NEW RELEASE!! IRON EMBER from Donna Grant! + Excerpt

Delve into the thrilling first installment of the all-new Skye Druids series by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant, where magic reigns and danger abounds.

Skye isn’t just an island. It’s a home. A refuge. But not to Elodie MacLean. Not anymore. Tragedy tore her world apart and then took the one thing she felt made her whole. She vowed she’d never return, but that’s exactly where she ends up. Now, surrounded by the ghosts of her past, Elodie must navigate her version of Hell and try to make peace with herself and her family. But someone or something doesn’t want her on Skye, and she finds herself attacked—and this time not by her personal demons.

Scott Ryan has a mission: uncover who has been killing Druids and why. When his quest takes him to the beautiful Isle of Skye, he doesn’t think anything could captivate him more than the land itself—until he lays eyes on the breathtaking and confident beauty his leader sent him to find. However, it’s clear that she has trust issues, and he can’t reveal his plans—at least, not yet. But he’s always been sure of his ability to sway a person, and she’s a challenge he’s more than happy to accept, especially when he finds he will do anything to protect her.

With so much history and so many secrets, victory is anything but guaranteed for the couple and their allies. And the forces at work, those who wish to rule the Scottish isle and all those who reside there, have a plan that nobody will see coming.

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EXCERPT:

The wind was as sharp as a knife as it cut over the water and right through him. Scott Ryan bundled deeper in his coat, wishing he had worn his gloves. Fuck, he was cold. He wouldn’t mind observing if he could do it from the indoors. Normally, the cold didn’t bother him that much, but then he wasn’t used to island life.

A leggy woman strolling casually down the street as if the wind weren’t trying to snatch her away snagged Scott’s attention. A black beanie covered her head, leaving a long, blond braid that fell down her back to lay against her plaid burgundy coat. She had a black scarf wrapped around her neck and black gloves on her hands. The strap of a purse hung across her body.

What really drew his gaze was how she almost stood in protest against the weather when everyone else rushed to and from buildings and their vehicles. Her chin was lifted, her gaze focused straight ahead. Defiant. As if she dared anyone—or anything—to touch her.

Scott wanted a closer look to see what color her eyes were. He’d seen confidence before, but this woman wore it like a crown. Or maybe it was just her I-don’t-give-a-shite attitude. Whatever it was, he liked it.

“And there she is.”

Filip’s voice drew Scott’s attention. He glanced at his comrade to see where Filip looked. Scott’s lips flattened when he realized it was the same woman he’d been watching.

“Elodie MacLean.” Filip said her name like a prayer.

Scott blew out a breath, silently cursing the odds. “Are you sure?”

“I’d know her anywhere.” Filip waited until Elodie was inside the store before looking at Scott. His pale gray eyes didn’t do a good job of hiding his sorrow. The beanie he wore almost hid Filip’s black hair. He adjusted the cap and sniffed. “She used to walk around Skye as if she owned it.”

“Did she?” Scott wanted to know.

Filip chuckled. “Damn right, she did. With a glance from her, men would leave their wives and girlfriends. She wreaked havoc all over the island. There wasna a male on Skye who wouldna have done anything for a night with her.”

“You included?” That infuriated Scott for some reason.

“Even me.”

“Did you?”

Filip shook his head. “No’ for lack of trying.”

Scott pulled his hands from his coat and blew into them before rubbing them briskly together in an effort to create some warmth. “We know she’s here. Now, we can get on with things.”

“This should be simple enough.”

“Doona underestimate the Druids here,” Scott cautioned. “That’s a good way to ensure we fail.”

Filip snorted. “We willna. We can no’.”

“There’s too much riding on us. I’m no’ taking anything for granted. I’m also no’ going to be an idiot and disregard the Druids here.”

Filip swung his head to Scott. “You didna grow up here. Of course, you’re scared of them.”

“I’m no’ frightened. I’m pragmatic. That’s the difference between being prepared and losing.”

“Just tell me whatever you need,” Filip said as he returned his gaze to the store. “I’m here to help us succeed.”

Scott moved to stand in front of Filip and blocked his gaze. “Need I remind you what just happened with the Fae here? If Rhona and the tall bastard by her side catch wind of what we’re doing, then we’re done before we get started.”

“They willna catch on to anything because we’re going to be careful,” Filip replied evenly.

Scott stared down at Filip. The lad’s grief was so deep that Scott wondered if he had been the right choice. Then again, there was no other option. “You’re here to help me navigate Skye and introduce me to Elodie, but if that’s too mu—”

“It isna,” Filip spoke over him.

Scott studied him for a long moment, looking for any cracks. Filip didn’t bow beneath his gaze. “Okay.”

“There she is.”

Scott glanced over his shoulder in time to see Elodie emerging from the store. She carried a tote filled with groceries in one hand and made her way to the café.

“Come on,” Scott called as he jogged across the parking lot and then the street.

When they entered the restaurant, a wave of heat washed over Scott. He smiled and nodded to a woman, who told them to sit wherever. Scott locked his gaze on Elodie, who had taken a seat as far in the back as she could—as if she didn’t want to be seen. Scott chose a booth diagonal to hers so he could easily watch her. He and Filip removed their jackets and sat. Both ordered coffee, but he added a croissant to his order.

“Tell me more about her,” Scott urged Filip.

Filip shot a furtive glance in the woman’s direction. “Look at her. Have you ever seen anyone so pretty?”

In fact, Scott hadn’t. Elodie could make a man forget his name. Not that Scott was that kind of man. At least, not usually. He would have to watch himself with her. She was stunning, but something more caught his attention.

“She ruined some marriages,” Filip continued, unaware of Scott’s thoughts. “She hung around my brother, teasing anyone with a cock with only her smile. She liked to party hard. If anyone told her she couldna do something, she did it just to prove them wrong.”

Scott frowned at the picture Filip painted because it didn’t match the woman he observed now. “That was before she left Skye. By what I’m seeing, she’s changed.”

“Someone like that doesna change too much. She could drink me under the table, and that’s saying something.”

“Why did she leave?”

Filip sat back when the server delivered their coffees and Scott’s croissant. When they were alone again, he lowered his voice and said, “Her father died. Her mother was taken to prison, and her brother disappeared.”

“Elodie was left alone?”

“She and her older sister, Edie. They’re a year apart.”

Scott glanced at Elodie as she read a book and quietly drank her hot beverage. “You said Edie was on Skye, right?”

“Aye. She lives with her husband and two bairns. She turned out okay.”

“I doubt anyone who suffered what those lasses did is okay.”

Filip shrugged. “Maybe no’ Elodie, but her sister is.”

“I’m guessing our target got a wee bit wild after the tragedy with her family?”

“Aye. Many of the elders tried to step in, but Elodie wouldna have any of it. No’ even Corann made a difference.”

Scott studied Filip. For a Druid who didn’t like Skye or the people on the island, it was obvious that whoever Corann had been, they had left a lasting mark on him. Filip’s voice held reverence each time he mentioned Corann’s name. “Did your brother try to help her? Did you or any of your friends?”

Filip visibly winced at the mention of Kevin. “We were all having fun. We were no’ thinking about anything else.”

Scott grunted in reply. He remembered his own wild time when he was younger. Even when he knew that he should be doing something, he ignored it for the sake of fun. He had pulled himself out of it eventually.
So had Elodie, it seemed.

Filip turned his head to look out the window. Scott took a bite of his croissant and noted how many in the café were shooting glances at Elodie. She seemed oblivious, but given the tightening of her shoulders, he suspected that she felt the looks. He was halfway finished with his coffee when she put money on the table, gathered her items, and walked from the restaurant. She passed right by the window where he and Filip sat. Once more, she kept her attention straight ahead. One woman against the wind—and the world. She carried her head high, but he suspected the demons she carried were a heavier load.

What was she doing back in Skye? She didn’t speak to anyone, and it was clear that people recognized her. Only a person who didn’t want to have any connections kept quiet in a small place like Skye. As curious as he was about all of that, none of it mattered to his end goal. Scott should be more focused on finding a way to Elodie in case his charms didn’t work. Something about her warned him not to even try to use his usual wiles on her. Maybe it was the way she held herself. It might be because of the defiance he spotted in her. Or…her magic might prevent him.

His mission put him in her path. Whether he wanted it or not, he needed to know her. He had to learn every detail about her and her sister. That way, he would know how to navigate anything that came his way. Too much rested on his and Filip’s success on Skye.

“How long after her father’s death and mother’s confinement did Elodie leave Skye?” Scott asked.

Filip’s brows drew together for a moment as he looked at Scott. “A year. Maybe two.”

“Why did she no’ leave right away?”

“She left after completing school.”

“But Edie didna leave?”

Filip shook his head and shrugged. “So?”

“Why did the brother and Elodie leave, and Edie stay?”

“I doona know. Edie mixed with a different crowd. I know verra little about her.”

Scott finished his coffee. “I need those details.”

“Sure.”

“How did the father die?”

“Murdered.”

Scott was taken aback. “And you’re just now telling me this?”

“I’m used to everyone knowing. You didna ask why the mother went to prison.”

Scott ran a hand down his face as he tried to shake off the shock. “Bloody hell.”

“Aye,” Filip said softly.

“You told George that Elodie would be easy to convince.”

“She will be.”

“If she isna, things could go tits up quickly. Especially if the Reaper and Rhona turn their attention on us.”

Filip twisted his lips. “They willna.”

Scott leaned forward and lowered his voice to barely above a whisper so no one else could hear him. “Balladyn was once King of the Dark. He’s now the Warden of Skye. That means if he and Rhona discover what we’re about, nothing and no one can save us. They’ll wipe us from existence.”

“We’ll be gone before they know why we’re here,” Filip replied.

Scott released a breath. He understood the grief Filip felt since he was also dealing with it. Kevin might be gone, but at least Scott could keep his best friend’s brother alive.

“We can do this,” Filip added.

Finally, Scott nodded. “Aye. We can.”

SKYE DRUIDS SERIES

Spin-off series from the Reapers.

Get to know all the Reapers!

The Series
The Dark World Series
The Reapers
The Fae
The Humans
The Villains

Want to catch up on the entire Dark World? You can find the reading order by visiting MotherofDragonsBooks.com.

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