The Hunter’s Snare
At the academy, funny is the new black…magic.
Reckless, brilliant and incredibly resourceful, Liam Graham can handle any crisis with a devilish grin—but his razor-sharp sense of humor hides a desperate truth. In an elite society where magic is the most coveted commodity, he’s been judged as second-rate, a castoff. Weak.
Liam hasn’t let his lack of inner magic slow him down, of course. He’s mapped all the secret passageways beneath Wellington Academy, he’s stolen the most arcane lore, and he’s managed to siphon energy out of the very air. When he touches me, we light up the room, and when we kiss…it’s pure fire.
We need that fire, too. A new threat has stormed into Wellington Academy, an illusionist magician who threatens to destroy our team of monster hunters and take down the whole academy once and for all.
Even worse, the only way Liam can access his full magic is if he and I fully bond…but he’s determined not to take advantage of me. So if I want to get this party started, I’m going to have to take control.
…Not a problem.
**THE HUNTER’S SNARE is book 3 in the Monster Hunter Academy series, an urban fantasy romance with one heroine on an impossible quest, four smokin’ hot hunters-in-training who’ve got her back…and every other part of her…and way too many monsters to hide in a closet. Keep your blades at the ready and dive in!**
Read an Excerpt
What’s a girl want?
I scowled at the rough stone wall six feet from my face, the blood rushing to my head. Strung up like this two stories below ground, locked in a spike-ridden snare that Houdini wouldn’t have dared attempt even at the height of his fame, I’d already worked out a half dozen impossible equations in my mind to pass the time. But I always ended up back here.
The life-or-death question I couldn’t ignore. The riddle buried in the puzzle locked within the enigma that was Nina Cross.
Harbinger. Monster bait. Cipher.
The answer to all my deepest desires and biggest fears wrapped up into one completely unexpected package. She’d run into our lives not two weeks ago with a monster on her tail and an entire lifetime of mystery surrounding her very existence. A mother who’d lied to her. A father who’d left her to rot, so far as we could tell. A power so incredible, she would lose her ever-loving mind if she had any idea of who and what she really was.
But I knew.
I’d read the ancient texts, found the forbidden knowledge. I knew everything there was to know about the harbinger…everything Nina had yet to learn.
And oh, what I could teach her, if I could find a way to tempt her into letting me. Lure her into being willing to reach her full potential. But how?
What’s a girl want?
I blew out a long breath, glancing at the gleaming LED stopwatch on the floor. Four minutes past the official record set by my late Great-Uncle Spencer Graham, the family’s most prolific and blindingly rich magician in five generations. He hadn’t been able to endure the suspended magical tourniquet for longer than two minutes and forty-four seconds. I’d blown him away nearly three times over today. He was no longer the boss of me.
Not that anyone would ever know that.
My family had written me off a long time ago—too weak to be a spell caster, too mercurial to be an enforcer, too talkative to be a ward for the family secrets, too much of an ass to be a negotiator or diplomat. They’d done everything to improve my chances, to help me live up to the powerful magic that was my birthright. They’d even buried tuning rods beneath my skin to pick up any errant supernatural currents that might be floating around in the atmosphere, but nothing had taken.
I’d remained stunted, muted. My magic a shrunken husk.
So I’d studied. I’d learned. I’d fashioned tools to pull power out of the air, created concoctions, devices, and weapons of intricate and stunning beauty. And I had suffered. Oh, yeah, I’d suffered.
Then a harbinger had hit Wellington Academy and set my world on fire.
I twisted in my vicious tourniquet, feeling the blades cut deep, swinging in a lazy arc as the blood traced familiar trails down my skin.
What’s a girl want?
As I turned slowly, the trove of glorious arcanum slid into view, soaking in its pool of oil. It was time, I knew. I’d studied the pages I’d stolen from the Apocrypha long enough. I had memorized every inscrutable prognostication, dire warning, and taboo ritual specifically proscribed…yet still included in that friggin’ book as if the old wizards couldn’t help themselves. I knew everything there was to know, now.
A little knowledge might be a dangerous thing. But too much?
I rotated another quarter turn. With a flick of my fingers, I tripped the nearly invisible metal trigger trapped in the crease of my palm, causing a spark to flare, then drop to the trail of oil. The fire caught immediately, throwing shadows against the wall that made me look like a slowly swinging slab of meat. Not a bad analogy, really, considering how I’d been carved up over the years.
But this wasn’t about me. It was about the tongues of fire that now lanced greedily into the carefully oiled maze. Racing along the snaking lines I’d traced, a complete replica of the Wellington campus map of subterranean byways. I watched with eager eyes to see if this, finally, would reveal the path I needed to take, if this, finally—
The fire guttered out, dead-ending far short of catching the forbidden pages on fire.
The secrets of the academy would live another day, it seemed. I hadn’t solved the riddle. I hadn’t earned the right. I would need Nina Cross to walk those dire pathways with me blindly, foolishly, if she was willing. If she dared. If she agreed to finally break me free of the trap of my own life.
I contracted my muscles, straining my joints to the max, and breathed out a long, shuddering breath.
So, what’s a girl want?
I didn’t know…but I’d do anything to find out.