Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #2)
By Annette Marie
Publication date: November 16th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here.
It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender—but not at a bar. At a guild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right?
Then my favorite guild members—three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages—asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no. They wanted to wrap me up in a pretty ribbon and plunk me in the crosshairs of a murderous rogue to lure him out of hiding.
So that’s what we did. And that’s why I’m here. About to be kidnapped. Oh, and our grand plan for safely capturing said murderous rogue? Yeah, that completely fell apart about two minutes ago.
Why did I agree to this again?
Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure—no cliffhanger endings.
THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUND
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
I lifted my sunglasses to take in the chaos. The bar was normally tidy—because I kept it that way—and the dark wood walls and heavy beams in the ceiling gave it a Ye Old Pub feeling I enjoyed. But the dozen tables were scattered like litter in the wind and the chairs were even more haphazard, half of them lying on their sides.
A woman with black braids tied into a high ponytail charged between two tables, chasing down her victim. Hands outstretched in placation, he retreated with stumbling steps. Inexplicably, he was soaking wet, his red hair plastered to his face.
“It was an honest mistake, Laetitia!” He knocked over another chair as he scrambled backward, tracking water everywhere. “I had no idea—”
“I posted on the board!” she shouted, advancing on him. “Three days, Aaron! Three days of precise planning that you ruined on a whim!”
“Well.” He halted, cocking his head. “Your plan didn’t work, but we still caught the guy, right?”
A pulse of silence ran through the room. The dozen other patrons, wisely lining the walls to stay out of the way, looked back and forth between the two mages like spectators at a tennis match. Muttering something about using the rear door instead, Sin turned on her heel and marched right back outside. Too bad I couldn’t follow suit.
Laetitia swelled with fury. “My plan would have worked if you hadn’t burst in throwing fireballs right when—”
“But we caught him, so does it really matter that—”
With a high-pitched sound like a kettle on the boil, she threw her hands up. The air around her blurred into mist. The condensation coalesced into a giant orb of shimmering water that she hurled at Aaron.
The magical water balloon slammed into his chest. Liquid splashed across the floor and he fell into the bar, knocking over stools, more drenched than before.
“Oh, come on,” he complained loudly, wiping water off his face. “I said I was sorry!”
“You don’t know the meaning of the word,” she snarled, raising her hands again. Mist formed into another water orb.
Okay, I’d seen enough. I pushed my shoulders back, lifted my chin, and bellowed, “What the hell are you doing to my bar?”
All eyes turned to me. Laetitia hesitated, water swirling around her hands.
Aaron cringed. “Oh, uh ... Tori. Is it four o’clock already?”
I marched across the floor, my ponytail bouncing with each step. “What is this? If you’re going to have a water fight, take it outside!” Halting in front of Laetitia and Aaron, I folded my arms and glowered. “Do you expect me to clean up this bullshit mess on top of my bar prep?”
Laetitia lowered her hands, the liquid dissipating into a foggy cloud. “I’ll clean up the water.”
She waved at the nearest puddles. The water flew into the air and gathered into an expanding liquid orb between her palms. As the final droplets joined her super-orb, she raised it up, pivoted toward Aaron, and brought the whole thing down on his head like she was slam-dunking a basketball.
Water flew everywhere, but not a single speck touched the floor. It evaporated into a fine mist that dispersed in seconds. Smirking, Laetitia sauntered away, leaving Aaron with liquid streaming off his clothes and puddling around his feet.
Muttering under his breath, he straightened his sopping shirt. The white fabric clung to his toned chest and droplets ran enticingly down his biceps and hard forearms. As my attention wandered, I reminded myself that I was angry with him.
“Hey, Tori.” He pushed his red hair off his forehead and gave me his most charming smile, as though a water mage assaulting him was no big deal. “How did apartment hunting go today?”
“Don’t ‘hey, Tori’ me,” I said firmly, immune to his charisma—or close enough to fake it. “Get cleaning!”
I pointed behind me. “Everything you knocked around. Fix it.”
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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