WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A paranormal romance with strong elements of romantic suspense and intrigue. The Valthreans series contains sexy heroes, strong heroines, intriguing immortals, magic, spells, mystery, amazing adventures, exotic settings, secret cults, and sensual love scenes. All novels in this series can be read as standalone books.
Keeping it simple doesn’t always work out so well…
After exacting his longed-for revenge, Massimiliano “Max” Damiani’s life is about to get more complicated when he is sent by the Valthrean Council to investigate the mysterious death of one of their Councilmen. Duty-bound to protect the victim’s daughter and her young brother, the stakes are upped as Max and those around him become targets of a dangerous enemy. The Cult is closing in, threatening the future of their kind.
Fate is a cruel mistress…
Piper Ingram’s existence is thrust into turbulent waters. Her father has been murdered in cold blood and she is now sole guardian to her little brother, Charlie. After years of helping others come to terms with their problems and move on to better lives in a domestic violence shelter, she now needs help protecting herself and her kin.
Salvation comes when we face our deepest fears…
Max values his independence above anything. Meanwhile, this case brings him more trouble than he’s bargained for, pushing his limits, and testing his fear of commitment. While striving to keep his personal demons at bay and holding on to his set ways, he fights his attraction to Piper, but he fast learns some things are not within his control. Will he save those entrusted in his care this time? And most importantly, will he finally find redemption … and love?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NATALIE G. OWENS
Pink velvet and black lace. Light and darkness. A world of contrasts exists in Natalie’s stories because every rose has its thorn. Her favourite stories to write are romances with a dark edge featuring brooding heroes, strong heroines, an intriguing mystery, and a good dash of fantasy.
Married, with one son, she now calls the beautiful island of Malta home after eleven good years in Atlanta, GA. As a professional editor and author, her days are always busy, but when she’s not working—or muttering to herself about her book plots like a batty old maid—she enjoys spending time with family and friends (both online and offline), sipping on a good shiraz, reading, cooking and entertaining, watching a good movie, travelling, and ogling shoe store displays. Most of all, she loves to meet and communicate with other authors and readers.
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Max took a step closer to the young woman who sat stiffly on a chair, one room away from where her father lay dead, murdered in cold blood. A redhead, yes, but not as solid a shade as Madeleine’s, he realized. Miss Ingram’s thick, copper-infused corkscrew tresses tumbled about her head in willful abandon, reaching down past her breasts. The mass of loose hair possessed burnished gold tints that would create a blinding halo under direct sunlight, as though spun from that bright star at the liminal stage of a breathtaking sunset…
She wore that magnificent fall of autumn brilliance like a blanket of grief separating her from the world. A lone figure, her head down in a pose that dared anyone to come pull her from the clutches of hushed despair, she kept her hands linked tightly together on her lap, each finger vying to be the others’ lifeline, and stared hard at the carpet beneath her feet—a woman in utter disbelief that her life had been turned upside down, that her dear father was no more.
Commiseration ought to have raised its scratchy, skeletal hand from the depths of his being, screaming, ‘I know this!’. The same vacant aura, a cosmic inner emptiness, had been his, once in the distant past. He’d had to snap out of that daze fast back then because circumstances had dictated it, but not before grief had burned itself into every vein, every muscle, every sinew, every layer of flesh he possessed. He’d been branded, time and again, with its red-hot poker, until the furtive chill of resignation had put its anesthetizing balm on his heart. Time could heal in some ways, but his wounds had been haphazardly patched up, leaving his soul marred with permanent scars. Does one ever shake off such horror? He had come to doubt that over the years and, eventually, disbelieved it altogether. Memories got fuzzier, but the worst ones stuck like wasps on honeydew and stayed there, mired in his psyche.
Max found himself in equal measure entranced and disgusted. But, while he stared at the woman, revulsion started to give way to something else, something eminently more insidious. He did not enjoy having his heartstrings pulled, or moments when a sense of duty felt dangerously close to personal obligation. He didn’t know these people, didn’t owe them anything except a day’s, week’s, or month’s work. Anything more—the threads of emotion—would be unwelcome. He quelled the pang of sympathy that rose from his gut. Pity is a springboard for trouble, and trouble brings pain or, at the very least, undesired change.
She must have felt his attention on her for she tilted her face up to him.
His breath hitched, drawn with startling violence into his lungs as green eyes fixed on him. Green eyes—but not a copy of Madeleine’s emerald ones that had haunted his nightmares for years, and still did on occasion. This woman’s were a precious blue-green jade. Limpid and light in shade, they shone like twin stars. Beautiful porcelain skin complemented a perfectly shaped angelic face with a pointed chin, perked up nose, and Cupid’s bow lips.
A mouth that would drive a man crazy. Immediately, a vision of her bending down and wrapping those sensual lips around his throbbing erection finagled its way in his mind…
Would she be soft to the touch?
His heart thumped faster and empathy gave way to yet another emotion so overwhelming and unexpected, he felt powerless.
Bloody hell! This isn’t the time … or the place.
He couldn’t be standing there, mesmerized by a beautiful woman, when he’d been called to assist with a murder investigation.