Dragons and Cupcakes (Shifter and Sweets #2) Read Online Zoe Chant

Categories Genre: Dragons, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Shifter and Sweets Series by Zoe Chant

Total pages in book: 54
Estimated words: 49355 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 247(@200wpm)___ 197(@250wpm)___ 165(@300wpm)


Chapter 1

The problem with being under a centuries-old intergenerational bad luck curse, Caleb Tanner reflected as he steered his sputtering car to the side of the road, was that you never knew when it was going to strike.

Well, that was aside from the other thing that was a problem about being under a centuries-old intergenerational bad luck curse. Which was that he experienced a lot of bad luck.

A lot of bad luck.

It wasn’t that nothing ever went right for him – things could almost seem pretty normal for long stretches, sometimes even weeks at a time. But then, bam! Just when he least expected it, the curse would strike again, and then, there he’d be: covered in dairy product after a mysterious yogurt avalanche at a supermarket. Getting absolutely soaked to the bone with rain the moment he stepped outside without an umbrella, even though it was the middle of summer and the weather forecast had said nothing but sunny skies for days. Finding, suddenly, that he had absolutely no matching socks in his drawer, even though he could have sworn he paired them all up the last time he did his laundry.

And that was just the things on the mild inconvenience end of the spectrum.

There’d been far worse: falling machinery smashing into sidewalks from building sites, missing him by inches. Traffic lights that had suddenly changed as he’d been halfway through an intersection, sending cars and trucks surging toward him. The scorpion that had manifested in his shoe, even though he’d been living in the middle of the city at the time. All his food going off moments after he’d bought it, wriggling with maggots and flies as soon as it touched his hands. Caleb assumed the only reason the front of his house hadn’t fallen on him or a piano hadn’t launched itself out of a skyscraper at him yet was because that would just be too cliché, even for a bad luck curse.

Caleb sighed as his car finally coasted to a stop, steam billowing out from under its hood, on the side of the road. At least after the bang and then the rattle of the engine apparently exploding, he’d been able to steer it off the middle of the road.

As far as bad luck went, he supposed this wasn’t too bad. It might have been better if it hadn’t happened on a winding mountain path, with more hairpin turns than he really cared to think about too closely. Caleb guessed he really ought to be thanking his lucky stars the curse hadn’t sent him careening over the edge of the road and into whatever heavily forested ravine lay beyond – but then, killing him had never been the goal of the curse to begin with.

No – the curse simply wanted to torment him.

At least, that was how his mother had described it to him when he’d been younger, when they’d realized that out of his family, he was the one who’d bear the curse: no one, as far as they knew, had ever been killed by the curse. It just made life very, very difficult. Nothing would ever work out for the cursebearer. They’d never get anything they wanted. It was pointless to have hopes, dreams, ambitions: no matter what, they’d all come to nothing in the end. Even if things seemed to be going well for a while – a job, a relationship, a car, apparently – eventually it’d all end up as a raging trashfire.

And no one even remembered why the curse had been put on their family in the first place.

But that was the problem, Caleb thought, with being part of a dragon clan. In the past, dragon clans had always been at war with each other – the idea that it might be possible for them to actually get along was a relatively recent one, since they’d decided that dragons had to join the modern era at last, and stop putting hexes on each other and trying to steal each other’s hoards and territory. Stop organizing fire-breathing dragon duels in the mountains. Stop behaving like children, in other words, and sort their issues out with sensible negotiations rather than with smoky-breathed, roaring, furious tantrums.

Which was nice, Caleb had to admit – his grandfather had lost an eye in the last dragon duel he’d fought, and Caleb was certainly grateful he probably wouldn’t be getting challenged to one anytime soon (though with his luck, he supposed, anything was possible).

But it didn’t really solve his problem. Even if all the dragon clans were getting along now, lifting a curse wasn’t a simple matter. It wasn’t a case of just saying a few magic words and reversing the original spell. Not even the dragon clan whose ancestor had originally placed it on Caleb’s ancestor could lift it just like that – it was lost magic, they said – they couldn’t do anything about it, even if they wanted to.