Vampire Dragos Ibanescu, Mayor of Maggie's Grove, is about to lose his mind. His mate, the dryad queen Mina Chainey, refuses to have anything to do with him after her ordeal at the hands of an evil witch. If he doesn't mate with her soon, he may lose control of the beast within hima force far more dangerous than anyone in town knows
Mina's nightmares of her time with the witch haunt her. The Queen of the Forest can't muster the strength needed to fight her terror. Unable to leave the Throne, she vows she will not accept Dragos until she can stand at his side as an equal. But the nightmares are only growing in strength, and soon she realizes that there's more to her pain than simple fear.
Dark forces are converging on Maggie's Grove, and a horde of hunters stalk supernaturals from the shadows. Only by uniting in body and mind will Mina and Dragos find the strength to defend their home.
Delve into the Grove with Blood of the Maple.
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You can learn about Dana at www.danamariebell.com
Read an Excerpt
"Are we there yet?"
Dragomir "Dragos" Ibanescu, the mayor of Maggie's Grove and the oldest vampire in the town, damn near bit his tongue in order to keep silent. Parker had been driving him insane with his commentary all through their flight, and he was ready to strangle the younger vampire.
Why had Parker come with him? Dragos had been more than willing to fly solobut no. Parker had insisted on accompanying Dragos as he soared above Maggie's Grove checking for trouble. The man had been a pain in his ass ever since his sotiei, Amara, had joined with her tree, communing with it in the way of all dryads. She'd needed it after the fight to save the town from Territhe deranged witch who'd been hunting Parker. Amara was a hamadryad, a rare creature only heard about in myths and legends. She was literally one with her tree in ways other dryads were not. When her life or the life of something Amara cared about was in danger, she became part tree, using the strength and stamina of the forest to protect and defend. She was a guardian in the truest sense of the word, and she served Maggie's Grove despite their rough treatment of her when she first stepped out into the world. Her adoptive mother, Glinda, had chosen to hide Amara's uniqueness, and because she had been underage the Queen of the Forest had been forced to bow to Glinda's edict, avoiding Amara completely.
This had led to Amara having a very lonely childhood, something Dragos had tried to rectify to no avail as the girl grew into a beautiful woman. It wasn't until Parker arrived that she truly came into her own, becoming what Dragos had always known she could bea loving partner and a fierce warrior.
But every dryad needed to commune with their tree, becoming one with it after stressful events. What the witch Terri had attempted to do to both Parker and the town had been beyond stressful. It cost them one of their own. Amara had been blamed for the death of young Ken, and she'd been inconsolable. Things in the town had been tense until Parker, Dragos, Bryan, Greg and Selena had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the blame could only be placed on the witch who had attacked them all.
It had been four weeks since Terri had been killed, four weeks where all of them hurt. The town was still deep in recovery as they made plans to rebuild both the town hall, The Greenhouse and repair the damage Terri had wrought. It was an all-consuming job that left Dragos with very little time to deal with anything else, even a hamadryad in mourning. Hell, he barely had time to stalk...er, visit his own sotiei.
So Amara was communing.
And her vampire lover was bored out of his ever-loving mind.
She'd waited until after the huge party Dragos gave annually to become one with her tree. Soon after Parker started wandering around town, getting himself into trouble with just a casual smile and a few choice words. Even his Renfield, Brian, had called Dragos up, desperate to find a way to distract Parker before any more feuds broke out.
The man had a talent, Dragos had to give him that.