I didn’t know otday was the release date for this book and found the announcement in the EC newsletter! My first trade paperback at Ellora’s Cave! I’m thrilled, to say the least. The book has been available as an e-book since early 2007 and is also available on Kindle but it’s always exciting for a book to go to old-fashioned paperback. Here are the details:
Darelle was brought across by the world’s oldest vampire, yet she retained her soul.
Terrified by her sire’s obsession with her, she escapes him and is rescued by two gorgeous Roman warriors. Not only do they rescue her, but Kane and Gareth claim to be her guardians, fellow vampires of her breed, sworn to pleasure, love and protect her for eternity.
True to their word, they shower her with erotic pleasures beyond imagining, their union strengthening them against the forces they must face. For an evil far greater than her sire’s lust awaits them all…
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Copyright © SEDONIA GUILLONE, 2007
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Don’t leave me, Darelle! Lascaux’s voice shuddered through her.
Holy God, he had control of her mind! He was inside her very being. Softly, she cried out as the familiar erotic tingle sprung up between her thighs, pulsing waves of desire through her womb into her breasts. She crouched in the narrow opening of the window. Whoever the man was on the battlement, she sensed he brought her safety from Lascaux’s clutches.
“How can I fly?” she whispered desperately.
“It’s within your power to glide short distances, Lady Darelle. Come quickly.”
A spasm of sexual heat ripped through her slit, weakening her. If she waited another moment, she would be in the thrall, unable to move. Dragging in a deep breath she clenched her jaw and sprang from the window, crying softly as an invisible current lifted her. The power of flight infused her body and she directed herself toward the man on the battlement, landing softly just in front of him. Uncertain of her footing, she teetered slightly and a pair of strong hands closed around her arms, steadying her.
“Are you all right, my lady?”
Darelle craned her neck and looked into his face. In the gray light, she could make out high cheekbones and a firm jaw. The waning moonlight gleamed in his eyes, which studied her with unmistakable tenderness. “Who are you?” she whispered. Her heart still pounded from the shock of flight, yet the man’s touch soothed her and already Lascaux’s sexual thrall had lessened.
“Gareth, my lady. Kane and I have come to fetch you. He’s waiting below.”
“She’s going nowhere.” Lascaux’s voice cut into her from behind. “Darelle is mine.”
She turned and saw her captor standing close behind her, his eyes glowing golden yellow, his fangs bared.
Gareth pulled her against him, turning so that his large strong frame came in between her and Lascaux.
“She doesn’t belong to you, or to anyone, Minhotep,” Gareth said.
Darelle could not see Lascaux’s expression but she heard a growl issue from deep in his throat. His thrall gripped her body, sending waves of heated lust through her breasts.
“Put your hands on me, Darelle,” Gareth ordered. Obediently, she reached out, resting her palms flat on Gareth’s back. Warm strength infused her through the coarse material of his cloak, holding the thrall at bay.
“How dare you and your Coeurs Éternels. Darelle! Don’t listen to this creature. He would steal all your pleasure from you. I brought you across. I saved you from la peste!”
Lascaux’s words tore at her heart, as if he were deep inside her. She felt guilty for wanting to escape him, for not succumbing to the lush erotic pleasure he’d given her. But he frightened her, the way he wanted to force her to love him.
She pressed her hands more deeply into Gareth’s cloak, inching her body closer until her breasts pushed lightly into his back muscles. The moment her body made full contact with his, Lascaux’s spell was severed, clearing her mind.
Gareth’s arm moved, emerging from underneath his cloak. Rose-colored streaks now stained the gray sky, reflecting the glint of a gold cross in Gareth’s hand.
Lascaux cringed, but with a guttural cry, reached out and swiped it out of his hand. The crucifix soared downward, lost in the depths of the castle bailey.
“Squeeze your arms around me, Darelle,” Gareth ordered her, not taking his eyes off Lascaux.
“If you leave, Darelle, you will be lost forever,” Lascaux said. “You need me.”
Darelle clutched at Gareth’s cloak. Each time Lascaux spoke, her mind filled with confusion.
“Hold tight!” Gareth shouted.
Darelle squeezed her arms tightly around his torso of rock-hard muscle. He was so broad, her hands barely met around his waist. She rested her cheek against his back, her eyes shut tight.
He jumped, and once again Darelle experienced that sensation of weightlessness. She felt them dropping downward and screamed out when a familiar pair of hands, Lascaux’s, clutched her suddenly from behind.
“Hold on, Darelle!” Gareth landed on his feet on the soft grass, standing like a pillar of rock against Lascaux’s tugging grip on Darelle’s shoulders.
In her struggle, she caught a glimpse of another cloaked figure, identical to that of Gareth. This man wedged one powerful arm between her and Lascaux who released her as if that man’s arm were burning him.
As Lascaux backed away, the man stood in his place and he and Gareth enclosed Darelle between them. To her surprise, she grew completely calm, the tension draining from her body in spite of Lascaux, a mere few feet away, prepared to snatch her back to the castle. She closed her eyes, her cheek resting against Gareth’s chest. The other man stood behind her, a strong, protective force against Lascaux’s thrall.
Neither Gareth nor his companion budged. Like statues, they stood, holding her between them. Behind them, Darelle heard Lascaux hiss, his frustration and anger filling the air around them. The sky lightened from gray to pink. Fuchsia streaks of light splashed out above the horizon beyond the rolling hills.
Lascaux hissed again, retreating as if from fire. She witnessed the daylight repel him as the cross had. He began to retreat, his gaze boring into hers.
She drew a long deep breath, her body sagging against Gareth.
“I’ll find you, petite,” Lascaux said, his voice like molten iron. “I’m in your very soul. You’ll never be able to let me go.”
Darelle squeezed her eyes shut tight against his words and the guilt he churned up in her.
He turned and ran, disappearing through an opening in the château wall.
Another minute passed before Gareth stirred. He and his companion moved slightly apart, keeping her safely between them.
Gareth put his large hands on her shoulders. “Are you all right, my lady?”
Darelle felt her cheeks redden under his gaze. In her entire life, she could never have imagined being addressed with such respect, especially by a man so handsome. In the waxing daylight, she could see his face much more clearly, the chiseled angles, the rich brown of his eyes. Though his cheeks and jaw were clean-shaven, the masculine roughness of his whiskers showed through, framing his graceful, strong bow-shaped lips. His skin was a smooth olive tone, his dark hair shorn close to the scalp. Wordlessly, she nodded.
Gareth studied her face with a stern expression darkening his eyes. “Good. You are a brave young woman. Minhotep is very powerful.” He looked at his companion. “Meet your other guardian, Kane.” He turned her gently to face Kane. Darelle found herself gazing at Gareth’s mirror image. She blinked several times. “Vous êtes jumeaux?” she asked softly.
Kane chuckled. “Yes, my lady, we’re twins.” He stepped back and bowed to her, smiling gently. A large dimple formed in his right cheek. “I’m Kane Princelli and this is my brother, Gareth. At your service.”
Gareth cleared his throat. “We’re your guardians.”