Manhattan Dragon (The Treasure of Paragon Book 3)- Paperback
Manhattan Dragon (The Treasure of Paragon Book 3)- Paperback
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She's supposed to be dead. He's leading a new life. To have a future together, both must face their past.
Deadly secrets. Hidden enemies. Colliding histories.
She's supposed to be dead.
For Rowan Valor, faking her own death is a regular necessity. How else would an immortal dragon manage to live in a place like Manhattan for close to three hundred years? But changing her identity leaves the community center she founded vulnerable, and for the sake of the children, she must find a way to undo the damage.
He's leading a new life.
Human detective Nick Grandstaff entered law enforcement to escape his violent roots. But closing the door on his past has resulted in an unnatural obsession with his work. Perhaps it's for the best that his longest relationship has been with his dog. What woman would choose to be with someone with such a dark and tangled history?
To have a future together, both must face their past.
When Nick investigates a case that leads him to Rowan's door, their passionate connection promises to heal old wounds and grant them both the once-in-a-lifetime love they deserve. But fighting a common enemy entangles them in the dangerous supernatural underworld of Manhattan, where power is shifting, and unbeknownst to Rowan, a former ally has become a deadly enemy.
She was supposed to be dead.
Rowan felt remarkably spry for a corpse. But then she’d died multiple times since coming to America over three hundred years ago. New identities were necessary for an immortal. Every so often Rowan would shed her proverbial skin and start over with a new last name, a new address, a new life. It was easier to do in New York. The city that never slept rarely slowed down to notice one mysterious woman with unfinished business or the fate of one of her identities.
She wasn’t a thief, but Rowan had come to steal.
A dragon was born with a certain set of instincts. Keen observation was one of them. A natural affinity for anything rare and valuable was another. For example, Rowan had spotted the teardrop-shaped blue diamond around Camilla Stevenson’s neck from across a crowded gallery—an example of her keen observation skills. Understanding that the stone was, in fact, the six-carat Raindrop of Heaven, sold at auction recently for $1.2 million? That was her talent for recognizing the rare and valuable.
She didn’t need the money.
Rowan was rich. Very rich. It wasn’t cash luring her up the path to the white brick mansion in the Hamptons, an enchanted lockpick weighing down her pocket. It had more to do with her history as an exiled princess of Paragon than any financial motive. She’d witnessed her brother’s murder at the hands of her uncle before she was cast into this world, and Rowan had no patience for corruption. What the wealthy Gerald Stevenson and his wife Camilla had done made them the exact type of elitist scum that drove Rowan to distraction. She’d steal the diamond not for its value but for revenge.
For a human, playing Robin Hood in the Hamptons would be a ticket to the slammer. The place was crawling with security, and there was only one gated drive in and out of the property. Humans, though, couldn’t make themselves invisible. Nor could they fly.
Besides, there was no better alibi than being dead.
The night hummed a familiar tune. Crickets chirped, insectile lovers calling to each other from the grasses; the waves brushed the beach in a soft caress behind her; and a warm spring breeze off the Atlantic rustled the branches of the hawthorn trees that grew along the main drive.
“Thank you, Harriet,” she murmured as she slid the enchanted lockpick into the lock of the french doors at the back of the Stevensons’ home. It was a sophisticated lock. Stevenson was a real estate developer and was no dummy when it came to home security. But security systems had their limitations. For example, most weren’t able to record an invisible intruder or detect a lockpick charmed with ancient English Traveller magic.
The door parted like the lips of an eager lover, and she slipped into the dark interior. No alarm. No dog. That was fortunate. A few lights were on, but she knew no one was home. Gerald and Camilla were hosting one of the biggest political fund-raising events in the city that evening. How could they effectively rezone and gentrify every part of Manhattan if they didn’t consistently line the pockets of their political allies?
The gem practically sang to her from the master bedroom on the second floor. It was time to save the jewel from the Stevensons’ filthy hands. She trailed down the hall, allowing her invisibility to fade to conserve energy. Invisibility and flight took their toll; she’d need that energy for the journey home.
The hardwood creaked beneath her feet. Rowan paused outside the bedroom. A delicious scent she’d never smelled before met her nose, sandalwood and dark spice. She breathed deeply and felt her eyes roll back in her head at the intoxicating fragrance. What the hell was that?
A fine shiver traveled through her body, straight to her core. Whatever it was, she wanted to roll in it. She made a mental note to find out where Gerald Stevenson bought his cologne. It couldn’t be Camilla’s. It was too masculine. Too heady. It took effort to pull herself together, but she managed to slip into the master bedroom and refocus on the task at hand. The Raindrop of Heaven wasn’t going to steal itself.
The room was a white-walled wonder with decor that belonged in the Museum of Modern Art. At its center, a bed the size of a barge was flanked by two twisted wire sculptures worth more than most people’s yearly salary. No doubt they were paid for in cash. People like the Stevensons loved to use art as a way to launder their wealth and evade the taxman. All the more reason they were overdue for some bad luck.
And she planned to deliver it.
Once she oriented herself, she found the door Harriet had described in her vision and had to smile at the Traveller’s accuracy. The best decision she’d ever made was to save her dear friend from tuberculosis in 1904 with the gift of her tooth. She’d never regretted using dragon magic to bind herself to the powerful Traveller whose psychic gifts and practical magic rivaled any witch’s. Harriet’s friendship had proved priceless over the years, and her magical abilities had come in useful on more than one occasion.
The Stevensons’ giant walk-in closet was built of cedar and had a convenient keypad on the jewelry drawer that served as a safe. Rowan held the lockpick against the keypad and watched the keys glow purple, one at a time. The magic revealed which numbers to push and in what order, and she enthusiastically followed its suggestions. The drawer popped open with a hiss.
The Raindrop of Heaven winked up at her from a bed of blue velvet. She caressed the cool facets of the diamond before plucking it from its cushion along with two matching earrings. She shoved the lot in the zippered pouch around her waist, pure satisfaction curling the corners of her lips.
Take that, you corrupt piece of shit.
Rowan’s nostrils flared. The delicious smell from the hall was back, even stronger than before. Cloves and sandalwood. Her inner dragon stirred and licked its lips. She whirled to find a man standing in the bedroom behind her, staring at her through the open door to the walk-in closet. A bear of a man, big, rough, and all male. He scratched the stubble on his jaw, amaretto-colored like his hair, and scanned her with eyes the gray of stormy seas. His arms crossed over the chest of his sport coat, and his head cocked to the side.
She cursed under her breath. She’d been so distracted by the smell, she’d forgotten to make herself invisible again. Too late now. He’d seen her. The real her.
Thankfully, he was alone. She could handle one man. It wouldn’t be pretty, but she could handle him. Their eyes met.
In a voice edged in grit, he asked, “Who the fuck are you?”
- Former dragon princess
- NYPD detective
- Secret identities
- Witches & magic
- Family saga