Book Updates, The Dragon and the Rose, The Tarlisian Sagas

THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE – Julie A. D’Arcy #fantasyromance #fantasy #romance

Dragon and the rose cover

In the medieval world of Tarlis, Meggahn du Val, daughter of the Low-Lord of Gola-Dah, watches a strange light flare across the night sky.  Little does she realize it is the return of the legendary Black Dragon and she will be immersed in an adventure that will change her life.

After 800 years in the guise of a black dragon, Garrik le Fey, First King of Tarlis is released from the world of shadow between the pages of an ancient spell book, where he has guarded against the escape of the Dark Priest to the God of Blood. Garrik finds himself a man by night and dragon by day.

To keep from becoming a dragon forever, Garrik must journey to a legendary elven pond, and is forced to lay his trust in the cynical elf, Vellandril Ballindoch, who has no love for humans.

With the elf’s help, he must lay claim to the enchanted Sword of Niraz. It is the only means by which to stop Narokah from steeling the Orb of de Danann, and making the sacrifice that will raise his dark god from the Hell Pit.

A tale of action, adventure, romance, myth, magic, and legend …

 

 ‘THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE’

iHeart Book Publishing|Amazon|Barnes & Noble eBookBarns & Noble Print Book|Smashwords|Kobo

goldlineleaf

EXCERPT

A voice from behind the closed door caught her attention.
“So mother, it has come to this. A King without a Kingdom – a man by night and a dragon by day. What advice would you give now to a son who finds himself in such turmoil?”
Meggahn peered through the narrow slit in the door. The room was lit only by the glow of a roaring fire. A figure sat at a large desk, his silhouette carved by the light of the flames, his face resting in his hands. Even in the dim light Meggahn could tell a mantle of despair weighted the man. The feeling was almost tangible. Close by, above the huge library grate, was a painting of a beautiful dark-haired woman. Meggahn surmised it was to she, to whom the man spoke.

She slipped the torch into a bracket beside the door and contemplated the man’s strange words. King? There had been no king in this land for eight hundred years and certainly not of Gola-Dah. And what was this talk of dragons? Her father was murdered by a sorcerer who was able to transform to a dragon. Could Garrik have murdered her father? And if so, why? And why burn the village of Gola-Dah then lead the inhabitants to safety? Was it a trap? She realized she would have to tread carefully.  If Garrik was not who he said he was, then just who was he?

Fortifying her courage, she tapped softly on the door and entered.

He raised his head. “Meggahn?”

She wondered briefly how he could recognize her in such dim light. But she guessed to a sorcerer who could see in darkness, her identity held no mystery. “I could not sleep and intended to seek some air.” The lie slipped smoothly from her tongue. “I heard voices and thought I would investigate. You were late in returning, my lord.”

Garrik eyed her warily as she moved to warm herself innocently, seductively, by the fire. He wondered if she realized how beautiful she really was. Even more so now, with her thick fiery hair spread about her shoulders and the lie still trembling on her lips, than the first time he had seen her sprawled in the dust with her skirts hiked around her thighs. Or the second time with soot smudging her cheeks. He realized she must have heard him leave her room and followed. What a fool he had been. He had not been able to resist a glimpse of her before becoming the dragon in the morning. How much had she heard of his plaintive ramblings? He rose to stand beside her at the fire.

“I would urge you to dress more warmly for your sojourn outside,” he cautioned, curling a lock of her bright hair about his finger. “The air is chill on the mountains at night and the mist is said to seep into your bones.”

His breath fanned her face, and her own labored in her throat. He had cut his black hair, and now wore it short at the neck and sides in the style of the other men at the castle. A shadow of a day’s growth covered his jaw, but it only proved to make him more handsome. “I will do that,” Meggahn whispered. Reluctantly, she lowered her gaze from his face and followed his line of vision. The silken cloth of the nightgown Johden had loaned her, pulled tightly across her breasts, and the reflected light behind her from the fire left little to the imagination. She drew back, folded her arms across her chest, and moved to lean on the desk away from the fire, and the man.

He glanced at her with an unreadable expression. His eyes were such a brilliant gold, Meggahn felt almost mesmerized. He seemed so different from the man she had met on the mountain, the man who had led her from the burned ruins of Gola-Dah; some how more dangerous.

“Do I make you nervous?”

She jumped as his question sounded into the silence. “I fear no man,” she responded with a slight tremble to her voice.

“That is not what I asked.”

“Why were you in my room?” She countered, ignoring his question and replacing it with one of her own.

“I wished only to make certain you were well. Business takes me from the castle again come morning.”

He had not denied he’d been in her room. “The same business that took you away today?” She asked softly.

He seemed to hesitate, then nodded. “Much the same, yes.”

She picked up a small bejeweled dagger from the desk and twirled it between her fingers. The firelight caught at the gems, and they showered her gown in multicolored rain as she spoke. “My mother came to this castle once. Or so my father said. She never returned.” She looked up quickly, to catch his expression. “Do you remember her? Her name was Ejinerah.”

Meggahn could have sworn a look of recognition crossed his face as she studied him, but it may well have been the flickering of the fire.

He shook his head. “Sorry, the name does not ring familiar, but I will question Gwayne when I see him on the morrow. I have been gone from the castle many years and have not yet had the opportunity to learn all that has occurred in my absence.”

“And where was it you said you had traveled?” she asked, with a raise of a fine brow.
His smile was strained. “I did not say.”

“And how many years?”

“That also I did not say.”

Meggahn glanced down at the knife with feigned indifference. “And why is that, my lord?”

Garrik closed the gap so fast she did not see him move. She squealed and reared back. The knife clattered to the floor as his fingers dug into her shoulders. “What game do you play here, Meggahn? What do you want from me?”
She struggled, but he gathered her tight and held her close to his body, his lips pressing to the curve of her ear. Then his mouth moved and his breath was hot on the slender line of her throat.

“I want to locate my mother and avenge my father.” Her words came in short sharp gasps. She could feel the hard outline of his body pressing close to hers. He was not as unaffected by her as he would like her to believe.

“I have no knowledge of your mother.” He breathed against her throat. “And I did not know your father. But I warn you, Meggahn du Val, be careful, extremely careful. There are forces at work in this castle of which you have no knowledge. Of which you could not begin to comprehend. So stay out of matters that are no concern to you. Live here as long as you wish, but do not interfere with me or mine.” His grip tightened on her waist and she thought she would faint from lack of breath.

“Understand?”

She nodded, barely acknowledging his words. She couldn’t think. No man had ever held her like this – with such familiarity. Not even the Baron. Her hands tightened involuntarily on his shoulders. She released the breath she had been holding to relax against him, instead of struggling. Whether he felt the slight change in her stance, the acceptance of his arms around her, she had no time to ponder, for he pushed her to arm’s length then released her.

She staggered, righted herself and glanced up at him. Never had she met a man like Garrik le Fey – hard yet soft, strong yet gentle. Any other man, she was certain, would have taken advantage of this situation. But not Garrik le Fey, the one they called the Dragon. His words had meant to be threatening, but she sensed neither danger in the words nor the man.

“Goodnight, Meggahn.” His tone was hard, dismissive.

Meggahn remained as she was, taking in his appearance. Dressed totally in black, with the golden glitter of his unusual eyes and the shadow of a day’s growth covering his chin, he could have been anything from an angel to a demigod. But to her, he was an enigma that she was determined to understand. Momentarily, she contemplated the foolhardiness of throwing herself back into his arms, but instead, raised her chin. For the moment she would do as he asked. “Goodnight, Garrik le Fey, Dragon Lord,” she said meeting his gaze. “May you discover in the daylight the peace which you cannot find at night.”  She pivoted and strode to the door.

It closed with a soft click behind her and Garrik stood in the darkened room. Her words had come perilously close to the truth. Though she had no way of knowing the extent of the torment that cut at his heart and wrenched at his soul. Nothing of what it was to live as only half a mortal, and to have all the longings and frustrations of a man. To be trapped in the body of a beast and have no inkling of what it was to want someone so bad you could taste it, yet know they could never be yours.

 

‘THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE’

iHeart Book Publishing|Amazon|Barnes & Noble eBookBarns & Noble Print Book|Smashwords|Kobo

goldlineleaf

Book Updates, The Shape of Destiny

THE SHAPE OF DESTINY – Julie A. D’Arcy #ParanormalRomance #Western #romance

The Shape of DestinyPRINT COVER400

Cole, a Shape Shifter and descendant of the Apache, finds himself caught in a web of deceit. Hunted by a man named Granger for eight years, he wanders onto Shannon’s ranch and finds not only the home he’s never had…but forbidden love.
Shannon Davidson, owner of a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere, can’t believe it when she finds a gorgeous but mysterious stranger sleeping in her barn. She encourages him to stay but realizes, like her grandmother, he harbors a secret.

Can Cole keep his identity a secret, win the heart of his lady, and defeat his nemesis? The Shape of Destiny is a tale of lust, revenge and love.

‘THE SHAPE OF DESTINY’

iHEART PUBLISHINGAMAZON

goldlineleaf

EXCERPT

Cole awoke to the sound of a loud crack. His eyes fluttered open and stared into the barrel of a gun. He should have recognized the sound of a rifle being cocked. His first thought…Granger has finally found me.

This wasn’t a man’s voice at all, but a woman’s. “What are you doing here? Who are you?”

He climbed to his feet, knowing instinctively she wouldn’t shoot. He could read people and knew she wasn’t the type to take the life of another human being. An animal he wasn’t sure about. He laughed inwardly and glanced to where his sister had slept. Gone.  He frowned and forced himself not to look around for her. Mia knew to hide at the first sign of danger.

Cole had to get the woman out of the barn. “I was just passing through.” He bent to pick up his backpack. “I’ll leave now. I needed somewhere to crash for the night, that’s all.”

The rifle followed his movement as he bent to retrieve the shirt he’d used as a pillow. “You’re not going anywhere.”

“Why is that?”

He straightened and looked at her then, really looked at her. She was quite beautiful in an unusual sort of way. Dark eyes, almost black, her skin a shade darker than most, and high cheekbones. If it wasn’t for the long pale blonde hair he would have sworn she was Native American. Maybe she had some of their blood in her gene pool. And he wanted her; he’d been a long time without a woman. He ignored the lust in his gut and headed for the door.

Her voice quavered. “Stop or I’ll shoot. I swear I will.”

He stopped but didn’t turn. “I don’t think so.”

He sensed her falter as she lowered the rifle. A head shorter than him, she came to stand beside him.  “I just want to know what’s going on here.”

“Nothing is going on. I was hiking across country. I needed somewhere to sleep and spied the lights in the distance.” He shrugged. “Thought there was no harm in sleeping in your barn. I’d be gone before anyone found me. Guess I was wrong.”

‘THE SHAPE OF DESTINY’

iHEART PUBLISHINGAMAZON

Book Updates, Night's Eternal Vow

NIGHT’S ETERNAL VOW – Julie A. D’Arcy #ParanormalRomance #romance #vampires

Nights Eternal Vow Full ebookcoverLord Vincent D’Armano, a young nobleman, on leaving his mistress’s house in London one rainy cold night in the 1700’s is set upon by a sensual cunning, vampiress, Epatha, who is searching for a mate.

Many years later, after travelling to America and killing a war chief’s son, Vincent is cursed by a Cheyenne Shaman and has the ability to feel emotion restored. He escapes Epatha’s deadly embrace, although she still tracks him, and re-emerges into society decades later only to meet with the very woman that could destroy him, in more ways than one.

Detective Elara Gale hates Vampires after her childhood boyfriend is murdered and she sees a black cloaked figure fleeing the scene.

So when she discovers the dark stranger she is already more than half in love with is no other than the Vampire she is hunting, her loyalties are torn between her desire for Vincent’s touch and her duty to the law.

Lust, Romance, Magic and Murder combine to make Night’s Eternal Promise fast-paced, mission-oriented and filled with life and death issues. Vincent and Alara after battling Epatha in the present are cast back in time by an unusual hypnotist and an arrest gone wrong, and faced with a struggle to stop the Vampiress from making Vincent a vampire, and to save his mortal soul.

‘NIGHT’S ETERNAL VOW’

iHEART|AMAZONSMASHWORDS|KOBO|BARNES & NOBLE|iTUNES

goldlineleaf

EXCERPT

She ordered a margarita and settled back to observe the crowd. Twenties to thirties, they fit the profile of the usual night-clubber in their glitzy body hugging clothes.

All except him.

He was dressed totally in black. Boots, long leather coat, open and pushed back to reveal a black shirt and dark pants. Hair, raven black, and short, and she knew he was looking.

It was not conceit, or in any way related to the fact she thought herself attractive to men. If anything, she was too wiry and her chest too flat. It was the strange tingly feeling that persisted in the pit of her stomach.

She turned her gaze from him and pushed through the noisy crowd to fetch another drink.

“I’ve been watching you all night. Wanna dance?” A lanky well-oiled male in a bright blue shirt, hip hugging black pants and a multitude of gold chains, blocked her path. She winced as his body odor invaded her nose and throat.

“No thanks, I don’t dance.” She made to step to the side, but his hand clamped down on her arm. “I think you do.” His tone was terse. “I think you would dance real fine with a body like yours.”

“You heard the lady. She does not dance.”

He stood behind her assailant, his hand resting on his shoulder. Alara had never heard a voice like it, rich like caramel, deep as the ocean, and smooth. He was at least a head taller than Mr. Oily, and his eyes peered right into hers, seeking her soul, stroking chords, which had not been touched for a decade. With eyes almost as black as his hair, he made her feel like someone of worth, not just a piece of ass in a tight skirt.

But he was definitely not her type.

Oily man’s face darkened, his mouth opened and he swung to see who had him, but his words caught in his throat and he stumbled over them. “I’m…ah, I’m sorry, buddy. Didn’t realize she was yours.”

“I am certain the lady is her own person, but that gives you no excuse to accost her.”

“No. No, of course not. Sorry.” The man shifted his gaze, and ran a hand over the back of his neck.

“It is not I to whom you should apologize.”

“Sorry,” he grumbled barely audible before making a hasty retreat into the crowd.

“I could have taken care of myself.” Alara raised her chin as her savior studied her. She came barely to his shoulder.

“I am sure you could.”

He turned in the direction of the table he had occupied, and her hand shot out.

“Wait.” She gripped his arm. Hard, muscular, beneath his coat sleeve.

What was she doing? He was not her type at all, but she knew she didn’t want him to leave. Not yet anyway.

“Yes?” He stopped, but didn’t look back.

“Can I buy you a drink?” She cringed. Did she sound desperate? She saw him stiffen. “In thanks for saving me.”

He turned, slowly and her hand fell away. What were those earlier thoughts? That he was not her sort of man. Was she insane? He was every woman’s sort of man. She could feel his body reaching out to her. She had heard of animal magnetism, but… Not even with Ice had she experienced this pull, and she had loved him. Dammit! This was almost palatable, powerful. She had to run. Put one foot in front of the other and turn away. Run now!

“One drink?” She forced a smile. “Just to say thank you.” How weak could one woman be?

His eyes were dark, brooding. Why didn’t he speak? What was he thinking?

“There is no need. I saw you were in trouble. I helped.”

“There is every need.” What was it about this man that kept her talking, saying things she would never say to another? She was forced to work in a male dominated profession, but always she stood on the outside, looking in, never getting close, never wanting to be close. She had loved one man. He had died. Left her — she would not be hurt like that again. She knew she should leave, but… “Please, I insist.”

He frowned and glanced away. She thought for a moment he’d refuse.

“Would you sit with me at my table?” He asked, looking back at her.

Alara swallowed hard, mesmerized by his voice. Deep, soft, yet strangely compelling, as were his eyes. Fathomless black eyes that seemed old beyond their years. Eyes that seemed to look into her and through her at the same time. As they were now.

“I’ll get the drinks,” she said too fast. “You do drink, don’t you? I noticed that there were no empty glasses on your table.” She blushed and glanced into the crowd. Blushed, her, a cop. She could feel the heat still suffusing her cheeks. She had never blushed in her life, and now he would know she had been watching him.

“A red wine will suffice. Do you need help?”

“No…I can manage.” Quickly, before he could change his mind, she pushed through the crowd toward the bar. What a fool he must think her.

Such a naive, inexperienced fool.

She reached the bar and after what seemed forever, finally placed her order. He was sitting in the shadows again. She caught a glimpse of him as she slowly maneuvered her way back through the room, and although the dance floor was packed she did not spill a drop. It was as if she was being lead safely along and no one could touch her. Like a fly to a spider, but the most irksome part of it was, she was walking into a web of her own making.goldlineleaf

‘NIGHT’S ETERNAL VOW’

iHEART|AMAZONSMASHWORDS|KOBO|BARNES & NOBLE|iTUNES

Nights Eternal Vow print cover800

Book Updates, Spellbound

Spellbound – Julie A. D’Arcy #UrbanFantasy #fantasy #romance

SPELLBOUND600Failing with his last victim, the Story Mage is desperate to fill his book of tragedy and woe, henceforth begins a tale of lust, revenge…and…love.

Isabella Barton, fleeing from an ex-fiancé after uncovering his ties with the Russian Mafia. After his willingness to bargain her body for business, she finds herself at the childhood home in Rhode Island.

Searching through the aged Victorian mansion, Isabella discovers an ancient book of witchcraft. With nothing to lose, she attempts the spell for “True Love” that insists on flipping open in front of her.

Zachariah, First Sorcerer to the King of Layleah, never expected to be hurtled into the future, ripped from the land of his birth and awaken on a strange beach with a beautiful red-haired, violet-eyed vixen. And, the only thing that can restore Zachariah to his other dimensional world is missing—his amulet.

How can Isabella tell the man she is falling in love with that her existence rests on him loving her in return and choosing to stay, when all he longs for is to find his amulet to return to his home?

Zachariah has a decision to make—stay or leave. He didn’t expect the woman had the ability to ignite a passion he had only ever dreamed of.

Love, lust, revenge, and betrayal follow these two lost souls on a sensual and dangerous journey to discover not just long ago secrets, but their own realities.

‘SPELLBOUND’

iHeart Book Publishing|Amazon Paperback|Amazon Kindle|Smashwords|Kobo|iTunes

goldlineleaf

EXCERPT

Isabella stretched lazily and opened one sleepy eye. Rolling onto her elbow, she watched Ivan in the dim light of the bedroom. He stood at the penthouse dresser, straightening his black silk tie. Although he must have heard her wake, he didn’t turn.

“Be ready at six.” His cultured voice broke harshly into the silence. “I’ll have the limo pick you up. We’re dining with Vladimir Chevtsov and his wife at the Tatiana Hotel.” He turned and trailed a knuckle from her throat to the tip of her breast, not even looking at her face, then swung away to scoop up his dove-gray jacket from the end of the queen-sized bed. Bending, he touched his lips in a hard, passionless kiss to hers and withdrew a slim black jewelry case from his inside jacket pocket. Snapping open the lid, he placed the case on the bedside table. A glittering necklace of diamonds lay displayed on royal blue velvet. Isabella had no doubt the stones were real. However, she viewed them dispassionately, their cold beauty another symbol reminding her she belonged to Ivan.

“Wear something sexy. Chevtsov has a passion for redheads and he is an important man.” Ivan threw her a hasty smile that didn’t quite light his steel-colored eyes and crossed the beige carpet. She heard the door close with a soft click and wondered with a sick feeling when it had happened. When had she exchanged her position as Ivan’s fiancée, the woman he loved, for his whore?

Isabella slid from silken sheets and moved to the same mirror, which had moments before held Ivan’s reflection. She was disgusted by what she saw. When had she grown so weak? When had her soul died, and who was this woman who peered back at her with lifeless eyes and the stink of sex on her too-thin body? What happened to the fresh-faced girl from Rhode Island? Ivan Sergeyev, that is what happened—handsome, educated, sweet-talking, and the right-hand man to the Russian Mafia boss in the U.S.

Ivan owned a chain of five star hotels, which he used as a front to launder money for some of the largest crime names in the country. Isabella sighed, running a hand through the dark red hair that spilled down around her face and shoulders, and turned for the en suite. When was enough enough? She wondered. When would she grow a backbone and take back control of her life?

She reached for the faucet. Steaming water hissed from the shower head, slapping at her breasts, stomach and thighs as she stepped into the enclosure. She could have sworn the shower spray rapped out the tattoo, “never, never, never.” Or was it only her tired mind? She clapped her hands to her ears and let her hot tears mingle with the water that spilled down her cheeks.

goldlineleaf

 ‘SPELLBOUND’

iHeart Book Publishing|Amazon Paperback|Amazon Kindle|Smashwords|Kobo|iTunes

Book Updates, Whisper of Yesterday

Whisper of Yesterday – Julie A. D’Arcy #ParanormalRomance #Fantasy #Romance

whisper of yesterday 300A cry for help, echoing through the ages, inspires a young nobleman to rewrite history – and rediscover a passion he had only dreamt of.

 Cole d’Morgan is contacted by a lawyer telling him he has been left a castle in Cornwall, but to inherit he must arrive at Castle Thornwood on  All-Hallows-Eve. As he pulls his car to a halt at the castle gates he sees a beautiful woman clutching at the bars in the rain. However, before he can climb from his car she vanishes into the night.

Arriving at the castle he learns that she is the ghost of Alyssa d’Morgan a woman who was tried as a witch in 1644.
He is related by the caretaker of the castle, a tragic tale of Aidan and Alyssa d’Morgan… A love story that spans three hundred years .

Alyssa d’Morgan burned as a witch for refusing to wed her dead husband’s father haunts the castle where she was put to death and takes revenge on the man responsible. She is sworn to haunt the castle until she is reunited with her husband and soul mate, Cai. But the rejected father, Gedrych d’Morgan being of superstitious nature, orders the druid stones outside the castle walls to be dragged into the courtyard to surround her pyre. Little does he realise that he has unleashed magic eons old that will enable Alyssa to appear as a real woman within the boundary of the stones.
Aidan d’Morgan, re-incarnated soul of Cai d’Morgan is reborn in the early 1900’s.  As a child he once heard a story of a great castle in Cornwall that once belonged to his family. Whilst visiting a gentleman’s club in London with his cousin, he overhears a young man making a wager, and wins back Castle Thornwood on the turn of a card.
On entering the castle he cannot shake the feeling that he is being watched, and soon learns that the castle is haunted not by a murdered Countess as he has been told, but by a beautiful red-haired woman who speaks to him in his dreams. However, these are not simply dreams, but a past life, which he is forced to revisit in order to find an answer to an age old curse.
What follows is an interwoven tale of chilling betrayal and haunting love story that traverses three centuries.

‘WHISPER OF YESTERDAY’ 

iHEART BOOK PUBLISHING|AMAZON|BARNS&NOBLE|SMASHWORDS|KOBO

goldlineleaf

EXCERPT

Aidan sprang upright in bed. His body trembled. It had been a dream. He tossed aside the duvet, strode to the window, pushed open the shutters, and felt the cool breeze caress his face.

He stared down into the courtyard. All was darkness. Nothing moved. Not a night creature called. He swung to face into the room. It was lit by only the faintest of moonlight and a low-burning fire.

It had to have been a dream.

Naked; the breeze was cold, but sweat still trickled down his back. He stared down at his hands. They trembled. “It was a dream.” If he repeated the words emphatically enough, perhaps he would believe them.

He ran a hand through his hair. He had been in Cai de Morgan’s body. He had seen what he had seen, done what he had done, and thought what he had thought. It was as if he was a spectator in another time and all had been beyond his control. Yet as incredible as it was, he had been there. And who was Cai de Morgan? What was the man to him? And more so, who was the woman? Why did she remind him so much of the woman in the fire? Countess Llewellyn, the woman who was supposed to haunt this castle?

He strode to the dresser, lit a candle, and crossed to the large freestanding mirror in the corner. Critically, he viewed his features. Was it his imagination, or was there the slightest hint of another image superimposed over his own? Did the face look more angular, the jaw harder? He held the candle closer to the glass, and a chill prickled the back of his neck. The hair on the man in the mirror waved and curled past his shoulders, and there standing behind him was a woman. A woman with a riot of deep red hair, brilliant emerald eyes, full lips, and fine brows—a woman with the face of an angel—the woman in his dream. His hand tightened on the candlestick. It felt as if it were frozen; his fingers glued to it and could not be uncurled.

She no longer wore the yellow gown and headdress, but instead the white shift she had worn the first night he had seen her amidst the fire in the courtyard.

Their eyes met and held in the reflection.

He swallowed, trying to free up his throat, trying to force words that would not come. As he watched, she drifted closer, yet no step could he hear on the polished wooden floor.

“Who are you?” he managed at last, his words a strained whisper. He twisted around. She vanished. He swung back and stared into the mirror. She stood behind him with a look of accusation in her green eyes. It was as if he was a moth and she pinned him with her diamond bright gaze. “I’m sorry,” he said. “But I had to be certain.” He spoke quietly, afraid to raise his voice lest she disappear. “Will not you speak to me? Will not you tell me your name?”

She opened her mouth, and just a soft sound issued forth, almost a sigh, as if it was coming from a long distance. “Cai.”

Cai. Had she said Cai? The man in the dream had been Cai. The man whose body he had inhabited for a short time. Inhabited. The thought disturbed him, but he could think of no other word to describe the happening. Was he going crazy? But no crazier than seeing and talking to a ghost. Again he wondered what Cai de Morgan had to do with him. How Cai was connected to the murdered Countess.

“I have so many questions,” he said, holding her reflection in the mirror.

She moved closer, pressed her warm soft body to the length of his back, and encircled his waist.

His mouth went dry. He couldn’t swallow. He had always thought a ghost would be cold, but he had never felt such heat as that which now filled his body and hastened to pool in his loins at the soft caress of her silken hair and the touch of her hands on his sweat-damp skin.

She leaned her smooth cheek against his shoulder, and his body hardened with desire as she tilted her head to the side to watch him for several painful heartbeats through sooty lashes, her eyes dark, intense, wanting.

Suddenly he swung to seize her, but his hand passed through a draught of cold air. Goose bumps raced up his arm. She was gone, and he cursed himself for a fool. He should have known better than to try to capture something as elusive as an angel.

‘WHISPER OF YESTERDAY’

iHEART BOOK PUBLISHING|AMAZON|BARNS&NOBLE|SMASHWORDS|KOBO

goldlineleaf