Spellbound with Sly
Middlemarch Capture, Book 4
A princess with a nefarious plan abducts him from his home…
Feline shapeshifter Sly Mitchell is an unwilling participant in his family’s fantasy capture business. His preference—to work the land as he did on Earth. But familial loyalty runs strong. An unusual meeting with a beautiful mystery woman makes his attitude more accepting. Captivating and alluring, the woman makes Sly break every one of his rules to steal a kiss. Finally, a woman he’d love to capture and keep.
Victim of a curse, Cinnabar is fated to spend most of her life as an owl. A spy and reluctant accomplice for Princess Iseabal of the Seelie folk, Cinnabar’s mission is to watch the man the princess intends to steal as her husband. But Sly doesn’t deserve his fate. His kiss steals Cinnabar’s heart, yet she’s stuck in the middle of an impossible situation.
A handy spell sucks Sly into court life at Seelie. Drugged and unable to remember his family, he’s suspicious and wary, yet the beautiful woman in the white, wine-stained gown lessens his unease. The attraction between them sizzles with dangerous erotic tension. Tantalizing kisses turn into more, but they have no future, not with the selfish princess holding the reins. The princess has her goals, and nothing less than a power grab will do. Woe betide anyone who stands in her way.
Warning: Contains an intelligent farmer with callused hands, a shy lady-in-waiting who wears feathers with aplomb, friendship and steamy love, and an evil witch of a princess who wants everything her way. She’s not above stacking the odds in her favor, so let’s see how these cursed lovers jolt a kingdom in their quest for happy-ever-after.
Other Books in the Middlemarch Capture series
Read an Excerpt
Sly Mitchell reached the brow of the rolling hill half a step ahead of his brother Joe and halted, scarcely out of breath. Instead of green trees and the sunbaked paddocks of Middlemarch on Earth, the tropical pink and green foliage of Ione Island on the planet of Tiraq spread out before them.
Their reality—a new Middlemarch far from Earth.
From their viewpoint, a ribbon of water glinted as it wound between the mass of trees and exited to widen into a swimming hole.
Closer, their grapevines, brought from Earth, stood in soldier-straight lines. Healthy green leaves showed they thrived. He and Joe had nursed them from cuttings and pride filled him at the accomplishment, considering grapes shouldn’t flourish in this tropical climate.
“Feel like a swim?” As Sly glanced to his right, he grinned at the satisfaction radiating from his brother, an echo of his own pride, and not surprising, given they were identical twins. They’d worked hard to establish these and other crops and nurture the cuttings brought from Earth. Now, it was time to purchase animals. Unfortunately, Saber—their oldest brother and leader of their people—had informed them they lacked funds for livestock. Every penny needed to go to their capture resort. That was their priority.
“Last one in is a rotten egg.” Joe took off with a celebratory whoop, sprinting down the hill at breakneck speed.
Sly hurtled after his twin, running flat out, his delight resounding and scaring a flock of colorful crimson-and-green birds from their perch in a copse of trees with black trunks and hot-pink foliage.
They hit the grassy bank of the swimming hole, each flinging off footwear and clothes. He and Joe splashed into the cool water together, too close to call the winner.
Sly dived beneath the surface and came up grinning, his hair plastered to his skull. He floated on the surface, relishing the freshness of the water after the sweaty toiling on their budding farm. The grassy bank reminded him of his and Joe’s bedroom during their teenage years, with the explosion of colorful clothes and footwear.
Joe popped his head up from the water beside Sly, his green eyes and knitted brow communicating his frustration.
“What are we going to do?”
Sly didn’t dissemble, knowing his brother’s mind. “Saber won’t change his position. He needs to keep upgrading the resort. I get that, but it won’t make our farming operation more viable.”
“I asked him again,” Joe said. “After you stomped off.”
Sly groaned. “You didn’t. Did he shout?”
“He went iceman. You know how his voice goes quiet and low and his eyes narrow. By the time he’d finished telling me about resort repairs, new capture attractions, and the money for building houses in the village because our people deserve a few luxuries after they’d uprooted their families to come here, I felt like a worm. Lower than low.”
“But we’re growing food and contributing to the kitchen.” Sly stood on the gravel bottom and grimaced. He hadn’t wanted to leave Earth. Joe hadn’t either, but they’d departed with their family and friends because of the feline virus that had decimated the shapeshifter population in New Zealand.
“Not enough. Saber said if we discovered another way to earn money, he might reconsider.”
“Huh!” Sly snorted. “It’s not as if we have time when we have to romance the guests.”
“At least Saber isn’t forcing us to take part in the captures now.” Joe pulled a face. “That’s something.”
“Yeah. The dancing is bad enough.” An identical expression to Joe’s dug into Sly’s features and tightened his facial muscles. “I’ve got a big bruise on my arse where that group of green women kept pinching me. I forget where they come from, but damn, they’re intense. Did you see their teeth? Only a madman would put his dick near them.”
“You should’ve shifted and shown them your teeth,” Joe said.
“I considered it, then thought about Saber’s reaction. And Ma’s reaction. That knocked sense into me. I removed the hands and asked someone else to dance.”
Joe laughed, an abrupt bark of irony. “You seen anyone interesting in the latest arrivals at the resort?”
“Nope. Can’t remember the last time I had excellent sex,” Sly said.
“I can. On Earth with Melissa.”
Crap. “Hell, Joe. I know you liked her. Bloody virus screwed up everything.”
Joe squared his shoulders, lifting his chin as he unburdened himself. “I was certain Melissa was my mate.”
Distract. “Jodie Campbell wants you.”
“She has kids.” Joe held up his hand before Sly responded. “Hell, that’s not a bad thing. I don’t mean it that way.
It’s just…I want what Saber, Felix and Leo have. They’ve found strong mates who help them, challenge them, stand at their sides. I refuse to settle for second best with Jodie.”
“I get it. I—” Sly broke off, the hair at the back of his neck prickling. “Someone or something is watching us.”
Joe continued to splash lazily, but he’d come to attention. “Yeah. I sense it too. Is it one of those big-arse birds?”
Sly scanned the sky and the fluffy pale pink clouds. Clear of giant raptors. “Nah, the smaller birds and animals would’ve warned us. Besides, we haven’t had a sighting for a while.”
“Better not be Jodie and her friends trying to ogle my naked arse.” Joe scowled as he studied their surroundings.
“If I catch them, I’ll spank backsides. And it won’t be pleasurable for them. Still can’t see anything. You?”
Unease rippled through Sly. “You still sense it though?”
“Yeah, something’s out there. I hope it’s not a new neighbor, or worse, a predator. Saber reckoned there wasn’t anything else dangerous out here on the island. Casey agreed.”
Casey was Felix’s mate, and she’d traveled for her military job before settling down with their brother. During her service, she’d amassed info on alien races and their habits.
“We should get back to the resort, anyway,” Sly said. “There’s a new batch of women arriving.”
“Don’t remind me.” Joe perused the trees and vineyards one final time before wading from the pool.
Sly followed and dressed rapidly, despite the water on his skin. He’d dry. As they strode up the hill toward the resort, the sense of someone spying persisted, and he made a mental note to report it to Felix and Saber.
* * * * *
Princess Iseabal MacAsgain of Seelie watched the men frolic in the water, intrigued by two things. One, they were twins. Identical twins, which made them like her and her twin sister, Katrina. And two, they made her breath catch in a way no other man of her acquaintance had since Trevelyan. Their striking physiques and playful manner grabbed attention. At this moment—hers.
She cocked her head and owned the smile pushing for display. Her lips curved until her cheeks ached, ambition sparking to fiery life.
This—one of these twins—presented the solution to her problem.
She’d make her ailing father happy and secure her position at court. The first steps to full power.
She studied the men. Black-haired and sound of limb. Too far away to view clearly, yet their laughter deepened her exceptional mood.
“Ooh, Cinnabar,” she gushed to the russet-colored owl perched on a nearby rock. “One of them will make a fine husband. The one on the left, I think. The other seems quieter. Unhappy.” She nodded decisively. “I will take the one on the left. A husband will strengthen my position. Go closer and listen to them.” She wiggled in a gleeful, happy dance. Power and the crown.
Before Cinnabar took to the air, the two men waded from the pool.
“Huh!” Iseabal muttered, disappointment a sharp stab in her chest. “I wish I was closer. Follow them, Cinnabar. I want a report. Who are they? Their names. Is there a woman in my way? Any information to help make a marriage happen.”
The owl observed her with big blue eyes. They always appeared faintly accusing, but Iseabal sniffed and shrugged off the smidge of remorse that zapped her like a magical spell.
“Don’t return until you have the knowledge I seek,” Iseabal ordered as the owl rose into the air and sped after the delightful twins.
She scrutinized the two men until they’d disappeared, with Cinnabar following on the wing.
“Mystery man, you will be mine,” Iseabal whispered as she retraced her steps to the secret entrance to Seelie. Trevelyan could stick his proposals and kisses. “You will be my husband and my path to power.”
Read the Reviews
“This fast plot if full of thrilling suspense and readers can’t help but become caught up in all the intrigue that takes place during this exciting visit to the Seelie court. Princes, Princesses and power hungry fae abound throughout the story and readers delight in all the clever fun and suspenseful story as witty dialogue ensures and amusing situations adds a quite a few chuckles among the very serious business of Sly being kidnapped from home and being kept from his mate. This enjoyable story has a few surprising twists that keep readers on their toes and an ingenious and magical solution for the power hungry princess that readers can’t help but be delighted by.”
~Stormy Vixen Book Reviews