Sometimes Fae love stories aren’t what you expect.
The Marfach—devourer of magick, long-imprisoned mortal enemy of the Fae race—is free of its Antarctic prison.
The Demesne of Purgatory—Fae, humans, a Fade-hound puppy, a Gille Dubh, and a darag—is all that stands between the monster and the power it needs to destroy both the Fae Realm and the human world.
The only clue they have as to how to kill the unkillable is a cryptic note from the Loremasters: “Osclór, Nartú; Tobar, Soladán; Nidantór, Breathea; Glanadorh, Coromór, Farthor; Scian-omprór, Nachangalte; Crangaol, Síofra; Gastiór, Laoc, Caomhnór; Fánadh, Ngarradh.”
Opener, Strength; Wellspring, Channel; Unmaker, Judge; Cleanser, Equalizer, Sentry; Blade-bearer, Unbound; Tree-kin, Changeling; Binder, Warrior, Guardian; Wanderer, Sundered.
As they rebuild Purgatory from the rubble the Marfach left behind, they have to stand together, using everything they know—everything they are to their partners, lovers, husbands. Everything SoulSharing has made them.
And not everyone who enters the final battle will leave it.
About the Series:
What if you could only be whole by finding and loving the human with the other half of your soul? The SoulShares are the sword of two worlds… and love is the shield of the SoulShares.
Follow this merry band of Fae, humans, a tree spirit, and a flatulent Fade-hound puppy that makes up the Demesne of Purgatory as they seek magick and love. Celtic lore (with a twist), hot guys, terrible danger, and heart-wrenching love stories will drag your body and soul into SoulShares.
What was beautiful, in Lucien’s opinion, was the light in his Fae husband’s eyes as he studied the huge tank built into one wall of what was going to be the new Purgatory dance floor. Other clubs had cages for dancers; one the three of them had found in New York had glass-walled shower stalls. Purgatory was going to have the biggest maudite fish tank anyone had ever seen.
Complete with naked mermen. One of whom—because le bon Dieu apparently had a perverse sense of humor—was going to be Lucien de Winter.
Arms went around Lucien from behind, and a chin rested on his shoulder; Lucien didn’t need to turn, or even to look down and see the “Semper Fi” tattooed on one forearm to recognize Mac. “Ready to take the plunge, Fuzzball?”
Lucien grunted. “I hope the filters in this thing are up to spec. You know how I shed.”
A flash of white reflected in the glass of the tank was Rhoann’s grin. “Perhaps we should put a tail on you.”
“If the tail didn’t have hair, no one would believe it was mine.” Lucien couldn’t stay grumpy, though, not when Rhoann teased him. “But I think the two of you, not to mention our boss, are out of your minds if you think our guests are going to be turned on watching me doing underwater barrel rolls.”
Rhoann left off studying the tank fittings and took Lucien’s hands, running his thumbs lightly over knuckles dusted with short dark curly hair; his slight worried frown was one of the sweetest things Lucien had ever seen. “How could they not be, laród-ar-Fuzz?”
Lucien found himself having to swallow an unexpected lump in his throat before he could answer. “I love you, too.”
Mac leaned around and kissed the side of Lucien’s neck. “He beat me to it. And I’m not even going to tell you how many guys used to come up to the bar and ask me why the bouncer wasn’t part of the floor show.”
Lucien craned his neck, partly to plant a kiss of his own on Mac and partly to glance at the new bar, the one the workmen had just finished installing last week, to replace the one Mac had presided over ever since Tiernan bought the place. The curved expanse, now taking up the whole back wall of one level of the club instead of being shoehorned into a corner, looked pretty much the same as it always had, from where Lucien stood. But no one had been able to figure out how to replicate the show-stopping feature of the original, the hellish flames dancing under the glass bar top, that seemed to go down and down into an infinite depth. Conall thought he might be able to do it with magick, or maybe Rian could, but nobody wanted to fuck around with magick of any kind near the great nexus, not with the way it and its companion wellspring were acting right now. Good thing he and his husbands had decided to try out the famed nexus chamber when they had—a half-Royal Fae in the throes of erotic overload was the kind of thing guaranteed to short out the entire wellspring network right now.
The fact that their new-found underground garden of delights was now off-limits seriously pissed Lucien off. It wasn’t forever, though. The three of them could get back to happy business just as soon as they figured out how to kill the monster who had left him for dead behind the bar back in August.
Can’t happen soon enough for me. Lucien was a peaceable sort—as peaceable as a nightclub bouncer built like a hairy fire hydrant and married to an only-sort-of-ex-Marine could be, anyway—but he was looking forward to getting his hands around whatever was left of Janek O’Halloran’s throat and getting creative.
“I recognize that look.” Mac nipped at the top of Lucien’s ear.
“What look?” Lucien blinked. “And I could have sworn you’re standing behind me.”
“You reflect in the tank.” Mac’s chuckle rumbled against Lucien’s back. “At least for now—once you’ve been for a swim after we open, the glass is going to have… uh, palm-prints… all over it.”
Lucien couldn’t help snorting. “I repeat, what look?”
Rhoann wrapped his arms around both humans. He could do that—Mac was a good head taller than Lucien, but their Fae had Mac beat by a good four or five inches, and he had arms to match his height. “The look you wore through most of the bás i’gcuine last night.”
The Faen words Rhoann had originally translated for them as “war council” turned out to have meant something closer to “fore-memory of death.” The intent of the Demesne of Purgatory had been, more or less, to create the memory of the Marfach’s death before it happened. And, like pretty much everything asking Fae to behave in an organized manner, it had gone south from the moment Rian tried calling the group to order. It hadn’t helped that Fae who learned English magickally thought the word “brainstorming” was almost as funny as horseradish. Which was actually pretty damn funny, once Maelduin had explained it to him.
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“Back Door into Purgatory” is my first introduction to the world and writing of Rory Ni Coileain and what an exquisite introduction indeed despite my early missteps with Celtic name and words and distinctly old world words like “bower.” (Yes. My dictionary was quite handy.)
This world of Fae and an exceedingly powerful evil entity, The Marfach, is dense, intimate, and detailed. There’s a part of my brain that kept thinking “Lord of the Rings.” To quote the series blurb “What if you could only be whole by finding and loving the human with the other half of your soul? The SoulShares are the sword of two worlds… and love is the shield of the SoulShares.” This provides the core of the world Back Door takes place in.
Once I got past the verbiage and got comfortable in this world, I sped through the story that Rory spins and that flickers in my mind like a movie. The characters are complete, alive, broken yet perfect. All I can really say is “Striking Realism.” I may just have to go to book one and start the series from scratch!
~ Aaron Yeagle
About Rory Ni Coileain
Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she had to design it herself, at a university which boasted one professor willing to teach creative writing, he being a British surrealist who went nuts over students writing dancing bananas in the snow but did not take well to the sort of high fantasy she wanted to write.
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 one of those rejection letters that puts therapists’ kids through college (Ivy League), and found other things to do, such as going to law school, ballet dancing (at more or less the same time), nightclub singing, and volunteering as a lawyer with Gay Men’s Health Crisis, for the next thirty years or so, until her
stories started whispering to her.
Now she’s a lawyer, a legal journalist (and thus a card-carrying Enemy of the State and darn proud of it), an Associate Member of the Order of Julian of Norwich, a proud mother, studying for her certification as a spiritual advisor, and engaged to the love of her life, and is busily wedding her love of myth and legend
to her passion for m/m romance.
Visit Rory Ni Coileain’s website.