Trapped insider her own mind, a young witch draws strength from an ancient one.
As coven master Piers Dayton sits vigil, novice witch Hailey Deveraux lies still as death. Lost to him after being tainted with demon’s blood, her spirit wanders in a nether world she can’t escape. To Hailey her existence has become a solitary wander through an empty Castle coven. Memories tease her but never return. Doors open but lead nowhere.
Though Piers refuses to give up hope and tries in vain to bring Major Kieran McCallen to Hailey’s side, a different aid arrives. Stepping out of legend and time, Liona di Orsini appears at the Castle. With an elegant beauty and distant gaze that Piers has only seen in the oldest of Wiccans, Liona has come to witness the turning of history. Her prophetic visions have led her to the Castle, and now to Hailey’s bed.
As Liona weaves the telling of her tale with Hailey’s own, she finds that she and the guileless, young beauty may share more than just great power. Brought together at a nexus beyond which Liona can’t see, the pair forge a bond drawn from love, passion, and pleasure.
I have read a few other books by this author and just as with the others, I was enthralled.Kindle Reviewer
This is also the story of unlocking potential, family, love, respect and acceptance in spite of adversity or maybe because of it. Well done, thank you.Kindle Reviewer
Sweet and engaging, I never grew tired of her style. This series kept me looking forward to each new twist. I will definitely be spending more time with her stories. XoxoKindle Reviewer
Set the way back machine for coven history 101. What a great insight into where the coven/magnus corps system came from. And it's no wonder the Templars are so fanaticalKindle Reviewer
Completely enthralling from cover to cover! A real page turner. I could not put it down. Usually a severe critic, I am loving this series.Kindle Reviewer
In a small white room at the heart of the Wiccan fortress called the Castle, a young woman lay as quiet as death in her bed. She was nearly as pale as the walls around her. The only color in the room was her vivid red hair, lying over her shoulder. Sometimes, her bluish lips moved as if she was whispering, but no matter how hard the man sitting by her side listened, he could never understand what she was saying.
“Hailey, please wake up,” Piers murmured. “Please. I promise I’ll give you anything, anything at all.”
Sometimes Castle business called him away, but it could not keep him away for long. Sometimes Mathias, the infirmary master, would send him to bed, but he found he could not sleep. Sometimes he had to check Hailey’s hands again to ensure that the blackness staining them had been washed away. The image of her standing up after their battle, her hands dark with the thing’s blood and dirt, was something that would be seared forever into his mind. For one brief shining moment, he had thought that they had won. Then she fell, and coven master Piers Dayton was reminded that there was no victory in the world that came without a cost.
The smartphone by his side chirped, and without taking his hand from hers, he turned it on.
“Stephan, give me some good news.”
“Sorry, can’t do that, Dayton. I just promised you a check-in today. I wanted to get it to you before it got too late out there. Major Kieran McCallen is still on assignment, and is not available.”
Piers ground his teeth.
“That is unacceptable.”
“That’s the truth,” Stephan replied, unperturbed. “Magus Corps business. And you know what that means. Like it or not, Dayton, we don’t answer to you, or to any coven.”
“I know that, and right now, I don’t care. If he’s who I think he is, if he finds that you’ve kept this information from him, you and your Commandant are going to be in a world of pain.”
“That’s something we’ll deal with when it happens,” Stephan said coolly. “But I take it from your tone there’s no change in Hailey?”
“No, not yet. She’s been like this for two weeks now. Mathias says she’s stable, but there’s…there’s just nothing going on.”
“Frankly, Dayton, McCallen’s not going to be able to help her. I hope you know that. The man’s a master of snow and ice. He’s not a healer or a dream-walker. You know that.”
Piers didn’t care. “Find him. Get him here.”
Stephan sounded like he wanted to say something else, but Piers ended the call, turning his gaze back to Hailey’s painfully young face.
Stephan was wrong. It didn’t matter that Kieran McCallen wasn’t a healer. He was the man that Hailey loved. If he was a man worthy of her love, he would be here.
The thought of her with another man tore at his heart with an eagle’s talons. If he allowed himself to think about it for too long, it could take the soul out of him. There would be time later to think about what she would look like in another man’s arms, to think about the idea that even if McCallen went and Hailey stayed, there would always be a part of her that went with him.
Piers couldn’t think about that now. Instead, he held Hailey’s pale and unmoving hand, and asked her to wake up.
He must have fallen asleep for a while. He sat up with a crick in his back, stretching and unsure what had woken him up. There was a chill to the room that told him that night had fallen. He was reaching for a second blanket for Hailey when there was a knock at the door. When he opened it, Julie walked in, followed by a woman Piers had never seen before. She was slender and had the ageless quality that he associated with the very oldest of Wiccans. Someone might have guessed that she was perhaps in her early twenties. But after a moment, they would start to wonder. There was a distant gaze in her dark eyes, as though she were only here for the time being. But perhaps most extraordinary was the fall of shimmering silver hair that drifted down her back. It was thick and heavy, moving as she did. It made Piers think of moonlight on water. She was beautiful, but there was a terrible sternness to her as well.
“Piers,” Julie said, “this woman just appeared at the gate. She asked for you by name.”
“That would be difficult for most people,” Piers said, arching an eyebrow. “The peaks are treacherous unless you come by plane.”
“Some of us have no use for planes,” the woman said.
She offered him her hand. When he shook it, he could feel how cool her skin was.
“I’ve come here because this place is a nexus, something quite out of the ordinary.”
She glanced behind him at Hailey.
Piers consciously tamped down the urge to step between them. Instead, he only nodded.
“Out of the ordinary is a mild way to put it,” he said. “Perhaps if you told me your business, I could help you.”
She turned her bright gaze to him. “Of course, coven master. I am Liona di Orsini, of the Lepus coven in Rome.” Behind the silver-haired woman, Julie’s eyes widened.
Piers blinked. “The Lepus coven disappeared more than two hundred years ago,” he said carefully.
She shrugged as if it were no matter. “We have never stood close to our sister covens, and of late, we have found it safer by far to keep our distance. Still, as I said, events are turning in the world, and it is upon us once again to see and to explore. This woman, she lies at the heart of it.”
She cocked her head a bit. “Is that her name?” But she didn’t wait for an answer. “She has been demon-touched, and now she wanders. Unless she can find her way back, she will wither away and perish.”
Piers clenched his teeth so hard they hurt. He already knew that. “I asked you if you could help her.”
“I can,” Liona di Orsini responded calmly. “If you allow me to stay at your coven and observe the turning of events, I will bring her back.”
Piers wavered, but there was a ring of truth to the woman’s words. Though Hailey still breathed, she did not live. The mindreaders and healers of the Castle could do nothing to help her.
“You may stay at the Castle as long as you wish and all doors shall be open to you, if you can help her,” Piers said finally.
She nodded, circling around Piers to take his seat by Hailey’s side. For a moment, her dark eyes grew unfocused, and then she shook herself, turning her attention back to the two behind her.
“I will need privacy for this. Do not enter until I call for you.”
Julie looked like she was going to protest, but Piers cut her off.
“As you say.”
Piers ushered Julie through the door. When it closed behind them, Julie turned to him.
“Do you really think that’s Liona di Orsini?” she asked, awe in her voice.
Piers thought of the cool-water feel of the woman’s hand and the shining fall of silver hair. He thought of the weight of centuries in the woman’s eyes.
“I know it is,” he replied.