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The Bloodgate Guardian

The Bloodgate Guardian

4.0 6
by Joely Sue Burkhart

Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate...

Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn't do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she's content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex,


Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate...

Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn't do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she's content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and travel to Guatemala to find him.

After misusing the Bloodgates to bring his twin brother back from the afterlife, the Maya priest known as Ruin was cursed by the gods to stand as the guardian for all time. He was unable to stop Dr. Charles Merritt from opening the gates, and now demons roam this world. The last thing he wants to do is hurt the beautiful woman who is somehow infused with his magic, but if she uses the codex to retrieve her father, Ruin must do his duty. And this time, he won't fail. Even if it kills him. Again.

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Carina Press
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He never hated his magic until it compelled him to kill.

From the broken shadows of his temple, the priest watched an encroacher attempt to work his doomed magic. Brilliant ruby pooled in the pocked basin of the altar and overflowed, streaming across the hand-carved stone in vibrant filigree. The blood glowed like molten rock hot from the earth's heart, releasing magic into the night.

The once all-powerful priest shuddered, his skin crawling with the caress of power. His nostrils flared to catch the tantalizing scent of sweet copper. Such temptation. He tightened his grip on the starved jaguar pacing within him. Such power.

The city once known as the Mouth of Creation had kept his secrets for a thousand years. Now he must kill this man to protect that forbidden knowledge. Keeping to the shadows, the priest called out, "As Gatekeeper of Chi'Ch'ul, I command you to leave my city or die."

The man whirled and whipped the bloody heart behind his back. At least this one's victim had been a goat and not human. "Nobody else should know the name of my dig. Who are you working for?"

The priest stepped into the moonlight, and the other man recoiled. With the jaguar prowling the cage of his body, he knew all too well the image he made: eyes gleaming like golden lamps, jaguar spots dotting his arms and blending with the tribal tattoos on his upper body, angular cheekbones and sharp forehead compounded by the stark topknot pulling his hair back from his face. The man had discovered the city, unburied it stone by stone. He could not help but recognize a priest of what had once been a grand and powerful nation. "My city has already been destroyed. Would you destroy the world as well?"

"I have powerful, rich friends," the man said, backing away slowly. "Name your price."

So be it. Small golden lights began buzzing around the priest and his bones throbbed with magic. "Nothing you can offer will stay my hand. As long as I live, these sacred waters shall lie still and silent. My curse demands your death. The Gates must remain locked until the Return."

Ignoring his threats, the man smiled with elation. "We were right! I knew it. After all these years, I finally found the center of the world!"

The balls of light blazed brighter. A golden swirling wave obliterated his vision. Bones cracked and twisted. His scream of pain rumbled bass, a jaguar's roar piercing the night. Tail lashing, the jaguar crouched in a pile of torn denim. The sharp stink of his prey's fear burned his nose. It had been a very long time since he'd hunted. The big cat knew his purpose. He was only called forth to kill.

Meet the Author

Joely always has her nose buried in a book, especially one with mythology, fairy tales and romance. She, her husband and their three monsters live in Missouri. By day, she's a computer programmer with a master of science degree in mathematics. When night falls, she bespells the monsters so she can write. Read more about her current projects on her website: joelysueburkhart.com.

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The Bloodgate Guardian 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was entertained with this title. It was a unique plot and the dialogue was great.
PeachesNCreamSM More than 1 year ago
Burkhart blew me away with her attention to detail, research, and amazing characters. She built a fully realized world seeped with Mayan mythos. She doesn't burden the story with her research but weaves it within the plot seamlessly. I was pulled in from the first sentence, Burkhart kept the action moving, the tension high, and I didn't want it to end despite the very satisfying ending. Bloodgate is a strong stand-alone story yet open to a possible series. The characters...what can I say?...they spoke to my heart, something that happens every time I pick up one of Burkhart's stories. Ruin's delicious. A strong alpha man doomed to live forever alone consumed by guilt. Burkhart took a historical/mythological person and breathed life into him. No apologies made for his culture yet a person I could sympathize with. Jaid's stronger than she thinks she is and I totally related to her. Jaid acts and feels how I imagine I would being thrown into that story. They have an amazing chemistry. The culmination of their feelings isn't as erotic as some of Burkhart's other works but it fits this story. One of the things I love about a Burkhart read is how she makes her couple work for their happily ever after. By the time Ruin and Jaid reach that point I blew out a breath I didn't know I'd been holding. Kudos!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Jaid Merritt's father has mysteriously disappeared...into a portal after performing an ancient Mayan ritual...and she saw it all on her webcam. Jaid heads to her father's dig site (overcoming a childhood fear of digs), to try and find a way to bring him back. Instead, she stumbles upon an ancient priest, and by ancient I mean thousands of years old, but still amazingly handsome, named Ruin. Ruin is the guardian of the gate her father inadvertently crossed through, which also allowed a few demons from hell into the world. Jaid and Ruin rush to find a way to close the gate and save their loved ones from eternal torment at the hand of the demons, and to save the world from being devoured by the demons that escaped. This is an Indiana Jones meets romance style of book, and the author really pulled it off very well. A great read (and not gory), full of action, adventure, mystery, and romance. 4/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Originally posted at: www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com ***** If you were the gatekeeper to the Maya version of Hell, what would your ideal mate be? Not the daughter of an ambitious archeologist, who's an expert at reading Mayan glyphs, that's for sure. Joely Sue Burkhart brings us up close and personal with all the various demons of Mayan beliefs. Now as the "end date" of the Mayan calendar nears I have seen a lot of different apocalyptic tales relating to this, but Ms. Burkhart's is unusually unique as to the ultimate outcome. She brings us this tale with no-nonsense dialogue that gets very descriptive as our hero and heroine explore the many Mayan levels of Hell. So if you get a little queasy, you might have to skim over a few pages. Let's talk about our hero Ruin, a Mayan priest from the beginning of the religion who's ultimate sacrifice is love. And our heroine Dr. Jade Merritt is the consummate child of a famous parent: always in the shadows, but she has some difficult phobias to overcome too. Now have you ever seen a more unlikely couple? I know I haven't and yet our adventurous master storyteller of an author makes it come to life in our minds. Ms. Burkhart also believes in making her couple work hard for their happily ever after. So much so, that by the time it finally comes around her audience will release the breath they've been holding. Her supporting characters are mostly demons and are unbelievably demonic, let's just say that Ms. Burkhart has an excellent imagination and isn't afraid to use it. This romance is so full of pitfalls that you'll need handrails to get through it, but get through it you will. And it just makes that Happy Ever After so much better when it's worked for. Her love scenes, though few, are very visual and physical, and yet tender. If the Mayan end date is one of your favorite topics, or if you're a lover of the paranormal or apocalyptic romance this one's for you. If you're not afraid of adventure on the edge, give this one a try. It's the perfect summer read.