Winged Hearts by Faedra Rose

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0786-0

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Hearts of Avalar, 5

Ephaney Stormsinger, daughter of the Lord and Lady of The Stormsong Isles, prepares for her Final Trial—the test that will see her live to become a true, graduated coven member, or dead and dashed upon the mountainside. Falling from the platform atop Storm’s Peak, she prays to the Goddess for Fate to intervene.

Sensing the undeniable pull of the Fated mate bond, the great owl shifter Reuben Skywing rescues the Air witch from her fall … breaking the unspoken law that forbids the shifters from interfering in the affairs of the witches.



The purple of dusk bleeds across the sky, blending into the sapphire and onyx hues of the gloam above. The last glowing rays of the sun are sinking below the ocean, causing the waves to glitter. I sigh as the last of the warmth leaves the day and the chill of the evening sets in. I shake my head in the direction of Storm’s Peak in dismay. Again, the witches are at it. Kicking their chicks from the nest to see which ones will fly, and which ones will plummet to their inevitable deaths.

Surely there’s a better way. So many lives lost… Half of those who have taken the Final Trial just today have seen their last sunset. Merciful Goddess, the screams are the worst part. With my keen sense of hearing, their final cries fill my soul with a deep and unsettling revulsion. Such a waste. So many of those Air witches—gifted women in their prime—could have gone onto greater things, been powerful witches who could have made a real difference in Avalar. But just because they couldn’t perform in that one moment in time… I bristle my feathers. It’s not my place, I remind myself. We, the great owl shifters, share The Stormsong Isles with the Air witches—in peace—as long as we stay out of each other’s affairs. No meddling.

As often as I have wanted to swoop in and save those who clearly don’t look like they’re going to make it, I cannot. The witches don’t value life as we do. They place a higher value on purity of bloodlines, and strength of magic. As far as they’re concerned, every young woman who finds herself dashed upon the earth is nothing more than wasted time and resources.

I have heard that even the girls’ families feel this way. This belief system is so ingrained into their culture that they feel not grief upon their child’s demise, but shame and regret. Shame that their offspring failed to achieve and honor their family name. The very notion boils my blood.

Life is precious. Why can’t they see? Just as I’m about to take wing, and leave the witches to their ghastly ways, another witch jumps, or rather, falls. With my near flawless vision, I see the glint of her sun-kissed golden hair streaming past her, obscuring her face. Her arms are spread wide, and everything about her posture as she free-falls suggests implicit trust and serenity. There is no fear, no screaming, no wild abandon, just peace. Peace.

And then, as if we’re connected by some cosmic, esoteric tether, my heart feels as though it’s being physically ripped from my chest—plummeting along with her. I snap my beak in sudden confusion and rage as the pain continues to build the further the woman descends. With each foot she falls, I feel like I’m going to die. And with sudden clarity my heart understands, and I’ve launched myself into the sky, in the direction of Storm’s Peak, even if it takes my logical mind a few moments more to make sense of what the fuck I’m doing.

There is just one phrase that plays on repeat in my head as I soar faster than I have ever soared before. She’s my Fated mate. She’s my Fated mate. She’s my Fated mate? There’s no time to think it through. All I know is that if this Air witch doesn’t survive, neither will I. Every day hereafter would be spent merely existing. She is my peace. My hope. My heart. This golden, sun-kissed witch is my mate.

I wing through the growing dark, and my mate continues her serene fall, her golden hair and white smock billowing. As I pump my wings, eyes locked onto her, everything feels surreal, and dream-like. It’s as if somehow time has slowed down, and there’s just us—her and me. I don’t know if she can fly, if she can save herself, like the others that have lived to see another day, but I can’t risk it. My heart says intervene—consequences be damned!

The ground is drawing nearer with every breath, and suddenly a thousand feet up seems like nothing at all. The canopy of the forest is much too close for comfort. I hear several shouts from below. No doubt, the survivors have spotted me. But it’s too late. Like an arrow piercing the flesh of the sky I fly, until at the last second—just feet above the treetops—I back-wing, and snatch the witch out of the air, ending her Trial.

I glance down as I work to gain altitude once more, and the witch opens her eyes, stealing my breath away—they’re a deep, vibrant orange, like the wings of butterflies, or the sun, just as it burns below the horizon at sunset.

“I’ve got you,” I say, speaking to her mind instinctively.

Her lips part, as if to speak, but instead, she answers me with the mindspeech. “Who are you?” she asks, curiosity in her voice.

“My name is Reuben Skywing, and I’m the heir to The Stormsong Isles Eyrie.”

The witch seems to ponder this for a moment, before smiling.

 As we gain sufficient height, I turn back towards my favorite perch.

“My name is Ephaney Stormsinger.”

My blood chills in my veins and a cold sense of dread settles over me. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I just managed to snatch away the most eligible witch in The Isles, the family for which the bloody things are named! This is their land—their home. These islands have always belonged to the Stormsingers.

Ephaney reaches up to lay a gentle, reassuring hand on my foot as I carry her. “You know I can hear you, right, Reuben?”

“Can you feel it?” I ask. “Us?”

“I can,” she answers. “We’re Fated mates, aren’t we? I can feel it burning inside my chest, like a white-hot flame.”

“We are,” I confirm. “And I think I may have just inadvertently started a war between our people in claiming you…”


Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings)
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Really good story!
Written by Ash J on 4th Jul 2023

I really enjoyed this story in 'Hearts of Avalar' series. I liked both Reuben and Ephaney's characters and was rooting for them the entire read. I love how both characters got betrayedvby their fathers and had to deal with them the only way they could. The story was steamy and entertaining. Can't wait to see what happens next in Avalar.

fall into love
Written by Queen O on 4th Jul 2023

fly or parish. Those are the rules to the wicked games every witch must partake in. But what happens when you are falling and the heir to the throne is okay with starting a war to save you.

Great Story
Written by kdavis on 4th Jul 2023

I enjoyed the storyline and the characters of Reuben and Ephaney were so sweet and steamy together. Ephaney is an air witch and has to pass a test of life or death. Reuben is an owl shifters and hates the trials but he's not suppose to interfere. Then he feels the mate pull that one of the witch's falling is his fated mate. He ends up saving his mate and he inadvertently might have started a war. This is a quick sweet story. The characters are strong and explosive. First book I've read by this author. Enjoyable story.

loved this series as a whole
Written by kathryn m on 4th Jul 2023

I've been enjoying the Hearts of Avalar series for a while now, and really enjoyed what was going on in this entry. Faedra Rose wrote this perfectly and I was invested in what was happening.

Forbidden Fated mates
Written by MazBeebee on 4th Jul 2023

This was a Fated mate, virgin FMC and Instalove Trope. Rueben is a Alpha Owl shifter and Ephaney is a powerful witch. During her trial her mate found her and saved her. It was Instalove as they felt their mate calling to each other. The story followed them to the struggle of being together and leaders. There were secrets being revealed and betrayed by. It was a great quick read with a good story plot. Action, drama, live and steam.

Loved it!
Written by Flavia K on 4th Jul 2023

I love the way this author writes. Her stories always have a hidden gem, something I haven't read before... or a different way of seeing or saying things, and that always pleasantly surprises me. I also really enjoy the dialogues. A very good read!

Must Read
Written by Danee on 4th Jul 2023

Hearts of Avalar is a wonderful series. This story is dripping with romance, sex, a little drama and a whole lot of steam and passion between the main characters. Their journey was nice to read but it wasn't all roses, it wasn't always easy for them. A wonderful book and a page turner.

Winged Hearts.
Written by Caroline D on 4th Jul 2023

Fantastic short story about Ephaney a witch who has no choice but to participate in the trials it’s either do or die and Ephaney isn’t doing well at all. Reuben an alpha owl shifter and heir to the throne he saw his fated mate in Ephaney he saved her and claimed her. There is so much more going on in this short story I loved it and the characters and I highly recommend this book.

When she literally falls from the sky
Written by Alejandra ♥️ on 4th Jul 2023

Winged Hearts is the fifth book in the Hearts of Avalar series. It is a short story and can be read as a standalone. It’s a cute read about an owl shifter and an air witch being mated and trying to unite their worlds. It is very fast pace, insta love with a simple plot. There are some twists to keep you interested. Spice level (1-5): ?️?️?️

Nice addition to the series
Written by Sarah ES on 4th Jul 2023

A nice short novella that adds another great story to the collection as we as another point of view on the Chaos Queen. So far she has proven to be as wonderful as you would expect the most powerful witch to be. Let’s hope this streak continues for the sake of Avalar.

Short Story
Written by Jeanne R on 4th Jul 2023

This is the first book I've read written by Faedra Rose; I can’t wait to read more of her books. This is the fifth book in the Hearts of Avalar Series; it is a stand-alone short story. The story is about Ephaney & Reuben. I received a free copy of this book via booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.

So good
Written by Veronica1986 on 4th Jul 2023

This was another good one! I loved how the characters came together in the end and how the story played out, there was so much tension and I loved it, the whole book series was amazing! I can’t wait to read another one! Great work! I couldn’t get enough of this one!

Winged Hearts!
Written by Mary on 4th Jul 2023

This is such a good addition to the "Hearts of Avalar" series. The story is about fated mates Ephaney and Reuben. She is an air witch and is put to an archaic test, one that means life or death. Reuben is an owl shifter who hates the test but cannot interfere. That is until he feels the undeniable pull; one of the falling witches is his intended. The further she falls the more his heart breaks he must save her. Then they both realize who the other is and he may have just started a war. This is a short and quick read that is fast paced. I love the characters! They are combustible and strong.

Winged Hearts, well worth reading
Written by Babs on 4th Jul 2023

The fifth book in the Hearts of Avalar series, another great story that held my interest throughout. It is well written with and Ephaney’s story having drama, suspense, steam, secrets, deception, and romance. The story was well worth reading. I received a copy of this book via Evernight and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Winged Hearts
Written by Karen99 on 4th Jul 2023

The Fates Had Given Them Each Other Reuben Skywing a Great Owl Shifter and Alpha Heir to The Stormsong Isles just knew when Ephaney fell to the last Witch trial that she was his fated mate. He swooped in to save and claim her not knowing that she was Ephaney Stormsinger and Heir, Lady of The Stormsong Isles. Fated Mates their first meeting had a knock on effect, a new Alpha of the Great Owl Shifters and the new Lady of The Stormsong Isles. Their love was meant to be and no-one could change what fate had given them. Full of love, emotion, passion, some steamy moments and betrayal with some action makes this a great shifter read with some surprises.

Awesome story!
Written by Leeannwriter on 16th Apr 2023

Winged Hearts is an amazing, multi-layered work. It's fantasy. It's romance. It's passion and sex. It's story but it reminds the reader of legend. Although the main characters are fated mates, their path to a life together isn't easy or simple. No spoilers but most readers will be glued to the page to learn what happens next and how it ends. There are surprises and unexpected turns. Definitely worth a read.

great read
Written by PHOENIX96 on 16th Apr 2023

Ephany's last trial maybe her last breath aswell until shifter Ruben interferes a saving her but breaking trial rules, will it save her or sign her ending. well written steamy, alpha, mates, twists and more