Loving the Dragon – Vintage Collection Read Online Helen Hardt

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Fantasy, Myth/Mythology, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 26
Estimated words: 25820 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 129(@200wpm)___ 103(@250wpm)___ 86(@300wpm)

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Loving the Dragon - Vintage Collection

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Helen Hardt

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He’ll die without her…

Bookstore owner Kristen Ross hides behind her reading glasses in her small bookstore in Colorado. The gorgeous muscled man with the dragon tattoo who stands at the magazine rack is way out of her league, but still she lusts after him when he comes into her store every day.

After centuries of looking, Aidan Butler has finally found his fated mate in the shy bookstore owner. He knows that underneath her proper exterior is a fiery goddess worthy of a Highland dragon. All he has to do is complete the bonding process. But an ancient code, his estranged half brother, and Kristen’s biggest fear all stand in his way.
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Helen Hardt


“Who was he, Anthea?”

Aidan huddled in the corner, scratching at the golden scales that had erupted on the inside of his left forearm. He’d been happy when he noticed them. They signaled the first part of growing up. At five years old, he was showing the first sign of his Highland Dragon heritage.

He’d run to his father, proud of his emerging change. “Da!”

“Aye, laddie. What is it?”

“My scales!” He’d held out his forearm with a smile.

But instead of the bear hug he’d expected, his father’s eyes had widened and his lips had pursed into a frown. Da had run his thumb over the gilded scales, his face reddening to the color of a ripe strawberry. He pushed Aidan aside.

“Anthea! Damn it to hell, get down here.”

Aidan’s beautiful mother had descended swiftly down the stairs, her dark hair fluttering behind her.

“Crivvens, Declan, what are you shouting about?”

“Who was he, Anthea?”

“Who was who?”

Aidan shuddered. He hated when his parents fought. They seemed in a constant state of war these days, usually about his older brother, Micah. At only six, he’d gotten involved in a young gang of thugs and was always in trouble.

Da reached forward but then stopped. “The boy’s showing his first signs.”

“Aidan!” Mum smiled. “Let me see, sweetie.”

Da stepped between them. “No, Anthea. First, tell me who it was.”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mum said, casting her gaze downward.

“Damn it all, I’m not an idiot. Who, for the love of the gods, is the boy’s father?”

Aidan widened his eyes and gulped. “But Da, you’re—”

Da grabbed Aidan and pulled him toward Mum. “Look,” he said, holding out the forearm Aidan was so proud of. “Golden scales.”

“Yes? Is that what’s troubling you? Why on earth—”

“My scales are black. As were my da’s, as are Micah’s. The color for scales is inherited from the father’s line, Anthea, and there hasn’t ever been a golden dragon in my line.”


Da’s hand whipped out and slapped Mum’s rosy cheek. At her scream, Aidan rushed toward her. He would protect her. Da would not slap her again.

“Who was it, Anthea?”

“I didn’t know—”

He raised his hand again.

“Don’t hit her!” Aidan pressed his small body backward against his mother’s soft legs.

Da swatted him away. “Answer the goddamned question.”

“Stop it!” Mum grabbed Aidan and pushed him behind her, shielding him. “I never meant—”

Da slapped her again. Aidan buried his face in the soft fabric of Mum’s skirt.

“All right.” Mum’s voice shook. “It was Josiah. Your brother.”

Da’s face reddened further. “My half-brother, you mean. My father swore to me he’d keep him away from you. Damn it!”

Aidan peeked around his mother’s legs.

Da’s fists were clenched at his sides. “I should have killed him myself.”

“He’s dead anyway.” Mum’s lips trembled. “By his own hand.”

“Not fucking soon enough.” Da paced a few steps away and then turned back around to face them. “So the bastard begets another bastard.” He inched closer. “You’re no better than my own slut of a mother.” He grabbed Aidan’s arm.

Mum nd pushed him behind her again. “Don’t you dare touch him!”

“Fine. He’s no longer any of my concern,” Da said. “He’s not mine, after all. The two of you have a half hour to get the fuck out of my house and my sight.”

Not Da’s? What did he mean? And why did Da want them to leave? Aidan opened his mouth to protest, but his mother shushed him.

Her red lips formed a thin line. “Come, Aidan.”

“You’ll not take my name with him. He’s a Butler now. He was never a Campbell.”

“Fine,” Mum said, whisking Aidan up the winding staircase. “I’ll be proud to have him carry my da’s name.”

Da’s stomping vibrated the steps underneath Aidan’s feet.

“You have no idea what you’ve done, do you?” Da yelled. “You’ve damned my son. And you’ve damned both of yours.”

Aidan gulped as Mum shuffled him up the stairs. What was Da talking about? And why did they have to leave?

Da’s voice continued to boom. “Ever wonder why Josiah pursued you so relentlessly? We were damned to the same cruel fate. Do some fucking research. And then live with what you’ve done to your sons.”


His tattoo made her crazy.

Prim and proper Kristen Ross, reading glasses perched on her straight nose, glanced over the top of the book she held to ogle the colorful dragon carved into Aidan Butler’s sinewy triceps.

The dragon moved, his reddish gold scales shimmered. Oh, Kristen knew it was just Aidan’s muscles creating an illusion, but sometimes she could swear the dragon’s eyes shifted. Never enough for her to be sure. But moments existed when she was nearly certain the dragon watched her. Then she would look again and realize she had imagined it.

He was right on time.

Every morning promptly at eleven thirty a.m., Aidan walked into Kristen’s bookshop in the small town of Nederland, Colorado. He always pawed through the bargain books and then stood at the magazine rack and leafed through the car and motorcycle magazines, which put him and his dragon directly in the path of Kristen’s gaze as she sat at her cash register.