What if the one you loved was forbidden to you? What if you wanted nothing more than to be with something who should be your enemy? And what if the world you lived in demanded that you could never be together? This is what Bethany and Kiara face in the mini-anthology, Once Bitten, Forever Burned.
Two bestselling paranormal romance authors, Eve Langlais and Stacey Kennedy have come together to write a smokin’ hot paranormal erotic romance.
Leave a comment or question with your email address, and a winner will be drawn to receive an ebook copy of Once Bitten, Forever Burned.
Once bitten, are they damned to forever burn without the touch of love?
A mini anthology containing:
Devon’s Redemption by Eve Langlais
Cruz’s Salvation by Stacey Kennedy
DEVON’S REDEMPTION by Eve Langlais
CRUZ’S SALVATION by Stacey Kennedy
Bethany lost her one and only love to a war overseas. As if that weren’t bad enough, a brutal attack and claiming by a Lycan makes her life a living hell. She lives only for revenge until the day love comes back into her life and promises to rescue her from her misery. However, the mate who forced her isn’t about to let her go.
Devon died on the battlefield only to be reborn as a creature of the night. He fights to stay away from his one true love, but when he caves to his desire and sees her again, he discovers redemption is possible even for one who walks in darkness.
Warning: Contains scenes of violence toward the heroine and mentions of rape that might be offensive to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.
CRUZ’S SALVATION by Stacey Kennedy
Cruz understands torment. A mortal turned vampire in the war, he has suffered untold loneliness and despair. That is until he meets Kiara—a werewolf he’s forbidden to love.
Though Kiara needs Cruz, and wants him forever, werewolves and vampires are bitter enemies. To make matters worse, her Alpha, also her father, suspects that Kiara pines for a mate. Mistaking her sadness for the longing she feels for Cruz, he sets out to give her all the happiness he can provide.
Together, Kiara and Cruz will have to fight against the rules placed upon them to hold onto their love. But an unwanted visitor creates a complication neither of them planned for. Milo, Kiara’s chosen mate, has come to stake his claim. Now, not only are lives at risk, but hearts are threatened and dreams hang in the balance.
Excerpt from Devon's Redemption
Thursday at the animal clinic was her late night for appointments. Although her last appointment for eight-thirty cancelled, Bethany hung around, as usual avoiding going home to him. At least he’d stopped showing up at the clinic, keeping tabs on her. She had his many girlfriends to thank for that. They kept him busy fucking, which thankfully reduced the amount of groping she had to endure.
However, busy fornicating or not, Tyson always had to know where she was and what she did. He kept close watch on her, even if she couldn’t understand why. He had plenty of bitches to choose from. Why he insisted on keeping her around baffled her. Bethany hated him, and knew he couldn’t stand her. They were both miserable, and yet, he just wouldn’t let her go. If it hadn’t been for his superior strength and cunning, she would have killed him a long time ago. Running away wouldn’t work—her beating after her last attempt made that clear, and tempered her actions with caution. Tyson in a rage wasn’t something to mess with, and to her eternal shame, scared her. Much as she hated her life, she feared death more. If I die, I can’t kill him for what he’s done.
But hope clung to her tenaciously that someday, somehow, she’d find a way to free herself of him.
Taking out the garbage, just another chore to delay the inevitable, a tingle went up her spine. She paused and sniffed the air. Nothing untoward came to her and, yet, the skin on the nape of her neck tickled. Danger, her instincts screamed. Bethany closed her eyes and let her enhanced senses roam.
I’m not alone.
She didn’t let such a thing as fear send her scurrying. Apart from Tyson and his bully boys, not much could scare her—or hurt. Scanning the area behind her practice, her sharp gaze didn’t reach far in the darkness, not with the glare of the light above the door. Useless thing, it only illuminated a small area. A few steps, taken away from the building, put most of the blinding glow behind her. Bethany peered again into the gloom, scanning the empty parking lot and the shadows of the trees that bordered it. Not a flicker of motion betrayed a presence, but she knew without a doubt that someone watched. It made her skin prickle.
Don’t tell me Tyson is back to his old games? Sending his lackeys to spy on me?
Pissed, she called out, “I know you’re out there. You might as well show yourself.”
Nothing, not even a whisper of a breeze, answered her, but that thrumming sense of awareness still gripped her. Oddly enough, time seemed to slow, and Bethany experienced the oddest feeling that she stood on the threshold of something, a momentous event that would change her life. Shaking her head at her fanciful thoughts, she called out again, “If you’re spying for him, then you can tell him I’m on my way home now.”
Finally, a figure stepped from the shadow of the trees. Tall and broad shouldered, he seemed to glide toward her. Bethany shivered because there was something unnatural about his movement. Not human, whispered her psyche.
As the watcher neared the light pooled around her, Bethany’s eyes widened in shock, and she took a step back.
No, it can’t be.
Dizziness overtook her and her knees trembled. An urge to run gripped her as he approached, but her body froze like the prey she hunted on full moons. She couldn’t even speak. Her throat locked in shock as he arrived to stand in front of her, his familiar features tinged with sadness.
At the sound of his gravelly voice, a voice she heard in her dreams—and nightmares—her knees buckled, her eyes rolled up in shock, and she collapsed.
Excerpt from Cruz's Salvation
Trees swayed in the wind. An owl hooted through the night sky while the half-moon created dim lighting over the lush garden. Cruz didn’t need the light to offer him a view of the werewolf lurking through the path of the garden. His vampire abilities made her rounded curves beneath her pink baby doll dress visible to him. Her long auburn hair rested above the rounded cheeks of her bottom. Creamy white skin stood out in the dark night. Cruz groaned at the sight of her.
If only she’d turn around and acknowledge him. Kiara enjoyed teasing him, and Cruz didn’t mind Cruz, much. She reached down and plucked a red rose from the garden, turned so he could see her face, and raised the flower to her nose. Heat rushed through Cruz, filling his groin with need. Her lips parted as she inhaled and her eyes fluttered closed. Kiara held the capacity to cripple him with simple moves. Everything about her screamed seductress, yet, her innocence made her unaware of the power she possessed.
Kiara opened her eyes, glanced his way a moment, and smiled before she continued to walk along the path. Cruz groaned again, unable to stop the sound echoing from his mouth. Every step she took, he followed, weaving his way along the path but staying back enough to let her tease him.
Striding toward the pond beneath the shadows of the lone cypress tree, Kiara stopped and spun around. “Some would say stalking is a criminal act.” Her voice emerged playful, the sweet sound a trait he’d become fond of.
Cruz chuckled, quickening his steps to catch up to her. He plucked a red rose on his way. The thorn dug into his finger, but he paid the sting no attention. Now facing him, her midnight blue eyes shone with the wonderful soul he’d fallen in love with. Her dress fit snug along her body except for the skirt, which flared out. Not something he liked. Cruz wanted to see the curves of her thighs, the lines of her pussy for his own pleasure. Kiara had offered him one luxury. She hadn’t worn a bra, leaving her taut nipples to peer out against the pink fabric, only to taunt him. “Some would say being out in the middle of the night alone is a dangerous act.”
Kiara smiled, a grin to make him burn with desire. “There may be vampires lurking about.”
Cruz closed the distance between them; the heat of her body intensified with each step he took. He inhaled, smelling the rich, earthy scent of her mingled with vanilla. “Vampires who crave to drink your blood.”
A visible shudder ran through Kiara. Her eyes hooded and her lips parted, sending a whisper of air to escape. “But will he drink me dry?”
Cruz grinned, raised the rose to her cheek, and trailed the petals along her tanned flesh. “There’s no doubt he’d taste you, but he’d only sample your blood. He’d be too preoccupied drinking up other parts of your moistened body.” Life had given him something he wondered if he deserved. He could have rotted away in the ground as death took him, but a vampire had given him another chance at life. He hadn’t met his maker, seen who turned him, and had lived for years wondering who gave him the gift of immorality. Answers he’d never found, and ones he cared no longer about. He had Kiara.
Leaning toward her, Kiara’s smile blossomed before he took her lips. A kiss of longing. Many nights had passed since he’d been treated to the gloriousness of her mouth. Too long. His tongue twirled with hers in languorous swipes and the taste of her sent a wave of heat to erupt in his cold form.
Cruz groaned, pulling away from her, and placed his forehead on hers. In the present world, the rules of werewolf packs and vampire society declared their relationship needed to stay hidden. Vampires and werewolves did not co-mix. Six months ago, a meeting between the strained enemies had brought them together. An instantaneous spark erupted between them. He’d sought her out, and they’d met in secret ever since. “I’ve missed you, my wolf.”
“Me too.” Kiara sighed.
Raising his head, he cupped her cheeks, his thumbs brushed against her soft skin. “Have you been well?”
Tears glittered in her eyes. “Well enough.”
He understood her simple words. If only he could bend the rules. Make the other supernaturals see love overrode power. Kiara’s status as an Alpha’s daughter meant her bloodline among the wolves was a cherished one. Her father would never agree to her heart belonging to a vampire. “How long do you think we have tonight?” Cruz suspected in no time someone would come looking for her, as they always did.
“Half an hour.” The sadness shone through her pretty eyes.
Cruz wished he had the strength to erase the prejudices, but he held no control. The world had sealed their fate. If Kiara spoke of their love, she’d face an unkind life. Being the Alpha’s daughter, she’d not be killed for her actions, but she would forever be marked as a traitor. Cruz loved her enough to make sure she’d never suffer such cruelty. “If we only have a half an hour, I won’t waste my time. I’ve craved you, Kiara. Thought about you every moment I have been away. Your body, your scent—it’s driven me to near insanity.” Leaning in, he took her lips again, more forceful now.
Kiara inhaled with a sharp breath, sank against him, and raised her delicate hands to his shoulders. Her fingernails dug into his skin. Cruz experienced the same urgency. As their mouths worked together, Cruz’s cock tightened, throbbed in response to having her so near.
As if reading him, Kiara tore her mouth from his. “Please, Cruz, make love to me.”
He closed his eyes, fighting against himself to remove the look of pleading on her face from his mind. His body screamed to accept, break through her innocence and claim her, yet his respect for her couldn’t be undone. He’d not take her in their current predicament. She deserved to be loved in every sense of the word and until he held the ability to love her forever, he’d not indulge himself.
“Cruz,” Kiara whispered, making him realize he’d had his eyes closed for some time now.
Opening them, the beauty of Kiara made him growl. More so, her heated gaze staring back at him, begging him to take her. “Please don’t look at me that way.”
A tear escaped her eye, trailing down her cheek, and Cruz smoothed the dampness away with his thumb. “I’ve waited long enough—I want you.”
Cruz sighed, releasing his desirable thoughts in hopes his mind held more power over him than his cock. “I know you do and it’s killing me just the same. Do you know when you look at me like you are now, I want to spread your thighs and find a home there?”
“I’m not stopping you. In fact, I’m begging you to.” Her teary eyes dried, and a stern look crossed her face. “Why won’t you?”
“Because you deserve to be marveled at for hours on end before your innocence is given away, my wolf. And I can’t offer such things now.” Each word tore at his heart, made him sick, and angered him enough to make him want to rage against the ones who made their love impossible.
Tears formed in her eyes again, and her chin quivered. “I hate the conflict between vampires and werewolves. I hate how it keeps us apart. Is the battle between our kind ever going to end?”
“I hope one day everyone will put their biases aside and we can live in peace.” He doubted the acceptance would ever happen. The two had no reason to join each other, their differences spun into existence at the beginning of time. Cruz could see no chance of it changing. Yet, he wouldn’t tell Kiara as much. He didn’t want to break her heart.
Kiara pressed her body tighter against his, forcing him away from his thoughts. “Give me something, anything to keep with me for the next nights I’m without you. Something to remind me of you and the way you make me feel.”
About the Authors
Want your own copy of Once Bitten, Forever Burned?
Leave a comment with your name and email address for a chance to win!
Must be 18 years or older to enter.
Contest will run until March 23, 2011, 11:59 pm EST.
Winner will be chosen by random.org and have 48 hours to respond via email.
Next stop on the tour is: