UPDATE: The winner is Bobbi Kinion!
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I’m on pins and needles, waiting for this book to release. It’s just the sort of thing I love to write, and I’m hoping you’ll love it too! It releases on July 15th and it’s ready for pre-order now. Here are the links:
Last Tuesday, I shared the opening of the story so you could meet my two lovers, Bryn and Ethan. She’s a witch. He’s a troll. She’s determined never to be possessed by another demon. He’s determined to have a witch in his pocket, because having one increases a demon’s standing and power. Of course, everything ends happily enough. And the sex is out of this world. Luckily, there are four other sister-witches in Bryn’s coven who need their happy endings. And let me tell you, the fellas outnumber the women, so you know where the series will lead. 😉
I’ve included an excerpt. A tease, really. Just to give you a glimpse of the other characters you’ll meet along the way. And yes, there are a lot of names in this passage, but I promise if you read the whole book, you will know several of them already…
Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free download from among my backlist of Samhain titles.
EXCERPT: Bryn has just discovered Ethan is a troll…
The house was eerily silent when they stepped inside the kitchen. Bryn gave Ethan a questioning glance, but he shook his head. He took her by the hand and pulled her behind him as they made their way to the parlor.
Inside, she halted. The room was crowded with men. Others. She knew because each was perfectly formed as only otherworldly creatures could be. They appeared happy to see Ethan. So they were friends of his. She hoped he’d stay true to his word. Although now, she worried he might be torn to pieces when he told the group they couldn’t take the women.
Her sisters sat, four in a row on the couch, their hands clasped together, eyes wide as saucers. When they saw her, they all began shouting.
“Ethan’s one of them.”
“They’ve come to claim us.”
“Fucking bastards.” That last comment came from Darcy whose green eyes flashed.
Bryn shook her head, telling them silently to be quiet. Then she bowed her head.
Her sisters gasped at her submissive gesture.
Ethan’s arm encircled her waist. He tipped up her face. “We made a bargain, and it didn’t include you bowing to my will.”
Her gaze clung to him. What was he doing?
His glance swept the men gathered in the parlor. There was over a dozen of them—dark and fair, burly and lean, all with shining eyes. Renner’s sea-bright gaze was so intense, she wondered how they’d missed the fact he was Other. All of the men shared the same hard-edged, feral look. Their expressions had grown shuttered, their gazes watchful. Even Renner, who had seemed so easygoing, was frowning.
“There are complications,” Ethan said. “Bryn was already claimed. But we’ve mated. She tells me she may already be pregnant. Her sisters,” he said, nodding to the quiet women, “are mine to protect.”
Renner stepped forward. “You’re keeping them? All of them?” he asked, his voice rising.
Ethan’s frown was fierce. “I won’t be bedding them. But they will remain in this house with us. And they have my protection. I’ve promised Bryn that her friends will be given their choice of mates.”
The expressions of all the men darkened, fierce scowls that made gooseflesh rise on Bryn’s arms.
Ethan squeezed her hand and glanced down at her. “Bryn was previously mated with a hellhound. Merrick, to be precise. And since you all know his reputation, you know that when he finds us, he’ll try his best to kill me. You have no obligation to stand with me. If you leave now, you won’t be implicated.”
Bryn offered him a small smile and then they both turned back to the group.
Renner’s gaze shot to the women. His frown eased as he gave each a thorough glance.
Bryn knew what he saw. Four very frightened but determined women.
He raised his head to meet Ethan’s stern glance. “I’m staying. I’ll help you protect them.”
There were murmurs from the group, but they stepped forward one by one and gave the same pledge.
Renner smiled ruefully. “For a low-life troll, you’ve certainly reached high.”
“As a bottom-dwelling draugr, you aren’t exactly standing on my shoulders.”
In truth, if all the men in the room were friends to a troll and a draugr, they were from the lowest echelons of demon spawn. It was easy to see that ambition to rise higher than their birthright and their kind had bonded them.
Ethan gave a nod. “So be it. Every woman will have three guards. You’ll work in shifts. One at night, two during the day. And we have to continue the bridge project.” His gaze went to Renner. “You make the assignments.”
Miren cleared her throat, drawing all the male gazes to where she sat on the couch. “Since we’re the ones who have to put up with you constantly underfoot, don’t you think we should choose our own bodyguards? I run a shrimping outfit. Who among you doesn’t lose his breakfast on a boat?”
Renner’s grin stretched. “I’m a sea-draugr.”
Two more raised their hands. “We’re mer-folk.”
And so the assignments were made according to common interests and powers.
Finding beds for all of them proved more challenging. The women took Bryn’s remaining empty rooms. Pallets were made up for the men in the upstairs hallway and on the porch, with one man stationed inside each of the witchs’ rooms. Something the women seemed entirely too excited about.
“Sisters,” Bryn hissed after she pulled them into the kitchen for a last-minute chat. “I know we’ve been without male company for a while, but you’ve been offered a gift. Don’t allow them to romance the right of choice out from under you.”
“So says the woman who has twice been claimed,” Darcy said with an arch of her red brow.
“Claimed once by a monster. As you well remember.” She sighed. “Please, take your time. We don’t know these men. For now, Ethan seems to have them roped in, but they’ve all caught your scents. We can’t have them challenging each other for your hands.”
“It’s not like we have to choose only one,” Miren said, but then pressed her lips into a narrow line at Bryn’s frown. “Just sayin’.”
Her sisters giggled.
“True,” said Darcy. “And how does one choose between a dragon and a gargoyle?” Darcy ran a crafters’ cottage, complete with pottery wheel and kiln. Her choices had naturally aligned with stone and fire.
Radha giggled. “The satyr offered to let me sheer his fur to make yarn on my spindle.”
Bryn couldn’t help it, a smile tugged at her mouth. “So long as you realize that the moment you accept a mate and he claims you, that the echo will sound.”
“Merrick and his friends might already know,” Aoife said. “How can we trust that every one of Ethan’s friends will keep his silence?”
“There are plenty of games we can play without risking an echo,” Darcy said with a graceful wave of her hand. “A little play might bind them closer to us.”
A rap sounded on the kitchen door. Ethan pushed through it. “The men are ready to bed down. It might be best for the women to retreat to their rooms.”
The sisters shared charged glances. “If anyone cries out,” Bryn whispered, “we shall all answer.”
They nodded, and then the women trailed out of the kitchen, leaving Bryn alone with Ethan.
Bryn sighed. “This is—”
“Complicated,” he finished. “I know. But you can trust me.”
“And should I trust the others?”
He arched one brow. “You don’t think they all fear a troll?”
She shrugged. “I suppose. I’ve never seen you in your true form.”
“And you won’t. Not unless I have to protect you.” He held out his hand. A hint of his earlier arousal was there in his dark eyes. “I’ll be staying in your room.”
Not a question, but she nodded, agreeing. “Of course.”
“Kahn and Sigurd understand that so long as they watch over you during the day, they are free to woo the others.”
She jutted her chin. “You didn’t offer them the chance to share?”
His grunt was wickedly masculine. “Do you really think you could handle more than me in your bed?”
She remembered the immense pressure. She was sure, once she was accustomed to his girth, that just the act of him entering her would be enough to set her off. “No. I don’t want another lover. And we have a bargain. You’re free to include that stipulation.”
“Then I will. Come to bed.”
As meek as a lamb, she allowed him to lead her through her house and up the wooden staircase. She passed the girls’ rooms, heard laughter, smelled the heady mix of testosterone and estrogen, of arousal so thick her own body began to warm, her breasts and pussy to thicken with her stirring blood.
She stepped around the pallet of blankets and quilts that Kahn had made for himself outside her door. He was jinn, and his talents would have more naturally aligned with Radha’s, but Bryn understood her sister’s reluctance to accept his proximity. He was seduction incarnate when he smiled. His mouth was sensual and mobile, his black eyes filled with mystery. He’d probably scared the dickens out of Radha.
“Sigurd’s on the porch,” Kahn said. “He wants to run in wolfskin tonight.”
She nodded, uncomfortable with the way the men talked openly about their true selves after having suppressed her own for so long except in front of her sisters.
Ethan followed her into her room and began to disrobe.
He studied her face and stopped when he was wearing only his boxer briefs. “I’ll sleep on top of the covers.”
She shook her head. “We’ve passed that point. But this is an adjustment for me.”
“And I told you before we mated that I’d respect your right to tell me no.”
“I can’t tell you that,” she said, her eyes beginning to well with tears. Her need was strong. And he knew it. A tremble shook her frame and she gasped.
There was understanding in his eyes. Perhaps a little sympathy. A witch’s heightened state of arousal when in the company of a mate wasn’t something she was prepared to fight. Especially not when she knew the pleasure he would give her.
She turned and lifted her hair. And just as he had in the gazebo, he moved closer and pulled down her zipper.