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His Heart’s Desire by Penny Brandon

pb_lg3_hisheartsdesireMagic is not dead, it’s just hiding in a mirror

A magic mirror, a resentful keeper, and a punk-assed kid with ripped jeans and rainbow colored hair.

His Heart’s Desire is Simon and Alex’s story, and the third instalment of the Looking Glass series. It’s a stand-alone story, but Simon was first introduced to us as the mirror’s keeper in Choices. It’s Simon’s job to tell those who look into the mirror that they’re seeing their one true love.

In Choices we met Marc and Liam, but Marc wasn’t gay.

In First Kiss, Brenn saw Joey in the mirror, but Joey was dying.

Not everything runs smoothly for those who look into the mirror and see their one true love, but surely as the mirror’s keeper Simon won’t have that problem, right?

To celebrate the release of His Heart’s Desire, I’m giving away an e-book copy.

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BLURB:

As the keeper of a magic mirror that shows those lucky few their one true love, Simon dreams of the day it will show him his, but he never dreamt of a punk-assed kid with ripped jeans and rainbow colored hair. Devastated, Simon tries to push Alex away, refusing to tell him they were fated, but Alex keeps coming back, showing all the signs of a man drawn to his soulmate. Realizing he’s made a terrible mistake, Simon figures the only way to ever have a future is to be the man Alex wants because Alex is the man Simon needs.

Never before has Alex fallen so hard for a man who obviously doesn’t like him, but Alex is sure there’s a passionate man beneath Simon’s prickly exterior. Peeling away Simon’s layers is like ripping off a bandaid, but it’s worth it when Alex finally has Simon in his arms. The problem is, though he may have Simon’s body, he doesn’t have his heart, and that’s the part Alex wants most. Until he finds out Simon has lied to him.

EXCERPT:

“That’s a neat trick. How does it work?”

At the sound of the unexpected voice behind him, Simon whirled, hand at his throat, eyes wide, pulse racing.

A man leaned casually on the corner of the antique desk that Simon used as his service counter. That in itself ruffled Simon’s feathers because the man obviously didn’t seem to appreciate the age and beauty of the piece, and he also didn’t seem the least bit contrite at nearly giving Simon a heart attack. In fact the man was smiling. A bold, bright smile that was so inappropriate right then Simon felt indignation bite deep.

“How does what work?” Simon asked, striving for politeness even as he felt like ordering the man out.

The man’s smile widened, showing complete nonchalance as if he didn’t have a care in the world, which ruffled Simon’s feathers even further.

“The mirror. I looked into it and—”

“The mirror?”

“Yeah. It’s quite fascinating. I couldn’t see any wires, and though I assume the image is on a loop of some sort, there’s no obvious—”

“You looked into the mirror?” Simon glanced toward the rear of the shop where the mirror was housed, and he scowled. He used to love enlightening those drawn to the mirror. He used to love telling them the image they saw was of their one true love. But now… Shaking his head, Simon turned back to the young man still leaning on the desk and scowled even more.

No matter how much Simon knew it was wrong, he couldn’t help wondering what it was about this man that made him better than Simon. Why was he special? Why was he getting a chance to find that happily ever after? Studying him, Simon cynically observed the well-worn jeans, the scruffy black T-shirt, the scuffed shoes, the statement colored hair, and couldn’t find a damn thing.

As if sensing Simon’s resentment, the man eased off the edge of the desk. “Um, so how does it work?” he asked.

As the mirror’s keeper, that was a question Simon had asked himself over and over. “I don’t have any answers,” he said. “I’m just here to show you.”

“I don’t understand.”

Simon gritted his teeth. Neither did he, but it was his duty to try to explain, so he grudgingly headed toward the back of the shop, assuming the man would follow.

“I’m Alex, by the way, and you’re Simon, right?”

Turning to see Alex holding a small white business card he’d obviously picked up from the desk, Simon merely nodded, not wishing to engage in polite conversation. As soon as he told Alex what the image in the mirror meant to him, that would be the end of their association. Simon would never have to see Alex again, never have to look into those vivid blue eyes and feel a bitterness he could no longer repress.

Sighing, Simon continued to the back of the shop, maneuvering through a labyrinth of furniture before finally coming to stand in front of the mirror.

As usual, to him the mirror reflected nothing. Its impenetrable black surface seemed to mock him, as if it knew there was nothing in his future, nothing to look forward to, nothing to live for. A large part of him was beginning to hate the mirror, and he no longer truly believed the promise and potential it supposedly offered. He went through the motions of course, but during the last few months, each time he’d told others they were seeing their heart’s desire, he’d felt a little part of his own heart die.

“It doesn’t look like it belongs here, does it?”

“Pardon?” Simon turned to face Alex who was gazing at the dusty, plain-looking mirror. Its oval shape could have given it a timeless elegance, but it appeared shabby rather than refined and neglected instead of cherished.

“Well, I mean everything else here is beautiful and obviously of high quality. That looks like it came from a bric-a-brac store. No offense.”

“None taken. I didn’t pick it. It was already here, but regardless of its appearance, it’s actually priceless.”

“Really?”

The look of astonishment on Alex’s face made Simon smile despite the pain he knew was going to come. He took a sustaining breath, his gaze fixed on Alex’s smiling mouth. Alex might be unkempt, young, and a tad idealistic, but he must be worthy, and it wasn’t Simon’s right to judge. “Yes, really. It’s what it does that makes its worth immeasurable.”

“You mean showing me an image of you?”

****

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Author Bio

Penny is a complete romantic who believes everyone can fall in love if only they’ll open their heart to the possibility, which is why she writes those hot, erotic stories that will always have a happily ever after. However, it doesn’t mean she’ll necessarily make it easy for her men to get there. A lover of things that go bump in the night, Penny’s imagination can sometimes run riot, so magic mirrors and evil dolls is only the beginning.