Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Destined to be surrounded by magic yet have none of her own, Cassie walks a thin line between love and danger. Her mother is dying and her boyfriend has turned into something which terrifies her. By the time she wakes up to the danger she’s in, it’s nearly too late.
Cassie’s friend Jeremy warns her about her scumbag boyfriend, but she’s not listening until deeply disturbing events unfold and her life hangs in the balance. With few choices left, she and Jeremy join forces to battle the darkness threatening them. Meanwhile, Cassie warms to Jeremy in ways she never could have anticipated. Love was there all along if she’d just opened her eyes and looked.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 8, 2013
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Cassionetta Ceobbinn sat in her old Subaru and rested her forehead against its steering wheel. Her electronic design work had ground to a halt an hour earlier and a headache pounded behind one eye. The garage of the Capitol Hill mansion rose around her, silent as a crypt. Her mother’s Aston Martin sat off to one side, gleaming white in the semi-darkness. Cassie girded herself to open her car door, grab her things, and go inside. “It’s my house, goddammit,” she muttered to boost her courage. “So what if he sent me a text message not to come home.”
The garage lights came on, blinding her. The door leading into the house crashed against the wall. Before the ringing in her ears subsided, her live-in boyfriend stomped to her car. Well, the live-in part was still accurate. The boyfriend part seemed to have evaporated like so much smoke.
“You weren’t supposed to come home tonight,” he growled. “I texted you hours ago. You can just turn that piece of shit you drive around and go stay at your mother’s office.”
Fury boiled up from her guts. She took aim and opened the car door hard into his midsection, hoping she could clip a ball for good measure.
“Oooph. You little bitch.” He jumped back, rubbing his stomach.
You bet I am. High heels slapping the concrete floor, she jumped out of her car and stood eyeball to eyeball with him. “This is my mother’s house, Tyler MacKenzie. I live here. Or have you forgotten?” Cassie yanked her shoulder bag and computer case off the passenger side of the front seat and stormed past him.
He grabbed her arm before she reached the steps leading into the kitchen. “I have people over. It’s the full moon. I’m leading a séance. Your presence would disturb the energy.”
She twirled to face him, breaking his grip. “You mean you have mother’s clients over. Where is she, by the way?”
He shrugged. “Don’t know. Haven’t seen her.”
Cassie turned away from him. He closed his hand over her arm again, hard enough to make her squeal. “If you don’t let me go,” she snarled through clenched teeth, “I will call the police.”
His fingers loosened marginally. “But, sweetie...”
She heard compulsion beneath his words. Cassie didn’t have any magic of her own, but she recognized it in others. When Tyler had wanted her to fall in love with him, he’d used honeyed words all the time. They’d only stopped once she’d let him move in.
“Can it.” She twisted her head so she could lock gazes with him. “Let me go. Now.” His hand fell away. “I want you out of here tomorrow--”
His eyes narrowed. He shoved long, red-gold hair out of his face and sneered at her. “Fat fucking chance of that. We’ve had this conversation one too many times for my liking. I’m here, and I intend to stay. There’s nothing you can do about it. Unless you want to meet with an unfortunate accident.” A nasty laugh bubbled past lips she’d once thought were full and sensual. “Of course something like that could happen anyway. If I were you, sweetie, I’d watch my back.”
Cassie shuddered. She swallowed, but her mouth was dry. Maybe she’d underestimated Tyler. Once they’d stopped getting along, she’d seen him as an inconvenience, not a menace. He’d never sounded quite like this before though. There’d been threats, but they’d been subtle, veiled in double entendre.
She squared her shoulders and turned to face him. It was the kiss of death to let bullies know they were getting to you. “I’m done with your crap.” She infused as much venom as she could into her voice. “I will call the police. You threatened me.”
He snorted. “I’d just deny it. They’ll believe we had a lover’s spat. Women are so emotional.” His blue eyes gleamed with an unnatural light.
She blinked. For a moment, he looked like a demon one of her mother’s psychic friends had raised by accident. Cassie knew enough about demons--interdimensional beings which traveled from world to world wreaking havoc--for the idea of them to scare the shit out of her.
Don’t be ridiculous. Ridiculous, ridiculous echoed in her head. I’m seeing things.
Her heartbeat sounded loud in her ears; her hands fisted at her sides. “You’d better get back to your séance. Wouldn’t want any of those high rollers to get away.” He took a menacing step toward her; his mouth was set in a hard line. She sucked in a breath, ready to defend herself.
Wonder why it’s taken me so long to figure out how toxic he is?
Feeling like a gullible idiot, and a weak one at that, she let the stone warm in her hand and thought of her father.
Cassie didn’t realize she’d fallen asleep until her standard ringtone--“Ode to Joy”--sounded from the depths of her shoulder bag. Staggering muzzily across the room, she located the phone and punched answer without focusing on the display.
Her eyes widened. “Jeremy? What time is it?”
“Past midnight. Sorry to wake you, but--”
She picked her way back to the bed, cursing when she stepped on one of the high heels she’d discarded earlier.
“Are you all right?” He sounded worried.
“Uh, yeah. Just stepped on something sharp. Give me a second to get back under the covers. It’s cold in here.” She pulled the duvet up to her chin. “Okay, all set. What’s up?”
“I just got this feeling...” His voice trailed off again.
Cassie sat up straighter in bed, not feeling sleepy at all anymore. Something in her friend’s voice was ... unsettling. Jeremy was almost her only friend; she’d known him forever. Psychic like her mother, he definitely marched to his own drummer. “Whatever it is, just spit it out. Sometimes it’s easier that way.”
A sigh rattled through the cellular network. “It’s hard to explain, but I felt something and thought you were in danger.”
Cassie sucked in a breath. For the briefest of moments she considered telling him everything but then reined herself in. No point in getting Jeremy riled up about Tyler’s threats. This wasn’t really his problem. Besides, she was embarrassed about fessing up to her own stupidity. Yeah, I was so desperate for a guy to want me, I didn’t read the fine print.
“Cass? You’re pretty silent over there. It is not making me feel any better.”
“Huh? Oh,” she forced out a light laugh. “Tyler held a séance earlier, but I’m sure they’ve mostly left by now. I could go look--”
“No!” The single word thundered in her ear.
“Okay, okay. You don’t have to shout at me.”
“I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to.” He cleared his throat. “I probably shouldn’t have bothered you. Promise me you’ll stay in your room until daylight.”
“Sure.” Confusion and an uneasy sensation made her feel ill.
“Call me tomorrow.”
The sick feeling did not get any better. Jeremy had never felt the need to check on her before. “I’m spending all day working on e-Ouija.”
“Okay, I’ll call you. Sleep well, Cassie. Sorry to wake you.”
He wasn’t there. She clicked end call and shut off her phone. To her surprise, she could barely keep her eyes open. Then she realized he’d probably cast a spell to make sure she stayed in her room. Damn it. Last thing I need in my life is two meddling men using magic to control me.
Other titles by Ann Gimpel:
Be on the lookout for Ann Gimpel's next book, Dancing in the Flame, coming April 2013
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