Award Winning Authors
Skye Mac Kinnon
Play the Game or die.
Alone in a desolate world ravaged by war and alien invasion, Eileen Paine offers herself to indentured servitude in Purgatory City—a chance at a different life.
No one knows what happens beyond the gates, but it has to be better than the peril in the Blastlands. Nothing could have prepared her for the darkness, the tests, the changes, or the people she meets. Least of all being changed and controlled by the aliens in power.
With no guarantee of success, eliminations happening frequently, and the threat of potential allies becoming enemies, does Eileen have what it takes to survive? And when her heart gets involved, can she live with what she has to do to escape Purgatory?
When I started reading this I wasn’t sure what to expect. I sure didn’t expect cages and voices. The terrain Eileen was to navigate was foreign and she is given very little direction. On that first challenge she meets Clay, X and Y, and Kenny who was on the cage next to her joins as well. What ensues is an initiation of sorts, one where she believes she’s going to die.
This is a favorite scene.
Both men stared at me, not saying a word. I felt a little uncomfortable under their intense gaze, but I kept looking straight ahead, taking both of them in. Their bodies were athletic and lithe, perfect for surviving in whatever cruel game we were playing. I bet they could outrun me without even breaking a sweat.
Suddenly, the guy on the left shot forward, wrapping his hands around my throat. We tumbled to the ground, my back hitting a sharp stone. I would have screamed if his hands hadn’t prevented me from breathing. I struggled against his grip, but he shifted around until he was sitting on top of me, using his body weight to subdue me. I tried to pry his hands off, but he was too strong. No matter how much I scratched him, he didn’t let go.
Black spots began to shimmer in front of my eyes. Now would have been a really good moment for Tim to resurface. There were sounds in the background, but my eyes started to buzz, droning out the voices. I was becoming too weak to struggle.
I was dying.
He was killing me.
“Oh no, he’s not.”
Tim’s voice rang through my brain, loud and clear. A moment later, pain filled my skull and my vision disappeared, followed by a loud bang. The hands around my throat vanished, and I drew in a ragged breath, almost too weak to breathe.
Then there was silence. I still couldn’t see, but nobody spoke to tell me what was happening. Time seemed to pass quickly but there was nothing I could do about it. My throat hurt like hell, and my lungs were burning. Why had that bastard tried to kill me? Had it been their plan all along?
Slowly, the darkness receded a little.
“Can you stand up?” Tim asked in my head after what felt like forever.
I doubted it. I couldn’t even blink my eyes open. I was weak as a baby, unable to move, unable to speak.
“Seems I need to work on this defense tech,” he muttered, almost as if to himself, which was kind of ironic seeing that it was him in my brain and not the other way round. “If it leaves you unable to run after deployment, it’s of no use.”
None of what he said made sense. I wish I could have asked him, but even swallowing was almost impossible. I wrenched my eyes open and groaned. Okay. I wasn’t being attacked anymore. The one who had been doing it was across the space, holding his head, and I clearly had done something to him, even if I couldn’t remember what that was.
“Interesting,” Kenny chuckled, his voice crazed once again. “I didn’t expect that. You were out for an entire hour.“
Clay groaned. “Neither did I. Nice trick, Eileen.”
Sounds of footsteps were followed by someone putting a hand on my forehead. “Wow, you’re burning up.
What did those bastards do to you?”
“She’s a new generation,” a new voice said. It had to be X or Y. “Sorry, lass. I had to know if they’d modified you. Only major threats reveal the tech they’ve implanted in you. Guess this is our lucky day.”
My throat hurt, and Tim wasn’t commenting. For all the tech that was apparently installed inside of me, healing me was clearly not a priority. They didn’t want me dead yet? Great. I was on board with that, but he could have thrown in a throat lozenge, and I’d have been thrilled with that, too.
Not that we’d had any for years. I rubbed my throat, and Clay bent over to hand me some hot tea. They must have brought supplies with them. I gladly took the mug.
The man grimaced. “Sorry about your throat. He wouldn’t have killed you. I mean, you would have passed out, but unless he was instructed to kill, X wasn’t going to do that.”
I leaned forward. “It was a dick move. Coming in here like you’re friendly, like you want to be some kind of big instructor and friend in this hellhole, and going for my throat? That is really low. Although, maybe I should be thanking you because your little test did teach me more than anything else could have.”
The fire they’d lit outside the cabin crackled as Y threw a stick into it. After X’s apology, those two had gone back to being silent. Clay had been right about them. They didn’t talk much. I preferred it that way.
Ken laughed, sitting back on his elbows. “No heroes in here, Eileen. I don’t like your name. I’m going to come up with something else. I’ll let you know when I decide what it is.”
I’d never cared for nicknames. “Don’t hurt yourself trying.”
Rebecca Royce; Skye MacKinnon. Purgatory City: Through The Gates Book One (Kindle Locations 274-309). Peryton Press.
These guys are all controlled by different voices, and her ‘Tim’ was a bit more helpful than theirs.
Eileen is snarky, efficient and sexy. The guys are handsome and protective even when they shouldn’t be.
An interesting, thrill packed tale with the beginnings of a reverse harem as Eileen finds she doesn’t want to be without any of them.
I can’t wait to read the next step in their journey!
5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca and Skye!
As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.
I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.
In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.
I’d love to hear from you!
Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.