Book 5 of the Sons of Herne series
May 28, 2016
Barnes and Noble
She was saved from drowning by an act of god…a seductive, smoking hot god.
It is the time of Litha, and Devinmar, god of the sabbat, will rise from the sea to mate with a human female and unleash the powers of the deep. His visit to shore comes a day early, however, when he saves a stunning beauty from drowning under suspicious circumstances.
Hallie wakes up on a beach after being rescued by the most exotically gorgeous man she has ever seen. Believing Devinmar is an exceptional hunk of male is no stretch, but falling for his stories about selkie legends and pagan gods is something else. Still, she can’t help but give into the temptation of a sea god whose long hair, exquisite beauty, and intense stare beckons.
When Devinmar returns to make Hallie his sabbat consort, he discovers she has been taken by those responsible for her near drowning. Getting her back could mean failing in his duty to the sabbat, but he goes after her nevertheless. He’ll use the powers of the deep to make her safe again—even knowing that once their midsummer’s night has ended, he will be forced to leave her behind and return to the sea.
A weight slammed into the surface of the water, square onto Devinmar’s back. He spun out of the boat’s path with the dolphin equivalent of a surprised cry, and the large bulk that had collided with him fell away into the darkness. Stunned as he was, Devinmar floated for a short time, getting his bearings.
What the devil was that? He poked his head above water, blowing out his air hole and watching the white boat disappear in a tumult of churning sea foam. They had lost something important, judging by the size, but the boat gave no indication of turning back. The item perhaps had no value.
Or maybe they had dumped it on purpose.
Curious and a bit outraged at the thought, he dove back underwater, shooting straight down after the abandoned item. His dolphin eyes were not acute enough to see that far, but sounding ahead with sonar turned up a startling fact, one that sped his heart. He tried sonar again, confirming his theory.
The bundle was human.
Devinmar dove faster, his powerful muscles straining to catch up with the sinking human. It was a female, unconscious, and bound with some sort of wide, flat rope. No. Tape. He tried twice to get hold of her with his broad mouth, both cursing his current form and feeling grateful for it. God or not, he would never get her to the surface as a man, but hands would have been helpful. He caught hold of her with a firm grip and rose, pulling her against the forces of nature, higher until he could see the light rippling at the ocean surface. They broke through, him with a fierce blast from his blow hole. The woman made no gasping sounds. He had little time, if in fact it wasn’t too late already. Alternating between using his snout and teeth to keep her head above the whitecaps as much as possible, he pressed for the shore. His jaw ached from dragging her to the surface over and over, but he hurried on, intent on saving her.
Waves soon pointed the way to land, and he followed until the first of the breakers pushed their bodies to shore. He gripped her in his teeth and rode the wave. The ocean floor beneath them rose up sharply, threatening to beach the dolphin if he had no other means to save himself. But he did.
He didn’t let go of the female until sand scratched his underside, and he closed his eyes, released her to the momentary trust of the tide, and concentrated on the change. He had to become the seal first, the form his mother’s kind preferred close to the shore, a creature adapted to both sea and land. Shiny, gray skin shifted to brown fur, fins to large flippers. His snout shortened and sprouted whiskers while his body grew slower, yet more buoyant.
Insistent waves pushed him to shore, and the female washed up beside him. The sudden cessation of the ocean’s constant movement brought him awake, as though jarred from a dream back to reality. She lay limp beside him, so fragile and helpless that it sent pangs of frustration through him.
Now he focused on his true self, the man whose form he took but once a year, a human figure born under the sea with arms and legs and long, black hair. His seal skin split with a pop along his back, which was not a painful experience, but rather, a freeing one that ran oddly counter to his personal opinion. He was released from the marine creature, climbing free from the skin he clutched in his human hand. He must keep the skin with him in order to return to the sea.
He tossed the skin higher up the beach, away from the waves that might try to reclaim it. Then he dragged the bound woman higher up the beach.
He tried to get on his feet, but wobbly sea legs buckled beneath him. He crawled along as he got her out of the waves, then pushed wet hair from her pale face and put his cheek down to her mouth. She wasn’t breathing.
Devinmar’s throat tightened. He slapped her face, not really expecting a response, then covered her mouth with his. He breathed, willing life back into her. Nothing.
The tape around her chest might be constricting her, so he tugged and ripped at it until it tore free. He put the heel of his hand on her sternum and pushed, hoping to expel water, then breathed into her again.
“Come on,” he said, water dripping from his hair onto her face. “You must live.”