Book & Author Details:
Beyond Your Touch by Pat Esden
(The Dark Heart #2)
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: August 30th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
She wants more than he can promise.
His desires could lead to betrayal.
But without each other, neither can survive the dangers ahead.
Annie Freemont knows this isn’t the right time to get involved with a man like Chase. After years of distrust, she’s finally drawing close to her estranged family, and he’s an employee on their estate in Maine. Though she never intended to stay on the estate for long, her father’s illness and the mysteries surrounding her family made leaving impossible. And now with the newfound hope of rescuing her long-missing mother, Annie’s determined to be involved with the family’s plans one way or another.
If only she could keep her mind off Chase and focus on the impending rescue. But there’s something about the enigmatic Chase that she can’t resist. And she’s not the only woman. Annie fears a seductive stranger who is key to safely freeing her mother is also obsessed with him. As plans transform into action and time for a treacherous journey into a strange world draws near, every move Annie makes will test the one bond she’s trusted with her secrets, her desires—and her heart.
Bury the truth in robes of marble and ivy,
In halls of learned books and tomes ripe with false beliefs.
But it still breathes, still whispers and waits.
—Excerpt from Devils and Djinn
By Samuel Freemont
His neck tasted like strawberry jelly. Well, actually like jelly and powdered sugar–which was no surprise since we’d spent the last hour wreaking havoc on his freshly washed sheets, first by having a jelly doughnut fight, and then by making love in said newly created mess. Chase was no slouch when it came to lovemaking, far from it. But the doughnut fight had made me laugh until I cried. In all honesty, I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, the fight or the sex–or seeing him laugh, his mind and body off-duty for a change, just there in the moment with me.
Chase rolled me onto my back and straddled me, his forehead resting against mine, his soft blue aura soaking my skin with warmth. We kissed again, gently this time, lips moving in a slow, delicious waltz. I broke away and wiggled a bit lower, trailing kisses down his neck and licking a lingering dab of jelly off his collarbone. He flinched when the tip of my tongue brushed the scarred skin just below his left shoulder, a fist-size mark created so many years ago by Malphic’s branding iron.
It was hard to even begin to think about how different Chase’s childhood and mine had been: me traveling and dealing antiques with my dad, blissfully unaware that the stories he told me about magic and his family were real–and Chase kidnapped from his human mother, taken to the djinn realm, branded and enslaved by his genie father, and raised to be a Death Warrior until my family rescued him five years ago. It was crazy. Almost unbelievably so, but it was the truth. The phone on the floor beside his bed jangled, and our private world evaporated as Chase climbed over me and sat on the edge of the bed to read the text.
“Damn. I was supposed to go see your grandfather this morning.” He was up, grabbing his briefs and jeans, his aura fading with each step.
In less than a dozen strides, he was across his attic bedroom and into the tiny half bath. It wasn’t like Chase’s and my growing relationship was a secret, something banned because I was a Freemont and he worked for my family. But finding any semblance of privacy had proven impossible with both of us living on my family’s estate of Moonhill. It had been a month since I’d first come here with Dad and things had started to sizzle with Chase. Still, we’d only managed to spend the whole night together a couple of times. Mostly we stole our alone time when and where we could, like this morning.
PAT ESDEN would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.