Her Dark Lover - A Southern Gothic Romance in the Bayou Magic Series
Her Dark Lover Now $2.99 on Amazon http://a.co/i3FFRSr
~Plagued by nightmares and fractured memories, Laura Larame returns to her childhood home in the Louisiana bayou where her mother vanished and she almost drowned. She searches for answers with the handsome Creole who had saved her once before. A man who holds the dark magic that isn't finished with her yet. Since childhood, Drew Michel sees death and the spirits who walk the halls of his family’s ancestral home, and they are warning him—Laura will die. Deep in the swamp an ancient ritualistic clan is planning to claim her life. Can he defeat the evil that demands her blood and save the woman he has grown to love, or will the bayou claim them both in a demon’s ultimate sacrifice? - excerpt below
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Also in the Bayou Magic Series is His Magic Touch!
~Demon hunter, Trent Droulliard will do anything to protect his family. Eight years ago he left to keep his daughter safe, but now evil has found her. Can he convince Sera to let him back into their lives until the danger has passed? Will he be able to leave again once it does? The more he’s around Sera, the more he realizes he never stopped wanting . . . or loving her. Sera Barnhardt wants nothing more than to forget the man who stole her heart and left her behind. Now he’s back, claiming their daughter is in danger. How can Sera believe him? And why does her body still crave his touch? Can Sera open her heart to Trent once more and rebuild the family she lost, or will she be fooled by his magic touch and lose everything.
Excerpt for Her Dark Lover:
With her heart lodged in her throat, Laura peered up at the white structure soaring three stories high. Balconies adorned with swirling patterns of ironwork stretched across the front of each floor. Thick, thorny vines wrapped around tall columns, reaching skyward to smother the house and pull at the walls. Laura stifled a shiver and again fought the instinct to flee. Nothing about this house was welcoming. Nothing moved. Both the grounds with their dark moldy fountains and the house seemed as quiet and still as a graveyard. She could do this. She hadn’t been able to remember what had happened to her or her mother when they lived in this house, no matter how many different treatments her therapist had tried. Now maybe she would discover the truth. Towing her suitcase, she cautiously climbed creaky steps onto the wide porch. She scanned the large wooden door and expansive front porch. She’d spent her first eight years in this house. The answers she’d spent her whole life searching for were here. Someone must know what had happened to her and how she ended up alone in San Francisco. With a trembling hand, she reached for the brass lion’s head knocker on the front door, lifted it, and let it drop. A loud thud reverberated around her, through her. Footsteps sounded within. Laura stiffened and braced herself as the door swung open. A tall man, magazine-perfect with dark brown hair and smooth chiseled lines underlying a strong jaw, filled the doorway. A tailored jacket hung snugly across wide shoulders. Dress slacks hugged his form, betraying long, muscular legs. A cream linen shirt opened at the collar betrayed smooth bronzed skin beneath. He was so unexpected, so out of place in the dank bayou, that for a long second, Laura couldn’t speak. “Can I help you?” he asked, his voice low and deep. “I’m … um …” His intense eyes, the same deep green hue of the swamp, locked onto hers. Questioning. Say something. She blinked, moving her focus to his wide, generous mouth and took a deep breath. “I’m looking for Delilah Larame.” The man stepped onto the porch, pulling the door shut behind him. He moved closer to her, stealing the air around her, or at least her ability to breathe it. She took a quick step back, tripped on her suitcase and grasped for the rail. He grabbed her arm, steadying her with his strong grip. She felt his touch clear through to her insides. “Who are you?” he asked, the deep tone of his voice making her heart beat double time. What was with her? She was acting as if she’d never seen a man before. He reached forward, his fingertips almost grazing her cheek as he released a strand of her hair caught in a vine. For a heart-stopping moment, he held it then let it slide slowly through his fingers. “Laura Larame,” she answered, the words catching in her throat. An unsettling hint of recognition filled his eyes as his gaze moved in a slow perusal of her face, her body … before finally settling on her dusty bag. “My cab driver abandoned me back by the bridge.” Story of her life, she thought as her tongue tripped, impairing her speech. His perfectly sculpted eyebrows lifted in momentary surprise, before he nodded with understanding. “The locals can be a little superstitious.” “I gathered that,” she said dryly. For a moment neither of them spoke. “I’m Drew Michel,” he said then stepped back and opened the door. “Please, come in.” Drew. She knew that name; she just couldn’t quite place it. She followed him, stepping through the front door and onto large black-and-white checked marble tiles. “I’m looking for my mother. Is she here?” Laura asked again. His eyebrows arched with surprise. “Were you expecting her to be?” “Yes,” she said, feeling a touch confused. “Why?” Behind her, the front door closed with a resounding thud. She jumped, then turned and stared at a long staircase that stretched up into the shadows. Unfocused memories teased the back of her mind. Apprehension circled the base of her spine. “I’ve received word that she’s here,” she muttered. “Come into the living room,” he said, his voice low and quiet, his words hanging between them in the gloom. “So we can talk.” Something lingering in the depths of his eyes sent warning bells ringing in her mind. “I’m sorry. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.” She stepped backward toward the door. “If my mother’s not here—” “Wait.” Was that a plea in his voice? She searched his face for the truth but couldn’t find it. He stepped close, too close. “It’s been such a long time, Laura.” She swallowed. Something about the way he said her name, about the way his mouth moved over the syllables, rolling them off his tongue and tasting them, knocked her off balance. He reached forward and traced his fingers along her jaw. She felt frozen, as if he’d trapped her under some voodoo spell known only to Louisiana natives—the rabbit caught in the eyes of the snake. “There’s something you should see.” He turned and walked toward a wide set of double doors, opening both at one time. She shook off the stupor induced by his touch and followed him. Curiosity rising above her apprehension, she peered into the darkened living room and saw a fireplace centered on a far wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows covered with heavy green draperies flanked either side. A crystal chandelier hung above worn velvet furniture. Nothing here looked the slightest bit sinister or even familiar, just old and musty. Slowly, she entered. Standing next to the window, Drew pulled open the drapes. Light flooded the room, highlighting a woman’s portrait hanging above the mantel. Time stopped, as if the world spinning on its axis had come to a screeching halt and all that moved was the sudden thunder of her heartbeat pounding in her ears. Her mother’s image stared back at her, reaching deep into her heart and seizing it within a tight, painful grasp. Tears burned behind her eyes. She remembered this painting, and yet, she hadn’t realized until this moment how much she looked like her mother. “The resemblance …” she whispered then couldn’t continue. The artist’s deft strokes brought her mother’s large pale blue eyes to life. She stared into them and felt almost as if her mother was looking back at her, peering deep into her soul. Laura’s knees weakened and a tight ball of need formed in the pit of her stomach. “Please, do you know where she is?” “Delilah?” “Yes.” He stood next to her, his warm breath caressing her cheek. “No, chère. She’s âme per-due, a lost soul.” His hypnotic voice washed over her, stealing the last of her energy. “You can see it in the depths of her eyes.” She was so tired and so afraid she’d reached a dead end. “I need to find my mother.” “We haven’t seen her in years. Except in this portrait.” Her mouth opened on a soft breath. She looked up at him, on the brink of desperation and ready to plead for help. “I came so far, hoped so much. She has to be—” China crashed, splintering across the floor. Laura flinched. A woman stood in the doorway, her eyes wide, her mouth open—a dark gaping hole in the center of her pale, white face. “Delilah,” she said, her voice an anguished cry. “No, Mère, it’s Laura,” Drew said. The woman’s gaze moved quickly from Laura’s face to the portrait then back to her again. “Laura’s come home,” he added. Home. The word echoed through her mind and mocked her. This wasn’t her home. She didn’t belong here. She never did.
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