Mother of Shadows (The Chosen #1)
by Meg Anne
Helena’s life had always been quiet. In fact, she liked it that way.
When her childhood friend returns home and tells her that she is the prophesied ruler of the Chosen, those blessed with the gift of magic, her quiet life goes up in flames.
Suddenly Helena finds herself surrounded by a circle of protectors, each having sworn their loyalty to her since her birth. All except for one: her Mate.
It’s not enough that she learn how to use her magic and undergo a trial to prove her worthiness; in order to claim her title, Helena must also find the man who carries the other half of her soul.
Exiled due to a past he had no part in, Von is the last man the Chosen expect Helena to select. Despite their protests, his soul calls to hers and there’s no denying that he was made for her.
But the prophecy stands and all isn’t as it seems.
There’s an enemy lurking within plain sight who will stop at nothing to destroy her.
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Excerpt From Mother of Shadows
She was trying not to fidget when she heard the crowd start to stir again. She felt, rather than saw him come forward. It was as if her body was equally hot and cold at the same time, and she shivered in response. He moved to stand in front of her, and she looked up, and up, to meet his gaze.
His hair was obsidian, smoothed back off his sculpted face. His face was all hard angles, and he had steely gray eyes which stared into hers without a hint as to the emotion behind them. His lips were full and inviting, but with none of the lines around them to suggest he was prone to smiling.
Her eyes continued their perusal, greedily drinking in the golden skin and heavy muscles of the man before her.
“Damaskiri,” he murmured, his voice a low growl.
She felt an answering response low in her stomach.
“May the Mother open your heart to me and allow our souls to find the one they were created for,” he continued gray eyes boring into hers.
At his words, her heart started beating more quickly.
His lips quirked as if he knew the effect he was having on her, and he raised his hand as though to touch her. She heard Darrin and Kragen shift in response and watched him still.
He looked over her shoulder, meeting the gaze of her two warriors. Looking back at her, he then looked down into his hand.
Her eyes followed his and saw a perfect white bloom resting in the palm of his hand. She had never seen a more perfect magnolia bloom in her life. The velvety petals were brilliantly white, and the fragrance heady.
“Magnolias are my favorite,” she whispered, eyes shyly meeting his.
A dimple flashed in his cheek, and its appearance instantly transformed his face, “I know.”
She laughed at his audacity, “How?”
“Would you believe me if I told you I have dreamed about you since I was a wee lad?” He asked, deadpan.
She tilted her head to the side, her laughter making her eyes twinkle, “No.”
He shrugged, as though he had expected as much.
“I may have bribed someone.”
She laughed again in shocked amusement, “I’ll bet you did. What is your name?”
“Von, Damaskiri.” He replied, in the same deep growl.
“Thank you, Von, I shall treasure it, since you did go to so much trouble to ensure I would like it.”
He nodded at her, a small smile playing about his sculpted mouth, and with a last glance, he started away.
As he stepped away, she heard the hissing of the crowd. She narrowed her eyes again in disapproval. He must have been the one they were reacting to earlier. She was not pleased that they would feel they had the right to judge anyone who was presenting themselves to be her mate.
She studied the crowd with a frown. The hissing continued, and someone went so far as to throw something in Von’s direction.
“ENOUGH!” she shouted, icy anger wrapping itself around her.
Von stopped mid decent, and looked back at her; black brow lifted in surprise.
“How dare you treat one of your brothers this way,” she bit out, her voice a whip, “it is not for you to judge or determine the worthiness of another. The Mother and her Vessel are the only ones with the authority to do so.
“You will treat each other with respect and deference, especially those who humble themselves and their pride as they offer themselves to be my Mate.”
The crowd was shifting, ashamed and in awe of the woman before them.
“I am to be your Kiri, and my Mate will be my equal, you will not,” she paused, eyes singling out the troublemakers, “in any way harm what is mine.” Her voice had dropped to a ragged whisper.