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The Druid Stone (Layers of the Otherworld #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  495 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Se
ebook, 351 pages
Published August 6th 2012 by Carina
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Community Reviews

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Blacky *Romance Addict*

Well this was a strange read for me. If I could describe it with one picture, this one would be perfect:

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The story is about druids (duh, the title) and all the ancient myths and legends about them. Sean is having the same dream over and over again, it's the death of some man from the past. He asks for help, and tries to hire Cormac, a druid from Ireland. Cormac refuses to see him so Sean is forced to travel from America and beg for his help, if nothing else. Cormac still brushes him off, and afte
Monique ~ Sinfully
Nov 29, 2012 Monique ~ Sinfully rated it it was amazing
Amazing....This book is complex, intriguing, fascinating and compelling. It is an epic adventure and reminds me of a dark Indie Fantasy Movie on a high end Hollywood budget. Breathtaking in detail and colour with an underbelly of darkness, murky in it's depth...


This book opens on a nightmare....a nightmare of torture, violent and brutal. It is a curse, laid on Sean by his Grandfather and for the past year he has endured this nightly mental assault on his senses. He feels everything, the pain is
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Wow. Just wow.

This was everything I'm looking for in a book: excitement, danger, fast pace, love, fear, sweetness, near-death peril, twists, complexity, etc. This was a modern fantasy with the M/M romance an equally large component. The book could stand on it's own without the romance, although it wouldn't have been as good. The story is complex, riddled with fae lore, some of it familiar, some a bit new, with a lot of twists and turns. I think Belleau did a ton of research and it shows. I think
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
Aug 02, 2012 Emanuela ~plastic duck~ rated it it was amazing
In modern Ireland, Cormac is a druid. He investigates and solves paranormal problems, fulfilling a role that is still respected in his community. His last important relationship with the mysterious Michael ended abruptly, leaving a void in his life that he’s never been able to fill.

Sean is of mixed Irish and Cuban heritage. His grandfather gave him a hexed stone during a family reunion. From that moment on Sean has been dreaming (and living) the horrendous death of a young a man. He lives on dru
Kaje Harper
Aug 23, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, paranormal
This book is an intriguing fantasy, an adventure, a family story and a romance that is sweet and hot and kept me guessing right up to the end. The urban fantasy setting is familiar in its depiction of the fae and yet adds a new twist with the intermediary between humans and Sidhe being a druid main character. The writing was smooth and engaging. Occasionally I got slightly lost in the twists of shifting fantasy worlds, in mirror perhaps to the disorientation of the MC's, but most of the imagery ...more
⊱ Irena ⊰
Sean O'Hara needs help. His nightmares of a young man being killed over and over again are becoming more than a problem. The only person who could help him is Cormac Kelly. They have to fight their way through dreams, other worlds, their own personal problems and, of course, with unavoidable the Tuatha Dé Danann.

I am glad I read Cruce de Caminos so I knew Sean a bit better right from the start. It won't ruin anything if you haven't read it though. He mentions his past here too, so you won't be
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
This review can be found at The Armchair Reader.

This story was... hard for me to get into. The world is extremely interesting. If I could rate on just that, I'd give this book five stars but I can't because I struggled with other factors within the story.

What I liked is how desperate Sean was to stop reliving Cormac's ex-lovers death. I also liked how shattered Cormac still is about his past. It made for some interesting conflicts between them. I also liked the chemistry they could have had toge
Dec 29, 2014 MLE rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-archive, mm
A nicely done urban fantasy and romance. I loved how well both aspects were meshed, and I never felt like the urban fantasy was sacrificed in favor of the romance. The world building was well done, and I love how the author stayed true to the darker, and more traditional idea of the fae. The romance was nicely done, and I liked that even though the attraction was there from the beginning there was no instant love, or destined lovers themes. Sean, and Cormac have to learn to understand, and trust ...more
3.5 stars

Boy, wouldn’t I have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Belleau and Vane were pounding out this story together! What a complex swirl of contemporary romance, paranormal horror story, time travel and Celtic mythology. Never a dull derivative moment in this collaboration!

Druid Stone worked best for me when the focus was on Seam and Cormac's developing romantic relationship. The paranormal story within a story was interesting and well written but distracted from the love story. An i
G.B. Gordon
Aug 09, 2012 G.B. Gordon rated it it was amazing
That was not a roller coaster, that was an avalanche. I'm still working on getting my breath back. Mind-blowingly sensual, and the action never stops. If you're prone to nailbiting, wear falconers gloves or something. Whoa! Seriously.
Right, well then. For starters, I have this problem with any title that has the word "druid" in it (or "faerie," or "emerald," or references to the moon esp. if full, etc. -- you get the idea). Much like main character Cormac's problem with the American romantic notion of Ireland! My expectations immediately take a turn for the worse on exposure to the key words. I think I had already passed over this one once before I read Cruce de Caminos and got curious enough about Sean's continuing adventur ...more
ARC received from Carina Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4.5 stars Wow, I expected this to be good, but I have to say it took me completely by surprise. I thought it was going to be a contemporary romance with a paranormal/supernatural twist, but really it's an urban fantasy that just happens to have a love story. Loved it.

The first third was what I expected and I loved every second. Sean trying to find the cause of his nightmares, Cormac living his life, Sean getting help fro
Val Kovalin
The Druid Stone is the third strikingly intense urban fantasy I’ve read from this very talented writing duo currently making a name in m/m for dark, beautifully written fiction that defies description.

As with Cruce de Caminos and Hawaiian Gothic, we get a blend between (1) the realism of contemporary gay romance + (2) the supernatural.

It’s hard for me to pin down what I mean by supernatural with these authors, but it’s addictive. There is too much depth and world building to label their fiction
I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a plot in a book.
The Druid Stone is an interesting read, with a lot of plot twists and unexpected moments.
It has a strong feel of place, namely Ireland. The authors create a story with, Irish myth and history woven into the our modern world but in Ireland, following Cormac and Sean the veil between our world and the one of magic and sidth seems very thin. As a reader one feels a bit like Alice when reading this book, one falls down the fairy mound
Sep 29, 2012 ttg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, favorites, reviews
This book is a trip. AN AWESOME AWESOME TRIP. And it has EVERYTHING--romance, adventure, paranormal, sexual tension, fantasy, action, sexy times, mythology, time travel--EVERYTHING. And I couldn’t believe how much I dug this story that totally goes in crazy town directions, directions I never saw coming, but I LOVED IT.

The story--Sean O’Hara is a Cuban/Irish American, mostly estranged from his very Irish Boston family, and plagued nightly by horrible nightmares about a single murder from long ag
What an amazing journey! I quite enjoyed the story! I wondered at first what could make the story so long and was pleasantly surprised by the complexity and diversity of the plot.

(view spoiler)
Annette Gisby
Aug 10, 2012 Annette Gisby rated it it was amazing
Ever since his great-grandfather gave him a strange stone, Sean O'Hara has been having the same nightmare every night. He relives again and again the torture and death of someone in the distant past. His sleep disturbed, his days getting more and more surreal as he tries to survive on little sleep and an array of pills, he's at his wits' end. Psychiatrists are no help but he thinks he might have found the solution: Cormac Kelly, an Irish druid.

Unfortunately, Cormac wants nothing to do with him.
Aug 01, 2012 Merrian rated it really liked it
I won an ARC from the authors in a competition based on their Cruce De Caminos short story which introduces Sean and the experiences that have shaped him. Sean is one of the leads in The Druid Stone. You don't need to have read Cruce De Caminos but it does make reading The Druid Stone richer.

I have read four stories by these authors now which possibly makes me a fangrrl. I enjoy their voices and the way their stories have an edge of gothic horror to them even when that isn't an explicitly upfron
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Feb 03, 2013 Barb ~rede-2-read~ rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Barb ~rede-2-read~ by: Valerie~Varuca
The depth and scope of the imagination of some of our m/m authors never ceases to amaze me. This saga was of epic proportions imagination-wise! It was like time travel on hormones. Yikes, the roller coaster ride of emotions was dizzying.

The tale of Cormac and Sean was amazing and memorable. Both the MC's and the secondary characters were so important to the story and so well drawn that I felt like I was with them all as they jumped back and forth into, and out of, the frying pan and the fire of
Aug 16, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it
Not sure how to characterize this book, horror, suspense, or druid/witches.. Perhaps a mixture of all. I will say that I had a profound enough reaction to the book that I will be making a blog book review about it this week.

Very well written. I loved the attention to detail and the historical accuracy. My undergrad History degree was pleased.

Overall, this was a wonderful book! It satisfied a taste I had for both male/male romance as well as historical/fantasy storylines. The writing was excellen
An interesting and somewhat convoluted story, with more than a few unexpected twists in the plot that I certainly didn't see coming. Perhaps not a recommended read for those needing something light and fluffy, but if you love a plot you can really sink your teeth in, then this should be considered.
Aug 23, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, for-pleasure
I enjoyed this one immensely. Powerfully written, and the fay were wonderfully scary/capricious/attractive in an authentically otherworldly way that I value highly and scarcely ever see.
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Aug 23, 2012 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
I love dark stories about the fae. And this definitely fits the bill. The Druid Stone is haunting, disturbing, stirring, and sexy all at once.

Sean has been having the same horrific dream over and over again for more than a year. In it, he relives the grisly torture and murder of a man in Ireland nearly 100 years in the past. He's seen doctors and shrinks, he's tried drugs of all kinds, but every night the dream comes back with the same brutal clarity. He's come to believe that he was cursed by
Feb 16, 2015 Suze rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Suze by: Won on pantsoff reviews, author giveaway
A gripping read! I would probably put at 4.75 but it definitely gets the hike up to a 5 here.
This is a story about hauntings and druids, set in current times but dealing with the sins of the past, all based in Ireland (OK, some very small visits to Boston!)
I had read rave reviews about the book but I was put off inially by the druid aspects. However, I won a copy on PantsonFire Reviews (including the follow up short) and boy am I glad I did!
Its enough set contemporary for me as I'm not a big pa
Main Characters: Sean O'Hara & Cormac Kelly
Key Themes: Time Travel, Using Magic, GFY, Irish Mythology
Location: Ireland & Boston

An urban-fantasy MM romance interwoven with Irish history & mythology.

This is a long and complex story - particularly the time travel scenes…heck, even the characters had a hard time keeping up!

Sean is half-latino and half-Irish. Not only has he been shunned by the Irish side of his family, for not being full Irish… add insult to injury, he was given a
Aug 30, 2012 Plainbrownwrapper rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, read-again-maybe
This book is much more literary and literate than the vast majority of mm romance stories out there. If all you're looking for is simple-minded sexcapades, don't even bother looking here. But if you're looking for a richly told and layered urban fantasy romance, you've come to the right place.

Both of these authors have a lot of knowledge pertaining to their subjects (both Irish and hispanic culture, history, and mythology), and it shows in their writing. Their backgrounds allow for a depth of st
3.0 Stars

After inheriting a cursed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean O'Hara starts reliving another man's torture and death. He desperately seeks the help of Cormac Kelly (a descendant of legendary druids) who runs a paranormal investigation business in Tuam, Ireland. Sean and Cormac begin a romantic relationship that is threatened by the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland and their own dark pasts.

First off, this book is filled with incredibly vivid descriptions. The authors' ability
Jul 20, 2012 Kassandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-or-gay-lit
Was awarded an ARC from the authors.

Really enjoyed the imagery that was woven throughout the story. There were times that I felt I was right in the moment with Sean and Cormac! I've always been a fan of stories that delve into Sidhe lore/history. If you enjoy stories that twist and turn as though you were on a spiral staircase then this is the story for you. There were times I should have been lost but these wonderful authors kept me right on path with whispered words of wisdom *don't look back*
Mar 16, 2016 Drianne rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, m-m, historical, re-read
Celtic contemporary fantasy (with a bit of time travel) with gay boys. LOVE. The opening chapter has some graphic violence, but the rest of the book was fine. Romance was very well-handled, and I loved the Celtic fantasy elements.

[re-read 3-16-16: Still liked, although not as much as last time, its faults being too glaring this time.]
Jun 22, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 STARS Audiobbok Version
The Druid Stone was a great book, with an excellent UF/Fantasy mixed theme. Everything was solid from the MC's, plot's etc. . ..BUT...

I would have given this book 5 stars except for the writing, which could have been easily avoided. The massive problem for me was relentless shifting in the POV from characters to then being in the narrative neutral. Sometimes it worked but sometimes it did not and you only realised when it said they.

There were other occasions where I w
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Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, graduated with a degree in history from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and now lives outside of Edmonton, Alberta, with her tradesman husband and two kids. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialog ...more
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“But now that he was here, he was happy. It wasn’t an uncomplicated kind of happy, but still. Something about the warm atmosphere, the way Cormac’s family teased him the same as they teased each other, fussed over him and brought him drinks, included him seamlessly in their conversation, just…recognized him.” 2 likes
“For Cormac, every touch was shadowed by regret and anger and desperation, although he tried not to show it. Sean was being so clear, so brave. Doing the right thing because it was the right thing because it was the right thing to do, like he always did and always would do. Cormac could learn a lot from him.” 2 likes
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