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Exclusive Excerpt from Wilde Child by Jenn Stark

Jun 12, 2017

Come away, O human child...

No matter the job, no matter the client, Tarot-reading magical artifacts hunter Sara Wilde has only one hard-and-fast rule: protect the children. But the newest strain of technoceutical drugs--specifically designed to alter psychic children's DNA--has thrown the arcane black market into a frenzy. As mistress of the House of Swords, Sara pits the power of her worldwide criminal syndicate against insidious enemies and even more treacherous allies to combat the threat, but it's not enough. To destroy these drugs at their source, she must break her cardinal vow and put a child at risk.

Guided by a boy altered by technoceuticals, Sara races to derail the modernization of an ancient ritual devoted to a malevolent god. Except the children aren't her only responsibility any longer. The Magician of the Arcana Council and her own House demand her focus as the war on magic erupts violently in several hot spots around the globe. Sara's pretty sure things can't get more complicated, until she discovers who is leading one of the other four fabled mortal Houses of Magic...a discovery that brings her face-to-face with the mother she's never known.

Family skeletons just won't stop dancing when you're a Wilde Child. 

Note from Jenn Stark:

Since the Readaholics Anonymous blog has long been a vocal advocate of the Magician and all his inscrutable ways, I thought I'd share the first in-person meeting of Sara and the Magician in book 7, after navigating the twisting back streets of Barcelona with the leader of the local Revenant community, Jonathan. I hope you enjoy!


“Here we are.” Jonathan stood to the side as we peered up the short stone stairway to a medieval-era villa, so old it sloped over the street. He gestured for us to enter, but Ma-Singh stayed my arm, indicating that Nikki and Nigel should go first. I looked down the street, almost certain I’d seen a man step into a shadowy doorway. One of the guards? Had to be. The night was desolate, despite the grimly resilient tourists getting every moment of enjoyment out of the old city. Anyone following us would be picked up by one of our—dozen? Two dozen?—tails.

Either way, they wouldn’t be following us in here. I climbed the short staircase with a strange sense of relief snaking through me.

That should have tipped me off right there, but it didn’t. It wasn’t until I topped the stairs and saw who was waiting for us that I realized I should have locked down my mental barriers the moment we entered Spanish airspace.

On the other side of the narrow courtyard, leaning against a rough-hewn stone arch, stood Armaeus Bertrand, Magician of the Arcana Council.

I couldn’t help my initial reaction, the warmth that started at the very core of my being and flooded outward, erasing all the darkness and fear I’d experienced in the scorched club. Following on its heels, however, was a wariness born of hard experience. Over the course of the past several months, Armaeus had taken me to heights I’d never imagined possible—only to drop me into depths I didn’t know if I’d survive.

What was he doing here?

My gaze jerked from him to Nikki and Nigel. Both of them kept their mouths firmly shut. Ma-Singh, who strode in behind me, checked his stride in astonishment, but Jonathan glided up to Armaeus, pivoting to regard us. He couldn’t have said he’s with me more clearly if they were wearing matching fraternity house sweaters.

“I’m confused,” I said before anyone else could speak. “If you’re good friends with the Council, why’d you call on the House of Swords?”

Jonathan turned his serene gaze on me. “This time, our interest was not to draw the attention of the full House of Swords. It was to draw yours.”

“Same thing,” I said without thinking. Even as the words passed my lips, they gave me pause. Had I really started identifying so closely with the House I now led? When I’d first been given the job by Annika Soo, I hadn’t expected to last longer than it took to put one of the generals in place. But now…

Silence hung in the air, and Jonathan seemed disinclined to break it. Then again, he’d been kicking around for over two hundred years. Taking a moment probably meant something totally different to him.

When a response finally came, however, it wasn’t Jonathan who spoke it. Instead, the Magician’s cool, amused voice rolled out like a red carpet through the austere stone courtyard, unraveling all the way to my feet.

“I suggested that Jonathan contact you, Miss Wilde,” Armaeus said. “He had a need to find two children, and you are the best finder of lost things on this earth.”

The Magician’s unexpected compliment made me blink, but my British Ace blustered forward, clearly peeved.

“She doesn’t belong to you anymore,” Nigel said tightly, and that made me snap my head toward him. To my recollection, I’d never belonged to the Magician…or to anyone, for that matter. Irritation flared through me at the idea that anyone thought of me that way.

Fortunately, Nikki had been around all of us long enough to intervene smoothly.

“Back it up, Buttercup,” she said, putting a hand on Nigel’s arm. The Ace seemed to recall himself and turned an apologetic glance on me. I ignored him, instead fixing Armaeus with my gaze.

It wasn’t a hardship. As always, the man was impeccably dressed, his deep gray suit and snow-white shirt looking freshly ironed. His long ebony-colored hair was swept back from his face, revealing deeply bronzed skin, piercing dark golden eyes, and finely chiseled features. He was tall, well over six feet, and deceptively slender, though his well-cut suits tended to make him seem slighter than he really was. I’d had firsthand knowledge of the power he contained within his well-maintained body…and of the various planes, dips, and curves of that…

Armaeus’s lips twitched, and I forced myself to focus. 

Read the Immortal Vegas series! 

Jenn Stark is a Golden Heart award-winning author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. 🙂 In addition to her work in paranormal, she is also author Jennifer McGowan, whose Maids of Honor series of Young Adult Elizabethan spy romances are published by Simon & Schuster, and author Jennifer Chance, whose Rule Breakers series of New Adult contemporary romances are published by Random House/LoveSwept.
She lives and writes in Ohio. . . and she writes a LOT.
The world of her first paranormal romance, which was previously titled BLACK JACK, has now been reimagined as the setting ONE WILDE NIGHT, GETTING WILDE and WILDE CARD, all to be published in 2015, with BORN TO BE WILDE to follow in early 2016!

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