Shep and Lilly are best friends and neighbors. They grew up outside of city limits amongst towering Pine Trees and flowing rivers. With a shared birthday, childhood, and innocence, it’s fate when Shep and Lilly fall in love. They're soul mates. On their 18th birthday Shep proposes to a tearful Lilly who eagerly accepts. The day began with love and excitement but ended with fear and confusion when Lilly's mother goes missing. With only a cryptic note and determination to find her mother, Lilly must discover a courage and strength she's not sure she has.
When Shep and Lilly are brought to Neveah they are stunned by its magic and magnificence. They are in a race to save their mothers while discovering secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Both must accept a fate they didn't know belonged to them while preparing to stop one man that is a danger, not only to them but to all of Neveah. The innocent love story of Shep and Lilly weaves through the tragic love of Jax and Annika. One is pure while the other is dark. One can stop the evil spreading while the other can destroy a world.
The Levannah family rules Neveah with a firm but loving hand. Their peaceful home is a place where beauty abounds and innocence rivals Earth. It’s a world where creatures, both magnificent and terrifying, live in harmony amongst each other. When Lady Levannah has her first born, Annika, it is decided that she will marry the son of her best friend Selene Androni, making them family. They watch with pride as Jax and Annika grow up together, an obvious love forming between them.
Jax and Annika were the best of friends. They shared a childhood but little else. Jax was a rambunctious and temperamental boy while Annika was adventurous and loving. He couldn't wait to marry her; she couldn't wait to marry another. When Annika refuses to marry Jax, as he'd been promised, it unleashes an evil Neveah has never seen.
“When did you find this place, Shep? It’s great!”
“You like it? My dad and I stumbled upon it on a hunting trip last winter. I have been waiting to show it to you ever since.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about it?”
“I wanted to show you. Here, come on! You haven’t seen the best part, come on.” Shep grabbed my hand tugging me to the rocks. Still holding my hand, he started climbing the smallest rock pulling me up with him. Once we reached the top, the picture that awaited us took my breath away. Down below us, about twenty feet, flowed the Klamath River. To the right of us, stairs made of rock and wild grass led to a small sandy flat area surrounded by wild flowers and pine trees. The river flowed lazily past the sandy beach. Tiny waves broke at the edge where the sand turned to pebbles and pebbles turned to rock.
“It’s beautiful here, Shep, so secluded, so private.”
“I thought you would like it. You should see the look on your face Lill, priceless. Seriously, you can close your mouth now,” Shep laughed, teasing me as always.
“Shut up, don’t ruin the moment,” I hissed back slapping him hard on the arm.
“Oh, you hit like a girl, Strawberry Shortcake! You really need to let me teach you how to hit.” With that, I balled my fist and socked him in the gut. He doubled over laughing. “That’s more like it,” he replied through fits of laughter.
“Ha!” Was my only reply. I was too occupied with the scenery. As always, my mind was already daydreaming about this little bit of heaven. This place would make a fantastic backdrop for a painting. I made a mental note to come back with a sketch pad and draw the scenery.
“Hey, let’s walk down to the grassy flat area, Chocolate Muffin.” I grinned at him, knowing full well he hated when I called him that.
“I have a better idea, let’s jump.” He suggested, lips curled back in that glorious smile.
“What? Are you crazy? Are you trying to get us killed?” I was horrified, but he looked completely serious and a little hurt at my reaction.
“No, I’m not crazy. I already jumped. I swam all around down below to make sure there were no rocks and the current is calm right now. The water is warm too.” He was a bit smug as he spoke to me, clearly offended I thought he would endanger me in any way.
“Really, Shep, you want me to jump? Why?” I asked puzzled but knew before I even asked that I would jump with him. I always followed Shep.
“It’s great, Lill, a huge rush! We jump together. I promise if you hate it the first time, I will not make you jump again, just try once. Please, for me?” His big, brown eyes begging me. How could I say no to those eyes? With a shrug and a sigh, I took off the dress covering my bathing suit, looked at Shep and asked, “Are we gonna do this or what?” He broke into a smile showing all his perfect teeth and hugged me tightly in thanks. He quickly stripped to his swim trunks and took my hand. “Nothing to it, Lill, just hold my hand and jump.”
There we were; Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Muffin, side by side, in complete contrast of each other, yet somehow connected, soulmates.
“On the count of three. Ready?” Shep asked.
“One, two, three!” Shep announced and on three, we were hurtling toward the water. I felt
weightless. For those few seconds, I felt like I could fly. It was so liberating. Our hands broke apart just before we broke the water’s surface. I shot through the water like a bullet sinking lower and lower until I gathered my bearings and started to kick up to the surface. Shep was the first thing I saw once my head reached the surface, grinning wide at me. He began swimming to shore glancing back every now and then to make sure I was behind him. Once we reached the shoreline, he pulled me out of the water into his arms. I was shivering from excitement. “Well? Did you love it?” I waited, looked up at him, and smiled before confirming that of course I loved it, he knew me too well. We both laughed. We jumped three more times before we collapsed on the beach, totally exhausted and happy. Time could have gone on like this forever, but not everything goes according to my opinion.
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Angie Merriam resides in the beautiful Pacific NorthWest and is happily married to her best friend. She and her husband have three wonderful children, a dog, and a fish. She is the author of the Neveah trilogy and is a featured author in Intertwine, an anthology featuring an array of writers and a variety of genres.
She loves barbeque's with family and friends, photography, movies, music, and of course reading. She was influenced by the works of Diana Gabaldon, Stephanie Meyer, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, and J.K. Rowling. She currently writes romantic fantasy but looks forward to exploring other genre's.
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Check out my review of this book here!!
Check out my review of this book here!!