eBook Details

Rage and Redemption

Series: Rebel Angels , Book 1.0
By: Cyndi Friberg | Other books by Cyndi Friberg
Published By: Anything-but-Ordinary Books
Published: Oct 24, 2012
ISBN # 9780988300118
Word Count: 72,020
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Available in: Epub, HTML, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
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Categories: Romance>Vampires Romance>Historical Medieval Romance>Free Reads

Description
Proud and rebellious, Gideon is banished from the Light. His own words define his punishment, transforming bloodlust into literal hunger. Living by his sword, he wanders the land of mortals, embittered and alone.

Naomi works in secret, illuminating manuscripts for the Knights of St. John. Gideon is drawn to her beauty and fascinated by her innocence. She stirs the shattered remnants of his nobility, intensifying the conflict already raging within him.

Gideon is unlike anyone Naomi has ever encountered before. His passionate kisses and intoxicating caresses leave her restless and wanting. Still, she senses the bleak loneliness he tries so hard to deny. Responding to his seduction with tenderness, she is determined to help him rediscover the beauty in life.

The battle lines are drawn. Gideon must seek redemption or Fall. Naomi must lead her Rebel Angel back into the light before the forces of darkness destroy them both.
 
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstar (7 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   liplipliplip
Excerpt:
Fidgeting upon the wooden stool, Naomi pushed a lock of long hair behind her ear and concentrated on the manuscript page spread before her. Dust motes danced playfully in the rapidly fading sunlight but she couldn't allow herself to be distracted. The familiar scent of ink and sandalwood soothed her, helping her focus. She shifted the precious vellum folio to a slightly different angle, catching what was left of the light.

To achieve true illumination, a scribe must release light from within the text, not just decorate the margins. Her design was intricate and interesting, but there was no spark or inspiration. No illumination.

Naomi focused on the entwined figures centered on the page and set her quill aside. Eve’s long hair concealed everything but her slender limbs. Adam, on the other hand, had only a strategically placed fig leaf to protect his modesty.

“Perhaps without the leaf I could find illumination,” Naomi muttered with a mischievous smile.

“I’d be willing to serve as your model.”

Naomi twirled about so suddenly she nearly toppled from the stool. Stifling a startled gasp, she stumbled to her feet, pretending the movement had been graceful.

Raising her gaze to the stranger’s face, Naomi forgot her clever rejoinder. She forgot to breathe. She forgot everything except the man standing near the doorway.

His features were harsh and angular yet so incredibly beautiful he didn't seem real. Bright with amusement and speculation, his strange golden eyes captured her gaze completely.

“Shall I disrobe?”

The smoky quality of his voice made Naomi tingle. Sleek black hair had been pulled straight back from his face and secured at the nape of his neck. Naomi wanted to trace the slash of his black eyebrows and smooth the faint creases that framed his extraordinary eyes. She wanted to test the resilience of his mouth with her fingertips and…

What was wrong with her?

Shaking away the strange stupor, Naomi forced herself to speak. “I’m not the scribe, my lord, so I require no model.”

He walked toward her, his stride long and lazy. “If you are not the scribe, what were you doing when I arrived?”

Naomi quickly hid her ink-stained hand behind her back. Her sandals scraped against the floorboards as she moved away from the high, angled table. “I was admiring Brother Gabriel’s work. He is the finest illuminator in the entire order.”

After so many years, the deception shouldn't rankle, but it did. She hated the prejudice that required she deny her accomplishments.

He glanced at the manuscript page then back at her. Who was this man? His garments told her only that he was wealthy. The plush, black velvet surcoat had been elaborately embroidered in gold, and the gray tunic beneath was no less costly. He wore no sword, but Naomi sensed the menace that hovered around men of war.

“What business have you here?” she asked. “Were you looking for Brother Gabriel?”

Before she realized his intention, he reached behind her and grabbed her wrist. His touch sent shivers up her arm and Naomi sucked in a ragged breath. Drawing her arm back in front of her, he turned her hand this way and that, inspecting the calluses and stains.

“You're not a scribe?” he challenged softly.

“The order has been charged with illuminating the Holy Scripts, sir.”

She avoided his gaze as she continued her explanation. “Some learned men believe women do not possess souls. Almighty God would never bestow talent and inspiration on so lowly a creature. Only a man can be trusted to script the Word of God.”

The stranger laughed and Naomi felt her insides clench. He had been beautiful when he scowled. His appeal now made her restless and…hot.
His thumb brushed over her wrist and his gaze settled on her mouth. “Gabriel must have his hands full with you about. Where is he?”

Naomi tried to draw her hand from his grasp but he wouldn't allow it. The soft stroke of his thumb made her pulse jump and her skin flush. “What do you want with Brother Gabriel?”

“What I want at the moment has nothing to do with Gabriel.”

Her hand brushed against coarse stone. She'd backed herself against the wall! Her heart fluttered and she found it hard to swallow. “If you have business with—”

“What’s your name?” he interrupted.

His shimmering gaze moved slowly over her features. Naomi felt the caress like a physical touch. Coolness from the stones at her back seeped through her clothing in sharp contrast to the heat radiating from his body. She shivered, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

“I do not share my favors, sir. There are women in the village who are willing to…accommodate your needs.”

“What would you know of my needs?”

He sounded odd, as if she had struck some dark, painful chord within him. Naomi’s chest tightened and her heart pounded. “Nothing, my lord. I meant only to make clear that I am not a harlot.”

He released her hand and moved in closer. Pressing his palms against the wall, he caged her with his body. “I would have your name, damsel.”

Fear welled within Naomi but she tried not to panic. The scriptorium was high in a stone tower, secluded and isolated. “Please, my lord. I didn't mean to anger you.” She spoke in a calm, even tone.

“I am not angry.”

But he looked angry. His golden eyes glittered with determination and the set of his jaw seemed dangerous. He was tall and broad, strong and menacing.

“Who are you?” His voice was barely more than a whisper, his eyes searching.

“No one of consequence.” She pushed against his chest, shocked by the inflexibility of his flesh. “Let me go.”

He smiled slowly, provocatively. “I think not on both accounts.”


Gideon stared down into the woman’s bright blue eyes and felt his fangs lengthen. He quickly closed his mouth, unwilling to reveal his true nature. He was hungry, but it had been many weeks since he'd sought the comfort of a woman’s embrace. He couldn't decide if he wanted to penetrate her throat with his fangs or feel her feminine core tighten around his cock.

Perhaps he could have both.

He wrapped his arms around her slender form, pressing her against his chest. She instinctively arched and shoved. This only aligned their lower bodies more intimately. Her eyes widened and the scent of fear exploded in his nose.

“Be still,” he commanded with his dark voice and the flash of his eyes.

She went limp in his arms. Her eyes drifting shut and Gideon chuckled. He hadn't meant the compulsion to be quite so powerful. Her head lolled back into the bend of his elbow, exposing her neck and ending his mental debate. He would feed first and then draw her back to awareness as he slowly seduced her senses.

Burying his face in her throat, he inhaled her scent. She smelled fresh and feminine with faint traces of fear and—arousal? Gideon parted his lips and stroked his tongue along her jugular, feeling the rhythmic pounding, the power and life. Intoxicated by her scent, it took him a moment to recognize the subtle sweetness of her taste.

Innocence.

With careful restraint, he pricked her skin with his fangs and then quickly withdrew. He savored the rich complexity of her blood. His heart hammered as her nature was revealed. She was pure of heart. Selfless, devoted and true.

Dark hunger slashed through Gideon and he groaned. The age-old battle within his spirit raged out of control, driving the breath from his body and the strength from his legs. He sank to his knees, maintaining his hold on the woman.

The shriveled remnants of his goodness surged to life, reaching for her, crying out to her. But the evil in him was just as strong. He wanted her as he had never wanted anything or anyone. He threw back his head and roared. Anguish and fury saturated the sound. He longed to drown in her innocence, to gorge on her goodness until…until she was corrupted or dead?

Unsteady and shaken, he sat down on the wood-planked floor and pulled her into his lap, cradling her in his arms like a child. His hand trembled as he brushed the hair back from her face. She looked no different than other humans. Still, something about her held him back. His dark nature demanded that he use her to sate this raw, burning hunger, but he couldn't seem to move.

She shifted within his arms and slowly opened her eyes.
Fear erupted again. He could smell its acrid stench, hear its relentless pounding, taste its bitterness—but it had never been repulsive before.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I frightened you. You fainted.”

“I have never fainted.” She sounded affronted as she sat up in his lap. She squirmed a bit and then went very still, her hand splayed in the center of his chest.

Her long chestnut hair was tousled, a stray wisp curled against her cheek. She stared up at him with the biggest, bluest eyes he'd ever seen, and Gideon knew he would not ravish her. Seduction, on the other hand, was still a very real possibility.

“Did you pretend to faint so I'd take you in my arms?”

Her eyes lit with indignation and Gideon smiled, his hunger controlled again, at least for the present.

“Why would I need such a ploy?”

“Because you're not yet ready to admit you want me, even to yourself.”

She laughed and the hand resting against his chest began to push. “Are you always so arrogant?”

He couldn't bring himself to let her go. Her rounded bottom was doing cruel things to him, yet he ached with the need to touch her. Taste her. “Kiss me and I'll release you.” If you still want to be released once my mouth is moving upon yours.


Naomi felt like Eve in the Garden of Eden. “I shall scream and you'll be forced to let me go.”

“Forced by whom? This chamber is far from the domestic range. We are quite alone.”

She didn't move, could scarcely breathe.

Brushing his warm fingers against her cheek, he tucked a curl behind her ear. “Let me taste your mouth. I only want a taste.”

She rubbed her palm against his chest, fascinated by the unyielding shape beneath the soft material. Why was she still sitting here? He wasn't really restraining her.

This man was the personification of her darkest fantasies, the elusive, mysterious something that other people whispered about. He was potent, powerful and yet incomprehensible.

His mouth covered hers, driving all rational thought from her mind. She felt the heated slide of his lips and trembled. She felt the sensual glide of his tongue and groaned. His mouth moved over and against hers, his tongue touched and tasted.

She found his sleek hair and sank her fingers into the cool strands. His fingers were in her hair too. She felt his hand close into a fist, carefully controlling her. He tilted her head and his mouth fit more tightly over hers, guiding her lips farther apart.

She accepted the bold thrust of his tongue with a little gasp. Overwhelmed and intoxicated, she felt completely out of control. He was taking too much, moving too fast. She couldn't breathe, couldn't think, could only yield to his passion.

Fear found its way through the haze as he deepened the kiss. He was aggressive now, demanding, his mouth plundering the depths of hers. Naomi shoved against his chest and tore her mouth away.

“More, Naomi, give me more,” he growled.

His arms tightened, dragging her flush against his chest. Naomi turned her face away as his words registered. “You called me Naomi.”

“Is there some other name you'd prefer?”

His mouth moved to the underside of her jaw and slide along her throat. Shoving hard against his chest, she tried to think, to understand what he was doing to her. He had demanded her name, but she hadn't told him.

Scrambling off his lap, she scurried to the other side of the chamber. “How do you know my name?”
Reader Reviews (2)
Submitted By: denise_b on Jan 27, 2014
I really wanted to like this. I have enjoyed other of Friberg's books and thought I would enjoy this one. A third of the way through the "hero" was still showing exactly how horrible he could be, and the "heroine" was a passive victim. No foreshadowing of redemption here, and worse, I really didn't care. I'm going to skip the rest of this series.
Submitted By: BonDarKen on Sep 1, 2013
A very good read.
 

Rage and Redemption

By: Cyndi Friberg
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