Love Beyond Reach

By: Bethany Claire

Book 8 of Morna’s Legacy Series





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A Love Story for The Centuries

All Morna Conall wants is freedom—freedom to practice and learn about the magic inside her. Perhaps then her world wouldn’t feel so small. When she finds the spell books and journals of an old mentor, Morna believes she’s found the key to her happiness, but when she crosses paths with an injured man in need of help, her plans are derailed. As she spends more time with the strange but alluring man, her dreams change. Maybe magic isn’t the only thing capable of expanding her world.

Jerry never expected anything other than an ordinary existence. When he wakes one morning to find himself in a different century, he embarks on one of the most baffling and difficult years of his life. He spends every day searching for a way to return home, but when the only person he believes can help him perishes in a fire, he worries he will be trapped in the past forever. His hope returns when a beautiful lass offers him aid, but with each passing day, he finds himself less sure of his desire to return home. The witch occupies his every thought. If she does find a way to send him home, it will mean leaving his heart hundreds of years in the past.

As they confess their love for one another, a shared acquaintance from their past plots against them. Will their love be enough to fight the magic that seeks to break them, or will another become the ruler of their lives?







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Prologue





Morna’s Inn—Present Day



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“So…what do ye think?” The question tumbled nervously from my lips. He’d taken his time reading our story. Each passing hour might as well have been a day as slowly as the minutes seemed to pass.

Spells, matchmaking, meddling—these were my talents, not writing—but my need to get our story down into a tangible form was so great that it had nearly driven me mad. My hands ached from the hours, days, and months spent working on my great project. Now that it was in front of my husband being read for the first time, I was sick with nerves.

“Did ye exaggerate for creative purposes?”

I knew without looking at the pages, without asking him, just what details in my story he questioned. I wouldn’t lie to him to spare his feelings—not after so many years together. Our secrets were ours to keep but there was no room for lies between us.

“No.”

“Hmm.” He nodded in unison with the small noise. He may have wished for me to say otherwise, but he expected the answer I gave him. “I never knew ye loved him. I thought…”

My husband shook his head as he reached for me. Both our hands were wrinkled and weathered from time, but the feel of his touch still quickened my pulse in a way little else could. Time was powerless in dampening my desire for him.

“I thought ye stayed there to wait for me to return to ye, not because ye were happy at his side. But ye were. No matter how glad ye were to have me back, it broke yer heart to leave him. I dinna see that then. I am sorry for it. I am sorry for anything that has ever caused ye pain, but by God, I am glad that ye chose me.”

“All hearts must be broken now and then.” I smiled and squeezed his hand. “And I was there waiting for ye. ’Tis only that I often wondered if my waiting would do any good. But ye have to know that there was never any choice for me to make. It was always ye.”

I wasn’t sure my words would ease the pain I knew he must feel after reading certain parts of my story, but every word I said to him was true.

“Morna, who is this story meant for? I know that ’tis not only for us.”

My husband knew me too well. Our story was meant especially for another—to lead her to the man worthy of holding her heart.

“There is a lass—the next to go back—that I intend to share my writing with. There are lessons she can learn from our story—lessons she will need before she makes a great journey of her own.”

“Hmm.”

My eyes were still turned toward our joined hands but I glanced up in response to his soft noise.

“What? Say whatever it is ye mean to. I canna stand it when ye beat around things so.”

“Ye keep saying that ’tis our story, but ’tis not yet that. What ye have written here…’tis yer story.”