September 1st has arrived and BLAZE (the second in the Dark In You series) has been officially released! In addition, the first book, Burn, is now available on paperback. I’ve got a giveaway going on my Facebook page if you’re interested.
Here is the synopsis for Blaze…
Defeat the enemy. Win the boy. Live happily ever after.But life “ever after” isn’t as easy as it used to be. Harper’s gone from being a member of a small demon lair to co-Prime of one of the most powerful lairs in the US with a mate who, though hot as hell, is just a mite overprotective – I mean, you get kidnapped by dark practitioners just once . . .
Then one of Knox’s demons goes rogue, and in his madness decides Knox Thorne must die.
Harper’s worried. Knox isn’t – at least until he discovers his mate’s willingness to get between him and danger. Now, Knox has a new priority: Keep Harper safe . . . no matter what it takes.
But Harper begins to suspect there’s more danger than one rogue demon. It seems the combined strength of Harper and Knox has upset the balance of power in the demon world and there are those who are determined to right that wrong.
Because when you move up the food chain, sometimes the other predators just want to take a bigger bite.
“Unique, original and very entertaining.” Ramblings from this Chick
“It’s been two minutes since my last fix and I need Suzanne Wright to give me more” Edgy Reviews
If you’d like to check out an excerpt, read on…
“Stop right there, bitch!”
Snapping her gaze from her cell phone to the pistol now aimed at her head, Harper Wallis froze. Well, shit. She couldn’t deny that she had some karma to burn off. She was no angel. Being a demon, she was quite the opposite, in fact. But having a gun pointed at her by a human with a shaky hand and dilated pupils that said he was drugged up to his eyes balls…well, it just felt like the universe was being a little unfair, that’s all.
“Put the phone on the ground!”
She so didn’t have time for this. She’d taken a quick break from work so she could head to the ATM—
“Put the phone on the ground!”
“Do I really have to?” The floor of the alley was covered in grime, cigarette butts, glass fragments, and dirty rain puddles. Then there were those dubious looking stains…
“Don’t make me repeat myself.”
With an inward sigh, Harper slowly did as he asked.
Note to self: Stop taking shortcuts through alleys. It wasn’t exactly a scenic route with the dumpsters, trash bags, moldy walls, and scent of rotting food…although the graffiti was pretty cool. The artist definitely had potential.
“Hands up and keep them up!”
She raised her hands, all the while staring into blue eyes that flickered with nervousness. Sparky here wasn’t as confident as he was trying to appear. But he had every reason to feel at least a little confident. They were alone except for the rats, she was small where he was burly, and he had a weapon while she was unarmed—or, at least, that was what he thought. Not that the stiletto knife tucked into her boot was going to do her much good against a gun.
Really, she should know better. This area of North Las Vegas was high in crime…which, incidentally, was why her family fit right in. The Wallis demons were pretty notorious for doing exactly what all imps did: mostly lying, stealing, tricking, cheating, and of course breaking and entering. Although Harper was a sphinx like her mother, she’d been raised by her paternal family and was an imp by nature.
“Now throw me your purse!”
“You told me to keep my hands up,” she pointed out.
“Well, now I’m telling you to give me your damn purse.”
Okay, that was going to be a problem. It had been a gift, and she wasn’t going to hand it over to anyone.
How rude. Not that he was wrong. She was a bitch and she took pride in it. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
His brows drew together. “What?”
“See, someone very important to me bought me this. I tell him not to keep buying me shit, but he doesn’t listen. He likes to spoil me, even though it makes me uncomfortable—”
A burger wrapper crumpled under his foot as he took an aggressive step forward, lips flattening. “Throw. Me. The. Purse.”
Her inner demon snarled, eager for Harper to either slit his throat or do something equally entertaining. Like shifters, demons had a dualism to the soul. Shifters shared their soul with an animal. Demons, however, shared theirs with a dark entity—an entity that was without conscience, possessed a strong sense of entitlement, and lacked both empathy and the ability to emotionally connect. “Come on, give a girl a break.”
“Oh, I’ll give you something,” he said, a lewd gleam in his eyes.
Like hell he would. A dark yet protective power unfurled from within her and rushed to her fingertips, making them prickle. Her demon urged her to release it on the human, but there were other ways of dealing with him.
“You don’t want the purse,” she said in the compelling tone that all sphinxes were gifted with, enabling them to confuse people. Satisfied when his eyes glazed over, she went on, “You don’t want to hurt me. You want to drop the gun.” She wished she could compel him to never do it again or to confess his crimes to the police, but her compulsions wouldn’t hold that long.
A car honked in the distance, making him jump, and the glaze fell from his eyes. “Give me the purse!”
“This is getting tedious.” She flinched at a loud bang. Motherfucker. The human had shot at the ground in front of her feet. She wasn’t sure if he’d purposely missed; she had no interest in finding out. Before that shaky hand could shoot again, she acted. Faster than he could ever hope to be, she whipped out her knife, kicked the gun out of his hand, slammed him into the wall, and put her blade to his throat.
Breaths quick and shallow, he stared at her through wide eyes. Well he’d be a lot more scared if she granted her demon’s request and infused hellfire into the knife. It would be pretty funny to watch his face go slack, but that would be exposing herself as inhuman and…and was it just her, or had the temperature dropped seriously quickly? It was also darkening fast. She looked up. A dark, heavy, ominous-looking cloud had formed—
Harper’s eyes snapped back to the human as a large, sweaty hand crushed her wrist and sharply yanked it, making her drop her blade. His free hand wrapped tight around her throat as he spun them, slamming her into the wall. The breath whooshed out of her lungs. Fisting her hair, he rammed the back of her skull against the wall, and there was the sickening sound of bone hitting brick. Spots danced in front of her eyes and a ringing sound filled her ears.
“Bitch!” He bit down hard into her cheek as he roughly tore open her fly.
Motherfucking bastard. She slapped her palm to his forehead, and the power prickling her fingertips shoved its way inside him. With an agonized sob, he dropped to his knees and slapped his hands against his head. A little on the dizzy side, she rapidly blinked. The bite mark on her cheek was throbbing like a bitch. Watching him whimper pathetically at her feet, she gently probed the lump that was quickly forming on the back of her head. Fucking ouch.
Giving up any pretense of being human, Harper crouched in front of him. “Do you know why one simple hit to your body took you down? Because my touch can cause soul-deep pain. I can’t really empathize, because I’ve never felt it myself. I’m told that the pain burns each nerve ending, cuts through each organ, slices through each bone and then lances through the very soul, making it feel like its shattering. Does it?” She was genuinely curious.
Eying her with a newfound terror, he clumsily scrabbled away from her.
His gaze fell to the gun, but it was too far away and he was in too much pain to get up.
“You might as well lose the dream of shooting me,” she told him, grabbing her cell phone off the floor and tucking it into her purse. “Now, what should I do with you?”
A cold wind blew through the air, flapping her t-shirt and causing her loose hair to whip at her face. Looking up, she saw that the murky cloud was bigger and darker. The air felt…charged, somehow. Wary, she slowly stood upright.
Ping. Ping. Ping.
Something hard and sharp bounced off her hand onto the concrete. Wincing, she frowned down at the small white ball. Hail. “Well, shit.”
In a matter of moments, a torrent of icy pellets was raining down on them, stinging the skin of her face and hands. She shrugged off her jacket and held it over her head. But, like the rest of her clothes, the material couldn’t protect her from the hard sting of the hailstones.
The deluge was deafening. Each pellet pounded into the ground, hammered into the garbage cans, and splashed out of the rain puddles. The pellets weren’t big, but the force of them was bad. They were no doubt chipping windows and denting cars all around.
Seriously, where the fuck had this storm come from? One minute the weather was mild, the next there was a hailstorm and she was freezing. If it was anything like the other recent strange storms, it would end as abruptly as it had begun.
She could hear raised voices coming from the end of the alley; watched as people scrambled to escape the torrent. She would have followed their lead and run for shelter, but there was good ole Sparky to consider. She was going to have to do something with the little bastard, who was now crawling toward the gun, proving yet again that he was indeed a bastard.
She kicked it far out of his reach, and it slid into a slushy puddle.
With a groan of defeat, he rolled onto his side and curled up into a fetal position, shielding his face with his thick arms. Like her, he was wet and his teeth were chattering. Maybe she should have felt bad for him but, well, she just didn’t. He’d freaking attacked her.
A very familiar mind slid against hers. Harper, where are you?
Even telepathically, her mate’s voice was like an erotic stroke to her senses. Hell, everything about Knox Thorne stroked her senses. But seriously, his smoky, velvety rumble was pure liquid sin.
Caught in a hailstorm, she told him. He was no doubt warm and dry in a conference room somewhere in Chicago.
I know you’re stuck in the storm. I want to know where exactly you are.
She frowned, wondering how he could possibly know. Now that the deluge had abruptly begun to slow, she scooped up her blade with cold fingers and returned it to the sheath inside her boot.
Tell me where you are; I’ll come for you.
Hearing another groan, she looked down at Sparky. He was shivering even worse than before. And Harper…yeah, she still wasn’t feeling bad for him. It’s sweet that you’d offer to pyroport all the way from Chicago, but it’s not necessary. Right now, she wouldn’t mind having that ability herself – traveling by fire would at least warm her up.
I’m at your studio, I’ve been waiting for you.
Well then it would seem that he’d cut his business trip short. But why? Uneasy, she asked, Is something wrong?
Harper, where are you?
She narrowed her eyes. You avoided my question.
You avoided mine.
Well yeah. The storm is actually easing off. The rumble of pellets had slowed to light individual pings. You don’t have to come for me.
Harper, he growled.
Okay, but you have to promise not to lose your shit. But considering she had bite marks on her cheek, a goose-egg on her head, and the buttons of her fly had been ripped off, there was little of chance of that. She wasn’t averse to seeing the sick-ass motherfucker on the ground die a painful death, but it was never a good thing for Knox Thorne to lose control.
Only a handful of people—including Harper—knew what breed of demon he was. Still, he was both feared and respected within the demon world since he was rumored to be the most powerful in existence; a demon that could call on the flames of hell. It was a rumor that very few knew to be true. And since nothing was impervious to the flames of hell, he could, literally, destroy the freaking world.
A vibe of anxiety touched her mind. Harper, where the fuck are you?
Sighing in resignation, she lowered her soaking wet jacket. The alley between the ATM and the Deli. An alley that was now dotted with icy pellets. Well at least it smelled better; ozone and water beat pigeon shit and grime any day of the week.
Fire roared to life a few feet away, causing Sparky to cry out in terror. The fire hissed and spat until the flames quickly calmed. And there was Knox. Piercing, deep-set ebony eyes locked on her, and the intense potency of his natural sex appeal swept over her, causing her body to hum. Well over six feet of danger, power, solid muscle, and a raw sexual magnetism, Knox Thorne was both a mouthwatering and intimidating sight.
As always, he looked like something out of GQ with his black tailored suit, sexily confident stance, and his short, dark stylishly cut hair. He exuded an aura of self-assurance that said he could handle any situation with total ease. At that moment, he was also radiating a fury that thickened the air. Crap.
“I’m fine,” she assured him.
“Nothing about this situation is fine,” said Knox, stalking toward her. He sounded completely calm. Composed. Casual. But she knew he was none of those things.
“What I mean is that I’m okay.” Albeit wet and cold.
“You’re soaked, shivering, and bleeding.” He lightly breezed his warm thumb over the skin beneath the throbbing marks on her cheek, and his fury became almost tangible. “The human’s mental shields are weak. I can see what he did to you, I can see what he planned.” Knox turned to the human, who was now shaking like a shitting dog. “You’ve mugged and raped many women, haven’t you? Young girls, too. You should have been put down long before now.”
Menace stamped into every line of Knox’s face, he grabbed the human by the throat and lifted him off the floor. The air chilled even further as his eyes bled to black – his inner demon was now in control. The entity had claimed her as its mate, though it didn’t ‘care’ for her; it lacked the emotional capacity to do so. But it had formed a very firm attachment to Harper. It was as possessive and protective as Knox. It viewed her as something it owned; something it had collected and intended to keep.
Glaring at the human through cold eyes, the demon spoke in a flat, disembodied voice that would give anyone the chills. “You hurt what belongs to me. No one does that and lives.”
Hellfire rushed from its hand to completely engulf the human’s body; it happened so fast that the guy didn’t have a chance to cry out. Fire crackled and popped as his skin blistered, melted, and peeled away. Her nose wrinkled at that the God-awful stench of burning flesh. The alley smelled bad once again.
As the body slumped in its grip, the demon dropped him and watched with clinical detachment while it vaporized right in front of them. Good ole hellfire sure was a bitch.
Obsidian eyes cut to Harper, still cold as ever. The demon prowled towards her, and she had to force herself not to tense. She knew that she was in no danger, but the entity still unnerved the ever loving shit out of her. It did a slow blink. “You should have called for me, little sphinx.”
That made her and her inner demon bristle. “I handled the situation.”
One brow slid up. “Pride can be a weakness.” The demon tapped her lip. “Take better care of what’s mine.” It then retreated, and Knox’s dark eyes once again held hers. And it was clear to see that he wasn’t happy. Evidently, he agreed with his demon.
She sighed. “I was dealing with the guy just fine on my own. If I’d thought I needed your help, I would have called for you.”
Knox slowly splayed his hand around her throat and circled her pulse with his thumb. “Really?” His tone called her a liar.
“Yes. I’m stubborn, not stupid.”
“Then you’ll have no problem making me a promise here and now.”
She didn’t like the sound of that. “Oh yeah?”
“Promise me that if you ever need my help, you’ll call for me.”
“I told you I will. I meant it.”
“Then this will be an easy promise for you to make.”
Damn, she’d walked right into that one. “Fine, I promise.”
“Good girl.” He kissed her, boldly licking into her mouth. The kiss was as aggressive as it was possessive; she could taste his anger, his concern, and his determination to keep her safe. He ended the kiss with a sharp, punishing bite to her lower lip. He wasn’t quite calm yet.
A car horn honked, and Knox said, “Time to go. We need to get you warm.” He guided her to the end of the alley where a sleek, top-of-the-line Bentley waited. Well, that was the kind of thing you could afford when you were a billionaire who owned a chain of hotels, casinos, restaurants, security firms, and bars.
Like all demons, Knox hid in plain sight, blending in easily with humans. Their kind often sought jobs that granted them power, control, challenges, and respect. Many were entrepreneurs, stock brokers, CEOs, politicians, bankers, surgeons, lawyers, police officers, and celebrities. Harper wasn’t so big on power, but she did enjoy the challenges of co-owning a tattoo studio.
Knox was as influential in the demon world as he was in the human world. He was a powerful Prime of a fairly large lair that spanned most of Nevada and a good portion of California. In addition, he owned a subterranean version of the Las Vegas strip known as the Underground. It was a busy place, given that demons were impulsive, forever restless, suffered from instant gratification issues, and had a bad habit of trying to deal with their oppressive boredom using cheap thrills.
Levi, one of Knox’s sentinels, opened the rear door of the Bentley for them. He didn’t look much happier with her than Knox did. “What the fuck happened to your face?” he growled, gunmetal gray eyes flaring with anger.
She gave the tall, powerfully built reaper a bright smile and slung her wet jacket at him. “Never say I don’t give you anything.” As she and Knox slid into the backseat, she turned to her mate and said, “You’re back early from your trip.”
His expression didn’t alter at all, but his hesitation to answer he spoke volumes.
“Something happened. What is it?”
He took her hand in his. “It’s Carla. She’s missing.”
Harper’s stomach rolled. Carla Hayden was a sphinx and a member of their lair. She was also Harper’s mother.
© Suzanne Wright
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