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Captivated and Entranced

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ISBN-10: 037328165X

ISBN-13: 9780373281657

Edition: 2013

Authors: Nora Roberts

List price: $11.99
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Revisit the enchanting Donovan clan from #1 New York Times bestselling author NORA ROBERTS These fascinating cousins share a secret that's been handed down through generations-a secret that sets them apart... Captivated His interest in her was purely professional...or so he told himself. Nash Kirkland had sought out Morgana Donovan, self-proclaimed witch, to help him research his latest screenplay. The hardheaded skeptic didn't believe for a minute that Morgana was what she professed to be, yet Nash found himself falling under her spell. But how could he be sure the passion he felt was real and not just some conjurer's trick? Entranced Obviously Sebastian Donovan was a fraud, but fiercely…    
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Book details

List price: $11.99
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises ULC
Publication date: 1/29/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 512
Size: 4.13" wide x 6.59" long x 1.36" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland on October 10, 1950. Her real name is Eleanor Marie Robertson Aufem-Brinke Wilder. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. Since then, she has written more than 150 novels, which have been translated into more than 25 languages. She writes romances under her own name including Montana Sky, Time and Again, Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon, The Search, Chasing Fire, and The Witness. She writes crime novels under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb including the In Death series. She has been given the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into their Hall of Fame. Her titles have made The New York Times…    

There was a marker in the ground where the Witch Tree had stood
The people of Monterey and Carmel valued nature
Tourists often came to study the words on the marker, or simply to stand and look at the sculptured old trees, the rocky shoreline, the sunning harbor seals
Locals who had seen the tree for themselves, who remembered the day it had fallen, often mentioned the fact that Morgana Donovan had been born that night
Some said it was a sign, others shrugged and called it coincidence
Still more simply wondered
No one denied that it was excellent local color to have a self-proclaimed witch born hardly a stone's throw away from a tree with a reputation
Nash Kirkland considered it an amusing fact and an interesting hook
He spent a great deal of his time studying the supernatural
Vampires and werewolves and things that went bump in the night were a hell of a way to make a living
And he wouldn't have had it any other way
Not that he believed in goblins or ghoulies-or witches, if it came to that
Men didn't turn into bats or wolves at moonrise, the dead did not walk, and women didn't soar through the night on broomsticks
Except in the pages of a book, or in the flickering light and shadow of a movie screen
There, he was pleased to say, anything was possible
He was a sensible man who knew the value of illusions, and the importance of simple entertainment
He was also enough of a dreamer to conjure images out of the shades of folklore and superstition for the masses to enjoy
He'd fascinated the horror-film buff for seven years, starting with his first-and surprisingly successful-screenplay, Shape Shifter.
The fact was, Nash loved seeing his imagination come to life on-screen
He wasn't above popping into the neighborhood movie theater and happily devouring popcorn while the audience caught their breath, stifled screams or covered their eyes
He delighted in knowing that the people who plunked down the price of a ticket to see one of his movies were going to get their money's worth of chills
He always researched carefully
While writing the gruesome and amusing Midnight Blood, he'd spent a week in Romania interviewing a man who swore he was a direct descendant of Vlad, the Impaler-Count Dracula
Unfortunately, the count's descendant hadn't grown fangs or turned into a bat, but he had proven to possess a wealth of vampire lore and legend
It was such folktales that inspired Nash to spin a story-particularly when they were related by someone whose belief gave them punch
And people considered him weird, he thought, grinning to himself as he passed the entrance to Seventeen Mile Drive
Nash knew he was an ordinary, grounded-to-earth type
At least by California standards
He just made his living from illusion, from playing on basic fears and superstitions-and the pleasure people took in being scared silly
He figured his value to society was his ability to take the monster out of the closet and flash it on the silver screen in Technicolor, usually adding a few dashes of unapologetic sex and sly humor
Nash Kirkland could bring the bogeyman to life, turn the gentle Dr. Jekyll into the evil Mr. Hyde, or invoke the mummy's curse
All by putting words on paper
Maybe that was why he was a cynic
Oh, he enjoyed stories about the supernatural-but he, of all people, knew that was all they were
And he had a million of them
He hoped Morgana Donovan, Monterey's favorite witch, would help him create the next one
For the past few weeks, between unpacking and taking pleasure in his new home, trying his skill at golf-and finally giving it up as a lost cause-and simply treasuring the view from his balcony, Nash had felt the urge to tell a tale of witchcraft
If there was such a thing as fate, he figured, it had done him a favor by plunking him down only a short, pleasant drive from an expert
Whistling along with the car radio, he wondered what she'd be like
Turbaned or tasseled? Draped in black crepe? Or maybe she was some New Age fanatic who spoke only through Gargin, her channeler from Atlantis
Either way, he wouldn't mind a bit
It was the loonies in the world that gave life its flavor
He'd purposely avoided doing any extensive research on the witch
He wanted to form his own opinions and impressions, leaving his mind clear to start forming plot angles
All he knew was that she'd been born right here in Monterey, some twenty-eight years before, and she ran a successful shop that catered to people who were into crystals and herbs
He had to give her two thumbs-up for staying in her hometown
After less than a month as a resident of Monterey, he wondered how he could ever have lived anywhere else
And God knew, he thought as his angular face creased in a grimace, he'd already lived just about everywhere
Again, he had to thank his luck for making his scripts appealing to the masses
His imagination had made it possible for him to move away from the traffic and smog of L.A. to this priceless spot in northern California
It was barely March, but he had the top down on his Jag, and the bright, brisk breeze whipped through his dark blond hair
There was the smell of water-it was never far away here-of grass, neatly clipped, of the flowers that thrived in the mild climate
The sky was cloudless, a beautiful blue, his car was purring like a big, lean cat, he'd recently disentangled himself from a relationship that had been rushing downhill, and he was about to start a new project
As far as Nash was concerned, life was perfect
He spotted the shop
As he'd been told, it stood neatly on the corner, flanked by a boutique and a restaurant
The businesses were obviously doing well, as he had to park more than a block away
He didn't mind the walk
His long, jeans-clad legs ate up the sidewalk
He passed a group of tourists who were arguing over where to have lunch, a pencil-slim woman in fuchsia silk leading two Afghan hounds, and a businessman who strolled along chatting on his cell phone
Nash loved California
He stopped outside the shop
The sign painted on the window simply read WICCA
He nodded, smiling to himself
He liked it
The Old English word for witch
It brought to mind images of bent old women, trundling through the villages to cast spells and remove warts
Exterior scene, day, he thought
The sky is murky with clouds, the wind rushes and howls
In a small, run-down village with broken fences and shuttered windows, a wrinkled old woman hurries down a dirt road, a heavy covered basket in her arms
A huge black raven screams as it glides by
With a flutter of wings, it stops to perch on a rusted gatepost
Bird and woman stare at each other
From somewhere in the distance comes a long, desperate scream
Nash lost the image when someone came out of the shop, turned and bumped into him
"Sorry," came the muffled apology
He simply nodded
Just as well, Nash thought
It wouldn't do to take the story too far until he'd talked to the expert
For now, what he wanted was to take a good look at her wares
The window display was impressive, he noted, and showed a flair for the dramatic
Deep blue velvet was draped over stands of various heights and widths so that it resembled a wide river with dark waterfalls
Floating over it were clusters of crystals, sparkling like magic in the morning sun
Some were as clear as glass, while others were of almost heartbreaking hues
Rose and aqua, royal-purple, ink-black
They were shaped like wands or castles or small, surrealistic cities
Lips pursed, he rocked back on his heels
He could see how they would appeal to people-the colors, the shapes, the sparkle
That anybody could actually believe a hunk of rock held any kind of power was one more reason to marvel at the human brain
Still, they were certainly pretty enough
Above the clusters, faceted drops hung from thin wires and tossed rainbows everywhere
Maybe she kept the cauldrons in the back
The idea made him chuckle to himself
Still, he took a last look at the display before pushing open the door
It was tempting to pick up a few pieces for himself
A paperweight, or a sun-catcher
He might just settle for that-if she wasn't selling any dragon's scales or wolf's teeth
The shop was crowded with people
His own fault, Nash reminded himself, for dropping in on a Saturday
Still, it would give him time to poke around and see just how a witch ran a business in the twentieth century
The displays inside were just as dramatic as those glistening in the window
Huge chunks of rock, some sliced open to reveal hundreds of crystal teeth
Dainty little bottles filled with colored liquid
Nash was slightly disappointed when he read one label and discovered that it was a rosemary bath balm, for relaxing the senses
He'd hoped for at least one love potion
There were more herbs, packaged for potpourri, for tea and for culinary uses, as well as candles in soft colors and crystals in all shapes and sizes
Some interesting jewelry-again leaning heavily on crystals-was sparkling behind glass
Artwork, paintings, statues, sculpture, all so cleverly placed that the shop might more accurately have been termed a gallery
Nash, always interested in the unusual, took a fancy to a pewter lamp fashioned in the shape of a winged dragon with glowing red eyes
Then he spotted her
One look had him certain that this was the very image of the modern witch
The sulky-looking blonde was holding a discussion with two customers over a table of tumbling stones
She had a luscious little body poured into a sleek black jumpsuit
Glittery earrings hung to her shoulders, and rings adorned every finger
The fingers ended in long, lethal-looking red nails
"Attractive, isn't he?"
The smoke-edged voice had Nash turning away from the dragon
This time one look had him forgetting the stacked young witch in the corner
He found himself lost for several heartbeats in a pair of cobalt-blue eyes
"Excuse me?"
"The dragon"
Smiling, she ran a hand over the pewter head
"I was just wondering if I should take him home with me"
She smiled, and he saw that her lips were full and soft and unpainted
"Do you like dragons?"
"Crazy about them," he decided on the spot
"Do you shop in here often?"
She lifted a hand to her hair
It was black as midnight and fell in careless waves to her waist
Nash made an effort and tried to put the pieces of her together
The ebony hair went with pale, creamy skin
The eyes were wide and heavily lashed, the nose was small and sharp
She was nearly as tall as he, and wand slender
The simple blue dress she wore showed taste and style, as well as subtle curves
There was something, well, dazzling about her, he realized
Though he couldn't analyze what while he was so busy enjoying it
As he watched, her lips curved again
There was something very aware as well as amused in the movement
"Have you been in Wicca before?"
"No. Great stuff"
"You're interested in crystals?"
"I could be"
Idly he picked up a hunk of amethyst
"But I flunked my earth science course in high school"
"I don't think you'll be graded here"
She nodded toward the stone he held
"If you want to get in touch with your inner self, you should hold it in your left hand"
"Oh, yeah?"
To indulge her, he shifted it
He hated to tell her he didn't feel a thing-other than a shaft of pleasure at the way the dress skimmed around her knees
"If you're a regular here, maybe you could introduce me to the witch"
Brow lifted, she followed his look as he glanced at the blonde, who was finishing up her sale
"Do you need a witch?"
"I guess you could say that"
She turned those wonderful blue eyes on him again
"You don't look like the type who'd come looking for a love spell"
He grinned
"Thanks. I think. Actually, I'm doing some research. I write movies. I want to do a story on witchcraft in the nineties. You know� secret covens, sex and sacrifices"
When she inclined her head, clear crystal drops swung at her ears
"Nubile women doing ring dances sky-clad. Naked," she explained
"Mixing potions by the dark of the moon to seduce their hapless victims into orgies of prurient delights"
"More or less"
He leaned closer and discovered that she smelled as cool and dark as a forest in moonlight
"Does this Morgana really believe she's a witch?"
"She knows what she is, Mr.-?"
"Kirkland. Nash Kirkland"
Her laugh was low and pleased
"Of course. I've enjoyed your work. I particularly liked Midnight Blood. You gave your vampire a great deal of wit and sensuality without trampling on tradition"
"There's more to being undead than graveyard dirt and coffins"
"I suppose. And there's more to being a witch than stirring a cauldron"
"Exactly. That's why I want to interview her. I figure she's got to be a pretty sharp lady to pull all this off"
"Pull off?" she repeated as she bent to pick up a huge white cat that had sauntered over to flow around her legs
"The reputation," he explained
"I heard about her in L.A. People bring me weird stories"
"I'm sure they do"
She stroked the cat's massive head
Now Nash had two pair of eyes trained on him
One pair of cobalt, and one of amber
"But you don't believe in the Craft, or the power"
"I believe I can make it into a hell of a good story"
He smiled, putting considerable charm into it
"So, how about it? Put in a good word for me with the witch?"
She studied him
A cynic, she decided, and one entirely too sure of himself
Life, she thought, was obviously one big bed of roses for Nash Kirkland
Maybe it was time he felt a few thorns
"I don't think that'll be necessary"
She offered him a hand, long and slender and adorned with a single ring of hammered silver
He took it automatically, then hissed out a breath as a jolt of electricity zinged up to his shoulder
She just smiled
"I'm your witch," she said