This is the first installment of Ms. Callahan's new Circle of Seven series. It’s an awesome start. You have the heroine running for her life and the sexy warrior who comes to the rescue. You also have your hero who has a wounded heart and he thinks he does not deserve love. You also get a great heroine who changes his mind. Knight Awakened was such a great story and I can't wait for the next one.
Afina Lazar has been on the run for two years. She has been hiding from the warlord Vladimir Barbu. He has taken control of Transylvania and needs Afina to crown him as king. He has been sending assassins after her, but she has managed to stay one step ahead of them. After the death of Afina's sister, she is now the high priestess. All Afina wants is to be left alone to raise her niece. Barbu sends out his elite assassin, Xavian Ramir, to bring her back dead or alive. Xavian needs the bounty that has been put on Afina. With it he can leave behind a life of killing. Xavian was taken from his family at a young age and treated cruelty. He was trained to become a killer. He was able to escape, but left behind other young boys. He is determined to rescue these young ones and offer them a place to live in peace. When he meets Afina he knows that he can't turn her over to Barbu but must keep her to help him with the boys. Xavian is drawn to Afina but doesn't think he deserves someone like her. In order to keep her, he must keep her safe from the other assassins that will be sent after her.
In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.
For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.
Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.
Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.