Donna Grant: Untamed Highlander

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Donna Grant Untamed Highlander
  • Название:
    Untamed Highlander
  • Автор:
  • Жанр:
    Фантастические любовные романы / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2011
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    978-0-312-53347-2
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
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Untamed Highlander: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Druid-born and magic-blessed, Isla is one of the deadliest she-devils ever to serve the forces of darkness. As an immortal Highland warrior, it’s up to Hayden Campbell to destroy her and her kind. But for Hayden, Isla is more than a sworn enemy. … Taking Isla captive, Hayden hopes to avenge his kinsmen who died by Druid magic. But when he looks into Isla’s eyes, he sees the secrets of her past. When he touches her skin, he feels the passion in her soul. And soon Hayden comes to realize that this beautiful, beguiling woman is not his enemy at all — she is his destiny. And, even as the forces of darkness conspire against them, their love will conquer all…

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Donna Grant

Untamed Highlander

Dark Sword — 4

To the incredible Jennifer Haymore. Your strength, positive attitude, and dedication to your family while struggling with breast cancer inspires me. Never give up. And know we are here for you. Always.

ONE


Cairn Toul Mountain

Summer 1603


Hayden Campbell swore viciously as he turned over yet another frozen body on the rocky slope.

“This one is dead,” Fallon MacLeod yelled from his position farther up the mountain.

“They’re all dead.” Hayden blew out a breath that puffed around him, ignoring the frigid temperatures and steady snowfall. Though he felt the cold it didn’t bother him because he wasn’t quite human.

He was a Warrior, an immortal with an archaic god inside him that gave him powers and immeasurable strength — among other things.

Hayden rubbed the ice from his eyelashes as his gaze wandered over the snow-covered slope and the numerous dead Druids. “We should have returned sooner.”

Fallon, another Warrior, walked toward him with heavy footsteps, his green eyes grave. “Aye, we should have, but my concern was for Quinn. We scarcely got him and Marcail out of this cursed mountain in time as it was.”

“I ken.” Hayden gazed at the hated mound of rock. He had always loved looking at the great mountains, but being locked in Cairn Toul for too many decades and forced to watch the evil that grew there took away the pleasure the mountains had once given him. “Damn Deirdre.”

Deirdre, the one who began it all, was finally dead. She was a Druid, but from a sect who gave their blood and souls to diabhul, the Devil, for the use of black magic. She was, or had been, a drough.

There was another set of Druids, the mie, who used the pure magic born in all Druids to bond with nature and harness the natural power that came to all of them. The mie used their magic to heal and aid those in need, not to destroy as the drough and Deirdre did.

But Hayden and the other Warriors had defeated her. It had cost many lives, however. Too many lives.

Hundreds of Druids had been imprisoned in the mountain for Deirdre to drain their blood and harvest their magic to add to her own. No one knew how old Deirdre was, but if Hayden could believe the rumors, she had lived for nearly a thousand years, going back to the time just after Rome was driven from the land by Warriors.

The Warriors had been made thanks to both the drough and mie in response to the cries of the Celts for help, and Hayden couldn’t fault the Druids. Rome had been slowly suffocating Britain, ending all that made Britain great. And the Celts had been unable to defeat them.

The Druids had done what they could for Britain. They had no idea the primeval gods they called up from Hell would refuse to leave the men they took control of.

The gods were so potent the Druids couldn’t remove them. The only thing the Druids could do was bind the gods inside the men after Rome had been defeated and departed Britain’s shores.

And so the gods moved from generation to generation through the bloodline and into the strongest warriors. Until Deirdre found the MacLeods and unbound their god.

Deirdre’s reign of evil had lasted far longer than Hayden liked to think about. Deirdre might have been powerful, but even a drough could be killed.

Hayden grinned, reliving the moment Deirdre’s neck had been crushed by another Warrior and Hayden had engulfed her in fire.

“What are you smiling at?” Fallon asked, breaking into Hayden’s thoughts.

Fallon was leader of their group of Warriors. They had banded together to fight Deirdre and the wickedness she spawned. Though they had expected it would take years, Deirdre had changed everything when she took the youngest MacLeod brother, Quinn, captive. That’s when they had taken the fight to Deirdre.

“The fact Deirdre is dead,” Hayden explained. “Everything we’ve been fighting against all these years is over. Gone.”

Fallon smiled and slapped him on the shoulder. “It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? Now all we have to worry about is having the Druids find the spell to bind our gods once more. Then we can live as mortal men.”

Binding the gods was all Fallon, Lucan, and Quinn spoke about. But the MacLeod brothers had wives, so they yearned to have their gods gone from their lives.

Hayden, on the other hand, wasn’t sure he wanted to be mortal again. He was too powerless that way.

“I’m going to look on the other side of the mountain,” Fallon said. “Maybe we’ll find someone alive.”

“I think the ones who could make it out of the mountain did. It was the weather that killed them.”

Fallon blew out a ragged breath and clenched his jaw. “We should look inside the mountain, then. Some might have been too afraid to leave.”

They both turned to the door that stood ajar amid the rock as if waiting for them to enter its wicked domain. All Druids were gifted with a certain power. Deirdre’s had been moving stone. She had instructed the mountain to shift and form so that she had a palace inside it, shielded from the world.

Hidden from all.

Countless Druids had died heinously, and many a Highlander had been brought to her to have his god unbound. If he didn’t house a god, he was killed.

Even now Hayden could smell the stench of death and iniquity that permeated from the mountain, could still feel the helplessness which had weighed heavily on his shoulders while he had been locked in one of the various prisons.

But he had been one of the lucky ones. Hayden had broken free and escaped, determined to fight Deirdre and her bid to rule the world.

“Why would anyone stay inside that place?” Hayden murmured as unease rippled down his spine. He fisted his hands and forced himself to stand still and not give into the urge to turn away from the malevolent mountain.

Fallon scratched his jaw, his gaze thoughtful. “I doona know, but it’s worth a look. We freed these people, and it’s our responsibility to make sure they return to their homes.”

Hayden considered Fallon’s words. “They may not want our help. We are, after all, Warriors. They might not be able to tell the difference between us and the Warriors who allied themselves to Deirdre.”

“True. But I must look either way. I wasna held longer than a few days in the mountain so it doesn’t hold the memories for me as it does for you.”

Hayden might not want to go into Cairn Toul, but he would. “I’m not afraid.”

Fallon put his hand on Hayden’s shoulder and looked into his eyes. “I would never think that, my friend. I would not torment you, though.” He dropped his arm and smiled. “Besides, I want to return to Larena as quickly as I can. You give a final look over the mountain while I go inside.”

Before Hayden could object Fallon was gone. He used the power his god gave him to “jump” inside the mountain in the blink of an eye. Fallon couldn’t jump somewhere he had never been before, but the use of his power had saved them countless times.

They all had different powers. For Hayden, Ouraneon, the god of massacre which was inside him, gave him the ability to call up and control fire. There were other differences as well. Each god favored a color, so every Warrior transformed to that color when he released his god.

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