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Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance 

Print ISBN: 978-1-914226-29-8 

Available in ebook and print. 



Rudo is a trainee witch-finder who discovers college for a mystic isn’t easy. Damned souls are attracted to her incandescent aura, she’s losing control of her powers, and she’s in danger of failing her training. Then, along comes charming, irresistible Chisomo. The witch wants her heart. As if Rudo needs that kind of complication.  

She is his salvation, and he is her damnation. He lives in the grey areas while she’s all about black and white. He won’t love anyone else, but she mustn’t love him. Still, what if loving him isn’t the worst that can happen? 


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Another shiver rocked her, and she rubbed her arms. Where was a rabid dog when you needed one? 

“At last, a quality she shares with us lowly humans.”  

Chisomo appeared by her side, navy blue business suit complete, the book from earlier missing. He slid out of his jacket and held it out for her. 

His face was so kind, and the night was so cold. She swallowed, enticed by the jacket’s promise of a covering. Light though it may be, its fabric would reduce the surface of her skin exposed to the cold.  

“Are you going my way?”  

“Does it matter? It’s cold, and I don’t think you should be walking alone this late.” 

His eyes encouraged her, beckoned her to let him help her. Friend or foe? His aura was unmistakable, but was she really in top condition to judge character by impression alone? She bit back a shiver and extended a hand. She had to believe genuine kindness with no malice existed, and the world wasn’t out to devour her. 

He helped her into the jacket.  

“Are you going to be warm in just that?”  

“Sufficiently. It should do until we get to my car.” 

“Huh!” She cocked her head to stare at his face. “I am not getting into a car with a complete stranger. You can walk me to the dorms, or you can pick up your jacket in the library tomorrow.” 

“You don’t expect me to walk you and come back for my car later!”  

“Nope.” She shook her head. “I expect you to pick up your jacket tomorrow. Good night, Chisomo.” 

She snatched her bag and jogged down the stairs before he changed his mind. She wasn’t giving up the jacket now that she had it. Although it failed to provide warmth, it prevented direct cold exposure. 

He caught up with her at the bottom of the stairs. 

“You’re persistent,” she said. 

“So I’m told.” 

“That’s an annoying quality,” she mumbled, falling into an abrupt melancholy.  

Gideon, too, had been persistent. Look how that turned out. Believing she could have it all, she'd ignored the dangers of her life and basked in Gideon's attentions until, one day, his love morphed into something homicidal. He’d been cursed. The parting gift of a witch specializing in revenge spells. 

“You’re the first to complain.”  

Of course. Most women probably lost their ability to speak around him. She couldn’t deny she’d held her breath when she’d first laid eyes on him. But still, just because he looked like one didn’t mean he was a god. The world didn’t work that way. Even charisma has its limitations. Besides, under the pleasant appearance, something sinister might be lurking. 

Like his inexplicable, body-numbing rage.  

An image of his knuckles seized her. Bloody, raw. Each angry blow chipped plaster from the wall and skin from his bones. She sank in the ocean of his rage until something she hadn’t noticed earlier dragged her ashore. Sadness. Despair. So much pain. She'd never experienced someone’s sentiments so vividly without searching for them. She found her way back through the scent of rust and sweat, out of his emotions, his experiences.  

She gulped. The images dissolved.  

"Hey, are you okay?" 

His voice came to her as if from a tunnel. Her ears popped, and she stared at him, suddenly aware that she'd had a brief panic attack. She wiped her sweaty brow and calmed her breathing. "I'm fine." 

"Are you sure?" 

It took all her strength to block the pull from the worry in his voice. "I'm fine." 

This was everyday life for her. Didn’t the court understand how much she had to filter to stay sane? Those old farts expected too much.  

“The guard. Is he the one who found you?” She asked to divert his attention. 

“Oh no. Different guy.” 

“You must spend a lot of time in the library.” 


“The guards know your name.” 

“I’m a friendly guy.” Chisomo chuckled. 

“I bet you are.” 

She blocked the wistfulness his presence induced. The memory of his aura swept the feeling away. Fireflies and crickets. Fresh maize and pumpkins. A picnic in the harvest time. Rudo trembled. What was this medley of abstract images?  

If she breathed him in, would he smell like innocence? Cotton candy and bubble gum? 

She widened the space between them as her sanity strained from the continual assault of pain and pleasure. 

“You’re conflicted.” 


He kept the distance she’d put between them. “Part of you wants me to leave you alone, and part of you is glad I’m here.” 

The soft glow of a streetlight illuminated his face. He fixed a pair of contemplative eyes on her. 

“I like to be alone.” 

“No, that’s not it.” 

They crossed into the new student residential compound, leaving the cold behind. The pan brick boundary walls held back the winter breezes and radiated heat. She should give him back his jacket now. No. She'd do it only if he asked. 

He didn’t.  

They walked in silence until they stood at Rudo’s door.  

“Thanks for walking me back.” She slid out of his jacket. His cologne stayed with her. Underneath it, she smelled a familiar earthy scent she couldn't place. A natural scent reminiscent of the forest.  

“No problem. I almost don’t mind the walk back.” 

“Hey, you insisted on coming along. I told you I’d be safe.” 

“I have no doubt. But you looked like you needed the company.” 

“Like I said, I like to be alone. May I have my bag?” 

Chisomo stood there with a gentle smile, radiating sadness and longing, mirroring her own. She caught her breath and met his eyes. Hazel, not brown. It was a sin to have such beautiful eyes! Again, the urge to wrap her arms around him and breath his scent overwhelmed her.  

This was insanity! She backed into the closed door. 




Damned If I Love You | Dhasi Mwale | eBook

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