"This book follows closely on the heels of Bonded in Blood. It would be helpful to have read this book first, but not essential. The challenger from Bonded in Blood who was booted out of the coven is the main warlock guy here. He is a much more sympathetic, dynamic, and imposing character than last time! This story is not quite as robust, but in time it wended its way into my heart. The villains are much more shadowy and insidious and they reminded me a bit too much of terrors that really exist in our own world. Astounding! Victor Kaslov is somewhat desperate to solidify his connection to his mate so as to halt the devastating disintegration to his power and magic. He is extraordinarily single-minded in his pursuit, oblivious to the havoc he his rendering all around him. If he weren’t so fiercely determined to consummate the bond with his mate or rekindle his attachment to the former lover who is so devoted to him, I would have joined the throng out to do him in! Sadie Harris is a wild woman who goes head to head with tradition and her heart in defense and pursuit of her right to have the final say about her future. I thought she was a tad too headstrong with a tunnel vision view of everything making it a bit difficult to sympathize with her desires. However, she won me over in a big way by how she survived a terrifying attack on her life. The fact that she is so affectionate to Victor’s former lover went a long way to bringing me to pray for her survival. I was rather pleased that she won me over. Marcus Lowe was and is Victor’s oh so gentle yet steadfast lover. I adored Marcus! He had reconciled himself to a very painful and lonely demise while fighting tooth and nail to reconcile the covens at odds with each other and the vicious shadowy forces bent on destroying all magic. I never doubted him or lost my total respect and love for him. Amazing! From a bit of an uneven start, this story exploded into a totally captivating and exciting adventure. I really would love to learn more about witches, warlocks, covens, and their tenuous alliance with humanity. Well, I want to learn about everything! I recommend this book to those who are willing to wait a while for it to captivate their heart." -- jj, Rainbow Book Reviews
Sadie frowned. “Who are you anyway?” She held up her finger before he could respond. “And don’t avoid the question this time.” She glanced down his long body and then dragged her gaze back up to meet his. “You obviously know Victor from somewhere. I can see by your aura that you mean no harm. And there’s something about you…”
Marcus stopped pacing and stared at her. “Something about me?”
She studied him for a minute. “Yes. You’re very attractive, but not in the same way that I find Victor attractive. There’s something different about you. What is it?”
The man turned away from her gaze. “I know, I feel it, too.”
He nodded. “It’s why being here is so dangerous.” He strode toward the door.
None of this made any sense. Why was she so attracted to him? How did he find her? As the man put his hand on the doorknob, all of the pieces fell into place. “You spent a lot of time with Victor, didn’t you?”
He dropped his hand and turned to face her. “Yes. We were…close.”
This man was a part of Victor’s life in Maddock Coven. That explained why she felt so attracted to him. She probably subconsciously noticed Victor’s scent on him or something. Yes, that had to be it.
An image flashed through Sadie’s mind, clear as day. Victor and the man before her were talking, touching. The stranger leaned in and press his lips against Victor.
Sadie blinked and the vision vanished. Where the hell did that come from? She wasn’t the type to have erotic daydreams—or any daydreams, for that matter. What was it about his man that made her want to touch him, to feel his body pressed against hers?
He moistened his lips, and Sadie saw the dark, hungry fire flash through his eyes once more. He took a step forward. “Aren’t you going to ask me how I knew him?”
Sadie smiled. “No, I think I already know.” At least she hoped she did. “You were both from the same Coven.”
“The Maddock Coven, yes.”
More images of Victor and the strange man flashed through Sadie’s mind, leaving her feeling weak and needy. “Were you…was he…?”
“Sane? Yes, for the most part. Victor could be controlling at times, but it was that dominance that drew me to him.” He looked down at the ground. “I guess, in a way, it’s that dominance that I miss the most.”
She wanted to touch him, to comfort him. God, the man was so hot, and the vulnerability he showed her made him even hotter. What was wrong with her? “Among my family and friends, I’m known to be quite hotheaded,” she said after a long moment. “Some believe that I’m just as controlling and manipulative as Victor.”
The man dragged his gaze back to her. “You don’t seem that manipulative to me.”
She smiled. “You haven’t gotten to know me yet.”
The man stared at her for a long moment and then started to close the distance between them. “Okay, I’ll take you back to your family. Once you’re safe, perhaps I can talk some sense into Victor.”
“I’ve tried that. The man is delusional. He keeps going on about this guy named Marcus and how much he misses him. He has some fantasy about the three of us together.”
The man stilled his hands. “What did you say to him?”
Sadie frowned. “I didn’t say anything. I was too shocked.” She had never considered a threesome before. While the concept had its merits, she knew it wasn’t for her. If Sadie didn’t want to submit to one warlock, then why would she consider submitting to two? No, she told Victor where he could take his threesome idea and put it.
But that was before the arrival of this handsome stranger, and the odd attraction she felt toward him.
“Well, now that you’ve had a chance to think about it…?” he said.
She studied his face as realization dawned. “You’re Marcus, aren’t you?”
“Yes.” He flexed his fingers at his sides. “But you don’t have to worry. There won’t be a threesome.”
“I’d never force myself on you.”
“No, I guess you wouldn’t.” When Marcus gave her a questioning look, she continued. “Your aura shows you as a kind, gentle man. I don’t think you’d have that in you.” Her tension eased out of her body. “You love him though, don’t you?”
“There’s good in him, I know it.” Marcus shifted his gaze away from hers. “He’s not all bad.”
“I wish he’d show some of that kindness to me.”
“He would, if you’d accept him.”
“How could I accept someone who wants to control me?” She shook her head as desperation welled up in her chest. “I won’t let anyone control me, Marcus. My mother tried, and I ran away. Victor tried, and I refused him. I’m the only one who makes decisions about my life. Me.” She pointed at her chest for emphasis.
“And I wouldn’t dream of taking that away from you.” Marcus held her gaze and took her hand. Silence surrounded them as he raised it to her lips and kissed her palm. Tension built, and the air around them heated.
This was Marcus? If she had any idea, she wouldn’t have protested so much with Victor. Spending a night in the arms of two handsome men would be every woman’s fantasy come to life. But…
She couldn’t do it if it meant she had to be bound to Victor. While sex sounded appealing, she would not have anyone rule over her life.
Marcus pressed his lips against the skin of her wrist once more. She marveled at how soft and warm his breath felt against her skin. Desire surged, and her pussy throbbed.
“I don’t know what’s happening to us.” Sadie moistened her lips as he raised his gaze up from her wrist to meet hers. “I haven’t felt anything this strong since I first laid eyes on Victor.”
“Me neither,” Marcus agreed. “I know that you belong to Victor, but—”
“I belong to no one.” She curled her fingers around his.
He flicked out his tongue and traced the long lines at her palm. She shivered and closed her eyes. “No one?” he asked.
Her resolve was weakening, but she didn’t care. “Marcus.” She flexed her fingers. “That feels really good.”
Marcus lowered her hands and waited until she opened her eyes. “Then this should feel even better.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers.
“Yes?” Victor slid his hand up over the comforter to Marcus’s waist. Victor’s former lover was still as hard as ever, and just a sexy. God, how he missed Marcus. What he wouldn’t do for just another little taste…
“Victor.” Marcus’s voice sounded strained.
Victor looked up and met his gaze. Such beautiful green eyes. They reminded him of when he used to play in the forest outside of his home in springtime. Things were so much simpler then, just like things were so much simpler in his life when he was with Marcus. He was at his wits’ end about Sadie. He knew that something needed to be done, but he couldn’t quite figure out what. Ever since he had left Maddock Coven, all he did was worry, think, and plan. Victor was so tired of running. He was tired of thinking and scheming. For just a few moments, he wanted peace, a peace that he knew only Marcus could provide.
“God, Victor.” Marcus slid his fingers over Victor’s biceps. Victor noticed that they were trembling. “It’s been so damn lonely without you.” Victor noticed the tears forming in Marcus’s eyes.
“Has Roman treated you badly?” Victor would kill the bastard if he ever laid a hand on Marcus.
“No, they’ve all been fine. It’s just…” He slid his fingers up around Victor shoulder and down his chest. Heat spiraled out from his fingertips and began to move through Victor’s body. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“I have, too.”
“I thought that… since you found Sadie…”
“Oh Marcus, what happens between me and Sadie can never change my feelings for you.” He shifted his gaze to Marcus’s mouth. The man had such firm, full lips. So kissable.
“You missed me? Really?” Victor could hear the uncertainty in Marcus’s voice.
“Of course. I thought when you made your decision that you were through with me.”
“I could never be over you, Victor.”
Victor dragged his gaze up and met Marcus’s. “I believe you.”
Relief was over Marcus’s features as he slipped his fingers up and cupped Marcus’s cheek. “I’m glad Roman sent me here. It gave me another chance to see you.”
“And I, you.” Victor could no longer give into the temptation. He leaned forward and brushed his lips against Marcus’s. Desire surged and burned hot in his veins. He ran his tongue along the seam of Marcus’s lips, coaxing them to open.
Marcus leaned into him and slid his arms around Victor’s neck. It was typical Marcus. He was so giving, so accepting of whatever Victor gave him. Loving Marcus was not a fight, nor was it complicated. No matter what happened between them, or how much distance there was, Marcus would always be there for him, waiting.
Tears welled up in Victor’s eyes as a surge of possessiveness overcame him. He tilted his head and deepened the kiss, sweeping his tongue into Marcus’s mouth. The man tasted just as good as he remembered. A spicy, sweet taste burst on his tongue. Victor couldn’t get enough of it.
Their tongues dueled as a Victor pulled Marcus closer. He rubbed his hands up and down Marcus’s spine, reminding himself of the rises and dips in his back. The pattern was so uniquely his. So strong, and hard.
Marcus moaned against Victor’s mouth. Victor caught it, consumed it. He hadn’t tasted anything so good in a long, long time. Images floated through Victor’s mind as he remembered how it felt to have Marcus stretched out beneath him or thrusting his cock deep inside his lover’s body.
Victor’s mind drifted as he tilted his head and deepened the kiss. Sadie was there, with them. She was on her back, legs spread wide. Marcus lay on top of her and was driving himself deep into her core. Instead of jealousy, Victor felt a surge of possessiveness and pride. In his fantasy, he pushed himself deep into Marcus’s ass, and together they entered Sadie as one. It was as if with one firm push, Victor was claiming both of them as his.
The image was powerful and consuming. Desire rose up and burned hot through his body. His cock thickened and pressed hard against his jeans.
Marcus slid his hands down Victor’s body and began exploring, teasing. Victor tightened his muscles as Marcus brushed his fingertips over his cock. How was it that this man always seemed to know just what he needed? Victor groaned against Marcus’s lips as his lover gently caressed his length through the jeans. Urgency overcame him. Victor wanted Marcus sprawled out underneath him. More importantly, he wanted Sadie with them.