Dylan Matthews lives in a world of fantasy. As a video game designer, there are no limits on how far or wide his imagination could stretch. He loves his work and excels at bringing the visions in his head to a game console. The luck of his Irish heritage seems to touch him when his prototype Zombie ApoXalypse is bought days after he inherits a mansion in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Life is indeed magical.
Ansleigh has waited centuries for one man, only to find him and then lose him due to his own inability to trust in their burgeoning love. The magick of Mother Earth flows within him and through him allowing him to nourish the Grotto where he makes his home. Yet, he yearns for the male that nurtures his soul. When the whims of Fate bring his Cosantoir back into his life, does he have the courage to accept his heritage?
As the fantasies in his head become reality and the monsters of nightmares crawl through the forest, can Dylan forgive broken promises to protect the Croi? There is no pause button when the Fae and human worlds collide. Will Dylan have what it takes to master the maze and win Ansleigh’s freedom?
This book caught me off guard with how much I enjoyed it. I went into it thinking that it was just going to be a quick paranormal-type read, but by the third chapter I was so drawn into the story that I couldn’t put it down and ended up staying late finishing the book.
The world that Cheyanne created was one that was very well thought out and detailed – without going overboard on the details. Cheyanne was able to draw me into the story and left me wanting for more of the world created by the time that I had finished the book.
The characters were really well written and each had their completely own personalities, even the secondary characters. I do have to admit though I was a bit confused with Dylan’s past, and the relationship between Ansleigh, but I was able to completely follow along and enjoyed getting to follow along with their relationship.
The action and suspense that was happening in the book totally kept my attention as well. The scenes at the end of the book completely added to it all and I didn’t feel like it was forced in the slightest.
Overall I completely loved this book and I hope that Cheyanne will give us more of the world created in the future.
“Apollo’s balls! How long are you going to wait?” Shea-Erri demanded as soon as she darted through the open window. “It’s been two days, and ohhh…” She dropped from the air to land beside his knee. Immediately, she knelt and tucked her wings. Small hands reached out to stroke blood matted fur. “What happened?”
“As far as I can tell, no one knows. Grail-Eylen and his scouts found this little guy and his litter bleeding beside their slaughtered mother.” Ansleigh spoke low, focused on pouring healing energy into the red fox pup curled on its side. The faint heartbeat worried him, especially given the massive amount of blood loss he sensed.
“The others?” She asked.
“Didn’t make it. Grail sent the call for help, but by the time the elves arrived, three of the pups were lost. This little guy was the only one to hang on.” Ansleigh grunted through gritted teeth.
“Bloody bastards who done this aughten to be given tha same treatment, for true,” Grail’s unmistakable brogue brought Shea’s head snapping upward.
“Why is he still here?” She whispered fiercely.
“Ye don’ like it, ye can be throwin’ me out yeself, seein’ as the ‘Eart has his hands full with tha babe,” Grail flung back as he took to the air indignant at her lack of common hospitality. Where Shea’s wings glowed a beautiful daffodil yellow, the older sprite’s wings flashed an electric cobalt blue. Shea immediately flashed up to circle him.
“Don’t think I won’t you treeless night walker,” she spat.
Grail, never one to back down from a good row, zipped in close so that the space of a hummingbird’s wing separated them. “Oh ho, and you are to be callin’ me treeless when ye allowed ye own tree to be taken. Brazen bit ‘o baggage ye.”
Shea gasped in outrage and a spark of magick zinged between them. “How dare you Grail-Eylen!” She screeched. “You know I nearly faded into the mists when my Ash was taken. You take that back right now!”
“I will not. Ye deserve it for ye unwelcomin’ spirit. Don’ know why the ‘Eart puts up with ye wicked self. Tis his house to be lettin’ Fae in, not yours.”
“Will the two of you please lay off the bickering,” Ansleigh spoke softly as the power of Mother Earth channeled through him to the young creature beneath his glowing palms. Mentally, he melded together shattered veins, repaired sliced muscle and tendons and knitted together ripped flesh. His hair drifted in the current of power casting snake like shadows over the moonlit walls.
Instant quiet ensued. The chastened sprites resumed their earlier positions. Wings tucked and heads bowed, they remained quiet until the light died away and Ansleigh sat back on his heels. He sighed in both relief and resignation as the well of energy faded away.
“The pup will live,” he said and smiled as his friends cheered.
“We cannot return him to his home. Whatever caused these injuries and the death of his family needs to be found. Until then, I will keep the young one here. Shea, I hope I can count on you to help.”
“Of course, Ansleigh.” She flitted up and away. “I shall find something to make a bed for him.”
“Ye can count on me, for true,” Grail spoke up. His lined face wore a hard expression uncommon in the usually gay sprites. “What was done to ‘is family was not right. To ‘ave it happen in the Grotto makes it worse. They were under ye protection.” The implication in his voice surprised Ansleigh.
“You think a Fae did this? One of us?”
Grail nodded. “The small den stank of magick. Not a scent I recognized straight away.”
A crash sounded in the next room, drawing both males to their feet. Shea darted back in, her beautiful face rosy and shining. “He’s coming. Ansleigh, he’s just outside the clearing.”
“Who’s comin’, have ye lost ye daft mind girlie?” Grail muttered, but Ansleigh didn’t have to ask. Dylan’s presence in the Grotto washed over him. What energy he’d lost in the healing replenished with each note of his mate’s song.
He and Shea spoke simultaneously. Her answer had the male sprite blinking in surprise. “The Keeper is ‘ere? Why ‘as there been no celebratin’ and matin’. We’ve waited nigh on fifteen years for this male to show his knickers, for true.”
For once, Shea and Grail agreed on something, but Ansleigh paid them no mind. His feet moved; headed for the door.
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