Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.
Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.
As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?
So. This is the girl William will live or die for.
Puck crouched on the railing of an eighteenth-story balcony, gargoyle-style, and peered into a spacious apartment with only two occupants. William of the Dark and Gillian Shaw.
Soon she would be Gillian Connacht.
Find William. Wed his girl. War with brother.
Now that Puck had found the warrior, his tasks shifted: wed the girl, cart her to Amaranthia, return for the male. Wed. Cart. Return.
Perhaps he should stop staring at the female first? Impossible.
While the demon of Indifference growled with displeasure, Puck drank in Gillian’s dark fall of silken waves and eyes the color of whiskey. Seductive eyes filled with kindling. One day, a male would light her match, and she would burn for him, and him alone.
Flawless golden skin and blood-red lips only added to her appeal, making her the embodiment of a fairy-tale princess.
Puck bit his tongue—he should have tasted blood, but because of Indifference, he tasted nothing. There was no denying the truth. Being near the female he planned to wed came with an unexpected complication. Indifferent? Hardly. She roused his most possessive instincts.
Soon she would belong to him. She would be his first and only “mine,” without actually being his.
Must police my thoughts about her, or I’ll ruin everything.
He felt as if he’d been watching Gillian for days, even weeks, as if he knew her, and yet he marveled over every new detail he learned. She was shockingly human, with a gentle spirit and an aura of kindness. Her beguiling smile was infectious, the rare times she revealed it.
Mostly she studied the people and world around her, somehow both present and detached, all while radiating bone-deep sadness.
Too many centuries had passed since Puck had experienced such heartfelt emotion. Before his possession, he might have sympathized with her—whatever her troubles happened to be—and sought to make things better. Now? He would use her without hesitation. He must.
War before a woman.
“I’m needed elsewhere,” William said, and kissed her cheek.
Puck scrutinized his competition for the female’s affections: six-five, solidly built, black hair, blue eyes, handsome if you liked perfection, and soon to be sporting a broken nose if he kissed Puck’s future bride again.
Inner slap. To achieve his goals, Puck needed both Gillian and William to cooperate.
“Hades requires my expertise to obliterate Lucifer’s newest palace,” William continued.
Lucifer. The male’s older brother.
Gillian scowled. Soon she would smile. Around William, her moods tended to change lightning fast, as if she wanted to feel one way, but he made her feel another.
“No, you’re staying here.” Her voice, even laced with a thread of anger, had the power to seduce.
No wonder William had fallen hard for her, and no other.
Puck had actually found the male hundreds of years ago, not long after the Oracles spoke their prophecy. Back then, William had loved no one but himself, forcing Puck to turn his efforts to obtaining the shears of Ananke.
She was the goddess of Bonds, and rumors claimed her shears could sever any spiritual, emotional or physical tie without con- sequence. Of course, rumors also claimed the artifact severed more than the user bargained for.
What was truth? What was lie?
At first, Puck had contemplated using the shears to sever his bond with the demon. The creature had become a part of him, another heartbeat he needed to survive. Ditching him without penalty…could anything be better?
Why else would the Oracles instruct him to find the shears?
But, if using the shears on Indifference had been the answer to Puck’s dilemma, why instruct him to marry Gillian, and recruit William?
What if the shears severed Puck’s connection to Indifference, but also his emotions? He would be in worse shape than before. What if he used the shears and died? The artifact might consider death a blessing rather than a consequence.
Too many risks.
In the end, Puck had opted to stick with his original plan, and work with William.
Help me defeat my brother. In return, I’ll divorce your female and give her back to you.
Puck returned his gaze to the dark-haired Gillian. She had such lush breasts. A flat stomach, and rounded hips. Long legs meant to wrap around a man’s waist—my waist.
His heart beat with renewed determination, as if the organ had come back to life, even though it had never died. As if it said, I’ve been waiting for her.
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.
She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans