Midnight's Loverby Donna Grant, Arika Escalona Rapson
Driven by the fierce god within him, highlander Ian Kerr is sworn to fight for the land he loves-and the brother he lost. But when he's transported four centuries into the future, he finds himself fighting his own desires-for a beautiful, bewitching woman who could hold a warrior spellbound.Danielle Buchanan has heard the legends. She has felt the power of Druid… See more details below
Driven by the fierce god within him, highlander Ian Kerr is sworn to fight for the land he loves-and the brother he lost. But when he's transported four centuries into the future, he finds himself fighting his own desires-for a beautiful, bewitching woman who could hold a warrior spellbound.Danielle Buchanan has heard the legends. She has felt the power of Druid blood in her veins. But she has never known a man as fearsome-or as haunted-as the warrior Ian. With her magic, Dani must help him fight an ancient evil. With her heart, she must join him in his quest. But only with her soul can she free him from his curse . . . and seal their fates together.
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By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2012 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Inverness — Fourteen years later
New Year's Eve
Danielle zipped up her boots that reached to her knees and rose from the bed to stare into the full-length mirror on the back of her door. She turned to one side then the other looking at the slinky black dress that hugged her curves.
"Definitely need to work out more," she mumbled as she frowned at her reflection and sucked in her stomach.
Her door pushed open and Whitney, one of her flatmates, poked her dark head through the door. "Wow, Dani. You look amazing."
"Sure you won't come with me?" Danielle asked for the tenth time. They had all planned to spend New Year's together with another group of friends two months ago, but now Dani would end up alone with Mitchell. It wasn't that Mitchell was a bad sort, just someone who didn't get the hint that she didn't want to date him.
Whitney laughed and shook her head. "Not on your life. Joe says he has something he wants to talk to me about. I'm hoping he's finally going to ask me to marry him. I've been waiting for months!"
Danielle smiled and hugged Whitney. She was happy for her friend, but it was just another reminder she was alone. Again.
"I want you to call me as soon as he proposes. Well, after you say yes, of course," Danielle said with a laugh.
"I will. I promise. Listen, I came to ask if I could borrow your black heels. The new ones you bought this week?"
Danielle hurried to her closet and opened the Kate Spade box. "Yes, you need to look your best. You know Clair's pearls would look great with your dress."
"I've already asked to borrow them," Whitney said as she took the shoes. "I have the most wonderful friends in the world."
Danielle grinned as she leaned her hand on the doorknob. "I'm just thankful we all wear about the same size. It's saved me a lot of money over the years."
As Whitney walked to her room, Danielle closed the door and her smile faded. So much for a rowdy group of friends to party with. Not that Danielle was a party girl. She was the opposite actually. It had been all of them who had talked her into going out on New Year's. And wouldn't you know everyone else would have something planned with their boyfriends?
Danielle sighed and looked at the clock on her nightstand. It was just after five o'clock. She had enough time to run some errands before she met up with Mitchell and they headed to Blink's. Blink was the newest, hippest nightclub in Inverness, and they were putting on one hell of a party tonight.
After one more look in the mirror, Danielle reached for the bangle bracelets on her bureau and left her room. She liked the clink of the silver bracelets as she slid her arms into her coat.
"I'm leaving," Danielle called out.
"Be careful!" Whitney shouted through her door. "A snowstorm has been forecast for tonight!"
Danielle inwardly groaned while wrapping her scarf around her neck before she tugged on her gloves. "Just what I need."
She grabbed her purse and keys and left the flat. A blast of cold wind hit her as she pulled the door closed and hurried down the stairs to her car waiting at the curb.
The car, a mid-1970s Mini, had been her aunt Josie's. When Josie had gotten too sick to drive it, she'd given it to Danielle. Danielle loved the car, even if it had gotten more unreliable than not.
She unlocked her door and slid into the driver's seat. As usual, the car didn't start on the first try.
"Come on," Danielle whispered as she turned the key once more.
There was a flare of life, and then nothing.
Danielle rubbed the car's dashboard slowly. "I know you can do this," she told the car. "Don't let me down tonight."
On the third try, the Mini roared to life.
Danielle sat back with a smile on her face and fastened her seat belt. She pushed in the clutch and put the car in first before pulling out into the road.
She drove slowly through the icy, snow-covered streets as the sun sank below the horizon. Danielle would have preferred to get her errands done earlier, but she'd had to stay later at her job than usual.
Wouldn't you know the boss-from-Hell had wanted to clear her desk so she could take the next week off? Danielle was supposed to have left the office at noon, but Isabella had other ideas.
Danielle mentally checked off the places in her mind as she ran errand after errand. Finally, she pulled up to the cemetery and turned off the car. She reached for the single pink rose on the passenger seat and got out of the car.
The snow that had fallen overnight was deep as Danielle meandered her way to the back of the cemetery and the Buchanan plot.
Though her parents were buried in America, there was a plaque with their names and the date they had been taken from her. Danielle wiped the snow from the plaque. She stared at their names and wondered how different her life would have been had they not gone out that fateful night.
It was a thought that haunted Danielle every year. Though the images of her parents had begun to fade in her mind, the memories she had of them would never leave her.
After a moment, she moved to her left and wiped the ice and snow from the large stone cross.
Josie had died on New Year's Eve five years earlier and Danielle came to her gravesite every year. No one was sure what had caused Josie's death. Each year she had grown weaker and weaker until her soul had left her body.
It had been painful to watch, but Danielle never left her side. They had spent countless hours together in the little time they had left. Josie had been the one Danielle had gone to with a problem, the one Danielle had gone to for answers.
And Josie had never let her down.
Josie had been the one who hadn't pushed her to talk, hadn't begged her to get on with her life. Josie simply let Danielle cope with the death of her parents as she needed.
She had warned Danielle that her time was about to end, but Danielle hadn't wanted to believe her. Until Josie's hand had gone slack in Danielle's grip.
"I miss you, Aunt Josie," Danielle said, and placed the pink rose at the base of the cross.
Josie had been true to her word when Danielle had first met her. She had shown Danielle the wondrous world of magic.
It had been glorious. The first time she felt her magic move within her, it had changed her life.
Until they learned just what her magic did.
Danielle bit her lip as she recalled the pain that would bend her in two when she would find an object and not want to return it to its owner.
Of all the magical ability Danielle could have received, she hated hers. She had no choice when it came to using her magic. It forced her to bring the object — whatever it might be — to its rightful owner or suffer unimaginable pain.
Danielle realized that she had been squatting next to the cross for some time and her legs had grown numb from the cold. A large, fat snowflake landed on the back of her gloved hand.
"You always did love the snow, Aunt Josie," Danielle mumbled. She kissed her fingers, then placed them on the cross. "Until next year."
Danielle rose and walked back to her car. The streetlights had already blinked on as the darkness grew. She shoved her hands in her pockets and did her best not to slip on the ice.
The icy wind managed to find a way up her skirt and take whatever warmth she might have had from her. Danielle shuddered and hurriedly got into her car.
To her surprise, the Mini started on the first try. Danielle waited for other cars to pass, then pulled in behind them. She was supposed to meet Mitchell at his flat so they could go to dinner.
If she didn't know her flatmates so well, she'd think they had set this up so she'd be left alone with Mitchell. It wasn't that Mitch wasn't a nice guy. He was.
He just wasn't a guy she was interested in.
Which didn't make sense. He was good-looking, had a great job, and she had gotten to know him well over the last year.
But there was no connection between them. No spark, no chemistry.
It would be so much easier if there were, because Danielle knew Mitch liked her a lot. She could have the husband she'd always wanted. She could have the family and kids — everything.
However, her parents had told her to never compromise, and Danielle never had. She certainly wasn't going to start now.
Just as Danielle expected, there were no places to park close to Mitchell's flat. She ended up parking down the street and walking to his place.
She now wished she had suggested meeting him at the restaurant instead of letting him drive her. That sounded too much like a date, and this was anything but a date.
Danielle walked up the steps to his door and knocked. Almost instantly it opened. Mitchell, his dark hair combed back away from his face, smiled, the corners of his blue eyes crinkling.
"I was getting worried," he said as he motioned for her to enter.
Danielle gratefully stepped in out of the cold. "I had to run some errands."
"I made reservations for dinner."
She didn't move farther inside when he put his hand on the small of her back. "Reservations? I thought we were eating at the pub as we agreed earlier."
"Well," Mitchell said as he ran a hand over his hair in a nervous gesture. "With it just being us two, I thought we could have a more ... intimate dinner."
It was just what Danielle didn't want. She glanced at the floor, hating that she had to begin the evening like this. "Mitchell ... I like you. A lot."
"And I like you, Danielle."
"But as a friend."
The smile slowly died on his face. "Why can you no' let this progress and see where it goes?"
"Because that would only cause you pain. I don't want that."
Mitchell put his hands on his hips and turned partially away from Danielle. "I had hoped when you agreed to still go out without the others that it was a sign you wanted more."
"I told you I didn't."
"I thought you were being coy," Mitchell said with a shake of his head. "I've waited over a year for you, Dani."
"A year when you could have found someone else. I wish I felt the same for you as you do for me, but I won't lie to myself or you."
Silence filled the small entry as Mitchell refused to look at her. Danielle shifted from foot to foot, unsure of what to do next. She had hurt him, the very thing she hadn't wanted to do.
"I cannot do this," Mitchell said softly. "I cannot go with you tonight and pretend we're just friends and that everything is all right when it's no'."
Danielle nodded. "I understand. I wish you the best, Mitchell."
He still didn't look at her when she opened the door to leave. With one last glance at him, Danielle stepped back into the cold.
The door closed with a loud click behind her as she looked over the snow-covered city. How had her life gotten so messed up? At twenty-six she had thought she'd be married by now.
Instead, she was alone.
She'd always been alone. Since the night her parents died in that awful car crash and she had been brought to Scotland she had been alone.
Danielle raised her chin and squared her shoulders. Alone or not, she was going to Blink to ring in the New Year. It would be so crowded no one would know she hadn't come with friends.
She carefully walked down the icy steps and onto the sidewalk. About halfway to her car she heard a door open and turned to watch Mitchell leave his flat, get into his car, and drive away.
It was good that he wasn't staying inside. He needed to get out and find someone.
Danielle was nearly to her car when a group of young boys came running down the sidewalk. She tried to get out of the way, but one of them slammed into her shoulder, sending her spinning around.
The heel of her stiletto boots slid on a patch of ice and her feet flew out from underneath her. Danielle landed hard on her side, her arm trapped beneath her.
"Bloody Hell," she murmured.
She took a moment to get her bearings and make sure nothing was broken. Her skirt had rucked up, leaving a section of her bare thigh exposed and touching the snow and ice.
Danielle would be lucky if she got out of this without catching a cold. She knew she shouldn't have worn the black dress in this weather, but it wasn't as if she had expected to spend a lot of time in the snow.
She pushed up on her elbow and blinked her eyes. She must have hit her head because everything was spinning. When she was able to open her eyes without feeling dizzy, Danielle found herself at the edge of the sidewalk next to a tire.
It was the flash of something shiny that grabbed her attention.
A shiver of trepidation raced down her spine, and though every fiber of her body told her to pretend she didn't see it, she knew she couldn't.
Hesitantly, Danielle reached into the snow, brushing it aside. In the dirt, grime, and ice, next to the curb was a key. A very old key by the look of it.
Danielle took a deep breath before she picked it up. Instantly, a vision of a castle at the edge of a cliff slammed into her.
"MacLeod Castle," a voice inside her head said.
With her hand fisted around the key, Danielle climbed to her feet and leaned with her other hand against the car next to her.
"Tomorrow. I will bring you to this MacLeod Castle tomorrow."
The pain curled up from the base of her spine, slowly at first, and then grew until Danielle bent over with her arm wrapped around her stomach.
"Now. I will go now," she bit out urgently.
When an object was in a rush to get to its destination, it meant it was of great importance. It had been over a year and a half since Danielle's magic had found something.
She wished she hadn't discovered the key. Because deep down inside, she knew nothing good could come of this. Because somehow she knew her life would be changed forever.
With Danielle's capitulation the pain ebbed until it dissipated completely. And just as before, Danielle's magic told her where to take the key.
"East I go," she mumbled with sarcasm. "I'm so glad I didn't have plans."
She carefully picked her way to her car, and once behind the wheel, she put the key in her coat pocket.
"East. Go east. To MacLeod Castle," the voice repeated over and over in her mind.
"So much for my night of celebrating."
And wouldn't you know the car started on the second try.CHAPTER 2
Somewhere in the Highlands
Ian's eyes flew open as he lay perfectly still inside the dark, dank cave he had called home for ... months. He wasn't sure how much time had passed.
Nor did he care.
He didn't move, didn't even blink as he listened. The only sound that met his ears was the shrill noise of the howling wind. But for an instant, he could have sworn he'd heard his brother's voice.
More and more he heard Duncan calling to him, beckoning him to leave the mountain.
Ian scrubbed a hand down his face and sat up. His breath billowed white before his face. A glimpse through the cave's entrance showed Ian the sun had risen on another day.
How many days had he lost this time? It could have been hours or weeks that his god, Farmire, had had control. As awful as that was, Ian feared what Farmire had done while he'd been in control.
It was one of the reasons Ian made his home in such a remote place. The farther his god had to go to appease his need for blood and death, the less likely Ian was to harm someone.
At least that was his hope.
Ian dropped his head back against the jagged rock of the cave and squeezed his eyes shut. By all that was holy he'd never felt so isolated, never been so desolate in all his two-hundred-plus years.
And it was only going to get worse. So much worse.
Ian thought of MacLeod Castle and the people who had become a family to him. He missed the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the aroma of freshly baked bread, and the laughter as they all sat in the great hall and ate.
He missed the other Warriors.
But most of all he missed his brother.
Ian rose to his feet and walked to the cave's opening and looked out. Everything as far as he could see was covered in a thick blanket of white so blinding he had to squint to look at it.
There were no footprints leading to or from the cave, and since it wasn't snowing now, maybe Ian hadn't ventured from his hideout.
If only he could remember ... But there were huge holes in his memory whenever his god took over. Though he tried to get control over his god, Farmire was too powerful. Also, Ian's grief over losing his twin had only allowed Farmire to gain the upper hand in the first place.
Excerpted from Midnight's Lover by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2012 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Very good book. I loved the characters. took not long to finish this.
Donna Grant makes even a fierce, battle loving, blue god look sexy! What I loved about this book... I hope you're sitting down this may take a while. This was my first book by Donna Grant. Why didn't anyone tell me what I was missing? As the hero in the second book in the Dark Warriors Series, Ian could not have been a better fit. He's big, he's hot and he's battling an internal demon that won't quit. Who doesn't love a slightly imperfect hero? Ian needs the strength and courage to beat his god and take control. Dani has that inner strength that Ian needs to win the battle of wills against his inner god and she’s more than happy to lend a helping hand… or more. Of course we know in the end he does win. After all, this is a romance, not a horror. But the story, with its twists and turns is not to be missed. Who will betray the Warriors trust in the end? Will the Warriors figure it out before it's too late and tragedy strikes once again? Will they finally face Deirdre and make her pay? I know... but I can't tell you. You'll have to go get the book and find out for yourself. I will say this, however, I'm definitely hooked. Who wouldn’t be hooked instantly on a Highland castle filled with hot Warriors? So now I sit here trying to think of something that I didn’t like about Midnight’s Lover and if I’m to be completely honest, as I sit here and rack my brains, I can’t seem to think of a single thing. It was very well written, action packed and with enough romance and steamy scenes to make a jaded person melt. Well done, Mrs. Grant. You’ve got yourself a new fan and follower.
I started with the Druid Glen series, read the Shields series so far onto the Dark Swords and now the Dark Warriors. I have enjoyed them all. I do miss the fae in the last two series. Sometimes it isnt easy to read so many books by one author, but Donna Grant made it easy to do. I look forward to reading many more of her books. They have romance, magic, adventure, great heros, male and female. Enjoy reading!
Love all of Donna Grants books.
Couldn't hardly put it down.
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi Spoilers Ahead! Ian is still reeling from his twin brother, Duncan’s, death and can no longer control the god inside him now that he no longer shares him with his twin. So he’s done the only thing he feels he can; he has taken himself far away from civilization so that if his god does take over, he won’t hurt anybody, or at least Ian hopes not. Then, Ian hears the unmistakable sound of wyrran shrieks and discovers a group of the yellow monsters chasing a Druid, Danielle. He goes to her aid, but before he’s killed all of her attackers, she falls in the icy loch. He gets her out and takes her back to his cave with him and nurses her back to health and protects her. When she awakes she tells him about a key she has found that is demanding she return it to the MacLeod Castle and so he reluctantly agrees to take her there. But once there the key insists that she wait. There is something off at the castle that many of the residents feel, and Danielle thinks this is why the key doesn’t want to be returned yet. There have been several newcomers to the castle recently so now it’s a matter of finding out who is causing the problem; who isn’t what they claim to be? And when Ian believes that he has lost control of his god again, he puts himself into lock-down making it impossible for him to save Danielle from the evil that lurks inside the castle walls. I thought this installment of the series was pretty good. You do have some repetition from the first book to this one, such as the Warrior in question not being used to the current time and the female Druid convincing them to get new clothes and giving up their kilts for jeans. But once the storyline is set up that fades away and you get a completely different story than we read in Midnight’s Master. And, I thought this story was an improvement and it made me glad that I continued the series and I imagine the series will only continue to improve from here. I really enjoyed Ian. I thought his torment with losing Duncan and struggling to gain control was understandable. I loved seeing the emotion between him and Danielle and seeing him willing to sacrifice his own freedom to keep her safe. Speaking of Danielle, I also enjoyed seeing a love interest that was just as interesting and strong as Ian is; he deserves that much. I thought the sex scene through the prison bars was a bit unrealistic, but this book was again full of hot sex scenes which I’ve come to expect from Grant. With all the talks of birth control from Danielle mentioning she forgot to have Ian use a condom, to the spell the women of MacLeod Castle use to prevent pregnancy, and all the mentions of why others have decided not to have kids, I thought for sure Danielle would end up conceiving (and my bet was on twins) so I was pretty surprised when it didn’t happen. I think it’s only a matter of time before there is another child on the way at MacLeod Castle, especially with the sex drives the Warriors possess. Overall this was a fun and exciting read and I’m anxious to read the next, Midnight’s Seduction. This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
I loved it, one that I could not put down!
Absolutely loved it! Now I have a new series to follow!
Midnight's Lover was exciting, thrilling,funny, and clever. it was also sensual and extremely exotic and sexual.
Ian and Danielle were a great combination. They funny and sexy together. I love this series!
came in the mail yesterday.. had to read right away.. Loved it ! waiting patiently for for the next book... Keep them coming !
Please read these books! They are AMAZING!!!!!!
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Reviewed by Crystal Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Midnight’s Lover is a great book and I love the new series. Danielle lost her parents at the age of twelve. She was then moved to Scotland with her father’s family. There she learns about her magic powers and how to use them from her Aunt Josie. Ian is a immortal that had a twin brother named Duncan. They both had a god that got released inside of them and tries to take them over. With the brothers working together they can fight him. They did good until Duncan is killed and all the power goes to Ian. Ian is having a hard time dealing with the god Farmire. I would hate to lose my parents at the age of twelve and have to move somewhere that was completely different from everything that I have ever know. I’m not good with meeting new people so if I had to deal with family members I’d never met before, I don’t believe that I would take it well. We all wish that we had some super powers. I don’t believe I could ever comprehend having to deal with a god inside me that gives me powers, super human strength, and immortality. To never have a life because there were evil people that wanted me to give into my god and use my powers for bad. I enjoyed this new series and it was something different than I had ever read before. I loved reading something new. I enjoyed meeting all the Warriors. It would be hard to know that you needed to save people that had Druid blood in them and keep them safe. You have to have a secret place to take care of everyone and let them learn how to use their powers, I felt sorry for Ian. He thought everyone had given up on him and lived in an icy cave to keep everyone safe from his god. He just didn’t know that he’d been sent hundreds of years into the future. I know that it would be hard to find out about vehicles, cell phones, indoor plumbing, and everything else to the future. With people like Deirdre, an evil witch, and Declan you have to watch everyone that you come into contact with because they could be using anyone for their evil deeds and you’d never know until it’s too late. Danielle has learned that with her power when she finds something and it tells her to take it to a certain place or person she better do it or she will be in a lot of pain. So when she found the key that she needed to take to MacLeod Casrle and give them the key but when she gets there it tells her to wait. Something bad is going on. I loved the way Danielle and Ian meet. Some creatures called Wyrran, which are orange creatures that shriek, are chasing Danielle to try to steal her powers and Ian saves her. Can you imagine a blue person that has talons and teeth like a vampire coming after you? From the first meeting, there is something about Danielle that calms the god in Ian. I can’t wait to read the next book in this great new series. There is so much intensity and I want to see what will happen next. I enjoyed the book from the start of the first page until the final of the last one. Thanks for such a wonderful book.
Can you give a book 10 stars??? Because I want to!! OH MY GOD!! I hadn't been reading the Dark Warrior Series because other books came up in my review list and I got swamped but I took a break to read this one and AAAhhhhh I am so glad I took time out of my other reviews to read this in between when I had my times because I sooo loved reading Ian's battle... Malcolm's seeming to not even....want.... to come around.. which is sad but I have hope for him. Ian saving Dani was so sweet... He was still fighting but she was brave and strong!! I held my breath through a few scenes in this book so I knew that the ending couldn't come soon enough.. I didn't want it to come because I was loving the story... but I knew that the end of the book would hopefully mean Ian gaining the control he thought he didn't have. I was not happy when Ian was put in the dungeon... I wanted to go to him just as Dani did! Charlie was such an ass!! OMG I sooo wanted Ian to be the one to get to rid the castle of him..! Had a ton of fun learning Danielle's power and how it knew where she needed to be. I love Donna Grant's Happily Ever Afters... just.... sometimes I wish she didn't have so many scares and sincerely OMG moments... (view spoiler) I look forward to reading Midnight's Seduction Even though We are supposed to read Dark Craving, Night's Awakening, and Dawn's Desire next... I have already read those... so I get to move onto Midnight's Seduction next :) EEEE Thank you Donna Grant for yet another wonderful story that made me wish I lived in your books!!!
So loving this series. In Midnight's Lover Ian is struggling with the loss of his twin bother Duncan and his god Farmire. Now that duncan has been killed Ian has ALL of the god Farmire. He struggles everyday to gain control, but yet he brother Duncan is still by his side. Danielle has had a sad and tragic childhood but has grown into a woman that is driven and determined. All she really wants is find someone she can count on. She seems to never find the man who she can truly be herself with. When Danielle stumbles into Ian's life, their lives will change forever. But will it be for the best? Next in the series is Midnight's Seduction. Happy reading