Descended of Dragons, Book 1
by Jen Crane
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A Secret Past
Fiery redhead Stella Stonewall can’t decide between a margarita and a manhattan.
The rest of her life? Please. Stella has never really fit in, and her pretty world comes crashing down when she learns it was never her world at all.
Rowan Gresham is domineering, brooding, and as sexy as chocolate-dipped sin. When he transports Stella to the magical realm of her parents she recognizes her rightful place immediately. Gresham’s motivations are less clear.
A Scorching Chemistry
The enigmatic Gresham aids in Stella’s metamorphosis and their chemistry ignites, though a long-time girlfriend and a significant age difference stand in the way.
A Battle for the Rest of Her Life
Stella’s life fast-tracks to extraordinary when she enrolls at Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning, an enchanted college whose students turn furry on the regular. As Stella learns to navigate the magical new world of Thayer she must also find her animal form, a task as elusive as her ancestry. Stella soon faces an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn to manipulate an animal form she never knew she possessed.
In this scene Stella runs into her newfound mentor Rowan Gresham
at a school mixer. This time he has company.
“Mmm-hmmm,” I hummed playfully. Riling Rowan Gresham up was just too easy. Was I flirting? Maybe.
My attempt to hide my grin behind a sip of my drink was unsuccessful, and the tension soon left his shoulders. As I inquired further about Gresham’s “special projects,” I caught sight of a lovely brunette in her late thirties as she approached him from behind. She ran her hand through Gresham’s arm and clasped his bicep possessively.
“Hello,” she said coolly. “I’m Livia Miles.”
She pronounced this la-VEE-yah. Her gray eyes were sharp and assessing as she took in my proximity to Gresham. I backed up a step instinctively. She extended a bony hand, and I took the time to do a little assessing of my own. Now, I like to consider myself fairly well-groomed, but Livia was the type of woman who always looked…pristine. Her nails were perfectly manicured, and the shine on her toe polish caused me to blink. Her smooth skin had obviously been exfoliated and buffed to perfection, her makeup was flawless, if on the heavy side. Her jewelry was tasteful and expensive, and her hair…god, her long brown curls absolutely gleamed reflecting the overhead lights. A tight black lace dress revealed a runner’s legs and no breasts to speak of, thank the good lord for small mercies.
“Livia, this is Stella Stonewall,” Gresham put in. “Stella is a primos, and will likely be in your department’s Intro to Craft and Ritual class.”
“I know who she is, Gresham,” she said icily.
“Oh, uhm… Nice to meet you, Professor Miles,” I stumbled. “Craft? I’m sorry; Orientation is tomorrow. I know very little about the coursework here.”
“Dean Miles,” she corrected. “Craft. The art and science of causing change in accordance with one’s will.”
I must have looked as clueless as I felt, because she turned to Gresham.
“Ugh. Rowan. She is an imbecile. Wherever did you find her, and what moron allowed her into this institution? If this is the caliber of student my department is expected to instruct, I…”
“Stella is new to our ways, as you know, Livia,” Gresham growled. “She is a bright young woman, and will catch on quickly, I am sure, with the help of exceptional teachers like you.”
To this obvious schmoozing, Livia seemed appeased. I had a sneaking suspicion he had just saved me from some serious in-class discrimination.
I couldn’t recall the last time I had been so flagrantly insulted. Fifteen responses and backhanded insults raced through my mind, as did a speedy synopsis of my circumstances—new town, new school, new teacher. Don’t make enemies, I told myself. Swallow your pride. Hold your tongue.
But the fact was I had real difficulty with those particular virtues.