eBook Details

Echoes and Embers

Series: Rebel Angels , Book 2.0
By: Cyndi Friberg | Other books by Cyndi Friberg
Published By: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: Oct 31, 2012
ISBN # 9780988300125
Word Count: 47,500
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Categories: Romance>Paranormal/Horror Romance>Historical Medieval Romance>Erotic Romance

Description
Alyssa is a Rebel Angel, semi-Fallen, like Gideon before her. Cursed by her own words, she is unable to distinguish truth from lies—even her own. She has sworn to protect her ward Rosalind from the forces of evil. But without discernment, how will Alyssa identify friend from foe?

Prince Sariel of the Angelic Order of Grigori, the oldest and most powerful of all angelic beings, has endured thousands of years of celibacy for the sins of his race. It’s his duty to determine if Rosalind is a Nephilim and perhaps destroy her.

When Sariel comes for Alyssa’s ward, more than the girl’s fate hangs in the balance. Never before has he felt such dark desire as Alyssa stirs in him. The Daughters of Man are forbidden Sariel…but is Rebel Angel Alyssa?
 
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Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
Excerpt:
Alyssa had heard a deep male voice, but Lailah entered the hall alone. “What did you do with your guest?”

“He went to the stables to attend to his horse, so we haven't much time.” The blonde quickly crossed the hall, joining Alyssa before the hearth. “Look at me and think. Clear your mind and think.”

“What am I thinking about?” Alyssa smiled and met her friend’s dark gaze, confused by the desperation she read there.

“How long have you known me? How did we meet?”

“We…” Mists swirled within her mind, sweeping the answer beyond her grasp. Alyssa blinked repeatedly, trying to bring them back. “I've known you…”

“Oh Alyssa. You must try! Sariel has come to judge her! You must remember what you are.”

Goose bumps rose along her arms and tension gripped her belly. “What I am? You're frightening me. Sariel has come to judge whom?” Slipping her hands through the slits in the front of her cotehardie, Alyssa grasped the fabric of her underdress. “You must mean Rosalind, but what could she have done to—”

The iron-banded door swung open, interrupting Alyssa’s words. Sariel paused in the threshold, the setting sun at his back. Tall and broad-shouldered, his body filled the doorway. Alyssa swallowed hard. Thick tawny hair flowed in shiny waves to the middle of his back. Though unfashionable, the choice somehow suited him. The undeniable urge to comb her fingers through those soft-looking strands startled Alyssa. Responsibilities pressed in on her from every direction, and she was lusting after a stranger? Had she taken leave of her senses?

He stepped into the hall and released the door. It groaned then swung shut under its own weight. His torso shifted and Alyssa saw the outline of scalloped wings shimmering in the sunlight. Gasping softly, she blinked and the image disappeared.

Trepidation twisted through her abdomen.

Wings? Why would she imagine wings upon this man?

No one spoke as he moved to stand beside Lailah. Firelight illuminated his angular features and accented his glittering eyes. Sharp cheekbones and a distinct jaw constructed a face uncompromisingly masculine. And yet she found him beautiful. Sculpted, the bottom lip slightly fuller than the top, he held his mouth in a grim, unsmiling line.

Her wayward gaze focused on his mouth. What would it feel like to tangle her fingers in his hair and kiss that unsmiling mouth? Why was he so angry? What made him seem so fierce? She shook away her speculation. Why would she want to kiss someone both angry and fierce?

A lazy sweep of thick lashes drew Alyssa’s attention to his eyes. Glistening shards of gold decorated the surface of his rich green gaze. For just a moment there seemed to be a distinct pattern to the shards, like a golden constellation in a vivid green sky. He blinked again and the pattern scattered.

The tension gripping her stomach released in a tingling flutter.

“Milady, please accept my gratitude for your hospitality. I shall endeavor not to overstay my welcome.” He tossed back his mantle, revealing a richly decorated, parti-colored tunic. The gold half had been embroidered in green, the green half embroidered in gold. Not since court had Alyssa seen garments so fine.

“Your welcome has yet to be determined.” Forced to crane her neck, she managed to meet his gaze. “Why are you here?”

He looked at Lailah before responding. “How did Rosalind come to be your ward? Are you a blood relation?”

Images rolled and shifted within her mind, undulating in and out of focus. A frail woman with vivid blue eyes. Craggy features contorted with sorrow. “I… She… I swore an oath to keep the Monthamns safe and have dedicated myself to fulfilling that vow.”

“To whom was this vow made? How long have you been at Monthamn Castle?” He tilted his head and the firelight danced in his gaze.

Alyssa clenched and unclenched her fists. Why should she be intimidated by his questions? He was the one with dubious intentions.

“The Black Death swept through this area five years past with devastating results. Rosalind lost her parents, two brothers and her grandmother, whom she loved above all others, all in one agonizing season. She didn't speak for nearly a year when first we arrived.”

“This plague has left its mark upon us all, but you didn't answer my question. To whom did you make your vow?”

Raising her chin a notch, Alyssa debated what to say. She knew the answer, but she knew she would sound mad speaking the name. How could she have made such a vow to Lady Naomi two centuries before? “We were speaking of you, sir. Explain what brings you to Monthamn Castle or depart the way you came.”

A lazy, arrogant smile turned up the corners of his mouth. “I’m afraid I answer to a higher power than you, milady. My business is with Lady Rosalind and I can’t allow you to interfere.”

“Rosalind is my ward.” Protectiveness rose within Alyssa. No one threatened a Monthamn without dealing with her! “Any business you think you have with her is entirely my affair. I'm uncomfortable with your tone and your—”

“Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to consider your comfort. If you prefer, I'll not stay in the hall, I'll sleep in the barracks with the guards.”

“I prefer you gather your belongings and get off this land.” She spoke with tight-lipped control.

He inclined his head. “I understand your preference, but that’s not an option.”

“Oh, I assure you it’s an option. I’ll have your horse readied and—”

“Alyssa.” Lailah preempted the remainder of her words.

“What?” She glared at her friend.

“Let Sariel go to his chamber. We need to talk.”

“Sariel isn't going anywhere so long as he persists in this belief that he—”

“Is a messenger sent from God?”

The authority in his deep voice drove Alyssa back a step. He hadn't spoken loudly, but the question reverberated through her entire body. She pressed her hand over her pounding heart. Wings. Angel’s wings. But this fierce man couldn't possibly be an angel. He was too…savage!

“I’ll return in a moment,” Lailah said as she led the tall stranger away.

Alyssa watched their retreat, conflicted and confused. The fire warmed her back while cool autumn air seeped through her clothing, compounding her uncertainty. Why did she feel so muddled? Thoughts danced around her, taunting her, just out of reach.

What was wrong with her?

Shifting her feet on the woven rush mat, she turned to face the fire. Bright tapestries covered the stone walls and expensive glass enclosed the narrow windows, and still Alyssa shivered.

You must remember what you are.

Lailah’s words echoed through her mind and another violent shiver shook her slender frame. What, not who. She needed to remember what she was.

She heard a shuffling behind her and turned around. Lailah had returned, alone, her dark eyes filled with frustration and fear. Alyssa had no doubt she'd caused the frustration, but why was Lailah afraid?

“Am I…” Alyssa’s mouth was so dry she couldn't form the words. She took a deep breath and tried again. “Am I an angel?”

Echoes and Embers

By: Cyndi Friberg
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