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She was his destiny reborn!Forever fated to defend humanity against demons, immortal Guardian Rogan has given up all hope of finding peace. But when a beautiful woman unexpectedly appears, she reawakens the warrior’s long-buried desire… Alison came to Ireland duty-bound to tell Rogan of a sinister premonition, only to be rebuffed.Then evil strikes when her sister mysteriously disappears, and Rogan has the power to protect Aly from a fate worse than death. Can this brooding warrior be her Destined Mate – the key to a forgotten past, and to her future?


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Rogan moved closer, until he could feel her body heat.

“I’ve no use for seers, Alison Blair. And even less for their servants.”

Aly swallowed hard and he could see the agitation suddenly take hold of her. Still she kept her gaze fixed on his. “I’m no one’s servant.”

“And yet here you stand at their beck and call.”

“It’s my duty.”

“And now you’ve done it and it’s past time for me to be doing mine,” he muttered thickly, grabbing her upper arm to steer her out of his house.

But as he touched her, something unexpected happened. Something dazzling. An arc of what could have been lightning jolted between them. White-hot heat – and something more – sizzled in the air and Rogan released her instantly.

He knew that sizzle and flash.

He’d felt it just once before.

For his Destined Mate.

But she had been dead for hundreds of years.

Maureen Child is a California native who loves to travel. Every chance they get, she and her husband are taking off on another research trip. An author of more than sixty books, Maureen loves a happy ending and still swears that she has the best job in the world. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children and a golden retriever with delusions of grandeur.



To the Staunton family at Knight’s Cottage

Shanvallyard, Tourmakeady, Ireland. Thank you for your warm welcome and for making our stay in Ireland so memorable.

Chapter 1

In Ireland, two thousand people vanish every year.

The Irish countryside was quiet and the darkness was absolute, as it could only be far from the lights of a city. Here, beside the narrow road that led to Westport, the night felt empty, but for the squares of lamplight in the distance, marking the places where farmhouses stood in silence.

In the grassy field, ancient tombstones tipped and tilted crazily as if they’d been dropped from heaven and left to stand as they fell. Trees bent in the wind, and their bare limbs clattered like a muttered conversation. A fairy mound rose from the ground and lay littered with wildflowers that looked black and white in the starlight. A sigh of something ancient whispered in the darkness, and far away, a dog moaned into the quiet.

A young woman stood in the center of the stones, as she’d been told. She waited, impatiently checking her wristwatch and shrugging away the superstitious twitch at the base of her spine. The stones were eerie enough during the day, but at night, when the sky was black but for the stars, the woman half expected ghosts to rise up and chase her out of their graveyard.

The woman shivered again at the thoughts jostling through her mind and shrugged deeper into her coat. There was nothing to fear, after all. Hadn’t she grown up here? Didn’t she know this road to Westport well enough to travel it in her sleep?

No, the only thing to worry her was that maybe the man she waited for had forgotten his promise to meet her. Maybe he was with someone else. Maybe…

“Darlin’,” a deep voice whispered from close by. “I knew you’d come. I’ve been waiting for you.”

She whirled around, a smile of welcome on her face. Something blacker than the darkness rushed at her. She screamed as a howl lifted into the air, and a moment later the cemetery lay empty in the night.

“What was that?” Alison Blair stopped dead and felt the small hairs at the back of her neck stand straight up.

The long, undulating howl still quavered in the air as she stared back down the road into the darkness.

“A dog, no doubt,” the guard at the wrought-iron gate muttered in an Irish accent so thick it almost sounded as though he were speaking Gaelic.

“Scary dog,” Aly muttered, turning back to watch as the big man studied her ID card. Frowning, she said, “It’s not a forgery, you know.”

He flicked a glance at her from under thick black brows, and she deliberately lifted her chin and met that stony stare with one of her own.

The man nodded in approval, then said, “There’ll be hell to pay when the boss hears you’ve come.”

“I know.” As a member of the Guardian Society, Aly knew she would be as welcome here as a flu virus.

Even in the best of circumstances, Immortal Guardians weren’t exactly the most hospitable people in the universe. They lived alone, worked in secret and protected their real identities from a world filled with people who would never understand.

Chosen at the moment of their death, the Guardians were given the choice of either moving on to whatever awaited them or accepting immortality and the task of defending humankind against the demon threat. The Guardians were devoted to doing their duty and in general preferred to do that duty with as little interference as possible.

Both from humanity and the Society.

The Society had existed as long as the Guardians themselves. Generation after generation the families who belonged to the Society had worked with the Guardians. Some of those Guardians reluctantly accepted the help of the Society, and some…didn’t.

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