Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.
Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. She meets him by chance - a man who's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she's a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?
Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.
As I mentioned under Seven Years, I'm thrilled to have Dannika in this bundle. Sterling is another first in one of her incredible series that will have you watching for every book she puts out.
"My eyes may not know all of you, but my heart does. I loved you before I was born, and I will love you long after I pass from this earth." –David H. Burton
"Sterling was fresh, humorous, and gripping. One of the most balanced stories in terms of darkness, action, romance, and humor that I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down and was reaching for the sequel as soon as I finished it. Sterling is a GraveTells Must Read!"–Grave Tells
"I am so impressed with the level of creative thought that went into crafting the world of the Mageri. This is a departure from, vampires, werewolves, zombies and the like."–Pure Textuality
"Dannika throws the reader into her unique fantasy world where literally everything you thought you knew is thrown out the door and reinvented in a smart new way.... The world is fresh, unique and compelling."–Literal Addiction
"I'm done; I can't do anymore," I panted on the mat.
My cheeks burned, my legs throbbed, and my hair was nothing but a sweaty mop halfway attached to my face.
"Are you telling me, Learner, that you have no more energy?" he asked, rubbing the bristles of hair across his scalp. Justus was a man in love with a razor.
Beads of sweat rolled down my temple into my hair. I glared.
"That's exactly what I'm telling you. In fact, I'm not leaving this mat for the rest of the day. I'm going to live here and build a little castle." I groaned, covering my face. "So you can just go about your business and leave me alone."
"Learner, this is your first lesson."
"What, that you can make my ass cry out in pain? Bravo. Anyone ever tell you that you'd make an excellent drill instructor? The Army is always hiring, you know."
He bent over, hands on his knees with a straight back.
"Lesson number one: there is no such thing as tired. What you will learn is that while your body may ache from your residual human limitations, the body of a Mage can replenish. You are a conduit; you channel energy. You can will it in, push it out, and manipulate it. There are limitations, however."
He stood up, and I winced as a shooting pain ran up my thigh. "When it comes to healing and restoring energy, you can only take that light from a Mage or sunlight. While you can take light from a human, it might require too much and could hurt or even kill them. And never take from another Breed."
"How do you take it from a Mage?"
"They have to lend it or be incapacitated enough that you can steal it. The latter isn't likely, as a strong Mage would have their shields up."
"So what happens if you don't take anything? Wouldn't you die if you had a stab wound or something?"
"Presuming you are nowhere near sunlight, your body would just heal slowly. Each Mage has a core light; you won't die from wounds inflicted, but you would suffer immensely. Should your head come away from your shoulders, then that is another matter."
"If I'm in the sun, I can just lie there and heal?"
"No. That is a dangerous process which must be carefully taught. One small drop of sunlight has more energy than most people realize. Once you acquire the skill, you will learn to harness that energy and extract it properly. But remember that borrowing is just that—borrowing. It will eventually remove itself, but if you take more than you need, it will take more from you."
My forearm weakly wiped away beads of sweat rolling down my temple and all the little synapses in my brain were firing off. If what he said was true, what else did that mean?
"Do we age? Will my hair grow longer, can I gain weight infinitely?"
Justus snorted. "You should not make light of this, but you will not age. We are one of the few Breeds who truly never age once we are made. Your body will remain in a… suspended state from the time you are made. So no, you will not gain weight, nor obtain any grey hairs."
That was a nice thought—no more guilt about taking out a carton of ice cream.