(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal Romance
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
Night falls in the material realm, tearing the veil between the worlds and allowing me to reach Rowen’s house. Even though I feel like a criminal hiding from other human eyes, I reckon it’s wise to avoid being seen by the villagers. They’re faithful to the Goddess yet they don’t have the Sight, or knowledge, to understand how the spiritual world coexists with the material plane so they might get scared. As soon as the chants around the Samhain bonfire decrease in intensity, Rowen comes inside looking for me. She doesn’t need to search for long.
“I’ve missed you!” she whispers as her arms snake around my waist and I hold her close to me.
Inhaling her scent as sweet as the apple blossoms in Avalon, I kiss her forehead, “So have I.”
We sit in front of the fire pit, which will keep us warm during the cold October night. Her soft arm around my waist, her head on my shoulder.
“This isn’t fair. This world seems to have only one moment set aside for us instead of the eternity I’d like to share with you.”
“Your time in this plane unfolds faster than that in Avalon so it’s your impression; but, it isn’t necessarily so,” Rowen pouts and I can’t avoid chuckling at her childish reaction. I caress her lower lip with a thumb and whisper. “So unbefitting a High Priestess.”
I watch her fighting back a smile until she loses the battle, “Don’t mock me, Caddaric Seagha. It’s so lonely on this earth without you.”
Choosing not to engage in this old argument, because it’s pointless, I run my fingers through her red curls and stare into the dying fire, summoning courage to deny the request she’s about to make. I don’t need the Sight to know she’s going to ask me what she does on every sacred festival.
“Caddaric, will you lie with me?”
“You know we shouldn’t.”
“I’m not asking you to make love to me. I just wish to feel your arms around me like we used to do in past lives.”
“That I can do. I’m glad you’ve finally resigned yourself to our new roles in this life. Although the sacred days allow me an easier passage to your realm, my body doesn’t have the same desires as a human body does.”
Feeling her shiver against me, I tighten my hold and rub her arms to keep the chill away.
“I know that. It’s just that I sometimes feel as if we’ve been tricked into accepting our separation, like we had no say in that and it’s all been decided for us.”
“To some extent, it’s been the case. However, it’s the Goddess who has made the decision. She’s All-wise and All-knowing. Whatever her plans, they’re the best for us. Everything will be fine in the end.”
A heartfelt sigh indicates Rowen acknowledges my argument, despite the fact she might not agree with it. Kissing the top of her head, I pull her closer. I might not have carnal desires for her any longer, but the strong connection between us, which has been built throughout multiple past lives, warms up my chest, enveloping us in a cocoon of harmony and joy.
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.
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