Gods. Ghosts. Murder.
Maeve Devlin has no idea what to expect when she travels to Ireland for a vacation, but definitely not the supernatural or an old god obsessed with her. What should be a fun time reconnecting with an old love interest first turns thrilling, then confusing, when two men seem interested in a fling. And what’s with all the birds?
But when The Man with eyes like the sea— the man she’s dreamed of her entire life—appears, her life spirals out of control, and she’s thrust into a world of gods and heroes, magic and love. When gods and mortals collide, nothing goes well.
Gods and Mortals, the first book in the Irish Gods series, introduces us to modern day Ireland, a place where the old and new exists side by side, and the old gods mingle with mankind. It tells the tale of Maeve Devlin and the man she was destined for, and the one god daring to claim her for his very own.
The dream started as it always did—by rudely interrupting an already-occurring narrative. One minute Maeve was dreaming about something trivial, almost random, like going grocery shopping in her underwear. The next, she was standing in a field of white flowers, tiny and fragrant and not of this earth. How she knew that fact, she could not say, but she did. Because the dream always featured the field of white flowers, as well as the man with eyes like the sea.
What was strange was that she should not have been having this dream now, not necessarily while she was in an airplane thousands of feet above the sea, although that was awkward, too. And more importantly, where was he? She only had this dream once a year, on her birthday, and her birthday was not today. So why now?
Maeve slowly surveyed the area, squinting at the too-bright colors, too clean, too real. The field undulated gently in every direction, and trees could be seen in the distance, but she was alone. She couldn’t even call for him, because she did not know his name. No matter how many times she had asked, he would not tell her.
“Maeve Devlin.” The voice came from behind her, Irish and full of good humor.
She turned. “It’s you.” And it was him―dark-haired, fair-skinned, elfin-faced, with the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen, a swirling combination of blues, greens, and grays.
He smiled, and her heart skipped a beat. It always did.
“Why now? It isn’t my birthday.”
As if he had heard a noise, he suddenly glanced over his shoulder.
She had heard nothing.
“I needed to warn you.” His eyes changed, darkening like the sea before a storm.
He looked back again.
All she could see was the wind on the flowers, causing them to ripple like waves.
He lowered his voice. “I thought we would be safe here.”
A wind rose around them, and the ripples shifted, then settled into a pattern heading in their direction, cutting through the flowers like the fin of a shark. The gasp she made caused him to follow her gaze. The horror on his face made her blood run cold.
He gripped her shoulders.
That’s never happened before.
“Be careful, Maeve.” His words rushed together. “Nothing is at it seems. Go.” He whirled her around, put his hands firmly on her back and pushed her from him―
―and into her tray table.
The lap belt snapped tight, but her forehead still smacked the back of the seat in front of hers. The white-haired woman snuffled in her sleep and settled back into a deep snore. Maeve let out the breath she had been holding. She would have been mortified if she had woken her.
“Maeve? Are you alright?” Nell reached up to turn on the overhead light.
Maeve blinked at her sister, trying to re-orient herself to the world. “Yes,” she said, rubbing her bruised ribs. “I think so.”
Nell studied her sister’s face. “What happened?”
“I just had a weird dream.” Maeve shut her tray table in an effort to avoid Nell’s eyes. Nell was a completely practical woman who had married a practical man and led a practical life. She was so practical that she refused to go by her given name of Neve because it was too fanciful.
Nell snorted. “A dream.”
“Probably all of the rich food.” It felt like the cabin crew had fed them every fifteen minutes. Even now, the lights in the plane were coming up as the crew prepared to serve them breakfast.
“Could be.” Nell folded her blanket and set it on the open seat in between them. “It could also be that you are nervous about seeing Aedan.” This last bit was Nell’s attempt at teasing Maeve.
Maeve detested her sister’s ham-handed attempts at teasing. “Really, Nell. We are going over to improve our cooking skills, not find me a husband.”
But, as usual, Nell was ignoring her. She stood, drug her bag from under the seat in front of her and began pulling out her makeup. “I’d settle for seeing you go out on a date. All you have done is sit at home since you and...well, you-know-who…split up.”
This again. Maeve sighed. “Not true. I’ve been out a few times.”
“I don’t think talking with some guy at the University’s Christmas party counts.” Nell frowned and held out her brush. “Fix your hair.”
“Quinton is part of the English department.” Maeve thought a moment, then pointed the brush at her sister. “And we have been out for drinks, too.”
Maeve unbound her long hair and raked the brush through it. How it could be braided and still get so snarled was beyond her.
“Enough about Quinton.” Nell squinted into her tiny mirror. “Back to Aedan. What did he say in the last e-mail?”
Nell knew full well what Aedan had said, because Maeve had forwarded her the e-mail. “He said, and I quote, I look forward to seeing you and Nell in two weeks.”
“You see.” Nell looked smug.
“No, I don’t see.” Maeve watched her sister contour her cheeks, a skill Maeve had never mastered. “Yes, he remembers me—and you, too—but it was fifteen years ago. I was a skinny seventeen-year-old, and he was twenty-one and far more interested in the horses on grand-dad’s farm.”
Remembering her frustration at her inability to catch his eye, she braided her hair more tightly than usual and had to re-do it. Aedan Hanlon had spent a month working on their grand-parents’ horse farm as part of his studies in farm management. It had been arranged by their mother, who was friends with Aedan’s mother, Pauline.