Forever Faire Book 3
A safe haven becomes a killing field.
Though Fae warrior Ryan Sheridan can’t regret giving protection to Kayla and her sister, their enemies have not rested. When their Dark Fae pursuers breach Forever Faire’s defenses, a bloody melee ensues. In the aftermath, Ryan reconsiders the cost of harboring his mysterious charges.
For Kayla, the fallout is not something she could not have predicted. Even as Ryan opens his heart to her, her sister shuts her out. Although Kayla discovers love, as well as her real heritage, both may come at a price.
What Readers Are Saying
I am in love with your Forever Faire Series the plot is OMG amazing.
OMG!!!! The action and intrigue continues in this 3rd book. The romantic pairings are sexy and the action will keep you holding your breath. Love Kayla and Ryan as a couple.
I am just going to say again WOW! I was not prepared for the end of this book. I feel as if things changed before I was aware it had. The characters are great and so believable. I want to thank you Hazel for these stories.
Ooh, this series is getting lit! Another cliffhanger to peak the curiosity and keep it going. Must read next in the series.
I never would have believed that I would like this genre but it is amazing.
CELEBRATING THE WINTER with a night of shows and feasting at a traveling Renaissance faire had worn out the residents of Ashdale, Tennessee. As they returned to their homes in the small, remote mountain town, most had to carry their sleeping children inside. Gently removing pinwheels and flower wands still clutched by small hands, they tucked in their little ones, and kissed their dreamy faces. The magick of Forever Faire would have their young sons staging mock sword battles and jousts for days, while their little sisters dressed up as fairy princesses and begged to have ribbons woven into their hair.
Yet as the tired parents sought their own beds, some saw from their windows bursts of light illuminating the sky over the faire grounds. It puzzled some, for Forever Faire was closed now, and the performers had never put on fireworks shows.
“Nothing to worry about, hon,” one husband told his wife as he put his arm around her, guiding her back to their bedroom. “They’re probably having a little after-party of their own.”
Up on the mountain, Kayla Rowe sent the last of the show’s ground crew into the basement of the old Moffett Ski Lodge. At least there they could take refuge in the system of tunnels and caverns running beneath the faire grounds.
“Keep everyone down there until I get back,” she called.
She rushed upstairs to give the same instructions to the men evacuating the rest of the staff from their rooms. Window panes shook beneath the buffeting wind of the snowstorm surging down the ridge. It howled over the distant clamor of men shouting and steel clashing. But nothing could drown out the unearthly roars that echoed over the roof, or the acrid stench of sulfurous fire.
Running out into the rising storm, Kayla raced to the big barn and flung open both doors. Inside she hurried down the row of horse stalls, unlatching each door as she went. Her hands shook so violently it sometimes took her two or three tries to release the latches. When the horses stepped out they herded around her like concerned friends.
Kayla rarely used her ability to communicate and control horses with her thoughts. When she did she only linked with the mind of one horse. It would take too long to do that now, so she dragged in a deep breath and reached out to the entire herd.
The Blackstones have broken through our boundaries and are attacking Ryan and his men. Their motorcycles have shifted into flying, fire-breathing dragons. We have to get them to safety.
Such violent thoughts would have spooked ordinary horses, sending them skittering back into their stalls. But these massive animals were battle-hardened Fae warhorses and, like their masters, they never ran from a fight.
Grania, a gentle, cream-colored mare who often gave rides to visiting children, knelt down before Kayla so she could mount. Once she was astride, the big mare whickered to the other horses. The herd fell in behind her as she trotted out of the barn. Kayla wound her hands in Grania’s bronze-streaked mane and gripped the mare’s sides with her legs.
The mare took off, and the rest of the herd spread out to flank her, assembling into a charging formation. Kayla kept her head down and held on tightly as they left a hail of dirt clots in their wake. The storm and the battle flung blasts of snow and glowing ash at her. The icy crystals and fiery embers pummeled her face with a thousand tiny, stinging blows. She hardly felt it as they drew closer to the faire’s entrance, scanning the melee of brawling warriors to find Ryan Sheridan.
Sparks exploded from a group of seven Dark Fae bikers, all of whom belonged to the Blackstone clan. They surrounded one towering, golden-haired Fae warrior who was snarling and holding them off with swords in both hands. His gilded mane flew as he turned toward Kayla, revealing the darkness that filled his eyes. Blood painted a terrifying mask over his handsome face. Though he could see her, Kayla knew her lover didn’t recognize her. Violence turned Ryan into a brutal berserker who would attack and try to kill anyone who came near him. To see him like this nearly tore the heart from her, but until he was seriously wounded or the battle ended, he would remain in this savage state.
Ryan is over there, by the gates, Kayla thought to her mount and the rest of the herd. Stay away from him.
She looked around for Tara but saw no sign of her. Her teenage sister had disappeared from the dance after the feast. Since the Blackstones had only attacked the camp to grab her sister, Kayla felt reasonably sure Tara wasn’t with them.
Had her sister known the Dark Fae were coming for her? Is that why she’d run off?
If she knew and didn’t tell anyone, Kayla thought, then maybe I should let Ryan send her away.
A blast of fire came from overhead and smashed into the ground in front of Grania, who reared and launched herself and Kayla over it. The impact of landing on the other side nearly jolted Kayla off the mare. When she righted herself a massive, black-scaled dragon dropped down to snap at her with fanged jaws.
Kayla ducked and locked her hands and ankles around the mare’s strong neck. When the dragon tried again to seize her she swung around out of reach under the horse’s head. Grania skidded to a stop just beyond Ryan, and Kayla dropped to her feet. Since she sensed the Blackstones were controlling the dragons, who were out of reach in the sky anyway, she directed the herd toward the Dark Fae.
Get to our guys, and help them take down the bikers. As many as you can.
“Hey, Rowe.” Breathless, smeared with soot and wearing only a long jacket over her battered body, Christine Marszalek joined her. “Not a good time to be unarmed.” The half-Fae former stripper handed her a dagger and hauled her behind a charred tree. “Everyone in the caves?”
“Headed that way. Have you seen Tara?”
Christine shook her head.
Kayla peered around the scorched trunk, and jerked back as a Blackstone snatched at her. The Dark Fae bared his teeth, and then yelped as Grania grabbed him by the collar and dragged him away.
“Son of a bitch,” Kayla muttered. She turned to her friend and saw the blood spatter on her face and neck. “You all right?”
“No, girlfriend.” Christine’s mouth flattened as she glanced at the little red cottage by the gates. “I’m definitely not.”
Kayla felt like kicking herself. Inside the cottage lay the body of Colm Longacre, the Fae warrior Christine had fallen for. The blood on her friend belonged to him, and had been spilled when he’d used his own body to shield the half-Fae dancer from the Blackstones. Once Ryan had brought them both back into camp, Colm had refused to let Christine try to heal him. He’d died in her arms.
“I’m sorry,” Kayla said, touching her friend’s shoulder.
“Sorry will come later.” Christine dug in her pocket, taking out three small rocks. “Right now we get some payback.”
With a broad swing of her arm she hurled the stones at the battling men. A heartbeat later three Dark Fae bikers dropped to their knees, their hands clapped over their wounded eyes.
Kayla swiped at the sludge of ash and snow dripping down her face, still awed by Christine’s Fae ability to precisely target anything.
“You have to teach me how to do that,” Kayla said. A waft of air made her look up to see a dragon hovering over the burned tree shielding them. “We’ve got to find better cover.”
The other woman broke off a thin, blackened branch and hurled it at the creature just as it opened its jaws. The makeshift spear lodged in the dragon’s mouth, and a fireball engulfed its head as it crashed to the ground.
“Down!” Christine yelled, and gave Kayla a hard shove.
Kayla plowed into the ground as fire streamed over her. When the scorching heat passed, she pushed herself up. Christine staggered away, her body engulfed in flames.
“Christine, no!” Kayla screamed.
The other woman lunged at one of the Blackstones. She tackled him and set him on fire as they both collapsed.
Time slowed, and the lashing wind died. The thick snow fall drifted in languid diagonal patterns. The men trying to hack each other to pieces went still, staring at the ghastly tableau of a dead dragon and two bodies burning to death on the ground. Ryan stood over the last of his tormentors, his eyes clearing as he slowly turned his head toward Christine. Except it wasn’t Christine. It was a charred husk shaped like a woman, her hands still locked around the thick neck of a dead Dark Fae.
Nausea roiled in Kayla’s stomach, and bile rose in her throat, as time snapped back into place.
Her friend had sacrificed herself to save Kayla’s life.
She wanted to scream, but clutched her chest instead. The air that filled her lungs folded in on itself, becoming impossible to breathe. All of the sounds around her went away, as if they were being plucked one by one from her ears. Something more terrible than the dragons and the Blackstones had come—something she couldn’t hear. But she felt it in her bones. Sunlight and wordless whispers filled her head, blending and rising into a song so beautiful and powerful that she thought her heart would shatter.
No blood stains love’s blade.
No valiant heart shall be ended.
That which was made is unmade.
That which was broken is mended.
A bomb went off in the center of the battlefield, exploding in all directions.
The blast knocked Kayla back against the tree, where she remained pinned and helpless. Her eyes widened as she saw every Blackstone swept off their feet and hurled over the boundary, along with their dragons. Trees flattened in their wake as they sailed into the air. Where they landed, somewhere miles away from Forever Faire, the horizon exploded with ice and snow. Kayla slid down the tree, blinded by snow and tears.
“Kayla love,” Ryan said.
He appeared from nowhere, his sapphire eyes searching hers as he snatched her up from the ground. He wrapped his cloak around her and held her against his chest. He whirled to his men.
“To the lodge,” he shouted. “Now!”
Kayla huddled against Ryan as he ran. She wiped her eyes clear but winced as she gulped in some icy air. Her lungs felt bruised, and her head pounded so hard she thought her throbbing skull might explode. But even through the pain, a new smell intruded. It was smoke, but of a different kind. Peering past Ryan’s cloak, she saw it: the roof of the old lodge was on fire.
Flames leapt up into the darkened sky as horror gripped her throat.
Where is Tara?
The wind buffeted Ryan, nearly knocking him over, but he managed to keep running. But luckily the same frigid gale hurled sheets of snow at the lodge. In moments the flames snuffed out, and Kayla could have cheered. But no sooner had the fire died than a low groan rolled out from the building. Stressed timbers screeched, then snapped. The center of the lodge collapsed.