|Cover Art by Meredith Russell|
With his friends at his side, can he rescue the prisoner that might hold the secrets to winning the battle between Cariad and City as well as the key to his heart?
His bond brothers, Kian and Darach, probably hate him for his necessary lie, two-thirds of the Council wants him dead, and the prisoner’s amber Fire is killing them both.
The third book in the Fire Trilogy discovers more old Guardians, ancient Cariad magik, and not least of all the other half of Eoin: Trystyn.
Rainbow Gold Reviews – 9.5/10
– “….Another fantastic book with a good storyline and a great plot. I
was very impressed at how this book finally played out. This has to be
my favourite book in the series. I loved the chemistry between Eoin and
Trystyn. The six together are stronger than they realise.
series will give you an insight into another world that runs parallel to
ours… As we switch between worlds, we see the magik of the fire get
stronger. I would recommend this series to all those that love a bit of
magic in the books they read….”
Bike Book Reviews – 5/5 – “….I am very happy to report that Eoin’s Destiny lives up to my high expectations of this series set by books 1&2! I was enraptured with Eoin when we officially met him in book 2, this book is about accepting who you were meant to be, and righting old wrongs, and of course finding the man that will make this wonderful, lonely man complete!…”
Rainbow Book Reviews – “….This
third and final volume in the exciting ‘Fire’ trilogy is as cataclysmic
as I expected, yet it is also the touching story of the missing third
blood-brother, Eoin, and the man he knows he is bonded to, Trystyn. But
bonding is not as easy as it sounds, because they both have amber Fire,
and there are dire predictions about what happens if two ambers ever
bond. The end of times, as Eoin keeps calling it, may be upon them, and
while all is definitely not as it seems, this provided a great setting
for the adventure, excitement, and action that follow. A truly wonderful
conclusion to the series!…”
Gay List Book Reviews – “….An engaging trilogy that I very much enjoyed. The men are all hot and their love is deep with their bond and fire. The magik and world building is fascinating. I liked the parallel world aspect and thought it made the story more original.
Recommended for all of those who like magic, prophetic quests and their men sexy and sweet….”
Ceithin paced the cabin floor, sparks of red in a flurry of motion around him. Guardian or not, Eoin had no idea what he could say to make any of this any better for his friend Darach’s lover. Ceithin probably thought the minute they passed through the gate Trystyn would be there waiting for them. It was made even more difficult because he couldn’t get a firm reading on much at all because of Demon imprints. The Demons teemed in the Otherworld. Hundreds of years ago, adults with magik fought against the Cariad and the City and passed to the Otherworld. The only way for these adults to survive in the new world was to leech emotions from the inhabitants. There were so many of them, and now their imprints clouded his view.
“I don’t know where he is.” Eoin emphasized the ‘where’ firmly. If they were to have any chance of finding Ceithin’s brother then they needed level heads. That was one thing in short supply. Darach wasn’t even in the cabin. As soon as they passed through the gate, he had stalked away from them, his temper heated and heavy in him. Eoin could see Ceithin was torn between following his bonded Fire or staying to question Eoin as to what the hell was going on.
The passing over itself had been easy. Ceithin and Darach had held hands, and it had taken very little of Eoin’s amber Fire to make the transition as smooth as it could be. They arrived at the cabin and found the wards in place. Each of them could sense where Kian had been, and another, who Eoin assumed was the Hunter. But there was no sign of anyone now. Nothing.
“You said he was here,” Ceithin said for possibly the third or fourth time.
“You need to give me time,” Eoin said softly. Deliberately, he lowered his voice and pushed as much concerned understanding into it as he could.
“Don’t patronize me,” Ceithin snapped. He crossed to the window and looked out at the tangle of forest. “You said there was someone here. A prisoner. It’s Trystyn. I know it is.”
“I’m not trying to patronize you. Please, Ceithin, if it’s Trystyn then I swear we will find him. If it isn’t Trystyn, it’s still someone from our world who’s being used. One way or another, we will find that person.”
“It’s Trystyn. I can feel him.” Ceithin was adamant, and Eoin didn’t argue. “The connection between us… it’s like the connection between Darach and I.” He placed a hand over his chest where his heart was. “It’s him.”
“Your connection to Darach is strong,” Eoin commented for want of something better to say.
Ceithin turned to face Eoin abruptly. “How could you hurt Darach and Kian like that?” Clearly the subject was being changed, and Eoin could see the distrust and anger in Ceithin’s eyes. The bond between Ceithin and Darach was so new Eoin could see sparks of Darach’s blue in Ceithin’s eyes. Eoin could dissemble, could ask what Ceithin meant as if he didn’t know. But it would be a waste of everyone’s time.
“You mean not tell Darach I was the Guardian?”
“For a start, yeah. I mean that’s a pretty big one. But let’s get to it after. I mean how in Hell could you let them think you were dead?”
“I had to.”
“It broke his heart.” Ceithin’s statement hung in the air with a sense of finality. Eoin didn’t even try to answer. He didn’t really have one that would make any sense to anyone. He just immediately knew any conversation about what he had done and why would have to be with Darach, not with the Cariad who had bonded with his friend.
“I need to talk to him about what I did and why,” he finally offered gently.
Ceithin sighed and gestured to the space beyond the dusty glass. “Then go talk to him.”
“We need to find Kian, track down the person who—”
“None of it will start until we get this sorted.” Ceithin clenched his fists across his chest, right over his heart, and blue Fire sparked on his fingers. “He’s hurting. Nothing we decide now will make any sense unless you help him stop hurting.”
“How am I…” Eoin had no words to finish the thought. Ceithin leaned back against the wooden wall and dropped his hands to his side. He shrugged, and Eoin felt a momentary disappointment that someone else didn’t have the answers for him. Nodding, he knew Ceithin was right.
In the space between heartbeats, Eoin took the first step to the door. In a minute he was out in the cool mountain air, the cloudless sky like the blue of Darach’s eyes. Shame and guilt and grief curled inside him, and he stopped exactly in the middle of the small clearing. He could sense Darach and see his pathway in a scatter of embers, both red and blue. The anger in his friend, his blood brother, was intense, and for a moment, Eoin wished it was level-headed Kian he was dealing with, not Darach with his impetuous nature.
“Did Ceithin send you out here?” Darach’s voice dripped with temper, and blue sparked around him.
“He said it was probably the best thing to get this out of the way first,” Eoin admitted. He didn’t even see the fist fly, not even his Fire sensed the snap of passion in time to erect a barrier. The crack of Darach’s knuckles against his cheekbone was loud in the otherwise quiet forest. Eoin stumbled back, his Fire a delayed shield, and he held up his hands in protest. Darach did nothing. He made no move to hit him again or even to step forward into Eoin’s space.
“Get it out of the way first?” Darach spat with venom. “Get it out of the way?” When he repeated the words, Eoin winced.
“If we are to track down Kian and—”
“Don’t. Just. Don’t.” Darach spun on his heels, stalked off to the trees, and in an instant, he was gone. Eoin sighed. Darach had every right to feel angry, but equally he expected his friend to be able to listen to why he had done it.
“Darach! Wait.” He strode after his friend, sensing the other man only a few trees in front of him. Eoin quickly caught him and held his hands out in front of himself in a gesture of peace.
“I didn’t want to let you believe I was dead.” He stopped when Darach’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Wait, you think I would choose to do that?”
“No. That isn’t what happened at all.”
“Then what exactly did happen, Eoin?”
“The Fire. When it came, it was intense.” He stopped, suddenly weary, and he leaned back against the nearest tree. Carefully he used the trunk to lower himself to sit. “Will you sit down?” Darach frowned, but clearly he was in this for the long haul, and he too sat on the dry ground.
“Go on,” Darach encouraged. Although Darach’s expression showed very little in the way of welcome, nor indeed any compassion, at least he sat here listening.
“Amber is a special Fire and is very rare. There are maybe one or two children born each year with it. You know that. It’s the strongest of the Fires.” Eoin half smiled. Saying this brought back so many memories of teasing Darach and Kian when they were children. He was not only the eldest of the three, but he also teased that he had the best Fire. It seemed Darach had remembered the same thing, and for an instant, a smile quirked his lips, before being replaced by the condemnation. “Every child who has amber knows that one day, if they live, they will need to find a useful way to use their Fire, with the Council maybe. It’s so rare though that a juvenile survives, and you know when some juveniles reach maturity and their Fire is born, they die.”
“I know. Like you.”
“They don’t die, Darach.” His voice was carefully modulated, and he could feel the shock in his friend before Darach said a single word. The fact the children appeared to always die was nothing but a cloak.
“We saw you die,” Darach protested. He touched a single finger to his own face, a mirror of the scars Eoin had twisting down the side of his face to his neck. “It was horrific. I saw you burn.”
Eoin nodded. “The Fire is real. It burns so hot, and the scars…” He touched them and then rested his hand back on his knee. “But the Council takes the child from the Fire. Sometimes it’s too late to save him or to keep him unmarked.”
“Were they able to control your pain?” Darach leaned forward, his eyes suspiciously bright.
Eoin wanted to lie. Every fiber in him wanted to make it easier to tell this story. He couldn’t. “It was horrific,” he began softly, “but somehow they dragged me free, magiked me away, I don’t know. All I know is I woke up, and I was in the library.”
“In the City?”
“The old library, in the rooms only the Council sees, and they were there.”
“Did they explain what was going on?” Impatience filled his friend’s voice, the whole cut-to-the-chase tone was doing nothing for his nerves.
“Darach, please, I’m trying here.” Suddenly overwhelmed with everything in his head, he drew his knees up and wrapped his hands around them. “Can you just listen?” He tried to keep his voice level but could hear the misery in it. With a huff Darach relaxed back and gestured for Eoin to continue.
“The members of the Council are dying; all three are very old men. Human skin and bones decay as much as anything, but Fire can prolong life. It was simple. If they could track down amber Fire, they could use it, drain it, I don’t know.” He leaned his head on his knees briefly and then raised it to look at his friend. “All three of them we know—Ephraim, Sulien and Madoc—are at the end of their time. People like us thought the Guardian was the one who led the Council, but it was the other way around. Where we thought a man with the strongest amber Fire of that generation should become the Guardian and be there to govern and guide the Council, in fact, the old Guardian was being drained to keep the Council alive. I was left to heal in the library and I took to researching. Then it happened.” He paused again. He wished he had brought out some water as his mouth was dry and forming actual words was hard. “Madoc came for me, the oldest and probably the strongest in the Council. He told me about what the Council did to the old Guardian, Wynn, and about the Otherworld, the prophecies, everything.”
“What did they do to this Wynn?”
“Stole nearly all his Fire and magik, I don’t know. All I know is he had amber fire, and it was time for the Council to change hands. It was Wynn’s time to be one of three in a new Council, but no one was entirely sure whom he would be replacing. Sulien and Ephraim did not want to die.”
“Madoc trusted and helped Wynn, assisted him in moving to this world through the gate. The Guardian had promised Madoc he would live in peace and not seek revenge on the Council who had wronged him. This was so many years ago. He’s trusting me to finish everything now.”
“Wynn didn’t keep his promise. Madoc and I think it is his intention to bring an army back to our world from this one. He has a prisoner, a boy from our world with amber Fire. He’s using that child’s energy to build his army, taking his hatred of the Council back to our world to rule in the Council’s place.”
“Uh huh. That sounds like a far reach.” Darach looked thoughtful.
“There’s rot in our world, Darach. So much fear and it all comes from a Council in decay. Anyone with any strength could take over the Council, have access to ancient magik, and steal Cariad magik. We wouldn’t have a choice in this. It would be a rule of fear.”
“And you’re the only person who can stop this?”
Eoin hesitated. He wondered how far he should take this—how much he should reveal. “And Kian.”
Darach nodded, and Eoin’s heart turned. Darach never failed to think it was level-headed Kian who was important, but was it right to place so much on Darach by telling him he was one of the three who could stop the rot from spreading?
“Is this linked to why Kian chased after the one who stole his uncle’s Fire? Did Kian know you were alive?” Shock filtered through Darach’s words, and it was enough for Eoin to decide Darach needed to know it all.
“Kian didn’t know. I promise you. The Danio was just another result of the disease spread by greed, jealousy, and lack of control over Fire. We need to try and stop it.”
“You and Kian.”
“No. Not just us. You as well, Darach.”
“Only together can we fix all of this.”
“Now you’re talking rubbish. Do I look stupid? I’m not some soldier, or even really that clever with Fire.”
“That is a lie, Darach. Your Fire is strong in you; it always has been. Look, I don’t care if you hate me, or that you want to knock me out, but Madoc trusts me with something far bigger than all of us.”
“He trusts you won’t go off using your Fire for bad?” Darach said with a flourish and Eoin hung his head again.
Darach was not getting this.
“No. Madoc warned me in time. Instead of the remainder of the Council finding a weak child to manipulate, they found me. Not only is my Fire strong, it is reinforced by the blood-bond I have with you and Kian. I’m capable of being a strong Guardian.” Great, now he probably sounded as if he was grandstanding. Darach said nothing. He didn’t even smile the wry smile he. “So there I am, healed, but scarred, and stronger than the Council. Suddenly I can do something about things that happened in the past. Stop Wynn from causing chaos in this world and back home. Rescue this child who has the amber Fire. Go home and restore peace.”
“So. You, me and Kian. Easy then. Just like old times.” There it was. The gentle humor Darach did so well. Eoin felt a weight lift from his heart.
“I want you to know I had no choice, Darach. I had to stay as Guardian. Had to stay dead. I wanted to tell you both every day.”
Darach didn’t sound convinced and Eoin pressed on. “I watched you both. I saw Kian receive his Fire, I saw him with the Cariad and then crossing to this world. I saw you in the prison talking to Ceithin. I helped you,” Eoin added the last part softly.
“Helped me how?”
“I watched out for you in the prison, made sure no one touched you. You needed to find your Cariad.”
“All that time…” Darach sounded do damned sad. “We mourned you. I mourned you. Then Kian left, and I was on my own. The last one.” He was fingering the small scar each boy had on their left hands, probably reliving memories of a summer day and the blood bond three ten-year-old boys had made in the long grass outside the City.
“I am so sorry,” Eoin said finally. There, he had said it. In reality he could say little else.
“That’s enough.” Darach’s voice was more even, and he pushed himself to stand. He held out a hand to help Eoin rise, and Eoin took it gratefully. When they stood, close together, it was Darach who pulled Eoin in for a hug. They held each other tight. Darach spoke when they parted.
“Why couldn’t you have an easy Fire like red, green or blue?”