Perfect Coven One
Book One of the Shaman, Water, Bard Trilogy
Author: R. G. Michaels
Great Lakes University is a smaller university with a diverse curriculum appealing to witches and orthos alike. GLU is known for its medical program, particularly in the area of witchery-related diseases and research. The teaching hospital specializes in working with Hexern-infected witches.
Charlie Redfeather, already a fully-fledged Shaman at the tender age of 19, works diligently toward her medical degree, hoping one day to find a cure for the dreaded Hexern Virus, a demon-ridden disease that threatens the life and sanity of witches, familiars, and orthos.
When her irrepressible roommate talks her into an evening at the Dock seeing a mutual Bard friend play, Charlie meets the Psi witch, Mars St.-Hilaire. He flirts with her, easing her discomfort in crowded social settings enough for her to respond to his flirting.
Initially, Charlie is flattered by Mars’s flirtation with her, until she realizes that he is using Psi witchery to impact her reactions. Distrustful of Psi witches due a traumatic childhood incident and angered by his attempt to influence her, Charlie threatens to take Mars before the Dean and the disciplinary council for misuse of his element if he doesn’t leave her alone. She determines to keep as much distance between herself and the Psi witch as she can.
Mars is intrigued by Charlie’s ability to sense his element, and her apparent immunity to his charms. He is determined to get to know her better, to pierce her defenses using whatever means necessary, even though his wolf familiar disagrees with his actions. Therefore, Mars enters into a conspiracy with Charlie’s roommate to keep him apprised of Charlie’s whereabouts so that he can “run into” her at various times and places. Charlie is not amused by these cute coincidences; she wants nothing to do with Mars, and her large Thunderbird familiar makes Charlie’s antipathy for Mars apparent.
Charlie’s avoidance of Mars becomes an impossibility when her mentor pairs her with Mars for a coveted internship at the university’s teaching hospital. Mars thinks he is the senior partner, being unaware of Charlie’s extensive involvement with the unstable witches confined to the Hexern Ward. However, she is determined to deal with the annoying Psi witch and excel in the internship, and she is even more determined to continue deflecting Mars’s advances.