A mercenary who skirts light and dark must protect a reclusive Seelie noblewoman, but when they discover a common link, they must surrender...
Niamh McNamara has always been a little different from the rest of the Seelie Court. Their natural mirth and playfulness is something she has to force, so she won’t stand out much during the midsummer’s festivities. That becomes nearly impossible when an attempt is made on her life by a violent masked fae. Content with seclusion, she’s unhappy when the queen requests her back at court to meet her new bodyguard.
Doyle Kearney is mercenary who skirts the light and dark courts. Some think he’s Unseelie, while others are sure he’s Seelie. When Queen Titania brings him to protect a sullen noble, he almost refuses—he’s a warrior, not a bodyguard—until he sees Niamh. His body reacts to the golden goddess, but he can’t forget how his noble parents had easily tossed him aside to protect their titles. He questions if she’ll do the same if he surrenders his heart.
Summer’s warm magic glittered in the night air. Nature drank deep of it and flourished with life and growth. The delightful party playing out around Niamh McNamara didn’t interest her one bit. As a member of the light court, she should’ve enjoyed the merry festivities that Midsummer’s Eve brought on, but her sour mood wouldn’t let go of her. Then again, she’d never been like the rest of her people.
Darkness constantly ached within her chest beneath her golden appearance. Before she’d been able to ignore it, but now it wasn’t so easy, especially after overhearing whispers about her from the other members of court. Hiding away had helped, but she couldn’t always stay hidden.READ MORE
Queen Titania had requested her presence back at court for a while, and when the queen asked, one didn’t say no. The queen held a special interest in seeing Niamh, as a female noble, commit to a worthy relationship. At Niamh’s age, she should’ve at least had one potential suitor, yet she did her best to avoid them and had been fairly successful.
Niamh took another sip from her goblet. The faeries around her sang, laughed and danced, yet she could barely gather the enthusiasm to smile. How cruel life was that she had to watch their happiness while she didn’t share their feelings.
There were men who seemed determined to court her. The more she dissuaded them, the more eagerly they flocked to her. A familiar male elf took her elbow to sweep her off to dance, but she brushed off his hand. "Sorry, I’m not interested in dancing at the moment."
Another reason why she preferred to stay away from court these days. She hated presumptuousness and what tended to happen next.
His face fell, and confusion creased his brow. The lady next to Niamh gawked at her like she was crazy before grabbing the male’s hand and waltzing away with him. The lady leaned close to him and whispered something, causing them to both break out into laughter.
Niamh bristled. She didn’t want to feel like an outsider amongst her own people.
A happy, albeit drunken, pixie flew by her, nearly colliding with her shoulder. The tiny being apologised in a high-pitched tinkling voice, then it was gone, darting away to join a group of pixies near the mead.
Most of the pixies there had already drunk their share. Their amorous personalities, combined with the summer’s fertility magic, heated the group until their moans of pleasure chimed through the warm breeze. Others nearby reacted to the intimacy, their clothes slipping off in their fervour.
Yet another sign of how nature’s power innately affected the Seelie.
The group she stood with were still chatting merrily amongst themselves, though their attention was beginning to drift to the playful fledgling orgy.
Niamh slipped away into the forest, making sure no one saw her. She needed a break from the laughter and shallow niceties. Her face ached from the plastic smile she wore for the party. Once safely out of view, she leaned against a tree and let out a ragged breath. Her fake smile fell, and she stared into the sky between the leaves. If only she were home, away from the misery of joy she had to force. Warmth and happiness permeated the air around her, but a part buried within her retracted from those emotions, shying away from the silky caress. Most of the time, she wondered if she had something wrong with her. Darkness held solace for her while light made her aware of what she lacked.
The snap of a branch startled her, and she peeked around the tree. No one was there. Thoughts about her inner darkness dissipated. Her shoulders tensed, and she strained her ears to hear more signs of movement. Another twig snapped behind her, and she nearly jumped out of her skin.
Before her stood a man in an elaborately decorated mask, which covered most of his face. A dark hood and cape cloaked the rest of him, making it impossible to distinguish any of his features. He was most definitely fae like her—he had that kind of aura. He must’ve hidden his wings beneath his grand cape.
She looked him over with a frown. Why was he here, away from the party? Especially dressed as he was? I left the party behind to rest, not to give someone the opportunity to make my acquaintance in private. She sighed but forced herself to smile.
A scream caught her attention from the party, turning her towards the sound, but the laughter that followed reassured her that everything was still safe.
The foreboding man spun her to face him. He clasped his hands around her throat, and slammed her folded wings back against the tree. Her head bounced against the hard oak. She clawed at his glove-covered hands, trying to get him off her, trying to draw air into her lungs.
He smashed her against the tree again, but his grip slipped slightly.
"What do you want?" she squeaked, gulping in air.
"You. That’s what I wanted."
She’d never heard this man’s voice before. How could he want her while she couldn’t figure out who he was? He must’ve used glamour so she wouldn’t recognise him.COLLAPSE
Sarah Mäkelä brings a twist to this characteristic tale by creating a fey-filled story world in this well-written novella. If you love fairies and steamy sex then you’ll enjoy Surrendered.
When a mercenary whose purpose is to dispose of wicked Unseelie fae meets a dark elf, she’ll question her mission and become captivated...
After her family was killed by a dark elf, mercenary Honora Butler’s purpose is the disposal of wicked faeries, elves and other Unseelie beings, but she’ll find herself questioning her mission when she meets Brennan, a dark elf who doesn’t conform to what she believed his kind were like.
Brennan O’Niall doesn’t know what it is about Honora that makes him crave her, but he wants to find out. However, when she’s charged with the murder of a friend, he’ll have to discover the truth and decide just how much she means to him.
Gritting her teeth, Honora Butler sneaked farther into the dark, snowy forest. Danger lurked within the shadows, and she would kill or be killed. Death didn’t intimidate her anymore. She knew it too well.
Everyone she’d loved had been taken from her. The only thing she cared about now was destroying those who had ruined her life.
Snow crunched beneath the soles of her knee-high leather boots. The risks of killing those monsters were great, but she didn’t care. When she was young, the Mercenary Guild had taken her in. They’d seen her abilities and her determination. They’d trained her, given her a chance when she’d wanted only to die, and now she did what she bloody well could to make sure the dark beings of the Unseelie Court hurt no one else.READ MORE
A horrified scream erupted ahead, beckoning her deeper into the forest. It had to have been caused by her prey. Picking up her pace, she pulled a throwing knife from its sheath. Her magic surged into the blade, filling it with power and making the metal white-hot.
The trees broke into a clearing. The cause of the cries stood in the dirt road. A woman cowered on the ground while a short, stocky man dressed in blood red with a matching hat sneered at her. He looked to be having far too good a time.
“I have a husband and kids. Please, don’t hurt me,” the woman whimpered. “My masterhe’ll—”
The Fear Dearg snorted and crossed his arms in front of him. Stroking his bushy beard, he stared down his crooked nose at the terrified woman as if pondering what to do first.
Honora doubted the woman was in immediate danger. The Red Man mostly engaged in cruel pranks on those he sought, but that wouldn’t stop her from killing him. Her mission in life was to rid the world of malevolence. No matter what.
She slid from the trees, taking one quiet step after another. “Na dean maggadh fum,” she said. Those words, ‘Do not mock me’, were the best chance she had to take him down without a problem.
The Fear Dearg jerked his gaze to Honora. His lips curled back into a snarl at the interruption. “So be it. Now go on. Get out of here. Can’t you see I’m busy?” He stared at her blankly, waiting. “What? You want my favor and prosperity? One of those bold adventurers? Wait for your turn.”
Just like that, he returned his focus to the woman, grabbing for her dress.
With a snap of her wrist, Honora sent the throwing knife sailing through the air. A wash of blood arced in a thick spray as the Fear Dearg collapsed, the knife lodged between his eyes.
Shrieking, the woman scurried backwards from the corpse. Her eyes were wide and horrified at the sight of the dead faerie. “What have you done?” she asked, glancing Honora’s way. Shaking her head, she reached for her large basket with foodstuffs that lay on its side. Most of the food had fallen out, but the woman didn’t bother gathering it. She just took the basket, then ran off down the dirt road.
What had that been about?
Honora watched the woman until she disappeared around the curve of the path. She walked over to the dead Red Man, then tugged her blade out of his skull. It came away easily, blood dripping off it in great crimson drops. She wiped it clean on his jacket before tucking the knife back in its sheath.
Her stomach rumbled. On the ground was an unsoiled loaf of bread from the woman’s fallen food. She stripped off her bloody gloves and crouched. After brushing off a few leaves, she tore a piece from it and lifted it to her lips.
In the distance, she heard a faint noise like that of a large flock of birds beating their wings. That couldn’t be right. Birds weren’t typically active at night there. Yet the sound grew louder.
The sudden realization of what it was punched her in the gut. She dropped the bread and raced after the woman. Honora needed to find the safety of shelter. She couldn’t be out here when the Sluagh—restless spirits of the dead—flew over. What they did was worse than death. They captured their victims’ souls.
Behind her, the cries became impossibly louder. She didn’t have much time at all. She had yet to spot any homes or places to hide and knew if she were spotted, she would be connected with the murder of the Fear Dearg. They’d hunt her down. She wouldn’t be safe unless she found somewhere soon.COLLAPSE
Holly Polk on Full Moon Bites wrote:
Makela drew me in on page one and held me, completely enthralled until the very last page. I was totally captivated from beginning to end. The story is original, exciting, thrilling, romantic, sweet, arousing and sensual. Oh, and did I say hot?
Julie on Coffee & A Book Anytime wrote:
REVIEWER FAVORITE: Filled with some action, magic, Fae of the Unseelie Court, a Mercenary Guild and some hot sex scenes between our two main characters Captivated draws you into a world of magic that leaves you wanting more!
Who doesn’t like a story that has a strong heroine, a dangerously sexy hero, a duel, and best of all – a lot of really hot sex!