Verity Friday has been a good witch all her life: good at anticipating her coven’s needs, good at looking out for her little brother, good at helping others. She’s never been the most powerful or the most gifted at magic, but she knows she’s made a difference.
But now her brother’s moved out and found love, and Verity’s feeling more alone than ever despite her coven family. Meeting her brother’s boyfriend doesn’t help -- they’re so obviously happy, and Verity’s happy for them, but she’s starting to think about what she might want for herself ... and about the gorgeous lawyer she’s just literally run into outside a bookshop.
Successful lawyer Amelia Burne is having a terrible day. She’d swear someone’s cursed her with bad luck, but magic isn’t, right?
Except the self-proclaimed witch she’s just run into claims it is ... and Lia actually is cursed. Lia isn’t sure she believes this unlikely story, but Verity seems serious and wants to help, and maybe it’s worth a try. Because when Verity smiles, the whole world gets brighter ... just like magic.
Carrying the bag of books, Verity stepped out into blinding sunshine; she stepped directly into another person, who gasped and lost her grip on the coffee she’d been carrying.
Coffee flew. Brown liquid splashed. The woman’s briefcase plummeted and snapped open; papers scattered.
Verity dove for the papers, hissed a command at escape-artist pages, and gathered them up. “Here --”
Straightening up, she forgot words. The woman she’d just collided with was literally the loveliest person she’d ever seen: the kind of beauty that might’ve been an artist’s muse, a sculpted goddess, a pale sunbeam given shape, a stray museum piece that’d accidentally followed someone out onto the street.
The pale sunbeam, tall and slim and distressed, touched her stained shirt, her tailored grey suit: wide light blue eyes became as huge as the sky. “I’m so sorry. Are you hurt?”
“Me? I ran into you. Here, these are yours ...” She attempted to offer papers again. Those blue eyes were beautiful and kind, asking whether Verity was all right; one slender hand stooped to find the emptied coffee-cup and dispose of it in a convenient trash bin.
Beautiful, kind, and considerate. Other people might’ve let that cup roll into the gutter. Verity’s person would find it and do something about it.
Verity’s person? Since when was that a thought?
The woman took the papers, and tucked them into the briefcase, and looked down at herself again: tall height and long legs and corporate polish now drenched in what’d likely been an expensive infusion of caffeine, judging from the understated elegance of her makeup and outfit.
Her eyes were a bit red, though. And tired. Verity, even having just stumbled into her, could see that.
The tug of instinct beckoned. She tried again, “Sorry.”
Her person began at the same time, “I’m sorry --”
“No, I’m --” Verity gave up on this ridiculous entanglement of apologies; she gazed at the woman’s once-flawless suit, cringed internally, put out a hand to touch one sleeve. Banishing spells weren’t really possible, not without a good counterweight for the universe; this wouldn’t be serious enough to justify pulling energy out of another world-thread. Coffee stained her fingers; she winced, and took her hand away. “Sorry.”
“Oh, no, I ...” The woman gave a sort of helpless one-shouldered shrug: a resigned gesture. Despite the ballerina’s grace of the motion, weariness lurked like a storm on the horizon, not yet able to let go. “It’s not your fault. Please don’t worry about this.”
“What if,” Verity said, caught by the weariness, drawn in by the need, “I want to worry? Are you okay?”