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The Winter’s Mother 1 beta manuscript is now ready. If you would like an opportunity to provide feedback on this book, please apply to join my Beta Team below.

I am happy to provide FREE review copies of the previous books in this series if you need them to catch up with the saga so far. I just ask that you leave a short, honest review on Goodreads and/or Amazon for these books if you do claim the review copies.

Please Note: You can claim the Winter’ Thrall  ARC by applying to join my Beta Team. The link will be sent out in your welcome email.

Winter's Mother 1 Excerpt

Jasper brushed a finger across Neve’s cheek. ‘Right now, you have me wishing I could read minds.’

For a few precious seconds, she forgot to breathe. Then she let out an anxious laugh. ‘I’m kinda glad you can’t.’ She skulled the rest of the drink to break their eye contact and regain some composure.

The moment she lowered her empty bottle, Jasper whisked it away. He dropped it along with his own empty one on the ground. Moving closer, he cupped her chin in his hand. ‘You are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, Neve.’

Wow. Just wow. He had rendered her speechless. As his lidded eyes zeroed in on her lips, she lost herself in their big, brown orbs, twinkling with specks of red and gold. This is happening. I’m about to have my first kiss! The world disappeared around her as Jasper became the extent of her awareness.

The sound of a throat clearing broke the spell. ‘Well, well, well. This must be Jasper Rowan, self-proclaimed king of the school. Looks like we found him in his natural habitat: seducing a sweet, young virgin.’ The insanely beautiful man’s eyes locked with Neve’s. At first glance, he appeared elvish thanks to his long, blond hair and pointed ears. But Neve noticed the golden radiance of his skin.

He must be an enlightened fae, and by the Gods he is stunning.

The enlightened guy’s lips curled into a smirk.

‘Who the hell are you?’ Jasper demanded in a tone more venomous than Neve had thought possible for such a charming boy. ‘And what gives you the right to barge into my house and interrupt me?’

Bells tinkled as a girl in an elegant gown sashayed forward. ‘I am Elna, and this is my twin brother, Erik. We are the real royalty here. Our mother Estelar is an elvish princess. I’m sure you have heard of her.’

‘Right,’ Jasper scoffed, ‘and what brought you out of the woods today?’

Erik shifted his gaze from Neve to Jasper. ‘Do not mock us, boy. Do you not understand who or what we are?’

Released from his magnetic gaze, Neve took in the sight of the twins standing side-by-side. They looked almost identical. Aside from her feminine curves, only colouring distinguished Elna from Erik. Where Erik wore bright pink streaks through his blond locks, Elna had bright green. The neon wisps of hair were not the result of dye, but an extension of their main auras: outward displays of their personalities for all to see.

Jasper shrugged. ‘You’re fae, so what?’

‘Are you unaware of the enlightened and our superiority? You should look us up, ignorant fool,’ Elna chimed in. ‘As for our right to be here. You did extend the invitation to all students of Gaeilge High. That now includes us. We thought tonight would be the perfect opportunity to meet our new subjects. Oh, and to knock you off your throne.’

Neve despised the tone they took with Jasper. How dare they talk to him like this! In his own home, no less.

Erik shot her a fierce look.

Shit! Did he read my mind?

‘What is your name, sweetheart?’ asked Erik.

‘Neve. Neve Winters.’

A flash of recollection followed by respect showed in his eyes. ‘Figures we’d find Jasper Rowan sucking up to the most powerful mage in the school. Would you like to join us for a drink, Neve?’

The extent of Erik’s research impressed her, but not enough to shake her crush on Jasper. ‘No thanks. I’d rather stay here and hang with my friend.’

Erik’s expression transformed into pure, unadulterated shock. ‘I doubt you would call him a friend if you knew what he had planned for you, sweetheart. You have offended me, Neve, and I don’t take kindly to insults. I’m going to extend the olive branch this once because I understand you are young and naïve. Consider your options more carefully this time. Would. You. Like. To. Join. Us?’

With rage building to bursting point, Neve jumped from her seat and glared at Erik. ‘I’m aware of Jasper’s intentions, thank you very much. I am also okay with them. You, Erik, are a pompous buffoon. My answer is still no.’

‘I see. If that’s how you want it, consider the battlelines drawn. See you at school on Tuesday, Neve.’ After scowling at her, Erik turned and strode away with Elna in tow.

Neve huffed. ‘The nerve of those two.’ She turned back to gaze upon an awestruck Jasper.

‘Thank you for sticking by me, Neve. The way you stood up to them was incredible.’ An impish gleam twinkled in his eyes. ‘I’m curious, though: what did you think my intentions were?’

She felt her cheeks flush. ‘I know what you’re like with girls, Jasper, so it wasn’t a stretch to assume you wanted in my pants.’

Jasper laughed. ‘You, my dear, are a lot more fun and much wiser than I gave you credit for.’ His eyes darkened with lust. ‘So, about those pants of yours…’

Panic seized Neve’s nerves. Jasper’s proposition made his intentions clear. While she wanted him, Caitlin’s voice whispered in her mind like the proverbial angel on her shoulder. Damn it! I thought I was ready for this. Instead of hinting at her cowardice, she flashed him a wicked grin. ‘I do intend to give you what you want, but it’s not gonna happen tonight. You, my dear, are going to have to wait.’

‘Oh, so you want me to chase you more?’

‘Don’t guys like you enjoy the pursuit?’

He sucked in an audible breath. ‘We do.’

‘Then consider me your prey.’ Leaving him slack jawed, Neve walked back inside to join her friends.

© 2022 L. Starla

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