Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (Others Series #12)

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (Others Series #12)

by Christine Warren

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After her two best friends marry a blood-sucking vampire and furry-faced werewolf, Corinne D'Alessandro is making a vow of her own: NO interspecies dating. But when her editor asks her to investigate "leprechaun" sightings, the sassy New York reporter finds herself on the trail of the hottest story of the year—and the sexiest man alive…

His name is Luc, and he's as gorgeous as any Prince Charming in any bedtime story. There's just one problem: He's not human, he's fae. A captain of the Fae Queen's Guard, Luc is on a dangerous mission—and he could use the help of a certain leprechaun-hunting reporter. But when their two worlds collide, the sparks begin to fly. If Corinne and Luc can't control their lust—and focus on the villains in this story—their faerie-tale romance won't end happily ever after…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312357221
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Series: Christine Warren's Others Series , #12
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Christine Warren is the bestselling author of The Others series, including Wolf at the Door, Big Bad Wolf, Born to Be Wild, Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here, and Black Magic Woman. Born and raised in coastal New England, she now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. (She completely bypassed those states in the middle due to her phobia of being landlocked.) When not writing, she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

Read an Excerpt

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale

By Christine Warren

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2011 Christine Warren
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5109-8


Metal struck metal, sparks fizzing and shooting, scenting the air with fire and electricity. Clangs and grunts echoed off the smooth stone of the walls, bouncing down from the high vaults of the ceiling. Sweat beaded on brows and coated tense ropes of muscle with the sheen of exertion. Two forms, one tall and lean and elegant, the other huge and thick and powerful, stood locked in fierce battle, expressions grim, arms straining against each other's strength. Neither made a move to end the struggle; neither possessed a mien suited to surrender. They had engaged, two warriors fit and fierce, dedicated to honor and to victory.

But one had just realized that the tip of his nose itched like a son of a bitch.


"I can see it in your eyes, Luc," the slender one taunted, even as strands of auburn hair slipped loose of their confining braid and clung to his damp face. "You're wavering. Maybe your skill becomes rusty, old friend. Too much time sitting at the Queen's feet; not enough on the front lines."

"Shut it, Fergus," his opponent growled, his twitching nose rather spoiling the effect of his fierce scowl. His dark hair and hard, chiseled features usually made the expression more than a bit effective against his enemies. "I'd not comment on seating arrangements if I were you. Your place seems to set your lips right at a level with the royal arse these days, doesn't it? Though I suppose all that puckering is at least some exercise for you."

Silver scraped and hissed as Fergus swept his sword arm down, dragging Luc's blade with his. A quick step and turn and metal clanged again with hollow thunder.

"Aye," shouted one of the guardsmen ranging about the open space of the practice hall. "And you need all of that you can get, Fergus, seeing how fond I've seen you grow of the Queen's honey-cakes."

Fergus parried a coming blow and stepped back to circle again, searching for a better opening. Luc breathed a profane thanks and seized the opportunity to swipe the back of his non-sword hand across his nose. Much better.

"Better to eat a few cakes than drink myself stupid like some others," the redhead retorted, his eyes never straying from his opponent. His lips curved in a sharp grin. "Or did you think no one had noticed you facedown in your wine the other night, Hamish?"

The blond guardsman colored slightly but did his best to look superior. "I was merely admiring the fine bouquet."

Luc lifted an eyebrow. "And that requires snoring these days, does it, Hamish?"

The seven men assembled in the hall guffawed, elbows nudging Hamish's sides good-naturedly. The sight gave Luc, as captain of the Guard, a deep sense of satisfaction. The warriors in this room were his men, and he held responsibility for both their prowess with a sword and their cohesion as a unit. In Luc's mind, each of them reflected on him, testament to his leadership and his loyalty. All of them, himself included, existed to serve the Queen. And the stars knew she didn't suffer fools lightly.

Well, at least none who weren't related to her by blood.

Blowing out a breath, Luc shoved the fleeting thought of that particular bundle of annoyance from his mind and took a step back. No sense borrowing worry when he suspected it would be handed to him on a platter soon enough. It was time to get back to work.

"Good match, Fergus." He lowered his sword arm and nodded to his lieutenant, stepping out of the bounds of the designated sparring circle. "Lead the others through their exercises. I've business to see to before we meet for assignments."

Fergus's muscles tensed momentarily, as if the command needed an extra heartbeat to travel from brain to body. Then the tension bled out of him and he sheathed his sword, casting Luc a bland look. "Queen's business?"

Luc snorted. "Is there any other kind?"

Fergus's grin flashed. "Does that mean today's assignments will feature tasks a bit more exciting than patrolling for boggarts around the castle walls or protecting Her Majesty from assault by the brownie emissary? Heaven forbid the little bastard should get out of hand and attempt to clean the throne room without leave."

"Getting bored, Fergus?" Luc adjusted the strap of his own weapons harness across his chest. "I'm sure I could find a garderobe for you to clean if you so long for variety in your work."

"And I'm sure I could drop you into one, if you've such a nose for shit —"

"Children, please. You know I deplore squabbles among my Guard."

The voice from the doorway drew the pair up short. Being overheard didn't surprise Luc, not here in the palace. After all, the Summer Court ran on the power of intrigue. Survival relied on assuming that someone was always listening. Fergus, though, looked as if he might have forgotten. Luc saw a small twitch in his jaw before he gathered himself to make his bow to their sovereign.

She stood in the archway at the entrance to the room, flanked as always by the busy, buzzing swarm of her attendants. Ladies-in-waiting, advisers, entertainers, and supplicants followed in her train, elbowing and maneuvering for the privilege of adjusting the hem of her royal gown. It wouldn't have mattered if that hem swept atop a dung heap. Wherever she went, the toadies followed, and wherever she went, she might as well have sat in state upon her gleaming marble dais of power. There, atop the silver throne sculpted in the shape of a breaking wave, ruled Mab of the Silver Bells, Lady of Many Blessings, Huntress of Spirits, and Queen of the Summer Court.

Now she stood on plain, porous stone before an audience of rough, sweaty warriors, looking not an inch less regal, nor a shadow less powerful. As if she ever could. Only a fool underestimated Queen Mab, and fools died quickly in Faerie.

She wore a diadem of gleaming silver in the shape of a wreath of apple blossoms perched on her bright red-gold hair. A surcoat of russet velvet topped her gown of amber silk, each shot through with silver thread. Cunningly woven, the rich fabrics seemed to spark with every subtle movement. Her pale, slender feet peeked from beneath her hem, toes adorned with silver bells, and her graceful, ringed fingers moved unconsciously and restlessly at her sides. Luc noted the hint of impatience and braced himself.

"You become slow to answer your Queen, my Lucifer." Mab's voice, low and musical, displayed a hint of petulance that made Luc wary. A petulant Queen was a dangerous Queen. Well, more dangerous than usual. "We might be tempted to interpret such a thing as a reluctance to serve us."

Beside him, Fergus moved as if to step forward and offer reassurance, but Luc kept his gaze firmly on the changeable green eyes of his sovereign. They shifted as restlessly as the sea and could be just as deadly.

"Never think it, my Queen," he said, bowing before her. "I am ever at your command, as are all of your Guard. We answer always to Your Majesty's whim."

The formal language of court sometimes had a soothing effect on Mab. Even when it didn't, it was always safer to treat the Queen with kid gloves. Her temper made her unpredictable; her power made her deadly.

Mab shifted, her brows rising. "Is that so?" Her gaze turned to Fergus and sharpened. "Does the captain of my Guard speak true, my Fergus? Are all of the Seven as loyal to us as he would make them sound?"

Fergus bowed low again, his gray eyes warming with mischief and flirtation. Of all the Guards, he liked to think of himself as Her Majesty's favorite. Luc liked to think of him as her fool, since flirting with the Queen possessed the same inherent risks as poking a nightmare in the side — you might get away with it a thousand times, but sooner or later the creature would decide to take your head off. Fergus, though, seemed to think himself invulnerable.

"Without question, my lady. To serve in the Queen's Guard is an honor of which we Seven are well aware." Fergus straightened and placed his hand above his heart in a salute of fealty, but his gaze remained teasing. "Your safety and the rule of your word are our only concerns."

Luc fought back the urge to groan. Talking to the Queen required one to walk a thin line, one Fergus seemed hellbound to test. If Mab perceived any insult as more severe than failing to flatter her, it was flattering her insincerely. When she paused for a moment and pursed her lips, the captain concealed a wince.

Then her expression softened, and Luc felt the tension drain from his men like ale from the barrel.

"Is that so, my Fergus?" She smiled. "Your devotion is ever a comfort to us. We appreciate the reassurance now more than ever, for a disturbing piece of news has come to our attention, and we fear we must turn to our Guard for assistance."

Lucifer maintained a bland expression even as he swore silently. This was it, the trouble he had sensed coming. But maybe fate would be kind and dump it on Fergus's head rather than his own. A man could dream, couldn't he?

"Any manner of service to our Queen honors us," Fergus said, drawing his shoulders back into a swaggering posture Luc had seen him use more than once on an unsuspecting Fae maiden. He probably thought it made him look strong and confident; it made Luc liken him to a rooster courting the female birdbrains in his yard. "I personally await your orders and will see them executed with all speed and diligence."

The royal lips curved slightly, accompanied by the lifting of her chin and an easing of the tightness around her eyes. Once again, the Queen had been appeased by Fergus's nonsense. Luc might not understand, but he could be grateful. Especially if the fawning performance landed Fergus with whatever problem instinct told Luc he wanted no part of.

Abruptly, the Queen moved, sweeping her robes behind her as she entered and began to pace around the large room.

"My advisers have brought word of a small problem in Ithir that must be attended to." With everyone reminded of his or her place in the hierarchy of Faerie, Mab dispensed with the royal we and continued with a slight bend in her formality. "My Guard, of course, are the only ones I would trust to deal with such a delicate situation."

Foreboding tickled its way down Luc's spine. Ithir was the Fae word for the human world, which made the Queen's statement more than a little remarkable. Mostly because the Fae kept so much distance between themselves and humans that one might be surprised they even had a word for the neighboring realm. His sense of unease only grew when Mab turned her gaze on him again, clearly waiting for some kind of response from the captain of said Guard.

"Of course," he managed, willing his jaw to unlock enough to speak. "It is our duty and privilege to serve in any way Your Majesty requires."

"I would be honored to deal personally with anyone foolish enough to disturb my Queen," Fergus offered, stepping forward with another bow. "I would indeed consider it a privilege."

Mab's face softened, and she lifted a hand to the warrior's face. "You are good to me, my Fergus. Good and true. But there is more to the story you have yet to hear. You and my captain."

Her gaze flicked to Luc. He nodded grimly. He had the worst feeling he knew what she was going to reveal. Lately, all the trouble to be had at the Summer Court seemed to emanate from a single, senseless source. A source the Queen held close to her royal heart.

"I have kept a closer eye on the mortal world since news reached me of the ... incident in Dionnu's court earlier this year," Mab continued. "The indiscriminate use of gates into our realm by humans is something that I, of course, cannot allow."

Luc nodded sharply. He, too, had heard about the trouble the Queen referred to. The details were sketchy — unsurprising given the intense antipathy Mab held for Dionnu, King of the Winter Court, the man she considered her archenemy. And ex-husband. The situation made the flow of information between the two courts somewhat shaky.

Still, the story suggested that two human women had made it through a gate near the Winter Palace, one of whom had wandered undetected and unsupervised around Faerie for days before being discovered and returned to Ithir. The other human woman had at least reportedly been accompanied by a changeling with ties to one of Dionnu's attendants. They had all returned to the human realm, but whispers of troubles quickly covered up continued to circulate. At both courts.

The Queen might refer to the whole thing as an incident, but Luc took his defense of the Queen seriously. To him, it represented a security nightmare.

"I can only repeat my earlier advice, my Queen," he said, taking care to keep any hint of impatience or I-told-you-so out of his voice. "If we were to seal the gates, I could arrange for patrols to keep them secure. Use could then be monitored and regulated for your safety and that of your people."

She slanted him a narrow look. "I believe my people would dislike the feeling of being jailed, Lucifer, no matter how pretty the prison. I won't take such a step unless I have no other choice. But at the moment, the security of the gates is not my concern. Rather, it is what I have seen on the other side of them that disturbs me."

To Luc's knowledge the Queen hadn't traveled to Ithir since before the mortals had concluded it to be round, but he could guess where she'd come by her information. She had looked into her scrying pool, and he had served her long enough to know that this alone usually spelled trouble.

"Surely whatever mess the humans have made for themselves this time is no problem of ours, Your Majesty," Fergus put in, his expression a well-thought-out balance of concern and charm. "They're such troublesome creatures, after all. You yourself have always said that if we stepped in to save them once, they'd never leave us alone. They'd be popping up looking for our aid for every little thing they could think of."

Mab's glance both measured and indulged. "I should hardly like to disagree with my own words of wisdom, but in this case they remain beside the point. Of course the problems of the mortals don't concern me. What does is the knowledge that one of my own dear hearts has left my court, and I have reason to believe he has crossed over to their world."

And there it was, the sucker punch Luc had been waiting for. There was only one group of Fae whom Mab referred to as her "dear hearts" — her family. Specifically her nieces and nephews, the ones who lived in the hope of one day being proclaimed her heir and who therefore made it their lives' work to ingratiate themselves deeply within her favor. Where the hopefuls went, trouble followed, but Luc knew that it rode particularly hard on one set of heels in particular.

"Seoc," he growled.

Mab sent him a frosty look. "We dislike such hasty assumptions, Lucifer, son of Annwn. It becomes you ill to think so poorly of others."

He murmured an apology but noticed that her scolding offered nothing like a denial of the charge. He also noticed he'd annoyed her enough that she reverted to her royal we. His hands clenched at his sides.

Fergus warned him with a glance and shifted forward to draw the Queen's attention. "Youth often is accompanied by a certain rashness, Your Majesty. It's not surprising that a young Fae looking for adventure might decide to visit Ithir on a whim, but I'm certain there would be no danger. The Others know it would be folly to cause any harm or distress to a member of your court."

What the Others knew and what they would feel justified in doing, Luc reflected, might be two very different things. While the Fae had abandoned the mortal realm centuries ago, some supernatural races had stayed behind to live secretly among the humans, calling themselves the Others. Immortals such as the vampires and non-humans like the were folk still roamed throughout the human world, keeping their identities carefully guarded secrets. Their ruling body, the Council of Others, still kept in contact with the Fae court and would have every right to dislike the thought of an unauthorized Fae visitor wandering about and causing trouble.

"Of course they know it is folly," Mab snapped. "Not even a demon would be so foolish. But there are other reasons to desire my nephew's swift return home. In our position, we must think of more than life and death at times. There is diplomacy to consider, both between our court and the Others' Council and within the court itself."


Excerpted from Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren. Copyright © 2011 Christine Warren. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.

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Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
vickytren More than 1 year ago
The title pulled me in and I was interested to give it a try. i was not disappointed. Great read
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
When your Queen gives you an assignment, regardless of your thoughts on the matter you go. For Luc Macanaw that meant crossing utilizing a portal to go from the land of the Fae to the human world and retrieve the Queen¿s nephew who decided to party on the other side. Luc is a leader who always takes his assignment seriously letting nothing deter him from his objective. So meeting Corinne D¿Alessandro and being thrown off his game is a shocker he never saw coming. Luc should not be attracted to Corinne for pity sake she is human. The other problem is she is chasing down the same object from a different perspective though as the reporter assigned to figure out what is going on. Corinne already knows about the non-humans on earth staying under the radar and swore to stay away from a relationship with any of them. She never expected any spark with a non-human but Luc is definitely pushing every go after him button she has with some red flags but mostly passion on all fronts. Could they have something together or is this an attraction Luc has conquered up from his bag magic? The task is difficult for the two of them even working together as the witnesses start showing up murdered or missing. It is difficult to trace a lead under the best of circumstances but not even having a verification of the facts makes it almost impossible. The Others existence must be kept a secret so the pursuit becomes even more critical when more people start to notice the unusual activity but Luc knows Corinne has the same agenda and trust is not an issue. This book is so much more than demons with secrets it is a romantic interlude that will enchant as well as romance you. With a well-defined and detailed storyline, this book makes for a great read, as you are able to feel the passion and the danger all at the same time.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Following the interspecies marriages of her BFFs, New York reporter Corinne D'Allesandro vows not her. However, her editor assigns her on a paranormal investigative tale. Her jaunt around Manhattan leads her to Queen Mab's chief of the guards Luc Macinaw. He searches for the missing royal nephew who is causing havoc that could endanger the Faerie realm. Luc is stunned that his destined heart mate is human. Corinne disregards her pledge to never date an Other, while her buddies tease her for joining their ranks after she proclaimed never her. They team up on his quest and in the boudoir, but love may not be enough to counter the threat to both their lives. This engaging Other urban fantasy is a fun investigative tale though the paranormal elements seem somewhat diminished in comparison to the previous entries (see The Big Bad Wolf and Black Magic Woman). Corrine is a terrific heroine while Luc is her prefect mate even if she has to renege on her vow. Fans of the saga will relish Corinne falling in love as she was adamant that never her. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a reprinted book. The previous title was Fighting Faer.
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I thought it was a very good story but I am reading the series completely out of order unless you go to the author's website then you can sort out the order of the books. I love the series another good book from her.
BookReaderAnnie More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable story. The only problem I have with the series is the fact that the are all out of order. Otherwise worth the read.
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Was looking for something different in urban fantasy and this one wasn't bad. A little predictable but still liked it and now I am interested in learning about some of the other characters that were in this book. Luckily they have their own books.
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