Madly series books 1 and 2 by M. Leighton
Madly is your average nearly-eighteen year old girl—for a princess, that is.
Madly James is thoroughly enjoying her internship in the small town of Slumber when the unthinkable happens—there’s a prison break in Atlas, the magically-protected home of Madly’s race. A traitor has set free eight Lore, the spirits of what humans know as fairy tales, and they are making their way to Slumber to awaken their descendants.
The first spirit to arrive is that of Ulrich Wolfhardt, a man that was once obsessed with wolves and a young maiden he would follow through the woods. After a bite from a wolf, Wolfhardt’s obsession with the girl became an unnatural hunger and the young maiden’s grandmother cursed him with a fate worse than death. And now he’s back…with a vengeance and a bite that can infect others as well.
Madly must learn the identity of Wolfhardt’s descendant and stop him before he kills again and spreads his curse across the earth. But the only person strong enough to help Madly is Jackson, the Sentinel who vowed to protect her and the one person capable of breaking her heart. Can Madly resist forbidden love long enough to save the world from Wolfhardt? Or will she have to sacrifice her heart and her destiny to save the ones she loves?
Do you remember when I almost dismembered Collin DeSpirito because he tried to kiss you against your will after your third-level graduation?”
Jackson’s voice was light and happy, and his question took me so off guard, I had to look up at him to make sure someone else hadn’t taken his place.
He was smiling, his face relaxed and gorgeous. He glanced down at me, a teasing and flirtatious gleam in his eyes. I was instantly confused.
His brow wrinkled slightly, his smile widening enough to bring out the single dimple in his right cheek.
“You mean you don’t remember that?”
“Of course I remember that. I just- I’m just—”
Jackson chuckled, a sound that resonated in my chest and tugged at my heart.
“Who could blame the poor guy? The way you flirted with him—touching his arm and laughing up at him—he was overcome by your extraordinary beauty. I’m sure if I had killed him, he’d have died happy.”
“I wasn’t flirting with him. I was just—”
“Oh, come on! You had the attention of every guy at the ceremony. It’s almost as if you were trying to make someone jealous,” he said, winking down at me.
My heart fluttered behind my sternum. I felt like I’d had a mini-stroke or something. What happened to the surly Sentinel that I’d been walking with two minutes ago? Where had this Jackson—the one I’d known forever, the one I’d thought I’d loved—been all this time?
Before I could comment, the prolonged creak of a door opening reached our ears. Jackson stopped and turned toward me. Although I couldn’t take my eyes off him, I saw movement in my peripheral vision.
“Admit it. You were trying to make me jealous,” he said, grinning down at me. “Sell it, Madly,” he whispered, barely moving his lips, his eyes looking meaningfully into mine.
It was then that I figured out what he’d been doing. And it made me furious. He’d been pretending, merely playing a part with his friendly repartee. Meanwhile, I’d been falling under the spell of the Jackson that I used to know. Fortunately, two could play that game.
Turning on my brightest smile, I stretched up on my toes and wrapped my arms around Jackson’s neck. “Of course I was trying to make you jealous. How else was I going to get you to kiss me?”
I stared into the powdery blue of Jackson’s eyes, daring him to back down now. I saw the gleam of challenge light the shimmering pools, but behind it was something else—something warm and dark and forbidden.
“Is that what you wanted? For me to kiss you?” Jackson asked quietly, his hands drifting lazily up and down my sides.
As I watched, his pupils swelled to eclipse the azure of his eyes and his gaze flickered to my mouth and back.
“Mmm,” I murmured, unable to speak past the lump of excitement in my throat.
“You asked for it,” he whispered, tilting his head to one side and lowering his lips to mine.
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