Captivated & Entranced (Donovan Legacy)

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9780373285723: Captivated & Entranced (Donovan Legacy)



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 she was what she professed to be, but Nash somehow found himself falling under her bewitching spell. Nash had never trusted his feelings. How could he be sure the irresistible passion he felt was real and not just some conjurer's trick?

Obviously Sebastian Donovan was a fraud, but fiercely protective Mary Ellen Sutherland was desperate to find a missing baby and had run out of leads. So, reluctantly, the skeptical private investigator agreed to enlist Sebastian's help. Soon she had to admit—grudgingly—that this man had some pretty remarkable gifts. Especially his extraordinary ability to penetrate her tough facade and awaken her heart.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Nora Roberts is a bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels. She was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 280 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:



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. Stories. 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?"

"Hmm?" 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?"

"Yes." 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."

"Ah." 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.

Static electricity, Nash told himself a moment later, after Morgana had turned away to answer a question from a customer about St. John's wort. She'd been holding that giant cat, rubbing the fur….That was where the shock had come from.

But he flexed his fingers unconsciously.

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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