- Available in: Ebook, Paperback
- Published: November 18, 2014
A rancher and witch. A down on his luck cowboy. A love foretold for hundreds of years.
People called them the Wicked Witches of the West from the time the Murphy triplets were five and accidentally set their house on fire. Nothing they did disabused the notion they were different from the rest of the children in Saddlebrook, Wyoming. After their mother died giving birth to them, the girls were in the care of their father, big Gus Murphy, who didn’t know a thing about how to raise three little girls.
Much less little witches.
When the Triad Ranch is at its lowest point, and Gus injured, Rowan, the eldest, runs the horse ranch as best she can, but things are desperate. Then Jesse Nelson appears and she recognizes him as the boy and then man of her dreams—her mate. She is drawn to him as her powers strengthen with each passing moment.
Jesse doesn’t know what to make of the crazy ranch, or the oddball characters on it, but he is hungry and alone. Rowan is everything he ever wanted and all that he can’t have. Little does he know what awaits him and Rowan when the world around them explodes with magic, black and white.
When Rowan ascends to her true power with her cowboy at her side, she and her sisters have to use their combined strength to triumph or die in the darkest of magic.
Rowan’s stomach jumped like a pack of frogs had taken up residence inside her. The man’s appearance had knocked her sideways. She hadn’t spent a lot of time around men in her life, but she’d never had a physical reaction to one. Her pulse thundered right along with her heart, which made her a little dizzy.
When she’d seen the man on the porch, it stole her breath. A rush of energy, of knowledge, of connection hit her square between the eyes.
It was him.
The man she’d been dreaming of since she was a girl and he was a boy. The dreams spanned more than ten years, some vivid as though she could reach out and touch him, and others were vague impressions, like pictures painted on moving water. But they always featured him, a boy, then a man, she’d never met.
As she walked back to the house from the barn, she lost her balance, almost falling on her face. Thank God Jesse had stayed with Talulla in the barn or she’d really be embarrassed. Rowan rushed into the house and closed the door with a bang. She leaned against it and took a few deep breaths.
“Rowan?” Bird stood in the doorway to the kitchen frowning, her auburn eyebrows in a deep V on her forehead. “Come in here now.” She led her to the table and pushed her into a chair. “What happened?” She peered at her, looking for some sign of what was going on.
Rowan wanted to tell her about the man, how she’d hired him and how the horse liked him, but what came out of her mouth was, “I met him.”
The housekeeper sat down beside her, surprise evident on her face. “Are you sure?”
Rowan nodded. “It was like somebody had punched me. It was the strangest feeling. I knew him and I think he felt it too. Bird, I wanted to touch him, to make sure he was real.” She pressed her head into the table, the familiar smell of the wood helping to bring her back into control. “I couldn’t read him, either. His mind was like a blank slate.”
Bird rubbed her back. “Take a few deep breaths if you can. I’ll make some special tea.”
Rowan wanted to say no. The “special” tea always tasted like old socks. She knew it was to help her focus, important when they were practicing their powers and spells. Now, though, she didn’t want to focus. She wanted to escape.
Bird steeped the tea for exactly two minutes before she set the cup down in front of Rowan. Under the careful eye of her teacher and friend, Rowan grudgingly drank the tea, making a face with each swallow. After it was gone, she felt better, even if the aftertaste was hideous.
Nodding in approval, Bird finally spoke. “Did he look like he did in the dreams?”
“No, yes, I don’t know. I was too distracted to pay much attention.” Rowan took Bird’s hands in her own. “When I saw him, though, I knew it was him. I just knew.”
Bird nodded. “You have to trust in that. Don’t doubt yourself.”
“I don’t know, Bird. I never felt anything like that before. What if he’s not what I’ve dreamed?”
“He’s been your companion since you were a child. He was meant to be here. You shouldn’t question that.” Bird patted Rowan’s hands with her tiny ones. “You aren’t the only one who has dreamed of your mate. Your sisters have as well. It’s common amongst our kind.”
That was the part that scared Rowan. A mate implied a lifelong partnership, someone she would grow old with, create a life with. The rough-looking stranger at the door didn’t appear to be the type to settle down. He was big, with broad-shoulders, lean hips and a ranginess to him that implied he hadn’t had an easy life. His expression was cut from stone and his eyes, well, they were cut from dark amber, deep and hard.
“Why him though?”
“I don’t know. He was chosen for you just as you were chosen for him. The spirits do not tell us why.” Bird squeezed her hands. “Just as I was chosen to teach the three of you.”
The housekeeper was more than a teacher, and she knew it. Bird had become the mother they never had, and they all loved her fiercely. They would not be the women they were without Bird.
Rowan looked down at their joined hands and finally admitted what she was feeling, down in her gut. “I’m scared.”
“Trust in your instincts, Rowan, and in your powers. They will guide you.”
“But what if—”
A knock at the door stopped her mid-sentence. It was Jesse. Her gaze flew from the door, then back to Bird’s but the housekeeper just raised one brow and waited.
“Better to embrace life then let it pass you by. You were the one who recognized him, remember?” Bird made sense, as she always did, but that didn’t mean Rowan had to like it.
As she walked to the door, Rowan pressed a hand to her stomach and took a deep breath. It helped a little but as soon as she opened the door, she had the same rush of intensity from minutes earlier.