NIGHT WARRIORS- Newly the youngest warrior house lord in centuries, Corwyn Hunter claims his chosen mate, Anna Jameson. There are just a few little problems. Veriel, the mad beast elder, claims Anna is his wife. But, Veriel doesn't only want Anna. He wants everything Corwyn holds dear, including his unborn daughter. Corwyn wants to free his daughter as all warriors since the dawn of time have, but the other houses want him to raise her as Blutjagdfrau. Who is Regana of "Swordbearer Reborn?"
In part two, Talon Cross saves Jayde Albright from a beast attack. Why does the young woman have a lord's amulet and no blessing? Learning she is the Blutjagdfrau believed dead for many years, it is up to Talon to train and protect her until her father comes to bring her home. Veriel will come for her when he learns she is alive. After all, she is the female warrior "Hunter Born" who can serve as a true mate to him. Jayde, however, has her own ideas of who she wants as mate.
HEA-no/yes, VIOLENCE-high moderate, LANGUAGE-moderate, SEX-lightly sensual
Cover art created by Kendra Egert- Photo credit to Andrei Vishnyakov
Anna watched Corwyn from beneath her eyelashes. He made her nervous when he was like this. The first two days, he had seemed aloof, and she had spent most of her time sleeping and trying to regain her strength. For the next two, Corwyn had been poring over the old books he’d picked up in town--from one of his brothers, he’d said. Since then, he had been tense.
Every day, he was clean and dressed, but Corwyn hadn’t shaved since they’d arrived, and he had a rugged look about him--almost wild. Every muscle in his body was tense, his jaw tight, and his eyes hard as onyx, making that wild look verge on dangerous.
Corwyn growled out answers to questions that he considered non-essential until Anna decided talking to him when he was in this mood was nerve-wracking. She hated when Corwyn was like this. It made her feel like she was living with an animal pacing in a cage.
With a faulty lock, she amended.
She watched him, because she couldn’t help feeling that there was something else beneath the surface. The problem was, if it was there, Anna couldn’t seem to reach it. She could have that first day if she had been less shattered. She was sure of it, but no amount of change on her part seemed to break through the barrier he’d erected between them.
Corwyn growled in annoyance at something he was reading, and Anna sighed.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
“I could ask you the same thing,” she replied pointedly.
He favored her with a hard look.
“You’re tense, irritable, and downright anti-social.”
“I’m busy trying to find a way to get our butts out of this mess,” he countered. “You have a problem with that?”
“Not offhand,” she admitted. “I just wish you’d relax a little.”
“You’re making me jumpy.”
“Sorry,” he grumbled and went back to his book.
Anna sat the novel she was reading down and started to leave the room. She paused as she passed his chair and turned to knead his shoulders.
Corwyn wrenched away as she touched him. “Don’t,” he ordered gruffly.
“Sorry. I just thought--”
“Just don’t touch me,” he whispered.
Anna felt her throat close over, and she bit back tears as she backed away. “I see,” she whispered. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep my distance, Corwyn.” She turned to go.
His voice stopped her at the doorway. “What do you see?” he asked honestly.
“Veriel. I guess I can’t blame you for that one.”
“I’m not afraid of Veriel.”
“Yeah, right. You’re no fool,” she spat back.
“Okay. I’m terrified of fighting him, but I have to face that regardless. You’re right. I’m not a fool.”
“What I said has nothing to do with Veriel--not with fear and not with what he did to you, so forget that crazy idea.”
“Then why does the idea of me touching you send you through the roof? What’s wrong with me that being in a room with me makes you so tense?”
“There’s nothing wrong with you,” he assured her.
Anna looked at him in disbelief. “Sure,” she answered sarcastically as she turned to the stairs.
“I’ve spent five days not touching you, because you didn’t want to be touched, Anna.”
“And if I rescind that order, you’d suddenly calm down?” she countered.
“I can’t answer that,” Corwyn growled.
“Because you’re bullshitting me,” she decided.
“Because I’m not sure which would be harder,” he countered.
Anna furrowed her brow. “I don’t think I follow you.”
Corwyn sighed raggedly. “Never mind. I’m just going insane.”
“No. Not okay. I want to know what you’re talking about.” When he didn’t answer, she cursed under her breath. “You can touch me, Corwyn. The ball’s in your court. Figure out how you feel.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“Of course, I do. Why wouldn’t I?” she asked in confusion.
He stared at his hands miserably. “I could explain it, but I don’t think you’d appreciate it.”
Anna crossed to the chair next to him and perched on the arm. With his height, it put her just above eye-level with him. “Try me,” she invited. “I’d give just about anything to find out what’s on your mind.”
He looked at her uncertainly.
“Look, whatever it is, work it out.”
She started to stand, but Corwyn touched her cheek, and she stilled. Anna met his eyes and shivered as he moved toward her. His lips brushed hers lightly, and she tilted her head to give him a better angle. He caressed her jawline with his fingers while he moved his lips over hers, barely touching skin to skin and making her ache for more.
Corwyn pulled back and met her eyes. “My problem isn’t in not wanting to touch you, Anna. It’s in wanting you too much.”
“Who says?” she managed.
“I don’t understand.”
“Who says it’s too much?”
She leaned toward him and met his lips more purposefully. Corwyn responded eagerly. His tongue parted her lips, and he explored her mouth intimately and thoroughly. When he backed away, he averted his eyes as if he expected her to be angry with him for some reason.
Anna brushed her hand over the soft beginnings of his beard and smiled. “I like it,” she murmured. “I never thought I’d like a beard.”
Corwyn caught her hand and kissed the palm gently. “I shouldn’t do this,” he breathed.
Anna shivered as he kissed again.
“I can’t turn back, Anna. I can’t not touch you again.”
“Is that why?” she asked breathlessly. His gentle kisses were doing wonderful things to her body, and when he scraped his tongue over the sensitive spot his lips were creating she almost jumped.
“Why I couldn’t let you touch me?”
She nodded, as he brushed his beard over her palm and pressed his lips to her wrist.
“Yes. I’m losing myself to you. If I go much further, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to let go.”
Another kiss graced her wrist, and her knees felt weak. “Is that a bad thing?” Anna asked quietly.
“That’s your decision,” he breathed, tracing his tongue over her pulse.
She gasped at the sensation.
“I think I’d be happy to be there,” he continued. “Would you?”
Corwyn met her eyes and pushed to his feet, setting Anna’s hand back in her lap. He grabbed the volumes he’d been working with and started toward the doorway. “I’m asking for forever, Anna. It’s all or nothing for me. I can’t sit there with you and not touch you.”
He left the room, and Anna watched as his back disappeared from view. There was no plea. There was no pressure. There was no mind-numbing seduction, which, gauging the state of her body, would have worked admirably. Corwyn had stated what he hoped for, given her a choice, and left her to make it.Some part of her screamed that she should go after him. The more rational part wondered how much time he would give her to decide. All or nothing-- All scared her to death, but she couldn’t live with nothing after feeling that kiss. He was gentle and attentive, and no one--not even Jörg and his damned mind tricks--ever made her feel what Corwyn did with a simple kiss.