Cover & Excerpt Reveal
by Jacqueline Rhoades
Guardians of the Race Book Five
Short and round, she dresses like a gypsy in vibrant and sometimes clashing colors. She’s been known to dye her hair to match her mood. She does a Good Deed every day and smiles at everyone she meets. But underneath her happy-go-lucky exterior, Patience Delecourt is lonely and afraid. She’s the mouse in a demon’s Cat-and-Mouse game that’s been going on for fifteen years. Her ideal hero would come straight out of the old movies she watches night after night alone in her tiny apartment.
Stuffy and socially awkward, Broadbent ad Sebastian, Guardian of the Race, has his vision of the ideal woman, too; tall, elegant, cultured, and well-read. But every time he meets someone who might fill the bill, his advances are met with laughter and derision. As hard as he tries to emulate his fellow Guardians; their prowess with women, their clothes, their interests; he just can’t get it right.
He doesn’t see himself as handsome or a hero. She doesn’t see herself as beautiful or brave. Yet what they find together opens new worlds of wonder for them both. It also opens the doors to old enemies and sets off a series of events that threaten the House of Guardians and the people within it. With the credits ready to roll on their mismatched love story, Patience and Broadbent will have to find the bravery and heroism they see in each other, and decide how much they will sacrifice for love.
Genre: Paranormal RomanceTrailer for Book 1 in the series
Content/Theme(s): Demons, Vampires, Rubenesque, BBW
Release Date: November 15, 2014
Trailer, Excerpt & More
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Pinkie ran toward the attacker who was dragging Mrs. Prashad along the ground in an attempt to wrest the leather satchel from her. Originally draped securely across her chest, the leather strap now caught beneath her chin, strangling her. Still, the woman would not let go. One hand gripping the strap, the other wrapped around the thief’s leg, she was pulled along behind him.
At Pinkie’s second shout, the attacker looked up, paused briefly and seeing no threat, went back to his task. He glanced up again, no doubt judging her hesitant advance, but this time he stopped mid-tug. Even in the darkness, Pinkie saw his eyes widen in fear.
“Unhand her, you cad!”
The dramatic order, boomed from behind her, had Pinkie turning, too.
At the mouth of the alley, backlit by the rapid bursts of lightning, a tall stranger stood. She knew it was a stranger, because she knew everyone in their little city village and no one she knew could carry off that impressive stance. Hat pulled low over his eyes, feet spread and ankle length coat billowing in the wind, he was either an avenging angel or a cowboy hero missing from the set of a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western; a hero of magnificent proportions. He advanced down the alley, filling the space with his presence.
The thief tried to run, but was tangled with Mrs. Prashad and her bag. Moving faster than any man she’d ever seen, the hero moved past her to grab the thief and toss him away from his victim. The man flew through the air and landed on his backside. He shook his head, scrambled to his feet and ran.
Her hero had a cell phone in his hand, issuing orders to someone on the other end.
“Do you see him? Good. Dispose of him at the edge of town. It will be good practice for you. I don’t care! Just get rid of him. Of course not, you idiot. Then take the car!” he said impatiently and snapped the phone shut.
Mouth open, Pinkie stared at the avenging angel until she remembered poor Mrs. Prashad. She ran to the woman who was sitting upright on the ground, clutching the leather satchel to her chest.
“The money. The money,” the woman muttered, eyes staring in the direction her attacker ran. “He cannot have our money.”
“No, of course not, Mrs. Prashad. You were very brave to fight him.” Pinkie bent over her and tried to take her arm to help her up.
“Or very foolish. She might have been killed. Here, let me,” the stranger said when the woman, still in shock, shied away from Pinkie’s touch. “Come now, madam, all is well. You and your money are both safe.”
He lifted her easily and brushed at her soiled raincoat, then wiped her cheeks with his thumbs. The woman’s shoulders relaxed and she seemed to calm, though her eyes were still a bit glassy. Lastly, he brushed a bit of dirt from her forehead and said coolly, “You fell victim to the storm. It frightened you and was quite awful, but you and the money are safe. You must return home.”
Mrs. Prashad nodded and turned toward home. “Thank you,” she said, “I must get home to Ravi.”
“Shouldn’t we...?” Pinkie took a step after the woman, but the large hand on her shoulder stopped her. They watched her cross the street and climb the steps of her house. Only when the door closed behind her and the porch light went out did the man turn to Pinkie.
“She will be fine.” The stranger looked down from his great height. “But you will not be if you continue to run about in the storm dressed like that. Whatever are you doing out in it?”
What could she say? Performing her Good Deed? How would she explain that? She couldn’t tell him about her crystal ball. She told no one the truth about that, either. Who’d believe her anyway?
“Um... my cat? Yes, yes, I was worried about my cat. She didn’t come home, you see. I was looking for her and I heard Mrs. Prashad calling for help.”
“I see,” he said, nodding sagely. “Your cat, of course, has probably found a place of refuge where she will be warm and snug until the rain passes, unlike her mistress. Where do you live? I shall escort you to your door.”
“Oh! No, that’s okay. No biggie. It’s just a few blocks up on Canal.” She pointed in the general direction.
“Then it will only take a few minutes to escort you home. A woman should not be alone on the streets at this hour.” He offered her his arm.
After what just happened to Mrs. Prashad, she couldn’t very well argue the point. She took his arm and started to walk beside him. The feet she hadn’t felt during her run, now made their abuse known. She limped a bit at their tenderness.
The stranger stopped and looked down at her sodden clothes and ravaged slippers. He shook his head as if he couldn’t believe the stupidity of running through the rain dressed like that. He sighed and then in one fell swoop, she was in his arms, being carried in the direction she pointed.
Damn! He had to be from the movies or else a figment of her imagination. Talk about heroic! Pinkie settled back against him and pointed the way.
“Though this be madness,” she muttered as she snuggled her face into his chest. She was going to enjoy the ride.
“Yet there is method in it,” the stranger finished the quote.
It was like magic. Pinkie was pretty sure the quote was Shakespeare, but she wasn’t sure what play it came from or where she heard it. That he finished it felt like an omen.
Yep. Pinkie was pretty sure he was an avenging angel who quoted Shakespeare, and she’d just died and gone to heaven.
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