sacrifice by Heather McCollum

(about this author)

  • Raised by twelve demons and one dark wizard, Drustan MacDruce is cursed with the power to kill all living creatures with his touch. A soon-to-be Lord of the New World, Drustan lives in self-imposed isolation in the Highlands of Scotland. Urged by his demon family to rule the temporal web, his greatest wish is to change his past and remake his life.

    Anna Pemberlin, a no-nonsense Victorian-era doctor from London, is the only person immune to Drustan’s magic. Visiting the Highlands, Anna is sucked into in a world of magic, where a darkly sexy man is the only thing standing between her and a group of demons. When Drustan calls her his queen in his plans to take over the temporal world, Anna fights her fate and her attraction to him. She must convince Drustan that love is the only thing strong enough to break the curse of his past.


    The voice was English, cultured. That was new. He blinked against the rays of the descending sun radiating out from behind the woman, casting her in shadow with an aura of gold. He squinted and rose onto his elbows. She appeared as an angel. Any moment he expected to see her golden wings emerge, lifting her away from him. For an angel would never sink low enough to touch a devil like him.

    Instead, a gusty breeze tugged at a loose bun high up on her head. Wisps of tawny-brown hair curled around her jawline. It reminded him of strands of light caramel candy he’d once sampled.

    “Are you well?” the woman asked, and Drustan pushed up to sit. “You are flushed.” She reached forward and touched his forehead. Drustan yanked away from her hand, watching.

    She jumped. “Forgive me. Habit. I am a medical doctor,” she said, her words tinged with defensiveness.

    She had touched him, her palm against his skin. He’d felt it, the coolness of her hand. The firm pressure. And yet she stood there, straight and well instead of crumpled at the base of the stone slab.

    Impossible, unless this was just another dream after all. He exhaled long. Just a dream. It was better this way.

    “Can you speak?” she asked and pointed to her ear.

    He tried to reach into her mind with his power, but her mind was blank to him. Strange. Usually he had all his waking powers in dreams, except for the poison in his touch.

    Who are you? He thought and took her hand.

    “Let go,” she said and twisted it, her cheeks growing pink.

    “Who are you?” he said out loud.

    She startled at the sound of his voice. “Anna Pemberlin.”

    And now she even had a name. Could this be a premonition? He studied her, sketching the details in his memory. Long lashes around large green-tinged eyes that glanced about the circle as if looking for assistance. She was as beautiful as ever, and not sad in this dream. In fact, she looked outraged and strong. And very kissable.

    “You have something in your hair,” he said, eyeing the gold splashes amongst the warm brown. Still tethered to him, she swatted at her head with her other hand.

    “It’s not a bee. Come.” He pulled her closer with a quick tug and plucked her hair pin out. The bun uncoiled in a glorious cascade of waves that smelled of honeysuckle. He inhaled the fragrance, and his pulse continued to speed. This dream was so full of detail that it must be a premonition, and not one of death and destruction. A buoyancy filled him, giving him the courage to direct the dream.

    Drustan reeled her in, ignoring her gasp. He raked fingers through the fragrant tangle of hair to capture her head, guiding her mouth to his before she could breathe a word. He slanted against her lips, melting into the delicious details, cataloging each and every one. She tasted of mint, a new detail he would retain forever.

    He teased her mouth to open, but she didn’t yield. In fact, she was stiff as a day-old corpse. This was not at all like his usual dream kisses. He ran his hand down her back, pressing her to stand between his parted knees where he sat on the edge of the altar. His thighs clasped her hips through her dress, caging her.

    She shoved impotently against his chest and tried to speak. “Stop this—”


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