15 December 2014

New Release: Descent & Desire (The Gifted 2)

Publisher: Sweet Cravings Publishing
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique

Blurb: There are no guarantees in war, especially when one’s fighting a losing battle with monsters.

An anomaly born to a family of seers and healers, Kathryn Axel has only been allowed to live because of a prophecy, and prophecy demands betraying her friends and sacrificing the man she loves.

In the middle of a war, it’s easy enough to lie to her friends. It’s harder to lie to a man she has to watch die. To protect Gavin Calligari, Kathryn keeps her distance, but each step he takes forward make her take a step back. 

While Kathryn knows she’s bound to hit a wall, she’s beginning to think it wouldn’t be too bad to let him claim both her heart and body. 

Buy Links: SCP | ARe | Amazon | BookStrand | B&N |

Excerpt
When she didn’t answer, Gavin grabbed her arm in a bruising grip. His touch made all of Kathryn’s old scars itch. Unlike Charlie’s hands or any of the Ixeria, his hands weren’t rough. They were smooth and soft. Too perfect, almost, to hold her scarred wrists and a tainted creature like her. Kathryn pulled her arm away, but Gavin stubbornly held on.

“After all these years, I have to know why you hate me so much,” he demanded.

Intense and searching, his searing blue eyes hungrily sought answers she couldn’t give. Some part of Kathryn didn’t want him to let go of her arm. She’d forgotten how it was to be touched by someone, to be touched by Gavin especially. His touch was solid and comforting, and it was tempting to simply lean against his chest and unload all the secrets she’d been forced to keep all these years. Even now, the words of the seers echoed in Kathryn’s head.

“As healers and seers, the future is ours to keep. You must never reveal them until the very last moment. This is vital, you understand? We cannot afford to fail like the last time.”

“I don’t hate you, Gavin. I never have,” Kathryn admitted finally. She owed him that one truth at least.

“Then why have you been avoiding me all these years? We were supposed to— ”

“To be together? Give me a break. Are you so married to your duty and obligation to the Calligari that’d you’d kill and fall in love when they tell you to?”

The grip on her wrist tightened, but Kathryn didn’t protest. She looked at him steadily, refusing to show any sign of weakness even though cracks were beginning to appear in her heart. Spurning his advances and ignoring him when they were in the middle of the campaign was easy. Sending him away when he came knocking on the gates of the House of Eyes to woo her had been as well, but it was harder now that they were alone, and she had run out of excuses.

“Is that how you see me then? I don’t chase after you because you’re an obligation. Gods,” he whispered. “You can’t know how beautiful you look, glaring at me like that.”

Was she really attracted to this fool? His words though, were beginning to affect her. Kathryn softened, nearly caving into telling the truth. Gavin said he loved her, even with her scars and even if she was an abomination, but she never believed him until this moment.

“It started as a duty when I met you many years ago in that garden. You were a spiteful and bitter little thing, even for a child. Each time you rejected me, I saw it as an enjoyable challenge.” Gavin loosened his grip on her wrist, but didn’t let it go.

Kissing her wrist, he thumbed the lines. “I watched you, Kathryn. Watched you grow from a girl into a woman. I’ve nearly given up on you, but I changed my mind during this campaign. You’re still spiteful and stubborn, but you’re also loyal and unexpectedly kind to your friends.”

I have to shut him up soon. If I don’t, then all the years I’ve avoided him would be meaningless.
She desperately searched for the right words, the hurtful words that would effectively end their conversation. 

“Shut up,” Kathryn whispered.

His eyes darkened until they were a deep midnight blue. “Not this time.”

Griping her wrists again, Gavin pulled her against him. Before Kathryn could protest, he grabbed her shoulders and kissed her.

He no longer kisses like an older brother. He’s kissing me as if it’s the last time he’ll ever kiss me.

Kathryn was no longer capable of formulating logical thoughts. His lips were firm, seeking, and demanding. Passion and years of repressed desire leaped from him to her, kindling a flame that would soon turn into a blazing inferno.

He kissed her like a man starved for affection, like a man who waited all his life for the right woman and could wait no longer. With his lips pressed against hers, all thoughts of resistance fled from Kathryn’s mind. She’d fought so hard against the idea of them being together that it seemed foolish now. Why had she been fighting to avoid this?
Copyright © 2017 Angelique Voisen