Undertow

SoulShares #7

by Rory Ni Coileain

Rhoann Callte, Rhoann Half-Royal, is an impossible Fae. Shape-shifter, he carries the blood of Fae water elementals and has a once-in-a-generation healing gift. Which is his blessing, or his curse, depending on how you look at it – his gift is needed among the exiled Fae of the Demesne of Purgatory, and he’s coerced from his beloved solitude and sent on a one-way trip to the human world.

Vietnam veteran Mac McAllan has been through hell in the last few months, and not just because his new C-leg isn’t performing up to spec. He and his partner of 34 years, stocky bald muscle bear Lucien de Winter, were working at Purgatory when what the owner said was a gas explosion collapsed the building – and put Lucien into a coma back in August. Now it’s October, and an impossibly handsome stranger says he can heal Lucien. But there’s always a price…

A Fae who wants only to be left alone, SoulShared with a human who’s already found the love of his life… and the Marfach testing their incomplete bond, seeking the key to its watery prison. What could go wrong?

Excerpt:

 

Rhoann’s face felt tight, so fierce was his blush. There was no reason for his fascination with Mac to be mutual. Had he really expected the human to be as besotted as he was?

‘Besotted’. Not a Faen word. Because he was not describing anything he could imagine a Fae doing, or being. Fixated, yes, Fae were capable of fixation, obsession. When a Fae wanted something, the sky and the earth would end and fall before he, or she, gave up.

What Rhoann was feeling, what he wanted, was something else entirely. He remembered hearing Mac weep. He never wanted to hear that sound again. He wanted to see a smile on the human’s serious, thoughtful face. Hear his laughter. Perhaps even feel his body shudder with pleasure, delight, release. That, at least, was a Fae thing – to want to give and receive pleasure. Even if he had never inhabited that aspect of Fae nature before, it was a desire he understood.

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Most of what he felt, though, was another thing entirely. He, a Fae, wanted a human’s happiness.

He wasn’t sure he liked being besotted. He had never known anything like it before, never imagined it, or even considered imagining it. The human word carried overtones of futility, throwing away everything he had ever known and been, for the sake of chasing an unattainable star.

Yet... he had already left everything behind. Was there any harm in reaching for a jewel in the night sky, while he found his place in this new world?

But if I touch that star, I can never be alone again...

Confusion this intense was, quite possibly, worse than being besotted.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Becky Condit on Happy Ever After/USA Today wrote:

Undertow by Rory Ni Coileain. No. 7 in the Soulshares series. Although you might think the well of unique stories might be running a little low by now, let me assure you it is not! For the first time in this series we have a relationship among three men. Rhoann is a new kind of fae, not seen in the previous books, and it is a treat to learn more about him as he is sent to the human world to fix something only a fae can. Mac is a Vietnam veteran whose partner of 34 years, Lucien, was badly injured in an explosion. Lucien has been in a coma for over two months when Rhoann arrives and tells Mac he can cure Lucien. But how? Lucien already has a partner who loves him very much. The sex is hot, the twists in the plot are shattering and exciting to follow, the characters are wonderful, and it is so easy to fall in love with them. You can jump in with this book, but you would enjoy it more if you read the previous books in the series. At least read No. 1, Hard as Stone, to get the world building and No. 6, Mantled in Mist, to get Mac and Lucien’s backstory. Great book, excellent series, fun to read.


About the Author

Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.

Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son and budding film-maker, and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.


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