A breathtaking blend of sweet and swoony, FATE RISING is the passionate second book in my closed-door fantasy romance series about the Celtic Fae. It’s coming soon on DECEMBER 8TH. Here’s a sneak peek of Chapters 1 & 2.

If you haven’t read the first book, FATE CALLING, you’re going to want to download it first on Amazon or Kindle Unlimited. The following sneak peek does reveal spoilers!

Happy reading,

Lindsay

 

CHAPTER ONE | KIERAN

The magic consumed Aislinn.

It seeped over her skin and encased her body in a glittering shroud of purple and black. He knew draíochd was a healing magic, but its touch seemed to burn her sensitive human skin. She clawed at her arms and screamed in pure agony, falling to her knees with a choked sob.

Panicked, Kieran knelt beside her and clutched at her shoulders as she continued to scream. He couldn’t see any physical signs of injury, but she suffered none-the-less. He snarled viciously as an overwhelming sense of desperation filled him. She was fighting an enemy he could not touch.

“Aislinn!” He shouted her name until his throat was ripped raw, until his terrified heart was ready to explode. “Aislinn!”

Suddenly, she threw her head back and let out one final, agonizing scream that pierced his ears. His heart. His very soul. Her scream died out and she fell forward over her knees, gasping for breath. He rubbed his hand over her heaving back as the black, glittering wisps of draíochd finally faded from her body.

“Aislinn?” Kieran cradled her face and searched her eyes for any lingering signs of torment. “What have you done to her?” he snarled at Sorcha, turning a hostile glare upon the seer.

“Dinnae be afraid, prodigal king,” Sorcha said. “I merely broke the glamour concealin’ her true self.” Before he could question her cryptic words, the seer disappeared into the cosmos with a resounding crack.

Kieran muttered a few choice curses about blasted seers and turned back to his wife to check her for physical injuries. On the outside, she appeared unharmed, but he worried about what was happening on the inside.

“I’m okay,” Aislinn assured him, grabbing hold of his hands and squeezing tightly. “The pain is gone.”

Kieran helped her shift into a sitting position and peered warily at her pale face. “Are you sure you’re all right?” he questioned. Unable to resist touching her, he skimmed his fingers along her cheek, her neck, and down her arm. His hand stilled as an ethereal, golden glow spread slowly over her body. “Your skin is glowing.”

Aislinn glanced down at her trembling hands. Tiny flickers of purple magic skittered across her skin. She gasped and clutched desperately at his hands, her knuckles turning white. “Kieran—”

He stared as her image seemed to shift and alter…

As her features changed…

And her ears…

Kieran blinked and squeezed her hands, his breath lodging in his throat. “Aislinn?” His voice sounded strange to his own ears. Breathless. Uncertain. Unexpectedly hopeful.

“What—” Aislinn sucked in a gasp and the magic flickering over her skin flared even brighter. Her entire body trembled. “What’s happening to me?” She looked up at him through wide, frightened eyes.

Golden, glowing eyes.

Immortal eyes.

Shock filled him like a sucker-punch to the gut.

“It—it can’t be,” Kieran murmured. Steeling himself, he slowly reached out and stroked a finger along the shell of her ear.

She shivered at his touch and he quickly dropped his hand. “Kieran?” He could hear the fear in her voice. He could feel it through the bond as if it were his own. He wanted to allay her worries, but all he could manage was a small shake of his head.

“What?” she demanded. “What is it?” Holding his gaze, Aislinn raised a trembling hand up to her ear—and its newly elongated tip. She gasped, and her eyes rounded with a silent question.

Feeling as awestruck as she looked, Kieran gripped her other hand and gazed steadily into her bonnie, glowing eyes. “Aislinn,” he said with a slow, undeniable pleasure. “I think you might be fae.”

CHAPTER TWO | AISLINN

My trembling hand fell away from the strange, pointed ear peeking out from my golden curls. Kieran’s words reverberated through my skull and the panic beating within my chest increased.

How could I be fae?

I had been born in Scotland and raised in a small town outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. My father was a fisherman. My mother was a midwife. If we were fae, why would we have lived in the mortal world instead of the Otherworld, unless…

Unless they weren’t really my parents.

The pulsing beneath my skin throbbed painfully and the magic flickering over my glowing, golden skin blazed a deep purple. I could feel it like an electric current in my blood, stemming from a hidden source deep within my core. For several silent moments, I stared at the tiny bolts zapping between my fingers, then I glanced up into Kieran’s highland-green eyes.

He squeezed the hand he was still holding and a wan smile touched his lips. “It all makes sense, now.”

“What does?” I rasped, desperate to piece together my rapidly unraveling world. Nothing about this made sense to me.

“You have an ability to see magical auras, you can strengthen my magic with a single touch, and we’re fated mates.” His thumb stroked over the anam dàn tattoo branded on my inner wrist. It was a Celtic knot intertwined with a heart and sprawling whorls. “None of it would be possible if you weren’t fae.”

There was a truth in his words I couldn’t deny, but several pieces of the puzzle were still missing. “Then why was I raised in the mortal world?” I questioned. “And why was I glamoured? What about my parents? What about my sister?” I felt the panic rising—and I clutched at his hands, desperate to ground myself. “What if she’s not my sister?”

Kieran shook his head. “She is your sister.”

“How can you be sure?”

Kieran gently pulled me into his arms and murmured into my hair, “Whether you’re tied by blood or not, Catriona is still your sister.” I closed my eyes and pressed my face against his leather-clad chest. His hand rubbed my back and his sturdy heartbeat helped to calm my frazzled thoughts. He was right, of course. Catriona would always be my sister—no matter what. “We’ll figure it all out, a’leannan. I promise you.” Kieran kissed my forehead, and the purple magic still flickering over my skin flared in response to his touch.

My past was a web of mysterious lies, but one truth was undeniable.

I was no longer human.

And maybe I never was.

The revelation only had seconds to sink in before a cacophony of screams shattered the silent forest. Kieran jumped to his feet, dragging me with him. His longsword was already brandished in his right hand. He stared down the dark path that led to the castle, his expression fierce and eyes glowing with burgeoning magic.

More screams pierced the night.

“We need to get to the castle,” Kieran urgently growled. He took hold of my hand and threw up a wind barrier, enclosing us in a shimmering golden-red dome.

We sprinted past the drooping, purple willow trees that lined the pathway. I ran alongside Kieran—and for once, I effortlessly matched his supernatural pace. I stumbled in surprise, but easily recorrected my feet without falling onto my face. My legs felt strong and my breathing was unlabored as I tore across the leaf-strewn undergrowth and over fallen logs with unusually graceful ease. A delighted laugh bubbled up in my throat.

Kieran sent me a sidelong glance, a smile evident in his eyes. You’re magnificent, a’leannan. He spoke along the fated bond that linked our souls together, his mental voice as gentle and potent as a physical caress against my skin. You were born for this.

He squeezed my hand as we raced up the grassy knoll in a break-neck pace, the wind beating at our faces. The moonlit landscape blurred past, but I could still see everything in minute detail.

Each silvery blade of grass.

Every petal of the pale, blooming flowers.

And the joy emanating from my fated mate’s eyes.

Despite the pain clawing at my heart, I couldn’t help but smile over his elation. For Kieran, this was a gift. Not only was I immortal, but I now possessed the supernatural strength, speed, reflexes and agility of the fae. I was no longer a weak human, no longer a liability. Glancing down at the purple magic still coursing over my skin, I wondered if I might be able to wield elemental magic.

Maybe I could be an asset to Kieran.

His true equal.

When we reached the castle, we burst through the wooden double doors and into complete upheaval. Faelight flickered in the wall sconces, casting a golden light over the frightened faeries fleeing down various corridors. Kieran shoved his way past the swarm and into the massive Great Room constructed of wooden beams and arched twenty-foot ceilings. His brother, Eamonn, stood in front of the stone fireplace, his expression etched in a rare show of fury. The flames seemed to writhe behind his dark silhouette with an angry vengeance.

“What happened?” Kieran demanded of his brother, striding toward the long couch centered across from the fireplace. My sister was perched on the edge, sitting hunched over with her face buried in her hands. Vel paced along the back of the couch. Her furry pooka ears were flattened against her ebony hair and a sneer curled her upper lip.

“It was that blasted seer,” Eamonn ranted as I rushed past him to reach my sister. “She appeared out of nowhere and threw the entire castle into an uproar.” He paused, and I could feel the weight of his gaze upon me. “And she did something to Catriona.”

I knelt on the cold stone floor in front of my sister. Her long brown hair fell around her face in a curtain, obscuring her from view. Had the seer broken the human glamour on Catriona, as well? I exchanged a loaded look with Kieran over the top of her head.

He held my gaze for a prolonged moment, then directed his question to his brother. “Did she use draíochd?”

Eamonn dragged a hand through his shaggy blond hair. “Aye,” he said, leveling Kieran with a scrutinizing eye. “How did you know?”

Kieran inclined his head in my direction. “She did the same thing to Aislinn when we were in the forest.”

Eamonn’s gaze snapped to my face, his eyes widening as he took in the subtle changes in my appearance for the first time. Vel brushed against my back with her familiar, catlike show of affection and bent over my shoulder to sniff at my hair.

“You smell different,” she purred. “You smell… immortal.”

“She’s fae?” Eamonn deduced, turning to Kieran.

My bond-mate folded his arms over his chest and nodded, a smile tugging at his lips. “Aye, she’s fae.”

As Eamonn fired off a string of questions, I tuned out Kieran’s responses and focused solely on my sister. Her skin was glowing with a subtle magenta aura, similar to the purple magic still flickering over my own body.

“Cat?” I whispered. “It’s Ash. Can you hear me?” I tentatively reached out to touch one of her trembling hands. She immediately latched onto me, but didn’t look up or give any other indication that she had heard me. Forcing down a wave of concern, I brushed aside her nut-brown hair to reveal a newly pointed ear. “Catriona,” I tried again. “Are you okay?”

“The seer was here,” Catriona rasped. “And now something strange is happening to me.” She finally looked up and peered at me through glowing, silver eyes. They were so bright, they were nearly blinding. “It hurts,” Catriona moaned, clutching at her head. “I don’t know how to make it stop!” Then she blinked, and although her eyes had returned to their normal shade of light brown, the pain in them reawakened my own sense of panic—and my protective instincts.

What had the seer done to my sister?

Catriona wasn’t just fae… she was something else.

My heart hammered rapidly inside my chest and the pulsing beneath my skin suddenly increased, causing the purple magic to flare notably. Tremors wracked my body and jagged lightning bolts erupted along my arms and hands. I staggered upright to a chorus of gasps.

What was happening to me?

I felt out of control, ready to detonate at any second.

Kieran’s voice sounded in my head. Aislinn! I blinked at the urgency in his mental voice and sought him out with wide, beseeching eyes. Our gazes locked for a single heartbeat—then the pulsing within me crested.

Kieran launched himself over the leather couch and caught me up in his strong, solid embrace. His glorious white wings spread out behind him and his golden-red magic enclosed us within a protective dome of wind. The moment he touched me, my tolerance snapped. Pressing my face into the crook of his neck, I screamed as a wave of immense power rippled down my arms and exploded from my palms.

Radiant bolts of lightning exploded around us.

Several pierced through my body, but they didn’t hurt. They only added to the wild magic coursing through my veins. Kieran tensed and grunted when several bolts shuddered through his own body, his fingers digging into my flesh.

Kieran? I managed to ask through the bond.

I’m fine. His fierce grip loosened a moment later, and he pressed a hard kiss to my forehead. I’m fine, a’leannan. Just focus on calming your emotions. Kieran cradled me against his chest and stroked one hand down the length of my golden curls. His touch was soothing and his presence a balm to my frantic, overworked emotions.

Closing my eyes, I focused on my breathing and the steady beat of Kieran’s heart. When the warm pulsing in my veins finally seemed to fizzle out, I opened my eyes and stared at the subtle glint of purple magic that still flickered over my skin.

Kieran? I shoved the lingering sense of fear aside and met his intense, highland-green eyes. Did I just use magic?

“Aye,” Kieran answered, gently stroking my cheek. “Now that your human glamour’s been broken, your elemental powers are manifesting.” A proud grin stretched across his handsome face. “I have a feeling you’re going to be very powerful.”

“How powerful?”

“Since you’re my fated mate…” His expression abruptly grew solemn and apprehensive. “You might be as powerful as I am.”

We fell silent and stared at each other as the weight of his words sank in. With the ability to control all five elements possessed by the Seelie, Kieran was the most powerful fae the Otherworld had ever known. And if he was careless with that immense power, he could easily destroy our entire court—our entire world.

His hold on me tightened and his gaze grew shadowed. I didn’t need to hear his thoughts to know we were thinking the same thing.

Would my magic be a blessing… or a curse?

FATE RISING is coming DECEMBER 8! You can preorder it here.

Written by Lindsay Grace

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