By: Layla Heart
One clueless queen-to-be, sent to a magical world she didn’t know existed, five lovers waiting for her prophesied arrival.
Before her vital first cup of coffee in the morning, Litha finds out she’s a witch and is suddenly transported to a magical world she had no idea existed. As if that wasn’t strange enough, it turns out that she’s prophesied to be queen, and her parents only took her to the human world to protect her from those who want to stop the prophecy from happening. The prophecy tells of a queen who will marry the ‘true king’ to unite all four kingdoms under his rule, finally bringing peace for the first time in centuries.
The four princes who could become her king? They’re all hot as hell and make her insides squirm each time she sees them. There’s Bane, the werewolf prince, all broody and with hair sticking up like he just got out of bed. Kit, the incubus prince, whose wicked smile melts anyone’s unmentionables. Rune, the dragon prince, protective and with muscles like he’s a moving mountain. And last, but definitely not least, Finn, the fae prince, quiet but intense, with eyes like a summer forest. And to make things even more complicated, when Litha finally meets her roommate, Phoenix, the only daughter of the highest priestess of the witches, she doesn’t want to do anything but kiss the redhead silly.
The first day at the Academy is a little bumpy, as Litha feels so lost in this new world, but that pales in comparison to finding out her parents had to go into hiding, the documents of the prophecy having been stolen from the Academy just days before and that some of the princes have been keeping secrets which could be their undoing before anything even starts…
Listen to a sample of Fated Lovers:
Lughnasadh Elite Academy
23 August 2019
Pages: 316 pages
Audiobook narrators: Lia Langola & Randall Corey
Audiobook length: 7h 41m
Audiobook, Ebook, Paperback
Available in the Netherlands/Belgium:
No way. No fucking way. I stomp over the cobblestone path, dragging my suitcase behind me, following the people ahead. And who the fuck still uses cobblestone? This stuff was made to break ankles… What kind of school would use it, if not to annoy the students? Maybe they’re sadistic or something, that would make sense, a whole lot of sense, especially with my luck.
My life has always been a little strange and odd, but nothing compares to what happened in the last two days.
Yesterday morning, when I woke up, my parents announced that we were going to visit my grandmother, that I should go see her before I head off to college, for some reason. Which was, considering I hadn’t seen her in over five years, very curious for them to say. That should have been my first clue.
We spent most of the day in the car, my parents trying to fill the awkward silence with useless chatter until we reached grandma’s house. When we arrived at her place in the middle of fucking nowhere, right before dinner, we were welcomed into a house smelling of grilled meat, and there was a feast waiting for us on the table. She must have known about us visiting her for quite a while because this was more than any person would be able to prepare in just a couple of hours. The meal was lavish, three types of roasted meats, six vegetable side dishes, homemade applesauce, and any dish I could remember ever eating at her place. It was more than I’d ever seen on a table, which was strange as I don’t remember grandma ever doing this before, she was more of a wholesome type of cook, no banquets when a simple stew would do.
That should have been the second clue that something was up, grandma doesn’t do big meals, but yesterday she did. And it didn’t surprise my parents at all, they seemed to even have expected it.
I guess, in my weary state of mind after the long car trip, I reasoned it away as her trying to make up for lost years or something. That’s a thing people do, right? When they haven’t seen their family for a long time? Try to make up with something like this?
Here, I should add that, apart from what I’ve seen on TV, I don’t know what grandmas are supposed to be like. I only have the one, and she’s always been a little peculiar, never really a hundred percent here. But I guess I now know that there is a reason for her behaviour, a damn good reason.
I’m from a long line of witches. Yes, witches. No, I didn’t have a clue either. It totally surprised me too.
Witches. That’s what they said as they stood at the bottom of the stairs this morning, looking up at me all excited, all three of them, a huge suitcase at their feet, my backpack perching on top of it. I’m a witch, and my grandma isn’t my grandma, but a guardian sent here to protect my family, or something. My parents are my real parents, at least, that’s what they said. After hearing I’m a witch, nothing would have surprised me, probably.
I don’t know, I kind of stopped listening after those words, those three little words, ‘you’re a witch’. My parents did mention something about hiding me away from something because of some prophecy about me being some ‘fated bride’ to ‘unite the kingdoms’ or something like that. Don’t quote me on it, like I said, I was still trying to process the whole ‘long line of witches’ part of what they were saying.
After that, we all went upstairs, to the attic, and there was a glowing door in the middle of the otherwise very bare attic. A door! It was fucking glowing. I can’t even… I guess I underestimated my capacity for surprise, because that definitely surprised me.
Which was, of course, the moment my parents chose to inform me that I wasn’t attending the college I’d been trying to get into for the last four years, working my ass off, but instead would be attending some elite magical academy, like fucking Harry Potter or something. My life just turned into a Harry Potter book, only my parents are still alive, and I didn’t have some horrible abusive childhood, as far as I know.
There, we said our goodbyes. They did anyway, I was still trying to catch up with what was going on, and failing.
Forgive me, but don’t spring this on a girl before her first coffee in the morning, you know? Give me some time to wake up, and adjust to the speed of things around me. I don’t function before coffee, they knew that.
Also, this very efficient ‘Good morning, you’re a fucking witch’ to ‘Goodbye, see you over fall break’ spiel took under five minutes. Not that I can check, since my phone is still on the nightstand at grandma’s —the guardian’s— house.
As I walked/was pushed through the glowing door, I stepped out on some old style square with high walls on all sides, and doors opened and closed all around me, letting more and more people through, just like I had done. And everyone moved to the cobblestone street going off the square, probably up to the academy. Some people looked excited, most of them looked like they were just waking up, but they all started moving in the same direction, dragging their own suitcase behind them. All normal here then, at least, for this place…
There were some people my parents’ age, probably teachers or others working here, who kept announcing that breakfast would start in an hour and to get our names signed in at the gates so that we could be assigned our hall of residence for the year.
At home, it had been about ten or eleven in the morning, I didn’t check the time, but I’m not one for waking up early, and the sun had been high in the sky, not yet noon, but close enough. The way the sun is still just peeking over the houses around me and the pink colour of the sky overhead, it must be much earlier here. How did I just step through a door to a place a couple of timezones later without flying or anything? What?
And what are those things in the sky?
I look up again.
They’re definitely not birds, I know that much. They don’t have the right shape, or size, for birds, but I have no idea what else they could be. They look a little like ‘fairies’ from fairy tales, the way their wings are positioned at their back and the almost human shape of their bodies, but they’re way too big for fairies, and the shape of their wings are like a bat’s not the wings of dragonflies or butterflies.
I don’t realise I’ve stopped moving to look up until some girl bumps into me and lets out a low growl as she steps aside. I accidentally meet her eyes, and with a shock realise that they’re red. It’s not just the whites of her eyes, like when you’ve got a hangover or just haven’t slept for days, but her whole eyes are red, whites and all, totally red, with a simple black pupil in the middle.
“Keep moving, or all the good tables for breakfast will be gone.” Her voice is all growly and rough. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, or maybe she also hasn’t fully woken up yet, right now, I’m betting on both. “I don’t know if you like being late or anything, but I do know that you don’t want to sit at the back of the room, it’s draughty there.”
“Right.” I start pulling my suitcase again, not wanting to get bumped into more and draw the wrath of one of the less friendly looking people around. Now that I’ve seen the eyes of the girl, I catch more differences in the people around me, like the boy in front of me whose ears are pointier than would be normal, or the icy hair of the girl walking a couple of steps over.
The red-eyed girl keeps her pace with me, walking in silence for a while before she opens her mouth and I see a flash of sharp teeth, not human teeth, but like a predator. “Where are you from? I don’t think I’ve seen you around. Are you new?” She seems very curious for someone so grouchy.
I shrug, trying to look nonchalant, like talking to a girl with predator teeth and red eyes is the most normal thing in the world. “Around. You probably didn’t notice me.”
The girl smiles, revealing those teeth again. “Oh, I would have noticed you…” Then she shrugs. “Fine, keep your secret. But the secrets of fresh meat don’t tend to stay secret for very long. We don’t get a lot of new people around here, you’ll find that out soon enough.” She raises a perfectly sculpted eyebrow before she starts walking ahead of me. Strange girl. ‘Fresh meat’? Really? That’s what they call new people here?
We finally reach what looks like gates to the academy grounds, and people are waiting outside, holding stacks of paper, just like the printer paper that we use in the normal world. I’m starting to compare the two, because the longer I’m here, the more I realise that this world definitely isn’t normal.
As soon as I reach one of the adults at the gates, she looks up. “Name?”
Her eyes go over the list, and then the next page, and the next page, and she meets my eyes. I realise her irises are a really pale blue, almost like ice, and a chill runs down my spine. “What year are you in?”
“First year.” What was going on? Was this some sort of prank? Like today could get much worse.
“Let me check again.” She holds her finger next to whatever list she’s checking. “I don’t see that name here. Do you have your acceptance letter with you? Maybe there is a mixup.”
A letter? Now what? I take the backpack off and open one of the zippers, but it’s just the stuff I stuck in there yesterday.
Behind me, the line is starting to get longer and longer. I don’t deal well with nerves like this, I hate it. Why is all the attention now on me? I like being invisible, I like people not paying too much attention to me.
I look up at the woman with ice-eyes, but I don’t think I’m getting any support there… I glance down again, opening the next pocket in the bag, and finally, three pockets later, I find a letter in the very front of the backpack, like I’m a little kid. Mum used to put any important papers in there all the time when I was in primary school, and by now, I feel small and little anyway, scared and nervous, stressed. Not a good day today…
The name of the academy is in big letters at the top of the envelope ‘Lughnasadh Elite Academy’, and then, it lists my name, but it has a different last name, it says Vigil instead of Brown. What? Why is there a different name on the letter, even though the address is correct and the first name matches mine? Why is there a different last name?
With a shaking hand, I give the envelope to the woman and then pull the backpack onto my back, my movements choppy and awkward, so ready to be out of here.
“It’s a pleasure to have you join us, miss Litha. We’ve been expecting you.” Suddenly she’s smiling at me, making me even more nervous and confused. “If you can go to the fourth building on your right, you will get your room assigned there. Have a great year.” She moves her arm to the side, indicating for me to step through the gate.
She’s expecting me here? What? What did I get myself into? First the things my parents told me, and now here, people expecting me?
When will I be waking up, in my room, surrounded by my own things and a stack of books on my desk to take to college in a week? I’m ready to wake up now. The joke has been going for long enough…