A place of death. A time for love. A passionate cycle turns.
On their return to Göreme, Gillian and Shayne are finally reunited with Mathias. But it seems they’ve only returned to die at Templar hands.
Luckily help arrives from the place they’d least expect it. But to Gillian’s horror, their rescue comes with a deadly cost.
Hazel does it again. A fantastic final chapter to this book that had it all: adventure, magic and mystery, and lots of sexy scenes.Kindle Reviewer
This is an explosive and twisted ending to this series, which has been full of turns the whole way through. There is so much more to this than just hot sex, although, trust me, that is more than good too 😉Merissa, Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
If you want mind blowing heat as well as centuries of seduction, you won't want to miss this book. Wow!A.C. Wilson, Kindle Reviewer
The ending was most certainly worth the build-up. What a shocking ending! I did not see it coming at all.Karen Fisher, Kindle Reviewer
The action never stops with this story! When you think the author can't add anything more amazing to this tale SHE DOES. Wow. Let me just say what a roll-a-coaster and it's not over until the last page. The surprises, twists and turns just don't stop.Pam Louis, Kindle Reviewer
In a blinding flash, Tenebris disappeared. In the space of a single instant, absolute darkness descended. As she had on their trip to the legendary city, Gillian clung to Shayne. In that dim and breathless place between worlds, stars winked into existence and slowly streamed by. Gillian had just begun to think that the trip back was taking longer, when they landed.
Though she gasped and stumbled, Shayne held her tight. Air filled her lungs. Bright sunlight filled her eyes, and the ruins of Göreme appeared around them. With Shayne’s help she regained her balance, she didn’t let go of him. Instead, she clutched him all the tighter, as the sadness of what they’d witnessed closed in on her. Gazing up into his eyes, one blue and one brown, she saw the same pain reflected there.
“What a wretched place,” she whispered. “What an awful and cruel city.”
As he drew her even closer, she tucked her head against his broad chest.
“It’s gone,” he said quietly. “We’re free.”
She could only nod.
Her life’s work, all the years of research, her quest for the legendary Hollow City: it had revealed an ugliness she had never suspected. Powerful Wiccans had used slaves. Their despicable Goddess had exacted sacrifices of love and life. She had ruled through her Oracle, a woman as chillingly cold as she was powerful. And in some strange way, Gillian and Shayne had been a part of it. In other lives, thousands of years ago, they had lived, loved, and lost everything. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Down!” someone screamed. “Get down!”
Without even a chance to look, Gillian felt Shayne shove her to the ground. A staccato burst of something that sounded like firecrackers went off. The ground around them exploded.
“Dammit!” Shayne muttered. In the next moment, he had hauled her off her feet. “Mathias, which way?” he yelled.
“Follow me!” Mathias said.
Gillian jerked her gaze to the source of the voice. Despite the panic rising in her chest and the iron grip of Shayne’s arm around her waist, her heart leapt into her throat at the sight of Mathias. Electricity streamed from his hands toward unseen attackers amidst the ruins in the distance.
“Mina!” Gillian yelled.
But even as she said it, she knew that wasn’t right. An image of a slender young woman, with hair so pale it seemed white, flashed into her mind. But as another burst of gunfire erupted and Mathias sprinted toward them, the vision vanished. This wasn’t Mina. It was Mathias. This wasn’t Tenebris. It was Göreme. And the Templars who had dogged her every step, ever since her journey had begun, were still here.
“Your timing sucks,” Mathias yelled to Shayne, as Gillian finally found her feet and tried to keep up. Mathias grabbed her arm. Between them, they lifted her off the ground. “As usual,” Mathias said.
They lumbered past the broken arches that surrounded the ancient gate.
“Seven o’clock position,” Mathias yelled.
Shayne and he half-turned, even as they sprinted. A stream of flames flew through the air behind them. Gillian felt the heat at her back. A bright purple burst of light and the sound of crackling air, let her know another bolt of electricity had been launched as well. A wild shriek of pain came from somewhere behind them.
Mathias pulled them both toward a downed obelisk. They all leaped over the broken tip of it, landing hard. Shayne immediately crouched and turned. More flames heated the air. Mathias covered her with his body, pushing her sideways, behind the thicker part of the stone.
“Mathias!” she gasped, twisting in place to throw her arms around his neck. “You’re safe!”
During their time in Tenebris, she’d been so worried for him.
His green eyes flashed at her, as he gave her the usual Mathias grin.
“It depends on what you mean by safe,” he said.
Shayne crashed down next to them. “Not this!”
As they cowered lower and put their backs to the stone, Gillian had to let Mathias go.
“You should have taken care of these damn Templars by now,” Shayne said. “Do I have to do everything?”
“Just try to do something,” Mathias retorted, as gunfire erupted and bullets ricocheted from the obelisk in back of them. “If you’re done with taking excursions.”
Wedged between their bodies, their voices thrumming through her, Gillian couldn’t help but smile. Even as bullets flew, there was no place she belonged more. She’d been about to hug them both, when Shayne leaned across her.
“How many?” he asked, the bantering tone gone.
Mathias sobered as the two of them locked gazes. “Too many.”
She felt Shayne’s body tense.
More than anything they’d said or the tones of their voices, the shift in Shayne told her they were in trouble—serious trouble. Though the deep sense of belonging still filled her, a grim realization also began to grow. The tunnel through the mountains had collapsed. The city of Tenebris was no longer an option, if they could even make it back to the gate. As Gillian surveyed the surrounding cliffs of the narrow canyon, Mathias’s words resonated. There were too many, and there was no escape.
“It’s been this way since you left,” Mathias said. “I’ve lost count of how many I’ve killed. But they keep coming.”
Gillian could see now how haggard Mathias looked. His red-rimmed eyes looked down at her. How many days had it been? She’d lost track. It felt like a lifetime. When was the last time he’d slept? Without thinking, she caressed the side of his face.
“Loyal Mathias,” she said. “You waited.”
He cocked his head down at her, his expression incredulous. Of course he’d waited. There’d never been any question that he’d wait.
An explosion rocked the valley behind them. Mathias pushed her down, and she felt Shayne cover them both. But there was no concussion or debris. A barrage of more gunfire erupted, but no bullets ricocheted.
“What in the–” Shayne muttered, barely audible over the cacophony. She felt him back away. “Keep your heads down.”
“No!” Gillian said. “No, don’t!”
But it was too late. Shayne was already creeping back toward the tip of the obelisk. Panic gripped her stomach when she saw him risk a look. Then he risked another. A second explosion boomed. Though Gillian flinched, Shayne only watched. As the reverberations of the detonation ended, no gunfire replaced it. Instead there was a new sound. She and Mathias exchanged a look.
“Helicopters?” Gillian said.