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Erotic Romance Sensual Romance Silhouette Special Edition
Subtle Magic
Subtle Lovers, Book 1
Erotic Romance
Ellora's Cave
February 10, 2007
ISBN-13: 9781419958083
ISBN-10: 1419958089




Ellora's Cave
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Subtle Magic

Duse Ammadon has been without Skylar for over four hundred years and he’ll not wait another minute. His life mate is the first to be reincarnated since the depraved Watcher, Asmoday, killed his brother’s mate, forcing her into a sexual response, which robbed her of her magic essences. Now a whole world of criminal possibilities has opened to the once innocent race of Watchers. Because Duse knows Skylar could be the next target for Asmoday’s depravity, he doesn’t have the luxury of re-introducing Skylar to Watcher ways or for a slow, patient seduction. To set the protection spell, he has to make love to her immediately. If only she could remember him from one lifetime to another.

Skylar Halifax always knew she was different. She could see auras and manipulate subtle matter to promote healing. She sensed there was something unique about Duse, something beyond his god-in-man form and phenomenal good looks. Duse can’t waste any time convincing Skylar that he is different. So different, in fact, that he’s not even human.

Will Skylar accept Duse as her life mate or will Duse have to use other means to convince her that he is her destiny?

Read an Excerpt

“Duse? What is it? It’s not as if I’m a prisoner here,” Skylar scoffed. “Duse?” She prompted uneasily after a long pause.

“Of course not. Just tell me wherever you want to go, and either I or one of my men will take you. I’ll take you,” he amended, after a pause, trusting his Knights, but not liking the idea of someone else having the pleasure of her company when he wanted to be the one to bask in it.

“I don’t need anyone to take me anywhere! I’m not talking about going shopping on Michigan Avenue or running errands. I’m talking about going home. All of this is too much for me. I met a prime minister and the leaders of two European countries a little while ago, not to mention the owner of WorldSoft and a Nobel Prize winning physicist, all of who claim that they’re here for a party in my honor. Then, there’s you. You keep talking to me in my mind. I saw you teleport across a room. You took my clothes off of me and put them back on me somehow. And there’s a tattoo or something on my breast that will not come off.” Skylar paused, drawing in a ragged breath. Tears had begun to fall down her cheeks again, although she didn’t appear to be aware of them as she listed her grievances to Duse. “And then there’s just the small, relatively unimportant detail of me having sex with you in my potting room after knowing your name for all of two minutes. But hey, how important is that when other details of your day include being told that you’re in the presence of an alien race of super powerful beings?”

“I didn’t say we were aliens, Skylar. This planet is as much our home as it is for human beings.”

“Oh, great. I feel so much better then,” Skylar laughed humorlessly.

“I know it’s not easy to accept. And I’m sorry about the mark, Skylar, I really am. I needed to protect you. When we made love earlier, it activated the spell, and my sigil appeared on you. And you’re right. It’s never going to wash off,” he added with regret. Most women wouldn’t be too thrilled at the idea of having a permanent mark like that above their breast. For Duse’s part, however, seeing the elaborate markings of one of his personal signs on her had caused a primitive surge of satisfaction. It only enhanced her beauty for him.

Skylar stilled at being given some concrete information. “What do you mean a sigil?”

“That mark, the design of it is my sigil. To another Watcher, it connotes Duse Ammadon. Not Ammdusias Ammadon. That’s my shielded name, and has a different sigil.”

“What’s a shielded name?” Skylar asked, curious despite herself.

“Watchers utilize magic, Skylar. There is great power in the true name, and knowledge of it can be used against you. It is the same with personal markings, like the sigil. The spell utilized my known sign, because to put my secret sigil would have put you in danger, and that was what I was trying to protect you from.”

“You mean most of the men—Watchers, I mean—out there at the party don’t know your secret name or sigil?”

“Few do. We only reveal it to those we love the most dearly, and whom we know would never betray us. My brothers know my true name, and Che, and Dante.”

“But you told me your name was Ammdusias.”

He held her gaze and nodded.

Her eyes widened. She looked away, the emotional tumult within her spinning into higher gear.

“No. I’m not ready for this now. I want to leave, Duse,” she said shakily. She sensed his hesitation. Her eyes flew to his accusingly.

“I can’t let you go right now, Skylar. You can go wherever you want tomorrow. But tonight is the Ceremony. It’s expected that we be together tonight. It’s one of our traditions.”

“Well it’s not my tradition!” she blurted out as she lurched across the bed in order to escape Duse’s powerful presence. If she looked into his magnetic eyes a second longer, her willpower would vaporize. It frightened her to know the ease with which he could transform her into his willing slave. She yelped when he leaned forward and encircled her waist with his arm. She flopped back into her original position against the pillows.

“Let go of me!”

He immediately complied.

For a few seconds, she just watched him with huge eyes. Her heart squeezed in her chest even as her womb seemed to pulse inward, as if it had a will its own, as if it knew that it needed this impossibly beautiful male creature to fill her until the ache finally passed. “What exactly did you mean that it’s expected that we be together tonight?”

His face remained impassive, but she felt the hesitancy in him.

“We’re expected to make love here, while the others are present.”

This time she almost reached the far side of the bed before he caught the slender ankle that she was about to put on the floor. He held her shoulders down while she struggled in panic.

“Skylar, stop it. Please. It would help if you let me hold you. You’re feelings are chaotic. You’re confused. I’ll be able to help calm you, if you just let me in a little. My energy would sooth yours.” He inwardly cringed when he saw tears splash onto her cheeks. By the Gods, he didn’t know how to react to her when she was like this. Her behavior was unprecedented. It was all because of that damned spell, he knew it. He was pushing her too hard, too fast.

“I don’t want you to hold me. I want to get out of here!”

Duse clenched his teeth. He recalled that she was bruised already. He might be harming her more by holding her like this. Damn it all to Hades.

Her hands flew above her head. Her legs opened and stilled. He considered avoiding her disbelieving gaze as he let go of her, but he knew that would be cowardly. Her hips twisted uselessly.

“You’ve tied me up?” she cried out in rising shock and anger.

“I’m sorry,” he said woodenly. “You gave me no choice. I was going to worsen your bruising by holding you like that.”

Skylar struggled against what felt like a soft, silky material binding her wrists and ankles. He hadn’t ever moved. Good Lord, he’d just used magic on her again.

He raised his hand to try and sooth her but the look of undiluted fury in her eyes, when she glared at him sharply, made him stop. “Try to calm down, Skylar. I won’t let you struggle like this for long. You’re going to hurt yourself.”

“What do you care? she hissed between clenched teeth. She saw the way his eyes leapt with a white hot fire when she said that. It did her good to know that she could hurt him a little.

“I care, baby, and you know it,” he said starkly. He watched as she stilled under his stare. She bit her lower lip hard.

“What did you mean that we were expected to make love while the others are present? I won’t Duse. If you make me, it will be rape.”

He grimaced. He’d telepathically caught the brief image that flashed through her mind. “By the Fathers, Skylar, I didn’t mean that we were expected to make love directly in front of them. We’ll be in here, alone. It’s just that usually I’ll shield the room where we make love. During the Ceremony, though, it’s prohibited. You’re one of the most powerful women in existence, Skylar. The energy that you release when you climax is enormous. There is a small minority of us who claim that it’s unfair for mated Watchers to….”

“What?” Skylar asked pointedly, curiosity mingling with her alarm.

He sighed raggedly. “A small contingent of Watchers, led by a man who has since become a murderer, an outcast—Asmoday Tertulious—would have it that all Watchers should be allowed to benefit from the energy that women like you can confer.”

“That’s sick!” Skylar spit out. “I’m not even one hundred percent sure what you’re talking about, Duse, but it sounds like slavery. I wasn’t put here on earth to gratify a whole race of beings’ sexual needs, or yours, for that matter.”

“Damn it, Skylar. Haven’t you been listening to what I said? It’s about sex for us, yes, but it’s also about power, and life, and existence!”

“Whatever. I wasn’t put here on earth to be some kind of power generator for your race, either.”

His expression froze. “You’re judging us based on your own culture. You don’t understand our ways.”

Skylar gasped. “You agree with that man—Asmoday?”


She startled at the intensity of his response. Duse paused while he tried to get himself under control. Gods, had he really just been telling Eli and Dante not fifteen minutes ago that their mates likely recognized them in ways he had never before considered? If anything, Skylar was currently reacting to him like he was an utterly frightening stranger, and that was just as unprecedented as her immediate acceptance of him had been tonight.

And he did need to make love to her soon, while the others were here. It was Watcher law. “No, I don’t believe that. I know that what a Watcher and his mate do together is private. It’s theirs alone to cherish.”

“Then why would you allow them to come here tonight? Why do you go along with it?”
Duse sighed. Now wasn’t the time to tell her that he had doubts about the Ceremony as well, that he’d been one of the most verbal members of their race to argue against Asmoday’s contingent as well as for the banning of the Ceremony. He’d been successful in the first case, but he hadn’t been able to convince Bale and Che in the second. At least if all went well with Skylar, he’d never have to endure another Ceremony again.

Not that he had a right to consider that when he had her currently tied up on the bed and her usually gentle eyes threw fire at him.

“It’s Watcher Law, Skylar. It’s what the majority of my people believe is right. They don’t see it in the same way that you do, baby. It’s sacred to them. You’re sacred to them. Most of the Watchers out there would give their life for you without a second thought.”

Skylar bit her lip over her next outraged reply when she looked into his eyes. He seemed to be entreating her to understand.

“You didn’t seem to mind my making love to you earlier. If you just relax, I’ll make it good for you. I promise.”

Skylar’s eyes widened with disbelief. She’d come this close to giving in to him as she’d listened to his rough, seductive voice and images of their earlier lovemaking sprang to her mind. Then she recalled all of those gorgeous men out there. Pure panic rose in her.

“No! I won’t willingly be the whore for your party, Duse Ammadon. Now are you going to let me go, or are you going to force me?” Her eyes blazed up at him. If there was one thing that she believed with all of her heart, it was that Duse would never force her to have sex with him.

“You’re right,” he muttered between clenched jaws. “I will never force you. Tonight, I won’t have to either. I was thrilled that I didn’t have to resort to psychokinetically stimulating your brain at first contact, but if I have to for the Ceremony, so be it,” he said starkly.

Read the Reviews

“Hard to put down”
Five Hearts The Romance Studio

“Beth Kery has woven a story that is so deftly designed that the plot threads blend expertly”
Just Erotic Romance Reviews

If you liked Subtle Magic, you may also enjoy:
Subtle Touch, Subtle Destiny, or Velvet Cataclysm

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