The third book of Lauren Dane’s Goddess series is available now! Today she shares an exclusive look at her latest release.
“When you awaken, you will have to find her yourself. Or she will find you.”
These were the words given to Rowan Summerwaite by the Goddess as Rowan lay clinging to life. Broken–but not defeated–by the ancient Vampire Enyo.
After weeks of mandatory down time, a recharged and vengeance-fueled Rowan heads out from her father’s Keep, leading a team of some of the most terrifying beings on earth with one goal in mind–track and eliminate the Vampire who attacked her.
But as the team moves across Europe and is hit with wave after wave of attacks, the tensions between Clive Stewart–the haughty, stylish Scion of North America whom Rowan grew even closer to during her recovery–and a rival Vampire ramp up. Befuddled, confused, flattered and annoyed, Rowan’s the woman in the middle. She’s not used to being claimed in a way that’s not about how strong her sword arm is or who raised her. Clive Stewart is everything she shouldn’t want in a man–he’s bossy, he’s a Vampire, and he considers her his–but she’s past denying how it makes her feel that he fights for her the way he does. She’s past denying she’s in love.
In contrast to the uneven footing falling in love has given her, Rowan is utterly certain she will locate her quarry. She’s stronger and more powerful than she’s ever been after the tests and bloody lessons of the last years. Her connection with the Goddess is seamless and the light of her mission burns from within. And she’ll need all the help she can get because it’s not very long before Rowan and her team realize the threat is far greater than one crazy old Vampire. There’s a war brewing and Rowan will fight it to the death. It’s what she was born to do.
Rowan had suggested the Vampires fly ahead and she and David would follow by private plane.
Clive had just looked at her, appalled by how easily she put herself out front to attract trouble every time.
Recht had only given her a face, shaking his head.
“I think it would be a wise use of time if we worked.” Clive simply walked onto the waiting plane instead of arguing with her. He wasn’t going to Prague any other way but with her on this plane and she needed to understand that.
He saw the lines around her eyes. Not wrinkles, but worry and upset. She’d taken tea with her father and he knew a lot of that worry had to do with The First. But he wanted to fix it and knew she wouldn’t allow it if she caught him at it.
Which was fine. Because she might be great with a sword, but he’d been alive far longer and knew a few things about manipulation. He’d do all he could and that was that.
David put an accordion file in front of her, along with a cup of coffee and backed off, sitting nearby but giving her space.
Clive didn’t care about that. Space would allow her to keep a wall up. He didn’t mind her walling the world out as long as he wasn’t included. So he sat next to her and when she moved just enough to touch her thigh to his, he was glad he had.
They took off quickly and would be in Prague in less than two hours, but of course Rowan began to look over the map again.
The Five had come up with three possible Enyo sightings but they’d triangulated and they all had a strong feeling it was Prague.
Clive would come back with her to Prague after all this was handled. He loved the cobblestone streets, the bridges. Few cities loved art as much as Prague. They could stroll the city at night, just the two of them in a city teeming with magic.
He had places to show her. Restaurants he knew she’d enjoy. He’d coax her into art galleries under the pretext that he was looking for something and buy a present for her instead.
Smiling, he sat back and readied himself for landing.
Once deplaned, she heaved a sigh when she caught sight of the sleek limos waiting for them on the tarmac.
“Subtle. You really think with such long lives you guys would understand subtle.”
“There’s no need to ride in a jalopy. We’re far from the only ones who will be picked up by private car at an airfield.” Clive indicated she get in. First because he was a gentleman, second because he got a great look at her arse, and third because David had already slid inside, which meant she’d be effectively trapped between them and unable to escape easily in a fit of pique.
Clive sort of liked her fits of pique. Especially when they weren’t aimed at him. But he wanted to get settled at this house the Nation had arranged and then she could be grumpy and he could tempt her away from a bad mood with sex.
They glided down narrow streets, through a series of gates, climbing until they reached a final set of wrought iron gates with the Nation’s crest worked into the design where they met. The two limousines paused, waiting to be admitted.
Rowan’s sigh was so fantastically laden with unspoken complaint and criticism he was truly impressed.
“I’m surprised there aren’t any neon bits or inlaid gems. You guys are classy that way,” she muttered.
David handed her a little wrapped square. “Caramel chocolate. Your favorite.”
She unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. “Is this your way of keeping me in a non-killing mood, David?”
Clive didn’t say a word as her assistant blushed but wisely also said nothing.
“I sure hope there’s enough room for us all,” Rowan said—though less viciously—as they were cleared and the gates slid open.
“Your apartment is at least six thousand square feet. Hypocrite.” Clive winked at her.
“So? You can’t even compare this. Moreover, I do it better. And when Vampires come to call, I need the room for their giant egos.”
“I figured you liked the giant other things,” he said in her ear as he walked past her as they entered the home.
Servants quietly moved through the space, which was spotless and clearly ready for guests.
“I’m going to have to take a closer look at your friends, Scion. They’re obviously a bad influence on you.” One corner of Rowan’s mouth tipped up.
He approved of her turn of emotion.
Until she rounded on a Vampire who’d been stalking David. She shoved him, hard and he stumbled away. “You, back off or I’ll rip your head off and shove it up your ass.”
“I’d like to see you try,” this obviously stupid Vampire tossed back at her.
Before Warren could complete three words of warning to his underling, Rowan had already punched him so hard—and unexpectedly for that Vampire—he wiped blood from his lip, blinking his confusion.
But the punch hadn’t made him any wiser. The Vampire growled at Rowan, starting in her direction. “You think you’re tough?”
“I think you’re stupid.” Rowan squared her shoulders and adjusted her stance. “I know I’m tough.” She grinned and he came at her, as she’d planned.
Two quick moves and the Vampire ended up on his back, cupping his balls, blood freely running from a nose she’d broken.
The Rowan Summerwaite break-the-nose-knee-the-balls one-two.
“Golly, I’m feeling tough right now.”