The thrilling conclusion in the exclusive four-part e-serial Midnight's Promise by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant
A new tale of The Dark Warriors—powerful Highlanders who are bound by the gods have brought their ancient battle to the modern world, where a woman's love is the most dangerous lure of all…
All bets are off. Malcolm will stop at nothing to save his soulmate. With Evie by his side, she and Malcolm must fight the deadliest foe he's ever known if he's to keep the love of his life. Oh yes, and there is the matter of saving the world from darkness incarnate...
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. She's written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night's Awakening, and Dawn's Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her husband, two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author
Read an Excerpt
Evie bit back the nausea that threatened at somehow knowing where Jason Wallace lived. She wasn't sure what she'd expected to find, but it wasn't the impressive manor house she glimpsed as she drove through the large iron gate and past tall hedges.
Lights flickered around the rock-lined turnaround drive made to look like the fire lamps of old. Evie brought the Jaguar to a stop and shut off the engine.
She didn't want to do this alone, but it was her muck-up. She would fix it. After a deep, fortifying breath, she got out of the car and stared at the house. It was constructed of white stone and had impeccable landscaping.
Evie shut the door and walked around the back of the car. She glanced at the fountain in the middle of the parking area. Water trickled into the bottom of the fountain with an air of tranquility that Evie knew she'd never feel again.
Her boots crunched on the rock as she walked to the front door. The steps leading to the double doors looked as innocent as everything else around her, but she'd learned her lesson about Jason Wallace.
Nothing was as it seemed.
Evie reached the second step when one of the double doors opened. She hesitated, expecting to see Jason fill the doorway. When no one appeared, she ascended the stairs and stopped at the threshold.
She wanted to think that there was still time for her to turn around and wait for Malcolm. But it was a silly notion. The time for her to have turned back was before she did the ceremony to become drough.
Since then, she was well and truly on whatever path Jason had set in motion for her.
"Bastard," she mumbled.
Hate filled her. She'd never felt such loathing for someone, and she'd certainly never found herself entertaining how to kill someone before. In answer, the black magic within her coiled, waiting and ready.
Jason Wallace had done this to her. He was to blame.
Or was he?
Evie wasn't sure anymore. There was an argument the blame lay with her. She didn't deny it. She was the one to make the decision, no matter that Jason pushed her to it. She could have refused.
It was so easy to say that now, but even as she tried, she knew no matter how things might have gone differently, she would have still walked down the same road.
As awful as it was to feel the black magic within her and know her soul was bound for Hell, it was better than watching Brian die, or thousands of innocents being killed.
"Working it all out, I see."
She lifted her eyes to find a man dressed in navy slacks and a light green dress shirt as he leaned an arm atop the newel post at the base of the stairs. In his other hand, he held a glass with a splash of what she suspected was whisky.
His blond hair was combed back and the blue eyes staring at her were cold and dead. His face was narrow with unflattering angles. He had the look of a predator, of a man who knew just how powerful he was and wanted everyone else to know it as well.
"Jason Wallace," she said.
"At your disposal," he replied with a cocky grin and a small bow of his head. "Come inside, Evangeline. We've much to discuss."
She remained where she was. "Tell me how I knew where to find you."
"There is much you can do with magic. I planted my location in your mind when we met at Urquhart. You just didn't realize it until I needed you to."
"You know I loathe you. What do you want with me?"
Jason straightened and grinned fiendishly. "Sweet Evangeline, we'll get to that in time. For now, I think you'd like to see your brother, would you no'?"
All it took was the mention of Brian, and Evie crossed the threshold. "Did you harm him?"
"No' too much. You might want to discuss his use of profanity, however. He has quite a tongue on him. Oh," Jason said and chuckled. "I should say, he has quite a hand on him."
Evie had never cared for mute jokes, and she certainly didn't want to hear them from Jason. "Let me see Brian."
"In good time. Come with me," he said and walked through an open set of heavy oak doors.
She followed him with her eyes and saw into the room. It looked like an office. A good enough place to conduct business. And it was close to the front doors.
Evie gradually followed until she stood just inside the office. She found Jason to her left pouring himself another whisky from a crystal decanter.
He lifted the decanter to her, and she shook her head. Her nerves were already shot. She didn't need to add alcohol into the mix.
"Have a seat in front of the fire, Evangeline. You look as though you could use the heat."
She was chilled to the bone, but from fear and hatred, not because of the temperature. "You wanted me to turn drough. Why?"
He laughed as he walked around his mahogany desk and sat. It was the typical large, ornate wooden desk that men with money owned. It was large to show they dominated the room, and ornate to prove they had money.
All of which was evident from the house itself. Evie wanted to tell him he had gone overboard with the desk, but somehow managed to keep her mouth shut.
Jason took a drink of his whisky. "I'm no' in the habit of sharing my reasons with anyone. Why should I with you?" "You went to a lot of trouble to make sure I was drough and bring me here."
"All true. It was your Web site, Evangeline. It was so easy to read your need to find other Druids between all the mundane text you wrote. And that necklace." He smiled slowly, maliciously. "It was too sweet to pass up."
She walked to the fire and stood with her back to it and her hands clasped behind her. Her fingers hurt they were so cold. If there was going to be a battle for Brian, she had to be ready.
"All of this for a necklace?"
"No," was his only answer.
She looked at him with disdain. "That's all the answer I get?"
Evie wanted to roll her eyes at his theatrics. Jason Wallace really was running a show, and there was nothing she could do but go along with it and wait for her chance to strike.
"You wanted me here, Jason, and I'm here. I'd like to see my brother. Please."
Saying please to someone she hated as much as Jason was one of the hardest things she had ever done. Evie suspected that she would be facing many such obstacles in the very near future.
Or at least as long as Jason was alive.
"Your eyes deceive you, Evangeline," Jason said offhandedly. "Every emotion you feel, I can see. You want to kill me." He shrugged and swirled his whisky. "I can understand that, but there's something you should know. I was dead once."
Evie swallowed and tried to hide her shock.
"Oh, yes," Jason said with a smile. "Well and truly dead. However, I set things in motion to prevent my staying that way. I returned to the land of the living stronger and more powerful than ever before. So you can try to think of ways to kill me, but it'll never happen. I'm as immortal as they come."
The room began to spin, but Evie refused to faint. It would be a show of weakness. Which couldn't happen. She somehow stayed on her feet and righted the room so that it no longer spun around her.
Evie swallowed. "You want to frighten me into never trying to turn against you."
"Well of course. I'd like to save you any pain. No matter what I say, however, you'll try to do me harm." His lips twisted. "You'll learn soon enough, Evangeline, that I always have the upper hand. For every harm you attempt on me, I'll make you pay in ten times the pain."
Evie cleared her throat. "Now that you've informed me of that, how about Brian?" One side of Jason's cruel mouth lifted in a sardonic grin. "You're no' going to let up, are you?"
"You'll find that I'm easier to deal with once I've seen Brian."
Jason lowered his glass and gave a nod. "Brian, you may come up now."
Evie's heart thumped with hope and dread. She didn't trust Jason. Based on all she'd learned of him, it didn't go beyond him to have used magic on Brian.
Her worst fears were confirmed when Brian came to stand in the entry of the office. His eyes were blank as they stared straight ahead.
She refused to shed a single tear. Not for Brian, for Malcolm, or even for herself and how well and truly she'd stuffed things up for everyone.
"What did you do to him?" she demanded.
Jason's chair squeaked as he leaned forward. "He may have been born without a voice, but the lad wouldna cooperate. I needed him ... malleable. I'll release him of magic and even my home."
Evie turned her head to Jason. "On what condition?"
Jason smiled coldly before he lifted the glass to sip the whisky.
Malcolm wished he was the one with wings. The dragons had taken their sweet time in agreeing to bring him to Wallace's. Con was against it, but it was Rhys who stepped in and agreed to do it.
Every second that ticked by and Evie got farther from him was like a dagger twisting in Malcolm's gut. She meant ... He shook his head. He couldn't allow himself to think about what she meant to him, not yet. He had to concentrate on how he would get her free of Wallace.
Malcolm looked to his left and caught sight of a red dragon. A glance to his right showed there was a blue dragon. There was no doubt he owed the Dragon Kings a great debt now — one he knew would be called upon in the future.
They hadn't had to help him, but they did. It was unexpected. Especially after how he had treated them before. The Dragons, much like the Warriors, didn't seem to hold that against him.
Malcolm winced as he thought of the argument he had with Phelan and Charon before he left. They'd wanted him to wait for the others, but Malcolm seemed to be the only one who understood that time was of the essence in getting to Evie.
But then again, he'd seen the look in Phelan's eyes. Phelan thought Evie was already in Wallace's clutches. Even Aisley had cautioned Malcolm on what he might find once he reached Wallace's mansion.
Malcolm was all too aware of what Wallace had done to get Evie. And Evie, all she wanted was Brian returned safe and unharmed.
He knew exactly what she would do for Brian — anything. It's how he felt about Larena — and now Evie. He had killed, betrayed, and turned against the very ones who were his family.
Evie would do that and more for Brian.
Malcolm would make sure she didn't go through it alone. He would stand beside her and commit the acts that would take her soul. His was already damned. He wouldn't have hers as well.
Rhys suddenly went into a dive, the wind rushing around him loudly. Malcolm released his god as the ground came toward him at a mind-boggling rate. Just before he hit, Rhys's large yellow claw released him and Malcolm ducked his head to roll several times before he stopped and came to his feet.
Malcolm looked to the sky just in time to see Rhys's dragon form disappear behind a cloud.
"Thank you, my friend," Malcolm said and turned to face Wallace Mansion and the evil that lived there.
It would be up to him alone to rescue Evie. Destiny had never rested so heavily on his shoulders as it did now, especially when Evie's soul was at stake.
Malcolm knew there was precious little time to reach Evie before the Warriors and Druids arrived. He wasn't sure they would take the time to listen to Evie explain anything.
And he wouldn't have her hurt.
His only choice was to somehow get her away from Wallace and far from the mansion before any of them got there.
Malcolm spread his fingers, his claws eager for Wallace's blood, and walked toward the tall iron gates blocking access to the mansion. He was ready to jump them when they suddenly opened.
"This willna be good," he mumbled as he walked through the gates.
Wallace had nearly killed him just hours ago. Malcolm's body was still healing and weak from the ordeal. He would use his last breath to get Evie free if he had to.
Malcolm didn't try to hide his approach to the front entrance that stood open. Wallace obviously knew he was there. What Malcolm didn't know was why Wallace allowed him in.
Was the bastard so sure of his magic that he no longer feared anything?
If that was the case, they were all well and truly fucked.
Malcolm flexed his hands again. He couldn't remember the last time he had been so eager to sink his claws into Wallace's body and shed blood as he walked through the doors and heard voices to his left.
He recognized both Jason and Evie instantly. A teenage boy stood in the office entry. He had the same dark hair as Evie. It was long, grazing the top of his collar. Whereas Evie's hair hung in large curls, Brian's hair held only a hint of a wave.
"Let's invite our new guest inside," Wallace said.
Immediately, Brian shifted into profile. Malcolm's gaze met Wallace's to see the cocky bastard grinning in triumph. Malcolm stalked cautiously into the office and spotted Evie standing before the fire, her eyes wide and skin pale.
Wallace had frightened her. For that Malcolm wanted to rip his head off. Instead, he looked at Wallace and lifted a brow, waiting for the conversation to continue.
"Doona let me stop the two of you," Malcolm said.
Wallace motioned to the table full of decanters of liquor. "Pick your pleasure."
"That would be seeing you dead."
"As I just explained to the lovely Evangeline, that's impossible."
Malcolm returned his cool smile. "Ah, but then I know what you doona, Wallace. Everything can be killed. Everything. Even you."
"I came back from the dead, Malcolm," Wallace said with a chuckle.
"So did Deirdre. She was killed. Spectacularly, too, I might add."
Wallace leaned back in his chair. "Deirdre lost sight of what she was meant for. I doona have such a problem. Now," he said with a quick intake of breath. "You've lost friends, have you no'? Killed one, as well. I can promise that I'll no' touch another Warrior or Druid."
"I've heard such promises before. You willna do anything. You'll trick or threaten Evie, Brian, or even me to do the work for you. That way, you doona break your so-called promise."
Wallace's smile widened. "Ah, but you do know me well."
"I've known others like you. Deirdre and Declan, to be precise. They're dead now. Think on that."
"Oh, I'm no' the one who will have thinking to do, Malcolm. I let you in because I wanted you here. Just as I wanted Brian and Evie."
"Tell me something I doona know," Malcolm stated flatly.
Wallace considered him a moment. "You've changed. You're no' the same cold, unfeeling Warrior I've seen. Could it be what I did to you? Nay," he said thoughtfully. "I believe the source is the lovely blue-eyed Druid in this verra room."
"Whatever you want with her, I'll take her place," Malcolm said.
"Always so eager to defend those you care about. It got you into all sorts of trouble with Deirdre. Are you sure you want to repeat things?"
Malcolm gave a single nod. He couldn't look at Evie, couldn't think of the hell he'd gone through with Deirdre. He had to keep focusing on righting what Wallace was doing to Evie and her brother.
"Perfect," Wallace said, his smile a little too bright.
Foreboding ripped through Malcolm. Too late, he realized he'd played right into Wallace's hand. Malcolm's head turned so he looked at Evie.
She returned his stare with one of sorrow and regret. Malcolm looked back at Wallace to find the drough's smile made him ill.
"Tell me, Malcolm, do you remember why Deirdre went to so much trouble to trap Quinn MacLeod in Cairn Toul?" Wallace asked.
"The prophecy. It's said a drough and a Warrior will create a child."
And then it hit him. Wallace had set Evie on a path that led to becoming drough. He was a Warrior.
They had already shared a night of passion.
"Ah," Wallace said. "I see you're putting it all together."
Malcolm clenched his hands into fists and bared his fangs as he growled. All he wanted to do was attack Wallace and inflict as much pain as he could. But to even try it would mean putting Evie and Brian at risk as well as showing Wallace he was still weak from their last run-in.
"Everything that has happened I've put in motion," Wallace said as he got to his feet. "Brian's kidnapping, Evangeline becoming drough, and even your recent near-death experience. I knew while you lay fighting for your life, Evangeline's mind would be on how she could get to Brian. I also knew once you woke and found her gone that you would come for her."
Malcolm didn't take his eyes off Wallace as he walked from behind his desk to Evie's side. She stiffened, but didn't move away when Wallace put his hand on her stomach.
Excerpted from "Midnight's Promise: Part 4"
Copyright © 2013 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a great conclusion . Where Malcom gets to keep the girl an the baby is doing well. Love does make the world go round. This author has a great story line looking forward to see how else she mixes with the gods,druids, & dragons in the next battle against evil.
All her books are great!!!
Donna Grant tied up all her dark warriors stories. So they lived happy ever after. Loved the part where the Dragon king's gifted the spouses.
Moaned loudly, her juices coating his fingers, her hips buckig to him uncontrollably.