When FBI agent Cole Gregory is called to his bureau chief’s office and recruited for a special task force, he is confronted with the commander of the force, a handsome, enigmatic man named Commander Levi who makes Cole feel restless and uneasy. Cole learns of a world beyond his own, one entered only through special Blood Gates, and where fairies and demons rule, and Fae and Paranormal creatures exist. These creatures are dangerous to humans, and the FBI has a secret special task force to keep the Gates sealed. An astonished Cole is informed that he has been selected as a member of this force. While all that’s hard enough to believe, even worse is the way Commander Levi looks at Cole, as if he wants to consume him. When Levi changes into a powerful demon right before his eyes, Cole begins to wonder if he’ll even survive this encounter, or will this demon take possession of not only his body but his very soul?
Slade is Cole’s former partner and best friend. When Cole suddenly goes missing and no one can explain where he is, he goes looking for him and stumbles into an open Gate, where he encounters a powerful and handsome wizard, who tries and fails to send him back to the human world. Cole and Slade seek help from others in the Realm and soon become caught up in a powerful war raging in the Fairy Domain, one that his friend Cole, along with Levi, are already mixed up in. When Cole and Slade are both taken by the evil Fairy king and slated for sacrifice, they realize they have to stick together and use all their training and a bit of luck to make it out of this alive.
Shannon and Susan are giving away an eBook copy of “Mate of the Tyger Prince,” by Shannon West (or The Last Dragonet, if the winner has the first one). Comment on this post for a chance to win.
“Have you ever wondered about your family? Where you came from?”
“Of course,” Cole said, a little irritated shrug lifting up one shoulder. “All orphaned kids do that, I guess. Why are you asking? What’s this all about?”
“I’m trying to tell you.” He let another moment or two pass before he took a deep breath. “I know who your parents were. Your father was King Bathial, the king of the entire Fairy Domain and all its tribes, except for the Sidhe. His tribe was the White Elves and his consort was Lilliane. You are the first and only son of Lilliane, and you were stolen from your cradle when you were six months old, not long after your mother’s death. A changeling was left in your place. It was only a fetch, an enchanted piece of wood that soon appeared to grow sick and die. Your father grieved for you, but he buried what he thought was your body and he tried to go on with his life.”
Cole jumped to his feet, his face drained of color and his emerald eyes flashing fire. “This is crazy! I won’t sit here and listen to this.”
Levi pulled him back down and held onto him, preventing him from running away from it. “It’s true. It was said that your mother never recovered from your birth. That she stopped eating and simply withered away, but I think she was murdered.”
Cole gasped and what little color he had drained from his face. “Murdered?”
“Yes. I can’t prove it, but it seems likely to me in light of what happened next. Your father was heartbroken, but his people demanded an heir. He remarried one of her handmaids, a young woman named Melisande, who was another of his tribe. Within a year Prince Marek was born.”
“But all this is crazy. You actually expect me to believe…”
“You know you’ve always been different from other children. Think about it. You’ve never fit in, have you? Never really belonged.”
Cole firmed his jaw and turned his face away, looking embarrassed. “That doesn’t mean anything.”
Levi kept on relentlessly. “You must have noticed the change in your face and body over the last few months. The one who stole you put a glamour on you to hide you from our realm. It was a powerful spell, but it’s been wearing off. To our eyes in the Vargr realm, you shine now like a beacon in this world. You’re an Immortal Being, Cole. A White Elf and a fairy prince. And it’s time you learned of the heritage that was stolen from you. We’ve been aware of you for some time now. Though your body shines brightly, we only knew you were Vargr. It was only recently that we learned of your true identity.”
“This is insanity! All of this.” Cole shook his head, refusing to look at Levi. He would have jumped from the bed and ran from the room if he could have, but Levi was holding him too tightly.
“It’s true. I think Melisande poisoned your father to put her child on the throne. But her plan backfired. Her son Marek was as twisted and dark as the wicken-trees that fill the Fairy Realm. He used the same poison on his own mother when he was fifteen to end her regency and her life. It was on her death bed that she admitted her crimes. She admitted that it was she who stole you from your cradle and put that changeling in your place. I believe it was she who poisoned your mother, but Melisande died before she could tell anyone.”
Cole continued to shake his head, unwilling or unable to believe what he was hearing. Impatiently, Levi took his shoulders and gently shook him. “Someone sent a message to both the High King and to Marek telling us of your existence in the mortal realm and telling us where to find you. As it was I was only steps ahead of your brother’s agents.”
“They were waiting for you at your home the afternoon I met you, Cole. That’s why you couldn’t go home. Thomas told you that you had a choice, but I would never have allowed you to leave.”
Cole put up both hands and shoved against Levi’s chest as hard as he could, but it was like pushing against a stone wall. “You can have hysterics over all this later, Prince Elvie. Now we have to act quickly.”
Cole lifted his head, his eyes round and shocked. “W-What did you just call me?”
A little smile quirked up the corners of Levi’s lips. “Prince Elvie.” He shrugged, trying to hide his smile. “It’s your true name. But you must guard it closely. Fairies can be summoned by using their true names, and if a human learns it, he will have power over you. Most Fairies jealously guard the knowledge from all outsiders. My father found it only with the help of his wizard who contacted your mother’s spirit in the Spirit Realm. We couldn’t summon you from the Vargr Realm, but instead had to come here to find you. Marek doesn’t know it yet, because you hadn’t yet gone through the public naming ceremony of your people when you were taken, or else he would have already come here as well. If he finds out your true name, he can use it to compel you to appear before him.”
“Elvie is my name? Elvie!”
“Elvie is an old and respected Fairy name. It means warrior.”
Cole wrenched his arms away and stood up, pointing an imperious finger down at Levi. “Never call me that name again. Of all the stupid names that ever…Elvie? Really?”
Levi stood up beside him and took his finger in his hand. “I know you’re focusing on the name to avoid thinking about the extraordinary tale I’ve just told you. You’re still partially in shock and trying to wrap your mind around all this. Calm yourself. Get your things together, because we have to go. If Marek’s agents succeed in capturing you, they’ll take you straight to Marek, who won’t hesitate to kill you to secure his place on the throne.”
Cole allowed Levi to push him toward his suitcase and finally he started to move, picking it up and turning to face Levi. “If I ‘shine’ like you say I do, then how can we hide? Why not just face them head on and fight them off like you just did.”
“There are too many of them. It won’t be much longer before the powerful glamour the wizard put on you so long ago will disappear. Already glimpses of your ethereal beauty are shining through the widening cracks in the spell. Soon, you’ll assume your true form, and there’ll be no way to hide it. Though while it’s true you shine, you don’t shine as much as I do. One reason why my father assigned me to guard you. I’m the son of a demon, remember and a full-blooded Sidhe noblewoman. My brilliance in this realm will shield yours. Besides I can easily do a spell that will disguise both of us once we leave here.”
Cole huffed out a breath. “Think pretty highly of yourself, don’t you? You and your spells. Then how in the hell did they find us before?”
Levi shrugged. “I neglected to use the proper shields. I thought we might have more time. Someone must have seen us and reported your presence in our group. It’s hard to say. And irrelevant at this point. Now come with me or I’ll carry you.”
“I’m coming,” Cole said querulously. “But what about the others? Aren’t they coming with us? What if the-the hobgoblins attack again?”
“How do you know that?”
Levi turned back toward him, and with only a slight twitch of his lips, he said, “Because Elvie will have left the building.”
Cole’s glared at him, and he shook his head. “I wonder how much longer it will be before the powerful glamour the wizard put on you so long ago will disappear. Already glimpses of your ethereal beauty are shining through the widening cracks in the spell. Soon you will assume your true form, and there’ll no longer be any way to hide it.”
Shannon West is an author of MM Romance and believes love has no gender. She has well over a hundred novels, novellas and short stories that usually have a paranormal or a sci fi twist, but she also loves contemporary. Her stories have been translated into French, Italian and even one Japanese Yaoi, and in the past, she has worked with several publishers, both large and small. She can be found most days fighting cats off the keyboard, eluding housework, lost in fantasy worlds, and imagining love scenes—sometimes all at the same time.
She makes her home in Georgia, with frequent jaunts to the North Carolina mountains and anywhere else she can, really, as she loves to travel. She’s married with four children, has too many cats and a bulldog named Rambo. She is almost always working on a few more stories at any given time.
Susan E. Scott lives in Northwest GA with her husband and a Labradoodle named Nicky (who just happens to be named after one of her favorite characters in a Shannon West book). For those who are familiar with the character, it’s a perfect name for him because he’s very much like that other Nicky – demanding, loving and maybe a little lazy. Sadly, her Yorkie, Sophie, has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but Nicky does his best to fill the void she left. Susan loves to fish in the lake in her backyard, but has little time for it since she always feels she should be writing. She also loves to read, MM romance of course.
Look for her on Facebook, her author page on Amazon and her soon to be updated website, susanescottbooks.weebly.com. She may be contacted directly through her email, [email protected].