DARK DEALINGS released from Carina Press yesterday. It had been so long since I'd played with magic...and this story has it in spades. Oh, and a hero that makes my knees weak ;-)
Ava Kalle's empty soul devours magic. And her hunger is deadly. She's sharp, quick and can live in shadow, making her work as a spy for the Mages a natural choice. She lives on the fringes of society and likes it that way.
When the man she loves takes another woman for his mate, the darkness in her heart unravels and she'll do anything to get him back. She makes a dangerous deal with a fire elemental, Heyerdar, who has a vested interest in agreeing: together they'll use forbidden magic, harnessing their sexual energy to drive the couple apart.
But soon their pact pushes them both into a dark sexual obsession. One that Ava may not be able to control…
Here's a naughty excerpt:
Ava’s mouth dried and the slick heat of her need pulsed heavily within her. “Your first time, Heyerdar.” She swallowed as his mouth brushed over her nightgown, his tongue curling against the thin linen and wetting a line to the curve of her breast. “I only...”
“She pretended not to know I was in the room.”
His memory pushed into her—the pad of his feet over the deep rugs, the heat in his body, the knowledge that one of the Institute’s most beautiful woman waited for him, wanted him.
“But she wasn’t asleep.” Heyerdar found her nipple and sucked. Hard.
Ava cried out, her body arching into his mouth, his magic surging into her flesh. He groaned and his teeth grazed her breast, her nipple. The fierce pull of her darkness on Heyerdar’s unending magic swept over her. Almost guiltily she wanted to keep it to herself, but his touch had a purpose. He wanted Fallon as much as she wanted Reist.
Her thoughts reached out, rushing into the night, into the few hours of future and finding Fallon. Ava pushed the raw feelings, the memory of Heyerdar finding her, into the other woman, opening a connection and feeding her own hot emotion into her dreams.
“Naked in moonlight.” He found her other breast, licking and sucking through the thin fabric.
She ached for his mouth on her skin, tasting her, the heat, the bite of his teeth, the tantalizing lick of his tongue knowing her, but this way was...proper. She was a placeholder.
“The first taste of her.” He teased his mouth back to the valley between Ava’s breasts, where her nightshirt dipped in a low vee. His tongue swept up over her breastbone, and a gasp broke from her. “Sunlight and earth, the lick of moonlight.”
His mouth hovered over hers, and her breaths were quick and uncertain, her body alive with his magic. She wanted to kiss him, let the wild surge of feeding and desire riot through her body. She ached for it. For Fallon. All for Fallon.
“She was unlike anyone else. The slightest touch al- most broke her.” His teeth sank into Ava’s bottom lip. Her body snapped taut, and a dark wave rolled over her, hot and tight. She couldn’t stop the half cry that escaped. “Just. Like. That.”
The power of her unexpected release flowed through the connection she’d created. Her arms gave out and she sank to the bed. Her heart pounded, her surprise at losing herself so easily mixing with the rough spin of her thoughts. But she knew her limits with him now. He hadn’t overwhelmed her.
“Only a brief touch of my...skill, little thief.”
With a low laugh, Heyerdar eased her farther onto the bed, his hands firm and sure. He followed her down, close, but only just touching, his control absolute. His mouth burned against her jaw, her cheek, before he drew back. Light still wove around him, gleaming in his eyes. His power...her mouth watered at the thought of it, of it flowing into her, sinking into her. Of him stripping her and fucking her. Had this power scared even a higher mage?
“Then I took her. Fuck, she was sweet.” He laughed against Ava’s skin. “Mages want my magic, but sex exposes them. Scares them. They don’t have the protection of being an apprentice. That little tattoo on the back of their neck.” His lips brushed her ear and she drew in a quick breath, surprised by the excited shiver that rippled through her. “Fallon wanted to break that fear.”
“So you showed her your skill?”
His smile was dark. “Repeatedly and through the night.”
“Is that...?” Her heart drummed. She had to know if that was his plan for her because her resistance to him was nil. “Do you plan to fuck me?”
“I have so many plans for you.” His fingers drifted down over her collarbone, the damp fabric clinging to her breast, to skim her waist. He tugged the bottom of her nightshirt up and his bare fingers traced a slow, hot pattern against her hip. “Bite you, lick you, take you every way I can.”
Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Cleis Press, Carina Press and Ellora's Cave.