A seduction-gone-wrong leaves vampire Parker Hollis with a new vegetarian lifestyle and on the run from a vengeful witch. Moving to small-town Maggie's Grove, Parker meets a redheaded dryad with green, leafy blood that draws him in a way he hasn't experienced in decades. His new neighbor smells divine, and it isn't long before craving gives in to need.
In a unique community of supernaturals, tree-loving outcast Amara Schwedler has never quite fit in. She's scarred by a traumatic incident and feared by the local townsfolk. She's convinced Parker will look elsewhere for a mate once he discovers she's not one of the O-positive set, and can't believe it when Parker finds her irresistible.
When the witch who's been plaguing Parker's life discovers the newfound attraction between Parker and Amara, she takes out her anger on the town. Can the supernaturals of Maggie's Grove accept Amara and band together in time to withstand the assaults of the enraged witch?
Maggie's Grove, Maryland, Present Day
Parker drove through the moonlight-drenched streets of his new hometown with a sense of peace he hadn't experienced since Greg died. He hadn't realized how stressed he'd gotten until he'd hit Tennessee and all the tension dissipated. Finding out Greg had cancer, helping him through the horrors of chemo and radiation, only to lose him in the end to an infection, had been devastating. Greg had been in his sixties, not old at all. At least not by Parker's standards.
And now here he was, following Greg's final wish to the letter. "Go to Maggie's Grove. Buy a house. Settle down and have little vamplings."
"Why?" Parker had asked, damn near tears. His friend's vision had begun to fail, but it only made his inner vision sharper, clearer.
"The place is in Transylvania County, for the Goddess's sake. It's perfect for you."
"Greg." He hadn't known whether to laugh or let those tears fall. What was he supposed to do without Greg?
"Just do what I tell you for once in your damn unlife."
Parker had chuckled, but he'd known: Do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Greg had a vision, and Parker would follow it without question. Even at the end of his life Greg had looked out for him. He only wished Greg hadn't refused the Kiss when they'd first discovered the cancer. Turning him when he'd wasted away to nothing would have been cruel, not that Greg had asked, though Parker had offered more than once.
Parker would have been insulted if he hadn't known the real reason Greg hadn't accepted the Kiss. Greg hadn't wanted to spend eternity as one of the undead. He'd wanted to move on, be reborn. If he'd become a vampire, he would have lost the connection to the earth that gave him his powers. To Greg, losing his witchcraft to turn into a vampire was a horror not to be borne. But he'd promised that someday Parker would find him again. Before drifting off into a coma, he'd used the last of his magic to ensure it. He'd died as peacefully as any mortal could wish.
Parker wished it hadn't happened at all.
Parker's gaze landed on the ornate brass pot in the seat next to him. He wondered whether Greg appreciated the massive cosmic joke that had been played on him, but was afraid to ask. Parker sure as hell did. He went to sleep chuckling about it.
Greg had been instrumental in how Parker now lived his life, and he would be forever grateful. Thanks to Greg, he'd discovered he loved dealing with plants of all shapes and sizes, loved digging his hands into rich soil and watching life sprout from it. He'd tasted and sampled more varieties of plants and saps than he'd known were even edible. He'd learned which ones to stay away from and which to embrace. He was the only vegetarian vampire in existence and had become something of an outcast, but he was all right with that. While there were those who thought he should be put out of his misery, others wanted to study him. He avoided those others like the plague. No way did he want to be tested, injected, vivisected or any other ted that might cause him pain, thank you very much. And the ones who didn't give a rat's ass one way or the other were the ones who'd become friends, if none as close as Greg had been. And that was why he was glad he had his best friend with him on this journey of—
"Are we there yet?"
Parker rolled his eyes. Even in death Greg didn't shut up. "Almost."
"Good. I'm getting itchy."