Authors: Candace Havens
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal
Table of Contents
CHARMED PRAISE FOR CANDACE HAVENS
Like a Charm
“Entertaining, wickedly funny, and completely charming . . . sure to delight readers.”—
Romance Reviews Today
“Havens has created another likeable heroine with extraordinary powers in this enjoyable tale about finding true love and a true calling.”—
“Well-written, fast-paced, and filled with enchanting characters . . . a fun escape that captures readers’ attention and thoroughly entertains.”—
“A witty and engaging adventure . . . a magical treat!”
“When it comes to charming fans with entertaining paranormal romances, few writers match the consistent success of Candace Havens.”—
Genre Go Round Reviews
Charmed & Deadly
“Adventure, romance, heartache, and magic . . . a rapid-fire read.”—
Romance Reviews Today
“As fun a read as anything I’ve had in my hot little hands in the last year . . . impossible to put down.”—
“Super-talented Havens keeps doing a bang-up job with this highly entertaining, magical series . . . offbeat and filled with unforgettable characters.”—
Charmed & Ready
“Loaded with sass and wit . . . snappy, instantly engaging, and downright charming.”
“From demon hunting and club hopping to boyfriend minding and shoe shopping, this book has it all.”—
“I’m thoroughly charmed and ready for book number three.”
The Oakland Tribune
“A delightful ride from the first page to the last . . . the action is immediate and lightning fast.”—
Romance Reviews Today
Charmed & Dangerous
New York Times
bestselling author Jodi Thomas
“From assassination attempts to steamy sex scenes to the summoning of magical powers, Havens covers a lot of ground. Weaving together political intrigue, romance, and fantasy is definitely tricky, but Havens makes it work in this quick-paced, engaging story with unique and likeable characters.”—
“Mix the mystique of all three Charlie’s Angels, Buffy’s brass and scrappy wit, add the globe-trotting smarts of Sydney Bristow, and you might come up with enough cool to fill Bronwyn’s little witchy finger . . . How can you not fall in love with a character who flies her own plane, combusts the bad guys with a flick of the wrists, and has a weakness for sexy men and deep-fried chicken?”—Britta Coleman, author of
“Smart, sexy, and sinfully wicked.”
bestselling author Ronda Thompson
“A funny, imaginative take on what it would be like being a young, single, powerful witch.”—
“This is a refreshing, fast-paced entry for Havens, who pulls out all stops to put the world to rights with humor, some good old-fashioned street fighting—witch style—and some well-deserved romance.”—
“Bronwyn, the tough, sassy heroine in Candace Havens’s
Charmed & Dangerous
, is one very wicked witch—as in wickedly clever, funny, sexy, and irresistible!”
—Jennifer Archer, author of
Body & Soul
meets Buffy meets Bond . . . Ms. Havens does a fantastic job with her debut into the world of romance.”
“Laugh-out-loud, sexy fun! Candace Havens is a sparkling new voice that will draw you in and hold you captive.”
—Gena Showalter, author of
The Darkest Kiss
“A bewitching read, full of easy humor and vivid descriptions.
Debut novelist Candace Havens’s refreshing style and clever story weaving will leave you eager for more charming and dangerous adventures.”
—Laurie Moore, Edgar
Award-nominated author of
Titles by Candace Havens
CHARMED & DANGEROUS
CHARMED & READY
CHARMED & DEADLY
LIKE A CHARM
THE DEMON KING AND I
DRAGONS PREFER BLONDES
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
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This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2009 by Candace Havens.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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Berkley trade paperback edition / July 2009
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Havens, Candace, (date)
Dragons prefer blondes / Candace Havens.—Berkley trade pbk. ed.
eISBN : 978-1-101-08002-3
1. Chick lit. I. Title.
Guardians protect Earth from other worlds. We are the first line of defense against those who want to harm humanity.
Add in the fact that we put our lives on the line every day and that the rest of the universe really doesn’t care for humans, and you have to figure only a crazy person would be a Guardian.
That’s definitely true. But I get to face down dragons, so it’s not all bad. These aren’t the dragons of myths and legends. The Ahi, which is their scientific name, come in all shapes and sizes. They are intelligent beings for the most part, but they have a warrior attitude that makes them hardheaded beasts.
It’s my job to make certain they behave—and take them out if they won’t.
I’m not alone. My sisters are also Guardians who protect the rest of the world from creatures that would scare the pee right out of you.
We’re a tight-knit group, which comes in handy, since we’re in the middle of a big battle with evil trying to take over the universe. I’m talking darkness like we’ve never seen before. It hides in the most innocuous places and strikes at will. Scary stuff.
Don’t worry. We Caruthers sisters have a plan: Extinguish the evil and put its sad, sorry ass in a sling. Trust me, we can do this. Anyone who can run in four-inch Prada heels
kill a dragon can certainly save the world from the big bad.
“Alex, I’m getting married,” Aspen Randall screeched in my ear, her voice so high I could barely understand her. It didn’t help that I was holding the cell phone between my shoulder and ear as I pulled a dragon carcass out of the snow and into an industrial-strength trash bag. I was in front of a beautiful cathedral in Montreal, and thankfully, the streets were empty.
When Aspen called I thought it was one of my sisters, so I’d picked it up without looking. I mean, who the hell calls in the wee hours of the morning if they aren’t family?
It dawned on me that I hadn’t responded to her comment. “What a happy surprise. Who’s the lucky guy?” I pretended to be excited. Aspen went through men as fast as she changed shoes, so I couldn’t be sure who had been either brave or stupid enough to chance going down that path with the woman.
“Silly girl, Lord Huffington, of course. That means a big ole royal wedding for me.” She squealed again, and I wondered if I might need a hearing aid after this conversation. “We’ve been dating for three months, and we just can’t wait to get married.”
I sighed—on the inside. From what I knew about him, Huff was a stuck-up aristocrat who probably wanted to marry Aspen for her money. Everyone knew that his family had been struggling for years. His father’s investments were rot, and Huff had seemed more intent on living the playboy life than saving his family fortune.
Then again, Aspen probably knew all that. She just wanted to be called Lady Huffington. I’d met her ten years ago at a birthday party for my sister Gillian, and Aspen declared us instant pals. My mother insisted I be nice, so I went along with the charade, which turned out to be a huge mistake.
Aspen was as shallow as they came, but she was one of those poor little rich girls. At the ripe old age of fourteen, I’d figured out pretty quickly that her parents had given her everything except love. I felt sorry for her, so when she wanted to hang out, I always tried to be there for her. “Wow. That’s—wow. I don’t know what to say.”
“I know, right? Beyond cool. Daddy says we can have a wedding in the States
at the castle in England. I can have the fairy tale twice.”
Oh, my God.
My heart went out to her wedding planner. “Well, that is wild.” I slid the dragon, which was still warm to the touch, into the garbage bag. Thankfully, he’d been in human form, except for the talons, or he wouldn’t have fit. I had caught him inside the cathedral stealing a gold cross from the altar.
Dragons, demons, fairies, and a variety of other creatures had been giving my sisters and me hell the last few months. They were after treasures on Earth, and it was a constant battle to keep them from stealing. None of us knew exactly why these creatures wanted the valuables, but we felt certain it had something to do with the darkness trying to take over the universe. We are all Guardian Keys, and while it’s our job to protect Earth from these jerks, lately it had turned into a full-time occupation.
I had the element of surprise on my side and was able to sneak up on him while he was busy stealing, but he went scaly fast. He managed a couple of good strikes against me before he died. With dragons it was almost always a fight to the death. They never backed down.
The snow swirled around me, wet and cold. The damn dragon was slippery and almost too big for the bag. I had to shove it down with my boot.