Defenders against evil. Bound by the gods. The Dark Warriors are taking their battle from ancient Scotland to the modern world—where a woman's love can set them free…
A HEART IN HIDING
For ten long years, Tara has been a woman on the run, hiding from the magic-wielding Warriors and Druids of modern-day Scotland. Now, as a tour guide at a remote Highland castle, she hopes to finally escape her past—until one impossibly gorgeous man enters her life…and exposes her wildest secrets.
A WARRIOR IN LOVE
For centuries, Ramsey MacDonald has concealed his strength and skill as part Warrior, part Druid, for fear of unleashing the full force of his power. But when he takes Tara into his arms—and seals their fate with a kiss—Ramsey will have to fight for her love…though it may mean losing control of the magic inside him.
Don't miss the other Dark Warriors: MIDNIGHT'S MASTER, MIDNIGHT'S LOVER, and MIDNIGHT'S SEDUCTION. Available now.
Also, the spin-off series and e-book exclusive, The Dark Kings: DARK CRAVING (#1), NIGHT'S AWAKENING (#2) and DAWN'S DESIRE (#3). Available now.
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 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
Dunnoth Tower Northern Scotland
Tara tapped her toe beneath her desk as she discreetly listened to her iPod in one ear. She quite enjoyed her job as a booking agent, tour guide, bookkeeper, and anything else they needed at the castle.
She hadn't thought about where she would go when she left Edinburgh after that disastrous run-in with the Warriors and Druids. She'd driven and driven and driven until the road led her to the sea and Dunnoth Tower.
Tara had stopped at the medieval castle to eat and stretch her legs. She'd been instantly taken with the structure and took the tour of it. To her surprise there had been a position open, and she'd applied. She'd started work that very day.
It had only been a few weeks, but she was thoroughly enjoying her time at Dunnoth, which she hadn't expected after teaching. Yet, she found the quiet and peace of the castle and the North Sea helped to settle the turmoil inside her.
It also helped that the owners were pleasant, her coworkers friendly, and the tourists so eager to learn about the castle that they weren't much of a problem to handle.
Although tourism in the middle of January in the far north of Scotland wasn't much to talk about. Most tourists were at the ski resorts, but come summer, the castle was going to be very busy.
Tara looked forward to it. For now, she was reading over the accounting books to make sure everything was in order, and taking bookings for the castle for the summer months.
A door opened to her left and in walked the newest member of the castle employees. Tara's mouth had dropped open the first time she saw the tall, black-headed hunk with the amazing gray eyes that seemed to see right into her soul.
That had been the day before. And now, she found herself staring at him again as he walked across the entryway and began to work on the electrical outlet that had shorted out months ago.
Though this time she did manage to keep her mouth closed and not make a complete fool of herself.
He filled out the navy short-sleeved tee to perfection with his thick shoulders and muscular arms. Yesterday evening they'd been hit with a rain and snow mix, and he'd gotten caught in it. When he'd come rushing into the castle with his shirt plastered to his abs, she'd been able to count each and every muscle in that washboard stomach of his.
The sight of it had made her wish she could see him without his shirt on to get a good glimpse of that tanned skin and ripped body.
Tara smiled. She'd always been a sucker for a man who knew how to take care of himself. But with Ramsey it wasn't just his body.
It was his long, black hair that hung past his shoulders with just a hint of a wave to the shiny locks. He kept it pulled away from his face in a ponytail, but she longed to see him with it down.
Then there was his face. She sighed. And what a face it was. Sculpted jaw with just a small shadow of whiskers, square chin, strong nose, and a high forehead with black brows slashed over his eyes. His lips were full and wide, and he had eyelashes so thick, so black, that any woman would be envious. His steel-gray eyes held a hint of laughter in them, as if he knew far more than anyone around him, and he wasn't going to share.
"Good morn," Ramsey said in his deep baritone voice.
A shiver raced over Tara's skin every time he spoke, as if her body were dialed into his husky voice. "Morning, Ramsey."
"What are you listening to?" he asked. He stopped at the wall and bent to open his toolbox and pulled out a couple of tools.
Tara blinked. "Huh?"
Ramsey glanced at her and smiled. "Your music, lass. What are you listening to?"
"Ah ... Rihanna," she answered, still baffled that he had known she had her iPod on. She had turned it down low enough so that no one would hear, and the cords to her earplugs were hidden by her hair.
Tara's heart began to pound as her mind raced. Had the Warriors found her again? She scooted her rolling chair back, prepared to grab her purse and keys and run.
Until she spotted the white cord against her black sweater.
She looked at Ramsey to find him staring at her. After a moment, he shrugged and turned his back to her.
Tara released a long sigh and put her elbow on the desk before she dropped her head into her hand. She was so paranoid. She hated living her life this way, but for her, there wasn't another way.
Because she was a Druid. And not just any Druid.
She was a dangerous one.
Tara squeezed her eyes closed and thought over the past ten years of her life. It wasn't that she had had a good or bad childhood. It had been average, just like her grades in school.
Hell, she had been average. Average height, average looks, average clothes, average everything.
She had known since she was a small child that she had magic. It ran strong through her family, and it never worried her. That is, until the day of her eighteenth birthday and she learned far more about the Druids than she had ever been told before.
Her family had lied to her all those years before, telling her that all Druids were the same. Not only were there two different kinds of Druids — mies, the good Druids, and droughs, the ones who dabbled in black magic and gave their souls to the Devil — her family were all droughs.
That wasn't what bothered her. What had made her run from her family was their insistence that she become drough as well. They demanded she give her soul to Satan, which would have condemned her to Hell when she died.
For some odd, inexplicable reason, that didn't bother anyone in her family. Just her. And they didn't understand her. Not that they ever had before.
Tara hadn't wanted anything extraordinary out of life. She had just wanted a simple life. A husband who loved her, children surrounding her, and a house filled with lots of laughter.
Instead, she now couldn't stay anywhere too long before she had to leave again. Already she had spent ten years in Scotland, which was most likely ten years too long. She should have left and gone somewhere else when she ran away from her family, but she loved Scotland too much to leave.
However, she knew this was her last stop in her beloved land. She was going to have to leave. And it saddened her.
It was just five days until her birthday. She had always thought by the time she reached twenty-eight she'd have at least two children.
Instead, she was alone.
She didn't even allow herself to make friends, because friends asked questions and became curious about her past. And she hated lying. So, she kept to herself.
There had been one time she made the mistake of thinking someone was a friend. But Declan Wallace had been anything but.
To this day she didn't know how he had found her in that pub in Aberdeen, but his good looks, charm, and silver tongue had done the trick for a scared, confused eighteen-year-old who had run away from home.
Tara should have known what kind of man he was, but she blamed her emotional state for having overlooked it. She had stayed at his mansion for a month before she learned he was a Druid.
When he didn't push her to undergo the ceremony to become drough, she worked with him on strengthening her magic for several more months. Tara had been careful about how much she used her magic. No one, least of all her, understood why her magic was so out of control.
But Declan had pressed her to use more of it, to learn to control it. He hadn't understood her reluctance, and she hadn't told him. Nothing had worked, yet he hadn't been upset. He seemed to enjoy the fact that her magic was all over the place. If her emotions were high, she could blow up a lightbulb without even trying.
Then, one night, she hadn't been able to sleep and she'd ventured downstairs to get something to eat when she'd overheard Declan's plans for her.
Once again Tara was on the run.
She knew eventually she would be caught. Would it be by her family? The Warriors hunting her? Or Declan? Who among them would end her life? Would they come in the middle of the night, or in the light of day? Did it even matter anymore?
She jerked at the feel of Ramsey's hand on her arm. "Yes?" she asked as she tugged the earphone out of her ear.
"Are you all right?" His brow was knit, his gray eyes full of concern.
"Yes," she lied.
He raised a thick black brow and flattened his lips. "I doona believe you're telling me the truth, but I willna press you."
The heat of his body seared her skin through her sweater where his hand was, but it didn't hurt. What it did was cause her blood to heat and made her think of leaning close and pressing her lips against his.
She cleared her throat and looked away from his hypnotic eyes. "I'm fine. Really," she said, and plastered on a smile as she glanced at him.
He released her and stepped back. Instantly she missed his nearness, his touch, and his heat. How he could walk around in a short-sleeved tee in this frigid January weather, with the snow outside several feet thick, she didn't know. But she wished she could do the same.
"How long have you been at Dunnoth Tower?" he asked as he once more knelt in front of the outlet on the opposite wall.
She hated when people asked her questions, but for some reason she wanted to answer Ramsey's. Which wasn't a good sign for her at all. "A few weeks."
He pulled the outlet from the wall and inspected it before he twisted a few wires. "Hmm," he responded.
"What brought you here?" She licked her lips, refusing to wonder what made her ask her own question. She never did this. It made it appear as if she were interested in him when she needed to keep her distance.
But there was something so alluring, so fascinating about Ramsey that she couldn't help herself.
"Chance, maybe." He shrugged and tightened a wire. "Who knows? How about you?" "I was driving and the road took me here."
He looked up and met her gaze. "Definitely chance on your part."
She grinned as she leaned her forearms on her desk. She had no idea what had come over her, asking and answering questions. And she even left her answer open so Ramsey could ask something else.
But he didn't.
Because he didn't it gave her the insane urge to inquire about something else. Thankfully, the phone rang, saving her from making an utter fool of herself.
Tara kept glancing at Ramsey as she looked at the calendar to book a company conference. She grew agitated at the woman on the other end of the line because Ramsey was finishing up with the outlet and she was still on the phone.
And then Ramsey closed his toolbox and stood. He gave her a smile and walked away.
Tara sighed. "I beg your pardon, ma'am. I didn't hear that last bit. Could you repeat it?"
As she wrote down the dates in the calendar and calculated the deposit, Tara told herself now wasn't the time to find a man she was interested in.
The problem was there was never a good time for her to get involved with anyone.
Ramsey leaned against the wall and dropped his head back. Touching Tara had been a mistake. A drastic mistake.
He looked down at the spread fingers of the hand that had held her. White tendrils of magic floated along his skin like smoke. It made his skin tingle and his own magic burn to be released.
Ramsey fisted his hand and clenched his jaw. In all his immortal years, never had he encountered a Druid who had affected his magic the way Tara did.
He tilted his head slightly and listened to her sweet voice as she spoke on the phone. She laughed, the sound shooting straight to his balls, making them tighten. Need, thick and strong and unyielding, ran through him.
If he had known how being near Tara would affect him, Ramsey might have brought another Warrior with him. But he'd come alone. It was a risky endeavor, but he knew he had to accomplish it by himself.
After all, he was a Warrior, a Highlander with a primeval god locked inside him that gave Ramsey immortality and a host of enhanced senses as well as incredible power. Those same gods were the ones freed by the droughs from their prison in Hell to help fight the Romans who had invaded Britain so many centuries before.
He wasn't just a Warrior though. He was also a Druid. A fact he had kept from his brethren until a few days ago. He hadn't known how they would react to the news, but that wasn't the only reason he hadn't told them. It was a secret he had kept from everyone since the day Deirdre took him and unbound his god.
A smile pulled at Ramsey's lips as he thought of Deirdre. Finally, after centuries of fighting her, they had managed to awaken her twin from a magical sleep. It had been dangerous finding and awakening Laria, but in the end, she was the only one who could kill Deirdre.
None of them had expected that it would claim Laria's life as well.
Deirdre's death should have ended all their misery. Should have, but didn't. Because there was another power-hungry drough, a man who had used his magic to pull Deirdre forward four hundred years in time.
He was the reason Ramsey had tracked Tara. Declan was a menace who needed to be killed, but he was devilishly lucky. Too lucky, in fact.
Ramsey covertly leaned around the doorway and looked at Tara. She had her earphones back on and was slowly tapping her left foot to the beat of whatever she was listening to.
She seemed oblivious to his real motives for coming to Dunnoth Tower, and that worked perfectly for Ramsey. He would do everything he could to stop Saffron's vision from coming true.
His mobile phone vibrated in his pocket suddenly. Ramsey hurried away from Tara and reached for the device. He was still getting used to the technology of the age, but he was catching on fast.
Ramsey answered his iPhone with a whispered, "Aye."
There was a sigh, and then Saffron's voice said, "You're supposed to say 'Hello.'" "Ah. Well then, hello."
The Seer chuckled. "Have you seen Declan yet?"
Ramsey glanced around him as he shouldered his way through a door that led outside to the cottage given to him as the all-around handyman of the tower. "No' yet. How are things at MacLeod Castle?"
He missed being at the castle. It was the only home he'd had in centuries, and now that most of the Warriors had found their mates with Druids, the castle was more of a home than ever.
"Everyone is anxious to hear from you. Uh. Actually, I was calling to let you know that you're going to have a visitor."
"A visitor?" he repeated as he reached his cottage and set down his toolbox to open the door. As soon as he stepped inside he found the leader of the Warriors, Fallon MacLeod, sitting in the overstuffed chair. "Fallon."
"Yep," Saffron said in her American accent. "He's already there, isn't he?"
Ramsey nodded, then said, "Aye."
"My cue to hang up."
Ramsey returned the mobile to his pocket as Fallon stood. They clasped forearms and nodded their greetings.
"It's good to see you," Ramsey said. "Is something wrong?"
Fallon shook his head. "Nay. I just wanted to see how things were going."
"It's been naught but two days." Ramsey eyed the eldest MacLeod and appointed leader of the Warriors. "What really brings you?"
Fallon ran a hand down his face. "I never liked the idea of you being here alone, not with Declan coming for Tara."
"I can handle him."
"I'm no' saying you cannot. All I'm saying is that I willna lose another friend. It's been four centuries, but I feel the loss of Duncan to this day."
Ramsey rubbed the back of his neck and nodded. "I as well. Who do you want to send here?"
Ramsey rolled his eyes as understanding dawned. "Who's here?"
"Arran and Charon."
He cringed. "No' two I'd have paired after their time in Deirdre's mountain together."
"Arran says he's over it. I think it helps that he now knows Deirdre was forcing Charon to spy for her."
"Where are they?"
"Around. You willna see them unless there's trouble. I still think you're taking a huge risk doing this, Ramsey. Declan could recognize you."
Ramsey shook his head. "He was too preoccupied with Saffron and Camdyn as well as watching Malcolm turn against Deirdre to have noticed me during the battle at the Ring of Brodgar."
"If there's any trouble, take Tara, by force if needed, and get back to MacLeod Castle."
Ramsey gave a brief nod of assent. None of them knew just how powerful he was, and for the moment, that's exactly how Ramsey wanted it. There would be no running for him. He intended to kill Declan before the drough had a chance to get to Tara.
Ramsey was descended from a line of male Druids from the Torrachilty Forest who were fabled for their potent magic. They had been the warriors of the Druid world, the ones who had kept the droughs and mies from massacring each other. Add the power of Ramsey's god and he was a force to be reckoned with.
Excerpted from "Midnight's Warrior"
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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi *Beware of spoilers* For the last ten years Tara has lived a life on the run. She once lived with Declan until she overheard him talking about how he was using her and planning to force her to become drough. She snuck out on him and hasn’t quit running since and Declan hasn’t stopped searching for her either as he’s determined that he will reclaim what is his. Ramsey has a new assignment, to protect Tara from Declan. He has started working as a handy man at a Scottish castle where Tara works so he can keep an eye on her. Tara is unaware of Ramsey’s mission as he tries to get close to her so that she’ll trust him enough to go back to MacLeod castle with him. But when Ramsey fails to kill Declan, Tara doesn’t hesitate to go home with an injured Ramsey. They quickly grow close to one another and give in to the attraction they share. But Declan has not given up on recovering Tara and will use any means necessary to retrieve her. It’s obvious to all the residents at MacLeod castle that the only way to stop Declan is to kill him. I really wasn’t sure about a book about Ramsey as he was never a Warrior that held my interest. But I have to admit that I did really enjoy him in this installment. I loved seeing his protectiveness over Tara and the sacrifice that he’s willing to make for her. Tara was a middle of the road character to me. She wasn’t an awesome kick-ass heroine, but she wasn’t a complete wimp either; just somewhere in the middle. I thought this was a nice book even though I figured out the connection with Tara and Ramsey and the strange magical reaction they had to one another pretty early in the novel. Sometimes I do enjoy being proven right after all! I was also surprised that there was no mention of Saffron’s pregnancy, especially during Tara and Ramsey’s ‘protection’ talk. The big showdown at the end of the book contained a few tragic surprises that I wasn’t expecting, but that is sure to have an effect in the future books of the series. I’m just waiting to see how everything will play out. I’m also anxious for a book on Malcolm. I know the next book isn’t about him, but I’m really hoping one of the other scheduled books will be! This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
* * * In the fourth book of the Dark Warrior series, we return to the war between Warriors and droughs in modern time Scotland. Evil has once again sought to destroy the warriors and their Druids. Tara is a Druid who comes from a family full of droughs, a Druid who consents to serving the devil. After many attempts to turn her into a drough, Tara flees her family and into the clutches of the most dangerous drough of all. She escapes and has been running for ten years until she meets Ramsey. Now running isn’t so appealing to the most sought after Druid. A prophesy sends Ramsey to Tara. To prevent her from disappearing, he must keep his identity a secret. But Ramsey was use to hiding his identity. Being part warrior and Druid, he was a rarity in his world and he fears the strength of his magic. But more than his magic, he fears not being able to save Tara, the one woman who affects his magic and his heart. Donna Grant’s series is fantastic and Midnight’s Warrior does not disappoint! I am so hooked and I can’t wait to read future books. So sit back and get ready to read this incredibly well-written book in one sitting.
Now that Deidre is dead, the group is trying to focus on Declan. That takes Ramsey to find Tara. Saffron's vision lets them know that Declan is after her. So Ramsey is under cover trying to get close to her. There's this fascinating reaction to Ramsey when he touches Tara. Swirls of magic show on his skin and last for several minutes. He's not sure what to think about that. But her reaction to an unknown guest has him sure of her fear of Declan. I really enjoyed the interaction between these two. Ramsey tries to gain her trust. She tries to resist him for his own protection, which is funny because he's a warrior. But it was so entertaining watching them together. Ramsey had hidden the fact that he was a druid as well as a warrior from his friends for years but that came out in the last book. Now he's using his magic more. And he's a very powerful druid. But he seems to think he needs to take Declan out on his own. Of course they won't let him and it's a good thing. I was very glad with the conclusion of this book. It makes me wonder what's going to happen next. As always, this author does a good job with the characters I already love and an interesting story that surprised me. It's a great series that I will definitely continue to read.
This is such a great series. I've enjoyed everyone of the books. In the book Ramsey MacDonald a Warrior/Druid afraid to use his magic because of his God is sent to save Tara Kincaid. Tara a Druid who's afraid of her uncontrolled magic has been running for ten years from her family, her magic and Declan. The chemistry between these two is smokin hot and magical.
This was another great installment in this series, I love the way this story has progressed and taken turns I never would have expected! I couldn't put it down.
This book was not as good as the other books I kept putting it down and making myself go back to it. I did not understand why the people died that did.I had a hard time relating to Tara. I liked Ramsey but I felt like the magic was not here in this story. I have faith the next book will take care of my misgivings I love this series and look forward to reading the next book.
If you love IAD series, you will love this!
Good story line, but not enough of the story going to the relationship between the main characters. Lacking in some way I cannot define.