Electric Heat - A Raven Investigations Novel (Book 3)
Author Page: http://www.staceybrutger.com/blog/
Buy link - Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00U0AI1OM
If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, be sure to check out the next book in my Raven Investigation Series.
It's dark. It's gritty. A totally addicting adventure you won't want to miss!
Ancient magic has been unleashed into the world. It’s willing to do anything to survive, even if it means war. Only one woman can kill it…or set it free.
The local witches’ coven offers Raven a trade: Surrender herself to them for one week or give up a member of her pack. She thought they wanted to study her, but Raven discovers something far worse—murder. To save her pack, Raven must make the ultimate sacrifice…her freedom.
Witches are being drained of power and killed using a wild magic that’s been dormant for centuries. Tasked with locating the one responsible for releasing it, Raven soon finds herself the prey rather than the hunter. The more lives the magic claims, the stronger the killer becomes. As she and her pack scramble to unravel the secrets of the coven, her own beast starts to wake, and she’s not sure which is more dangerous…the killer or her beast. But one thing is sure, if the coven and pack don’t learn to work together, none of them will survive the coming storm.
“I’m going as well.” Durant emerged from his office, a duffle bag dangling from his hand.
Raven and the witch spoke at the same time, both in agreement for once.
“Unless you have someone willing to feed the vampire, and who can also protect her during the day, then you’re stuck with me.”
The witch’s face twisted in distaste, and she planted her hands on her hips. Her voodoo-style peasant shirt and multicolored skirt should’ve made her look plain, but instead enhanced her striking coloring and bone structure.
Raven spoke before the witch could say anything. “You detest Rylan. Why offer to feed him?”
Her heart fluttered in panic, and a nasty suspicion that he knew she wasn’t going to be returning twisted through Raven. He couldn’t be allowed to go with them. He would try to stop them. The creature was already too interested in him for Raven’s peace of mind. Not to mention what would happen when he discovered the truth, that she really was a monster. She couldn’t bear to have his affection turn cold. The cut would go too deep, a mortal wound that would forever fester. “No, he can feed off of me.”
But Rylan was already shaking his head. “No, not you.”
The creature at her core gave a huff of agreement, sinking her claws into Raven’s chest for carelessly offering what was theirs. Though Raven wanted to protest, she knew Rylan was right. It was too dangerous for both of them. Her blood would only bind them tighter together…like a noose.
The vampire already craved her blood. She couldn’t risk deepening his addiction, or he might not go through with the plan to eliminate her, not if he would lose his supply as a result.
Raven scrambled to come up with an excuse, and latched on the first thing that popped into her mind. “No shifter is safe in a coven. Not too long ago, they used shifters as familiars. Not only could they harm you, they could use you against me.”
She was desperate, grasping at straws, but didn’t care. It would destroy her to lose him to the witches.
Durant shook his head, a cocky smile curling his lips in a way that didn’t bode well. “I’m too strong an alpha. They’d never gain access to me, not while you still stand.”
Raven snorted at his overblown ego. “You can’t—”
“I’m immune to their magic.”
That stopped her tirade short. Even the witch stood straighter. It was a ploy. It had to be. Raven narrowed her eyes and called his bluff. “What do you mean?”
Durant dropped the bag, then slowly pulled his shirt over his head. The awesome sight of his chest distracted her. Smooth muscles beckoned her closer. A light dusting of hair low on his stomach beckoned her to investigate lower.
The word whispered in her mind, a craving so deep she even took a step forward to do as bidden. She fiddled with the gloves, wanting to rip off the leather so nothing separated them.
Then Durant turned.
Shimmering gold symbols dotted along his spine in a script she couldn’t decipher. “What are those?”
“A spell.” The witch spoke almost absently. “A very painful ward that must first be carved into flesh, then molten gold is poured into the bleeding wounds. The pain is excruciating. Most people don’t survive the magic, let alone the agony inflicted as the heated metal solidifies.”
Raven didn’t like the admiration in the witch’s tone or the appreciative way she eyed Durant. Her creature liked it even less. She struggled to think of another excuse, but Durant turned and stepped into her space.
Distracting her on purpose.
And damned if he wasn’t getting a little too good at ferreting out her weaknesses and using them against her.
“Take him with you or not, but I will remind you if you’re not able to fulfill your side of the agreement, my approval is rescinded, and your little dog, Taggert, is mine.” The witch turned her spooky eyes on Durant. “If you go beastly without a leash around your throat, you will be put down.”
Raven straightened, her muscles strung tight as she spun to face the witch. Durant adroitly stepped between them, his back to the main witch, effectively cutting off what would no doubt have been rash words. It didn’t matter. The creature uncurled in her body, its wrath gathering, determined to eliminate the threat to the pack.
Durant caught her hand and placed it over his chest, grunting when the kick of power slid into him. His eyes immediately went gold. Instead of retreating, she could have sworn his tiger purred under her palm.
She brushed her fingers over the warm muscles, the touch calming both of them.
You need me to ensure the pack remains safe.
Raven jerked at hearing his voice in her head, then answered in kind. Such arrogance.
You need me.
They’ll treat you as less than an animal.
It was Durant’s turn to shrug. You need me.
For him, it was that simple. There was a hard glint in his eyes that warned her if she refused him, she wouldn’t like the alternative.