Love may rule her heart, but not the world.
As Heather considers the possibility of immortality, initiated by her lovers, the Magus Corps intrudes. Betrayed by the warlock who managed to infiltrate the coven, their location is no longer secret. Knowing full well that the Corps won’t tolerate rogues, hurried plans are made to relocate.
But the Templars close in as well. Centuries of searching has finally paid off for a cruel Temple Master who leads his army closer. Though he senses the Wiccans are within his reach, his success is guaranteed when he manages to capture their High Priestess, Heather’s sister.
Exceptionally well-written, with M/M, M/F, F/F and M/M/F/F scenes, this describes how deep and rich their bond is, as well as giving us more history to others too. Absolutely brilliant and I can't wait for the next instalment.Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
A well written storyline with lots of suspense, intrigue and sex. The ‘quad' partnering is erotic, tastefully done, and the intense build up to a doozy of a cliffhanger left me impatient for the next book.Kindle Reviewer
Like all of Hazel Hunter's sanctuary books this one is nothing short of stellar. This series is captivating, engrossing and beautiful. Kindle Reviewer
Oh, did I say pretty hot stuff? I really should Oh yes! Definitely!Alana, Kindle Reviewer
The characters are unique and have a lot of personality. I really love that none of them are perfect, they've all made mistakes and continue to make mistakes. The plot is fun and well-thought out, it doesn't take a backseat to the very erotic nature of the writing. I absolutely love her use and descriptions of magic–they actually make magic magical again!Courtney Dion, Kindle Reviewer
“Would you like tea or coffee?” Heather Moore asked, and laughed as Sander and Astrid Doray both answered with “tea” before she finished saying “coffee.”
Their amusement felt as good as the cozy warmth of Sanctuary Coven’s main house kitchen. She put the kettle on the wood-burning stove. As she prepared the big teapot she watched the two shape-shifters set the table. After all they’d been through—magical encounters, heart-breaking revelations, terrifying battles and passionate seductions—making a meal should have seemed almost laughably mundane. Yet for all Heather knew about the Dorays, and the fiercely protective love she felt for them, she still had a great deal to learn about the pair.
Soon she would have all the time in the world to find out. Her heart beat a little faster at the thought. They had agreed to mate with her and her lover Lucas Carré, which would make her immortal, and bind the four of them together forever.
Heather turned to see her lovers watching her. As fair as his mate was dark, Sander had braided his pale, waist-length hair, which emphasized the stunning contours of his handsome face. Astrid had left her long, dark hair loose, but it now framed lovely features that no longer brooded but glowed with happiness.
When Heather had first met them they had seemed so young, and almost unearthly in their beauty and strangeness. Now that she knew how ancient they were, and the unimaginable life they had endured for a thousand years as pleasure slaves in Japan, she felt utterly humbled. They had risked everything to come searching for her, and her lover, Lucas Carré. What had happened when all of them had taken the first steps toward becoming this incredibly pleasurable, mind-blowing…what could she call it?
“You are worried about us,” Sander said, tenderness shining in his heavenly blue eyes. “You should not be. We are together now, as the Lord and Lady promised we would be.”
“I’m not worried. Honestly, I just don’t know what to call us,” Heather admitted. “In English four people are a quartet, but that’s really meant for a singing group. A foursome sounds so temporary, and a tetrad sounds too mathematical. In Lucas’s language four lovers are called a ménage à quatre.”
“That has a beautiful sound to it,” Astrid said, touching her arm. “But we will be more than lovers, Mistress.”
“Yes, we will.” Heather paused for a moment. “I remember my Latin teacher in college referring to a sacred group of four as a quaternity.”
“Forever four.” Sander’s grin made her insides melt. “I like it very much.”
“While we’re on the subject of what you like,” Heather said, grinning back. “What did you two eat for breakfast in Japan?” She went to the cold pantry and opened the door. Astrid joined her.
“Rice and raw egg, fish, and miso soup,” Astrid said. Amusement danced in her dark blue eyes as she added, “And sometimes these slimy, smelly fermented soybeans that are called natto. Sander loves them.”
“Okay, so Sander is not ever allowed to make breakfast for me,” Heather said as she took eggs, cheeses and veggies from the cold pantry. “We need some herbs from the garden. I wonder what Lucas likes in his omelets.”
“Go and ask,” Astrid said. “Sander will gather the herbs, and I will start cooking.” Astrid expertly cracked some eggs into a bowl and began whipping them. “With no natto, I promise you.”
“For you, Mistress, I will give up my slimy soybeans,” Sander said.
He came up behind her and dropped a kiss on her shoulder. That led to some nuzzling of Heather’s neck, at which point Astrid put down the whisk and turned to them, uttering something in Japanese to her mate.
“I cannot help it,” Sander said. “Every time I touch her I want you, and her, and Lucas.”
“Yes.” Astrid lifted her hand to caress Heather’s cheek. “She makes me hungry for more than food.”
“Ah, guys, we do need to eat occasionally,” Heather said, flushing as sexy memories from the night the four of them had shared flooded through her. “You two behave, and I’ll go and see what Lucas wants.”
Heather walked down to the guest room they had been using, passing Dane Jagger on the way. The High Priest of Sanctuary Coven, a shapeshifter, and her sister Marguerite’s husband, Dane could transform his huge, muscular body into that of an equally enormous lion. Since Marguerite could do the same, they were perfect as mates. This morning he merely gave her a drowsy smile as he carried a breakfast tray down the hall.
Heather grinned. “You’re spoiling my sister.”
“Coffee keeps her human,” Dane said, rumbling out a laugh before he disappeared into his bedroom.
As she reached out to open the door to the guest room Heather heard Lucas and another, unfamiliar voice coming from inside, and hesitated.
“You need not trouble yourself,” the stern male voice was saying. “Kiyoshi contacted me at dawn. He has determined that two of Sanctuary Coven’s newest members are responsible for the murders of the Japanese coven.”
Quickly Heather pressed her hand to her mouth to stifle her gasp. Whoever he was, the man was referring to Sander and Astrid, who had killed their master in order to obtain their freedom—but only after serving as his pleasure slaves for a thousand years.
“Since the coven chose to harbor these rogues, Sanctuary Coven is to be disbanded at once,” the strange man added, his voice taking on a tone of command, “and their leaders brought to us for punishment.”
“Sir, there is more to this situation than Kiyoshi has told you,” Lucas said.
“You may include it in your report when you deliver Sanctuary Coven’s leaders and these rogue killers to headquarters,” the man told him flatly. “I want them made an example, so that others of their kind can know what to expect from us. Once we have tried these rogues, Captain, you will put them to death.”
Heather’s throat grew so tight she could hardly breathe. Lucas would never agree to kill the Dorays or disband the coven. Her own sister Marguerite was one of Sanctuary Coven’s leaders, and her lover understood how desperately all the coven’s shifters needed this place. He also loved Sander and Astrid as much as Heather did.
“It will be as you command, General,” Lucas said without an ounce of emotion in his voice. “Once I have spell-bound the killers and the traitors, and dispersed the rest of the coven, I will transport them to headquarters immediately.”
Heather felt the darkness radiating from Lucas’s aura through the door. The blackness of his killing rage was so intense it blotted out the rest of his soul’s light.
“Thank you, Captain,” the man said. “I knew I could depend on your loyalty to the Corps. I will see you at the trials.”
The magic sizzling in the air vanished as Heather turned and hurried back to the kitchen, where Sander and Astrid stood sorting some fresh herbs.
“I picked some thyme and chives for the omelets,” Sander said, and then his smile vanished. “Mistress, what has happened?”
“We have to leave.” She looked around the kitchen, and spotted the keys to Dane’s truck hanging on a wall hook. “Both of you, come with me. Right now.”
The shifters followed her out through the garden to the front of the main house, but as she reached Dane’s pickup Astrid put one slim hand on the door.
“Heather, where are we going?” she asked, the old fear back in her eyes now.
“I’ll explain on the way.” Clasping the other woman’s hand in hers, she glanced at Sander. “But if we don’t leave right this second, you two will be captured, tried, and executed—by the Magus Corps.”
The shifters exchanged a look before they climbed into the truck. Heather started the engine and drove out to the access road, where she floored the accelerator.
“What can we do to help?” Sander asked.
Heather checked the rearview mirror. “Do you know a spell that will somehow conceal the truck, so we can’t be followed?”
“Yes.” He laced his fingers through Astrid’s, and closed his eyes as he murmured in Japanese. Astrid echoed him, and a soft white light spread through the cab and disappeared into the body. “You can slow down now. No one can see us.”
“You’ll have to remove it as soon as we get into traffic,” Heather said as she blinked back hot tears and looked in the mirror again. “We’ll go to my place in Denver first. I have to try to warn Marguerite and Dane about Lucas, too.”
Astrid nodded. “Will you tell us now what happened?”
It made Heather feel sick to repeat what she’d heard Lucas say to his superior, but she told them everything.
“Maybe Lucas doesn’t have any choice but to follow orders, but I’m not Wiccan. I won’t let him or the Corps harm you.” She took in a deep breath. “Once we get to Denver we should be all right for a little while. I can rent a hotel room for us until we figure out what to do.” She gave them a sideways glance. “I’m sorry.”
“Lucas must have his reasons,” Sander said, and then grimaced and touched his temple. “Astrid, please. We cannot shift inside a vehicle.”
“Take us back, Mistress,” his mate said. “We will assure that Lucas harms no one.”
“Absolutely not. There will be no more violence or killing.” Heather gripped the steering wheel tighter. “I’ll keep you two safe, whatever it takes. You can trust me.”
“We are yours,” Sander said simply.
“But you have not told us everything,” Astrid said softly.
Being reminded of the lethal blackness she had sensed Lucas radiating as he accepted his orders made Heather shudder.
“Lucas is fully prepared to execute you and Astrid. I felt the darkness of it in his aura as he accepted his orders. I don’t want to believe it, but an aura doesn’t lie.”
Sander reached over and caught the tear that spilled down her cheek.
“That is why you are in such pain?”
“I don’t understand it,” Heather said, choking back a sob. “How can such a gentle man be so willing to kill? After what we’ve shared together, how is that even possible?”
“Like me, he has walked in death’s shadow,” Astrid said, and ducked her head. “When we killed the master, and those who tried to stop us from leaving the House of Willows, I did not even hesitate.”
“Neither did I,” her mate reminded her, putting his arm around her shoulders. “It is not wrong to want to live freely, beloved.”
“When you told me what that man had done to you and Sander, I could have killed him.” Heather dried her cheeks with her fingertips. “I’m not going to cry over Lucas. He made his choice, and it wasn’t us. We never have to see him again.” She thought of something, and added, “Can you two be okay, just being with me?”
Sander gave her a wan smile. “As long as you live, we will be yours.”
Heather knew what he meant. Due to the soul they shared between them, the Dorays couldn’t bond with one person. Since she was still mortal she couldn’t share in their immortality. She could keep them safe for the duration of her natural human life, but after that the shifters would be on their own again. They had been created to serve as familiars. They had never lived as animals. If they tried to live as cougars they might not even be able to survive in the wild.
“Let’s get to Denver,” she said, pushing away her own feelings of despair. “Once we’re safe, we’ll work it out.”