Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Series: Dark #34
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Two Carpathians find hope in the bond that ties their souls in this passionate novel in Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Stolen from her home at a young age and tormented for centuries, Elisabeta Trigovise is scared to show herself to anyone. Even though she has been rescued and is now safe within the Carpathian compound, she has lived in fear for so long she has no idea how to survive without it. She wants to answer the siren call of her lifemate--but the very thought terrifies her.
Before he found Elisabeta, Ferro Arany was an ancient warrior without emotion. Now that his senses have come alive, he knows it will take more than kind words and soft touches to convince the fractured woman that they are partners, not master and prisoner. For now, he will give her his strength until she finds hers, allowing the steady rhythm of his heart to soothe Elisabeta's fragile soul.
But even as she learns to stand on her own, the vampire who kept her captive is desperate to claim her again, threatening the song Elisabeta and Ferro are writing together.
Elisabeta huddled into herself, retreating further and further into her mind. She seemed light, almost insubstantial in his arms. He knew immediately it had been a mistake to have her be present for the discussion on how Sergey might have accomplished reaching out to her while she was safeguarded in the healing grounds. There had been an attack on her once, using one of the children. Now, it seemed, there had to be a second breach in security.
Talk with Julija and pay no attention to those coming to discuss this security matter, Ferro advised his lifemate as gently as possible.
He didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary to his very frightened woman. She had curled up so small in his lap that he doubted she was barely visible in the dim lighting of the room, although all Carpathians could easily see in the dark. If her trembling got any worse, he feared she might really shake apart.
He kept his hand curled around the nape of her neck and his gaze fixed on Tariq, as if he wasn’t in the least concerned with his lifemate huddling on his lap. His fingers gently massaged in an attempt to ease the tension out of her. He knew that Elisabeta hadn’t been exposed to so many people in centuries. It had to be a terrifying experience for her. This rising was proving to be far worse than he had expected for her.
Seven men had come with Tariq. Ferro knew they had come as guards because he was considered dangerous and he had never sworn his allegiance to the reigning prince. Tomas, Matias and Lojos, the triplets always together and had been for centuries, had been sent by the prince to help guard Tariq whether the man wanted it or not. They took their job very seriously. Ferro knew they were a force to be reckoned with.
The seventh man who had come to protect Tariq Asenguard was Afanasiv Balan. Most of the Carpathians simply called him Siv. Like the brethren, he was a true ancient and he was considered extremely dangerous. He had thick, long blond hair and strange eyes that by turns could be green or blue. More than once, Siv had sought respite in the monastery when demons had been too close, but he left to hunt vampires and eventually ended up in the United States, guarding Tariq. He had the creed of the ancients inked onto his back, just as the brethren did. If he turned on them, he would be forever branded a traitor among them. Ferro had no idea whether or not he had sworn allegiance to the prince.
“After what you’ve told us,” Tariq said, his voice soft but carrying, “there is very little choice but to have our healer examine Elisabeta for signs Sergey has left behind that would allow him access to her.”
Ferro had known the moment he revealed to the others that Sergey had tormented Elisabeta even while she was in the protected, sacred healing grounds until Ferro had woven his own safeguards for her, that Tariq would insist that she be subjected to their examination. He didn’t blame them. There were children to protect. All along, many had speculated that she could have been used as a spy by the master vampire. Even his own brethren had considered the possibility. He also knew Gary wanted to examine her. He just didn’t know why.
Elisabeta heard Tariq’s soft declaration and her instant rejection was immediate and visceral. She made no sound but he knew if she could have run, she would have. The thought of strangers violating her mind, seeing the cruelties Sergey had subjected her to over the centuries, was humiliating to her. She was Ferro’s lifemate. Already, she felt she was embarrassing him by not being a warrior woman, a fitting mate for a man like him. To have the others see what the master vampire had done to her, keeping her in a cage, forcing her to beg him for everything—it was too much for her to bear.
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