Genre: Paranormal romance/suspense
Publisher: Asselin Group Online Publisher
Date of Publication: April 24, 2015
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 20,000
Raven LeClaire is still reeling from the murder of a young woman that turned out to be a reading client when there is another disappearance. On top of her connection to the victims, she is grappling with some newly discovered psychic abilities that have appeared, seemingly, from nowhere.
Then there is the very handsome and sexy Viktor Thorssen. She knows that he wants her as much as she wants him but he keeps turning away from her at the last minute. As frustrating as it is for her, she has no idea of the turmoil that he is suffering at having to keep her at arm’s length.
There are secrets that Raven needs to know before Viktor will feel comfortable entering a physical relationship with her. He feels that there is too much going on in her life at the moment and he does not want to overwhelm her by confessing his secrets to her. And he has many of them.
Things are quickly escalating as another beautiful young woman becomes a victim of horrible torture and murder. When she appears to Raven, she and Viktor are, once again, drawn into a deadly game where someone quite dangerous is controlling the players. While the police have no real leads, Viktor thinks he may have an idea of who is behind it all.
He has an enemy that dates back centuries. This is an enemy that he thought he was rid of forever. Now, as it turns out, that may not be quite true. All he knows is that he must stop this monster before both he and Raven become victims again.
Is Raven ready to hear the whole truth? Viktor knows that the only way he has a chance of winning is to tell her everything. But can he risk it?
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/qIrhlx6Bu0M
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“Now remember to contact me if you need me,” Raven LeClaire said to her latest reading client.
“I so appreciate that, Ms. Raven,” Aimee said effusively as they hugged. “It just makes me feel so much better knowing that you’re here for me!”
“I want to be here for you, Aimee,” Raven replied. “Now you go get busy with what you need to do. Don’t be afraid. You will be able to pull this off with no problem.”
Raven walked Aimee to the front door of the shop and gave her a final encouraging smile. Then she watched the young woman as she walked with a determined gait down the busy sidewalk through the throng of people.
Yes, Aimee can do this as long she keeps up her determination.
Finally turning away from the window, she walked back to join her friend and business partner Allegra Canelle at the front counter.
“So, were you able to help her?” Allegra asked.
“Yeah, I think so,” Raven nodded. “As long as she keeps her determined spirit, she will prove to her boss that she is more than ready for this promotion over that newer guy working at the firm. Aimee’s doing all the right things so far. She just needs to push it a little harder. That guy she’s up against for promotion really isn’t ready to take on all of this responsibility. Sometimes that good old boys network still raises its ugly head. But she can beat it.”
“That’s good to hear,” Allegra smiled. “Anytime you are right in a reading, our business skyrockets.”
“Well, you know what they say about word of mouth advertising,” Raven laughed. “I suppose you are heading out with your mystery man tonight?”
“Of course,” Allegra said as she tossed her mane of auburn hair coyly. “I can’t explain it, Raven. But I have such a connection with this guy! He makes me feel everything that all of those bodice ripper romances talk about.”
“Really,” Raven stated dubiously. “You have said that in the past, you know.”
“Yes, yes,” Allegra said dismissively. “I’m well aware of how I have behaved with men in the past. But I’m telling you, Raven, this guy is truly different.”
“Well, then, I can’t wait to meet the man that has turned my friend around when it comes to serious romances.”
“You will meet him, I promise,” Allegra said as she raised her hand as if swearing what she said to be the truth.
“Can’t you at least tell me his name?” Raven inquired.
“I suppose that telling you his first name wouldn’t hurt anything,” Allegra said hesitantly. “Ok, his name is Philippe.”
“Wow,” Raven said as she raised an eyebrow. “That’s quite a fancy name he has!”
“Don’t you start!” Allegra exclaimed. “You were the one that wanted to know his name!”
“I know, I know,” Raven laughed. “I was just teasing you. It really is a very nice name.”
“Well, that’s all the information you’re getting on him for now.”
“So tell me,” Raven leaned into to Allegra. “Does he dress French?”
“Stop it!” Allegra exclaimed as she swatted a hand at Raven.
There was no way to know how long this discussion would have lasted if the little bell above the shop door had not tinkled just then to announce the arrival of a customer. They both turned to greet the new arrival and saw that it was Sabine LaPointe, the lovely new client that had come to see Raven only a few short weeks ago.
She looked just as lovely as she had the first time Raven had done a reading for her. Her dark hair was once more in long braid that hung provocatively over one shoulder and her gorgeous golden brown eyes were still just as compelling. There was something different about her that Raven sensed immediately.
“Sabine!” she exclaimed. “How wonderful to see you!”
“Thank you, Raven,” Sabine replied smiling. “I was wondering if you would have time to read for me today.”
“Of course! In fact, I’ve got some free time right now if you would like!”
Raven wasn’t sure if she imagined the look of relief that crossed Sabine’s face but she chose to pretend she had not noticed.
“Yes, please,” Sabine said. “Now would be perfect!”
“Come this way, then,” Raven said as she led her to reading alcove.
Once there, she invited Sabine to sit as she lowered the drape to afford them some privacy. Then she joined her and started to shuffle the Tarot cards.
“You look as if you’re doing quite well,” Raven said as she shuffled. “Are there any particular questions or concerns that you would like to address today?”
Sabine seemed to think about her answer before delivering it.
“I took your advice, Raven,” she finally said. “I accepted the modeling job and it has been going very well so far. They’re really keeping me busy and the money is amazing! I’ve never had so much fun working. I almost feel guilty calling it work.”
Raven smiled broadly.
“I’m so happy to hear that, Sabine! See? The cards were right! Now, let’s see what they have to say about things for you today.”
Turning over the first card, Raven smiled.
“Three of Cups,” she announced. “You’ve had plenty of celebrating to do since you were here last!”
“Yes!” Sabine eagerly agreed. “I definitely have! As I said, the modeling job is perfect and, well, there have been other developments, too.”
“Oh really?” Raven teased slightly. “Well, let’s just have a look!”
Turning over another card, she smiled even brighter.
“The Sun says that you are happy in all areas of your life currently,” Raven said. “This must mean that you dealt with the new man situation. He’s going along with you on the new job, then.”
Sabine nodded somewhat shyly.
“Yes, I was worried at first that he wouldn’t support me in it, but now he seems to be fine about it all.”
“Then I am relieved for you, Sabine,” Raven said even though she was starting to feel a little shiver of apprehension.
Turning over another card, she frowned slightly.
“The Devil,” she said. “This is your card of obstacles or potentials. In this case, it might be either or both. You see, the Devil shows temptation that is bad for you. It also shows you breaking free of some type of negative bonds that have been holding you back. The advice to keep the bad from happening to you is in the next card which is the High Priestess. This card shows that you have excellent intuition and that you are aware that someone important to you has many secrets that he is keeping from you.”
“You said ‘he’. Does that mean Henri is the one keeping secrets from me?” Sabine asked worriedly.
“He very well could be, Sabine,” Raven replied. “But we knew all along that he might not be the best man for you.”
“What else do you see, Raven?” she asked.
Raven turned over another card. It was the Eight of Swords.
“The Eight of Swords tells us that you have the ability still to escape the trap that might be approaching you. But you must pay attention to your intuition. It will never steer you wrong,” Raven said.
She reached across the table and laid her hand on Sabine’s.
“You already know in your heart that something is not right,” she said intently. “You don’t have to admit to me. But you must admit it to yourself.”
“No, no,” Sabine said somewhat frantically. “I do want to tell you. I just don’t want it to be true.”
“Then, if you feel that you want to share something with me, please do.”
“Well, you know I told you that Henri has been very supportive of me in my modeling,” she began.
Raven nodded, encouraging her to continue.
Sabine took a deep breath.
“I’ve just had this feeling that he only became so cooperative when he saw how much money that I was making. I’m afraid that…that he’s been…. stealing from me.”
Raven briefly closed her eyes.
“Ok,” she said softly. “Sabine, you already know the truth and what you need to do. There is no reason to put it off now. You have this amazing career in front of you! Don’t let this piece of garbage tear you down! Stealing from you? No. You must end things, but you must not do it alone.”
“What do you mean?” Sabine inquired with a slight tremble in her voice.
“I mean have some people very nearby when you end things with Henri. I fear that he may be dangerous. Actually, when is your next out of town modeling assignment?”
“I’m to leave on Friday,” Sabine replied. “It’s for a shoot in Holland.”
“Then that’s perfect!” Raven exclaimed. “If he already knows that you’re going, then you will have the ideal opportunity to end things with him. Make sure you are not alone with him. How long will you be gone?”
“I’m not exactly sure,” she said. “At least a couple of weeks, maybe a little longer. It is a shoot for several projects. The photographer is the same one for all of them and just felt that it would save on time to do them all at once.”
“Does Henri know where you are going?”
“Not precisely,” Sabine said. “Just that I am going to Holland.”
“Ok, that’s good then. Still, I would feel a lot better if you were to keep someone with you at all times. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, I do,” Sabine sighed. “I just hate feeling like I have to be afraid of someone that I have begun to have feelings for, you know?”
“I do understand, sweetheart,” Raven said as she tried to comfort Sabine. “But the right man will come along for you and it will not be that far in the future.”
The rest of the reading was rather ordinary and, except for that niggling little feeling of apprehension, it went well. Raven hugged Sabine and walked her to the door of the shop. She continued to watch her as she walked away. When she returned to straighten up the reading table, she drew one more card on impulse regarding Sabine.
It was the Ten of Swords.
Lacey Edward was born and raised in Canada. She writes mainly paranormal romance fiction but enjoys throwing in a little mystery and suspense for good measure and to keep things interesting. Her first experience with vampires was the Barnabas Collins book she read in grade eight. She devoured it and never looked back - well, maybe over her shoulder once or twice.
Lacey lives in the country with her husband and two daughters. They enjoy skiing and sliding in the winter, swimming, golfing, and boating in the summer, and music all year long. Lacey also tries to keep up her mixed martial arts skills, just in case one of her unsavoury characters comes to life...
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