Dragon's HopeBy: Lili Zander & Rory Reynolds
Blood Prophecy Book 3
The story so far
After a near-death encounter with a panther shifter guard, twenty-four-year-old Norm Aria Archer promises to give up her thieving ways and embrace the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her resolve doesn’t last long. Silas, the wolf-shifter who took her in from the streets when she was fourteen, is gravely ill, and cannot pay for the treatment he needs to stay alive.
When the mysterious Drakkar Raedwulf offers Aria a million dollars to steal from the five dragon princes, Aria has no choice other than to accept. Though everyone in her life warns her about the dangerous dragons, Aria is determined to help Silas.
With the help of a bear-shifter called Mariana Dupree and a magical tattoo artist called Pieter Van Den Berg, Aria infiltrates the Valhalla Ball, a party thrown by Dragon Prince Bastian Jaeger, and tries to sneak up to the dragon lords’ penthouse suite.
But the five dragon princes are onto her, and the instant she opens the safe she’s been hired to empty, they appear around her…
…And claim that she’s their mate.
Rather understandably, Aria’s more concerned about the danger Silas is in. If she doesn’t show up with the contents of the dragon princes’ safe, Drakkar Raedwulf will kill Silas. She waits until the dragons are asleep, robs the safe and sneaks out of their apartment to meet her client.
But Aria doesn’t have whatever Raedwulf is looking for. Enraged, he almost kills her. In the nick of time, Bastian rescues her, though he’s wounded in the attack. Raedwulf and one of his wolf-shifter companions manage to escape, but the third wolf-shifter is taken prisoner by Bastian’s guards.
Aria has abilities that are far greater than any Norm, and the dragon princes try to uncover the mystery of her identity. Silas tells them that he’s been working on the same thing. He kept his findings in a diary that’s stored at his friend Pete’s house. Unfortunately, when Silas and dragon prince Erik Valder get to Pete’s apartment, they discover that the Norm had been killed by Drakkar Raedwulf, who’s also taken the diary.
Aria mourns Pete and decides to confront Raefwulf’s associate, who is being treated for concussion in a hospital. When she gets there, she’s taken prisoner by Dr. Brown, a one-time associate of Raedwulf. Aria’s able to harness Dragon Prince Mateo Valentini’s magic to free herself from the doctor, another sign that she’s not entirely Norm.
The dragon princes grow concerned at the danger Aria is in, and want to send her away, but Aria realizes she can’t leave. She’s part of a five-hundred-year-old prophecy, and she’s the dragons’ mate. She’s ready to break the curse that’s draining magic from the world.
Which brings us to…
When I was young,
The ravens Huginn and Muninn,
Thought and Memory,
Messengers of Odin, AllFather,
Came to me in a dream.
They offered me the gift of power.
I was foolish.
I forgot to ask the cost.
I forgot that the AllFather can be a fickle trickster.
The ravens gave me magic.
Power and treasure both.
And with it, an unasked offering.
The gift of foresight.
I see everything.
I see my beloved mate wither and die.
I see the ending of magic,
And the ruin of my people.
Every path in front of me ends in destruction.
All paths but one.
It is treacherous.
And I may yet fail.
But fight I must.
Here’s what I know.
I trust the five dragon princes. Even Erik.
I like them. Well, maybe not Erik.
But I’m not going to sleep with them. Not yet.
Because, despite what Casius said to me Sunday evening about magic not subverting my will, I’m not ready to jump into bed with five guys I don’t know. Even though they’re smoldering hot. Even though I really want to.
I don’t trust the need that fills me when I look at them. I don’t trust the tug I feel toward them. It would be easy to give into the compulsion, to let the blood magic take over, but that’s not right, and it’s not fair.
I’m twenty-four. Bea and I spend a lot of time talking about guys, but mostly, we talk about sex. Wanting it, not getting it, gardens getting plowed, fields lying fallow. We never talk about love or marriage. Those things are for when we are older when we feel more grown-up. More ready for adulthood.