Rose Morgeaux is a healer, not a killer, so training to fight is the last thing she wants to do. And if going against everything she believes in isn’t bad enough, she has to do it with the eyes of the dark and handsome Callahan McCray on her back.
Cal’s seen the work of Warlocks firsthand when one killed his brother a year ago, so Rose’s hybrid heritage is all the reason he needs to stay away. Teaching her to throw a knife was not on his agenda, but neither was falling for her.
When Rose begins to pay a heavy price for her passions, Cal’s love must be enough to save her from herself and keep her from following in her grandfather’s dark footsteps.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Vieux Carre Witch Sister Novel
By Dawn Chartier, Suzanne Evans
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Dawn Chartier
All rights reserved.
Rose was disobeying the Paladins' orders again.
She eased the tiny kitten into her gym bag. If they found out, she would be in big trouble — but she couldn't just leave the poor thing on the side of the road.
She took a deep breath. Rescuing animals was much more fulfilling, not to mention easier, than training with the Paladins, rule-breaking or not. She just didn't have time to drop the poor baby at home.
Before she entered the main room of the gym, she slipped into an empty office and placed the bag on a chair.
"Okay, little bit," she whispered in a babying tone. "You must keep quiet. The last time I brought a kitten inside I got into serious trouble, and I promised not to do it again."
The kitten rolled over, purring.
"Good girl. I'll check on you in a few minutes. I won't be long." She left the bag unzipped for air, but not enough for her to escape. Once training was over, she'd swing by her friend's no-kill shelter and drop her off. Another furry life saved. Rose smiled, satisfied, and closed the door behind her.
Everyone was already there — even a new guy she didn't recognize from before. She tensed at their stares. She was late.
Her eyes darted around the room, avoiding their gazes, and she caught sight of the only one not looking at her: Callahan, the one Paladin she'd been avoiding training with. He stood to the side, talking low into his cell phone.
She clutched her calming stone in her hand and rubbed it. Something about him worried her. Maybe it was the skepticism that rolled off him in waves that made her uncomfortable. He usually ignored her, which was fine with her, but he looked up and his gaze caught hers in a contemptuous glare.
Blow it off. He's just pissed he has to train hybrids.
She looked away and fiddled with a snag on her flowery leggings.
She didn't have to see his eyes to know they were still glued on her. She rubbed the smooth stone faster. This is ridiculous. Learn how to protect yourself and other Witches, and get this done with.
Rose forced her gaze to meet the sneer covering Callahan's lips. She didn't blame him for being reluctant to train hybrids, such as herself, but if everyone else could suck it up, so could he.
Once the stares had faded, she turned, surprised to notice Josh and Brye. Josh crouched, showing her sister some kind of attack move. Why was he here? He didn't have any magic. He was only human.
Only human. She scratched her neck. The thought felt strange. Like this was all still a nightmare or a movie she'd suddenly been dumped into. She shook her head. After all, she thought she was "only human" not so long ago.
Had even six months passed since she and her sisters discovered what they were? If only her mother hadn't hidden their secret and their powers, maybe things would be different. It seemed like yesterday. There was still so much to learn.
"This is a surprise," she said to Josh, eyeing Brye cautiously. Her sister's moods were hard to determine lately, though she looked perfectly happy to be here now. Not long ago, the dark side slipped out of Brye, and she didn't want to upset her and be the reason it showed up again. Having Warlock blood mixed with Witch and human blood made them unique, dangerous, and mysterious to everyone, including themselves. She pushed away the thought. It wasn't Brye's fault. At least she hadn't killed anyone.
Shifting was a risk for all of them, Rose included.
"After getting my ass kicked by Lar and his clan, I figured, what better way to learn how to protect myself and my fiancée?" Josh crushed his empty bottle of water and Brye snatched it from him, giving him an annoyed look.
"Good idea." Her heartbeat hitched.
Brye slid closer to her and whispered, "They have a new Paladin."
Rose couldn't help glancing at her sister's cheek, so recently marred by the Warlock's acid. It amazed her how well the plastic surgery hid the scar — at least on the surface. Brye still had plenty of healing left to do inside. She wanted to ask how Brye was doing, but it would have to wait until they were alone. Being kidnapped, tortured, and scarred by their so-called great uncle who led the Vulture shape-shifting clan triggered Brye's dormant Warlock trait. Of course, he had no idea who Brye was at the time — not that it mattered to him.
Lar thought Brye had the clan's spells, the ones her grandmother had stolen from them long ago, and he'd wanted them back, wanted her help releasing them — and his brother — from their grandmother's painting. Rose shivered. Thank God Lar was locked away.
It couldn't be easy for Brye, knowing what was lurking just beneath the surface.
She swallowed. It was in her blood, too. Don't go down that road.
Before Brye caught her observing, she quickly turned, spotting the new Paladin talking to Callahan. "He looks familiar."
"Nate introduced him as Echo."
Echo fit. Dark hair and lots of tattoos. "He looks like trouble," Rose said.
"A badass probably, though kinda hot if you like that sort of guy," Brye added, smirking at Josh.
"Good for me that you like the intellectual nerd type." Josh pushed up his glasses and smiled back.
"He looks like a man Dusti would fall for." Rose grabbed a bottle of water from the table and took a huge swallow.
"Group up," Nate yelled.
The water didn't do any good for her nerves, but it did moisten her suddenly dry throat. She stepped to the center of the room, wary of the new Paladin. Now she had two of them to avoid.
Sure enough, Echo started for her. Oh God. Her heart hitched. Don't pick me. But Callahan veered in her direction, cutting Echo off.
"I got this hybrid," Cal said.
Goosebumps sprouted on her arms. Why couldn't she train with Paul again? He didn't like hybrids, but at least he was cordial. She glanced around, realizing Paul wasn't there yet. Of course. Cal always appeared so angry, and from what she'd seen when he trained with Dusti, he didn't hold back. Then again, Cal was right up Dusti's alley, too. That girl had a radar for bad boys.
And I always choose the broken men.
She would never go through that pain ever again. It hurt too much watching someone drink themselves to death.
Cal's messy, rust-colored hair bounced across his forehead as he stepped in front of her. All he needed was an animal pelt across those wide shoulders to complete the Robb Stark look.
Waves of detestation rolled off him, and his cloudy blue eyes darkened as he looked at her. He fit the ex-military, ex-policeman image. She couldn't recall what he did for a living now, other than hunting Warlocks. She hadn't really paid much attention when Dusti rambled on about him.
She raised her chin. "Callahan."
"Rose," he drawled out, sounding like a harsher, deeper version of Gerard Butler. "Ready to hurt?"
Taken aback, she blurted, "Are you?" Dumb question.
She kept a close eye on his stance, waiting for him to try to pin her to the floor mat like he'd done to Brye last time. The dude was lucky Brye hadn't ripped him apart. Maybe he was making his way through each of her sisters to find the weakest link.
A sinister but striking smile spread across his mouth. She much preferred his loathing glare. Her entire body tensed, ready for attack.
"Always." He glanced over his shoulder at Echo, who was now stalking toward Dusti.
Cal flicked his gaze back to her.
A trail of goosebumps marched over the back of her legs. A panicked voice in her head screamed to run, but she couldn't. She had to learn how to fight and protect, no matter how much she hated it. Training was the Elders' orders, not the Paladins'. They were caught in the middle just as much as she was.
In an instant, he was on her. Before she could cry uncle, he had her off her feet, pinned to the ground with his hand hovering above her throat.
The military had obviously taught him well. She was no match for him. He leaned closer and she caught a whiff of alcohol. Had he been drinking? Was that why he wore a new wicked smile today? Disgusting.
She knew he didn't like the fact that he had to train hybrids, but neither did the other Paladins. Why did he seem to hate it so much more?
"You're weak, cupcake," he snarled.
Her face heated as the smell of booze returned. Now she was the one disgusted. Why did people always turn to alcohol? And what was with his stupid endearments?
And dammit, why did everyone think she was weak? Did she have "baby sister" written across her forehead? Well, she wasn't weak. She'd show them all. As soon as she got off of the floor.
"Weak? Right. I'm not the one who smells like I drowned myself in a bottle of Crown."
If the man could shoot darts from his glare, she'd be the bull's-eye.
He made a strange growling sound in this throat, and after an awkward few seconds, she turned her head, conceding the staring match, and caught sight of their reflection in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. Cal's massive body straddled her on all fours. She couldn't lie to herself — the man had muscles.
From the mirror, it looked like something entirely different was going on. She didn't need those images. Geesh.
His tight-looking ass lowered, holding her hips hostage, while his hands trapped her biceps. Not snuggly or caressing per se, more of a constricted, I-got-your-ass-now pin hold.
Her lips parted, and unwanted heat flushed her face, down her neck, and in between her breasts. Her fists tightened. Cal seemed oblivious to her reaction — at first. His gaze followed hers to the mirror.
A flutter tickled her lower stomach. Her mouth was no longer dry — just the opposite. She swallowed. Why is he staring at me like that? Her thighs clenched.
"Do you mind?"
"Mind what?" He continued staring at her reflection, though his gaze softened some. She noticed her heart racing. It was just like the feeling she got reading about a new spell.
He had this staring match down to a T.
The oddest need to touch his pecs and explore shocked her. "Get off me, ape." Her voice came out low instead of the snap she'd planned on.
His eyes narrowed, cold as steel, and focused on her mouth. "Has Paul taught you nothing?" He leaned lower. "No worries, I'll have you turned warrior princess in no time."
Warrior princess? The man had lost it. She was no warrior of any sort, and they all knew it. But why didn't he respond to her accusation a moment ago? Drinking. Maybe she'd touched a nerve, or maybe he was planning revenge. A shot of excitement zipped through her. No. Not excitement. Probably fear.
"I heard that, bro," Paul called out from nearby. Now Paul shows up ...
Cal glanced away, and Rose took her best shot. She thrust her palm into his sternum, the one move she recalled. Cal grunted, but he barely flinched.
Is he made of stone?
After narrowing his eyes, he jumped to his feet, holding out his hand for her. "Get up, hybrid."
She started to take his hand, then stopped when a strange vibration hummed between them. Wary of what it was — some trick of his no doubt — she refused his help and climbed to her feet. Yeah, she was a hybrid, but what did he expect her to do about it? She tucked her bangs behind her ears, but they fell back seconds later. Ugh.
She dusted off her butt. It was time to state the obvious and set her goals.
"Neither of us wants to be here, so instead of flexing your 'I'm the big bad wolf' attitude, let's get this over with like adults."
He stepped forward, towering over her. "You're not cut out for this." He frowned. "And you haven't seen the big bad wolf come out to play yet, Little Red Riding Hood."
"Callahan," Nate warned from across the room. "Stop being a dick and do your job."
Cal flipped Nate off and then shot her a hard stare.
Rose forced her breathing to slow. "Red hood? I'm not even sure what you said with that accent, but your words don't mean anything."
Even though she was upset, she couldn't back down no matter how much she hated fighting. "I get you don't like me because of my blood, but the others are dealing with it, so shouldn't you? Let's make the best of it, since the Elders aren't giving us a choice, okay?"
He folded his arms. "Don't pretend you know anything about my life, doll."
"Doll?" He intentionally rubbed her wrong. "Look, I don't want to be here, either, buddy boy."
His nostrils flared like a raging dragon, ready to roast her.
"Hold that thought." She turned toward the door. "I'll be right back. I have to run to the restroom." She hurried into the bathroom — she'd had way too much herbal tea — then snuck toward the office to check on the kitten.
Before she made it through the door, her jaw dropped.
Callahan held the kitten, scratching its little neck. Oh God. She was so busted. She rubbed her wrists.
He bent down and placed the animal back in the bag, unaware of her watching. "Go to sleep, lass."
He turned and caught sight of her. "Didn't Nate tell you not to bring your strays?"
She twisted her hair around her finger. "Please don't say anything to him."
"Why shouldn't I?" He stepped forward, folding his arms.
Callahan talking sweetly, caressing the kitten, didn't fit with his behavior. Who was this guy? He couldn't be all brute.
"I couldn't leave her on the side of the road," she pleaded. "Please don't rat us out."
Callahan stepped around her, opening the door. "Let's make it a trade. I won't tell if you don't."
She wasn't sure which he meant — his drinking or holding the kitten. "Deal."
She followed him into the training room, glad to discover that he might not be a total hard-ass after all.
She stopped where they were training before, but he continued on toward Nate.
Her heart sank. Damn him. Nate glanced toward her.
"Rose, come here," Nate said.
That jerk. Of course he told. She folded her arms. "I can explain."
Nate held up his hand. "Rose, Callahan told me that you don't want to learn how to fight."
She angled her head at Cal. "He did? Why would you think that?" "It's the truth," Cal blurted.
"Sorry for eavesdropping," Storm's voice cut through, and she stepped up behind them. "You guys don't understand Rose. She's a peacemaker, a natural-born healer — fighting goes against her nature."
"Thanks, sis, but I can speak for myself." Rose squared her shoulders and folded her arms, struggling to find the right words. "It's hard for me to cause pain. To kill with my own hands."
"Then it's settled," Callahan said. "Call Grant and tell him that she doesn't have what it takes, because if she can't protect herself or anyone else, then she shouldn't be included on hunts. One of us could end up dead if she can't do her job."
"Wait!" Rose yelled as Cal turned to leave. "I'll learn." She bit her lip. It was a lie. At least, some of it was.
Callahan shook his head. Her heart grew heavy.
Her mom's old friend Hazel had a talent for pinpointing the gifts of others. It wasn't always obvious, and sometimes it took time to figure it out, but she'd told Rose she was next in line to keep Trevor locked in her grandmother's painting. If it was true, if she was the only one, she'd have to learn to fight — like it or not.CHAPTER 2
Callahan cracked his knuckles, grabbed his blade, and threw. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Nate making his way toward him.
"Grant said no excuses," Nate said, tucking away his phone. "Rose must learn one way or another. Paul left early, so that leaves Echo to train her."
Cal grunted. The woman didn't have a fighting bone in her body, and no Paladin could change that. "She doesn't have it in her."
"Take it up with Grant. Figure it out and finish the lesson."
Cal squeezed the dagger tight. It was bad enough he had to train a hybrid, but now he had a train a hybrid who wouldn't hurt a fly.
Rose stepped forward. "I have an idea." She stared directly at him.
"Good," Nate said, then left him to fight his own battle.
"Asshole," Cal muttered.
Callahan faced the target board and threw again, hitting it dead center. He sensed Rose approaching him. "Well, what's your idea?"
Rose held her hands together. "I want to learn how you do that."
He pulled the blade from the target board. "Do what?"
He swore. If she couldn't punch someone, then what made her think she could kill someone with a dagger? "I don't think so."
Excerpted from Forever Charmed by Dawn Chartier, Suzanne Evans. Copyright © 2016 Dawn Chartier. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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
#ForeverCharmed by Witch This is book 3 in the Vieux Carre Witch Sister Series. The Morgeaux sisters have been struggling with being witches and also having a warlock side. And then on top of that, they are having to deal with and train with the Paladins. For Morgeaux sister Rose, it is very hard for her because she is a healer and she isn’t one to cause pain but fix pain. But as the next in line to protect the spells hidden within the painting learning how to fight isn't an option. Only thing is, will she be able to protect it from her mom who is determined to save her own dad that is also trapped in the painting. Rose ends paired up with Callahan, who didn’t want to be paired with her. He is her trainer and he has his own personal demons that he is fighting and fighting hard. Part of his demons that he fights is his deep hatred for Warlocks then he realizes that he is coming to have feelings for Rose and she is part warlock. There is an attraction that is coming on strong and the sexual tension that is rising high. Its really good watching these two characters fight it out over their attraction and try to resist themselves yet they cant. Will they be able to come together and fight the bad guys or will Rose lose her way and will their denials lead to her downfall? This is one romance that keeps you guessing until almost the end and I love that in a series. The paranormal read had such heat and the angst was so good. The MC will keep your interest from start to finish .The good vs evil plot is one that I loved –Rose and Cal are characters who make you invested in their love story . #ForeverCharmed is a great read. My rating: 4.5 stars **** "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***