I’m blogging in two places today. Be sure to check out the Samhain Blog where I’m talking about Cowboys, but be sure to comment here first to be entered in the Mermaid Journal contest (details in Tuesday’s post)! The winner will be announced tomorrow! ~DD
What can be hotter than Hell? In Darkness Captured, I tortured my characters, sending them to The Land of the Dead, forcing them to submit to untold indignities and dark pleasures. It was a completely decadent, utter joy to write. Here’s a snippet. Hope you enjoy!
“Delilah Devlin delivers an erotic tale of good and evil elevated to a higher level… The erotic scenes in this book are hotter than Hades and ten times more tempting. I dare you to resist!” 5 Cups, Coffee Time Romance
“Darkness Captured is…another steamy sensation!… Delilah Devlin is definitely the mistress of erotic romance!” Reader to Reader Reviews
“Another hot read of dark sensuality, riveting situations and jaw-dropping desire.” Fresh Pick!, Fresh Fiction
“Devlin creates memorable characters with exceptional emotional depth. Her magical worldbuilding sets as atmospheric scene for a fast-paced story. The sexual tension runs high and the encounters are smokin’ hot.” 4 Stars, RT Book Reviews
Driven by insatiable desire, a werewolf will enter hell to rescue a princess captured by the Master of Demons…
Headstrong and proud—a royal creature of sinuous grace, all primal instinct and lethal beauty—the shapeshifter Gabriella has agreed to serve as emissary to the vampires who rule in the shadows of the New Orleans night. But she cannot resist the pull of the demon she glimpses on the other side of a mirror, and she is drawn to him hungrily, through a magical portal into the Land of the Dead. Now an eternal nightmare awaits Gabriella at the hands of a mesmerizing dark lord who satisfies her every erotic need…while slowly devouring her soul.
The powerful warrior wolf Guntram Brandt is responsible for the safety of the vanished princess he swore allegiance to years before. Yet it is more than a soldier’s loyalty that pulls Guntram down into the depths of nightmare—for Gabriella ignites within him a burning animal passion that must be satisfied.
But when offered an escape, will she follow her rescuer to safety—torn between her lustful obsession with the dark lord who has enslaved her and her fierce sensual attraction to the only wolf who could ever master her?
Bright light streamed into The Master’s chamber, softened only by the mesh curtains closed against the morning sunlight.
Gabriella cracked open her eyes and listened, but heard no footsteps, no breaths or faint heartbeats. She inhaled through her nose, but found only the stale aroma of sex and Marduk’s fading musk.
She was alone.
Gingerly, she sat up, grimacing at the small intimate aches. Her mind spun with the images that flitted through her mind of all the nasty things she’d done. Her hand smoothed over her skin, touching on raised welts, still hot to the touch. A glance downward assured her they weren’t all that visible, were no longer red, just shallow stripes of raised flesh. She pinched one and groaned, loving the way the pain induced a heady arousal that rushed beneath her skin, flushing her, heating her sex.
“I’m such a slut,” she whispered.
And she was no closer to finding a means to escape. Already, her master’s attentions were beginning to fill her head with thoughts of what a life here with him would be like.
However, she wasn’t a bird like Simon’s kestrel, which could be forever happy inside her golden cage. She was a wolf. Her innate pride and independence would eventually rise up to nip her in the ass. As attractive as the demon was, she couldn’t forget what he was or where they were. Reaffirming her goal, she dropped her hands away from her hot skin and rose from the sumptuous bed.
She bathed quickly in the pool, keeping an eye out for movement from the sandy floor, but the vines behaved. Perhaps they only responded to the dragon’s urgings. She ruthlessly thrust aside a niggling disappointment and finished washing her hair and body with the potted soaps Xalia had left behind.
Because even the shredded skirt and bra had disappeared, she walked nude to the balcony and brushed her hair in the sunlight until it and her body were dry.
By the time she’d finished her ablutions, she was bored and pacing inside the chamber, an edgy anger growing along with her hunger. Silently, she railed at how quickly Marduk forgot all about her when he wasn’t thinking of his own pleasure.
She walked to the door, pressed an ear to the wood, but heard no sounds outside. Trying the latch, she found that this time it depressed. She cracked open the doorway and peered into the stairwell.
It was empty.
Thoughts swirled inside her head. She knew it was risky, but she longed to stretch her legs and needed to at least try to gain her freedom. And because she hadn’t clothing or shoes to make an escape, she backed away from the door, shook out her hair, and let the change come over her.
Her shoulders drew back, her head fell forward, and then she dropped onto her hands and knees, barely suppressing an excited howl as hair sprouted over her skin and bones crackled and reformed. When she straightened on all fours and shook her fur, elation filled her.
She nosed open the door and sprinted quickly down the winding staircase, down to the bottom and out the door into cobbled street.
The melding aromas assaulted her nostrils, but she inhaled deeply, catching an elusive and familiar scent. She bent closer and drew in the scent, quivering when she recognized it.
Guntram was here! She dropped her nose to the ground, found another spot where his fading scent remained, then another a long stride further down the street and hurried forward, ignoring the gasps of people darting from her path as she rushed forward in her eagerness to find him.
Then she heard shouts and the heavy whomp of large wings and raised her nose from the trail she followed to see a winged creature swooping down. A thick golden ruff of fur surrounded its leonine head. Golden brown feathers cloaked its wide-spread wings, but it was the lion’s paws, outstretched, claws extended, that made her heart skip a beat.
She whirled and headed the opposite way from Guntram’s scent, away from the demon bird rushing toward her. She ran hard, her lungs burning, felt a snip at her tail and changed direction again. When another snip at her flank turned her again, she realized the creature was herding her, but she was panicked, couldn’t take the time to think, because the thing was just above her.
Then she saw the open gates, saw the desert stretching in front of her and darted outside, flying down the grooved and graveled track to the bottom of the ridge where the fortress perched and ran for the dunes stretching as far as she could see.
The flapping grew fainter, a rumbling roar rose above her, returning to the fortress, but she was outside with a wide-open expanse in front of her, and she was free.
Gabriella ran as far as she could until her lungs felt ready to burst, then settled at the bottom of a dune and scratched at the sand, digging a hole to back inside and hide from whatever else might follow her from the air.
Only as her blood cooled, did she begin to worry. She had no water, and hunger rumbled in her belly. Worse, she hadn’t a clue how far the desert stretched or if there was an end, a place beyond the hot, golden sand.
She’d have to wait for darkness, climb to the top of the tallest dune and have a look around. One thing she knew—she couldn’t go back. Marduk would be furious she’d escaped.
She settled her muzzle atop her front paws. Happy at least that she was alone and had time to think about all that had happened, away from the enticements of her captor. She’d almost succumbed to his seduction, had been close to surrendering. She’d felt her will bending, nearly breaking beneath his sensual assault.
A shadow passed over the sand in front of her, so large it sunk her surroundings into dusk-like darkness.
She raised her head and watched a black cloud blot out the blazing sun. Odd, since there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky when she’d watched from the balcony of Marduk’s chamber. Then a distinct chill arrived on a breeze, and the blazing, empty desert blurred before her eyes.
The fur on her back lifted; her heart began to pound slowly. Something wasn’t right. Then she remembered Marduk’s warnings and knew she was in real trouble.
“True Hell” had found her.
Gabriella blinked, then glanced down. She was no longer a wolf, lying in a sandy den. She was in humanskin and clothed in a white shift. Her bare feet curled against cold, damp stone. Looking around her, the bare stone-block walls and arched ceiling above her head seemed familiar. She stood in the foyer of a stone keep, a tall oak door in front of her.
Voices carried from the beyond the door. She slumped toward it, her ear at the crack. Inside familiar voices whispered. Voices she hadn’t heard in centuries.
Mother? Father? Dear god, where was she? And when?
“She’s just a child,” her mother’s voice quavered.
A deep snort sounded. “She bled. She’s a woman now. It’s our way.”
“They’ll savage her.”
“She’ll survive. And she’ll have a mate to protect her.”
“It’s too soon. Please husband. Let me lock her door. We’ll wait until her next season. She has a right to know what is expected. I haven’t had time to prepare her.”
“You’ve coddled her. She should have known long ago.”
A wolf howled in the distance, drawing Gabriella’s attention from the heated conversation in the other room.
And suddenly she knew where she was, and what night this was, and her blood ran cold. Run to your room and lock the goddamn door! she screamed inside her mind.
But the girl she’d been didn’t hear. Her young body heated, excitement of a sort she’d never experienced before flooded her body, moistening the place between her legs. She wondered if it was blood. Her menses, or so her mother had explained when she’d provided the rags she would use to protect her clothing. But it had ended a fortnight ago.
It was too soon for that to happen again, and the moisture was too hot and thin. Something else was happening.
Another howl, another voice, called to her, inviting her to run.
She ignored the conversation in the hall and ran on light steps to the tall wooden doors at the entrance of the keep and pushed them open. At the top of the steps, she shed her clothing, wanting to join the wolves, her playmates, in the forest.
Her mother’s shriek sounded in the distance behind her, but she was already shifting, already running for the gate, her heart beating happily as she entered the forest.
Freedom awaited her there. Whining howls erupted around her and she called back, letting them know where she was as she raced toward the stream. Her pack’s special meeting place.
Rabbits and deer would be feeding. A hunt would ease the tension coiling inside her body these past few days. She entered a clearing and halted, not recognizing the wolves that waited there.
Not her pack. Lone wolves. Ones her mother had warned her about. She began to back up, preparing to whirl and run the opposite way, but another blocked her path.
Low growls emanated from the two largest wolves in front of her, one a speckled gray, the other pure black. Teeth bared as the two males faced off, until the gray leapt, jaws opening and he took the black to the ground, rolling in the leaves and dirt.
She backed up, knowing she needed to escape because the other males weren’t watching the fight. They watched her. And were slowly closing in.
She felt a cold nose nuzzle beneath her tail, and whipped around to snap, forcing him to jump back, but when she faced forward again, the black was on his feet and approaching, his head low to the ground, his eyes glinting in the darkness.
The other wolves continued to close in, and she began to quiver, knowing her escape was closed.
Frozen in place, terrified by the vicious flair of his nostrils and the length of white fang he displayed, she could only watch in horror. He came close, his nose sniffling along her sides, under her tail, his tongue lapping out to lick her there.
She folded down her tail and bent her back legs to escape him, but he nipped her flanks and she danced to the side, trying to evade his attention.
She understood his purpose now. Sensed on a primal level that the males had gathered because of her heat, because of the scent of arousal that carried on the wind, summoning them.
If one covered her, conquered her, she’d be his. Mated. Despite what her mother thought, she knew that much about their ways. If she was dominated, pierced and locked by his wolf’s knotted member, she’d be his.
Be sure to check out the snippets on these other authors’ blogs: