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Spells Cast in Shadows (MF)

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SIZZLING
Word Count: 102,000
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[Siren Classic: Erotic Fantasy Romance, shape-shifter]

Driven by recurrent dreams to take an ill-advised predawn ride around her ranch, Montana Freeborn stumbles across something in the road from those wildest dreams: a real live centaur. At least she thinks so. By the time she reaches the supine figure trampled beneath the hooves of her prize Appaloosa, she begins to wonder if her eyes deceived her, since before them now is a man, a magnificent, unconscious and very naked man.

Cast out from his tribe as a punishment for causing the death of a fellow Sapphiran, Seth Phoenix is an arrogant young centaur of royal heritage infatuated with the human race, and now, after a twist of fate, is forced to count on one of its ranks for his survival.

His one chance at redemption—brokered with the Black Elf by his desperate mother, Thyra Phoenix—could be the key to his mother's freedom, or his own downfall.

A Siren Erotic Romance

Professional Reviews

5 STARS: "Spells Cast in Shadows is quite a befitting title. It really sets the mold for the theme of the story. Because of the magic that has occurred in the darkness of shadows, Montana and Seth are thrown obstacle after obstacle but their attraction to each other is strong. And they both are determined not to be without each other. Within this book, readers will see that the forces of evil will do anything to try and prevail over that which is good. But some times it takes a higher force to maintain the goodness. This is the second book that I've read by Gracie McKeever. She does wonderfully when describing scenes in her stories and those scenes make for incredible visuals. Gracie McKeever is a talented author and you will want to read her work! This book is a definite must read. So, what are you waiting for? Go and buy the book!" -- Chantay, Euro Reviews

4.5 KLOVERS: "Spells Cast In Shadows is the first book by Gracie C. McKeever I had the good fortune to read, and it will not be the last! With its powerful characters and an intense plot, it is easy to see why this book was the October Top Seller for Siren Publishing. I can wholeheartedly recommend Spells Cast In Shadows to any readers who love a good erotic fantasy with a beautiful romance and a suspenseful plot promising several twists!" -- Jennifer, CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

4.5 KISSES: "Gracie McKeever's imagination may well be unbounded, and once again she renders a richly tapestried contemporary fantasy, with vividly illustrated characters, a romance to-die-for, and sizzling sensual peaks. One story of Ms. McKeever's will readily convince any reader to keep reading her books, and Spells Cast in Shadows is certainly no exception." -- Frost, Two Lips Reviews

4 STARS/Hot: "Spells Cast in Shadow is a well-written book with captivating characters. This book includes the use of dark magic to manipulate lives, murder, intrigue and an amazing love story within a love story. The hero and heroine face many obstacles in discovering their love for one another. There are several plot lines developed within the story, some of which could have been expanded to add even more depth to this book. I hope Ms. McKeever will pick up the threads to tell the stories of Montana's friend, Jason's and that of Seth's brother Endre to make this a series. The possibilities make my imagination soar! Seth and Montana struggle mightily to resist the lure of each other. Their resistance raises the heat level at every encounter until they surrender to the needs of their bodies, even if not acknowledging the desires of their hearts. Seeking to please themselves and each other physically, they please this reader with the passion they ignite. This book is one I'll read again and again." -- Ginger, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

4 HEARTS: "Gracie McKeever has written a marvelous modern-day fairy tale, complete with a classic good vs. evil struggle of epic proportions. Because of her clever use of foreshadowing, the relationship between a human and a centaur is immediately believable. Montana is as sympathetic a heroine as this reviewer has read about in recent memory, one who has overcome all of the obstacles life has placed in her path with strength and grace, and without becoming bitter and withdrawn. Seth possesses a great combination of arrogance, wisdom and vulnerability, and is a true alpha male hero figure. The sexual tension between Seth and Montana is so palpable that steam fairly rises from the computer screen. Ms. McKeever's language is somewhat graphic but not offensively so and is definitely part of the plot rather than gratuitous cursing and use of common slang for sexual terminology. Her excellent prose brings both her characters and her settings to life in the reader's imagination. While billed as erotic in nature, the erotic elements occur naturally in the flow of the story and are not extreme or overly explicit. This reviewer enjoyed this tale and looks forward to more from Ms. McKeever. Highly recommended!" --Leah, LoveRomancesandMore.com

4 SISTAH HUGS: "Gracie C. McKeever's paranormal romance, Spells Cast in Shadows captures the love found between a human, Montana Freeborn, and a Centaur exile from the world Sapphira, Seth Phoenix.
This book will keep you going-one minute you are reading about Montana's life on the ranch and then the next you are in the Centaur World, where Seth's parents and the Black Elf reside. The smooth switching of the scenes keeps the reader alert and attentive. The world of powers, magical adventures, and the supernatural is new to me. This book really gave me a great interest in reading more paranormal. Overall, Ms. McKeever incorporated love, tragedy, and the supernatural in a well-defined story." -- Sistah Keyonna, SistahFriend Book Club

Excerpt


STORY EXCERPT



Nearing the edge of the grove where the forest began and the ranch ended, Montana raised her face to the dimly lit sky, reveling in spring's airy fingers gently lifting her hair and lightly brushing her face. She hadn't closed her eyes or taken them from the road for more than a second before the shadow appeared out of the darkness without warning.

Sunny instantly reared up, blowing rollers as he tried to avoid colliding with—Pony-man.

"Whoa, Sunny, whoa, boy!" Montana gripped the horse's reins, squeezing her thighs tight against his flanks as she tried to calm the animal. Good thing she wasn't having one of her clumsier moments, or she'd have taken a header off the horse right to the hard ground!

She looked on in horror, heart pounding in her ears as Sunspot's front hooves came down, knocking the creature over and pounding his torso into the ground.

She watched him roll from his side to his back. As he moved, his lower half transformed, changing into two human legs before her eyes.

She couldn’t believe it. Had she really seen a half-horse, half-man?

Sunspot grew quiet beneath her, prancing and walking a wide berth around the figure on the ground. Montana leaned forward and rubbed his glistening neck, gently murmuring to the horse. "It's all right boy. Everything's going to be just fine." When she was sure he was okay and hadn't hurt himself, she carefully dismounted and crept to the stranger's side.

What struck her first wasn't that he was indeed a man and not the centaur she had initially seen—and she knew that she had—but that he was naked, just completely and totally na-ked.

Montana pulled in a deep breath as she crouched beside him to check for injuries. Her fingers glided over the hard, smooth curves of his chest and abdomen, all the while trying to avoid that sizable area of his anatomy several inches lower and resting peacefully against one thigh.

God, he was magnificent!

Not that she'd been exposed to that many naked men before, except maybe when she indulged in her guilty pleasure, watching hunk-inhabited soaps every once in awhile. Or when she'd splurge on one of those novelty beefcake calendars embellished with pictures for every month of shirtless cowboys clad in snug jeans that hugged all the right curves.

As far as beefcake and shirtless went, her unconscious stranger was beautifully formed from head to toe. Long, lean-muscled flanks curved up into a slim waist accented by a sectioned abdomen and well-defined pectorals. He had a swimmer's body, elegant, poised, and powerful, even in repose.

Her clit swelled beneath her jeans, and Montana simultaneously squeezed her eyes and her legs shut as if this could stop her tsunami-force lust.

She bit her bottom lip, contemplating. Heart speeding, palms moist, she itched to touch him, feeling like she was about to do something intrinsically illicit as her hand drifted of its own accord, closer and closer until her fingertips caressed one male nipple.

She brushed her hand across his chest, acquainting herself with his smooth pecs, then drifted further down to his abdomen….lower, lower until she made contact with the hair around his cock. She froze.

Montana's eyes shot open when she realized what she was doing.

Shit, she was horny! How else could she explain this instant hot attraction? Why did she have a sudden uncontrollable urge to molest an unconscious man as he lay injured?

Montana stopped gaping long enough to scold herself for her unconscionable act as she berated her foolishness in not heeding Jason's warnings about riding around the ranch in the dim light. She could just hear the I-told-you-so's now, which gave her some pause.

She needed to get her injured stranger some help, but how to do that without going back to the ranch and submitting to an interrogation or righteous censure?

She certainly couldn't lift him herself. True, she was made of sturdy stock at five-nine, one-fifty, and was in pretty good physical condition having worked hard all her life on the ranch and at various positions with the Forestry Service, but this man had to be six-four and two-hundred pounds of solid muscle. Dead-weight muscle at that. Not to mention he was naked.

Montana realized she had more qualms about the latter than the idea of actually trying to lift and carry an unconscious and injured man to the house by her lonesome.

She pivoted and marched back to Sunspot to retrieve the heavy blanket from beneath her saddle, returned, and crouched beside the stranger before gently covering him with the coarse material.

The stranger.

Her stranger, she thought, feeling connected to him and oddly possessive, as if he belonged to her and she to him.

Montana pulled the cell phone from her belt, flipped it open without much hope of getting a signal. She had to walk several yards away toward the ranch until she was out of a dead zone and able to get an open line. She dialed 911, glancing over her shoulder to make sure Sunspot and her stranger were okay. He’d disappeared. "Police operator 169528. Where is the emergency?"

Montana gaped and broke into a run toward her horse and the empty patch of grass where she'd left the stranger at Sunspot's hooves.

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