Heiress Loretta Shaw is notorious for her loose morals and sexual needs. Trouble is, it’s taken her one too many one-night stands to realize that no man can extinguish the sexual fire she feels toward her guardian, Cray Diamond.
A long-ago curse made Cray immortal—a gargoyle, a guardian, who is impelled to protect a human chosen by the curse. He is imprisoned in stone during daylight hours but dusk returns him to flesh and bone to carry out his immortal duty.
That Cray can shift between human and living gargoyle at night bothers Loretta not one bit. She’s seen him naked many times and her desire for him—in any shape or form—knows no bounds. She’s tired of his resistance. He’s her gargoyle … and she wants him in her bed.
Book two in the Winged and Dangerous series.
Celeste has been having vivid sexual dreams starring Pascal Daniels. The son of a mobster, he is every woman’s most dangerous fantasy. Pascal leads a charmed life and can have any woman he wants, any time he wants her. Celeste is determined to have him—but just once. Because she has a secret she will fight tooth and nail to protect. She is human in every way but one—hideous bat-like wings, a permanent legacy from her once-cursed gargoyle father, Cray.
Pascal is used to attention from women, but he’s looking for someone special. He’s interested in the ice queen, Celeste Diamond. He thinks hers is the perfect female form, one he’d do anything to possess. Pascal has decided it’s way past time to warm up the mysterious, elusive Celeste.
And perhaps he’ll share some secrets of his own.
Book 3 in the Winged & Dangerous series.
A hot-blooded gargoyle, Zahlee knows that Steele, her gargoyle lover and leader of the Triskellon clan, is her perfect match in every way. But she burns for just one more touch from Saul, the human lover she left behind so many years ago. The same human she entrusted to raise and care for her son, Pascal—to keep him safe from the dangers of the gargoyle lifestyle.
Steele banishes Zahlee from the Triskellon clan and forces her to return to Saul and extinguish all yearning for her mortal ex. She quickly discovers a renewed lust for the only man she has ever loved. Their chemistry cannot be denied and combusts into a raging wildfire she never wants to end.
Zahlee yearns for happiness with her son and her human lover. A gargoyle must sacrifice much to live in the human world, but she is willing to give all for their love.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to write something different than the usual vampires and werewolves (not that I don’t love them too – I’ve written a story or two on them) and knew that nothing less than a gargoyle would do. I loved that they can only glide through the air – being able to fly gives them too much power, and I like cracks in their armor, so to speak – and with self image problems added to the mix, it creates a really unique hero or heroine. Being that this is a boxed set, I have three gargoyle stories, for three times the enjoyment =)
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My first story was pretty unique – my gargoyle was only a gargoyle because of a curse, which also compelled him to be a guardian. He falls for a spoiled heiress who looks for love in all the wrong places. My second book is the daughter of the gargoyle from book one. She is human in every way, except for her permanent wings she keeps tucked away inside a corset. She falls for someone completely unsuitable – a man who is a womanizer and loves to touch. My third story is based on a gargoyle clan, whose leader throws out the woman he loves so that she can be with the human mobster she’s never stopped wanting. All three stories came to me in scenes in my head – I had a lot of fun making them all work!
Light make you still
To serve be your will
The monster you must break
As the sun sank behind the horizon, Cray Diamond came to life with a start, the curse resounding in his mind as though it had been cast just minutes earlier, not almost a century before.
Breath hissed from his mouth as his muscles hardened, contracting in screaming protest. Then just as suddenly, they unlocked and released him from immobility.
He staggered, withholding a groan when circulation returned and the familiar pins and needles sensation stabbed through his body.
A flood of awareness hit his highly receptive gargoyle senses. With sight akin to an eagle, hearing better than any feline and the ability to register scent like a bloodhound, it took great effort to focus wholly within and commence his change.
Only many years of practice allowed him to quickly instigate the shift from winged flesh-and-blood monster to human, moving effortlessly through the transition without the pain he‟d once endured in his fledgling years.
He jerked away from the darkening horizon where lights sprang to life like dazzling jewels along Sydney Harbour and its surroundings.
He had to find her, and quickly, before night became day. The curse had given him extrasensory ability, an instinctive internal radar to track down whomever he protected.
That his devotion to Loretta had somehow affected his psyche and scrambled his navigation was something he didn‟t want to think about right now. He had to get dressed right this minute, ensure he blended with the revelers on the city streets.
Vivid dreams wrestled with Loretta Shaw‟s consciousness, images that taunted her, reminded her of the mother she‟d lost at so young an age. But, as though drifting from a dream and entering a nightmare, she became aware of the too-hard, unfamiliar bed and the man next to her, softly snoring.
She jolted awake and grimaced. What had she been thinking? She couldn‟t do this anymore. Couldn‟t pretend that screwing just any hot male was what she wanted, what she enjoyed. What she needed.
No man could ever give her the affection and comfort of the mother she‟d lost. And none could ever live up to the man she so desperately wanted.
Amazing how quickly things could change. How swiftly pleasure became displeasure. Stretching like an overindulged cat, enjoying the pull and flex of sex-fatigued muscles, the warm, post-fucked, fuzzy feel was no longer enough. It never would be, without Cray.
She pressed a weary hand to her brow, glancing at the shadowed silhouette of the golden-haired stranger beside her. She blew out a breath. He looked nothing like Cray!
Last night it had been a relief to discover that Jess—Josh—John?—kept a fully stocked bar. She‟d encouraged him to down yet another whiskey, another beer, until he‟d have been lucky to perform even an off-note song. In the end, he‟d only managed to lock his arms around her before he‟d passed out on the bed.
Her nape suddenly prickled. Her pulse fluttered, her senses identifying Cray long before she flicked on the bedside lamp to throw light on the subject.
Clearly he‟d found a way to break into the apartment and deactivate its alarm. But then, it was a talent he‟d perfected these last few years.
“Go away,” she mumbled, even as her eyes devoured all six feet five inches of him as he stood taut and moody near the door at the end of the four-poster bed.
She shivered, less with unease and more with longing, though one could be forgiven for feeling the former. His black, military-style cropped hair and the scar running straight from the bridge of his nose to the hairline of his wide brow added to his sinister aura.
“Why, am I interrupting something?” His frosty, gray-blue eyes swept the scene and it was pure reflex when she touched her swollen mouth before curling a hand
around her mussed hair. His eyes darkened. “Because from where I‟m standing, your latest lover is out for the count.”
She dropped her hand and sat up. The bedcovers tumbled to her waist, revealing the globes of her breasts, her nipples, which hardened under his gaze. “It was a big night.” And not in the way you think. She managed a shrug. “He‟s recovering.” She swung her legs to one side of the bed. Turning her back on him, she asked dryly, “Are you jealous?”
Feigning indifference to the simmering quiet, she rose and padded across the soft beige carpet. She stooped, retrieving her discarded clothes strewn in a trail from the bedroom door.
Cray would imagine the worst. Who wouldn‟t when it looked as if her clothes had been all but torn from her in a fit of passion? It might have started off that way, but ardor—at least on her behalf—had quickly dulled.
She wanted her gargoyle, or no man at all.
She felt the burn of his eyes scorch the air, spiking her nipples harder still. Her pussy contracted as the whole of her body reacted to his predatory hunger. Yet even in her high state of arousal her mind whirred with a far different kind of longing as she awaited his reply.
Dear God, did nothing get under his skin?
She tugged on her black lace thong, chilled by his shot of mirthless laughter and then as quickly burning hot when he closed the distance with just a stride. She dragged in a breath when his arms encircled her from behind. His large hands cradled her aching, heavy breasts while his fingers skillfully stroked her sensitive nipples.
“Should I be jealous?” he asked.
Despite her best intentions, she reveled in his touch. She caught her breath as waves of sensation melted her against him like a long-lost piece of a puzzle. “You tell me.”
Wry amusement overlaid a hardness she‟d yet to crack when he said, “We could dance around a straight answer for hours but I don‟t have the luxury of time to play mind games.”
His erection nudged the small of her back, indicating what game he‟d really like time for if he‟d just once forget his guardian role and relent to their attraction.
She wriggled, brushing against the impressive length of his cock and losing herself in his unyielding strength as she tucked her head beneath one of his arms.
“Don‟t you ever just let yourself go, enjoy the moment?” She hated the breathlessness in her voice, hated how he could be so physically aroused and yet so emotionally unaffected.
He stiffened. “Nice sentiments. But I‟m never intimate with the one I protect. You know that.”
She jerked free. Thrusting her head and arms through the floaty folds of her crimson designer dress, she pivoted to face him. “I never asked for your protection.”
“No one ever does.”
If she‟d been anyone else, she‟d have shrunk back from the latent coldness in his stare. But she wasn‟t anyone else and she‟d known nothing but sacrifice from this man…this gargoyle.
Cray dropped into a crouch and grabbed her high-heeled shoes from beneath the bed. He motioned her over and this time she knew better than to argue. She‟d pushed him far enough.
His hands cradled first one foot then the other as he slipped on her shoes. Diamonds winked along the straps crisscrossing her toes. Her eyes fluttered closed as flames licked from the soles of her feet and leapt straight to her already burning core.
“Such a thankless job.” She cleared her throat and opened her eyes to his downturned head, almost giving in to the need to run her hands over his spiky hair. “Don‟t you ever wish for something in return?”
With one fluid motion, he stood, making Loretta glad she wore stilettos. At five-foot-three, she barely reached his chest but heels brought her eyes to his chin level. She tore her gaze away from his sexy lips and studied his unnerving face.
Stone cold really was an apt description for his unyielding expression. She should know. She‟d tried for nearly three years now to bring his impervious emotions to heel.
A large hand snared the crook of her elbow before he escorted her toward the balcony‟s locked, sliding door. With a faint chink, it yielded to his force and slid open in a whisper of sound.
“I wish for many things,” he growled, guiding her out onto the small platform nestled high atop the eighteen-story apartment block. “But wishes and dreams are wasted on a gargoyle.”
I don’t believe so.
She twisted to face him. Tilting back her head, she watched the intensity on his face as he blocked his human awareness and focused his highly developed, gargoyle senses. His nostrils flared as he scented the air, his large frame taut and still while he took in the sounds of the night.
With eyes that glowed feral and bright as ice chips, he swept the area, double-checking for insomniacs and early risers—for anyone who might potentially witness his change and their unconventional exit.
Apparently satisfied at their privacy, he shrugged off his black, ankle-length coat and draped it over her shoulders. She tugged the folds around her in a gesture of long practice, surreptitiously inhaling his brandy-and-spice scent.
And not for the first time was she aware of just how safe she felt, enfolded in his jacket, cocooned from all that was bad in the world.
Lights dotted the cityscape of Sydney, a faint awareness of dawn in the air when Cray shifted from human into a winged creature of the night and folded her into his arms.
The change was effortless. If Loretta hadn‟t known about his ability—his curse—she‟d hardly have noticed the slight hunching of his shoulders, or the broadening of his body as bat-like, eight-foot-span wings sprouted from either side of his spine as he
gripped her tightly. Only the wrench and give of his clothes, which fell to the floor in tattered wisps, betrayed his true shift of identity.
Shame it was dark, she‟d have appreciated the sight of his masculine charms in the flesh. Even etched in stone, she‟d not been disappointed.
Unlike the ugly and inanimate carved gargoyles that littered many gardens and lawns, Cray retained much of his human looks.
Oh, she knew he didn‟t see anything remotely handsome in his gargoyle form but he was so wrong. From the large and rather fine-boned sweep of his wings, to his more subtle physical modifications, he was fascinating.
The remnants of his shirt and pants fluttered over the balcony and she twined her fingers behind his neck when he climbed the railing and stretched his webbed wings with a barely audible swish.
Her heart thumped, her senses in overdrive as she went giddy with anticipation for the buzz to come.
Cray leapt high. Her belly dropped as adrenaline skyrocketed, the ground a blur of lights beneath them as the winter air whipped her long gold-brown hair into her eyes and bit into her skin.
He wrapped her close to his chest, pressing the coat fully closed to deflect the worst of the cold, and Loretta wondered what it would feel like to have him really care about her. Not as her guardian, but as her lover.
She fought back a sudden, weary sigh. He was honor-bound to ensure her well-being. She was his top priority, but only as her protector, nothing else. Besides, if he truly did care, he would‟ve retrieved her long before she fell into yet another stranger‟s bed.
Her grip tightened. She was a fool to wish he saw her as anything more than a spoiled heiress.
Clearly his low opinion of her meant little in the bigger scheme of things. No matter where she was, who she was with, Cray always found her and returned her home, safe and sound, if not a little more jaded and sex-weary after the novelty of intimacy had worn thin.
But each time it became a bit harder to conceal her true feelings, to hide her yearning to mean more to him than an inescapable burden.
The lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge sparkled below. He dipped to the left, pulling his wings back in a rustle of shifting air as he prepared to land.
His skin was cool beneath her fingers. When the sun came up shortly, it‟d become colder still. Stone hard and inanimate. The thought momentarily sucked away her breath.
Sometimes she wished her father had never bought the gargoyle statue from a renowned arts dealer. Then her father wouldn‟t have discovered the flesh-and-blood Cray, the immortal whose curse effectively made him a shapeshifter.
Human or gargoyle, Cray‟s sole duty was to protect a mortal. Without that knowledge, her father would never have pledged to keep Cray‟s identity a secret in exchange for his vow of guardianship over his wayward daughter.
And she‟d never have known this man who alternately made her ache with yearning and burn with resentment.
Her heart fluttered. She‟d forever abstain from sex rather than never see him again, never experience the wild emotions he aroused within her.
He glided low. A thick glass fence with views of the harbor materialized from the darkness where it rimmed part of a cliff face. They swept over the turquoise-colored heated pool lapping at the transparent barrier before Cray landed on the clipped lawn with a sharp snap of up-thrust wings.
Orange-red smeared the horizon and heralded the coming heat of the day. As he placed her on the grass, his hands lingered on her shoulders. “Leave me now,” he said roughly.
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