by Traci Douglass
Blood Ravagers Book Two
Elizabeth “Liz” Frost has always been the wild one. But now, with a niece or nephew on the way and her promise to become half of the new psychic Oracle team for the Blood Ravagers Biker Gang, she’s ready to turn over a new leaf. And what better way to start than by answering the call when gang leader Dante needs help? Her mission: to travel cross-country to get the information the gang needs to complete the Oracle Binding Ceremony. Should be easy, right? Except for the incredibly tempting lone-wolf shifter named Dex who’ll be her riding partner and protector on the journey.
Dexter “Dex” MacCallahan is tasked with guarding Liz Frost, one of the gang’s beautiful and bewildering new psychics. Dex can’t refuse the mission, but there’s one small problem. The time of his Rut is approaching, a rare occurrence where male wolf-shifters must physically bond with their chosen mate or face certain insanity and death. It could cost him not only the new life he’s built, but also his battered, scarred heart.
Together, Dex and Liz must search for the information they need before his old nemesis and a rival gang annihilates all they hold dear. But when the simmering chemistry between them boils over into searing hot passion, will they risk losing their hearts to save the ones they love?
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon iTunes Kobo Google B&N
Content/Theme(s): Demons, Shifters, Vampires, Psychics, Bikers, Motorcycle Gangs, Suspense, Fantasy
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Excerpt & More
Deep down, he honestly didn’t think Rev was a traitor, but it was fun getting the old guy riled up. Hell, if the rumors were believed, Rev was older than dirt and more lethal than a silver bullet to the brain. Word said he used to work for the Council as a top assassin. Then one day he’d mysteriously left their employ. An all but impossible feat since no one in the otherworld left the Council behind. No one.
He, of all people, should know.
“For the last time, beast. I. Am. Not. A. Traitor.” Rev snarled.
“Tell it to the Council.” Dex said, unsheathing his claws for battle. Seemed a day wasn’t complete without the two of them going for each other’s throats at least once. “They seem to consider you otherwise.”
“Don’t speak to me of the Council, coward. Tell me again how your father was their lapdog, doing their bidding?”
“He was never their lapdog.”
“Not what I heard.”
“Enough!” Dante glared at them both before striding to the bar and grabbing a fresh bottle of scotch. He unscrewed the lid then took several long gulps before setting it down again in the center of their small wooden table. “At this point it does not matter how the intruders got in. The point is they did and we need to fix the holes in our security, sooner rather than later.”
“What about the missing information the priest mentioned for the ceremony?” Liz asked. “The gang won’t be secure until Anna and I complete the ceremony, right?”
Dex took a deep breath and slumped in his seat. Beneath the overhead lights of Seven, the wild-child half of their new Oracle looked pale and small and shaken to her core, no matter how brave she tried to act. He itched to pull her into his arms and keep her safe from all harm. Which was ridiculous. He’d long ago come to terms with the fact he was destined to live his life alone. Alone was safer. Alone meant security. Besides, he didn’t deserve happiness or affection after the travesty that had occurred in his father’s pack.
A loud hiccup sounded through the room and they all turned to look at the drunken priest, now three sheets to the wind, tipping precariously on his stool at the bar.
Dante sighed. “There must be another way to get the information.”
Dex exhaled slowly and squinted at his bottle of beer. Uncomfortable as stepping into the limelight made him, he felt obligated to mention what he knew. He considered this gang his adopted family. Dante had taken Dex in when no one else would and for that he would protect them all with what was left of his worthless life. “I might know a way.”
“How?” Rev scowled. “You never step foot outside this place.”
“Yeah, how?” Liz crossed her arms, interest lighting her pretty face.
Truth was, in the two decades after his pack’s demise at the hands of the Council and his father, Dex had roamed the earth, visited every cesspool of humanity, all in the hopes of making amends and there weren’t many places around the globe where he hadn’t made connections. But it had taken him years to accept that some broken things could never be repaired. Not when the same traitorous blood that had run through his father’s veins, also pumped through Dex’s. There was no getting around it, no escaping it.
These days, he lived in constant fear of repeating his father’s mistakes.
“There’s a creature legend says holds the key to all the knowledge of the otherworld,” Dex said, nervously swiping the back of his hand over his mouth. “They call it the Historian.”
“Legend is right.” Dante grabbed his wife’s hand as she passed by and pulled Anna into his side. “No one has seen this thing in decades. Even if it does still exist, our chances of finding the creature are remote at best.”
“Great,” Liz said, her tone flat. “How are we supposed get the missing details for the ceremony then? Ask crusty old Father Time back there?”
The priest snorted and raised his glass to her, mumbling under his breath.
“What’s he saying?” Dex asked, frowning. “Sounds like a poem.”
He got up and moved closer. Yep. Definitely some kind of a rhyme.
“Get me something to write with,” Dex said, motioning toward Liz. She handed him a pen and paper and he scribbled down the priest’s words.
In the city of the mile-high.
Tucked in Belladonna’s dusty nook
Number twenty-seven’s the place to look.
“Do you think it’s a clue?” Liz asked.
“Not sure.” Dante scowled at the verse.
“I’ll see what I can make of it tonight,” Rev said, slipping the paper into his pocket. “And let you know what I find in the morning.”
“If this turns out to be a quest then we must send out a search party before our rivals decided to attack,” Dante said. “The trip will be dangerous, with our enemies stalking our every move.”
Dex glanced at Liz, the sinking feeling in his stomach intensifying. His wolf instincts said she was about to do something radical and chances were high he wasn’t going to like it.
“I volunteer,” she said, “to go on the mission.”
“C’mon, sis.” Anna chuckled. “Be serious. You can’t find your way out of a wet paper bag, let alone clear across the country.”
“Funny,” she said, though she didn’t smile.
Dex caught a flicker of pain in her eyes and wondered at the cause. To all the world, she appeared carefree and full of life and zest. But perhaps there was more to the gang’s beautiful, free-spirited psychic than met the eye.
“There’s GPS and Google Maps and I’m sure Dante will assign a beefy guard to take me wherever I need to go.” She looked back to Dante, her expression imploring. “Please.”
“No.” Dante scowled. “To send you on this journey would only endanger your life and the lives of everyone in the Blood Ravagers. Oracles are rare and finding the two of you was a miracle. Losing either of you is a risk I am unwilling to take.”
“But you won’t have a true Oracle until we complete the ceremony, right?” Liz sighed, her gaze narrowing on Anna’s pregnant belly. “This Historian creature. We have no idea what it is or where it lives. Could be in this realm, could be in another. Someone who can travel on the astral plane could come in handy. Last I heard, there are only two of us in the gang with that special talent and one of us is indisposed.”
Dex stifled an unexpected smile. Clever girl. She had a point.
Dante cursed and looked away. He was silent for several minutes, his expression dark.
Bright pink color blossomed in Liz’s cheeks and Dex suddenly had the irrational urge to trace the pad of his thumb over her skin, to see if it felt as soft as it appeared, to part her lips then taste them, discover the sweet flavor of her, hear her moan his name in ecstasy as she came apart in his arms…
Shaking himself out of his impossible fantasies, Dex met Dante’s resigned gaze, that sinking feeling in his stomach turning into a full-fledged freefall.
“There is only way this is happening,” Dante said, pointing to Dex. “You must accompany Liz.”
“Me?” The word squeaked out of Dex’s constricted throat, several octaves higher than his usual baritone. “I, uh, I can’t.”
The last thing he needed was to be caught out on the open road right now with Liz Frost.
“You can and you will,” Dante said, his crimson-tinged gaze narrowing. “Are you disobeying a direct order?”
Dex fiddled with the peeling label on his beer bottle, searching in vain for an excuse that would get him out of this predicament. Each full moon brought on a rut cycle for wolf shifters—a time when he had to mate with a willing, chosen partner or risk sickness. This month, however, was doubly bad due to the rare blue moon. He’d planned to head into Cheyenne to deal with his needs and sate the insatiable hunger, the only way to prevent his cravings from devolving into certain insanity and death. Abstinence wasn’t an option.
No way would he subject Liz to such primal, fierce needs. He couldn’t. He shouldn’t. But if they were stuck together twenty-four-seven, chances were high he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. When the hunger grew too strong and his animal side took over, all bets were off. Given her anything-goes reputation and the moon at first quarter already, they’d never survive.
He shook his head and scowled. “There must be a better choice.”
“Are you questioning my judgment?” Dante’s voice boomed off the walls of Seven, shaking them anew.
Fuck. Seemed every time Dex opened his damned mouth tonight, he dug his grave a little deeper. “No. There are extenuating circumstances that may keep me from performing my duties as ordered.”
“Such as?” Dante leaned back and crossed his arms.
My cock. My past. My father’s failure, which haunts me every day of my life.
Dex glanced at Rev.
The vamp raised a challenging brow, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms, a small, knowing smirk on his lips. Fine. Let the bloodsucker tell Dante his secrets—of his rut, the taint in his blood, the curse of deception he could never escape.
It would almost be a relief after hiding all these years.
“I volunteer to keep tabs on them, monitor their progress. I’ll make sure they complete the mission as ordered.” Rev picked up his cowboy hat and shoved it back on his head. “Will that do?”
Stunned, Dex shoved to his feet, his chair toppling backward. This wasn’t the way he’d wanted thing to go. “Wait! I—”
“Fine.” Dante smacked his hand on the table. “My decision is final. Dex, I trust you to keep Liz safe, under pain of death.” Dante’s tone brooked no argument. “The two of you will find this historian and obtain the information we need to complete the binding ceremony. Rev will provide backup as needed and track your journey to make sure everything goes to plan. You will leave tomorrow morning at daybreak.”
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Be on the lookout for Traci Douglass' future release(s): Blood Vowed coming April 2017
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