Monday, 5 December 2016

Release Day Blitz: Heartbeats by Sarah O'Rourke @SarahORourke99

heartbeats-banner-release-day-blitz

heartbeats-ebook-cover


 button-synopsis


He’ll fight her every step of the way. She’s fighting because there is no other way to keep him alive.

Legendary FBI profiler Matteo Cassano gives the orders. He is not accustomed at all to following them. The control-freak legend of the FBI could have any woman he wants, and often had in the past. But when he meets the amazing, younger Brenna Langley, he might have finally found the woman that could change his entire life.

Brenna Langley is professional, focused, and determined to move ahead in her career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Having tried a few failed relationships, she had decided that romance would not be in the cards for her. That was, until Matt Cassano enters her orbit and she finds herself on a secret, covert mission to save the great man from himself.

But what happens when these two determined personalities clash and the change is more than either one of them bargained for? And when Matt’s health becomes an issue, can the fledgling relationship survive?

STANDALONE. HEA. Romantica erotica.

 goodreads 

  button-excerpt

heartbeats-teaser-own-body

A mere ten minutes later, Bren found herself firmly wrapped in those arms of his, straddling his waist as he made himself quite at home on her leather sofa. Dropping another quick kiss to his waiting lips, she felt his hands slide under her blouse, his fingers finding the shallow indentation of her lower spine and stroking her sensitive skin gently.
Moaning as Matteo’s arms tightened around her waist and pulled her closer, Bren’s eyelids fluttered as she arched against his warm touch.  Biting her lip, she felt Matt’s devious lips smiling devilishly against her neck as his magic fingers skated up her toned sides, stopping only when he reached the satiny fabric barrier of her bra. “Oh, God,” she gasped as he leaned forward, dropping a slow, wet kiss to the center of her neck, her pulse pounding against his tongue. Tracing a slow, agonizing pattern up her neck and ending at her ear, Bren shivered as he slowly drew her earlobe between his lips.
Matteo grinned as he felt a shudder claim her aroused body, and he couldn't resist pushing her just a little bit farther. "So tell me, Brenna,” he whispered sensually against her flesh, his warm breath fanning her neck and pulling another quiver from her small body.  “Are you still thinking about keeping me out of your bed tonight, love?"
Sinking her teeth into her lower lip as she shifted in the cradle of his lap, Bren’s hand fisted in Matteo’s shirt, her nails digging into the soft material as her other hand desperately tried to unfasten the infuriating buttons she just knew had to be there somewhere.  “Now, Matt,” she said breathlessly, “I think we’ve proven that this couch is more than sufficient for our needs, don’t you?”
“Which needs would we be talking about, babe?" Matteo asked on a growl as he dropped his hand back to her waist.  Trailing one blunt fingertip up her side until he cupped the warm weight of her satin-covered breast in his hand, he rubbed his lips against the thrumming pulse in her neck as he murmured, "Maybe this need right here?"


  heartbeats-teaser-no-stranger-to-sex


button-buy-link 


Heartbeats Buy Links


button-about-the-authors 


Sarah O'Rourke is the alter ego of two best friends who bonded over their passion for romantic fiction and erotica. Born and raised in the southern United States, one lives near Louisville, Kentucky, while the other resides in Atlanta, Georgia.  Formerly an accountant and a chemist, they are now overworked, stay-at-home moms who adore their children, their husbands...and writing about love in every way possible.

Inspired by their dog-eared copies of Gone with the Wind and their almost warped DVDs of Steel Magnolias, they love to write wildly intense romantic/erotica stories that have multiple characters, but they focus on one couple that will ALWAYS have a happy ending…eventually!


Social Media Links
Facebook: Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/sarah.orourke.507
Twitter: @SarahORourke99 (https://twitter.com/SarahORourke99)  
Website: http://www.sarahorourke.info/  
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sarahorourke  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551798.Sarah_O_Rourke

Friday, 2 December 2016

Cover Reveal: Something There In Between by S. Ferguson @SarahFergWrites @jennw23

SBPR-STIB-CR.jpg

Something There In Between by S. Ferguson

Publication Date: December 19th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Something-there-in-between-CustomDesign-JayAheer2016-fullcover-complete.jpg

Synopsis:

After a life full of cruelty, Bree is left with no one to turn to—except him.
Declan, who's suffered his own fair share of tragedy, sees the girl on the park bench with the sad eyes and Converse shoes as a kindred spirit —and a chance to redeem himself. He couldn't save his mother. Maybe he can save her.
But is Bree too broken to let him in?
Declan may be her only hope for solace, if he's strong enough to break down her walls. Will she risk letting him in ... or let her pain consume her?

**Trigger Warning**
This book is for ages 18 or older as it contains graphic violence, adult language and content. Rape, child abuse and molestation are also discussed and/or referenced.

Excerpt:

That does it for me. The idea that someone is hurting her causes a rage I’ve only ever felt once before in my life to flow through my entire body. I clench my fists and decide now is the moment I confront her. Is there another asshole bothering her now? Did her douchebag ex make an appearance? I will fucking end whoever did this to her. I know without asking that Jake would have my back on that move. I’d be willing to bet money Ron would as well. It takes every ounce of strength I have, but I wait until the night is a little closer to being over before snatching her arm and pulling her through the doorway into the dark kitchen. I spin her around to the wall beside the doorway, leaning down so we’re face to face, eye to eye. “You’re gonna tell me what the fuck is going on, and you’re gonna tell me right the fuck now. Is someone hurting you? Why are your knuckles all bruised? You been fighting?” I fire off everything at once, realizing I sound like a nagging girlfriend, but I need to know she’s okay. I NEED to get this off my chest. Bree sighs deeply, her warm breath fanning across my neck, making me aware of our proximity. I have her pinned to the wall, my left hand is still gripping her shoulder, and my right hand is on the wall above her head. I’m being a bastard, and using my size to cage her in. I watch her closely for signs of fear, but she almost looks bored, and mostly just annoyed. I know she can still refuse to answer, but I’ll be damned if she gets away from me until I have my say. She raises her eyes to give me an angry glare and I feel my dick twitch. Seeing fire in her eyes as opposed to the sadness they always carry makes her ten times hotter. Fuck, I’m an asshole. Something is seriously wrong with her, and I’m standing here getting turned on. “I’ve just had a lot on my mind. I’ve been…training. You know exercising and punching a bag. That’s why my knuckles are bruised.” She raises an eyebrow at me, daring me to question her more. I smirk down at her…she has no idea who she’s messing with. “You need to wear gloves then. You’re going to ruin your beautiful hands. You’re not actually sparring are you? ”I ask, my voice deeper than I intended. I’ve never been this close to her before, and my dick is currently trying to punch its way out of my zipper to reach her. She glances down, and I have a moment of horror when I realize there is no way she’s going to miss my erection. I’m a healthy boy, and my jeans were already on the tight side. Her breath hitches, and she jerks her eyes back up to meet mine. When I see the heat in her eyes, I swear I almost come in my pants like a teenager. Bree is fucking turned on by me. I can work with this. Letting go of her shoulder, I put my hand on the wall, completely closing her in, and lower my head towards hers. “I don’t fool around with Ron’s guys,” she says softly, making no move to avoid my quickly approaching lips. “Good thing I’m not one then,” I say, my mouth forming a smirk. I’m now so close to her lips I can feel their warmth on my own. “YO BREE, where ya at?” I hear Jake yell from outside the door. His voice is like a splash of cold water, causing me to jerk back, and the moment is gone. “My brother is an asshole,” I grumble, lowering my hands to adjust my erection, and backing further away from her. “Your brother just stopped me from making a stupid mistake,” she says, before walking out of the door.

Add to Goodreads

STIB_Teaser.png

Meet S. Ferguson:

S. Ferguson is a military wife and mother of three. She loves to find beauty in the flawed and broken.

Connect with S. Ferguson:







Join S. Ferguson’s Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfergusoninbetweeners/

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Book Review of Compelled by Inge-Lise Goss @IngeGoss



Book Title: Compelled
Genre: Crime Thriller/Supernatural Suspense
Pages: 325
Author: Inge-Lise Goss
Date Published: 1 November 2016

Synopsis:

New York Detective Sidney Langston is rushed to the hospital with excruciating chest pains the same night a woman who bears a remarkable resemblance to her is murdered in San Diego. Tests reveal Sidney is perfectly healthy, yet the crippling pain persists until the dead woman reaches out from beyond the grave for Sidney’s help to vindicate her wrongfully imprisoned husband and to find her murderer.

Desperate to remain pain free, Sidney embarks on a mission to exonerate an innocent man. With a ruthless killer at large, she soon discovers the crime is more than a simple whodunit when dangerous scenarios unfold. The dead woman’s spirit relentlessly pushes Detective Langston to solve the crime and correct an injustice – or forever be tormented by an invisible bullet wound.

Review:


CompelledCompelled by Inge-Lise Goss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic police procedural with a supernatural twist. I loved it!

Sidney Langston is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a New York Police Detective and is used to solving murders. She is a very determined woman who has her strengths and weaknesses. When a woman in San Diego is murdered, Sidney is beset with terrible chest pains and the doctors cannot find anything physically wrong with her. But when she begins to investigate the murder, things begin to get a little more complicated.

Having previously read other books by this author, I was eager to get my hands on this one. I started to read it and was instantly hooked. This story is extremely compelling (see what I did there?) reading and I read this in one sitting. This story is told through mainly Sidney's point of view, but other characters have their say too.

I really enjoyed getting to know Sidney better. However, she is not what I would call a by-the-book type policewoman. She is an instinctive and intuitive person and tends to follow her gut more often than not, even if it means breaking a few of those by-the-book rules. This made the story intriguing but in real life, it would make getting a conviction thrown out in a court of law. Nevertheless, I found myself holding my breath at times whilst she investigated. I also enjoyed meeting the other characters in the book. There are several that make an appearance: Chas Langston, Sidney's husband and New York District Attorney, Bernice, a spirit medium, and Sam Jordan, a private investigator for Mara's husband's lawyer amongst others.

I must admit that I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that it was more of a police procedural than ghost story. Although there is a supernatural twist, it doesn't overshadow the story. The author used the supernatural angle to great effect in my opinion. However, I was a little disappointed at the explanation for the connection between the murder victim and Sidney. I think I may have jumped the gun and made my own assumption (wrongly) about their connection, but when it was revealed, the actual one didn't feel right to me. Other readers may not have the same reaction, so will leave it up to you (the reader) to decide for yourself. There is a lot of suspense, thrilling chases and danger to keep me on the edge of my seat. Though, there are some lighter moments too that had me smiling if not giggling. I love the undercover scenes involving Sidney, especially the bar one with Sam. His reaction was priceless. There are several twists I didn't see coming, though when the actual murderer was revealed I had partly guessed who it was. Having said that, I was completely thrown by the machinations of a couple of the characters and was caught off guard when their actions were revealed. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings; sad that the story ended but happy at the outcome. There is no cliffhanger, just in case you were wondering.

Inge-Lise Goss has written an intriguing crime thriller/supernatural suspense full of danger, mystery and suspense. This is the fifth story I have read by this author, I love her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story is wonderful. I am now looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Due to some violence, although not too graphic, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book if you love thrillers full of mystery, suspense, danger, action, adventure and romance. This book can be read as a stand-alone. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:

Amazon US      Amazon UK     B&N

About The Author:



Inge-Lise Goss loves the journeys where her characters take her, and she hopes her readers do too. She was born in Denmark, raised in Utah and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah. She is a Certified Public Accountant and worked in that field for over twenty years. She now lives in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon with her husband and their dog, Bran, where she spends most of her time in her den writing stories. There, with her muse by her side, imagination has no boundaries and dreams come alive. When she’s not pounding away on the keyboard she can be found reading, rowing, or trying to perfect her golf game, which she fears is a lost cause.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Release Blitz: Free Falling by GL Chapple @GlChapple @bemybboyfriend



Title: Free Falling 
Author: GL Chapple 
Genre: Romance 









Maddie
Love shouldn’t hurt. 
Love should make your heart soar - not break it apart 
Love should make you feel safe - not broken and vulnerable. 
I don’t want to feel like this anymore. 

Marcus
Anger shouldn't be all-consuming. 
Anger at her for leaving me 
Anger at her for showing for me that life could be more - and making me crave it. 
I don’t want to feel like this anymore. 

Two damaged people, free-falling through life. 
Two friends. Two choices. Two questions. 
If you’re unable to save yourself, can you really help anyone else? 
Can happy-ever-afters exist if you no longer believe in fairy tales?





Friends told me how sorry they were – but it wasn’t their fault. They told me

I needed to move on - as if it were that fucking easy, and I could just

pick up and carry on. They apologised for my loss – as if I’d

misplaced an item of value, instead of the person that had helped

hold me together, all the broken, messed-up pieces of me…It

devalued her and everything that we had, and I hated that they could

make such stupid, thoughtless and ridiculous statements. I knew

they cared and I knew they were concerned, but it took all my

willpower not to punch them and tell them to fuck off and leave me

alone. I couldn’t give them what they wanted from me. I didn’t want

to talk. I didn’t want to feel…










GL Chapple is a welsh author that strongly believes she was born in the wrong country. She lives for hot, sunny days (of which there are never enough in her country of birth and residence!) Despite this, she can often be found at the beach with her husband and two young children. She has always loved to read and write and promised herself, one day, she would have a book bearing her name on her shelf. She will read almost any genre and despite her belief that the kindle ranks in the top ten of inventions, she still loves cuddling up with a paperback. She writes what she loves to read about: stories with heart, humour and heat.


 Twitter 
 Instagram 









Monday, 28 November 2016

Book Promo & Excerpt: Crown of Cinders (The Imdalind Series Book 7) by Rebecca Ethington @RebEthington

Available now is the final installment to the Imdalind Series. Discover more secrets. Find the end to all your favorite character's stories. Laugh. Cry. Fall in love with Imdalind all over again.

coc-release-day


crown-of-cinders-finalfront

The Internationally Best-Selling Imdalind Series comes to a close in this long awaited heart-pounding conclusion. For centuries the war that has raged within magic has ripped the world apart. Fought between Skȓítek and Trpaslík; killing father and son, and destroying a fragile balance between mortal and magic. For centuries everyone has been awaiting the Silnỳ, searching for the girl who was prophesized. The girl with power strong enough to defeat the evil that plagued the world, and bring the war to an end. For centuries, everyone was wrong. The Silnỳ was not what they had been told, the promises of future distorted by a sight that was tarnished. The evil was not what they had expected, not what they had been fighting against. Instead it was hidden amongst them; plotting, waiting for their time to strike. And it did. With fire and blade the hidden evil took it’s place upon a throne of blood. The evil has shown itself and now only one person can save them all. But with Sights that are no longer infallible and armies that are abandoning their king – it is no longer clear who that person is, or even if they have the courage to stand up to the evil and face their end.
now-available-countdown

EXCERPT:

Crown of Cinders Chapter One

Chapter One

“I have a job for you. Do it well, and I won’t kill you. Fail and your life will end in a much more painful way than poor Edmund finally found.”
The man Ovailia had spared cowered on the ground below me as I spoke, blood still dripping from my fingers, forming little pools of red by my feet. It was the red the man couldn’t look away from.
The red matched the fluid seeping from the corpse behind me.
“Stand.”
He didn’t hesitate. He moved quickly, his eyes still on the pools of blood, unwilling to look at me.
“I want you to go and tell everyone what you saw here. Tell everyone of what Sain, the first of the Drak, really is. Can you do that?”
“Y-ye-yes …”
Ovailia laughed as the man stuttered and wet himself in fear.
I smiled, my lips pulling away from my teeth as my eyes gleamed.
“Good. Then, when you are done, come back to me, and I’ll have another little job for you. You have a new master now. Do you understand?”
A nod and then the man tore from the room, stumbling over his own feet in his attempt to escape me.
“Do you think he will do it?” Ovailia asked, coming so close behind me I could feel my magic roar in an attempt to reach her.
“Yes, I do. Now is when things really start to get interesting.” Pulling Ovailia to me, I let my magic swell, moving it to reach her, realizing it wasn’t her it wanted.
It wasn’t her it craved.
It was sight. It was the world that was yet to be.
“Now is when everything gets real.” With two strong hands against her collarbone, I pushed her away from me, watching her stumble on her heels in an attempt to find her balance.
I didn’t care.
Allowing my magic to swell into sight, I saw the whispers of what was to come, shadows of what was about to happen. What needed to happen. I couldn’t let that man go.
“Wait,” I said to the man who was now down the hall, still trying to make his escape. My magic stretched out to him, wrapping around him and pulling him right back into the room.
I could hear his panicked screams due to the movement, could hear Ovailia’s disgruntled complaints from being thrown around. But all I saw was black, the fear and anger of my two companions fading into the screams of another sort.
Of sight.
“See what I have done!” My own voice echoed inside my mind as the images solidified.
I watched the crowd of horrified Trpaslíks appear in the hall of council, a large stone room that hadn’t been used in decades if not centuries. They looked at the corpse of the man I had destroyed, anger and fear clear on their face. One man yelled then another then another, and the sight began to shift to the same room. This time, it was full of bloodied bodies and bowed heads, Edmund’s loyalists cleared from the wheat like the chaff they were.
Useless garbage.
My heart rate accelerated at the sight of that, at the knowledge of what had happened—what could have happened if I had sent Damek out into the hordes with news of my accomplishments.
A revolt.
I had to stomp it.
The sight began to shift again, fire moving within the hall of Imdalind as a child laughed and cried in the background. It was a clear image, but one I waved away. I didn’t need to see more. I already understood the path my sight wished me to take. I already understood what it wanted me to see.
The fire-drenched hallway faded to the dim room before me as the black left my eyes, some prophecy half-formed on my lips before I pushed it away, too.
Ovailia stood before me, still irate at my hasty banishment, her arms folded over her waist like a stubborn child.
“What is it?” she snapped, her head high as she watched me, making it clear she hadn’t missed a moment of the sight. Knowing her, she had even tried to tap into it.
Luckily, the Black Water had been removed from her spine. I didn’t need her knowing too much about what I was planning, about what was coming.
“Something wonderful,” I said with a smile, taunting her as I stepped toward Edmund’s last remaining guard, leaving bloody footprints behind me.
The silence of the room pressed against my chest as the sight’s magic still reverberated inside me, loud and abrasive, the same image of the ignited hallway breaking through.
Just a flash of fire and smoke, and my heart stopped.
While I didn’t know what I was seeing, I knew someone else who might.
Someone who shouldn’t see any of this.
Edmund’s dead eyes looked at me as my heart picked up, a sudden fear gripping me, the disgusting emotion far too real.
I hoped I wasn’t too late.
I needed to stop her from seeing any of this.
Stop her from knowing what had happened.
I needed to put a block around my sight, a block around everything concerning me.
A Zámek.
The same magic had cursed Wyn. The same magic had been taught to Timothy by me in an attempt to kill her centuries before. This time, I would use it the way it was meant to be—to block a Drak’s sight, to stop them from peeking into someone’s life, into their fate.
Only powerful magic could cause such a wall. Although it would also block me from seeing into her fate, causing me to go into any upcoming battle blind, it was a risk I would have to take.
I needed to keep this from her. They couldn’t know what had happened until the perfect moment.
Body tensing in hesitation, I closed my eyes, knowing how much exertion this was going to take.
A Zámek was not done often, if at all. And I already knew it would weaken my ability, weaken my sight. But for this, it was a risk I would have to take.
Heart pounding, eyes shut, I let my magic swell within me, all of my power pulling into me, against my heart that held it, against my lungs that breathed it.
Swelling inside of me, strong and powerful, it began to shake, the energy condensing in a wave of power and sound that moved into my bones, rattled my skull. I could already feel the shield beginning to form, hard as steel, as dark as death. It was heavy enough to keep out even the most powerful magic of sight, to keep the future and past contained within me so that only I could see.
“What are you doing?” Ovailia snapped from beside me, her voice oddly distanced over the rumbling static that was filling my mind. “Sain, what do you see?”
Ignoring her, I focused on the power that seemed moments from exploding out of me. The rumbling grew worse until I was convinced the vibrating I felt moving inside me was visible from the outside. I half-expected Ovailia to scream in worry, but there was nothing except silence, nothing except my strained breathing as the iron-clad shield began to move away from me, stretching past the caves and over the fields that surrounded us, butting right up against the large shield Edmund had placed over them all.
Heaving with the effort, I kept myself upright, determined not to show the weakness the Zámek had on me, knowing I could easily pass out from the effort.
Timothy had almost killed himself, and he had spent a month putting it in place.
“Sain?” she asked again as I opened my eyes to glare at her. “What’s going on? What are you doing?”
“I am securing your future,” I said with a smile, the hidden meaning humorous to me.
Ovailia narrowed her eyes before looking away, obviously not happy with the response yet unwilling to pursue it any further.
I had more exhilarating things to deal with.
“You,” I snarled, aware that I wasn’t certain of his name, although it wasn’t something I would remedy. A man without a name was more valuable than a man who clung to a weak identity.
“Y … yes?” He lifted his head slowly, his body shaking as he pulled himself back to his feet, his head bowed in humility.
It wasn’t respect he was showing, however; it was fear. His focus was still fixed on the drying blood that coated my skin, that dripped from my disheveled beard, on the bright red footprints trailing behind me, on the body of his former master, and on Edmund’s guards who littered the room in a garden of death.
It was the remains of Edmund that he stared at the most, however. The air was saturated with the scent of his charred body. You couldn’t ignore it was there.
You couldn’t ignore what had happened.
Yes?” I repeated the response with a hiss, my eyebrows lifting.
Even if the warning in my voice hadn’t startled him, I was sure that did.
“Yes, master,” he amended quickly, his body shaking in fear, the anxiety making it difficult for him to stand. He continually shifted his feet, his hands flexing and grabbing at the air as if it would somehow support him.
“Do it,” I whispered, taking another step toward him, leaving another damp and sticky bloody print behind me. “Bow.”
He didn’t hesitate to fall to the ground, his hands and arms tucked underneath him as he quivered in a pathetic show of reverence. He looked like nothing more than the disgusting gelatin the mortals would eat.
This would not do.
“No, you idiot. I said bow, not cower.”
He shivered, the wobbling mass vibrating before me as my magic rushed from me and wrapped around him, infecting him, controlling him, contorting him into a form more acceptable for someone of my stature.
He screamed out in fear and pain as I contorted him, his arms twisting into unnatural positions before I tucked them underneath his torso, twisting him into the perfect form.
“Lovely,” I whispered, stepping toward him as his screams faded to pained whimpers. “That is a bow.”
“Yes, master,” he repeated once more, his voice stronger, as if the quivering would protect him from what was coming.
“I have changed my mind,” I began as I walked closer still, more bloody footprints appearing in his line of sight. “I have seen what is coming, and I have a new job for you.”
He jerked a bit, obviously confused and needing some kind of eye contact to verify what I had said.
My magic flared once in warning, jerking him back to the position I had placed him in, a small whimper of pain seeping from his throat.
“I no longer wish for you to tell them what has happened here. I wish for them to see it. I want them to see.” Flashes of the sight I’d had filled me, the screams and blood echoing inside my mind.
Turning toward Ovailia, I couldn’t stop the smile, knowing her part in all of this made it all the sweeter. She watched me intently, still not pulling herself away from the remains of her father.
“Tell them all,” I continued, the dried blood on my face pulling and cracking as I smiled toward the quivering mass below me. “Trpaslíks and Chosen are to gather in the old council hall. Tell them their master has an announcement to make, nothing more.”
I stood, waiting, focused on the pathetic man, on the quiver in his spine.
He said nothing. He did nothing except shiver.
I could feel my temper rise from being ignored, my magic heating and rising from the insubordination.
“Can you do that?” The words hissed past my teeth, and he shivered more, his head wobbling in what I assumed was a nod.
It didn’t matter. It wasn’t good enough. I did not have to put up with this type of behavior anymore. Never again. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it.
“I don’t appreciate being left waiting,” I snapped, and his back jerked as my magic wound around him once more, lifting him into the air with a jolt before slamming him against the far wall. Pictures rattled with the impact, a flurry of dust and tiny rocks falling from the ceiling as I jerked them free from the crevices they had been hiding in for thousands of years.
Ovailia shrieked in surprise behind me, but I didn’t turn, my focus remaining on the whimpering man whose bloodshot eyes were wide as I controlled him in the one way I knew how—with fear.
“I gave you a command, and I expect it to be carried out with perfect precision. Tell no one of what you have seen. Instead, instruct them in what their king has asked.”
King.
My heart was light with the use of the word on my own tongue. My smile so wide that the man before me shuddered, nodding his head furiously in obedience, the words of acceptance and understanding lost in the buzzing that now filled my ears.
After I dropped the man from the wall with one twitch of my magic, he scuttled away, desperate to do what had been demanded, desperate to comply before it was his own flesh that was burned. I, however, remained frozen in place, my eyes trained on the rough stone of the wall, on the streaks of faded blood Damek had left behind, on the word that was echoing on repeat.
King.
“What did you see, Sain?” Ovailia asked from behind me. I didn’t even look at her. “What are you planning?”
King.
“I plan nothing,” I snapped, still not looking at her, the word continuing to repeat within me. “It is the magic of the earth that lays my path. I am simply wise enough to follow.”
Years of plotting, of manipulating, of using everyone around me … After years of carefully setting the stage, I had finally accomplished what I had set out to do.
I was king once again after being stripped of my ruling power so many centuries before. And soon, everyone would know. Soon, everyone would bow to me as they had before, as they had for centuries.
I was one of the first.
I deserved nothing less.
And I had regained it.
Now, all that was left was to destroy the last remaining people who could take away this role. The last people who could challenge me: Joclyn, Ilyan, Wyn, perhaps even Ryland if he ever conquered the madness Edmund had given him.
Four people were all that were left in my way. And I would make them pay, for fighting me, for their parents’ mistake of removing me from the role I had been born to fill.
I had come from the mud. The earth had created me. I was the only one suited to rule them, the only one who could.
“King,” I said aloud, pulling my focus away from the wall and to the twisted charred corpse that Ovailia stood beside, her back straight and lips pursed as though she were guarding him.
Foolish girl, guarding the man she had killed.
Sending an irritated glance at the woman in question, I walked right past her, bee-lining for the body of the former. I almost expected her to step between me and my prey, but she remained still, her arms folded, lips pursed, and one long finger tapping against her forearm like a metronome.
“Is that what you wanted?” she asked, her voice filled with the same false sugar she had never quite mastered.
My face twisted into a scowl at the deceptive quality in it.
“To be king?”
Nostrils flaring in an effort to control my temper, I turned toward her. Ice ran down my spine as anger shook inside me due to her ignorance while she stood frozen over the body of her father, the smell of smoke surrounding us.
“I was king, Ovailia. I was the leader of these people. I should have never been removed from that role.” I scowled, but she didn’t so much as flinch at the anger.
“With the first four holders of magic, you mean?” She remained still, that finger still tapping, her eyes widening in some kind of disbelief.
My anger erupted at her ignorance. A loud laugh broke past the chill in the room as my magic surged, bright and powerful. Long, winding ribbons of yellow and gold trailed from me, dancing through the air before falling to the ground and wrapping around the remains of Edmund. Smoke and ash filled the air as I shifted him, his dead weight sagging and rolling around as I removed the bathrobe he still wore. The white cotton was stained with his blood, singed from the same flames that had devoured him.
“The four were the true rulers of these people. We were the kings and queens of this land.” I chuckled at the memory, the sound haunting as the bathrobe came free from the charred remains. The body fell to the ground in a plume of black ash that fell over us like snow.
Disgust filled Ovailia’s face as I felt her magic trill across the air, a shield keeping the ashes of her father off her.
I, however, let them fall. I let them cover me as I snagged the robe gently from the air, the fabric wet and crusty as the blood began to dry.
“You mean my grandmother.” It was a statement, a forgotten connection hitting me full in the face.
Her grandmother.
The same power of the first that I had worked to destroy was flowing through her veins, as it was Ilyan’s. The addition of Edmund’s Chosen blood made them powerhouses that had hindered my accomplishments for far too long. Powerhouses were too big of a liability.
“Yes, your grandmother,” I mused, holding the robe gently in my hands as I took a step toward her, ash falling from my hair and shoulders with the movement. “How unfortunate.”
“And why is that unfortunate?” she snapped, her voice strong, though I could sense the tiniest shake behind it.
“No reason,” I said with a smile, the icy look making her flinch for the first time.
Oh, well. I supposed I would have to add her to my list. Not that I hadn’t already intended to kill her after I had gotten my use of her. Now, it would have to be a bit sooner than expected.
Ilyan, Joclyn, Wyn, Ryland, and Ovailia. Thank all that I had already disposed of Edmund’s little puppet Míra in the pile of corpses, leaving Ilyan to set her aflame. The child had still borne Edmund’s Štít, which would not have died with his death.
The last of his magic, now I had to dispose of the last remains.
“All the other four are dead now,” I hissed, moving the robe from my arms and letting the blood drip across the air as I threw it over my shoulders, the damp fabric heavy. “I am the only one left, the only one fit to sit in this role.”
“The role of the blood-soaked king?”
“Yes.” My smile grew, the title fitting. “With a robe of blood and a crown of cinders, I leave death in my wake.”
“And hell before.” Ovailia stepped toward me, the tap of her heels against the ash sounding like bells. “You are the devil this world needs.”
A flash of the sight I’d had in the cathedral in Prague caused me to flinch: the white room, the voice of the woman. It blinded me, the pressure of her voice splitting my head.
Pushing the imagery and memory aside, I attempted to ignore the sudden boom of my heart that had exploded in my chest.
“No, darling,” I growled, pressing down on the sudden and despicable emotion, letting my anger and power smother it. “I am hell. It is the devil who searches for me.”
I expected her to flinch from the confession, flinch from the smile I fixed her with, but she persisted, her trademark glare in place as she casually brushed her hair behind her ear, her lithe fingers delicate in the motion.
Beautiful.
Intoxicating.
Lustful.
I swallowed, feeling my magic swell with the motion, trying to push itself beyond my skin to reach out to hers, to find hers.
I held it back, not wanting to feel the sweet need of her magic, not wanting to lose control. Not with her, not now.
I had a feeling, with the smile she now had, she knew exactly what she was doing.
“Maybe I am the devil.”
“Then I will destroy you, Ovailia. Just like all the others.”
It was a threat, but she smiled, her breasts heaving as she moved closer, as though she couldn’t keep herself away from the danger that was dripping from my skin.
“Try.”
I hadn’t expected the word. I hadn’t expected the weight behind it. My perfectly planned rebuttal stalled on my tongue, my magic tangling with hers in a heightened lust the threat gave me.
I swallowed, and she smiled, obviously sensing the control she had over me.
Perhaps she was the devil.
I would have to turn her skin as red as her father’s. And soon.
The imagery of that simple thought was beautiful.
“You killed them, too.” She already knew the answer. Not that it was that difficult to piece together after everything she had seen. Of course, she wasn’t completely right, and I wouldn’t let her know that.
Yes, I had killed two of them, but the third, that repulsive Vilỳ, had been dealt with by Edmund before I could. Imprisoning him, using him to infect himself and to infect his son, that idiotic boy who had released it, leaving him to infect my own daughter.
That little piece of information was too important to get out. If Ovailia knew how much power flowed within my dratted child, I was convinced I would lose her allegiance. She was too valuable of a weapon to lose.
I needed her … for now.
“You killed them all,” she whispered, moving closer as the flutter of her words moved over my skin.
“I did,” I admitted openly.
Her smile grew as mine did, the room silent and still as we faced each other.
The pulse of my magic was becoming unsteady. I needed to put a stop to it.
“I killed your grandmother,” I whispered back, my voice soft, while the words were hostile. “I stopped her heart. I devoured her magic like I did to your darling daddy.”
Her eyes clouded over as she flinched at my verbal assault, stepping back as I stepped closer, a wicked grin now stretching my lips, letting my teeth gleam in the dimly lit room.
Her chest heaved from either the proximity or with the words; I wasn’t sure which. She could either kiss me or attack me. I would gladly accept either.
“Are you sure you want to be the devil?” I prodded, taking yet another step toward her, expecting her to step away again.
She held her ground, her blue eyes hardening into the emotionless steel that was so common for her.
“I have already killed many who thought they could rule the hell that I am.”
Her lips pulled into a tight line, her nostrils flaring as she attempted to control her breathing, to control her anger. The rage of her magic was strong as it flew through the air, obviously moments away from attacking. I wished she would.
The imagery of her blood flowing over my hands to join her father’s was as delicious as it was frightening.
I couldn’t kill her yet, though. This emotional warfare would have to suffice for now.
“Will you be the devil, or will you help me harness hell?” My chest swelled, my heart pounding delicately from the excitement of the game I had entangled her in. The trap was so perfectly placed that, no matter which step she took, she would be trapped.
She knew it, too, judging by the hatred that started to creep into the beautiful blue of her eyes.
It made me want to kiss her more.
To kill her as I did.
Love, lust, and death traveled hand in hand.
“Do you serve me?”
“I do serve you, Sain,” she whispered, her voice strong, yet I could hear the work it took to disguise the shake behind it.
“Don’t forget that, my beautiful creature.” I wrapped my hand around her waist, pulling her to me, my hand strong as I let my magic press against her skin.
The anger in her eyes dissipated with the contact.
My own desire for her death faded right alongside.
She melted into me, lust taking control and firmly securing my control over her. This game of cat and mouse had begun.
Or rather, a game of heaven and hell.
It would be a matter of time before she showed me the devil she truly was.
It was then I would destroy her.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon US       Amazon UK

Get the first and second book of the series for FREE!!
Kiss of Fire (Book 1): Amazon US    Amazon UK
Eyes of Ember (Book 2): Amazon US   Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Rebecca Ethington is an internationally bestselling author with almost 700,000 books sold. Her breakout debut, The Imdalind Series, has been featured on bestseller lists since its debut in 2012, reaching thousands of adoring fans worldwide and cited as “Interesting and Intense” by USA Today’s Happily Ever After Blog.

From writing horror to romance and creating every sort of magical creature in be-tween, Rebecca’s imagination weaves vibrant worlds that transport readers into the pages of her books. Her writing has been described as fresh, original, and groundbreaking, with stories that bend genres and create fantastical worlds.

Born and raised under the lights of a stage, Rebecca has written stories by the ghost light, told them in whispers in dark corridors, and never stopped creating within the pages of a notebook.

AUTHOR LINKS: