The Druid Stone

The Druid Stone

4.5 8
by Heidi Belleau, Violetta Vane

Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with

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Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth...and not because Sean's the first man he's felt anything for in a long time.

The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean's case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland's violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.

Book One of the Layers of the Otherworld series

117,000 words

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Product Details

Carina Press
Publication date:
Layers of the Otherworld
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By nightfall, he was begging to die.

In his old life, he could never have imagined that a simple beating could bring him so far, beyond hope, beyond shame. The last flurry of kicks had broken ribs, and a jagged edge of bone sawed upward with every breath, threatening to break through his skin from the inside. Instinct and reflexes had him curling in on himself, trying to protect vital organs, but even that caused searing pain to tear through the deep bruises in bone and muscle.

His eyes were long since swollen shut, but he could hear their voices, track their movements, vibrations of footsteps stalking around him.

"What do you say we take his tongue, lads," the Scottish one suggested, and then he felt all their hands under his arms, all together now, boys, lifting him to some slumped imitation of a sitting position propped up against the wall.

Earlier that day—minutes, hours, impossible to judge anymore—they'd dragged a body past the shed where he lay shackled. A hole gaped in the middle of a face where a snub nose should have been, but he recognized the dead boy from the bottle-blue patches on his shirt. They'd all been rounded up together by the ragtag soldiers. He didn't know why. The boy—he couldn't have been more than fourteen—was chained next to him for a while, sobbing something like a prayer in an unknown language. Then they'd taken him away.

He'd discovered there was nothing he could say to make the soldiers stop. He wasn't a spy, wasn't a rebel, he wasn't even a "native," as they called him, spitting the word like venom. And then he said he was a spy, was a rebel, anything to make them stop, and they still kept beating him.

Through the slits of his bruise-swollen eyes, he could see one of the soldiers coming toward him, a knife in one hand. He tried to crawl away, but a burst of pain in both knees sent him back to the cold ground. He turned and tried to read the expression on the closest soldier's face, but that part of his brain must have shut down. He saw eyes, a mouth set in a firm line, isolated features only, couldn't puzzle out the meaning of the whole.

"No," he whisper-croaked, trying to ignore the sensation of blood gargling in the back of his throat, but the soldier just took hold of him by the hair. The knife bit into his ear without warning, sawing through the cartilage in a series of rough strokes, each one a new burst of agony, fresh sharp pain overlapping the relentless throbs from before. It was sensory overload: he didn't know if he was screaming or moaning or if no sound was coming out at all. Hot blood soaked the side of his neck.

"It's too dull," the soldier complained, seconds before the last stroke.

"No such thing as too dull," another replied, "not for this lot."

That earned a grim laugh. He saw his ear on the ground, a pale, waxy-looking thing under the slick of blood. A boot kicked it away, out of his narrow field of vision.

"We need a real saw or we'll be at him all bloody night."

A new wave of fear came over him, not of dying, but of the sudden vision that death wasn't the end of his pain, that he'd gone through this before—and they would hold him down and saw his heart from his chest with a proper surgeon's saw to see exactly how long it would take him to die—and he would go through this again, and again, and again. And yes, there it was, the pocketknife working the buttons off his shirt one by one, from the hollow of his throat down to his belly.

The pop of the buttons. The teeth of the saw. Over and over again, the inevitable pain, looping forever.

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The Druid Stone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brennach More than 1 year ago
Really liked the book, kept me interested the entire way through. Was disappointed that it ended, not the ending but that the book was finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u read the book do it during the day The book can open doors into a world im a different demension This is powerful be careful but read it JOHN long beach, Ca
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
why 4 stars?? 1. the authors did a great job with the mythology/folklore/druid side of this story. research well done! 2. the writing is great. i did get lost a few times with all the goings on within the fantasy part of the story, but the writing was great. the story is a blend of m/m romance and fantasy. the fantasy is well done, but i did find myself frequently rereading large portions of the text to understand what was happening. there is a TON going on here plotwise (perhaps too much????). there is the love story of sean and cormac, each man with his own emotional baggage. the fantasy part is what draws the two men together. i quickly was cheering on the main couple but frequently found myself lost in the details of the fantasy. i was disappointed with how quickly some details of each character's past were dealt with. seemed a bit too neat and tidy?? but i liked how the ending had them making choices, not just compelled into a HEA. if you are drawn to irish history, folklore, and/or mythology, this is a good fit.
jojoNE More than 1 year ago
The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane offers more than just your average m/m read. It also touches on facets of the paranormal, time travel, Irish history, and intense psychological issues. Once you've read it, you'll never forget it and forever be drawn into the writing spell these two authors wove. Sean O'Hara has lived a life full of nightmares ever since his great-grandfather left him a cursed druid stone. He's soon reliving another man's torture and death every night and goes in search of the one person who can help him. Cormac Kelly wants nothing to do with Sean at first thinking his plight is a joke. It soon becomes apparent that Sean's nightly torture correlates to Cormac's past and that only by working together can the nightmares, and Cormac's guilt, come to an end. The history of Ireland plays an important part in this story and the authors have made the images extremely vivid which easily immerses the reader in the action. Modern-day Ireland also leaves a lasting impression as the small-town characters are larger-than-life and bring some much-needed humor to the seriousness of the storyline. Cormac too provides flashes of humor which is greatly appreciated to deal with the life and death situation these characters are in. Sean's life has been endlessly difficult. In his younger years he fell into drugs and prostitution and just when he thought he'd gotten his life on track, the nightly torture began. He longs to have someone beside him who can support him through the bad times, someone who accepts him for who he is. Cormac too wants someone to accept him and discover that he's more than what his family line proclaims him to be. These two lost souls, constantly being hurt by fate, are perfect together. It's only when they're together that bits of happiness emerge. The sexual encounters between them are equally intense and hot and finally occur after a slow build-up of sexual tension. Their road to happiness is a rocky journey full of tears and sacrifice that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you root for them to succeed. The Druid Stone is a follow-up to Cruce De Caminos, which showed Sean's downward spiral before getting clean along with his early brushes with the paranormal, and while it's not a necessity to read them together it does give a deeper insight into Sean and the lyrical feel to the world he's found himself in. The writing style of Ms. Belleau and Ms. Vane is very distinctive and with its dream-like tone the reader is easily caught up in the world they've created. There's much satisfaction to be found in this story, and with such a unique writing style, The Druid Stone is not soon forgotten.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read from start to finish in one LONG sitting. Engrossing characters and setting. Wonderful story.