Two lovers, one choice: Destroy Heaven or Hell?
Rhys is sick of the heavenly game targeting his family. He doesn’t care how it started or why, but it’s stopping on his watch.
Nobody is taking Allie from him. Somewhere along the way, she claimed his heart and awakened a part of him that burns with needs he can’t ever smother. Quite simply, he loves Allie and refuses to lose her. Ever.
So this is it. Someone is going to die. A realm will crumble. A throne left vacant. Because he’s calling… Checkmate
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- ISBN e-book = 978-1-953075-62-8
- ASIN e-book = B0B2CDC76T
- Series = Wild Hunt
- # in Series = 4
- Publisher = Cherokee House Publishing
- Author = Nancy Corrigan
- Genre = Paranormal Fae and Demon Romance (Fiction)
- Previously released as: Sacrificed and Betrayed
Great conclusion to The Wild Hunt series, with hints of mythology in its finale. This is an exciting PNR series with the fate of all kingdons at its core. Well written with an engaging story line and brilliantly developed characters.
"Father." Calan greeted the man with a dip of his chin.
The devil returned the nod, then surveyed the room, addressing each Huntsman present by name and rank in the Wild Hunt, before settling on her.
Breath caught, Allie straightened.
"Alaia." Arawn, Lord of the Underworld, aka the devil, and father to the Huntsmen, inclined his head. "Thank you for connecting me to my children."
Blood drained from her cheeks while everyone in the room stared wide-eyed at her. The use of her real name, which she'd known forever but only her birth mother had ever used, caught her off guard. She forced a laugh. "Allie, please. My adopted mom obviously didn't like that name for whatever reason. I've been answering to Allie forever."
"Allie it is, then." Arawn moved to the front of the desk and sat on the edge much in the same way Rhys had. "It is a shame we are unable to meet in person, but such are the restrictions of our worlds."
Preventing humans or those beings from Hell from crossing the barrier between the realms. Only the Huntsmen, with their tie to Arawn and their long-dead human mothers, could traverse the worlds. And so would the Key, of course. At least until she died and stepped into an even grander role. Supposedly.
She cast her gaze to the floor before any hint of veiled secrets bled into her expression. "Yes, a shame indeed, but I'm glad Harley was able to open this pathway. An instant line of communication with you will help in the fight against the Unseelie Court."
"It's sorely needed too. Dar has had many years to build his dominion. We are at a disadvantage."
Silence descended. The other Huntsmen glanced between their father, her, the ground, some interesting spot on the wall, but Arawn's focus never wavered. He watched her.
She coughed into her arm. "I gather that from what Rhys has said, but I honestly don't know much about what Dar's done. Only that he needs to be stopped."
Arawn slid his attentive gaze to Rhys, and Allie silently berated herself for mentioning his name. Rhys hadn't disclosed any details about Dar, the Unseelie Court, or anything involving his time riding in the Wild Hunt. Actually, he'd been quite firm in that regard. She didn't need information about the Otherworld. As a human who could technically leave the estate any time she wanted, gifting her with information that could help the enemy put Rhys's Teulu, his family of hunters, at risk. He wouldn't do that.
Nope. She shouldn't have mentioned his name. Besides, what if keeping her out of the loop was Arawn's rule? If so, Rhys would be punished if Arawn thought Rhys had disobeyed him. She opened her mouth, the desire to protect him strong, but Arawn faced her. Fixated on her. She shut her mouth.
"It's not just Dar who needs to be stopped. There's evidence Dar's actively rebuilding his court with his half-breed children. Even when we do eliminate him, he'll be leaving behind a dangerous legacy."
Arawn's statement was one she'd overheard being discussed among Rhys and his brothers. They were worried. Not everyone infected by chaos had turned Unseelie. Jade, the Chaos-infected fairy living under their roof, hammered home the dilemma.
Jade hadn't done anything to deserve death, yet she was too dangerous to be allowed to remain free. That distinction left the hellish Hunters in a quandary. Kill any infected fae they found now before they turned Unseelie. Or give them a chance.
Of course, Allie wasn't supposed to know how the issue had been weighing on the Huntsmen. She raised a brow in surprise, albeit slightly faked, just like her life had been. "Really?"
"You didn't know?" Arawn's shock came off as genuine.
"Why would she? Allie doesn't need that information." Rhys cupped her elbow and moved her to the side and out of Arawn's line of sight. "She's merely a human caught up in our world. She's not a fighter in it."
The conversation picked up without her. Calan, Zeph, and their sisters, Rowan and Tegan, discussed where in the Underworld they'd set up Hellnet connections, while Harley detailed the precautions they'd put in place to secure the Huntsmen's Hellnet-enabled cell phones while off the estate. Their words faded the longer Rhys stared at her.
"Alaia is a beautiful name." Rhys brushed the loose strands of her hair from her cheek, and the caress of his knuckles over her skin sent tingles to all those places that had no business reacting to this immortal who could clip her wings as easily as he'd unleash her. "It's fitting. Odd your adopted mother chose not to call you by your given name."
"Odder that Arawn knew it."
"Not really. Your birth mother was one of Minerva's handmaidens. While my stepmother might not have been able to speak to her maidens on a day-to-day basis, she knew much of what was happening to them."
"Until her powers were bound completely." Allie grinned while silently cursing her second slip. As 'just the human caught up in their world,' she shouldn't know the fate of Rhys's stepmother. Excitement had made her sloppy. "Or so I've overheard."
"You do like to linger in places you have no reason to be."
Keeping her smile in place, Allie shrugged. "It's simply the consequence of boredom. Wandering passes the time. Sometimes when I wander, I hear things."
"You've spent months focused on building Hellnet. How could you be bored?"
"I didn't spend every waking moment on the project." She did take time to eat and sleep. Sidestepping the Hunter who tempted her more than he should, she turned to the patio. "But you're right. I should be more respectful. I'll start now."
Rhys caught her arm. "Where are you going?"