Magic in the Storm

Adriana Hayden paints with a tumultuous passion that her guardian considers unseemly in a proper Regency miss.  But when she meets the most handsome, fascinating man she’s ever encountered, the emotions she had only expressed through her art spill over into real life. And when he then unexpectedly joins her in London at the height of the season, puts her life in danger and starts telling her fantastical stories of magical people, she doesn’t know what to think. But she does know that she wants to do everything she can to help him.

Morgan Valentine should have been the most powerful Vallen in England. Instead, he was thrown out of the family’s house when he was a teenager and imprisoned in the forest on their estate. Determined to hone magical powers that should be his, he is only able to shatter his bonds when a beautiful woman appears – to steal his heart and to give him the strength to escape to London.

From a deep forest of magic to the glittering ballrooms of Regency society, will Morgan and Adriana be able to join forces and attain their deepest desires… before time runs out?

Adriana turned off the path and picked her way through the wood toward the sounds.  There was a clearing not too far ahead, but Adriana was stopped by the sound of a voice — a man’s voice. More carefully and quietly now, she made her way to the edge of the clearing and peeked out from the trees.

Adriana’s breath caught as she watched a dark head emerge from under the water.

It was him!  He hadn’t been a dream or her imagination. He was real!

Morgan flipped his long black hair back out of his face, sending a spray of water flying toward Adriana. As he did so, he turned around to face her and she very nearly took a step forward to let him know that she was there. Her hand was half-way raised, her foot in mid-air about to step out from the trees when she noticed that he wasn’t wearing anything – at all.

Adriana stopped and caught her balance on a tree. How embarrassing!

She couldn’t allow Morgan to see she was there, not when he… she could feel her face heat and was sure she was blushing furiously.

She resolutely tried to keep her eyes on his face, but they disobediently darted down his exposed body. Strong muscles defined his bare shoulders and chest. Below that Adriana couldn’t see anything because of the water, and she was extremely grateful. She had never seen a naked man before, and was certain that she never should – at least not until after she was married.

In her mind, Henrietta’s stern voice told her in no uncertain terms she was to leave immediately. Adriana knew the voice was right – she shouldn’t be here at all. She started to turn away, but Morgan gave another bright shout of laughter. She looked over at him playing in the water and knew she just couldn’t go.

The thought of leaving without drawing even one little sketch of Morgan and the river was unthinkable. Surely it was all right from an artistic point of view.  Men painted naked women, so why couldn’t she draw a naked man?

No, neither Henrietta’s voice in the back of her head, nor the threat of being caught in so compromising a position could force her to leave. She would stay, but only for a very short time. Just long enough to do one quick sketch, she told herself sternly.

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