Martin: I was an outcast. Humiliated and abused, I ran away to carve out a life apart from the Specter family business. Convinced the family magic would never work for me, I was taken by surprise when I met him.
Manticore: Shunned by other manifestations, I lived alone and nameless. Then I found Martin. He gave me a name and his body. Now, we exist as one. We never expected to find a woman who’ll love us, but Daisy Fay is full of surprises. We’ve walked through demonic fire to protect her, and we will have her as our mate.
Daisy Fay: Martin is the sweetest guy I know. Manticore is an enticing beast. I never dreamed they shared a body. It’s a good thing I love them both. We’re in constant danger, though, because their father wants to kill them. They want to keep me safe, but sitting in the sidelines isn’t my style, and they’d better get used to it.
Praise for Manticore (Confessions 3)
"I really enjoyed it. The history of both Martin and Manticore is very sad, but they found each other and made each other better. Martin just has a harder time accepting that. I will look for my by this author."
-- 4 Stars from Jeanne, Amazon Review
"Martin and Manticore’s otherworldly symbiotic relationship is tested when both vie for Daisy Fay’s affections. This was a good spin of a story with creative characters, mythical creatures, magic, and hidden realms."
-- 4 Stars from SBee Reviews, Amazon Review
"Another great entry in the Confessions series, it had what I was hoping for from the previous two books. Kate Hill has a great writing style and I was invested in this world."
-- 5 Stars from Kathryn, Amazon Review
"I loved Manticore by Kate Hill. It's the third book in the Confessions series. I loved Manticore, Medusa, Martin, and Daisy Fay's story. Manticore has a wide variety of hot scenes with two MF, one MMF, and one FF. I loved seeing more of Lance and Cupid from book two, Bloodbloom. I hope the author writes more books for this series."
-- 5 Stars from Carrie, Amazon Review
This e-book file may contain adult scenes and language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Manticore (Confessions 3)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Kate Hill
Tall buildings cast shadows on the sunlit city, but no warmth permeates its inhabitants. The stink of lowbred demons mingles with refuse. Sporadic screams, shouts, grunts, roars, and even occasional gunfire are unsettling but not unexpected.
I adjust my favorite floral tote bag on my shoulder and glance around while striding purposefully toward my destination. Since the demon occupation the world is a terrifying place, but I learned quickly that the best way to attract unwanted attention is to look frightened. Showing any kind of weakness is suicidal. I’m not the most intimidating person. Who am I kidding? At five feet two inches with thick glasses and a face that appears far younger than my thirty-two years, I look like a target. The only thing I have going for me is a vast knowledge of magic and the ability to create above average protection spells.
My sparkly canvas sneakers move soundlessly over the pavement. I pause outside the door to the flower shop that fronts my real workplace. Nowadays there isn’t a huge call for flower arrangements, but regular people and even an occasional demon patronize the shop. When I step in, the chimes on the door tinkle softly.
Brandy, the girl who runs the shop, greets me with a smile. Though merely eighteen she’s highly skilled in the art of self-defense, both as a witch and a martial artist.
“Hey, lady.” Brandy winks. “There’s another special delivery today. Martin is waiting to put it right into your hands.”
Martin. Just thinking about him makes me smile. He’s such a sweet guy. It still confounds me, how he’s able to locate and obtain such obscure and often dangerous magical texts. The times I’ve asked him about his methods, he’s been evasive. I haven’t pushed him, but curiosity eats me alive.
“Thanks, hon. Any customers yet this morning?”
“No. I’m working on my bonsais, though. Maybe by the time Lucas gets back, I’ll be able to show him a tree or two that’s not completely embarrassing.”
Lucas, owner of the Savage Sage club, is a trusted patron. Like us, he’s part of the rebellion against the demon occupation.
“I think your trees are very pretty.”
Brandy chuckles. “You’re too nice. They’re getting better, though. You should go downstairs before Martin has a heart attack waiting to see you.”
I laugh. “What?”
“Come on, Daisy Fay. It’s obvious he’s really into you.”
My stomach tightens a little and my heart flutters. I can’t say I’ve never considered what it might be like if Martin and I took our friendship to the next level, but it was only a fleeting thought. He’s never come on to me, and I never got the “passion” vibe from him.
“You seriously haven’t noticed?”
“No, I haven’t. Brandy, I think your imagination is running away with you. Martin and I are friends.”
Brandy raises an eyebrow. “Okay. If you say so.”
“I do say so. We like each other’s company, but neither of us have ever been anything but professional.”
“Sorry. Maybe I’ve been reading too many hot romance novels. I didn’t mean to offend you or --”
“I’m not offended. I just don’t want you to think there’s something going on between me and Martin.”
The girl’s eyes widen and she holds up her hands. “I never said that. He just looked, you know -- I totally misread the dude. Sorry.”
“It’s okay.” I smile at her. “I didn’t mean to sound defensive.”
“Don’t worry about it, lady. You better go check on that delivery.”
“On my way.” I stroll past her to the back room and open the door to the basement. At first it looks typical -- small. Dank. Just a place for utilities and storage. I touch a particular place on the wall and a hidden door slides open. I step through, and the door closes behind me. A few steps down a stone corridor and I enter my favorite place in this otherwise grubby world.
The Library of Magical Arts is spacious -- the walls filled with books, scrolls, tablets, and even magical artifacts, some that have existed for thousands of years. They’ve been collected and stored here for safekeeping, since the demon masters have tried to confiscate or destroy all things magical that belong to our world. This collection belongs to the most infuriating and strangely fascinating man I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting. If I had known when I took the job that I’d be working for him, I probably would have refused.
Who am I kidding? I’d have taken this job anyway. This is at least one way I can preserve Earth’s magical history and even help the rebellion.
“Hey. I’ve got something for you.”
I turn in the direction of that soft, slightly uncertain voice and smile at Martin, who lingers in the shadow of tall shelves in the vampire history section. He’s rather thin and around average height. His dark, wavy hair is slicked back from his angular, clean-shaven face. Big, forest-green eyes gaze shyly at me through thick, dark glasses.
“Hi, Martin. Brandy said you have a special delivery. What is it, and where and how did you get it?”
“What? It’s a Viking tablet to do with berserkers. Where and how? It’s a trade secret.” There’s a glimmer in his eyes that belies his sheepish grin.
“Oh, come on, Martin.” I teasingly stomp my foot. “Give me just one little clue this time.”
“All right. A cave in a wilderness of snow and ice.”
“And you got it?”
He shrugs and holds out a soft drawstring bag wrapped around something rectangular and solid. I take it eagerly, feeling not only its weight but the throb of magic sealed within it -- alive even after so many centuries. Tingling all over, I draw a deep breath.