I'm actually kicking off the December reviews with this one, Nora Roberts's The Pagan Stone (Jove). This is the third and final installment in her Sign of Seven trilogy, this time with Gage Turner and Cybil Kinski getting their turn to battle the demon bound to destroy Hawkins Hollow and everyone in it. Gage left the Hollow long ago to wander the world, only returning every seventh year to try to stop the evil that comes to their little town. He's come back even earlier this year, as things are starting sooner than ever, and their band of six knows that this year, they have to defeat the demon for a final time or die trying. Cybil doesn't mind that her best friend and new best friend have found love with the other two men in their group, because, while she knows Gage isn't a forever kind of guy, she's not looking for forever either. It'll be enough for her to have him here in the Hollow and then walk away. But first they have to make it through the first week of July. Trouble is, they know they have the means to win the battle, a weapon they can use, they just don't know exactly how, and time is running short to figure out the puzzle. Worse, the more time they spend together, intimate time, Cybil and Gage are both annoyed to find that their emotions are becoming entangled, which will make walking away far more difficult, not to mention fighting the demon without worrying about one another. Cybil and Gage are my second favorite pair of this series. They're both perfectly happy with their lives before 'the seven' as they call it, and fully expect to be able to go back to those lives when it's over. Fat chance of that. There are a few twists in this one you might not see coming, though if you pay attention as you read, they might not shock you too much when they come. This is a fitting conclusion to the series, though I'm still peeved at whatever marketing moron at the publisher thought that releasing the July story in December was a good idea. This one's earned four of Cupid's five arrows. Nora is always a keeper.
Until next time, happy reading!