The next book in the best–selling Forever Evermore series as Caro goes where no spirit elemental has gone before...
When Philip Masterson sends Caro back in time, he doesn't expect to set off a series of events that will see her return stronger and more powerful than ever before. But her time spent with the Prodigies, Kings, and Elders in the nineties has long–reaching consequences that no one could have foreseen, consequences that increase tensions between the Mystical leadership when peace is needed.
Then Caro discovers something that changes the entire trajectory of her life, and finds herself torn: between the man she loves and the man who could mean everything, and the life that she's chosen and the life that she was born to lead.
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I squealed as I stared into striking navy blue eyes. Black — blackZ — fucking curls dangling in sexy disarray around his face. A very recognizable, gorgeous as hell face. Another damn face I had known in 2035, appearing almost identical really, to the man I had eaten breakfast with.
"Elder Merrick," I squeaked, squirming away from him as quickly as I could, even as he froze, the blanket hardly hanging over his bare hips. His enormous chest was muscled, stomach ripped, with a smattering of sexy black hair across his pecs. His massive biceps froze over his head as he stretched. I slapped a hand over my mouth to cut the squeal off, falling, then thumping down onto the floor next the bed. "I thought your hair was blue! I thought it was fucking blue in the club! Maybe green."
I panted, my heartbeat racing. Going to my hands and knees, quickly crawling on the standard beige carpeting, my eyes darting, searching for my clothes.
Slow words from the bed. "Blue or green?" He didn't question that I knew who he was, which was a no-brainer to anyone who paid attention to previous Rulers, especially ones who led fucking vicious wars. "Why would ...?" he trailed off. The sheet rustled, and it moved in my peripheral as I crawled quickly to the end of the bed. I grabbed the first shirt I found, not caring that it was not mine. I threw it over my head in a hurry, feeling his power, his Shifter power probing, testing me, the sandpaper feel rubbing over me roughly before disappearing. The shirt was damn enormous on me. When I stood, seeing him sitting frozen on the bed, face carefully blank, eyes hooded, at least I was covered. He stated very carefully, "I can't feel your power."
My lips thinned as cold, navy eyes intricately began scanning my face. "I really did think your hair was blue or green."
He flicked an absent finger, but the movement was jerky. "I know you're not lying." He waited a few beats, staring hard. "Your hair's black."
I inhaled heavily, glancing around the room for my stuff. "It's spelled." I picked up my pants from the floor, my own movements choppy. "I'm Elemental," I waved a shaky hand at him, quickly looking away when I saw his eyes flare in aggression, "and you, are so obviously not." I ran a shaky hand over my face, then bent picking up my panties and bra, trembling a bit, wondering if I was going to die right now from this man ... fuck, the man who had tasted and felt so fucking good from what I could remember of the previous evening.
Silence was precarious for a few beats before he practically bellowed, "Fucking hell!"
He tossed the blanket off himself, and I quickly averted my gaze, but it only landed on a red streak on the white sheet. Probably where we had landed last night after our bout. I saw from the corner of my eye his own gaze landing, and freezing, there.
I sucked in a harsh breath, and quickly bent, trying my best to ignore the fact that Elder Merrick — Elder-fucking-Merrickl — had taken my damn virginity, the evidence clearly visible. I grabbed my shirt and purse.
"Shower," I mumbled hastily, glancing around the room for a bathroom, knowing I needed to get his scent off me since I didn't remember him using a condom. A Shifter's sexual fluids leaving their animals — their own — scent behind. "I need to take a shower."
He broke from his frozen state, and his massively built frame bent. He started jamming his legs down into his own black pants, jabbing a finger behind me, his voice gruff. "Behind you."
I inhaled shakily, and turned to hurry into the bathroom, dropping his shirt outside the door once I had privacy. Quickly, but thoroughly, I used the hotel products, nothing of his personal items, to scrub my skin in a scalding hot shower.
My head hurt even worse, and the clothes I put on smelled of alcohol and smoke.
Finger combing my hair, I tried to calm myself. Putting my purse over my shoulder, I stepped back into the room barefoot, only needing to grab my socks and boots. I needed to get the hell out of here before he changed his mind, and decided to kill me, since he so obviously wasn't for mixed-faction relations, his reaction more than telling.
He was sitting on the edge of the bed, still only wearing his black wool expensive pants, elbows on his knees, running his hands through his spiral black curls, but cool, navy blue eyes peered up, trapping me. He inhaled heavily, staring for a few beats, again his gaze running over my face in an unhurried assessment. Tilting his head to the desk, he stated quietly, his voice a cool, deep rumble, "I wrote my number down for you. If you find yourself pregnant, call me immediately."
Biting my lip, I nodded, moving to the desk and putting the paper into my purse before grabbing my socks and boots off the floor. He stood, holding a hand out to stop me before peeking outside his bedroom door. He watched through the crack, motioning for me to come over. I stood next to him, waiting, hearing someone moving around out there, and absurdly, and completely inappropriately, through my shock and dazed state, I felt a tiny fire kindle low in my gut as warmth radiated off his body.
I stared at his tense, muscled frame while he peered out the door, his pants hanging sexily on his lean hips, his rippled abs flexing the barest bit as he pivoted silently, watching whoever it was outside the door move about. The thin black line of hair starting at his navel disappeared down into the depths of his pants, my thoughts reminding me just how damn enormous he had been inside me.
Inhaling sharply, I physically shook my head against the quiet onslaught of unfathomable sexual tension building inside me. With a soothing breath in, I glanced way the hell up when I didn't hear anyone out there anymore. My lips instantly thinned, seeing him staring down at me silently, his lids hooding his gaze.
Too late, he had gone completely still.
He could probably smell me, my arousal ... for him.
Gradually, a black brow quirked.
Blessedly, he didn't say anything.
After another moment, he opened the door wide for me.
I ducked under his arm — his bulging bicep — and glanced slowly about the room, a living room, listening closely, trying to ignore the heat probing my back. A quick assessment told me whoever had been out here, the friend he was sharing the suite with, was in what was probably a bedroom across the living room. I moved on silently trained feet, moving quickly through the room, but I paused when the noise got louder from the other room. I instantly twisted in a flurry, swiftly placing my back to a dividing wall between the front door and small kitchen area, able to hide my smaller frame when I heard the door start to crack open.
Elder Merrick's eyes quickly averted from me, where he leaned casually against his doorframe, arms crossed, even as he crossed one ankle over another.
"Oh, you're up!" And. I recognized that voice now that I knew the association. It was Elder Jacobs. Christ, could it get any damn worse? "Good, I was worried I was going to have to wake you. Check-outs in a half hour." Which meant it was 10.00. "And if you're wondering, since you disappeared last night after I asked you to stay, all four seemed to be getting along well. I think the Kings' mandates they spend the weekends together is paying off."
I kept my breathing shallow, not making a sound, realizing instantly he was talking about the Prodigies, and that Elder Jacobs had been spying on them last night.
"That's an improvement," Elder Merrick stated, his voice still gravelly, speaking calmly. If I hadn't been so drunk last night, and he hadn't been so drunk last night, slurring as he had been, I probably would have recognized his voice immediately.
I heard a thumping sound, like Elder Jacobs was tapping his doorframe, his voice slightly clipped. "Which, you would have seen for yourself, if you would have stayed."
Elder Merrick grunted. "You got me drunk."
"Which I thought would keep you around to help me watch them, but instead, you disappeared." A pause. "Your overnight guest is gone, isn't she?"
My lips thinned, and I saw Elder Merricks eyes narrow a bit. "You were spying on me, too?"
"No." A bored, but slightly humored tone. "Once I came back after seeing they were doing fine together ... well, it's not like these walls are made of steel." A pause. "Christ, she had a pair of lungs on her." As my cheeks flamed bright pink, he mumbled, "I guess I should be grateful it wasn't fucking animal sounds this time. I remember a particularly ... lovely ... woman, a cougar Shifter, that you were with that one time —"
He cut him off. "I don't need the reminder, thank you." Black brows rose. "Unless you want me to recap when you were with that one water Elemental a few years back."
"That's not necessary." His tone was disgusted. "Fuck, I didn't need that aide- mémoire. It's like it's scarred permanently in my mind, anyway." He made a huffing shaking sound, and Elder Merricks lips twitched. "At any rate, like I said, check-outs in a half hour."
It sounded like his door started to close, but it stopped abruptly, and sounding annoyed, he asked, "How much is torn up? It's my credit card on this room."
I had to remind myself to breathe shallowly as I recalled Queen Rucker's speech about Shifter-on-Shifter sex, and the dominance war that occurred between powerful Shifters.
Elder Merrick cleared his throat, and then shrugged a negligent shoulder. "The room's fine."
Baffled words. "A weak one, huh? You don't normally go after those." Another silence as my eyes closed, his voice turning utterly amused. "Don't tell me she was a bird or a rabbit?"
"Fuck off, Jacobs," Elder Merrick muttered, running a hand through his hair, making a shooing motion at him and lifting off his doorframe. "Go do whatever you have to so we can get out of here."
Jacobs laughed outright. "Well, I'll know by what we eat tonight."
Elder Merrick's middle finger flew as he grabbed the door handle.
More chuckling ensued, but I heard the door close, his mirth somewhat blocked.
Inhaling heavily, I tried not to freeze when navy eyes flashed directly on mine, his gaze dazing.
I averted my eyes and silently moved the last few feet, unlocking the door just as quietly and slipping outside.
After making it back to the penthouse, crossing paths with a Mage man who was leaving the room with major bedhead, I had Nelson — also with major bedhead-turn my hair and eyebrows back to neon red, and tried to calmly endure the ribbing I got from the Prodigies about my disappearing act last night — for all night long. I waved an absent hand at them, quickly grabbing my overnight bag, and to play it safe, took another shower and changed my clothes. But, they were still giving me hell, all in good fun, as we were checking out.
Fergus's arm was around my shoulder, amber eyes gleaming evilly. "Come on ... who was the lucky he?" His head tilted. "Or she?"
"Give it up already," I muttered, rubbing at my temple, jostling my bag and purse over my shoulder. "Unless you can remember the name of whomever you slept with last night?"
Lips instantly pursed. "Well ... hell."
"Exactly," I mumbled, punching Kincaid's arm lightly when he started chuckling quietly.
"We should probably leave her alone." Venclaire's smile was mischievous as we started walking outside. "After all, she does look well rested, and she has some color to her cheeks."
Instantly, an annoying blush flamed said cheeks.
All four blinked at me, and then Kincaid laughed outright, muttering, "I hope you got the person's number if it was that good."
Actually, I did have his number ... and yes, it was that good, but I waved a hand, stopping at the limo, my duffle being loaded into the trunk by the driver. "Shut it. All of you. I don't kiss and tell." My finger waggled at Nelson. "Unlike you, which, I seriously didn't need to hear those details."
He only grinned.
Fergus shook me a little before dropping his arm from around my shoulders, stating to them, "I got fifty says it was a fire Elemental."
"I'll take that, and go with earth Elemental."
"Well, I got water Elemental for fifty."
I blinked at them, and then waggled my finger. "I am not to be bet on. You keep that shit elsewhere." More waggling. "And besides, I'm not telling, so you all lost." All four of them kind of got this ... look ... in their eyes, and I knew they weren't going to let it go, the bet set. "Fine ... I," I licked my lips, thinking quickly, and then pointed at Venclaire, stating, "Blue. Navy blue. The most beautiful blue I've ever seen." They didn't need to know I was talking about his eyes.
Venclaire grinned when Kincaid cursed quietly, holding out his hand while each one placed cash in his hand, and the four of them started piling into the limo wearing various looks of disgruntlement while one still grinned. Sighing heavily, I cracked my neck, waiting a moment for the last to get in. Rolling my shoulders, trying to relieve my tension before I moved, I climbed in and sat fluidly with pretended ease. Venclaire was hooting about his victory, somehow managing to do so elegantly as I reached out, grabbing the door handle. I froze for a moment, my gaze caught on the entrance of the chic hotel not more than ten yards back, where two individuals leaned silently against the glass barrier next to the doorway.
Elder Jacobs and Elder Merrick, both standing casually but silently, one duffle a piece at their feet, well within hearing range of our conversation. Quietly eavesdropping, more than likely completely by coincidence, knowing they had been moving to check-out, who knows how long they had been snooping behind our group. Their gazes were anything but bored as they watched in their business casual attire, very reminiscent of 2035. I quickly averted my gaze from hooded, penetrating navy blue eyes to Elder Jacobs, and made a point of slowly letting my gaze rake down his body, letting the Elder Elemental believe that was why I had stalled at seeing them. I gave him a tiny, flirtatious smile before quickly shutting the door, seeing his own brows rise in a bit of interest at the last moment, not unlike when I had first met him in the future.
We were being followed.
I knew that for a fact. The small silver Mercedes sports car was staying a few car lengths back. When the limo pulled up to my apartment, I tried to feign tiredness as I downed the glass of orange juice I had been gifted by Nelson from the mini-fridge, but all the Prodigies bolted out of the limo with swift demands that I had food inside they had bought. And they were hungry. So, I got my bag out of the trunk, covertly glimpsing the silver sports car at the back of the parking lot with two occupants in it watching us, and then moved with the Prodigies who were already climbing the outside stairs. Kincaid, practically already at my door after jumping up to the second floor and over the wooden balcony to the walkway. I knew who was watching us, so I kept my movements fluid as I made my way up the stairs, fishing my keys out of my purse, letting them in like the pack of hungry beasts they currently were. The four of them stormed into my apartment, and made themselves cozy while I locked the door behind me.
Christ, now I had Elder Jacobs and Elder Merrick watching my place, both of them probably wondering who the hell I was for obviously various reasons, the woman they would find out had no background. But, there was nothing to be done about it, unless I wanted to pack my shit up and leave this town, which honestly, as I dumped my belongings in my bedroom and changed into a pair of gray cotton capris and a black tank top, I really didn't, since I had found ... companionship ... with the unruly bunch currently cooking or watching television in my front room. And so, I went with it, opening the patio door so they could eavesdrop if they wanted to, plus, the power was getting a bit stifling inside my small place. I then sat, ate a fine meal, and watched television with the group.
When the knock came late two days later, a half hour after the guys had left from their impromptu visit, I wasn't at all surprised. They'd had enough time to do a background check through the MIA database if they had done a little snooping in the leasing office to get my name from the copy of my driver's license I'd given while signing the lease. Dragging my hands from dishwater, I grabbed a towel off the sink, drying my hands as I peeked through the peephole.
Excerpted from "Chosen One"
Copyright © 2017 Scarlett Dawn.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Pty Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
**5 White Light, Pure Power, Stars** How did I forget to review this book! It's been that kind of month... Well, there is a lot to cover and I am not a spoiler-writing reviewer so I'll say this: WHOA! The 6th installment of the Forever Evermore series may just be one of my favorites. Caro finally fully comes into her own, her powers not only awakened but sharpened. We learn a little more about The One...and why she's called The Chosen! Oooh, and that is one of the best parts! Teleporting, time travel, and serious sexual tension...not to mention a secret love affair and some angst and jealousy like nobody's business. Dawn delivers yet another addition to a series that grows and evolves as the characters do that I just can't seem to get enough of. If ever I can get this series in paperback, they will be adorning my bookshelf because this series is truly one of the best I've read. I look forward to seeing where things head from here...and how Caro handles the job she's been given...or should I say, jobs?
To get the full impact of this book, it is recommended that this series be read in order. With that said, this book did not fail to deliver on any of the expectations I had by following this series. There are plot twists, suspense, romantic dilemmas, emotional angst, characters you both love and hate at the same time, as well as a definite inability to confidently imagine what the conclusion will look like. I can positively say I can’t even picture what the perfect HEA for this storyline would look like, because that would mean I could make a choice between certain characters. This book is perfection for mature readers.
As you can see, I am a huge fan of this series. It’s a go-to read for me when I just need a really incredible series to dig deep and stay there for a while…Forever Evermore hits that for me. Needless to say, I was a little excited when I was granted an ARC. I stayed up most of the night engrossed in the newest edition, CHOSEN ONE. Yes, it is just that good! The story starts back up right where it left off with Caro noticing the eye color of her not so anonymous bed partner…and oh, boy does it roll from there. CHOSEN ONE was everything I dreamed of and more but nothing like I expected! Take all your theories and pack them in the circular filing cabinet, because Dawn is going to blow you away. You'd think after re-reading this series more times than I counted, I would have figured out a thing or two...but nooooo, and still thrilled with the results. I can say this without giving away too much: a few characters that I loved showed their darker sides; I want more Tristan; what an ending; when the heck is #7 hitting the shelves! Okay, even with a lot of information granted to us about the elusive Spirit Elementals in this book, there is still A LOT we need to know. Book #7 can't come fast enough! Once again, Dawn made these characters jump off the pages and knocked us around a bit with some amazing emotional turmoil. There are lots of humor, happy, and witty antics that are perfectly accented with the heartbreaking and then it is highlighted with an entire realm of all the fuzzy emotions in between. I completely LOVED IT! Totally worth a sleepless night binge reading!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. OMG. This book. It’s captivating. Amazing. Perfect continuation of Caro’s story. I absolutely adore her! She’s a character you don’t want to cross. I think it’s funny some of these men think they can cross her. She might be young in comparison to others but she’s dang smart. Gah. I read this book in less than 6 hours total. It’s long but freakin amazing. I just can’t tell you that enough. Love love love this series and Scarlett Dawn has created this paranormal world so well. If you’ve not started the Forever Evermore series yet. You should get started. Now when does the next one come out?!?