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Rogues & Remarkable Women


Immortals: The Awakening

Immortals: The Awakening, August 2007
Immortals #3
by Joy Nash

Love Spell
Featuring: Mac; Christine Lachlan; Kalen
368 pages
ISBN: 0505526956
EAN: 9780505526953
Paperback
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"The Immortals series is getting sexier and more intriguing with each new installment."

Fresh Fiction Review

Immortals: The Awakening
Joy Nash

Reviewed by Mandy Burns
Posted July 20, 2007

Romance Paranormal | Paranormal

Christine Lachlan, a member of the Coven of Light, is the only hope to reach the Immortal Warrior Kalen. She must perform a dangerous spell she swore to never do again -- but the world is in turmoil due to another Immortal gone rogue and she doesn't have a choice. What Christine is not ready for is the lusty and strong connection she feels when casting the spell to locate Kalen, which is a journey across Europe to a remote castle in Ireland. She can only hope he'll be up to the challenge.

Kalen needs a strong magical muse to help him become a master artist and is willing to give a part of himself to achieve this feat. He agrees to take part in a ritual he believes will help him reach his goal of master, then the woman of his dreams interrupts the ritual and saves him from an ultimately dangerous situation. Kalen is unable to grasp his good fortune as Christine reveals why she's seeking his council -- and his refusal is quick.

I absolutely love this series!! It keeps getting more intriguing, sexier and thrilling with each installment. I'm excited to see what happens when the Immortals and the Coven of Light finally get together and attempt to save the world.

Learn more about Immortals: The Awakening

SUMMARY

He knew her first in a dream: her creamy skin delectably cool, her silky raven hair carrying the clean scent of the sea, and her ocean-blue eyes reflecting the depths of her passion. The mystery woman was everything the Immortal Kalen wanted in his art—and in his bed.

But Christine Lachlan is a witch with a mission—one that doesn't include falling into bed with a broodingly handsome Immortal, no matter how hot he looks in a kilt. Christine's tracked Kalen to his remote Scottish castle for one purpose only: to convince the demigod warrior to join the forces of living magic in the fight against an insidious evil that could wipe out humanity forever.

Kalen, who long ago endured a devastating betrayal at human hands, is no longer interested in fighting the battles of mankind. He plans to keep Christine as his lover and inspiration, forever safe in his magical sanctuary…until a beautiful, vindictive Sidhe and an ancient dark force invade his oasis of peace, driving Kalen and Christine to...The Awakening.

Excerpt

Every molecule of air vacated Christine's lungs in one wild, heart-stopping rush. A whistle like shrill winter wind blowing through an attic crack screamed in her ears. The earth fell away, stars spun to black, her stomach heaved. Panic turned her throat raw. For a split second, she thought she was dead.

And then...

Silence.

Her feet hit something solid. She gasped, sucking in air, her legs collapsing like overcooked spaghetti. But she didn't fall. Strong arms encircled her, keeping her upright.

"Well," a man's voice said with an air of grudging admiration. "It's been a long time since I've seen a female do something that stupid."

Kalen.

She inhaled a shaky breath, but couldn't quite work up the nerve to open her eyes. Her other senses were drowning in him. His voice? That alone could drive a woman half-way to orgasm. It was low and rumbling, a vibration in his ribcage. His lips grazed her left ear--too close. His arms, hard as steel bands yet not at all bruising, surrounded her completely. His scent was a heady mix of spice and sun- heated earth.

His wool kilt rubbed her bare stomach, and his chest, tempered by a slight abrasion of crinkly hair, heated her naked breasts. But the physicality of him--the meager information gathered by her mundane senses--was nothing compared to what her witch's senses told her about his magic. Teasing sparks of it skated over her skin, dipping and swirling in all her intimate places. Goddess, was she in trouble. With full sensory overload so imminent, she was afraid that if she opened her eyes and actually looked at him, too, she'd climax in his arms. And wouldn't that be mortifying.

Fully anchored against him, skin to skin, she felt his power as if it were her own. Except she was sure if such magic ever resided inside her all-too-mortal body, her bones and muscles would shatter with the sheer stress of it. Kalen's magic was as wide and deep as the sea, as broad as the sky. Immortal magic, born of the Etruscan mother goddess. Magic that, perhaps, could save the world.

He was holding her much as the Selkie had. But where the Selkie had been all fluid, seductive motion, Kalen was as solid and sure as the earth. His skin was warm, almost too hot. But his touch was gentle and strangely comforting. Christine found herself wanting to believe in him. Cling to him forever.

The thought caused her to stiffen. If Shaun's death had taught her anything, it was that misplaced faith led straight to disaster. And judging from what she'd seen of Kalen so far, he didn't deserve her trust.

She eased from his arms. Surprisingly, he let her go immediately. Turning away from his heat, she drew a deep breath and opened her eyes.

She was facing the sea.

She was so startled she nearly fell, and would have if she hadn't gripped the low stone wall in front of her. She stood on the battlement of a castle. There was a steady breeze, inexplicably warm. Some magical effect, perhaps? Now that her senses weren't filled with Kalen, she was free to smell the tang of salty air, to hear the angry pounding the ocean against the base of the steep cliff upon which the castle was perched. The first hint of an early dawn laid a shifting trail of light across the water.

"Where am I?" she breathed.

"My home." Kalen's voice came from above and behind, too close. She sucked in a breath as the front of his body covered the back of hers. His warm, heavy hands settled on her shoulders, massaging heat into her chilled skin.

"But...the cairn...the tour. We were miles from the sea."

"Yes," he said, stroking up and down her arms. Magic tingled. She couldn't help it--she began to relax into his heat. "We've traveled about twenty miles. Northeast," he added as an afterthought.

This was the castle from her vision. She turned and looked up at him. "But how did we get here?"

"Translocation."

She stared at him. "I...don't understand."

He raised his brows. "I opened a portal in space. We stepped through and emerged in a different place."

She searched his eyes. They were dark, and told her nothing. "You mean...you can just do that?"

"It's a bit more involved than 'just doing,'" he said. "But yes. I can."

No wonder she was still shaking. And her stomach didn't feel so great, either. She took a few steps away, out of range of his unsettling touch. She gripped the battlement, as if wrapping her fingers around rough stone would keep him from whisking her away again.

"That was horrible," she muttered. "Just horrible."

"It's not bad once you get used to it."

"I can't imagine that ever happening." She looked back at him, then tensed when she realized the movement had drawn his attention to her chest. Her bare chest. Her sweater and bra were twenty miles away. Abruptly, she crossed her arms.

He chuckled.

She turned away. "What's wrong with traveling by car? Or boat?"

"My way is quicker."

It was that. It had also been disorienting, nauseating and horrifying. In other words, sheer terror. She rubbed her bare arms, though she wasn't at all cold. The friction settled her nerves somewhat. She looked past Kalen toward the center of the castle. The rocky island was separated from an unevenly lit coastline by a dark slice of sea. The castle proper consisted of a high central tower of somber gray stone, and longer, lower buildings constructed of same material. She was standing atop the perimeter wall that enclosed the complex.

She took a few steps along the battlement, aware of Kalen's eyes on her. Even though she was no longer in physical contact with him, her body still hummed with the echo of his power. It made it very hard to think. Especially given the fact that she was half-naked, and he was looking at her so frankly. His eyes told her he wouldn't mind at all if she dropped her arms. Goddess help her, she almost considered doing it.

"I..." She stopped and swallowed. "Thank you for getting me out of there. The tour, I mean."

"Ah, yes. The tour. Would you mind explaining what the hell you were doing, challenging a band of Sidhe half-breeds? I can think of few better ways for a human witch to get herself killed."

"I...I wasn't thinking of that."

"That much was obvious."

She scowled. "I wouldn't have had to act if you had stopped Leanna. How could you just stand there and watch while she summoned a demon portal?"

"She wasn't summoning a demon," he said tightly. "She was casting a fertility spell."

"At first, yes, but then she added shadow runes at the very end..." She broke off, frowning. "You were planning to get her pregnant tonight?"

His expression abruptly closed down. "I don't wish to discuss it."

He took two strides toward her, his fingers closing on her elbow. The sudden, firm touch sent a shock of awareness reverberating through her body. Magic--Immortal magic-- surged through the connection. Her knees went weak. Her thoughts--what she could remember of them--scattered.

"Come."

Blessedly, he didn't seem to notice the effect his touch had on her. It wasn't a deliberate spell, then. She tried to pull discreetly away, but his grip wouldn't relent. He drew her toward a narrow door set in a corner turret. Once inside, he propelled her down a dizzyingly steep circular stair.

Round and round they went, down what must have been at least five or six stories. At last, Christine stumbled out of the stairwell and onto level ground. Still gripping her elbow, Kalen changed directions, striding purposefully down a long, dark passage.

"Wait..." she stammered, trying to break free of his grip. No luck. The hallway was so dark that Kalen was little more than a shadow in the darkness, yet he walked as quickly as if the passageway were flooded with light, dragging her along behind him.

"Where are you taking me?"

"You'll see soon enough."

He paused at a portal that led to a large room, his large frame nearly filling the arched opening. Finally, finally, he released her. Christine sucked in a breath as the shock of his withdrawal ran through her body. She pressed her back to the cold stone wall of the corridor and crossed her arms, anchoring them once again across her bare breasts. When his gaze didn't move from her face, she didn't know whether to be relieved or insulted.

"So tell me," he said. "Are all American witches as foolhardy as you?"

"I..." She inhaled. "I'm not foolhardy at all. In fact, I'm the dullest witch I know."

"I find that exceedingly hard to believe."

"It's true. I never would've challenged Leanna, except for that demon portal."

He gestured impatiently. "I told you, it was a fertility spell. That's all. Sidhe and demons do not mix. Tell me-- did you feel any death magic?"

She sucked in a breath. Of course she hadn't. But that was because she could only sense magic through touch, and she hadn't been touching Leanna when she cast the spell. Still, a niggling doubt assailed her. Could it be possible she'd only imagined she'd seen Leanna trace the same runes Shaun had drawn? Had she overreacted? She knew she wasn't the most rational person when it came to demons.

"You didn't feel anything, did you?" Kalen said quietly.

"No," she admitted. "But that doesn't mean--"

"What it means is that now you have a problem. There's no grudge like a Sidhe grudge. Leanna's going to be looking for you."

"But I didn't really hurt her! I just stopped her spell."

"You think that matters? You've made a powerful enemy. Leanna's no ordinary Sidhe." He paused. "She's the daughter of Niniane, Queen of Annwyn."

Christine felt the blood drain from her face. "But...I don't understand. If Leanna's Sidhe royalty, what's she doing leading sex tours for humans?"

"Unfortunately for Leanna, her father was human. Her mother never acknowledged her, so her rank is very low among the Sidhe. Her power, however, is too strong for them to dismiss her entirely. So...she does as she pleases."

"And what about you? Does it please you to play gigolo for her?"

The sudden, harsh expression in Kalen's eyes told Christine she'd gone too far. When he spoke, the quiet anger in his voice made her stomach clench.

"You've made one enemy tonight, little witch. I don't suggest you make another."


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