Angels and Arias
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Tika Lake Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: 1/21/2015
Number of pages: 325-350
Word Count: 84,000 Words
Cover Artist: Rebecca Berto
Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm’s forbidden power.
As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.
The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.
Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.
She flicked the light to her bedroom and dropped her towel in the hamper.
Her hand merely muffled the screeched yelp. Madeline fell backward, smacking against the closet. She tripped and clattered into the hamper. Damascus apologized, but her gasp shattered the perfume container on her vanity.
Madeline yanked the towel from the laundry. The wet scrap of material wove over her body, and she clutched the fraying edges.
Damascus’s silence stole any sound she might have uttered.
His muscles bound, tight and tensed, more prepared for war than the glimpse of her bared skin. The gold in his eyes burned molten. Madeline shifted, her bare toes gripping the carpet to prevent her from toppling over once more.
She shivered. It wasn’t the wet hair that whispered the goose bumps along her spine. Damascus saw far more than the thin strip of cloth hid. His gaze warmed her curves and tickled the swell of her breasts. Her nipples hardened. She prayed he hadn’t noticed.
The memory of the soap in the shower tortured the twisting in her lower belly. For a single, blissful, blasphemous moment, she imagined it had been Damascus’s hand washing her.
His every movement strengthened with need. The wild, uninhibited, dangerous desire would claim them both. Madeline clamored backward, the apology shrill and muffled by her hand.
She hadn’t needed to speak, drop the towel, or offer any secrets. The heat smoldering low escaped in a sigh. The soft puff promised more than she intended. She breathed an invitation.
And he answered.
Damascus shuddered. He blinked, hard, and rubbed his head.
“I apologize.” Damascus forced his words. “I… I didn’t mean to invade your privacy.”
Madeline tugged the towel lower over her thighs. “You didn’t know.”
“I should let you—”
“Don’t worry about it. Here.” She hobbled toward the robe lying over her bed.
“I’ve got it.”
Damascus’s motions stiffened. He retrieved the robe as Madeline lunged for the fuzzy pink arm. Her toes banged against the bedpost, and the surge of pain toppled her into Damascus’s waiting arms.
He smelled of the Realm, of warmth and radiance, citrus and holy incense.
The towel shifted, and his fingers brushed over her bare back. His calloused hands heated, as if he wielded his sword. The heat lashed her—a punishment seared within a delicious reward. The towel tumbled, and she pushed against him to hide what nearly exposed.
His embrace was everything as she imagined, the heat, the intensity of his grip, the fluttering within her stomach and her body upon his. His hands bound a supreme authority over her. He pressed her skin with possessive fingertips. He handled her as if she were delicate and precious.
The shock of it all drove her to silence.
He protected her, but he never held her.
Watched over her, but never touched her.
Saved her from demons, but never reassured her.
He never mourned with her when a Choir was killed.
Every moment hidden far from the Realm passed in painful isolation, and he was the lone simple comfort of home. The sweet, dangerous touch protected her more than his sword or his distant promises. The heat settled the dissonance capturing her mind.
The Realm forbid their touch. A hug cried sacrilege.
Madeline closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder.
Gracie Madison would spend every day, all day writing…if it were socially acceptable. Ever since she was a little girl scribbling with a crayon, Gracie’s dedicated herself to her books and all the supernatural and paranormal, creepy and beautiful stories and characters born within the pages. Now Gracie is committed to finally sharing those books with the world. When the laptop is pried from her hands, Gracie is probably working her day job, rooting on the Steelers, or out with her husband searching for Pittsburgh’s best sushi.
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