Butcher and Blood Mage, Callie Payne, once left a city behind for a different life. But when she is forced to return to the streets of Seattle, the woman and the things she thought she left behind come to reclaim her.
Callie Payne once ran with the Jackson Street Roses, but she left Seattle—left the Roses—to marry a rancher. After his death, she returns to take over the family butcher shop; a fitting career for an out-of-practice blood mage. When the leader of the Roses, Eileen “EJ” Jordan, stops by, Callie knows it isn’t just to buy T-bone steaks. What does the suave gangster really want after all these years?
EJ needs Callie’s magic against rival gangster Paul Underwood, who is horning in on Rose territory. Callie refuses to get involved; she won’t risk violating the Laws of the Covenant forbidding intentional harm. Then EJ tells her Underwood was responsible for the death of one of the Roses years ago. Callie is compelled to get revenge however she can.
A three-day incantation to repel Underwood re-establishes and strengthens Callie’s connection to the Roses, particularly EJ. Old feelings return, but EJ worries a personal relationship will endanger Callie. Their desire, however, proves impossible to ignore.
Days after Underwood threatens them, he’s found dead in an area awash in magic residue. The cops and the Covenant Investigation Office are eyeing EJ and Callie for the crime. Whoever is responsible knows magic well enough to be a step ahead, and they’re setting up EJ and Callie to take the fall.
EJ is determined to find the culprit, no matter the cost, and Callie is willing to bend the Laws for her. Can they catch the killer before more blood is spilled?
Cathy Pegau grew up in New York state reading horror, science fiction, and fantasy novels, and playing RPGs. Her science fiction romances have won RWA Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FF&P) Chapter Best Futuristic Romance and Best of the Best Prism Awards and a Golden Crown Literary Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy. She lives in Alaska with her spouse, two dogs, and numerous roaming moose.
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