Castle Coven Book 4
Two lovers equals more than twice the passion.
With the return of Major Kieran McCallen of the Magus Corps, life becomes complicated for novice witch Hailey Deveraux. Though she’s still in love with the dark and brooding man, she’s also in love with Piers Dayton, who couldn’t be more different. As the coven master of the Castle coven, Piers has given her the protection, space, and love to become her own person.
To her shock and dismay, Hailey learns that Kieran’s return isn’t just about her. He’s on a mission, a dangerous one, for which her talents would be ideal. Though she can’t deny him her help, his closed emotions and gruff manner hurt her more deeply than she can admit.
But as the mission unfolds, her love for both Piers and Kieran can’t be denied. Though coven master and Corps officer may not like one another, the one thing on which they can agree is Hailey. Emboldened by her time with Liona di Orsini, Hailey makes a request of her two lovers that takes even her breath away.
What Readers Are Saying
I can't say much more without giving the story away but it is full of action, drama and HOTNESS.
Can't read fast enough. Wonderful spellbinding. Page after page of unforseen twists and turns. Romance without the overdone sex. Joy to savor.
Adventure on every page.
This book had some twists in it that I wasn't expecting. I can't say to much because it will give away the one thing that wad VERY unexpected. All i can say is GET THIS SERIES!
I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! It picks up right where the last one left off. It is well worth the read.
In her infirmary bed, Hailey sat bolt upright. She had been abed for what felt like weeks as she recovered from her encounter with the demon. She couldn’t take another moment of bed rest, not with the news she had just received.
Kieran is here, and Piers loves me.
Her thoughts spun. It was not so long ago that she had been an outcast in the Wiccan world. She’d been shuttled from coven to coven for her ability to drain power from others to then use as her own. Major Kieran McCallen had been the one to change that. He had fought with her, trained her, believed in her, and finally loved her. He’d drawn her to a place where her life might have some purpose. Then he had abandoned her.
She didn’t know what she would have done if Piers Dayton, the coven master of the Castle, hadn’t stepped in. In the wake of Kieran’s abrupt departure, he had shown her a whole new world. He had opened his amazing coven to her, where learning and the pursuit of the art of magic was held in the highest regard. Though it hadn’t been for her sake, he had created what was perhaps the only environment where she could grow and thrive.
Hailey shook her head, trying to straighten her thoughts. They swam around her, making her feel as shaky as a windblown leaf. For weeks now, there had been no word from Kieran. As a member of the Magus Corps, he was a man who went where his commanding officer told him. Some part of her, she now realized, had never expected to see him again.
But he had returned. Her heart clenched with anticipation, but even that did not allow her to forget Piers. Piers was fair where Kieran was dark, a man who flew high above the peaks while Kieran commanded ice and snow. Like most coven masters, he was often at odds with the Magus Corps. He had made no secret of his attraction to Hailey. Their battle with the demon-infested man had driven them even closer together. She had never felt more intimate with another person.
Hailey dressed herself with trembling fingers. She didn’t know what was about to happen. Her clothes from the fight with the demon had been destroyed, but she found her favorite green dress in the pile of things that had been brought for her. It hung on her a little, and she made a face. She had lost weight while she had been ill. She was already petite, with little enough fat to spare, but she couldn’t think of that now.
She braided her unruly red hair and glanced at herself in the mirror above the bathroom sink. In some ways, she looked like a famished child. Her green eyes were wide and staring, a little too large for her face, which was paler than it had been. She splashed some cold water on it before shrugging. It would have to serve.
Hailey assumed Kieran would be in Piers’s study, waiting for her. She stepped into the corridor and almost bumped into a woman who was only a little taller than herself.
Liona di Orsini was one of the oldest Wiccans known. Gifted with the ability to see the future, she had sensed a time of great turmoil and strife for their people. She believed it would begin with the Castle, and so she had come to observe. She was old beyond measure, though her face was that of a girl barely out of her teens. Now she looked at Hailey with a quirked eyebrow.
“Just where do you think you’re going, looking like a ragged little urchin-child?” she asked.
Hailey blinked at her. “Piers told me that Kieran was here, that Kieran was here to see me.”
“And that’s how you want to meet him?”
Hailey bristled a bit. “Our romance was conducted while fighting Templars. I doubt he’s expecting anything particularly pretty from me.”
“It doesn’t matter what he expects. Come. You’ll thank me for this.”
Though Hailey protested, she didn’t have it in her to oppose the woman who had shaped the very world she lived in. Liona, along with her lovers Gaius and Lucius, had between them crafted the coven system. It was a world where Wiccans could rally and defend themselves, while the Magus Corps sought out their enemies and destroyed them.
But apparently despite her place in history, all Liona wanted to do now was steer Hailey to her room. Though Hailey protested, Liona shushed her and ran a brush through her hair, braiding it neatly before applying just a touch of makeup.
“There, that’s pretty. Get some shoes on, and you’ll be fit for a ball.”
“I don’t want to be fit for a ball,” Hailey objected. “I want to be fit for Kieran.”
“Oh, well, if that’s the case…”
Hailey was turning for the door when Liona swung her around. She found herself pressed against Liona’s lithe body. The other woman’s hand curled around the nape of her neck, holding her still, while her mouth covered Hailey’s. Her warm lips worked sensually, soft but urgent. They enveloped Hailey’s, pressing down, kissing her so thoroughly and so deeply that a shocked Hailey thought she might drown. Hailey had barely summoned the presence of mind to respond when Liona let her go, stepping back with a sly grin.
Hailey blushed furiously. The memory of the story that Liona had told her, and what they had done in her bed was fresh in her mind.
“Calm yourself, dear one,” said Liona with a smirk. “I’m not laying a claim. I’m just making sure that you’re properly warmed for your lover.”
Hailey glanced in the mirror. Liona was right. Her eyes were brighter, her lips a vivid red, and there was a natural blush on her high cheeks.
“Maybe you could ask first, next time,” Hailey said in exasperation.
But she remembered the pleasure Liona had given her too well to be truly upset.
Liona might have said something in response, but Hailey was out the door. She walked as fast as she could without breaking into a full run. At the door to Piers’s study, she paused and took a deep breath. Then she opened the door.
At first, the tableau confused her. She didn’t understand why Piers’s hand was fisted in Kieran’s shirt. She didn’t understand why Kieran had his teeth bared.
“You look like you want to kill each other,” she blurted out.
They froze, both staring at her for a long moment. Then Piers straightened, released his grip on Kieran’s shirt, and stepped back. His brown eyes were as cold as she had ever seen them.
“Forgive us, Hailey. The major and I were having a disagreement, and I…acted rashly.”
Kieran straightened out his shirt, taking longer than he had to––much longer. To Hailey’s dismay, he didn’t look at her. He looked down at his hands. He glanced at Piers. He seemed to be doing everything in his power to avoid looking at her.
“As Coven Master Dayton says, we were having a disagreement. It is nothing for you to concern yourself with.”
When he had left her in the airport all those weeks ago, she had felt as if she had been destroyed. Kieran was the first person who had seen value in her and what she could do. When he had turned his back on her, she hadn’t been able to stand it. It had taken Piers and the entire world that he had built with the Castle to begin healing from that loss. But now she realized she hadn’t healed. The wound was still there, waiting for her.
“I am here in my capacity as a major of the Magus Corps,” he said. There was something dead in his voice that made her shiver.
“I see.” Hailey swallowed hard. “I… What does the Magus Corps want?”
“To test your capabilities.”
Hailey had a moment of déjà vu.
“You already did that,” she said.
When they had first met, she had been unwilling in the extreme to show anyone her powers. They were a source of fear to many other Wiccans.
“Things have changed,” Kieran said.
He moved to the window, turning his back to both Piers and Hailey. When Hailey glanced at Piers, she was shocked to see that his face was a mask of anger. Piers was the coven master of the Castle, but he ruled through pointed negotiation and diplomacy. She remembered that according to Liona’s story of the first coven, covens were designed to protect. With a start, she realized that Piers thought that she needed to be protected.
“I came back from my most recent assignment to find another one waiting for me. For this, I was told that I needed the right tool, and…I was told the right tool was you.”
“Gods above, but you’re a bastard,” snarled Piers. “Hailey is a member of my coven. She is no tool, and if you try to treat her like one, I will show you that I am the one who rules here.”
Kieran turned to Piers with an expression not unlike the one worn by his wolf, Cavanaugh. Hailey noted with a kind of numb sadness that while Kieran wouldn’t look at her, he seemed to have no problem glaring at Piers.
“I am here doing my job, Coven Master. By my commission as a major of the Magus Corps, I have the right to demand what I need.”
Piers’s smile was hard.
“Not here. Never here. This is not some defenseless hamlet where you can ride in and impress the young girls with those swords that you wear, Major. This is the Castle. We never asked for your protection. We never needed it.”
Kieran was going to snarl something in response, but Hailey decided that she’d had enough.
Startled, both men looked at her.
“You forgot I was standing here, didn’t you?” she asked, her own voice crackling with anger. “I am not a tool, but neither am I a damsel that needs to be protected by my coven master. Kieran, you have business with me?”
For the first time, Kieran met her gaze. His blue eyes were unreadable, but for a moment she saw something flicker. She had seen it when they made love, and she had seen it when he walked away from her. It made her heart ache but she bit back the pain.
“Yes, I do,” he said. “I and the Magus Corps do not call lightly.”
Hailey nodded tightly.
“All right then. I will meet you in the courtyard in half an hour. I need to change.”
Kieran looked down with something that might have been shame. Piers started to speak. But Hailey had had enough. She exited, closed the door silently behind her, and ran for her room. When she got there, she locked the door behind her. With short, vicious movements, she took off the dress and threw it as if it were made of fire. The last time she had worn it, Kieran had said goodbye to her. Their reunion had been no better.
She put on her jeans and a thick black sweater instead, stomping her feet into the heavy boots. She went to the bathroom and scrubbed away the makeup that Liona had applied so carefully. It washed away, and with it the hope she hadn’t realized she’d held––not until a few moments ago. She looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes burned with a different glow. Her skin was blotchy red and white. She didn’t care. If Kieran wanted to test her ability to wage battle, he had done exactly right.