I’ve followed Stomp v. Romp every year. It is a wonderful time to learn of about new authors and to add more books to my to read list. However, I cast my vote for Romp. I’m in LOVE with romance! So much so that I would like to share a snippet from my recent paranormal romance release, Caressed by Shadows (Rulers of Darkness, #4). ~
Moonlight draped over the chrome stairs, lighting her way to freedom. The glittering rays glinted off the metal of the various, gruesome torture devices that decorated the walls of the dungeon entry chamber. Had Samuel planned on using those tools on her?
Rage darkened Sonya’s vision, turning her sparkling golden eyes black. Before she left England, she would claim the bastards’ head.
Bullets hissed passed her. Sonya kept running, taking the stairs two at a time. Falcon followed, firing his gun into the shadows behind them.
Topside, she skipped over the fallen guards Falcon had disposed of earlier.
“Which way?” she demanded, her eyes darting from one end of the alley to the other. The faint sound of a car heading their way rumbled in her ears.
Falcon remained silent and glanced to the left. At that moment an old jeep rounded the corner, its tires screeching as it fishtailed.
Falcon slammed fresh clips into his 1911s.
Sonya whipped around to see another car joining the jeep, they both charged down the ally in pursuit.
“Go,” Falcon snapped.
She whirled around and took off down the alley.
Bullets flew past them; the deafening sound of gunshots vibrated the brick, alley walls and drowned out the peaceful lullaby of the rain.
“We need to lose them,” Sonya said. Her breathing even, her words a clear whisper.
“Just a little further,” Falcon assured her.
He had scoped the area last night and had mapped out their escape route.
Another blast of bullets were unleashed, one grazed the outside of Falcon’s thigh while another embedded in Sonya’s shoulder. She tensed, preparing for the stinging warmth of poison to spread through her system. After a second of only sharp pain she released a relieved breath. No poison. The hunters were using normal bullets. They wanted to take them alive. She smirked and picked up her pace. She would never be their prisoner again.
“That wall,” Falcon bit out. “Up and over.”
Sonya nodded as they drew closer. This ally was a dead end for the hunters in their cars, but jumping a twelve-foot wall was nothing for a skilled vampire.
Guns let loose again, Sonya clenched her jaw anticipating impact. None came.
The wall loomed ahead. Falcon went up first. With one powerful jump, he cleared the hurdle. Sonya ran up the side alley wall, gripped the lip, and swung herself over. She heard tires squeal behind them as she gracefully landed on the opposite side.
Falcon holstered his guns, then bent and snatched a wet duffel bag from behind a dumpster. “Cross the street,” he instructed, pulling a jacket from the bag. He shrugged into the damp material, hiding his weapons.
Sonya pulled her trench coat closed and took the bag, hoping to disguise her ruined clothes. They walked as calmly and causally as possible across the street and joined the heard of young adults pouring down the pub-laden street.
Sonya pushed her rain soaked hair out of her face and over her shoulder, hoping to hide her bullet wound. The last thing she wanted was to draw more attention to herself. Already people were mumbling about her torn clothes and remarking on how dirty she was.
She couldn’t possibly care less what they had to say. But the sound of so many heartbeats sparked her hunger. She felt the sharp edge of bloodlust slice through her as more and more people joined the crowd.
Falcon took her hand, lacing their fingers and an unexpected heat shot through her body, her hunger for blood replaced by her need for Falcon. She craved his touch.
They descended the stairs to the underground tube and quickly crossed the platform to the awaiting train.
“Perfect, our ride is on time.”
He tugged her forward. Sonya ground her teeth as renewed pain throbbed in her shoulder. It was not healing. Normally an injury such as this would mend in seconds. She was weak and needed to feed, but she would keep that bit of information to herself until they were some place safe. No need to add to their drama filled night.
They stepped onto the subway car, a handful of people followed. Sonya slipped into a seat with a sigh of relief.
Every now and then, a fellow passenger would spare the vampire couple a glance, their eyes wide with curiosity and stark with fear. No one dared to speak to them. The humans gathered close together, keeping as far from Falcon and Sonya as possible.
Sonya smiled to herself as the mortals whispered about her. Yes, she knew she looked like hell. Her hair was knotted and wet. Her clothing soaked, torn, and caked with dirt from the cell. Blood trickled down her back, but her rescuer was fresh and clean, despite his damp hair and clothing.
Falcon looked as sexy as ever, rustic and hard, the definition of male. She studied his chiseled profile from beneath her lashes. He had a straight, stern jaw line, which was dusted with stubble, full lips, and prominent cheekbones. His silver gaze shifted about the compartment, studying, calculating—always on guard.
Sonya allowed her gaze to roam over him. The vampire was tall, nearly six and a half feet, and solid. He was complete muscles, complete strength.
She stifled a sigh when he rolled his wide shoulders, her fingers curled, her nails biting into the bag. She would give anything to feel those muscles move beneath her hands as he…Sonya shook her head.
Don’t even start, she told herself.
She knew very well nothing could happen. She was a queen and he a Black Knight, anything other than a professional working relationship between them was forbidden. Yet, she yearned for him and had for nearly two hundred years. If only they could—
The harsh screech of the train’s wheels as it slowed snapped her out of her depressing thoughts and back to the dangerous present. The doors slid open and Falcon stood.
“This is our stop.”
Sonya cursed under her breath, came to her feet, and followed. Humans scurried out of the way as they crossed the packed subway platform and ascended the stairs that led to the street.
Rain continued to angrily pound down as they walked in silence, both tense, alert, and ready.
After about two blocks, Falcon led them down an ally way. Once out of site of the public, Sonya asked, “When are we going to meet up with the others?”
Falcon paused and turned, looking at her for the first time since the train. “Others?”
“Yes. The rescue and extraction team you came with. The knights and soldiers,” she said.
His brow furrowed and realization struck her.
“You came alone.”
His jaw clenched and he said nothing as he began walking.
Sonya blinked. Shock rattled her brain. Falcon had come after her. Alone. He had acted on his own, leaving behind his clan and duties. His loyalties. She knew his king would never have allowed him to embark on a mission such as this solo. It was too dangers and Falcon was Hadrian’s second in command, the heir to the Validus Clan.
Sonya jogged to catch up with him.
“With Hadrian’s recent return to the throne, he would need your support.”
Had he just flinched?
She caught his wrist, pulling him to a stop. Falcon refused to look at her.
“You shouldn’t have—”
“Don’t,” he snapped, whirling to face her.
Ignoring the sharp warning in his voice she continued. “I would have been rescued or I would have broken free eventually.”
Falcon twisted free of her hold, his gaze turned hard as he stared down at her. “Eventually,” he snarled, the word sounded like a curse as it passed his lips.
Sonya swallowed hard. Falcon was right. There was no telling what would have happened to her in that dungeon. The Commander had enjoyed tossing threats her way. How long would it have been before he put his words into action? Carter seemed to want to help her but she knew a Red Order witch could not be trusted.
Falcon growled, “I couldn’t wait for eventually.”
He advanced, crowding her until her back hit the brick wall of the alley. The roof overhang shielding her from the rain. Her heart began to pound as he closed in. He braced his large hands on either side of her head, careful to hold his body away from hers.
Her eyes slid closed as her breath escaped her. God, she longed for contact. Needed it. But she forced herself to remain calm, still. She opened her eyes and focused on his chest, unable to meet his gaze. She feared looking at him would make her lose control.
“You know eventually wasn’t an option,” he said.
She nodded. He didn’t need to tell her what she already knew.
“God, Sonya,” he sighed on a shudder.
Falcon cupped her chin with one hand, tilting her face up.
As their eyes met, desire slammed into her with such force, if it weren’t his hold, she would have slipped down the wall to the ground.
His heated gaze swirled with anger and desire. He leaned forward, pressing his thigh between her long legs, brushing against her core. Falcon growled as she shivered.
“They took you from me,” he rasped.
He brushed his thumb over her lips as lightning streaked the sky. His gaze roamed her face, traveled down the slender line of her throat, and lower. Her breasts rose and fell beneath her tight leather corset, the perfect swells taunted him.
He whispered a curse in old French. Sonya was tempting. So goddamn tempting. Her eyes shimmered bright gold as she gazed up at him. And her lips, so pink, so warm and soft, they beckoned him. He knew their taste and their softness, the knowledge had haunted him ever since they had given into the madness that disguised itself as passion all those months ago. Falcon knew her creamy skin was smooth as silk. He knew that even though she was tall and slender, she had a lush body and curves that would bring any man to his knees.
He stifled a groan when she wet her lips…in anticipation?
Unable to resist, he bent his head, nuzzling her neck. Inhaling deeply, his eyes drifted closed as her lilac scent mixed with the sweet, intoxicating aroma of her arousal.
“Falcon,” she whispered when he pressed his lips against her throat, just above her erratically beating pulse.
Damn, this was dangerous, a game of life and death, or honor and loyalty versus desire and betrayal. Falcon knew he should step back. He had no right to touch her, to kiss her, to have her. She was a Queen and he a Black Knight. Yet, he could not bring himself to break away. The luscious heat of her body called to him, her lust assaulted his senses.
His thumb still stroked over her lips as his free hand fell from the wall to rest upon her shoulder, pinning her in place. He flicked his tongue over her throat sending waves of pleasure crashing through her. Sonya’s eyes drifted closed, her head rolling to the side, giving him better access. Her hands came to his biceps, her nails biting into the leather of his jacket. Her hips bucked against his thigh.
Falcon fingers massaged her shoulder then moved down her back.
Sonya winced as he brushed passed her wound.
The subtle sign of pain sliced through the drugging haze of need that clouded his mind.
Falcon pulled away. Sonya fell back, flattening her palms against the wall, her claws scoring the brick as she fought her desire and the maddening urge to snatch him back.
She blinked up at him, her golden eyes reflecting his own denied desire. Her lips were parted as she drew in rapid breaths. Her wet flaxen hair circled about her face.
God, he was looking at Aphrodite.
Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath. Lilacs and lust misted the cool air that filled his lungs. There was another scent, faint but unmistakable.
He stepped back into the storm. The chill of the rain was like a hard slap as the water cascaded over him, chasing away the warmth of her body.
His gaze dropped to his hand. Red coated his fingers tips. Blood. Her blood. How could he have not noticed?
In a flurry of movement, he spun her around and pulled down her jacket, revealing her left shoulder blade.
“What the hell,” Sonya snapped, twisting away. Scowling she strained her clothes.
Falcon’s hard gaze narrowed with bone chilling menace. “You’ve a bullet in your shoulder.”~
Thank you all for stopping by and participating in Stomp v. Romp. I’d like to wish you all, HAPPY READING!!!
Caressed by Shadows (Rulers of Darkness #4) by Amanda J. Greene
Black Knight, Falcon Kenwrec is powerful, relentless, and fiercely loyal, his only allegiance – to his king. But he is torn between duty and desire when the war between the vampire clans and the Red Order hunters escalates and the enemy captures the one woman he longs to claim as his own, Sonya Rebane, Queen of the Voidukas Clan. Falcon will risk everything to save her, even if it means forsaking his king. After weeks of imprisonment, Sonya is stunned when the chivalrous knight that she has secretly loved from afar appears outside her cell. As they fight and struggle to elude their enemies, they must battle their overwhelming attraction for each other and their love that is forbidden. As every perilous moment draws them closer together, every smoldering kiss drives them to the brink of a passionate destruction. Will they be able to resist temptation? Or will their love be their ruin?