Book 4 in the Cursed Clan Series
Part of the Cursed Clan World
A man who can seduce any woman.
Through the centuries, Fletcher has learned a thing or two about seduction. He has no problem with most women, and if they rejected him, he was happy to move on to the next infatuation. That is until he met Serena Fay. She’s become an obsession for him, and when the mission for the next jewel is revealed, he jumps at the chance to pair off with the Fae.
A Fae with revenge in her blood.
Half-Fae/Half-Human Rena has had her share of loss. Her family was butchered by mad man, and her fae family turned their backs on her. She swore revenge on the man who stole her happiness. Now, she has a new family, which means she’s involved with the McLennans and their quest to break the curse. That includes Fletcher, the one man who has tempted her like no other.
A passion that could destroy them all.
One kiss leads to more than either of them expected. As they delve into their roles, their feelings move past lust to something more, but the madman from Rena’s past is in control of the next jewel. Both of them will need to choose between love for each other, or honor their commitment to their families.
The love story has a happy ending, but the bigger curse story is a thread through each story.
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“Good God, Fletcher, are you paying attention to me?” his sister Anice asked him
Fletcher tore his gaze away from the beautiful fae and smiled. “Not really. Yer blathering on about something I could care less about.”
“I don’t know why I’m forced to work on presentations that none of you are paying attention to.”
His twin sister rarely threw fits, so he knew this was important. He glanced at his cousins, then back to Anice.
“I’m paying attention, Anice, as are Logan and Angus. It’s only your twin who is infatuated with a woman who is not.”
“I’m not infatuated.”
The withering look Callum gave him would normally make him laugh, but he didn’t like the idea that people might be thinking the same thing. Fletcher McLennan didn’t get hung up on a woman, they were hung up on him.
Angus chuckled. “Sure, you aren’t. That’s a fetching yellow dress Rena is wearing today.”
“She’s wearing white.”
“White, her dress is…” his voice faded when he realized what his cousin had just done. “Bugger off.”
Angus just smiled. He had been doing a lot of that since he met Serena Fay.
“If you two are done, I have a few meetings to attend,” Callum said. He was Laird and head of their company. Meetings were a way of life for him and he lived for them. They drove Fletcher batty—unless it was a meeting over a pint.
Callum stood as did everyone else, but Fletcher stayed seated. He had situated himself at the opposite end of the table facing the window that looked out on the garden. It gave him an excellent view of Rena.
She was sitting on a bench along the path that twisted around their mansion. Fletcher had never been this fascinated with a woman, but she drew him in by just existing. He knew part of it was her beauty. Light brown skin and ever-changing eyes. When he first met her, they had been blue. Then, they slowly transitioned to green, and now hazel. He didn’t know if she did it on purpose or it was just natural for her kind. He didn’t know a lot about faeries.
“So, brother dear, why haven’t you asked Rena out?”
He tore his gaze away from Rena as Anice eased her hip onto the conference table. Did he admit the truth? He had asked her out to dinner, twice. If he asked her again, it would be a little stalkerish. Fletcher McLennan did not do that to women, but his gaze strayed to her once again. It was always like that with Rena. He couldn’t seem to break the connection he felt with her.
“Bloody hell, Fletch, you need a good shag to get her off your mind.”
He blinked and looked at his sister. She had never been a prude, but this was not like her at all.
“It’s been what…at least a month?”
He said nothing. It had been. Actually, it had been almost three months.
“Oh, bloody hell, it’s been longer? Don’t tell me that the legendary Fletcher Donald McLennan has lost his touch.”
“Bugger off,” he said as he pushed away from the table, unhappy with the situation.
Having a twin was not as comforting as many people thought. After several hundred years together, they tended to get on each other’s nerves. They also knew exactly what buttons to push.
“Come on, Fletch. Why haven’t you asked her out? Although, I will say,” she said walking toward the window, “she isn’t exactly your type, now is she?”
“I have no idea what you are blathering on about. She’s beautiful…and well…”
“Exactly. These last few years many of them have been beautiful, but many haven’t been very bright.”
“What the bloody hell do you mean?”
“I’ve met rocks smarter than some of the women you’ve been with these last few years.”
Fletcher didn’t get annoyed that often, but Anice definitely knew those aforementioned buttons. Anger soared, fueled by embarrassment. She was right, and he knew it. Unfortunately, humiliation left him defensive—always. He had a nasty temper and he knew how to maim—especially Anice’s tender heart.
“Better than someone who is openly plotting against our clan.”
The moment he said the words, he wanted to call them back. Anice’s smile faded, as her eyes turned cold and the usual rosy color drained from her cheeks. A lump rose in his throat as he felt her pain even when she said nothing to retaliate. He knew that meant she was wounded.
“Anice, I’m sorry.”
She shook her head. “No. I know you didn’t mean anything by it.”
But he could see the memories from that night long ago darkening her eyes. He walked toward her, but she moved past him to the door.
“I’ve a lunch date.”
“No need to worry, Fletcher.” She didn’t look at him before she slipped out the door, shutting it quietly behind her.
Dammit. He scrubbed his face with his hand, trying to deal with the uneasiness in his gut. He could handle an angry Anice, but even after all of these years, he could never handle her being sad. It was the thing that had led them to beat the living hell out of the McWalton bastard when he had tried to seduce her. She had been broken after his attack. All of the male cousins had been hurting afterwards, unable to reach her, but he had felt it the most. It had been the one time in their lives he didn’t know how to make her feel better.
He walked to the window, even knowing that he shouldn’t be this obsessed with Rena. She was still there, sitting on the bench, enjoying the rather balmy afternoon. She was such a solitary soul, seemingly alone in the world except for her friends Meghan and Maggie. There was never a mention of family; although, she did disappear at times. He could not imagine living without his irritating family surrounding him, but Serena seemed perfectly happy without that.
No, that was wrong. There were times he sensed a sadness in her. The rest of the family didn’t seem to see it, but he did. Or rather…felt it. With that thought, his nerves seemed to itch beneath his flesh. He barely knew the fae, other than what he could glean from her friends. Still, there was a connection there he could not seem to deny.
He shook his head and turned away from the window. Anice was right. He needed to get Rena off his mind and usually that meant another woman. He’d call around to Simone in town and see if she had time to grab a quick bite, and maybe talk her into bed.
Yes, that was what he needed. He had learned a long time ago that allowing a woman to get into his head and heart would spell disaster for the family. He would never fail them again.
* * *
Serena drew in a deep breath of fresh fall air and then released it. The routine was one she had used for decades. Whenever she felt nervous or apprehensive, the rhythmic breathing never failed to compose her. It allowed her to reclaim control over whatever situation had left her feeling unsure of herself. She had been using it more lately, mainly because she was living in a house with so many people.
One of them, in particular, was causing her to use it more often. Fletcher McLennan was a beautiful man. He had a smile that melted most women’s hearts, and she knew he’d been with hundreds of women throughout the centuries. She could not be one of them. She had more important things to accomplish. A man like Fletcher would complicate that quest.
She glanced back at the window where she knew the cousins were meeting that morning. She had thought to would find him there, but she was wrong. That should calm her nerves, but it didn’t. He left her off kilter, and she did not like it one bit.
It probably had to do with the entire family. Granted, it was a massive mansion, and she could spend days easily avoiding her fellow inhabitants. Knowing them, one of them would find her.
As if on cue, Anice hurried out of the mansion. Her trademark smile was not in appearance. Instead, she seemed to be in a world of her own making, her head down and a frown marring her usually sunny disposition. Normally, Serena would avoid any problems. It was her trademark. She’d learned long ago that being friends wasn’t something she was good at. But then she’d met Maggie and Meghan, who had come into her life and changed that opinion. She would do anything for either woman and their families. That now extended to the McLennan’s since they both had fallen for one of the immortals.
She stopped and looked up, blinking. Serena had been correct. The solitary female cousin had been deep in thought.
“Oh, Rena, hullo. I didnae see you there.”
She smiled. “No worries. You look upset.”
Anice shrugged. “Fletcher knows just how to be an arse when he wants to.”
Serena snorted, which brought a small smile to Anice’s lips. “What did he do now?”
She waved her hands as if it were nothing. “We get on each other’s nerves. Not hard to do after a couple of centuries of irritating each other.”
“Still, this one was hard, yes?”
Anice sighed and sat on the bench beside Serena. “Yes.”
They sat next to each other for a few seconds. Anice didn’t continue with her thoughts, which was odd for her.
She looked at Rena. “What?”
She sighed, as if trying to collect herself. That was enough to tell Rena that this was not an easy memory for Anice.
“I was fooled a while ago by a bastard.”
“In truth or deed?”
“Deed. He was using me to get to the Clan.”
“Fletcher brought it up again?”
She nodded and looked out over the expansive land the McLennan’s owned. Many people would look at Anice on any given day and see a happy woman. Serena had always sensed a melancholy behind the smile.
“Is this why you have no man?”
“There is one man. I just…” She looked over her shoulder at the house.
“He works for the company, and the boys wouldn’t be happy about that.”
“Boys? Your brother and your cousins?” Serena sniffed. “It is no business of theirs. Didn’t Callum seduce Phoebe when she was working for him?”
“It can also be said of Maggie and Meghan to a point. These men.” She shook her head.
“So, you don’t think it’s a problem?”
“No. Although, I would tell you to tread carefully. Your family holds a precious secret. Who knows what the ramifications would be if you were to reveal your situation?”
Anice nodded and looked out over the grounds again. In that one moment, Serena felt her loneliness. It vibrated through her soul and left her almost breathless, although Rena did not say a word. This is why she didn’t make friends. Their pain became hers.
When Rena could speak, she asked, “Have you talked to Phoebe about this?”
“Is there a reason you would not talk to your cousin about this?”
Anice looked at her, those deep blue eyes resembled the North Sea. “She has so much on her plate, and since she found that passage about the children of the McLennan’s in danger, she’s been possessed about finding out more.”
For good reason. Phoebe, Callum’s wife, was expecting the first child born to one of the immortals.
“The diary is written to make it difficult.”
Anice nodded. “I understand though. They were trying their best to leave us a trail, but they had to worry about the McWalton’s coming after them.”
“I think that something like this might take her mind off of her worries though.”
Anice’s expression eased a bit. “Do you think it would help?”
“Yes. If you have a worry, sometimes it is best to forget about your own and focus on someone else’s.”
“Does that advice come from your experience?”
Rena smiled. “Yes.”
“I guess I’ll go hunt up Phoebe and talk to her.”
“Good. And, in my opinion, you should take a chance. You’ll never know otherwise.”
“Know if he is the one for you.”
“I’d settle for a date.”
Anice started to rise from the bench, but Serena grabbed her hand. Anice’s eyes widened. Anice’s feelings tumbled through her, leaving Serena, once again, almost gasping for breath. She controlled it, just barely.
“Don’t sell yourself short, Anice. Having a partner, one who can support you and love you, is precious.”
“Speaking from experience again?”
She let go of the other woman’s arm. “No. My parents had a love like that. My father turned his back on his family for my mother. Your cousins and my friends have a love like that. They have already proven they would give their lives for each other. You deserve that.”
She offered Serena a sad smile. “We all deserve that, Rena, but sometimes fate doesna want to play along.”
She rose and Serena let her go. “She’s in the library,” she called out.
“It’s weird when you do things like that, Rena.”
She smiled. “You’re several centuries old. That’s weirder.”
When Anice’s laughter reached her, Serena smiled. But it soon faded. The McLennan’s may have their curse to break, but Serena had her own quest to finish. She’d spent the last few months tangled up with the family. Now, though, she had her information and she could finally complete it.
She would finally be able to keep her promise to her family and nothing would stand in her way.
End of Excerpt
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The love story has a happy ending, but the bigger curse story is a thread through each story.
These books just get better and better...
The tale is sexy, exciting, and unique.
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