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Wheel of Fortune (Cards of Love)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Ella Fox

Book Information:

Jackson Howell was tall, dark, handsome- and the single most annoying person I’d ever met. Our fathers were best friends, but that didn’t mean a thing to us. It seemed like he lived to prank me, and I always responded with anger.

On the first day of preschool, he’d dumped a pail of sand down the back of my favorite yellow dress. In tenth grade, he started a rumor that I had a virginity pact with Jesus. It took almost the whole year for someone to tell me why no guys ever looked at me. It wasn’t that I wanted to date anyone, but it would’ve been nice not to be avoided like the plague.

When I moved back to our hometown after college, I was ready to turn over a new leaf where Jackson was concerned. It was time to deal with the feelings I had for him. He wasn’t hard to find. Within hours of my return he was serenading me with Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up at the Olive Garden.

Later that night I turned over the Wheel of Fortune card… and Madam Aria explained that Jackson Howell was my destiny.

Books by Author:

Ella Fox Books

Chapter One

Chloe, Age 12

“Chloe Annabelle! If you don’t adjust your behavior right now you won’t like the consequences,” my father bellowed.

I put my hands on my hips and glared up at him. “No! I’ve had it with Jackson having to be around all the time. I understand having to get along with him when Aunt Maddie and Uncle John are around but it’s not like they’re going to be there Saturday night. Since they’re not, he’s not welcome at my birthday party and that’s final,” I answered, using one of my father’s go-to lines.

Dad looked like he was about to blow his top, but if I got my way about not having Jackson at my thirteenth birthday party the following weekend, it would be worth it.

He assessed me for several seconds before he let out a long sigh. “That’s your final answer then? No Jackson?” he asked.

I held back a victorious grin as I nodded. Yes, I thought, I’d won this time. Without Jackson around the girls coming to the party wouldn’t be given the opportunity to spend the night fluttering their lashes and making goo-goo eyes at him. I was willing to risk dad’s wrath in order to avoid a replay of what had happened at my last party.

“Then you leave me no choice,” my father said sternly. “I’m done with you acting like a spoiled brat. This isn’t the first time I’ve been ashamed of your behavior where Jackson is concerned, but as of this moment, I’m over it. You are grounded for the next week and your birthday party is canceled.”

I begged and carried on for days, but my dad never backed down.

It was just another reason for me to be mad at Jackson.

* * *


Age 13

The way Madam Aria stared at me over the purple-tinged crystal ball made me feel edgy. There was knowing in those kohl-rimmed eyes; an awareness that made me think she could read me like a book. Maybe my best friend Alec was right when he claimed she was a mind reader.

I rubbed my damp palms against my jeans and forced myself not to run away like some scared elementary school kid. Seconds passed in silence before Aria nodded as though she was satisfied with whatever she saw in me. Her lips turned up at the edges as she closed her eyes and hummed something beneath her breath while her hands cupped the sides of her crystal ball. For a second I swore I saw something swirl in its depths, but when I blinked it was back to being a plain purple orb.

It’s just glass, and this is nothing more than a parlor trick, I assured myself. A person with the ability to truly see the future would charge a lot more than ten dollars.

Besides, having Madam Aria tell your fortune was something all the kids in town did at the yearly carnival. She’d been around so long that my parents had their fortunes told by her back in junior high. They called it a rite of passage, whatever that meant.

It was meant to be a harmless bit of fun, but something about being seated across the round scarf-covered table from her made me feel weird. I startled when her eyes popped open, and she focused on me with intent concentration, unlike anything I’d ever seen.

“Praise the Goddess! I haven’t come across one of your kind in many years,” she murmured.

I wrinkled my brow with confusion. My kind?

“You are what seers refer to as a devoted. In the world of mysticism it is the most celebrated union.”

I stared at her blankly. Celebrated unions? Maybe the incense I smelled was masking the scent of marijuana.

Aria snorted as if I’d said that aloud. “A devoted exclusively desires one specific soul throughout eternity because that soul belongs to their perfect counterpart,” she explained. “You and your beloved find each other in every lifetime, and no matter what obstacles are put in your way, you have always fallen in love. In some lives, your path to each other has been easier than in others. No matter what, you are always up to the challenge of winning your other half. In this life however, you met her much earlier than in your other incarnations.

“Unfortunately for you that early meeting does not mean your path to love will be quick or easy. Although that soul will always be the yin to your yang, in this life, your beloved has been more stubborn than in previous lives. That’s because her heart was broken by someone she should have been able to rely on. She is a survivor, this girl. For one so young, she’s very headstrong. You will need to be patient and true to capture her heart. She requires special attention and she will not come easy.”

My heart started to beat faster. Aria had to be talking about Chloe Holland. We’d met early. Our fathers had been best friends since my dad moved to Bliss, Massachusetts. They’d met on the first day of third grade and since both had names that began with H their cubbies had been right next to one another. The rest was history. Like our fathers before us, Chloe and I were always in the same classes because of our last names. Unlike our dads, we weren’t best friends—not for lack of trying on my part.