To Tame a Wild Heart
Publication date: June 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Audrey Taylor has carved a living out of society’s fringes using her supernatural abilities and street smarts. Freedom—sleeping beneath the open skies and under the radar—is all she’s ever needed. But when an ancient council of witches discovers her powers, Audrey must submit to their training or be stripped of her gifts and her memory. Audrey knows better than to trust anyone, and she’s never worked well with others, so it’s just her luck to be assigned a withdrawn and irritable falconer as her mentor. Even more disturbing is her desire to tear through his brooding façade and bare the man beneath when she should be focused on escape.
Corvin Wright values the solace of his duties and only finds peace among the birds entrusted to his keeping. But the council no longer sees a use for his unique gifts, and his sanctuary is in danger unless he can earn his place by babysitting a fledgling witch. The task becomes daunting when his apprentice turns out to be wilder and more broken than any creature he’s ever cared for. Her fiery spirit and dangerous beauty challenge every ideal of the life he’s built. As Audrey wrestles with her captivity and the bonds of responsibility laid upon her, Corvin must find a way to tame her wild heart before she breaks his.
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An hour later, the bait basket was empty, but Honey had caught a fifth wind and was happily chasing butterflies around the meadow while he and Audrey lounged in the thick grass.
“We should have packed a basket of treats for us,” Audrey said when her stomach rumbled loud enough to catch the eagle’s attention.
Corvin smiled to himself. He loved her enthusiasm for food, even if it stemmed from going hungry for too often. The extra weight she’d put on suited her—not just filling out her ample hips, but her face looked healthier and more youthful too. Though it was still easy to forget how young she actually was, since her eyes told a much older story.
“Would you like a peach?” He nodded at the far edge of the tree line, where a large peach tree sat like a squat decoration among the towering cedars.
“There’s no fruit on that tree,” came her logical reply.
He winked and strode past Honey—who barely paused in her chase—to stand at the foot of the giant tree. He held his palm under the lowest branch and pulsed magic into it. The branch shivered, and buds burst forth in a froth of fluffy pink. As his magic flowed into them, the flower petals rained around him, and two large pieces of fruit bulged, causing the branch to drop the heavy fruit right into his palms. He twisted them free and sauntered back to Audrey to hold out the largest and ripest one.
“If you had three, I could juggle for you.”
He settled next to her as she took an exaggerated bite and moaned in pleasure, closing her eyes.
“Oh, god.” She grinned as a bit of juice dribbled down her chin.
He took a bite himself to avoid leaning in to sip the sweetness right from her lips.
“Why is there a peach tree out here in the middle of the woods?”
“I planted it. I found this place when I was a boy. The plants led me here. I was eating a peach at the time—they’re my favorite. So, I decided to plant the pit. I used what little magic I had, and it took root that day. Whenever I wanted to run away, I would come here, and I always had food. Since then, I’ve woven my own magic into this place. The plants and animals know me. They let me pass, while they help keep others away.”
Audrey tilted her head, studying him with a teasing smile.
“I know what you’re thinking—even then I was antisocial.”
She set her half-eaten fruit aside and wiped her hands on her thighs. “I wasn’t going to say that. The first time I ran away, it was to a tree fort. Well, sort of. It was the hood of an old Chevy, an umbrella I found at the dump, and some fallen branches. I hadn’t thought ahead to pack any food though. If I’d had a magic peach tree, I might still be there.”
Gwen lives a life of romance and adventure with her very own hero in Seattle. She’s a nature lover, science geek, and kitchen witch, with a nose for well-aged tequila and a pin-up fashion obsession. When not hiking to hidden waterfalls, taking in a burlesque show, or otherwise cavorting through the Emerald City, Gwen can be found in her favorite cozy chair brewing tales of magic, murder, and romance.