem to be moving. Her breath caught and her heartbeat
kicked up to double time. Maille thought there’d been a slight rise and
fall of his chest beneath her breasts when they’d first washed ashore.
His lips looked blue. But when she put her ear to his chest, the beat of
his heart was strong and quick.
She scraped her mind for facts.
Fact—a heart could beat for several minutes after breathing stopped.
Would his lips still be blue?
Fact—in the moonlight everything looked blue.
Fact—his eyelids were at half-mast, and there was a barely perceptible
gleam aimed at her. He probably didn’t need to be resuscitated.
Fact—she could discover the state of his respiration in other ways than
this slow descent of her head and the pressing of lips to his. He tasted
like sin and secrets.
His lips were warm and firm under hers, and they parted in a humid
mingling of breath. Goddess, he smelled wonderful. She inhaled the scent
of male and mystery laced with magick. Worries over what was real, what
wasn’t, where she was, trickled away like so many grains of sand.
Fuck a bunch of facts.