Foundations of Magic Book 1
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Lindsay Carrington is a prisoner of his life—first in the mundane world, then in the military testing facility where his parents sent him to have his magic dissected, studied and “fixed”. When he finally escapes, freedom comes at great cost. The man who rescues him from near death in a dark alley is far from a savior. He’s a feral mage nearly as broken as Lindsay himself.
Dane knows better than to argue with the wind that summoned him to Lindsay’s rescue, but playing nursemaid isn’t the role he envisioned for himself in the battle to end the human campaign to control his people. In spite of his resistance, he is bound to the delicate, skittish mage who unwittingly harbors one of the greatest magical powers ever known.
Lindsay desperately hides his growing desire, sure that Dane could never reciprocate. Yet Dane lays his life on the line to protect him, restoring the one thing Lindsay thought was gone forever: hope.
But true freedom to live—and to love—will elude Lindsay until he can regain his magic and win Dane’s complete devotion. And survive long enough to do both.
Length: Novel | Rating: Hot | Publisher: Samhain
Themes: May/December Relationship; Self-discovery; Shapeshifting Hero; Bisexual Hero; Urban Fantasy/Paranormal; Magic & Mages; Conspiracies & Dystopias
“Go watch him.” Cyrus glared at Dane. “Perhaps you won’t have to look after him, after all.” The door slammed and Dane was left in the hallway, shut out.
He wanted to punch something. Punching things was what he was good at, beating things, fighting, but not caring for things. He wanted to snarl at Cyrus to put him back where he belonged. He kept his hands clenched at his sides as he stalked downstairs.
He was calm, though, when he came back into Lindsay’s room. “You okay?” he murmured, closing the door behind him. The anger had faded to a background crackle behind the worry for his… His. Dane was sorrier than ever for it now, for Lindsay’s sake.
Lindsay opened his eyes and relaxed visibly when he saw Dane. “I’m all right,” he said, but he was still whispering and his eyes slipped shut.
“I’ll get that cloth cold for you again.” Dane hardly knew what to do. “Cyrus is calling Mona. She’s not a doctor. She’s a grumpy old lady who lives over a pizza parlor.” He picked up the cloth. “I’m sorry if I did this to you.” He petted Lindsay’s hair back from his face, as though that would do anything.
Lindsay’s brow wrinkled. “You didn’t hurt me.” The firmness that came through in his faint voice made Dane feel worse, in a way
“Okay. Stay right there.” Dane took the cloth and went to freshen it up.
He filled up the whole bathroom, it seemed, all huge shoulders and clumsy feet. He wasn’t made to be indoors. The face in the mirror wasn’t even human. His hands, when he didn’t pay attention to them, like now, were curled and heavy and tipped with black claws. He forced the claws to shift into something that looked like human nails so he wouldn’t tear the cloth up while wringing it out.
Back in the bedroom, Lindsay lay in the bed looking as fragile as he had the first night. Dane came over and laid the cold cloth on his forehead. “Mona will be here when she can be. Sorry it’s not sooner.”
Lindsay tilted his head, seeking out the touch, shivering. “Cold,” he whispered.
He smelled distressed, still. It was the same sick smell that had clung to his skin after the Institute. His skin was icy to Dane’s touch, in spite of the blankets piled up on him. The fire was hot in the hearth, so that wasn’t the problem. The air in the room was stifling.
Dane gave up and lay on the side of the bed, curling himself around Lindsay. It was all he knew how to do at this point, to keep his frail charge warm. He sighed against Lindsay’s hair, wrapping one arm over Lindsay’s body. “She’ll be here soon,” he promised, even though he didn’t know it for certain. Cyrus wouldn’t let them down.
Lindsay curled closer, pressing up against Dane as he always did. “Thank you.”
“Don’t talk.” Dane stroked Lindsay’s cheek, tucking his head down so his own cheek pressed against the top of Lindsay’s head. “I shouldn’t have pushed you.”
Lindsay ignored Dane’s instructions, this time. “Did you know?”
There wasn’t any suspicion in the little voice, in spite of the question, but Dane couldn’t help being a bit offended. “No. Hush.” All Dane wanted was for the little mage to stop smelling like he was so ill, to stop shivering.
“Not your fault,” Lindsay said, sounding almost imperious. He relaxed by degrees, his shivers slowing.
Dane put his fingers over Lindsay’s mouth to hush him up. He needed to be quiet, and to rest. Lindsay sucked in a breath, his eyes opening wide, but there wasn’t any pain in the noise. Dane moved his hand enough to cup Lindsay’s cheek, but he left his thumb on Lindsay’s lips to keep him from talking. Lindsay closed his eyes again, tilting his head into Dane’s hand. Dane’s guilt wasn’t Lindsay’s problem. What was Lindsay’s problem was that Lindsay was ridiculously stubborn at the worst times. For someone so small, such a thing could do far more harm than good.
“Good,” Dane murmured. That was better. Dane sighed and relaxed against Lindsay, waiting for the healer to come. He wanted to do more, but didn’t remember how, if he’d ever known.
Finally, Lindsay drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t an easy sleep—he was still shivering and his face was pinched with pain—but it was sleep and not the unnatural unconsciousness that had dragged him under in the park.
“Luscious urban fantasy.” — Elisa Rolle, My Reviews and Ramblings
“A love story set within a deeper, much wider story about society and acceptance.” — Angelina, TwoLips Reviews
“Highly recommended.” — Jenre, Reviews by Jessewave
Tatterdemalion is a May 2010 Recommended Read at Reviews by Jessewave!
“Hits the ground running and never slows until the final word has been devoured and savored.” — Hayley, Fallen Angel Reviews
“Gritty urban fantasy setting…a simply great story. Get this as soon as it’s available.” — Kassa, Three Dollar Bill Reviews
“Intelligently written, edgy urban fantasy.” — Phlox, Whipped Cream Reviews
“Rich and intoxicating…Crow & Fox weave a romantic tale that wends its way through the kinks and tangles of insecurity, cynicism, that come with age, scars, and life in general.” — Mystique Reids
“Those who love shifter stories are sure to love this one.” — Critter Nymph, Literary Nymphs Reviews
“Loaded with suspense, passion, and action-packed drama.” — Lisa, Joyfully Reviewed