DIVINE BY CHOICE by PC Cast
Divine by Choice is the second book in PC Cast’s Divine series. The continuing story of Shannon Parker and Clanfintan, but Divine by Choice returns Shannon to her own time period and the man who is the mirror image of her husband.
Shannon Parker, aka the high priestess Lady Rhiannon to the people of Patholon, is sick. With an unexplained stomach ailment and her shape-shifting centaur husband away with his troops, Shannon fights a battle with lethargy, nausea and weight loss, that even she cannot explain. When Clanfintan returns and realizes his mate is sick, the healer is called for a diagnosis. They are expecting their first child- a daughter and Shannon has morning sickness.
A young stone-cutter wishes to meet with the priestess and explains about his affinity with the elements. Kai explains that the ‘stone’ talks to him and shows him the answers to his questions. Intrigued, Shannon tests to determine if she has an affinity and she is able to send the whispers. When a horseback ride into the forest, finds Shannon and Clanfintan in the old Oak grove, a mysterious emanation beckons Shannon. Investigating the strange phenomenon and thinking she has an affinity to the earth, Shannon is suddenly hurled through a time portal back to the 21st century, alone, pregnant and without her mate.
Shannon awakens in a cabin with a man who is the mirror image of her husband. Clint Freeman, is a retired war hero, a Shaman with an affinity to the earth. But what is more amazing is that he knows about the portal exchange between Shannon and the real Lady Rhiannon. As Clint explains, Rhiannon vowed never to return to Parthelon while she enjoyed the modern conveniences of the new world. But Clint is saddened when he reveals that he was seduced by Rhiannon, and was drawn into her games of violence and death. When Shannon explained what had happened to her, she asks to be taken to the spot where she was found. Hoping to connect with Clanfintan, Shannon ‘whispers to the oaks’ and is rewarded with a brief contact with her mate in Parthelon. But that brief connection has released an evil into the world-Nuada.
Meanwhile, Clint is falling for Shannon. Knowing that Clint was involved with Rhiannon, Shannon dismisses his feelings, but not before, she learns that Rhiannon played Clint for a fool, and broke both his heart and his soul. As Shannon learns of Rhiannon’s deceptions, it isn’t long before, everything that Rhiannon touched in Shannon’s life, will be tainted with evil and death.
Needing to see her father, Clint drives Shannon to a local store for clothing, where she finds her best friend, Suzanna who is no longer friendly. Apparently, Rhiannon has turned Shannon’s life around in Oklahoma with drug dealing, sex and making bitter enemies of friends and family. But before Shannon is able to explain, Suzanna is hit by a car and immediately killed. Shannon remembers her the magic sleep, where Nuada threatened everyone she loved, and she realizes that she is not the target but her friends and family. Hoping to save her father, Clint and Shannon make their way through a heavy snow-storm, that becomes worse with the every passing moment.
Shannon arrives to see that her father is not a judgemental man. Trying to explain what had happened to her, he soon realizes, that the woman who all but destroyed the lives of everyone she knew, is not the woman in his home. Hoping to return to Parthelon, Shannon explains that she is mated and pregnant to Clanfintan, to the surprise of both Clint and her father. But Nuada has other plans, and before Shannon is able to return, her father faces a near death experience in the icy waters of Oklahoma, and Clint and Shannon must face the reality that perhaps she will never be able to return to Parthelon.
Throughout the storyline, Shannon enters into the magic sleep, where the Goddess Epona reveals the truth about the many people in her life. When Epona reveals the horror of Rhiannon’s past, Shannon becomes more sympathetic, but not enough to forgive her for the damage she has cause both Clint and Clanfintan.
When her sleep visions reveal Rhiannon performing a ceremony to return to Parthelon, Clint and Shannon must confront Rhiannon before she escapes to the other world. Shannon is desperate to return to Clanfintan and her friends in Parthelon, but Clint begs her to stay with him in Oklahoma. He is falling in love with the real Shannon Parker and offers his home and his life. But the pull of Clanfintan and the love of her mate, are stronger than her feelings for Clint. When Clint and Shannon confront Rhiannon about her past, Rhiannon discovers that she has a softer side-one that involves a need to be loved. But Rhiannon reveals that the only way to return to either world, will involve a blood sacrifice –a death. Hoping to save both Shannon and Rhiannon, Clint sacrifices himself and Rhiannon, by performing a Shaman ceremony to help return Shannon to her husband and friends.
Divine by Choice is once again filled with magical creatures and evil monsters. The love story between Shannon and the two men in her life,will break your heart, when she must decide where her heart truly belongs. If you have never read any of PC Cast’s adult storylines, I recommend her Divine series. PC writes about a romantic paranormal adventure without foul language, gratuitous sex or graphic violence. The final book in the trilogy is Divine By Blood, and like the title suggests, this time, the Divine is family-the next generation in both Parthelon and Oklahoma.
Reviewed by Sandy