Book Blurb :
Sean never asked to be an O’Hara, and he didn’t ask to be cursed by one either.
After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man’s torture and death…every single night. And only one person can help.
Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn’t have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth…and not because Sean’s the first man he’s felt anything for in a long time.
The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean’s case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland’s violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.
Riveting! Spellbinding! OMG! I couldn’t look away; I didn’t want to look away, the words, the story, the plot—its holds you, keeping you glued to the pages. The way the story unravels with its many twists can be a bit confusing at times, but it’s still a great read! So good! I LOVED IT! But then, how could you not with it set back in Ireland?!
From the very first page I knew I was hooked! The prologue left me shuddering, wondering about who the man is that Sean is dreaming about, this man’s torture is so sad, so gruesome leading up to his death. Yet why does it feel like the man being tortured is actually Sean himself? Everything seems to revolve around a stone, which was given to him by his great-grandfather, saying he’s held onto it for years and Sean looks like a good enough person to hand it down to. But with this stone comes dreams, nightmares that are all too real.
Sean is on his last hope which leads him to Cormac. If Cormac is a druid, his first impression is more like as asshole! He barely gives Sean a chance to speak out, instead deciding to judge on appearances. It’s basically hate at first sight between them both. He tells Sean to head to Knockma’s, a popular tourist site for the Irish mystical wishers to gather around to see the Tuatha De Danann or more commonly known as a “sidhe mound.”
But once Sean gets there things seem to go very wrong. Sean uses the stone that was his great grandfathers, by looking through it at the “sidhe mound” and everything shifts. Almost like a hallucination, Sean finds himself under the eye of the Sidhe King of the mound, Finnbheara. He can’t tell if he’s awake or dreaming. Finnbheara tries to lure him in, wanting to trap Sean to remain his. It takes Cormac to recues him from the clutches of the Finnbheara.
It also leaves them in a tentative truce and with this truce sparks a friendship of understanding. They come to the conclusion that the man being tortured happened around 1920 in Ireland, by the Black and Tans. While searching in the local church, they check the histories of deaths recorded, finding a possible match to the nightmares: 3 deaths happening on the same date with one simply labeled “young man.” It has both Cormac and Sean wondering it this “young man” might be Sean from another life.
Cormac struggles with the connection of who this “young man” is and why the stone has ended up with Sean. The stone is cursed, most likely by this “young man”. Cormac has secrets of his own, though, that have been hunting him for nearly 10 years—when his ex, Michael, disappeared. While they continue to work together, a heat flares up between them. It’s like a burning need they are both trying to ignore, but the more they ignore it the strong the flame becomes. Sean, however, seems more confused by these feelings as he’s spent most of his life turning away from them, instead choosing girls as they are the “safer” choice. However, he can’t seem to deny that there is something developing between them.
There quest takes them to a B&B ( Bed and Breakfast Inn) where an old woman sneaks into their room late at night while they sleep and shakes a branch over them, sending them off through the Western Sea and possibly to Tír na nÓg, the Otherworlds. This journey has many obstacles and many dangers, d0angers that come close to keeping them trapped forever in the Otherworlds, lost within their own dreams, past, desires, and possibilities.
Sean and Cormac are such strong, well-defined characters. Their chemistry isn’t instant but rather grows and blooms through the struggles they face. Cormac’s feelings seem to just grow stronger after each glimpse of Sean’s personality shines through. Sean is a little more confused and unsure, until his feelings, too, just boil over and he’s left with no choice but to grab Cormac and hold on! When they come together there is a feeling of almost coming home, like everything is right. It’s beautiful!
A train station hides the secrets of the stone and with its knowledge the root of the nightmares make themselves known—oh god … I’m left speechless. Of course it all makes sense now, but I didn’t see it coming. The suspense only thickens from here, dangerously cantering over the edge. Cormac now believes he is the reason, the cause for all this strife; even the elusive disappearance of his ex Michael, who somehow holds the very connection to the stone, and the appearance of Sean showing up at his doorstep.
That stone, so much trouble over a rock—though it may be sacred, it still needlessly holds the focus of hellish nightmares of Michael’s death—the very dreams Sean has over and over again, each night. It’s also the reason for Cormac and Sean’s entrapment at the train station—the Fir Bolg holding them. The Sidhe King of the Fir Bolg, Streng, denys their escape and swallows them in memories of sorrow and heartbreak that thrust them back a thousand years. The Sidhe King Streng is evil incarnate. He finds utter joy in the misery of pain and torture. Streng gleefully rains a horror of memories down on Sean at every turn.
This is where things really start to get a little confusing. I feel like I’ve gone from one book to another. The first half of The Druid Stone had the slow building chemistry between Cormac and Sean, with some mythological druidry. Once they are in the Otherworld, things change dramatically. We meet Aoibheann, she is new, yet very important character. With the big jump between present time to a thousand years into the past, it took me a while to gather everything that was happening and process it.
Unhappily, they are forced to ask Sidhe King Finnbheara for help in making it back home a thousand years into the future. The help is not without a price. Finnbheara wants to have Sean again, so he sends Cormac back home but then in hopes of seducing Sean into staying with him, Finnbheara strikes a deal with Sean, giving 3 chances to entice Sean into remaining within his realm. It is torture to see how underhanded Finnbheara is in trying to convince Sean into staying. In the end, it’s Aoibheann, a young girl they met while in the Otherworld, that saves Sean with a sacrifice of her own.
It’s doesn’t stop there, though. Michael is still lost and Sean seems determined he can be saved. So yet again it’s back into the Otherworld, this time they are to outsmart the Sidhe King Streng to get Michael back safely.
While I did like the ending, it was the one part of the story that was very predictable for me. I saw it coming and therefore it wasn’t a surprise, which I would have enjoyed more. It’s remarkablly hard to follow at times, but if you stick with it you are treated to a wondrous and breathtaking romantic story with a beautifully defined plot. I loved the mythology of the sidhe lore as the author was quite knowledgeable on the subject. This book was beautifully written and engaging. It’s a history lesson on Ireland about druids, lore, and mythology and how they could or did play into actual events. And, of course, it comes with a happy ending, so what more could you ask for?!
I give it 4 couples. Definitely recommended!
Pubisher : Carina Pres
Source : Netgalley
Released : Aug 6 2012
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