Book & Author Details:
The Rainmaker (Saga of the Chosen #2) by Petra Landon
Publication date: March 30th 2018 | Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
In a dangerous world riddled with ambition and intrigue, Tasia must tread a treacherous path where nothing is safe – her past, her secrets or her heart …
Tasia is no longer a nondescript and friendless Wizard on the fringes of San Francisco's Chosen community. Publicly entwined with a powerful Shifter Pack, she must navigate the minefield of Pack politics and Chosen intrigue, while guarding her secrets from the Magicks who hunt her.
The stakes have never been higher as old fault lines, long-buried secrets, Wizard dysfunction, and Lady Bethesda's ambitions draw the Chosen ever closer to a civil war. While Tasia grapples to avoid the pitfalls and confront her demons, it is an unlikely nemesis who forces her to face her moment of truth. Tasia finds herself at the crossroads - at stake are her carefully constructed house of cards and her tangled relationship with the man who holds her enemies at bay. Will Tasia risk opening Pandora's Box or will she walk away to disappear into the shadows again?
Author's Note : The Rainmaker continues the story from The Prophecy. The books are not standalone and are intended to be read in order.
Set in the fantastical and intrigue-riddled world of the Chosen, this is an urban fantasy tale with an unfolding mystery, many twists and turns, action, adventure and a dash of romance.
The story continues with Book 3 - The Siren
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“I ...” Tasia paused, choosing her words with care this time. “My work with your Pack ...”
“xxxx the Pack.” His voice was very even. “This has nothing to do with the Pack. I’m talking about us — you and me.”
“No.” She shook her head, wishing the noise in her head would abate and allow her to think more clearly. “There’s no us.”
An eyebrow arched up in the near darkness. “So, that kiss in the cave ...”
Tasia interrupted him. “I didn’t kiss you.”
He shot her a look.
“You kissed me” she insisted, responding to that look. “Both times.”
“No” he said unequivocally. “We’ve both been willing partners in this dance. I lead, but you’ve been with me every step of the way.”
They stared at each other, the air between them charged with an awareness that they stood on the edge of a precipice. She couldn’t discern his expression but she wondered what he read in hers, with his night eyes.
“Any time you’d like a demonstration, let me know” he remarked sardonically.
Tasia flushed. They’d been leading up to this moment, she realized. This was the dance he talked about. She should have put a stop to it before. Now, she’d have to defuse it carefully or the resulting conflagration would destroy her.
“I’ve been around the block a few times, witchling. You and I — we make our own fire, no tinder required. That’s not it. Something else has you stepping back. What is it?”
Tasia thought furiously, through the fog in her head. “You don’t get involved with Pack” she reminded him.
“I’m willing to make an exception for you” he said clearly.
Tasia blinked, once. He wasn’t going to make this easy for her.
“I did tell you once that I’d ignore my principles for the right person.” It was his turn to remind her.
Tasia, who remembered the occasion well, said nothing.
“Am I to continue with the Pack?” she asked.
She hesitated. “What happens if things ... uh ... don’t work out between us?”
He laughed, a sound singularly devoid of amusement.
“You’ve walked away from the Pack before. I didn’t let that stop me from going after you, when I thought you were in danger. What does that tell you, witchling?”
Tasia couldn’t refute him. There was nothing to say. He would not let his personal feelings get in the way of his responsibilities to his Pack or to her, no matter how bad things got between them.
Then, something seemed to strike him. “Is it because I’m a Shifter?”
Tasia wondered wildly if he would accept that. Perhaps his pride would not let him pursue her if he believed that she wanted no part of a relationship with a Shifter. It would make her sound like a bigot. But she’d take that.
“Will you let this be if ... if I have reservations about Shifters?” she asked hopefully.
“Hell no.” His response was immediate and forceful. “I’ll do my damnedest to change your mind.”
He frowned, something about her answer registering finally. “Is that what this is about — being with a Shifter?”
Again, he was forthright with his query, and Tasia realized she could not bring herself to lie to him. Like him, she too was willing to make an exception. For him.
“No” she admitted softly.
There was a short silence while Tasia tried to get her jumbled thoughts into order. The wild cacophony in her head was now so loud that it drowned out everything but his voice, even the gentle lap of water against the wall and the whoosh of the wind behind her.
“Let me simplify this for you” he said, the gold eyes holding her gaze. “Tell me what you want, and we go from there.”
“What I want?” Tasia repeated mechanically. I can’t have what I want.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know what you want.” His eyes narrowed in the darkness.
Tasia shook her head, her eyes darting away as if to seek an escape. She’d have to walk away, she thought despairingly. She saw no other way out.
His initial fury having abated, Raoul was starting to use his connection to her, much as he had before, when he’d been so attuned to her unspoken words. He had realized it almost immediately, taking it in stride. He wondered if she had picked up on it yet.
“You told me once that you don’t run away” he reminded her, picking up hints of her roiling emotions.
Tasia said nothing.
“If you run from me because you don’t want to deal with whatever is between us, witchling, I will come after you.” His voice hardened as a spike of anger flared in him. “I won’t stand by again while you run recklessly into the fire.”
Tasia looked away from him. There seemed no way out of this impasse. He would not back away, not without an explanation from her. She could not give him one, not without endangering all sorts of secrets, and she was very much afraid that, unless she convinced him to walk away first, she’d eventually succumb to him.
Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
Raoul stared at her, puzzled by her inexplicable desire to deny that which sizzled like a living entity between them. He tried to piece together what he could sense from her.
Suddenly, it hit him. “You’re afraid!” he muttered incredulously.
This was the primary emotion he sensed from her, overriding everything else. He had sensed many emotions from her before but terror, the kind he sensed now, had thus far been reserved exclusively for the Clan.
She said nothing, neither confirming nor refuting his statement.
Jolted, he took a step back. “Of what?”
Tasia stared at him mutely, her hesitation palpable.
“Of me?” he asked, his voice hoarse.
Minutes later, a pale young man was escorted into the room. The aide glanced at the Guardian before shutting the door discreetly on his way out.
“Guardian Anderson?” inquired the young man with a lilting Italian accent.
“Yes” Anderson acknowledged. “And you are?”
“I’m Rafaelo Bianchi of the Venice Nest.”
Anderson arched an eyebrow. “A member of the Clan” he remarked with thinly disguised disgust.
If the Vampire heard the disdain in the Wizard’s voice, he hid it well.
“We have an enemy in common, Guardian” he remarked suavely. “And I know just the way to
punish the arrogant Alpha.”
Anderson contemplated the Vampire in silence before inviting him to seat himself.
“What do you want in exchange for this information?” the Guardian inquired shrewdly. The
Clan was known to drive a hard bargain — that is, when it was willing to do business with other Chosen, which was rare.
“Absolutely nothing.” The young man threw up his hands extravagantly.
“I find that hard to believe.” Anderson was clearly skeptical.
“Alright. How about this, Guardian? If you use what I tell you to either take down the Beast Lord or weaken him temporarily, I’ll call us even.”
Anderson looked taken aback by the young man’s offer. “What information do you have on him?”
“He came out of nowhere ten years ago to win control of the Northern California Pack. Before that, he’d never led a Pack or a were-pack.”
“You’ve given me nothing I don’t already know” countered Anderson.
“Perhaps. But do you know where he was before San Francisco?”
“Is it important?” shrugged Anderson.
“What if I told you he was running wild without a Pack.”
“Without a Pack” the Guardian repeated, a frown marking his face. “Faoladh frowns on that.”
“He does indeed. And yet, he allowed Raoul Merceau to claim the Northern California Pack.
Doesn’t that surprise you, Guardian?”
“Very much so.” Anderson looked intrigued for the first time since the Vampire had walked into the room.
“The rumor is that he stayed away from both Si’ffa and Chosen to deal with issues of control.”
“Merceau” the Guardian exclaimed incredulously.
A vision of the implacable and steely-eyed Alpha in absolute control of himself, his Pack and his surroundings, flashed at Anderson. The night of their encounter, the Alpha had kept his head despite the provocations and barbs, taking on a Guardian with exponentially more magic to defeat him comprehensively. It had not been done with power or brute strength, but with intelligence, knowledge, and a shrewdness that belied his reputation. That had not been a man with an uncertain grasp over his beast. It had been a Shifter in complete control of everything. Anderson did not like to remember that night, but the idea of the Alpha losing control seemed rather extraordinary to him. Shifters with tenuous control were rarely able to hide it, either from their Pack or other Shifters.
“Are you implying that Raoul Merceau ...” His voice trailed off, clearly not convinced by the Vampire’s revelation.
“Yes.” The Vampire was supremely confident. “Obviously, it’s in the past for there’ve been no rumors since he became Alpha. This is not something that can be kept quiet, especially for a Wyr as well-known as the Alpha. That Faoladh does not challenge him is also a good indication that it is behind him.”
“Even if I were to believe you, Vampire, how does this help me, except of course to needle the Alpha when we meet again?”
“Aah. The important bit is not that he slipped in the past, it’s what caused his control to slip then.”
The Guardian sat up straighter. Any information regarding a Shifter’s loss of control was no small matter. The fine line between life and death for a Shifter, it was guarded very zealously by them.
An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel, loves the outdoors and reads everything she can get her hands on, time permitting. Her taste in books is very eclectic – she tends to like stories with vivid and quirky characters that have elements of fantasy, adventure, romance and mystery interspersed together. A good book for her is one that makes the reader think long after it has been finished and set aside. And, one that draws the reader back to it, again and again.
To share the tales that have lived in her imagination for so long is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for her.
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