Freeing the Hamadryad
Buy the Book: Amazon
Published by: Claire Davon
Release Date: 3/17/20
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By day, Taimi is just another Brooklyn high school student, five-foot-nothing of still-growing teen. By night? She’s a 15-foot dogwood tree, trapped in her adopted mother’s enspelled rooftop garden.
Taimi longs for a normal life, especially if it involves the tall, dark-haired, totally intriguing young man who somehow slips past her mother’s wards. The young man whose mere touch to her nighttime bark makes her shiver.
Ranger moved into his aunt’s apartment to help her with one task—use his dragon-shifter gift to free a tree girl from captivity. He never thought laying one hand on the potted dogwood tree would change everything.
Taimi could almost let herself get lost in her attraction to Ranger, but when they discover the disturbing truth about who she is and what powers infuse her from leaf to limb, it could be too late for Ranger to free her from her root-bound prison.
Note: This book was originally part of a YA limited box set called Queens of Wings and Storms.
“Tell me about yourself,” she said, not daring to let her hand brush his. She didn’t have the courage. She had never been on a date with a boy. All she grasped about the opposite sex was from school, the Internet, and the few warlocks her mother had in her life.
He grinned. “Not much to tell. I was from Queens, but my folks had to go away and couldn’t take me, so they sent me to live with my aunt.” His voice shaded with meaning, telling her there was more to the story.
“That must suck.”
He shrugged, his backpack moving with his shoulders. “It is what it is. What about you? Is it just you and your mom? No dad?”
There was no way to explain the complicated relationships and Taimi didn’t bother. Instead she trotted out the falsity that had become part of her psyche all these years.
“Dad was never in the picture. I don’t even know who he is.” No lie there. As a dryad she wasn’t “born” by normal means. She wasn’t sure how it all worked. What she’d been able to read on the Internet didn’t explain how new dryads were created. Just that they were bonded to trees and always female.
“Too common a story in the big city.” Ranger said it as if it were no big deal.
“Yeah. I guess it is.” They passed Cpt. Dan’s Good Time Tavern and turned the corner. They were too close to the building and she dragged her feet to delay returning home, to spend more time with Ranger, but she knew she couldn’t. “Do you miss your folks?”
A shadow passed across his face. “Sure. Sometimes. They check in. They won’t be gone forever.” He paused. “Taimi, I know that you’re a tree.”
She stared at him, her heart beating fast. She couldn’t have gotten that right. Nobody was familiar with what she was, except her mom and the witches. The old compulsion not to tell bubbled within her, but it no longer held absolute sway.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She backed up a step, glancing at the city street, wondering if she should flee.
“I come to your rooftop and I sit under you and watch you. Taimi, it’s okay. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” He took a deep breath, his skin roughening into what looked like scales for just a moment before they faded. “I’m different, too. I’m a dragon.”