Just a few more days! How about a snippet from HEART OF DARKNESS?
From USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane comes a white-hot new series of a dangerous family legacy, and sensual paranormal passions played to the death on the knife-edge of darkness…
Meriel Owen, next in line to control the largest organization of witches in the country, is asked to investigate the owner of a notorious club reportedly siphoning magic from the font of the Clan. It’s a direct violation of the Clan Code of Conduct, but one look at Dominic Bright and Meriel’s willing to make a deal. One taste of the sexually feral outlaw witch, and she’s eager to go further: he’s her bond mate, a legal conduit into the world of Clan witches and their magic.
Playing by the rules isn’t Dominic’s style, but bonding with Meriel–night after explosive night–is. However, Meriel has unwittingly invited someone else into her world: Dominic’s mother, a dangerous and poisonously influential magic addict whose lust for death and power corrupts all she touches. Now her shadow is closing in on Meriel, her Clan, and the man Meriel loves, and it’s casting them all into the inescapable heart of darkness.
BOUND BY MAGICK: HEART OF DARKNESS by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing November 1!
Simon looked at him closely. “Wards holding up?”
“Far as I can see. I used othersight and everything looks okay there too. We’ve got some pissed-off Weres near the bar, but I already told them they’d be barred if they didn’t keep it together. I can’t have all this fighting here. That’s worse than worrying over this mage bullshit. Last thing I need are bar fights back here.”
“You’re on edge. I trust that. Something doesn’t feel right.”
And then she walked in, scanning the room until she found him. Her smile made his head feel a little better. But he didn’t like the way men always looked at her.
“She’s a pretty woman, you know that? Fresh and lovely. Always smells good. That witchy—”
“Do you think I want to hear you wax rhapsodic about my woman’s smell?”
“Whatever. She smells good whether I tell you that or not.”
“Simon!” She approached and patted Simon’s arm. “I love that suit. You’re looking very handsome.”
Meriel turned to him. “You’re handsome too.”
He pulled her to his body and kissed her. He wanted everyone to see it and know she was spoken for.
Simon cocked his head. “Hey, I need to talk to you two. Office?”
Once the door was closed Simon turned, his arms crossed. “Someone is fucking with you.”
Meriel nodded. “I agree.”
“You’re on edge. Prowling around like a shifter. You’re hyperaggressive. The magick is pouring off you.”
Dominic only felt rage. “What the fuck? You saying I’m so weak I’d be manipulated by some spell?”
Meriel looked him up and down. “I can feel it. Through the bond. It has to be outside the club because I’d feel it if it was happening in here. The wards would sound with that kind of spell.”
With an indignant sniff, she turned, kicked her shoes off and her hands began to dance as she spoke under her breath. Magick filled the room, made his own rise in response to join hers. That’s when it felt like she grabbed a string and unraveled him. His stomach went into freefall and he held back a gag.
And then things got really weird.
She raised her voice, this time speaking aloud as she wove the spell. She tapped the font and shoved it all into Dominic so that he gagged with it. He held a hand out but she didn’t stop. Instead she took it and squeezed.
Latin, yes, she was speaking Latin. He realized this as he warred to keep his consciousness and failed several times.
And then she was on her knees and his ears popped and he could hear clearly again.
He saw the red. “Blood?” He tried to stand, but dizziness made him stumble. Simon braced him and eased him into a chair.
“It’s not yours. It’s Meriel’s.”
His gaze shot to her and he found her pressing one of his handkerchiefs against her arm. “Did I hurt you?” He wanted to vomit.
Concern filled her eyes then and she came to him, kneeling and taking his hand. “No. Do you think you ever could? Really?”
“I don’t know. Baby, Christ, what happened?”
“It was a possession spell. Someone was riding in your consciousness and trying to affect your behavior.”
“Something was in me? And cut you?”
“I needed the blood to cast it out. It was ugly and powerful and not mage magic. It was darker than that.”
“You cut yourself for me? How could you do that? You are not to put yourself in danger like that.”
She waved it away. “I’ll do what I need to and you can’t stop me from protecting what’s mine. Anyway, it’s locked out. My blood mixed with the spell. The way is blocked.”
“How can this have happened? I thought my magick was locked, that you can’t be possessed . . . like demon possessed? Is that what the Latin was? Meriel, did you fucking exorcise me?” Sickness clawed at his insides.
“In a manner of speaking, yes. See what I mean about how we can learn from other kinds of practitioners?”
“Faith as magick?” Simon asked, handing her a bottle of water and then one to Dominic.
“Negative energy, no matter what you want to call it, can be affected by belief. The words hold power. I gave them intent.”
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Mandy M Roth