Slippers And Thieves
by Christina Bauer
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, #4)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 26th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Years ago, Elle—never call her Cinderella—escaped her evil step family in order to build a new life for herself in Manhattan. Today, Elle’s awful past is a distant memory. In fact, Elle even attends West Lake Prep, an exclusive high school where regular humans mix with members of the Magicorum, such as fairies, shifters and witches. Although she still must live in hiding from her evil stepfamily, Elle has always found ways to get whatever her heart desires.
That is, until Alec Le Charme.
Alec is the heir to the Le Charme dynasty of high-end jewelers. He’s also kind, charismatic, has a knee-melting smile. Elle has fallen for him, hard. Unfortunately, thanks to Elle’s evil step family, Alec is absolutely off limits. In fact, if Elle and Alec so much as kiss, it will start a magical chain reaction that would end in powerful factions of witches and wizards going to war. As a result, Elle and Alec vow to stay friends, no matter what. Then West Lake Prep holds a masquerade ball. Identities get mixed up and forbidden kisses are finally shared.
Time for the Magicorum to go to war, and for Elle to confront her hidden past in ways she never thought possible.
Elle – Age Fifteen
Then, jewel heist.
Rubbing my eyes, I refocus on my computer screen. A final study question appears.
SUN is to BRIGHTNESS as MAGIC is to…
I click on c) fading. A green check mark appears on screen.
Nailed it. Yay, me!
Not that the question was super-tough. Everyone knows magic’s disappearing from the world. Shifters, fairies and casters—folks called the Magicorum—are basically an endangered species. I should know. I’m one of them. In my case, my father’s a caster while my mother’s a fairy.
A knock sounds on the door. “Elle, may I come in?” That’s my mother, Rae.
The door swings open; Mom steps inside. She’s willowy and petite with large blue eyes and long blonde hair. My heart sinks. Mom’s shoulder bones jut out against the straps of her yellow sundress. She’s getting more skeleton-like by the day. Meanwhile, I’m a younger and healthier version of her. I can’t help but feel a little guilty about that.
“How are you?” My voice wobbles as I ask the question.
“Better and better.” Mom waves me off. “Is your homework done?”
Once again, Mom veers the conversation away from her illness. In Mom’s mind, if you don’t talk about being sick, then it isn’t happening. And today, like most days, I don’t have the heart to bust up her system. If Mom says she’s better, then I won’t push it. After all, we’ve tried tons of healers. And we live in New York City, home of the best cancer treatment centers ever. Nothing has made a difference for Mom.
I plaster on a fake smile. “Almost finished here.”
Mom closes the door behind her. I frown. Closed door chats are never good.
“I wanted to talk alone,” says Mom. “You see, Marchesa’s daughters are the same age as you.” She twists her fingers together at her waistline. “Both Agatha and Ivy love their high school. They’re meeting all sorts of new people.”
In this case, Marchesa refers to my mother’s lifelong frenemy, Lady Marchesa Oakwood. Lately, Marchesa has been sharing supposedly helpful tidbits about her daughters. Sadly, the stories only make Mom feel like she’s failing me. A protective urge runs up my spine. Marchesa’s supposed to run our family store, not load Mom with worry.
“Agatha and Ivy aren’t me.” I tap my chest. “Here’s one girl who likes online stuff.”
“But this is your parents’ office.” Mom frowns. “It’s not a regular classroom.”
“Come on. This is a cool spot.” And I mean it. The office is small with red brick walls. There’s even a great view of Second Avenue.
Mom still looks concerned, so I go on. “Hey, I get the deal.”
There’s no need to explain more.
In this case, the deal is the fact that I’m the warden of all fae magic. It means I’m super-powered, which is certainly nice. But fae aren’t like other Magicorum. While shifters and casters worship their wardens, the fae kill theirs. That’s why I take online classes and generally avoid new people. My full time job is pretending to be the weakest fairy in the history of ever.
“I’m glad you understand the, uh, deal.” Mom’s face brightens. “And you’re absolutely fine with online classes?”
“Do you really think I’d keep my yap shut otherwise?”
Mom chuckles. “No, I don’t.”
“Then we’re both good, right?” In my heart, I want everything to be good, not just conversations about online classes. That’s not possible, though.
“We’re better than good,” replies Mom. “We’re great.” She heads back toward the door and then pauses. “Your father and I will be in the store this morning. Give us a yell if you need anything.”
Long after Mom’s left, I still watch the closed door. With every passing second, a weight of worry settles more deeply into my soul. All members of the Magicorum get pulled into a fairy tale life template. Mine’s Cinderella. So I can’t help but notice some facts.
Fact one. Marchesa has two nasty daughters who are my age.
Fact two. Marchesa also stares at Dad with googly eyes that make me want to puke.
Fact three. Mom has been sick for a really long time.
I’ve seen the Disney movie here. In short order, I’m heading into the not too pleasant phase of the Cinderella story. This is where my parents are gone and I’m stuck with a frenemy stepmother who names her kid Agatha. Other Cinderellas may sing at their window and hope for the best.
Me? I’ve got a plan.
Which brings me to the fave part of my day: planning my next jewel heist.
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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