Ares, book 1 in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Guardians of Hades, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Ares and Megan’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.
Here’s more about the book and the sexy Greek god hero and his heroine…
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.
Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world.
Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive.
Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own.
When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?
ARES – Excerpt
Megan looked back at the man on the bed. “I did the only thing I could do to protect him. I shot the man... God, I shot him... I could have killed him. I shouldn’t have done that... I shot a man.”
It sank in cold and fast, stealing her strength and leaving her shaking. She had fired upon a person and she had done it with the intent of murdering him. She buried her fingers into her wet shoulder-length hair and dragged it out of her face, her hands trembling against her head.
“You shot a daemon and you should have killed him. The bastard should be put down for raising a hand against us.”
Megan lifted her chin and caught the look of sheer disgust on Esher’s face before he turned away and went into the bedroom.
She looked at Daimon. His pale gaze followed Esher and then slowly shifted back to her.
“Your friend said he needed to get his power back,” she said and Esher was in front of her before she could blink, black mist clinging to his long coat and curling over his grey scarf.
He grabbed her by the neck of her damp black jumper and shoved her against the wall so hard it shook and pain shot outwards from her shoulder.
“What did you say?” His breath washed over her, his face so close to hers that he was all she could focus on.
His eyes darkened but then brightened, a corona of blue shining around his pupils. His grip on her tightened and she couldn’t contain her gasp as he hauled her closer to him and a terrible darkness crossed his handsome face.
He jerked backwards and turned his head, glaring over his shoulder.
“Release her, Esher,” Daimon growled in a low voice and Esher blinked and looked down at his hand that still grasped her jumper. He did as Daimon ordered and stepped back at the same time. “Excuse my brother. Now... what did you say?”
Daimon’s expression turned as black and vicious as Esher’s had been.
She could see the family resemblance.
“The man.” She straightened her clothing out and pointed towards the bed, somehow managing to keep her hand from shaking. “He mentioned something about getting his power back.”
Esher and Daimon exchanged murderous glances.
“The bastard must have the ability to steal powers.” Daimon paced away from her, taking agitated strides across the wooden floor behind the red couch, his steps heavy and filling the apartment with the beat of a war drum. He clenched his fists and his leather gloves creaked. “Esher... we’re hunting. Warn Keras and the others.”
Esher nodded and disappeared in black smoke.
Megan was not getting used to that.
Daimon turned on her. “What is your name, Female?”
“Megan.” She supposed she could have lied but hunger for violence burned in his pale blue eyes and she didn’t want to give him a reason to unleash it on her. These men had powers beyond her imagining. For all she knew, one of those powers might be the ability to detect falsehoods.
He crossed the room and halted right in front of her, so she had to tip her head back to hold his gaze. He was tall, the same height as Esher if she had to guess, somewhere in the lower six-foot-plus area, but her protector was taller.
“Megan,” he said, voice low and deep, filled with warmth that contradicted the coldness of his expression. “Heal our brother. I know you have the power and I will let you go if you do this. We need him healed so we might speak with him.”
She didn’t like being threatened and he had done just that. He might have spoken softly, so it sounded as though his very existence depended on his brother surviving, but he had still slipped in that little bit about him not letting her go until she did as he ordered.
She glanced at the door. What was to stop her leaving once these men were gone anyway?
“Do not even think about it. You will remain here until we return. You will heal my brother... obey me or suffer the consequences.”
Megan glared at him. Who the heck had made him the boss of her?
She squared up to him, shutting out the small voice at the back of her mind that warned he might go ahead and make her suffer the consequences right now if she unleashed her temper on him. “I’ll heal him... but I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it because I owe him for protecting me tonight. You... well, you can just go to Hell.”
Her heart pounded and her palms sweated. Had she just told a man with unknown powers and murder on his mind to go to Hell?
A wry smile curved his profane mouth. “I am afraid that is the one place I cannot go.”
Esher reappeared. “All set.”
“We shall track down the daemon scum who did this and will return by dawn.” Daimon stepped back and turned to Esher. “We’ll check the gate first and make sure it is protected and safe, and then scout the city for trouble. Question any daemon you come across. I want to know where the bastard who did this has gone. I want him dead.”
Darkness swirled around them both, rising up from their feet to embrace them, and they disappeared.
Megan watched the smoke slowly dissipate.
“Daemons?” When Esher had called the man a daemon, she had thought he was just angry and considered the man was a lowlife because of what he had done. She had the feeling that wasn’t the case after all. Her dark eyebrows rose. Daemons. The man had powers, and so did these brothers. Were they all daemons too?
Creatures of Hell?
Megan drifted towards the open side of the bedroom and paused when she reached the bed. Her gaze roamed over the man where he lay on his front, his lower half hidden under the crimson covers. Was he a daemon?
She frowned and looked at her hands. Was she?
A breeze blew in through the open door onto the balcony and she rounded the foot of the bed and walked between it and the long ebony chest of drawers that lined the short dividing wall between the bedroom and the other smaller room. Her foot caught in something and she almost tripped over, barely catching herself on the drawers. She raised an eyebrow at the clothes strewn across the wooden floorboards. The room was a mess and it wasn’t because of Esher. The ones the man had been wearing tonight were in a small neat pile near the living room area of the apartment.
Megan kicked the clothes aside, clearing the floor so she didn’t trip again. Whoever her protector was, he needed to hire a maid.
She slid the glass door closed. The view of Manhattan was breathtaking even with the rain making it hazy. She could make out the silhouette of trees in Central Park, a dark patch in the middle of the tall buildings surrounding it. It wasn’t a front row seat but it was certainly an expensive view. Her own apartment had a view of the brick wall across the alley from her building. She would kill for a view like this. Seeing a slice of nature every morning and evening would make her feel closer to home and infinitely happier.
She pushed away thoughts of the mountains and forests she had left behind years ago and turned to face the man. She rounded the bed again, her gaze tracking over him, taking all of him in. It settled on his face when she reached his side.
He was beautiful.
Was he single?
The voice of reason piped up again, mentioning that she was trapped in his apartment, a captive who would be facing a death sentence should she try to escape. Now wasn’t the time to be wondering about relationship statuses.
Besides, he was so handsome that he was bound to have a string of women vying for his attention and time in his company.
She glanced at the dirty clothes littering his bedroom floor and then into the living room to the white pizza cartons scattered around it and across the black granite kitchen counters. The whole apartment had an air of bachelor pad. She hadn’t failed to notice the expensive entertainment centre in the corner of his living room, or the motorcycle in the small room that backed onto the bedroom.
Maybe he was single.
Or maybe he just didn’t bring women back to his place.
Maybe she needed to keep her nose out of his business, do what Daimon wanted her to and get the hell away from them.
Megan eased down onto the bed beside her protector. She reached over and curled a strand of his dark damp hair behind his ear, letting her fingers linger on the stubbly line of his jaw.
Was it wrong of her to want to stay?
It wasn’t just him who had her torn between leaving and remaining.
They all had powers and she wanted to know more about them. She needed to know more about them because she hoped that maybe she would learn more about herself in the process. How many others were there like them in the world? She had so many questions she wanted to ask.
She had spent the past fifteen years with a gift she didn’t understand and the past decade wandering from city to city, trying to lead a normal life and searching for an explanation.
Searching for others like her who might be able to provide her with answers.
She looked down at her hands and turned her palms upwards. She sighed, shifted to kneel on the bed beside his hips, and settled her hands on his strong bare back. He was still warm beneath her fingers. She focused and let her power flow through her and into him. His breathing deepened and sped.
The draining effect of her power had been quick to manifest in the alley when she had healed his chest wound and it was just as quick now. She breathed slowly against it, focusing on it and her hands to keep her power flowing. Fatigue swept through her but she held her focus, her desire to repay the man for protecting her stronger than her need to protect herself. Her pulse spiked and then slowed, and she willed the burns on his back to heal. Her vision wobbled. She blinked and drew in a deeper breath, holding it for a second before exhaling. She couldn’t figure out why he was so slow to heal and why it took so much out of her. Normally, she could heal these sorts of wounds without breaking a sweat and with only a minimal drain on her strength.
He shifted beneath her hands.
Her eyes glided up the line of his spine to his face.
His eyes opened, irises swirling like fire in the low light. The sight of them didn’t frighten her, not like the Frenchman’s had or those of the men who claimed to be his brothers. He tried to look at her and his eyes slipped shut again, his broad body relaxing back into the mattress.
She eased her power back as the last of his wounds healed and gently stroked his muscled back. Thin scars darted across his golden skin. Hundreds of them. She followed one with her finger from where it started above his right shoulder all the way down to where it ended close to his left hip.
His breathing slowed to a gentle rhythm.
She stroked another of the silvery scars. This was wrong on so many levels and she felt as though she was taking advantage of him in his unconscious state but she couldn’t help herself. The scar tracked from one shoulder to the other and her insides heated as her fingers trailed over the peaks and valleys of his muscles. He was huge, the span of his shoulders almost twice that of hers, and broader than Daimon’s and Esher’s. None of them looked like brothers. Maybe they were brothers by circumstance rather than blood.
She stifled a yawn.
How long would his so-called brothers be out? She stared out of the bank of windows at the city. Daimon had said they would return at dawn. Dawn was a long way away and she didn’t think she could stay awake that long. She looked down at the bed beneath her. It was soft and comfortable despite the slightly scratchy bedclothes, but there was no way she was going to curl up on it and fall asleep.
No matter how tempting it was.
She wasn’t that sort of woman and she didn’t think that the man, or his brothers, would be pleased if they found her sleeping next to him.
Megan stood and yawned loudly this time. Her eyes watered and she rubbed them. She pulled the covers up and smoothed them over the man’s shoulders. She had done all she could for him and now she had to take care of her own needs.
She trudged back into the pale living room. The door tempted her but she turned away from it. She really did believe that Daimon would track her down and kill her if she left. She had somehow survived a fight between two powerful men tonight but only because one had protected her from the other. If Daimon came after her, she didn’t think the man would protect her from him. He would side with his brother over her.
She toed her black trainers off and picked them up, crossed the room to the red couch and set them down beside it. She pulled her black jumper off next and frowned at how soggy it still was. She would catch a chill sleeping on the couch in just her damp jeans and dark pink camisole. Her eyes snuck back to the bed and she forced them away. They settled on the beautiful motorcycle in the small open room next to the bedroom.
She dropped her jumper onto the arm of the couch and squeezed between the ebony coffee table cluttered with magazines, DVDs and a pizza carton and the dark red armchair that stood close to the dividing wall. How had he got the motorcycle up to his apartment?
Esher had teleported with her. Perhaps they could teleport with objects too. She would have to ask her protector when he woke up. She pushed the ebony coffee table aside so she could move around without banging her legs on it and glanced at the door again. She couldn’t leave even if she was free to do so. She couldn’t leave the man alone. What if he needed her?
Megan lay down on the dark wine-coloured couch opposite the black entertainment centre. The material was itchy beneath her. How could such expensive-looking furniture be so damn uncomfortable? She shuffled until she was finally more comfortable and tried to remain awake, fighting the rising tide of fatigue within her.
She picked up one of the magazines from the table and flicked through it, reading the articles but not taking them in, her motions slowing until she was just staring at the pictures, her mind on the man in the other room, the two who were his brothers, and the one who had attacked him.
Four men with powers even more incredible than hers were.
Tonight had been strange, and somewhat exhilarating, but something told her that it wasn’t over yet.
When tomorrow came, the sun would dawn on a new world for her, a place with people who were like her, and she would finally know where her powers had come from. She would have the answers she craved and a world where she belonged.
A world that felt dangerous and dark.
Megan’s eyes drifted closed.
A world with powerful warriors.
Her protector swam into existence in her dark mind and hurled a fireball at another man. A man who turned glowing eyes on her and smiled cruelly.
A world with daemons.
ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Books in the Guardians of Hades paranormal romance series:
Book 2: Valen – Coming in 2017
About Felicity Heaton:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places: