Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends—she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.
In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.
Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.
An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?
Elfin elders used complicated methods to arrange ideal marriages between young elves. The secret of this formula had a need-to-know basis; meaning, he would never know how the auburn-haired beauty was chosen for him. There were many creatures in this world, but his kind held their secrets close to their chest. But it didn’t matter how or why; Rourk was grateful simply to have her.
There were certain rules his kind had to follow. One’s lifemate may have been chosen at birth, but the first and most important rule was that they could not meet until they both turned 18. Ordinarily, neither knew their other half until they became of age. Their society believed it was better this way, as the bond could be all-consuming. They didn't want their children to be deprived of a normal childhood.Growing up knowing that one’s other half was out there waiting brought a sense of comfort to Rourk.
So how did he find her?
Someone had told her his name. His chosen pulled him closer to her each time she thought of him. It was as involuntary as breathing. When he was younger he could resist with ease. As he got closer to being of age, curiosity got the better of him. Sometimes he wished he’d resisted so he didn’t have to endure the agony of waiting now.
Although, he loved seeing her even if it caused him pain.
Rourk focused his attention back on his chosen. She was standing on the rocks as the water rushed around her feet—camera in hand, as usual. One minute, she skipped across the rocks like a child, and the next she would stop, a look of total concentration taking over her face. That was when she started snapping photos.
Staring at her, Rourk squatted and rested his hands on his knees, wondering what she saw through her lens. He watched as she jumped from a rock and slipped as she landed on another, her arms flailing as she almost fell into the water.
His heart lurched. A strong need to protect her filled his body, and if her laugh hadn’t echoed up to him like music, he was poised to jump in after her. But instead, her face broke into a huge grin as she steadied herself and continued to take photos. Rourk relaxed, content to stand and watch her for hours.
Rourk didn’t even know her name, but he knew he’d never seen anything so magnificent in his life. Her wavy hair glistened in the sunlight. She had a delicate, round face with large, blue-green eyes and full lips. With her cheeks flushed from the cold fall air, she reminded him of a porcelain doll. He knew all too well, though, that looks could be deceiving. She looked sweet and innocent, but it was her eyes that gave her away. They were bold and daring, constantly observing her surroundings. Rourk smiled to himself; she would soon belong to him.
It took a lot of self-control not to approach her, but Rourk knew that would be breaking the rules. The elders were serious about chosens meeting at the proper age. Many decades before, they implemented a punishment of an added year apart if the rules were disregarded.
An extra year without his chosen would have been soul destroying. In any case, his military upbringing had given Rourk a healthy respect for rules. He had long ago accepted that they were in place for a reason, and he had to be patient. Their time would come. Unfortunately, she was over a year younger than he, which meant he would have to wait longer than he would like.
He pondered this as he watched her pack up, lovingly storing her camera away in its bag while her hair fell softly over her face. When she disappeared down the path to her house, Rourk sighed, turned and left.
Julia Crane is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction novels: Keegan's Chronicles, Mesmerized and Eternal Youth. Julia was greatly encouraged by her mother to read and use her imagination, and she’s believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Julia has traveled far and wide to all the places her grandmother told her about and more, gaining inspiration from her journeys to places like Nepal, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Italy, France and many more. And who knows? Maybe the magical creatures she writes about are people she met along the way.
Julia Crane has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Although she's spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.
Until the next time,