Raquel Lindgren knows what her future holds. An arranged marriage. A new home in Ragnarok, Iowa, with another clan of refugees from Asgard. She should be happy. But there's a mental block preventing her from tapping in to her true abilities as a witch. And she's more attracted to the best man than she is to the groom
Fen can't believe he's falling for his best friend's future wife. As a hound, a wolf shifter, his duty lies with the pack. He's seen too many hounds destroyed by love, and he's sworn never to take a mate, never to have children of his own. He can't deny his desire for Raquel, but she deserves more than he can offer her.
Raquel's been raised to trust in magic, her clan and her destiny. But when a vengeful demon threatens to break out of Asgard and destroy the clan, Raquel learns she must trust in love if she is to take the future into her own hands.
For more tales of modern-day Vikings, check out Demon Crossings.
Read an Excerpt
Standing in the backyard of her childhood home with her family gathered around her, Raquel tried to ignore the doubts swirling inside her head. Relief, excitement, hope and fear all blending into a toxic concoction that made her stomach churn and her palms sweat. This is the reason the elders consider it taboo for the partners in a contracted marriage to meet prematurely.
No time to plot an escape.
Her father, the clan Odin, rested a hand upon her shoulder as Kathy, their witch, made her final preparations to open the portal. Raquel shoved her bare hands into the pockets of her wool coat as the first caress of magic brushed against her senses. It started out as a light sensation like fine mist, but soon surrounded them, saturating the air.
The tide passing through the nearby ley lines still ran high from the new moon, making it dangerous to open the portal directly above the fault. Too easy to swamp the wards. Even here, several miles away, Kathy's slender body trembled as she struggled to contain all that wild energy.
Kathy stretched out her arms, drawing power into herself, forcing it down into the earth to serve as an anchor. The mountains here were old and very strong. Raquel could feel the exact moment they latched onto the power to pull it deeper. Kathy extended her right hand in front of her, fingers splayed as she drew the next thread, braiding it through the anchor and then forcing it out, piercing the fabric of space and reaching toward the witch on the other side.
Within seconds, that small tear expanded from the size of a quarter to the size of a bowling ball. Not much to look at reallya shimmer in the air, a distortion that warped light so subtly it couldn't be detected unless viewed from exactly the right angle. On an overcast day like this, it was even more difficult to see. Visible or not, any Æsir would know it was there. The unmistakable charge to the air, a vibration, lower than the human ear could detect, that bypassed consciousness and spoke directly to the part of the brain that governed instinct. For a witch like Raquel, the effect was stronger, calling to her like a siren's song, making her skin feel hot, itchy and tight.
Her father squeezed her shoulder. He wasn't a particularly demonstrative man, and the reflexive movement caused her eyes to prick with tears. Clearing his throat, he bent his head. "Raquel?" She tore her gaze from the nearly stable portal to look into his concerned eyes. "He's a fine man. It's a good match. You've nothing to worry about."
Trust in family, in the clan magic, in the gods. She'd built her life upon those tenets. And she'd been looking forward to this moment for years. These were just...last-minute jitters.
"I'm ready for you," Kathy called over her shoulder.
"Hurry up, sweetheart." Her mother bounced on the balls of her feet. "She can't hold it forever."
Her father lifted her off the ground, squeezing the breath from her lungs in a bear hug before dropping her back to her feet. "Two weeks and I'll be there. Call if you need me sooner." His big hand on her back steadied her as he turned her to face the portal. "Good crossing, then."
Right. Get this over and done with and on with the rest of her life. Her throat constricted, but she forced herself to take the first step and then another. The closer she got, the steadier the pressure against her mind.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the second book in Eleri Stone’s Twilight of the Gods Series and for me, was a fresh look at paranormal and I truly enjoyed it! Nervous and excited, Raquel Lindgren steps through a portal to meet the man she is betrothed to and to meet the new clan she will eventually be the head witch for. Only there’s a few problems….one major one being she hasn’t exactly come into her full powers yet. The powers are there, just simmering beyond the surface and she needs to figure out how to reach into herself and grasp them. Of course, this has to happen at the same time as demons have been attacking through the portal between the worlds she is supposed to help strengthen. Another problem? Her sudden and intense attraction to Fen, the best man and best friend of the groom. What’s a young witch to do when the weight of the clan is on her shoulders and she has a terrible suspicion that she is marrying the wrong man? For the last 28 years, Fen has come to grips with his decision to remain and unbounded hound…sadly, that means he will forever remain a virgin. You see, once a hound has sex, he’s bonded to that person forever. The down side to that? Something he’s seen time and time again. The partner the hound bonds to decided she no longer wants to be a part of it. Fen has decided that ignoring his desires will always be easier than having a mate who changes her mind….he’d been ok with that…yep, until he laid his eyes on Raquel. He knows there’s no way he can ignore what he feels for her…too bad she’s going to marry his best friend. Raquel and Fen not only have to deal with their feelings toward each other, they have to deal with attacks from demons from another realm, Raquel’s issue with her powers, battles, injuries and turmoil within the clan. Will it prove to be too much? This was a fantastic story. I loved the Norse mythology spin on paranormal and thought it was a fresh take on things. I truly appreciated reading legends that are something new and different! Raquel is a great heroine. She realizes her faults and is willing to do what it takes to fix them and become the woman and witch the people need, even if it means putting her own comfort and security aside. She knows to trust her instincts and is strong and loyal. Very admirable qualities. Fen is one of those deliciously dark and distant heroes that had me pining for him from the beginning. What Eleri did with the triangle between Raquel, Fen and Christian (the man she is supposed to marry) was nail-biting perfection. I felt for both Christian and Fen and for quite some time, couldn’t decide who I wanted Raquel to choose. That, to me, is the sign of great writing. Getting the reader to feel for all sides is a talent. Ultimately, I was Team Fen and was drooling over him! Of course, I won’t spoil it for you but I will say the last chapter was freaking AMAZING! A deliciously perfect ending! I’m sure we will get to see more of Fen, Raquel, Christian and the whole clan because Eleri has hinted at more drama to come for the clan and our favorite members. Thank you, Ms. Stone, for a fresh and exciting read! I will be looking forward for more in the Twilight of the Gods Series!