Spell of the Highlander Page 1

Author: Karen Marie Moning

Series: Highlander #7

Genres: Romance


Aoibheal, queen of the Fae stood in the catacombs beneath The Belthew Building, concealed by countless layers of illusion, a formless projection of herself, beyond any Sidhe-seer’s vision, beyond even her own race’s perception.

In the dimly lit labyrinthine tombs, Adam Black was pacing furiously, holding his ears and cursing a wailing Chloe Zanders.

But it was not Adam’s plight that concerned her now.

It was her own.

Tonight she’d wielded the formidable magic of the Queen of the Tuatha Dé Danaan to destroy the Druid sect of the Draghar.

But it was not for that purpose alone she’d done it. As ever, she had motives within motives. Her use of the full power of the High Queen of the Seelie Court of the Light had caused a blackout of all mortal magic throughout Britain, part of Scotland and a fair portion of Wales.

It had shattered wards humans believed unbreakable, voided protections spells, and temporarily leeched all sacred mortal relics of any power they possessed.

Closing her eyes, Aoibheal turned her far-vision outward, analyzing the weft and weck of the fabric of her world. She’d pulled a thread here, tugged a thread there, and the infinitesimal changes she sought had begun.

Somewhere in Tibet an ancient sorcerer was seeking the unholiest of Dark Hallows.

Somewhere in London a thief was casing a wealthy residence reputed to contain unimaginable treasures within.

Somewhere a Keltar was biding his time, waiting for a vengeance long overdue.

Ah, yes, it had begun. . . .


Some men are born under a lucky star.

Showered with female attention from the moment of his highly anticipated birth into a family of seven lovely wee Keltar lasses, but, alas, no sons—his da dead to a hunting accident a fortnight earlier—Cian MacKeltar came into the world, at ten pounds three ounces, already laird of the castle. Heady stuff for such a wee bairn.

As he matured into a man, he inherited the typical Keltar looks: wide-shouldered and powerful, all rippling muscle, topped by the dark, savagely beautiful face of an avenging angel. His noble Celt bloodline, true to its aggressive warrior–aristocracy heritage, also bequeathed him a lion’s share of sexuality; a simmering, scarce-contained eroticism that shaped his very walk, underscored his every move.

At a score and ten, Cian MacKeltar was The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars.

And he knew it.

He was a Druid, to boot.

And unlike the vast majority of his broody, overly serious ancestors (not to mention the veritable plethora of broody ones yet to be born), he liked being a Druid.

Liked everything about it.

He liked the power that hummed so potently in his veins. He liked cozying up with a flask of whisky among the collection of ancient lore and artifacts in the underground chamber library of Castle Keltar, studying the arcane knowledge, combining a chancy spell with a risky potion, growing stronger and more powerful.

He liked walking the heathery hills after a storm, saying the ancient words to heal the land and the wee beasties. He liked performing the rites of the seasons, chanting beneath a fat, orange harvest moon, with a fierce Highland wind tangling his long dark hair, and fanning his sacred fires into pillars of flame, knowing that the all-powerful Tuatha Dé Danaan depended upon him.

He liked bedding the lasses, taking their sweet lushness beneath his hard body, using his Druid arts to give them such wild, mindless pleasure as—it was whispered—only an exotic Fae lover could bestow.

He even liked the brush of fear with which much of his world regarded him, as a Keltar Druid and heir to the ancient, terrifying magic of the Old Ones.

The laird responsible for the continuation of the sacred Keltar legacy in the late ninth century was devilishly charming, darkly seductive, and the most powerful Keltar Druid ever to live.

None nay-sayed, none challenged, none ever bested Cian MacKeltar. Verily, the possibility that someone or something one day might, never even occurred to him.

Until that cursed Samhain of his thirtieth year.

Some men are born under a lucky star.

Cian MacKeltar was not one of them.

Shortly thereafter, the underground chamber library was sealed off, never to be mentioned again, and all record of Cian MacKeltar was stricken from the Keltar written annals.

It is highly debated among surviving Keltar progeny whether or not this controversial ancestor ever even existed.

And none know that now—some eleven hundred years later—Cian MacKeltar still lives.

Sort of . . . in a hellish manner of speaking.





The call that changed the entire course of Jessi St. James’s life came on an utterly unremarkable, dateless Friday night that differed in no particularly significant way from any other unremarkable, dateless Friday night in her all-too-predictable life, which—she was in no hurry to discuss—were a lot of Friday nights.

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