3/16/14

War's Passion Excerpt

War’s Passion, Sons of War book 1
By Lia Davis

Excerpt 1

A knock sounded on the door and Gwen froze as she stepped off the spiral staircase. Frowning, she crossed the room and peeked through the peephole. Two large men stood on the other side. Panic flooded her and her heart pounded. Closing her eyes, she tried to breathe.
Calm down. You’re spooking yourself out again.
“Who is it?” she asked, not that it would help if they were murderers. Seriously, she needed to get over the nightmares.
“We’re with Sullivan Contracting. You called us yesterday.”
Gwen let out a sigh and plastered a smile on her face. When she opened the door, however, she had to bite her lower lip to keep the gasp from escaping. They weren’t just huge, they were gorgeous. Both had short black hair and well-sculpted and muscular bodies, but one was at least four inches taller than the other. The taller one wore a pair of sunglasses even though it was an overcast, dreary day.
“Aphrodite.” The shorter man breathed, drawing her attention to him.
“Excuse me?”
He smiled slowly, an expression so devastatingly loaded with charm, she was sure it proved a potent weapon against women everywhere. “Has anyone ever told you to that you are as beautiful as Aphrodite?”
Gwen turned her head and stepped aside to allow them entry. Her cheeks warmed while her heart broke a little. Her father told her all the time how much she looked like her grandmother, but she wasn’t about to tell a stranger that. “I’m afraid not. My sister went to the store get a few things. She should be back soon.”
The shorter man, who wasn’t short at all since he towered over her five foot five height, held his hand out. “Sorry to be rude. I’m Seth Sullivan and this is one of my brothers, Ty.”
Gwen shook his hand, and then offered hers to Ty. Instead of taking it, he grunted and gave her a nod before he left them alone to inspect the living room. She glanced at Seth. “Should I be offended?”
She swore she heard Seth growl before moving his gaze to hers. “Don’t be. He was born an ass. You said your sister earlier. Would that be Danielle Roberts?”
Gwen nodded. “Yes. Actually, she’s my adopted sister. My parents took her in when we were in high school.”
“You mind if we just look around? This place has been vacant for a long time with no caretakers. I have a few safety concerns I want to check out.” His interest in safety first resonated with Gwen.
“Sure. Elle’s an artist and loves a good project.” Maybe she overshared, but she didn’t want them to think that she and Elle weren’t aware of the home’s issues.
Seth raised a brow. “Elle?”
“Oh, Danielle. Our family calls her Elle.”
“Ah. Makes sense. Ty is short for Tyson.”
At Seth’s explanation, Ty growled. Apprehension shivered up Gwen’s spine. The growl sounded too close to the one haunting her nightmares.



Excerpt 2

She had to force her feet in place and shove her hands in her pocket before the man noticed her shaking. Gods, she was such a baby. Years of therapy and she still wasn’t over the fear of dragons jumping out of the walls.
As if he sensed her mood shift, Ty turned his head toward her and pressed his lips into a hard thin line. “I’m going to check the upstairs.”
Seth touched her arm and she jumped. “Hey, you okay?”
Nodding, she forced a smile and met his gaze. “Yes. It’s just…never mind. It’s nothing.”
The tension in her muscles eased when he didn’t press her for the answers she wouldn’t give a stranger. Hell, she had a hard time telling Elle at first and the two of them had their own special…gifts. She motioned him to the kitchen. “You said Ty was one of your brothers. How many do you have?”
Seth laughed. “Four, counting Ty. We live in the large house just south of here.”
Gwen stopped and studied him. “You mean the castle on the cliff?”
“Yep. Although it’s not really a castle. Too small. Where are you from?”
Too small for a castle? What exactly did he think was ‘big’?
Her stomach tightened at his question, but she tamped it down. He was just trying to be friendly. “Florida originally, but we moved to Nebraska about fourteen years ago.”
In the kitchen, he opened one of the windows and inspected the frame. “What made you decide to come to Maine?”
Nerves fluttering, she rolled the outer seam to her jeans between her thumb and index finger. Where the hell was Elle? “I don’t know, really. I love the ocean and the coast of Maine looked beautiful in pictures.” A soft laughed escaped her. It probably seemed a little odd to just move to an unknown place based on Internet photos. However, she couldn’t tell him she was running from a monster.
If he noticed anything amiss in her behavior, Seth didn’t comment. “So what do you think so far?”
“It’s more beautiful in person.” And it really was.
Seth nodded and walked out of the kitchen in quick, long strides. Gwen had to almost jog to catch up with him. When she reached the living room, the front door opened and Elle came in with her arms full of bags. Gwen rushed over to take a few, but Seth beat her to it and took all the bags. Meeting her sister’s gaze and holding in a smile at Elle’s raised brows, she could tell by Elle’s expression they were thinking the same thing. Big, strong, and handsome. Hello, Maine.
“Oh, thanks.” Elle took off her large floppy hat and studied Seth for a long moment before she extended her hand. “I’m Elle.”
Seth smiled and gave a short nod. “I’m Seth. We spoke on the phone last night.”
At her sister’s forced smile, real fear froze Gwen’s blood. A shadow passed over Elle and her dark brown eyes shimmered slightly. Something was wrong. “Elle?”
Shifting her gaze to Gwen, Elle relaxed and shook her head. “It’s fine. I’m fine. The sun peeked through the clouds a couple of times and I feel a little off, but I’m fine.” Shifting her gaze back to Seth, she motioned to the kitchen. “You can set the bags down in here.”
No you’re not. However, Gwen wasn’t going to cause a scene in front of their new neighbors and contractors so she kept quiet and followed them to the kitchen. She’d just have to wait until they left to freak out on her sister.
No need to make everyone believe she was crazy.


Excerpt 3

Ty, get your ass down here. There are two of them. Nyx, goddess of night, just walked through the door. Seth sent the telepathic comment to his brother as he and the females walked back into the living room.
Unbelievable. Generally, descendants didn’t group together unless they knew their relations. However, by the low dose of magic Seth could sense, he guessed the women’s powers had been bound. Yet, they still carried enough of their godly energy that he could tell to which goddess they had been born.
“So, have you looked around? What do you think?” Elle’s voice brought his thoughts back to the subject at hand.
“The place isn’t too bad. It is definitely restorable. You said last night that you don’t want to change anything structural, right?” Seth sensed his brother before Ty came to stand next to him.
“That’s right. Gwen and I decided to keep the same layout and add some modern touches.” Elle shifted her gaze to Ty. The silver in her pale green eyes shimmered and she pursed her lips before turning to Gwen. “I got the bathroom cleaner you asked for, along with shampoo and soap.”
Gwen smiled as if thankful for the distraction. “Oh good. If you will excuse me?”
As soon as Gwen was out of earshot, Elle leaned in and spoke through her teeth. “Dragons.”
Inching closer to her, Ty growled, “How long have you had your sight?”
Straightening, Elle folded her arms and stared at them as if debating her next move. “As long as I can remember.”
Seth chuckled. “We know what happened to Gwen’s parents, or at least we have our theories.”
Glancing once in the direction her sister had gone, Elle put the oversized hat back on and pulled down her sleeves to cover her hands. “Come on, I show you the outside.”
Seth glanced at Ty, who shrugged, and they followed her to the side yard overlooking the ocean. Elle spoke without turning to face them. “We know that we are descendants of the gods.
Gwen is the granddaughter of Aphrodite and I’m, like, the great-granddaughter of Nyx. Gwen stopped believing after her parent were killed.”
“Why?” Seth frowned.
She dropped her shoulders. “Gwen said she didn’t want to believe in any goddess who would let her own son die.”
Witnessing her parents’ murder had undoubtedly left its mark on Gwen, but even gods were bound by rules. “The gods are forbidden to have any type of connection with their earth-bound offspring. Aphrodite didn’t have a choice. You both have to understand that.”
Elle tugged the hat down further on her face and he wondered if the small amount of sunlight peeking through the clouds bothered her. Being a descendant of night had some disadvantages, like being allergic to the sun’s rays. “I know that. I tried to tell her the gods can’t interfere with human will. Although her parents being slaughtered by a dragon isn’t really human will, is it?”
No, it wasn’t and that pissed him off. Still, Aphrodite couldn’t make direct contact. Of course, if she interfered indirectly—such as saving the life of her granddaughter, they still wouldn’t have been aware of the goddess’s actions.
“Did she really see who did it?” Ty asked before Seth could get the words out.
Elle nodded. “She said it was a black and silver dragon.”
“Fuck,” Seth breathed. “Why would he kill them?”
Elle whirled on them, her green eyes darker now with silver ringing the pupil. “You know who did it?”
Seth ignored her question, his attention on Ty. “And why would he not take Gwen?”
A knowing grin spread on his face. “He couldn’t see her.”
Elle waved a hand between them. “Hello? Who didn’t see who?”
Ty gazed down at Elle. “Be at the estate at seven tonight and bring Gwen.” Stepping back several feet, he shifted into his red and gold dragon and took flight.
Seth sighed. “He’s such a show off. Please don’t be late.” He ran toward the edge, jumped, and shifted in midair. The women didn’t need contractors—they needed protection.


Excerpt 4:

Markus closed his eyes as he stroked his fingers over the keys of the baby grand piano in the great room. The music flowed and filled the air around him, and twined in his soul. He loved the peace it offered. Each note calmed his inner beast in a way nothing else did.
A shift of energy made him opened his eyes. Releasing a low annoyed groan, he stared into Aphrodite’s sky blue gaze. She wore a white pants suit and her blond hair hung in thick waves around her shoulders. He stopped playing and slammed the cover over the keys.
The goddess straightened from where she leaned over the side of the piano and folded her arms. “Why did you stop? You know I love to hear you play.”
Standing, he gave her his back and peered out the French doors leading to the gardens in the backyard. “What do you want, Aphrodite?”
Glancing over his shoulder, he saw her roll her eyes, sit down on the bench, and cross her legs. With a little sigh, she opened the cover over the keys and smiled at him. “Nothing,” she sing-songed. “I’d thought I would stop by and visit with one of my favorite dragons.”
Markus snorted—the goddess never just stopped by. She always had a purpose for her visits. It usually meant he would have to be involved in something dangerous, annoying, or odd. “Have you seen War?”
One slender shoulder raised in a shrug and she pressed the C key. “No. I think he’s avoiding me.”
“That makes two of us.” Markus studied her for several moments. She seemed preoccupied. Usually she hovered close to him or his brothers when she wanted something and annoyed them in a motherly way in her effort to bend them to her will. Yet, tonight she just ran a finger back and forth over the keys, not making a sound. “What’s wrong?”
Not looking at him, she sighed. “Gwendolyn needs your help.”
Dread hit him in the gut, then crept its way up his spine. If Aphrodite was asking him for help, it couldn’t be good. Usually the gods didn’t give three shits about the demi-gods. “Why me?”
A sad smile formed on her face as she held his gaze. “Because I can’t get involved any more than I already am. Her life is in danger. Besides, she’s the last of my mortal children.”
Blowing out a breath, he ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know what I can do.” That was a lie. No matter how much he told himself that, he knew what he had to do. Garrick couldn’t be allowed to unlock any more descendants’ powers. The balance of the worlds was shifting.
Aphrodite stood and narrowed her gaze. “Yes, you do. Protect her. Keep Garrick from capturing her.” Then she dematerialized and ended the argument. Playing bodyguard—especially to the goddess of love’s granddaughter—was the last thing he wanted.

4 comments:

  1. great excerpts. I have never read a dragon shifter book but I am adding this to my TBR lists right away. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love all of lia's books, and this one is no exception I love it I am still reading but so far I am completely love all of it

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  3. I loved this whole book! I can't wait for book 2!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this whole book! I can't wait for more! Keep up the rockin' work Lia!

    ReplyDelete

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