The character work and story line were well written and I was hooked from beginning to end. This was a great introduction to a new author and I look forward to my next adventure.
Heart of the Mountain, 2
Emaula Whispel thought she’d be happy if she could live outside her mother’s magical stone tower, but when Emaula starts working as a chef at her friend's trading post, she becomes smitten with Porter, her co-cook. Now Emuala’s magic is obsessed with possessing this quiet, charming wolf, and the budding witch has to fight to control her powers and her lust, to prevent her new friend from becoming her accidental victim.
Porter was created to serve witches by opening doors into their dreams, and he is neither surprised by nor afraid of Emaula’s magic. What startles him is that this powerful witch genuinely seems to care for something as lowly as a wolf. Now all Porter has to do is prove his love for her is not an enchantment, before her mother takes away everything Emaula holds dear.
Time was strange in the dreams. Minutes could be hours. Hours could pass in seconds.
And somewhere someone was trying to reach him. Someone wanted him and had taken measures to have him. Was is the little girl? The Munawn’s daughter. She’d be all grown-up now and remember him fondly. She must have extraordinary power to reach him.
A light came on under a door, hemming the edges with a low purple light and filling the room with that melancholic tint. The one who had shaved her hair and wore black gemstones that glowed purple. Porter knew her name, but he refused to think it. He wanted nothing to do with them. He had been turned out. He wasn’t allowed to think of them anymore. He didn’t have too.
The door creaked open, and Porter winced. Whether he wanted them or not, one of them was coming through. He didn’t have much choice. Or at least, he wouldn’t when he saw her.
The light poured into the room, flooded it with the scents of spring, vanilla, and lavender and bluebells. Intoxicating, lulling. The smell of a beautiful woman who wanted him. The fragrance of an herb sachet dropped into cold water on a hot day and stirred.
“Oh, Emaula.” Porter hadn’t smelled any magic in the tea he’d sipped as a sign of good faith. Just like him to misread a person and get bespelled. He wished Sock had come down with him. Sock wouldn’t make that mistake.
Porter struggled against the weight of her dream world and lifted himself slowly on one arm. She hadn’t fully opened the door, yet. Was just peering through, shyly.
Emaula was not a woman; she was the moon. The shadows of the world curled around and concealed half her face, leaving only the paleness around her starlight blue eyes and the soft darkness of the purple light.
Now was the time to stop her. To say something mean. To beg her to stop. To remind her of her oath. Or to … to—
Emaula divested the darkness. Unveiled her lovely face. Freed her hair, such a fine pale gold that it shone in this dream world, illuminated her thin pink lips. Porter had forgotten how beautiful the witches could be. How the sight of them stole breath, sanity, free will.
The woman could swear there was no harm in her. How could he be harmed by her? When now all he ever wanted in the world was her.
She met his gaze and smiled timidly. She stepped into the sea of sheets and pillows, delicately moving through the luxurious silks toward his body. The black silk wound around him shimmered under the radiance of her body. His stiff cock suffocated and strained under the sleek material.
The witch would get what she wanted. He had enough experience with witches to know they always did. These women could be cruel. They could be unbelievably kind, as well. And he honestly didn’t know which was worse.
He did know there was no point in defying her. No point in not taking what pleasure he could. No point in being mean to the mistress. Had that been one of The Munawn’s mantras? Or another wolf’s good advice?
Emaula knelt beside him in the bed, her hands modestly on her knees, her eyes big and earnest. “Porter, is this all right?”
He didn’t understand. “Hmm?”
“That I’m here this way?” She brushed her fingers over the black silk. White tendrils shot through the inky silk, little drops of poison from her hands to stain the sheets. “Because of the curse—Nav told you about the curse, I trust?”
What if Nav wasn’t supposed to tell them? Safer to pretend he had not. “Don’t remember.”
“Well, I … I’m sort of poisonous. I can’t touch you in real life, but when we were flirting in the café today…” She winced as if her own words cut her. “I just wanted to know if it is all right for me to be here and to … you know, touch you?”
Was she asking permission? No witch did that. Had to be a trick. He answered with his most charming smile. “You could touch me whenever you want, Emaula. I’d take the poison in real life.”
“Porter, you’re such a flirt.” Emaula blushed so prettily.
Shit. She didn’t believe him. He hadn’t been genuine enough. She’d be cruel now, and it wouldn’t count against her oath because it was only in his mind. Or maybe she was powerful enough to break her oath.
She sounded sad. “Can you not be so charming for a moment… Tell me, truthfully.”
He wasn’t sure what she was so embarrassed about, but she was damned cute when she was. She twisted her hands through the sheets as if she had to keep herself from touching him. “Is … is this all right?”
Was it all right? What the hell kind of question was that for a witch to ask a wolf? He wasn’t going to upset her by saying no.
The witch stroked his thigh through the sheet. His cock, already damningly stiff, pulsed at the nearness of her hand. That ought to answer her question.
He didn’t even think he wanted to say no, but how could he know the truth here? When she controlled the world? When just watching her come into the room had reduced him to nothing but a hard cock and the inner monologue of a scared puppy?
“Porter.” Her face was drawn with misery. “Will you say something, please?”
This book was not what I was expecting at all. It was an amazing read that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It did get a little slow in the middle, but oh boy the ending made up for that with the unexpected twists and turns. The characters were fabulous and the world building was even better!! I am going to look for more books from this author as this book about witches was so different than any other I have ever read.
I really enjoyed this entry in the Heart of the Mountain series, it was what I was expecting from the first book. The characters did a great job in being real and it does a great job in creating the world that I was looking for. It left me wanting to read more in this series.