Title: Splintered Stars
Series: The Sevens #1
Author: Rachel Madbury
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2021
The greatest witch ever born doesn’t know she is one.
Some secrets aren’t best kept. Some powers can’t be contained. And for Haley Quinlan, when her sister is kidnapped she’ll learn that the life she’s built is a pale shadow to the one she’s meant for.
If she lives long enough.
He’s been watching her for three years but for the first time Lucas Turner sees the truth of who Haley is. It’s nothing he ever imagined. And it’s nothing he’s allowed to have. He'll usher her into a world she's been kept from and protect her life with his own, but when their connection sets them on a course filled with darkness and lies, will their greatest risk be each other?
When the world learns who she is, he’ll die for her without question. But what if she lives? What if they both do?
“You’ve never cast in all the time I’ve watched you. I thought you were just more discreet than most.”
“I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about. We need to get you help.” Haley started to go for her bag, when he stopped her, his big hand sliding smoothly into hers. It was rough and cold, but something about the weight of it felt good to her.
“Can you repeat something for me?”
“Yeah, just say what I say. And keep repeating it until I tell you to stop.”
What the hell? If it wasn’t for the plea in his eye, she would have thought he was completely gone.
“We don’t have time to waste, Haley. Can you please do this for me?” He didn’t sound irritated with her, and for some reason that made her want to do what he said.
He took her hand and brought it over his side, where the blood started. She jumped, not wanting to touch it. “Just hold it above me like this.” He positioned her hand so her palm was facing him. “Soul to soul,” he said, his eyes on her. “Say that.”
“Soul to soul,” she repeated awkwardly, her lips curling inward.
“And cell to cell.”
“And cell to cell.”
He exhaled, his energy waning. “Take this being and make it well.”
A poem? He wanted her to repeat a poem to him? She was about to pull out of his hold and go get some actual help when he gave her a desperate look that shut down every impulse she had to leave.
“Take this being and make it well.”
“Again,” he prompted, his eyes floating closed as his head sank back against the wall. His fingers were feather light against her wrist as she kept her hand hovering inches from him.
She repeated the rhyme again and he nodded. She spoke once more and saw his lips moving in time with hers, his voice so low she couldn’t hear it.
He let go of her, his hand falling heavily into his lap, but the warmth from his fingers lingered. He was fading out on her, and panic was starting to settle in. He was the only one who knew what had just happened to Penny. She needed him to help her get her sister back. She needed his help, even if she didn’t know him. She started to go faster. Repeating the phrase over and over.
Where he’d held her hand, the skin began to grow hot, a tingling in her palm like she’d let it fall asleep and it was starting to wake back up. The sensation grew, traveling up her arm. It was strange and uncomfortable, but not painful, so she kept going. It seemed impossible, but the color in his face was returning, his shaky breathing easing back to normal.
But then his lips stopped moving. This wasn’t working. She was about to give up when his hand reached up to hers, the second their fingers touched a burst of heat arched out of her and sent her flying backward. His eyes flew open and he darted, catching her before her head hit the concrete. He held her there, suspended in his arms for a long minute, his eyes searching hers. Finally, a breath rushed out of him. “Thank you.”
“Thank me? What the hell was that?” He leaned back onto his heels, letting her take her own weight.
In a flash of daring, she grabbed for his shirt and pulled it up, the blood-soaked fabric was cold and sticky on her fingers, but the skin underneath was intact. A long scar curved from his side down to his hip, and blood was dried all around it, but the wound was completely closed. She reached to touch it, her fingers shaking, but stopped and jerked her hand back.
“What the hell?” Dropping his shirt, she leaned away from him. “Who are you?”
He stood, extending a hand down to her and waiting until she took it. Pulling her up, he looked her square in the eye as he took a deep breath. “My name is Lucas.”
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Rachel Madbury is an award-winning non-fiction writer and life long New Englander who turned to romantic fiction in 2015 and has never looked back. Based in New Hampshire with her adopted coonhound, Gus, she is the author of the romantic suspense Surrender Series, and her most recent adventure, the paranormal Sevens series.