The riveting first novel in a brand new paranormal romance series by debut author Brian Feehan, son of legendary #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
The We walk among us—beings who existed long before humans ever did, filled with powerful magic. Owen and Alice are both Etherealist, rare humans born with magic and a target for those We that wish to take it from them. At nine years old and against her will, Alice's soul was tied to one such powerful and evil We. She escaped and was trained as a weapon so she might one day break the bond and safely return home. Everything is going to plan until she meets Owen.
Owen is a musician who is trying to outrun his past while keeping those around him safe in an increasingly dangerous world. Owen keeps them on the move until a band of Hunters makes their discovery inevitable. Owen must go home, a place he swore never to return, and seek protection from the We who could destroy them. And then he meets Alice. Only through finding each other do either Alice or Owen have a chance of survival.
“Hey, you! Hey you there! Give me the stamp. I need the stamp!”
Warning bells flitted through Owen’s mind as a long, skinny arm wearing a simple black and gold leather watch knocked down hard on top of the bar. The clasp to the watch faced up, veins and tendons in the wrist creating lines and valleys for his eyes to follow.
He is freaking out! The thought hit him and reverberated through Owen’s body like a siren going off. He is freaking out. Is this where it starts?
“I need the stamp? Wait! What are you? What the hell are you? You’re not one of the owners? I don’t care. I need protection. Where is the owner?” His voice was fast, and drove in like a ram’s horns, twisting Owen’s gut.
The stranger’s hand reversed from pressing flat and open into a tightened fist, demanding satisfaction. Owen looked from the fist to the stranger’s face.
A sea of humans enjoying the music, atmosphere, or simply wanting drinks framed the new customer. Air in motion stilled as Owen looked, examined, studied. Owen made mental notes of the creature speaking, in case he ever might have a need to find him again.
Five foot eight, on the thin side, black hair parted to the left, wrinkles around the eyes, oval face, nose slightly long, not overly bulbous. Asian American, most likely. Well dressed, in a gray suit, open-collar white shirt, expensive material. Appearance ruffled, sweat around the rim of his hair.
Blue underglow shading just beneath the right eye, as well as along the right jawline. A level two and very frightened.
One of the creatures before earth. One of the We who had celebrated with God, before their choice between going to war, or staying here… One of the We.
Frightened always means deadly when it comes to the We. He doesn’t know who I am. I have to give him something he can hold on to. Be the bartender.
“Hello, sir. Aurei is one of the owners and she just went to the back. She will be out in a moment, and she can help you with what you are looking for. My name is Owen. How about while you wait, I get you a drink, something cold? You look thirsty.”
A patron to the We’s left spoke up. “Hey, I have been waiting for like ten minutes, and this guy just walks in here and you’re going to help him? This is bull. I have girls waiting on me. I was next.”
“Quiet, you fool!” the level two commanded, striking out by infusing his voice with ethereal energy.
Owen watched the wave of words fan out, slamming hard into the patron who had spoken like a blow to the throat. Instantly the patron’s windpipe closed, but the choking didn’t make a sound. The wave of spoken power rippled past like a stone in a pond, silencing those gathered nearest as well.
The power shattered against Owen’s own protection. Like the itch, the protection was a byproduct of ethereal energy stored within, and Owen had more than most.
I hate level twos. They don’t know their ass from their elbow.
Owen’s right hand moved out to the side, with the message Hold. I have this. A clear sign for both Clover and Jessie, who were looking his way.
The release of power in the air was like a foghorn going off to anyone with ethereal power inside the building.
Using the white cooler, Owen stepped up and in one smooth motion leaped over the bar, one hand touching the thick, polished wood for balance as he slipped himself into the small gap that had formed.
The maneuver created reactions but Owen ignored them all, focusing on the thin We with the specs and the human patron who could no longer breathe.
Excerpted from Harmony of Fire by Brian Feehan Copyright © 2022 by Brian Feehan. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
|Photo credit to Michael Greene|