Table of Contents

Book Cover
Trigger Warnings:
Violence, mentions of past abuse, hints of past sexual assault (nothing on-page), oppression of magi and shifters

Book Info


The Magi Accounts

Number In Series:
Cover Artist:
Michele Notaro
1 March 2022
Book Type


Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you can’t see.

Growing up in the magi compound was far from easy. I didn’t think I’d ever get out of that horrid place, but eighteen years ago, my world changed. I was allowed freedoms I’d never had before, although, even today, I was still at the Non-Human Specialties Operations’ beck and call.

Which is how I find myself on a team with my best friend, five shifters, and a human.

Now, I have to figure out a way to work with others—with shifters. I’ve never been one to trust easily, and I don’t see that changing, but this shifter pride has a way of getting past my walls. Unfortunately, all that means is now I have even more people I need to protect against the evils of this world, and I really don’t know how I’m gonna do it.

All three species have been at odds for more than a century, but maybe Cosmo—a lion shifter—and I can put aside our differences to work together and keep everyone safe. And if I’m secretly crushing on the guy, well, I think I’ll keep that to myself.

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“That sounds nice.” I hesitated, then added, “I’ve never been to a cookout before.”

He froze. “What?”

My brow furrowed. “Uh, I’ve never been to a cookout. It’s not like we had anything like that at the compound, and every mage I know who lives off-base is in an apartment.” I shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal even though I knew it was. Cookouts were a normal thing for humans and shifters. I’d seen enough of them in movies and shows, and read enough about them, to know that I’d love to go to one someday. But that wasn’t really in the cards for me.

“You’ve seriously never been to a cookout? Not even once?”

“Uh, nope. Pretty sure I’d remember something like that.”

A strangled sound came out of his throat before he rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “Madeo…”


“I… Jesus, I don’t even know what to say to that. I’ll have to have a cookout and invite you, Jude, and Logan.”

My eyebrows rose. “Really?” Despite myself, a strange flutter of hopefulness flitted around my chest. Which was stupid. People said things like that all the time. It didn’t mean they’d follow through.

Cos smiled softly and shoulder-bumped me. “Yeah, cat lover, really.”

I smiled up at him before entering the sandwich shop. I knew what I wanted, so I ordered, then gestured to Cos, saying, “What do you want?”

He was staring at the menu as he ordered a shit-ton of food. When he finished, paid—even though I’d tried to pay for both—and we sat down to wait, I asked, “Are you trying to feed your entire pride?”

He snorted. “No. I’ll finish it all.”

My eyes widened. “How? You’re a big guy, but you have like zero fat on you, and I’ve never seen you eat that much.”

“You’re asking me that? You’re a mage, and you just ordered an extra sandwich for yourself and a bucket of fries that I have no doubt you’ll finish off.”

“I like to save half of the second sandwich for tomorrow.”

He shook his head. “I have no idea where all this food goes on you. But for me, it takes a lot of energy, burns a ton of calories, to shift, and since I shift at least once a day, I eat a lot. I shifted a couple times yesterday and already once this morning, so I need the calories.”

“Gotcha. That makes sense. I wonder if my magic burns up some of the calories I eat?” I shrugged. “Whatever. Doesn’t matter.”

He grinned. “What are your plans for the rest of the day?”

“This is literally the only thing I have to do all day. I’m wide open. Except I don’t want to stray too far from Jude.”

He nodded. “Can I ask you a couple questions about your bond with him?”

“Uh, sure.”

“Can you feel him all the time? Even when you’re far away from each other?”

“Yes. He’s my focus, so we’d be able to find each other anyway, but it’s more than that, too. We’ve been bonded since I was three days old, so it’s completely normal to me to, uh, carry someone else in my chest.” I patted my chest where my heart was. “It’s like I can feel his heart beating right beside mine. And if he has a strong emotion, I feel it there. It’s… kind of hard to explain.”

“That was a pretty good explanation.”

I grinned. “If you say so.”

“I do.” He scratched his cheek. “Are you and Jude… involved in any other way?”

I stared at him for a few seconds, not understanding the question at first. But then I got it, and my eyes widened in horror. “Ew. Are you fucking serious? That’s… that’s… ew. No. Not even a little bit. Not ever. He’s my dyad. He’s the other half of me, and I… I wouldn’t want to date myself, right? Goddess.”

He laughed. “Okay, okay. Sorry. I didn’t realize.”

“So fucking gross.”

“Okay, so you two aren’t romantically involved. Good to know.”

“No, we’re not. Fucking duh.”

He snorted. “Alright, you don’t have to be an ass about it.”

“Pretty sure you already know I’m always an ass.”

With a grin, he reached across the table to flick my hand.

I snatched it away. “Not cool, jerkhole.”

He snorted again, then gestured to the counter. “Looks like our food’s ready. I’ll go grab it.”

“Thanks.” I watched him walk to grab the two trays of food—no way would it all fit on one—and my eyes accidentally-on-purpose strayed down to his ass.

It was a good ass. Like the rest of him, it was muscled and firm. Round. Bitable.

Thinking about biting his glorious buttcheek made me hum in appreciation out loud. And of course, Cos chose that moment to turn around. I didn’t even get the chance to look away and pretend I wasn’t ogling him before he caught me.

He had a huge grin on his smug face when he sat down and passed me my food. We started eating in companionable silence, and I thought he was going to let me get away with it without saying anything.

But then he opened his mouth and said all casual-like, “So you’re an ass man, huh?”

I almost spit out my food. “What? No. Nope.”

“Uh-huh. Real convincing, cat lover.”

I glared. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, kitty cat.”

He just grinned that smug grin at me.

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Exclusive Excerpt from The Scars That Bind Us (The Magi Accounts 1)

by Michele Notaro

When Charlie, in his lion form, tried to tackle Cosmo to the ground, and Cos rolled with him to throw him off, I couldn’t help but laugh and say to Jude, “They look like housecats playing around.”

Jude snorted. “They really do, don’t they?”

I shot my dyad a grin, and when I faced forward, I yelped loudly, automatically pulling a shield up around Jude and myself. But then I realized it was only Cosmo with his giant head leaned over the treadmill’s screen, so I dropped my magic.

“Goddess, why the hell did you sneak up on me like that?” I yelled. “You’re lucky I didn’t hit you with a spell, for crap’s sake.”

Cosmo huffed, then opened his mouth in what I could only assume was a lion’s smile. I stared at his golden eyes for a long moment before running my gaze over his big, fluffy mane. I wanted to touch it.

The lion leaned closer to me. He was tall enough that he only had to stretch out his neck in order to bump his kitty cat nose against my chest. It made me chuckle, so I turned the machine to a casual walk and reached out to place a hand on the top of his head. And then I started to scratch his thick fur.

A low, rumbling purr filled the air and made me chuckle again. Since he seemed amiable, I turned the machine off and ran my hand over his mane. The purrs grew louder, so I did it again with a big grin. I’d been wanting to touch a fluffy mane for months.

I brought my other hand up to join in, and Cosmo leaned into my touch, his eyes closed, his purr rumbling. When I started scratching his chin, he purred so loud, I could feel it down to my bones.

“You like that, do you?” I murmured, and Cos suddenly put both his front paws on the machine’s handle and lifted himself to nuzzle his wet nose against my cheek.

I sputtered and tried to push him away, yelling, “You’re going to break the treadmill!”

He ignored me and kept snuffling at my face and chest. When he went toward my neck, I tensed and tried to back up, but I slipped and fell on my ass. I heard Jude laugh as I said with a laugh, “Ow, jerk.”

The lion chuffed and hopped down only to army crawl under the bar like he was about to climb over me. A spike of fear shot through me, and I scrambled to back away, but as soon as I moved, Cosmo froze, staring at me.

My ass hit the floor, but I stopped backing away when the giant lion whimpered.

I held up my hand with a grimace. “Sorry.” I couldn’t stand the thought of him pinning me down, but I hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings.

He whimpered again and lay his head on top of his paws without looking away from me. When he held that position for at least a minute, I blew out a relieved breath and scooted to sit on the edge of the treadmill so I could pet him again. He started purring immediately, and after a moment, he closed his eyes.

With him seemingly content, I took stock of the room. My team was the only one down here, but they were still training over on the mat, except Jude, who was stretching his legs behind his treadmill, keeping a close eye on Cosmo and me.

When he caught my eye, he asked, “Okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good.”

He gave me a nod, then smiled slightly and gestured at Cosmo while waggling his eyebrows at me.

I murmured, “Shut up.”

He chuckled before grabbing my water bottle, handing it to me, then gulping down his entire bottle. “You good here?” he asked, gesturing to Cos. “I need a refill.”

I nodded. “Go ahead. He’s just a big, fluffy teddy bear.”

Cos opened one eye to glare at me and huff, making me chuckle, and Jude walked away with a laugh.

Cosmo turned his head to snuffle at my wrist and forearm, so I scratched under his chin again. He leaned forward into it, and I couldn’t help but smile. “I totally found your spot.” I didn’t know before now that shifters would even have a spot like many animals did, but I couldn’t say I didn’t find it amusing. And cute, really.



Michele is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card

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Michele is married to an awesome guy that puts up with her and all the burnt dinners she makes—hey, sometimes characters are a bit distracting, and who doesn’t plot when they’re supposed to be cooking? They live together in Baltimore, Maryland with two little monsters, three-legged and four-legged fiends, and a little old man (aka their two sons, their two cats, and their senior dog). She hopes to rescue another cat soon, and if her hubby wouldn’t kill her, she’d get more than one… and maybe a few more dogs as well.

She loves creating worlds filled with lots of love, chosen family, and of course, magic, but she also likes making the characters fight for that happy ending. She hopes to one day write all the stories in her head—even if there are too many to count!

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