Excerpt from EDGE OF DARKNESS
“Well,” he said, pausing a few feet away, “it’s late. I’ve imposed on you long enough. Thank you for the tea.”
He smiled at that—anytime—and something in her chest softened, a peculiar sort of melting. The man was so handsome it made her head hurt. That face. That body. Those eyes. Jesus. She had to get him out before she lost her mind and threw herself on him.
She ground her teeth together. Not desperate. NOT desperate. And, she reminded herself, I hate him. He’s too pretty for his own good.
“What is that look you’re giving me? Are you by chance plotting my death?” Christian asked, bemused. Her cheeks flamed—caught again.
“I’ve just really got to get out of this costume,” she said, careful to keep her face blank. She crossed the small living room quickly, put her hand on the doorknob. “I think I’m suffocating my poor skin, latex doesn’t exactly breathe. Plus, I’m beat.”
She turned the knob and cracked the door open, as clear a signal as she could give that she agreed with him—it was time for him to go.
He watched her with those preternatural eyes, his gaze taking in her bare feet, the cat’s costume, the tail dangling behind her like a dare. Her expression, so carefully neutral. A slight upward lift curled his lips as if he found something amusing. Leisurely, with his hands in his pockets and his gaze never leaving hers, he crossed to the door and stood looking down at her, mere inches away.
“I’ll see you at the store tomorrow.”
It sounded like a threat. She peered up at him, lips pursed, hating the way his proximity sent her blood into a frenzy. Her heart pounded so hard in her chest she wondered if he could hear it. “Okay.” She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. “Whatever.”
His smile deepened. “Doesn’t really matter either way, hmm?”
She moistened her lips and shrugged again, looking away. Then he did the most astonishing thing, something that turned her to stone and stole all the breath from her lungs.
He reached out, touched two fingers to the pulse throbbing wildly in her neck and held them there with the softest pressure, subtly dominant. She glanced back at his face, speechless, and he was looking down at her as if he knew all about her, as if he could read every single thought that crossed her mind.
He murmured, “Secrets are okay. Secrets I understand. But don’t lie to me, Ember. You want to see me tomorrow as much as I want to see you.”
She was pinned in the raw force of his eyes, magnetic, overpowering. Very slowly, oh-so-lightly, he slid his fingers down the length of her throat, skimming the surface of her skin, dipping his thumb into the hollow at the base of her neck, until his hand came to rest in the center of her chest, directly over her heart. He opened his palm over the rings on her necklace and pressed against her breastbone.
Boom, boom, boom, throbbed her heart. Her traitorous, telltale heart.
She bit her tongue. He leaned slightly forward when he spoke and she felt his warm breath brush her cheek. “Ember. Admit it.”
There was fire in his eyes, fire in her blood, fire in the air all around them. She breathed fire into her lungs with each breath, and with each breath felt it scorch through her body, consuming. Dangerous.
She whispered, “I’m not looking for any complications in my life, Christian. And that’s not a lie. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, where I’m. . .” She faltered, because he was watching her lips as she spoke, looking at her mouth in total concentration. And somehow he’d moved closer. “Where I’m safe.”
The word safe affected him, made him hesitate. She felt it in the tension in his body, the slight twitch in the hand he’d pressed over her heart. He closed his eyes for just longer than a blink, then withdrew his hand. The sudden loss of heat against her skin was jarring.
“Of course,” he murmured. He exhaled. “You’re right.”
He didn’t say I understand. He said you’re right. The difference struck her as important, but she couldn’t pinpoint why.
He stepped back, turned to the door and gave her a small, apologetic smile over his shoulder. “I’ll have to ask you to forgive me again. It seems I’m always off-balance around you.” He exhaled again, ran a hand through his thick black hair. Then with a quiet, “Good night, Ember,” he slipped through the open door and silently, swiftly, disappeared down the stairs.
Ember closed the door and stood in the darkness for long minutes, unseeing, her blood and nerves and thoughts frenzied, her hands shaking at her sides.
I’m always off-balance around you.
Well, that definitely made two of them. And despite feeling very clearly he was somehow dangerous, despite her resolve to dislike him and keep it all business, she was equally certain there was something going on between them. Something her body recognized and to which it responded. Something her mind—always so careful, always so calculating—was doing little to counteract.
“Christian McLoughlin,” she whispered to the dark, empty room, “who are you? And what the hell have you done with my brain?”
The room had no answer.
Night Prowler, #1
Available at: Amazon
Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.
Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…
EDGE OF OBLIVION
Night Prowler, #2
Available at: Amazon
There exists a world beyond our own. It is a world of ancient magic and well-guarded secrets, a world of strict laws and harsh punishments for those who betray them, a world inhabited by the Ikati, a race of gifted people who are so much more than they first appear. Brought together by fate in this world of danger and beauty, two people with dark pasts will meet.
Morgan is beautiful, smart, sexy…and about to die. Convicted of treason against her shape-shifting kin, she is given one last chance at redemption; discover the hidden lair of the enemy intent on destroying every one of her kind, or forfeit her life.
Xander is ruthless, heartless, cold-blooded…and assigned to kill her if she fails in her task. Expecting to feel nothing but contempt for the traitor under his watch, the assassin accompanies Morgan on her search, but as the two race through the heart of Italy while the clock winds down to zero hour, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous web of desire as powerful as it is forbidden. Their passion will test everything they believe in, and endanger the future of the tribe itself.
Night Prowler, #3
Available at: Amazon
SECRETS…In the hidden world that exists beside our own, a mirror world of ancient magic and elegant deceptions, a world of people who are so much more than they first appear, a war is brewing. Most of these Gifted people—the Ikati, a savage, sensual race of lethal predators—are content to hide behind human smiles, disguising their splendor in order to survive. But others are discontent. And they will hide no longer.
BETRAYALS…Eliana lives for two things only: vengeance on the man who killed her father, and seeing his dream of living in the open with humans come to pass. But that dream is far too dangerous for The Hunt, a group of elite Ikati assassins with one objective: eliminate her before she can expose their secrets to the world.
SEDUCTION…Demetrius is haunted by the memory of the woman he once loved. He will risk everything to save her from the killers on her tail…and convince her, before the ancient walls between two worlds crumble, that only together can they defeat their real enemy, a brilliant, cunning traitor far more deadly than either of them can guess.
EDGE OF DARKNESS
Night Prowler, #4
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Six years after a shocking tragedy left her emotionally and physically scarred, Ember Jones lives a life of quiet isolation in Barcelona. Determined to keep her troubled past a secret, she keeps her head down and her heart locked up tight. Until the day a beautiful, mysterious stranger walks into her life, and her carefully controlled world is shattered forever.
Christian McLoughlin is unlike anyone Ember has ever met. Wealthy, cultured, and utterly charismatic, he also has dark secrets of his own. They succumb to the undeniable pull between them and embark on a passionate affair, but things turn explosive when the truth about Christian and the reason he came to Barcelona is exposed. As their dark pasts collide, the two unlikely lovers find themselves caught in a web of danger and deceit that neither of them might survive.
The Edge of Darkness, where hunter becomes hunted, no one can be trusted, and love is the most dangerous game of them all.
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