Just a heads-up… I’m guest blogging @ Castles & Guns…
Tarnished Knight is available now… FYI-it’s not listed as red-hot, but IMO, that’s what it is. It’s every bit as hot as Crazed Hearts was-actually a lot hotter but for some reason, it didn’t get the erotic romance/red hots tag.
Think you know fairy tales… guess again…
erotic paranormal romance
One look at Jack Wallace and Perci knows he’s going to be trouble. Even surrounded by soul stealers, he’s a one-man wrecking crew. What does he need Grimm training for? He’s already hell on earth, a warrior bent on destruction. And something…more.
He’s too strong and fast to be a mere mortal. Even covered in blood, he makes her forget she’s only here to do a job and get out. It’s twisted. Sick. She hasn’t felt this alive in three centuries.
Born with a natural talent for killing unnatural things, Jack has always known things he shouldn’t. The fact that Perci is one of them glows all over her. Giving him an unholy urge to see just how far he can push her before don’t touch me melts into touch me there.
When they come together, it isn’t careful or cautious. It’s heaven and hell, exposing all their raw and wounded places to healing heat, resurrecting memories of a destined love from the distant past. But the evil that destroyed them once before has tracked them here, threatening their second and last chance at forever. Demanding a sacrifice no one—Grimm or human—should ever be asked to make…
Tiny lead-in… Perci (the heroine) is a healer.
She weighed nothing.
Jack carried her into his house and tried not to think about how fragile she felt, how delicate.
As he lay her on his bed, he sat down beside her and touched the pulse in her neck, although he wasn’t sure why.
It wasn’t like she could die, right?
But she’d coughed up blood. She’d collapsed. She was unconscious, and damn it, why the hell had she done that? It wasn’t like he hadn’t dealt with busted ribs before.
The pulse under his touch was strong, steady, although slower than he would have expected. He sighed and shifted around, buried his face in his hands, and even as he did it, he marveled that he could do it without pain. Not even ten minutes ago, he’d been all but ready to beg for her to just leave him the hell alone just so he could do something about his fucking ribs, and now he was fine.
Driven by curiosity, he stood and moved to the mirror over his bureau, staring at his face. He should have looked like a human punching bag.
But there wasn’t even a damn mark on him.
He grabbed the hem of his bloodied and stained T-shirt and pulled it off. His ribs should have been black and blue, but there was nothing.
In the mirror, he looked at Perci’s reflection, watched as she shifted, watched her face tighten with pain. He clenched his jaw and turned around, strode across the floor.
She’d taken his injuries, his fucking busted ribs. Sitting down on the side of the bed, he caught her shirt and eased it up. And felt like he’d been sucker-punched all over again. Because her ribs looked easily twice as bad as his should have looked.
Shifting his gaze up, he realized she’d woken up and was staring at him, her brown eyes clouded with pain.
“If you hadn’t fucking done that, there wouldn’t be anything to pass.”
“I still would have been hurting, as long as I was anywhere near you.” She grimaced. “I heal. I can’t be around somebody in physical pain without feeling something, and it’s worse with somebody I know, somebody I’ve…ah…well…”
She wrinkled her nose. “I was thinking connected with. If there’s some sort of connection, it’s a lot worse.”
“Then you should have just gotten the hell away from me.” He stared at the bruises, willing them to fade. But it didn’t seem like they were. Impatient, he grabbed the knife from his boot and sliced her shirt open.
Perci glared at him. “Damn it, what are you doing?”
“You said you heal fast. You should heal fast and I’m not seeing it happen.”
“It’s only been a few minutes.” Then she closed her eyes and took a slow, clearly cautious breath. “I can breathe easier, and it’s not hurting as much. The bruises will be the last thing to go. But it’s getting better.”
Gently, he touched one finger to a bruise. It was an ugly stain on her pale, pale skin and just the sight of it was like an obscenity. “You shouldn’t have done this,” he muttered. “It was my fight, my fault. You shouldn’t have had to deal with the pain.”
“I was given a gift to use it.” She stared at him with unconcerned eyes, liked she wasn’t bothered by the fact that her entire torso was a dark rainbow. “And hey, I’ve had worse.”
“You honestly feel the pain of everybody around you?”
She shrugged. “Not all the time. I can shield against it and I don’t help everybody. I can’t. Even my energy isn’t endless. I’ve figured that out.” She closed her eyes. “And the gift has…changed over time. But this was easy.”
“You call this easy?”
“Compared to some of the people I’ve had to heal? Yes.”
He was staring so hard at the bruises it took him a few moments to realize they were actually lessening. Fading away.
It was a slow, gradual thing, and he counted the minutes away as he watched her body slowly absorb the bruises she’d taken from him.
Fifteen minutes after she’d opened her eyes, she squinted at him and demanded, “Are you going to sit there until every last bruise is gone?”
“Yes.” He curled his hand over her hip, rubbed one bruise with his thumb. “They never should have gone to you to begin with.”
“Oh, for crying out loud…” She went to sit up, but then she froze.
Her brown eyes were only inches away from him, her mouth so very, very close.
“I don’t like seeing marks on you,” Jack muttered.
Perci’s lashes lowered over her eyes. “Unfortunately, I get marked up a lot. But I heal fast. Deal with it.”
“Hmmm.” He dipped his head and skimmed his lips down her neck. “Why did you leave so fast?”
“I…” She shuddered. “I needed to think.”
“Thinking can be very overrated.”
“Yeah. But it needed to be done.”
“Okay.” He brushed the ruin of her shirt aside and nipped the soft curve of her shoulder. “Did it help you figure anything out?”
“No. Not a damn thing.” She tilted her head to the side, baring her neck.
Jack took the hint and nuzzled her neck again, scraping the flesh with his teeth and smiling as she shivered. “I like the feel of you, Perci. I like the taste of you.”
“Hmmm. The feeling is mutual.” She stroked a hand up his side and then whispered, “Jack, can I ask you something?”
“Anything.” Damn, he’d give her anything…
Samhain Publishing/MBAM | Nook Store | Kindle Store
If anybody is curious about why I decided to totally tear Rapunzel apart…you can blame Lynn Viehl. She suggested it here…
I always liked Rapunzel, and I’d love to see you rip it to shreds.
And shred it is exactly what I did, I think… O.o
Available in ebook only right now… should go to print sometime in the next year or so.
Those who did a review of this book, if you’d like, can you leave a link in the comments? I’ll try to remember to round them up when I’m a little more back online, but it might be a few more days-I need a few days downtime… Links often get caught & held, but don’t worry, I’ll clear them out.
Reviews (FYI, these are the ones I’ve been notified of via email… I’m still not on twitter much right now)