Title: Shadow’s Dream – Kyn Kronicles Book 5
Author: Jami Gray
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Tala can't forget the past. Cheveyo can't change it. As the dreams they shared linger, can they escape the encroaching nightmare before it's too late?
Bitter betrayals and hidden truths forge shattered dreams…
Cheveyo, the most powerful Magi in the Northwest Kyn, lives with one regret—walking away from Tala Whiteriver. When he is sent to broker an alliance with the Southwest Kyn, he recognizes his chance to rectify his mistake, but soon realizes the challenge may be more difficult than expected.
As the youngest Kyn to lead a house, Tala’s a force to be reckoned with, but her role came at a steep price. When an unprovoked attack by the Southwest alpha threatens her position and forces her to face judgment, she finds an unexpected ally in the man who once claimed her heart.
A series of deadly events unfold with Tala firmly trapped in the center as tensions rise among the Southwest houses. Before she and Cheveyo can quell the approaching storm, they must untangle a treacherous plot and expose the architects of a devil’s bargain designed to fracture the Kyn.
Will Cheveyo and Tala move beyond the confines of their positions and trust their hearts to forge new dreams before the impending nightmare sweeps them apart forever?
“Then explain to me what is,” Chay demanded.
“I can’t,” Cheveyo snapped.
Chay canted his head as a shrewd light flared in his eyes. “Can’t or won’t?”
Holding his gaze, Cheveyo bit out, “Won’t.”
“It’s personal.” Cheveyo wouldn’t give him more than that. Couldn’t, actually, because his other, deeper, reasons were locked down tight. If everyone would stop picking at him and his decisions, he wouldn’t have to waste time repeating himself.
Chay continued to study him, his face carefully blank, his thoughts hidden deep. “Can you do this?”
It was a question few would dare to ask Cheveyo, because questioning a Kyn leader could be detrimental to your health. As Chay was one of the privileged few, Cheveyo answered, “Yes.”
A few more seconds ticked by before the tension in the SUV faded and Chay’s arms dropped as he shifted in his seat. “Fine, then I’ll wait right here while you explain your impromptu visit.”
Grateful for the reprieve, Cheveyo followed his lead. “Scared, Chay?”
“Of accusing the Southwest Magi Head of not being able to keep her house in order?” Chay’s lips twitched. “Merely exercising caution.”
A small humorous huff escaped as Cheveyo shook his head. “Wise man.”
He reached for his door and shoved it open before stepping out into the late afternoon sun. He stood next to the SUV, his gaze scanning their surroundings. The light drifted through the ponderosa pine painting the ground with dappled patterns. A breeze carrying the promise of rain tried to push back the blanketing heat as Arizona’s monsoon season sought refuge in Flagstaff’s higher elevations.
He shut his door and rounded the rental SUV, noting the sense of stillness hovering over the cabin. He stopped by the hood, at tradition dictated, waiting for the typical greeting—the rush of canine welcome followed by the occupant’s appearance. When neither happened, unease crept in. Something was off. He took a moment to determine what was wrong. Turning back, he caught Chay’s attention through the windshield.
The thump of the passenger door rippled through the yard, then Chay stopped at his side. “Want me to knock?”
“Might as well, her truck’s here.” But Cheveyo wasn’t sure it would do any good. No one was here. Not Tala Whiteriver or her furry shadow, Ash. The quiet was too deep, too still. Chay jogged up the steps to the door and knocked.
As the seconds ticked by with no response, Cheveyo’s waning patience and growing disquiet turned brittle. This wasn’t right.
Heeding instincts honed by decades of experience, he tapped into the magic that made him Kyn, thinning the protective barrier until the world shifted and took on a sharper, clearer edge.
The cabin was no longer still, but surrounded by a luminescent glow, the telltale sign of a complex ward. Not unexpected considering Tala’s strength. Thankfully, there were no signs of intrusion or violence. Some of the tightness in his chest loosened.
Since he had no desire to clash with her protections, he called Chay back. “She can’t be far, let’s take a walk around.” Because standing here and waiting wasn’t working for him.
Chay came back down the front steps, a frown marring his lean face. “You feeling it too?”
“Yeah, problem is, I can’t pinpoint what’s behind it.” Cheveyo waited until Chay stood at his side and kept his voice low, “You getting anything?”
When Chay shook his head, Cheveyo couldn’t hide his grimace and silently cursed. If whatever triggered his internal alarms could elude two highly powerful witches, this already complicated situation was quickly graduating to completely screwed. Or maybe it’s just an excuse not to face her. He ignored the snide voice, acknowledging that not even a year had passed since his last trauma-inducing visit. Not nearly enough time to forget what once hunted here. Or the havoc it left behind.
Together, he and Chay walked around Tala’s cabin, all senses on alert. As they came to the wrap-around deck at the back, faint canine barks drifted to them. Not the friendly variety, but the deeper, warning sounds of trouble.
Exchanging a look, they took off, weaving through the trees and running through the surrounding forest. Despite the rush of air through his lungs and the heavy beat of his pulse, Cheveyo couldn’t miss the sharp yips interspersed with deep growls growing in frequency and volume as they drew closer.
When a sharp feminine cry rent the air, Cheveyo’s heart stopped for a breathless moment in recognition. Tala! Having no idea what waited ahead, he locked her name behind his teeth and dug for more speed. A whisper of the earth’s natural magic swept over him, lending speed to his passage as if Mother Nature shared his sense of urgency. At his side, Chay kept pace.
There was another deep, evil sounding growl quickly answered by a different, aggressive snarl. The warning yips changed to threatening rumbles, and Cheveyo gathered his magic close. There was a pained yelp followed by a short scream full of frustrated rage, the echoes of both leaving Cheveyo swearing under his breath. Every hair on his skin stood on end as the unmistakable energy of magic rode like lightening through the air as a powerful spell was cast.
“Shit.” The muttered oath came from Chay even as the sunlight flashed off the blade in his hand as he leapt over a fallen log.
Cheveyo didn’t bother agreeing, too worried about what they were running toward. Abruptly, they broke through the tree line and rushed into a small clearing. Cheveyo rocked to a stop, horror rushing through him. In front of him, a damning scene unfolded, shifting the situation from challenging to perilous.
Tala Whiteriver, the leader of the Southwest Magi, was crouched over a wolf, her fist wrapped around the hilt of a knife sunk deep into the furred chest of Tomás Chavez, the alpha and leader of the Southwest Shifters.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KLYZ6RQ/
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07KLYZ6RQ/
Share a holiday family tradition:
Christmas was the biggest holiday in my family. Coming from a rather large family (think double digits), Christmas morning went on for hours, so one of our traditions was to open a present on Christmas Eve after enjoying a lovely meal of pizza. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but when eating out was the exception to the rule, we really, really enjoyed diving into those grease smeared boxes. Even more fun, was the picking and choosing of which present to open on that day. Me, I always went for the mystery gift because the curiosity drove me nuts.
Why is your featured book perfect to get readers in the holiday mood:
While Cheveyo and Tala both are power players in the Kyn world, their love story is one of redemption and forgiving yourself for being *clears throat* human. It doesn’t matter how much power you wield, what runs in your veins, or who you are, we all want to be accepted (warts and all) by those who hold us dear. One of the best gifts we can give to each other, especially after a year like this one, is compassion, acceptance, and love. Something both Cheveyo and Tala must recognize so they can help each other to their happy ever after.
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