Arcane Hearts by Faedra Rose

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0769-3

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Hearts of Avalar, 4

Jareth Grimclaw sets out on a quest: to end the blight of The Dread Barrens spilling into his territory, The Green Sea—a beautiful lush jungle region. As the Alpha of his panther shifter pride, the task falls to him to do something before it’s too late, and the damage is irreversible.

Venturing into The Dread Barrens, Jareth has no choice but to confront the warlock, Bane Umbra. When Bane speaks to Jareth using mindspeech, Jareth feels the immediate spark of the sacred Fated mate bond. He can’t believe it—he’s Fated to the enemy!

Be Warned: m/m sex



The soil feels dead and dry beneath my paws as I slink across the landscape. It is no more than black dust, like ashes. Above, the sky is in a state of permanent maelstrom. Lightning crackles, black clouds roil, and darkness covers the land like a sickness. If I’m not successful in my quest, all panther shifters will fall prey to this enveloping gloom. I cannot fail.

So, what’s the plan, Jareth? I ask myself. But the truth is … I don’t know. I know what must happen. I just don’t know how to make it so. Do I threaten the warlock? That could spell not only my death, but the demise of The Green Sea and all its inhabitants. I’m as physically fit and lethal as any alpha panther could hope to be, but at the end of the day … I have no magic of my own. I can’t fight fire with fire.

My only hope is to take him completely by surprise. It’s the sole way I’ll have a chance at getting close enough to launch a killing strike. But would killing him even fix the problem? Who or what would contain the virulent darkness once he’s dead? Would it dissipate and crawl back into the bowels of the Nether from whence it came? Or would it spread, unchecked, and unstoppable?

The magnitude of my burden weighs heavily upon me, and I find my mood souring the deeper into enemy territory I venture. It’s like the very air poisons the mind, turning hope into despair! Weaker souls might be tempted to turn back, but not I. The burden of alphahood is a heavy crown that few can bear, but I will wear it with honor and strength for as long as I live. I’ve been challenged all of three times in my hundred years, and yet, here I still stand, while my challengers lie cold in the ground, no more than food for the worms. Mercy is a price a true alpha cannot afford.

Skulking between strange, lurid green-veined rock formations, past elusive, intangible shadow beasts, and beneath the boughs of the odd, gnarled tree, it takes several hours to reach the foothold of The Spire—the warlock’s tower. A great circular mote of liquid shadow protects Bane’s refuge from all those who might dare to enter, like a dark ring of intangible death. With due caution and no small amount of courage, I approach the black waters.

Drawing nearer, I take an involuntary step backward, one paw poised, half-cocked in the air. There are faces in the writhing shadows! Gaunt and pained, their mouths forever torn by eternal screams that warp and twist as they meld into one another, only to re-appear moments later. A shiver runs through me and my hackles rise. The torment! Sweet Goddess. What crimes did these souls commit to end up bound in agony for all of time, guarding Bane’s blasted tower? Nothing about this forsaken place is natural. What once was—what life this land may have ever nurtured—is a distant memory. Every inch of me itches and yearns to be away from this cesspool of malevolence. But I must press on. My pride is depending on me.

Staking out The Spire, I circle its immense girth, seeking a point of entrance or an area of weakness. To my dismay it seems truly impenetrable. Have I wasted my time? I wonder, sitting back on my haunches, my heavy brow creased in consternation. There must be a way in, but how? There appears to be no windows for a hundred levels, at least. There are no handholds or crevices by which to gain purchase—it’s entirely, perfectly smooth—so even climbing the behemoth structure is out of the question.

If I want to maintain the element of surprise, I can’t declare myself or risk challenging him. And Bane is no fool, I sigh, shaking my head. He will have ensured that every possibility and every weakness has been accounted for tenfold. This is his home, his fort, and his seat of power in Avalar. He will have made sure that no one could possibly catch him unawares. Frustrated, I wrinkle my nose, twitching my whiskers. Think! I compel myself.

I know for certain that warlocks are born without access to the innate magic of their witch mothers. They attain their powers through study and learning. Countless years of their long lives are spent poring over ancient tomes, holed up in dusty libraries, perfecting their craft with minds that know no fatigue. As solitary and distrustful as they are by nature, they value knowledge above all else, and so The Guild of Warlocks was formed—so that they might share their secrets and rituals with one another.

I’ve heard stories over the years that would give even the bravest of souls nightmares. The Guild is a most underhanded and dark company of individuals with no discernible moral code beyond their own boundless ambitions. And to get on the wrong side of them is paramount to asking for damnation. Warlocks don’t just kill their enemies. No. Warlocks are known for their dark, depraved, and petty hearts…

I catch myself mid-thought. And yet, who am I to cast judgment? Panthers are notoriously cruel. As wild cats we hunt our prey, tormenting and playing with them, often offering some semblance of hope for escape, only to snatch it away and seal the kill with heinous brutality. With claws like curved daggers, teeth like honed blades, and eyes that see flawlessly in the dark, we are amongst the most lethal hunters in all of Avalar.

Blinking, I snap myself back to the present, to the mote of horrors and the impenetrable tower before me. Even if I managed to cross the mote, not even a cat could climb such sheer rock… And so, only one option remains, I realize. The one I had hoped against hope to avoid. I must declare myself to the warlock. I must give up the element of surprise and confront Bane face to face, man to man. Returning home is not an option.

Taking a deep, steadying breath, I shift into my mortal form and prepare myself for whatever comes next. “Bane!” I shout his name at the top of my lungs. “I demand an audience!” The sky above seems to thunder louder in response. The lightning flashes, illuminating the darkness and striking The Spire, its sizzling power dissipating into the reflective black stone.

“Who dares challenge Bane Umbra?”

The words boom in my mind, shaking the very core of me. My eyes grow wide and my breath hitches in my throat as a sensation like fire whispers through me, setting every nerve in its path alight. My heart races, and I frown in disbelief as much as shock. There is no mistaking the feeling that now ravages my mind, body, and soul. It’s the kind you experience only once in a lifetime—if you’re lucky. It’s the Fated mate bond. Goddess be merciful, I swear. I’m Fated to the fucking enemy!



Product Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings)
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Well done enemies-to-lovers
Written by smjw2004 on 16th Apr 2023

Gareth and Bane are wonderfully written characters. Fated mates who began as enemies then evolved to so much more. Not afraid to show their sensual side.

Well done enemies-to-lovers
Written by smjw2004 on 16th Apr 2023

Gareth and Bane are wonderfully written characters. Fated mates who began as enemies then evolved to so much more. Not afraid to show their sensual side.

Bane and Jareth
Written by Lillah C on 16th Apr 2023

This was a great quick second chance story. There is steam, action and adventure, suspense. It had just about everything you could imagine. I’m not going to spoil it. Go grab a copy.

Arcane Hearts!
Written by Mary on 16th Apr 2023

This is a short and quick read in the "Hearts of Avalar" series. It is a stand alone read that is steamy and a FMF story. The story features a lonely vampire named Sebastian and two twin sisters, who are witches, Mary and Ella. He rescues them and discovers they are his fated mates. The story is interesting, intriguing, sensual and steamy.

The heart is an amazing thing...
Written by Flavia K on 16th Apr 2023

Top shelf reading,. I loved the dialogues between Bane and Jareth, the internal struggle that both have. And how duty seeps into their desires and passions. How together they find the best way to do things and the unconditional love of the Fated Mates.

Nice Read
Written by Danee on 16th Apr 2023

Faedra Rose is a new author for me and it is also my first book that I read Normally I don't really read man man books but must say the story of Jareth and Bane keeps you glued to their story from start to finish. It's fated mate and foes to lovers in a story short but intense. It's worth reading.

Great read!
Written by Ash J on 27th Mar 2023

I really enjoyed this short M/M romance. It was exciting, steamy, and had nice characters. I loved how we got to see characters from the previous books in this series as well. Can't wait to see if there's more!

You can’t fight fate
Written by Anne H on 27th Mar 2023

You can’t fight fate Jareth is the Alpha of panther shifters pride, and the territory The Green Sea is a beautiful lush jungle region but there is a warlock that is taking all the goodness out of the land making his pride struggle. Jareth knows he must confront him for their survival. He knows it’s not gonna be easy but he must try. But it seems they were both in for a shock. Bane Umbra was a strong warlock who grew up knowing he must use his powers and stay strong taking from the land. when a panther shifter demands to talk it seems that fate has played a game on them because from enemies they became fated mates and this changed everything. Would there be any chance that these two could come together and be mates? Would the pride welcome a warlock? Would they trust him?? Could Bane Make the land lush once again?? This is the first book that I have read in the series so I’m wondering if that’s why it’s took a while for me to get in to it. I struggled to get into this book at the beginning but then when something happens to put this couple in danger I really got into the story. I liked the connection between Jareth and Bane. A nice read.

Warlock and Panther
Written by SMK9 on 27th Mar 2023

This one is a fun ride from start to finish. Jareth is the Alpha of The Green Sea Pride and in order to save his land and pride, he must travel to find the reclusive warlock that is responsible for death of their land. Bane is the warlock Jareth seeks but he is a recluse as warlocks, in his belief, only take from everyone and everything in order to continue growing his powers. When they meet, it is evident they are mates. But how can that be when Bane knows he needs to be alone because if he shows any weakness others will come for him and anyone close to him? For Jareth, Bane is the enemy and can't be trusted, right? As they begin their new life together, evil comes for Bane. Will Jareth and the pride stand together and save his mate, or will Jareth have to go alone? This is a good quick read that is worth the time.

Short But Good
Written by DLB2572 on 27th Mar 2023

This wasn't a very long story but it was a good read to help pass the time. It was worth the time to read.

The warlock and his panther
Written by Marlena F on 27th Mar 2023

This novella was so enjoyable I read it all in one go! I absolutely HAD TO know what would happen to the two stubborn men and boy was it worth it! I recommend this to everyone in search of an adult fairytale. I’m on my way to buying the other books in the series right now! This story was very well-written and the characters and their actions believable and relatable. Even as part of a series of books written in the same universe, the reader does not feel like there is information missing. I found myself holding my breath to read how the characters would solve their issues and I was not disappointed! Steamy and hot, while still sweet, uh oh. Just enough conflict remained at the end of the book to encourage curious readers to follow up on the story, while not ending in a cliffhanger. It was a delightful read and I’m looking forward to trying other books from this author.

Great addition to the series!
Written by Carrie K on 27th Mar 2023

I liked Arcane Hearts by Faedra Rose. It's the fourth book in the Hearts of Avalar series. I enjoyed Bane and Jareth's story. A lot happens in this short fated-mates, enemies-to-lovers novella. I loved that Bane chooses to be with his mate, be a better warlock, and look at all the friends he makes in the process.

Arcane Hearts, enjoyed
Written by Babs on 27th Mar 2023

Book four in the Hearts of Avalar series a well written short story that held my interest until the end. I enjoyed reading Alpha panther shifter Jareth Grimclaw and warlock Bane Umbra's story. I received a copy of this book via Evernight and am voluntarily leaving a review.