Shattered by the Sea Lord
Shattered by the Sea Lord
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Matchmaker Dannika will do anything to help the mer warriors find their soul mates and save their race.
Until a warrior tries to claim her for himself...
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ciran's story is one of epic proportions. It involves an entire city of warriors who are ruled by an angry evil king, a kraken, an island of exiled warriors and their families, a human, and of course Ciran and his hope-so-to-be bride Danica.
So much excitement is written between these pages that you won't want to stop reading until the end. And then of course you will want to read the next book as soon as it comes out!
- Protective Warriors
- Fated Mates
- Secret Worlds
- Love After Loss
- Bermuda Triangle/Castaway Romance
- Heat Level: 3 out of 5
Matchmaker Dannika will do anything to help the mer warriors find their soul mates and save their race.
Until a warrior tries to claim her for himself.
Forget the steady strength in his bulging biceps, the tingling awareness coursing through her veins, or the patience, kindness, and empathy in his iridescent green-and-coffee-brown irises.
She already met her soul mate.
Met, married, and mourned him.
If something happened to her gorgeous mer warrior…
No. She can’t go through that again.
Her dreams were forgotten for a reason.
There is no second chance for one true love.
This is a lovely standalone shifter romance filled with adventure in the bestselling Lords of Atlantis series. It contains steamy love scenes, vivid undersea battles, a forbidden island filled with plucky castaways, and the kraken! Dive into the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle with these wily warriors of the sea.
Intro Into Chapter One
Intro Into Chapter One
The day of the plane crash started out completely ordinary.
Sunlight kissed the palm trees outside Dannika’s guest cottage, the owner’s peacocks began squawking for their breakfast in the back garden, and four nude warriors broke down Dannika’s bedroom door.
Dannika jolted up in bed and flung off her lavender-scented sleep mask. “Wha—? Is it?”
The warriors raced around her suite, peeking in the bathroom, closet, and the attached kitchen. Intricate iridescent tattoos covered their bulging muscles, and their hands patted their bare biceps for missing daggers and tridents.
One warrior with bright orange tattoos swirling across his lightly bluish-tinted skin—his name was Gailen—leaned out her open kitchen window. “There! She cries for help in the grass!”
The warriors raced out the way they had come. Dannika’s front door hung open, swinging on its hinges.
The peacocks squawked louder with surprise. Heeeemeee. Heeemeee.
Gailen called, “Where are you? We hear your cry for help. We are coming!”
They’d misheard the peacocks.
“Again?” Dannika collapsed, noodle spined, against the carved hardwood headboard and yawned. If she closed her eyes or squinted… No, she’d never mistake the call of a peacock for a human. They sounded like birds with a throaty squeal.
She yawned, then pushed the sheets off her long satin nightgown, tugged on a fluffy bathrobe, and belted it as she wandered to the front door. “Gentlemen? You can relax. It’s just the peacocks. Again.”
The morning sunlight warmed her front step. A pleasant breeze carried in the scent of ocean salt, sweet grasses, and fresh banana bread made with some of the ripe dwarf Cavendish bananas hanging in the garden.
Gailen strode around the side of her white cottage. An all-seafood diet with plenty of exercise grew the marine warriors into big, hard, gorgeous males intent on claiming and fiercely protecting their soul mates. And performing the occasional peacock rescue, fully nude.
Dannika forced her gaze to his muscular pectorals and face. Above the waist. Definitely above the waist to ignore the bounty that nature had endowed him with. “Please call the other warriors to come out of my back garden.”
Worry wrinkled Gailen’s brow. “Someone cries for help. A woman, or a child.”
“And I applaud your responsiveness.” She rested a comforting hand on his beefy shoulder. “You must have run all the way from the beach. But it’s a bird, I promise you.”
He peered around the far side of the waist-high hibiscus hedge. “Are you sure?”
“I grew up with peacocks. And they made the same sound yesterday morning when Tial broke into my cottage, and the day before, when Zoan did.”
The other warriors rejoined them, and Dannika greeted them individually, focusing on their serious, tattooed faces and not on their hard, toned, endowed lower bodies.
Gailen’s frown deepened. “Land creatures are so strange. Do you not think so? Why would a bird make such a cry or carry such a tail? It is too strange.”
“The world is a strange place.” She patted his bulging bicep. “Just think of how shocked we humans were when mermen appeared on our shores.”
On the land, they looked like any other muscular, warlike, nude tribe. But under the water, gills sprouted in their lower backs and their feet elongated into fins. Dannika had seen it a few times. It was fascinating to watch.
And five years ago, it had been unthinkable. Mermen were the stuff of legends.
Who would have believed they were living beneath the ocean all along?
For centuries, the warriors had arisen only to unite with brides on isolated, sacred islands. Modernization had emptied those islands and caused a population crash. Five years ago, one warrior had defied his rulers and sought his bride on the mainland. His quest had revealed the mer to the shocked modern world—and launched Dannika’s mission.
That first modern bride had envisioned a dating site for warriors to find their soul mates. With the help of good friends, she’d made her vision a reality, and for the past year, Dannika had been running it.
The mer were still a critically endangered species. Dannika’s work had never been so necessary, and she awoke every day excited to do it.
She just usually awoke a little later and better rested.
“Why don’t you return to the beach?” Dannika suppressed a yawn. “I’ll join you as soon as I’ve dressed.”
“We disturbed you. I apologize.”
“Oh, no. I wanted to get up early today.” She guided him to the white stone path and released him next to the still-open front door. “As always, I’m honored that the warriors of Atlantis care so much about my well-being that you feel the need to break down my door.”
“Yes, that was also strange. During your welcome speech, you said that you have an open-door policy, and yet, when we came to investigate the cries for help, we had to break open your door.”
She looked into their innocent, sweet, but also very capable faces. “I should have said, ‘Please ask any questions.’ Let’s not break any more doors.”
“What if you are behind a door when we have a question?” Warrior Nilun demanded.
“You can wait.” Dannika stood at her door. “Knock, at the very least. Or you could ask another warrior, or—”
“Your leader.” Their leader sauntered up the cottage path. “Me.”
Her heart stumbled. He’s back. She suddenly couldn’t breathe. “Ciran?”
Unlike the nude warriors, Ciran wore dark blue Bermuda shorts and an unbuttoned shirt that showed off his well-defined six-pack and belly button. He had a relentless rhythm to his stride, an obdurate resistance that could withstand a hurricane.
He fixed his unusual two-tone eyes on her. His irises were coffee brown mixed with leaf green, like his tattoos. The marks curled across his skin, but their colors never quite touched. “Dannika.”
Her heart picked itself up and started beating faster and faster.
I turned you down, but I never stopped thinking of you, and now you’ve come back.
She took a half step off the porch to run to him, throw her arms around his broad shoulders, and do something crazy like sob with relief.
The bright, interested stares of the other warriors brought her up sharply.
She forced herself up onto the porch again, smoothed her sleep-wrinkled robe, and brushed down her wild black hair. “Well…uh…when did you arrive?”
“Last night.” He returned the other warriors’ salutes—pressing their pinched fingers together at chest level—and surveyed the gathering. “Where is your guard?”
“Oh, Zoan?” She tried to lean casually against the doorframe, almost slid off, and straightened abruptly. “I, um, let him go.”
His gaze bore into her. “You let him go?”
“Yes, I…” She waved in the direction of the hibiscus hedge. “Zoan met his soul mate. She came by last night to take him to meet her family. They’ll be back after breakfast.”
“He left his post?”
“I told him to.”
“Ordered. I ordered him to.”
His eyes narrowed.
You should have told me you were coming. Someone should have told me. Why don’t mermen have personal assistants? If they had put you on my calendar, then I wouldn’t be a mess right now.
Gailen spoke up. “Then we did cause a problem, Dannika?”
“Yes,” Ciran said.
“No, no.” She peered over Ciran’s looming shoulder. “You didn’t know. It’s fine.”
Ciran turned to the warriors. “Go to Lotar.”
They saluted uneasily and hurried down the beach path.
“They didn’t mean it,” she told Ciran. “I hope you’re not mad.”
“Mad? No.” He swung back to Dannika. “You live on the surface. You are the expert in human affairs.”
“Yes, thank you. I am.”
“And therefore, you know whether or not you need a guard.”
“Yes, well…I don’t think it hurts to have a guard. But my mission is to match warriors with their soul mates, and I won’t stop, even if it puts me in danger.”
He stepped closer. “Then you are in danger?”
She held her ground. “No more than anyone else at MerMatch.com.”
“You are its leader.”
“And that’s why I need us to get along. If you have a problem”—she made a sweeping gesture at herself—“tell me now.”
His gaze followed the path of her hand down her body, trailing over her breasts, caressing below the navel, down bare legs and all the way back up. “Hmm.”
Her throat went dry.
She coughed. “What? You have a problem?”
“Yes.” He rested a forearm on the doorjamb above her cottage and leaned in, scanning her bedroom and then back to her. Protective, but sensual. “Do not sacrifice your safety for our happiness.”
“Is honorable. Our warriors do need mates, and we desperately need young fry. But Dannika, you also must be safe.”
“If I don’t support your warriors once they find their soul mates, I’m not a very good matchmaker, am I?”
“You are an excellent matchmaker.”
Her heart throbbed. “Oh?”
“Yes.” Ciran’s true belief blazed into her. “You have brought happiness to many warriors, and you shine like a beacon of hope to those who are still searching. But Zoan would never forgive himself if you were hurt in his absence. Please value yourself as we do.”
“Oh.” She swallowed hard. “You’re so sweet.”
He tilted his head. “And you will value yourself?”
“I hear what you’re saying. But when you’ve met your special someone and you’re falling in love, every moment is precious. You need to spend it together.”
“Warriors can endure a separation. Once a warrior has found his soul mate, he will not stop until she accepts his claim.”
A thousand silent signals passed between them. This gorgeous, protective warrior focused on her with his huge, intellectual heart, and a hot current in her blood pounded to his rhythms. She wanted him now just as badly as when they’d first met. Worse now, because the craving to taste his love had only increased.
You must be safe. Please value yourself as we do.
These pure-hearted warriors deserved all she could give and more. Ciran especially. She needed him to be happy.
She needed him to have a wonderful life.
And that was why she had to put aside her shallow lust and focus on his future. “I’m so happy you’ve come back. Are you finally ready to open your heart?”
“Dannika.” His dark gaze stole her breath. “My heart has always been open to you.”
“No, I meant…” She cleared her dry throat. “You’re ready to find the bride you truly deserve?”
“More than ready.”
“I’ll be so happy to guide you to your soul mate.”
“She is right here.”
Her heart throbbed again.
Focus on his happiness. His future. His bride.
“You know…” She cleared her throat again. “You know that I can’t accept.”
“You should. I’ve told you before.” Dannika rested her hand on the doorknob and inched away from the hard wall of muscle she just wanted to cling to and squeeze. “It’s common for a client to fixate on his first point of contact at a dating agency.”
“I do not fixate on a contact.” His gaze dropped to her chest. A slight smile curved his firm lips. “Your soul glows with my presence.”
Dannika pressed one palm to her chest. “I’ve heard my soul is bright.”
“My warriors see your affinity with the sea. But your soul shines even brighter in my presence.”
“Well…ah, that’s because…uh…you should focus on yourself, not on me.”
“Our souls resonate, Dannika. That is how a warrior recognizes his bride. How I recognized my bride.”
His voice lowered, and the husky tone made her heart squeeze. Rivulets of desire flooded her feminine channel, and need pinched her breasts.
“I will not descend again until she is mine.”
Heat soaked her.
His hard gaze said that he knew everything. Her reactions, her arousal, his effect on her.
Magnetic desire urged her to pull his rock-hard body into her arms, straddle him, meld their lips, and kiss him senseless. His hands would clamp her waist and press her against his demanding erection. She’d murmur wild promises to turn him on—that of course she was his bride, and he was always right—and she would throw her head back as he took her the way she’d dreamed—literally dreamed, naked and sweaty in tangled silk, gasping awake with shock and then promising herself never to remember. She’d seen his cock, full and gorgeous, the day he’d first emerged from the water in New York and strode to her with unwavering certainty. She knew exactly what she was missing by keeping her hands to herself.
“That is…one person’s opinion,” she finally said, the doorknob digging into her back.
“Actually, all the warriors agree you are my bride.”
“You’ve talked about this to the other warriors?”
“They expect you to accept my claim, leave the surface world behind, and journey to Atlantis. Tonight.”
“Tonight?” She released the door and forced him back a step. “Well, reassure your warriors that I’m not going anywhere. Running MerMatch is my top priority.”
“Your destiny is—”
“My destiny is to find your warriors their soul mates. Everyone deserves true love, and yours, Ciran, is still out there.”
He sighed in frustration. “She is standing in front of me.”
“Do this exercise with me, Ciran. Envision your future bride, believe she’ll come to you, and manifest her.”
“I see your desire.”
“Close your eyes.” She stepped back, around the door, and put it between them. “And don’t worry. I’m perfectly resolved to put your happiness above mine.”
He shifted his weight onto his heels. “I am not.”
“That’s why I have to be strong for the both of us.”
“I’ll see you on the beach.” She closed the door on him and rested her back against the warm wood.
Last time, after days of fighting her unexpected attraction to the two-tone warrior, she’d finally sat him down and formally rejected him. He’d taken it hard, refusing her offer to meet any other matches, and stormed to the docks. Instead of the relief she’d expected to feel, her heart had come loose in her chest and felt strangely bereft. Almost…well, not devastated, but she’d spent the next two weeks fighting back tears when she misplaced a paperclip.
And now he was back.
She peeked out the window.
Ciran stared at the closed door. His jaw flexed. He wasn’t angry this time. Not bitter.
The emotion reflected in those fierce eyes was determination.
He tipped his head as if to say that this round had gone to her, but he was far from beaten. He turned on a heel and strode decisively down the beach path to his warriors.
She rested her head on the wood and let out a huge sigh, then rotated the small, loose silver wedding band on her ring finger.
Just because she had a feeling didn’t mean she had to act on it.
Dannika had fielded interest from plenty of good, kind men. Had she acted? No. Because she’d already met her soul mate. Met and married him.
Everyone deserved that bliss.
Ciran would just have to move on to a better woman. One who made his face light up with happiness.
Dannika had to keep him at arm’s length until he got it.
He’d get over his infatuation.
Any minute now.