Beautifully Brutal Romance

Enrapturing Her Warlock

As a highly sought-after publicist, Ashling Milligan has one priority: make her clients look like gold. A social media sensation and influencer since her first year in college, she has the smile, tenacity, and grace to draw the public eye and spin a story to her clients’ best advantage, leaving her with a celebrity waiting list twenty people long. The last thing she needs in her well-ordered world is a certain astronomically successful illusionist running amok and derailing her carefully laid foundation for success.

Illusionist Midas Coghlin continues to hunt the next challenge, something he’s done from the time he took off at a run on his one-year-old feet. A daredevil in his youth, a gifted manipulator, and a master of puzzles as an adult, he relishes upping the ante, something that’s become increasingly difficult to accomplish. So naturally, he’s turning his focus to getting a rise out of the single most unflappable professional in showbiz, Ashling Milligan.

When Ashling and Midas discover the ultimate puzzle woven into the tapestries of the generations that came before them, they dive headlong into the ultimate quest with the highest stakes. Their lives. With one foot in their comfortable pasts and the other in the life their ancestries call on them to live, they dally in their mutual attraction, each denying the powerful connection growing between them. That is, until the villain lying-in-wait forces them to bring that connection to light and test how it stands in the most epic of battles.



“What the hell is this, Midas?” Ashling Milligan asked, waving the yellow Post-It before Midas Coghlin’s eyes.

The smug grin on his irritatingly handsome face only fueled her anger as he sat under the lights in front of a mirror with his makeup artist touching up the area around his unnaturally violet eyes.

Staff moved through the backstage area, scurrying to make sure everything was just right for the performance set to begin in ten minutes. Beautiful women, showing tantalizing bits of skin, sat at makeup stations, all assistants for different portions of the show.

She wished he would look at them. Better yet, leer at them. Then she could firmly tuck him into pig territory in her brain and vanquish the low hum of arousal that pumped through her the minute he was in her zone.

Her zone being a twenty-foot radius.

Especially with his being a client.

Number one rule…never ever get involved on a personal level with someone who contributes to your bottom line. Not ever.

The rule made her eternally grateful she had chosen to become a public relations manager. She needed to know everything, but at a distance.

And she needed that distance…or so she’d learned the hard way.

Which made it so damn discouraging that her traitorous body kept feeling all sorts of sinful things whenever she shared the same air with the arrogant hottie in front of her.

“Listen, I know you’re big on that iPhone of yours and all things electronic, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain a handwritten note to you, do I?” Midas said, brushing away a few errant droplets of face powder that had fallen onto his collar.

“Yes, hot shot. I’m well versed in handwritten notes. What’s in question is the asinine request you wrote on it,” she said, crossing her arms, the Post-It balling up in her clenched fist.

He raised his chin and straightened his crisp collar. “It’s not a request.”

“You’re right. It has to be some kind of joke.” Clearly, nothing was wrong with him. With the sheer magnitude of what he was asking, he’d need to be missing a limb, and even then, they could modify the show to make it work.

He shook his head and shrugged as though she were just some lackey, and she had no choice but to comply with his ridiculous commands. “No joke.”

“You have to have lost your mind if you think we’re cancelling your last three shows. You’re sold out. Seventy-five thousand seats. No.” She turned on her heel just as he hopped out of his chair and right into her space, looming over her like an unpredictable dark lord.

At least to her.

Anyone else saw a tall, sandy-haired charismatic man in black. They saw fluid muscles, agility, and suave grace that left them wondering what he was up to even as he charmed and tricked.

Well, something inside her, something she didn’t dare examine too closely, saw a viper waiting to strike even as he enticed, and she damn well had no intentions of being his prey.

Being a master illusionist wasn’t just his job. He lived and breathed it in a way she had never seen in any of her other clients. He executed his skill so naturally as though they were an extension of his mind and body.

At least she thought they were just skills. That’s what she told herself anyway. Because the alternative raised the hair on her arms while she fought the unusual urge to run.

And one thing Ashling didn’t do is run.

She’d spent five years under a social media microscope of three million Twitter followers and four million on Instagram.

If that didn’t make her cower, the sorcerer in front of her wouldn’t either.

As long as he didn’t perform another impromptu trick like he had last week that she had no rational explanation for.

One that kept her lying awake at night, with her lamp on, because the boogeyman and all, afraid to so much as blink.

“I prefer to call it rescheduling,” he said in that deep rumble made for early morning seduction.

She squared her shoulders and resisted the urge to tug at her collar as her temperature spiked. Whether it was his proximity or fury setting her aflame was anyone’s guess. “And what about your fans who bought nonrefundable plane tickets to see you? What about the ones who took off time from work? What do you expect me to tell those people when they’re out real money?”

He unbuttoned his cuffs and began rolling the silk shirt up to his elbows, revealing thick, corded forearms sprinkled with light-brown hair. “Tell them to submit their receipts, and I’ll reimburse them.”

The smile froze on her face. “What?”

“I think you heard me,” he said, his gaze flickering to the people passing them and heading toward the stage.

“You’re just going to start handing money out? You do realize how messy this will get, right?” she asked, wishing she could stomp her foot. The mess would take weeks to straighten out…if she was lucky.

“Yes, I do,” he said, giving her that suave smile. “Good thing I’ve got the best publicist in the business to handle it for me.”

© Casey Hagen, USA Today Bestselling Author