Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Cover Artist: Kelly Martin
Annie’s always been different. An empathic Amazon, she hides her emotional anomaly beneath her legendary fighting skills. To avoid passing on her genetic disorder, she’s always avoided the Thirteen Nights Ritual—the annual breeding rite among the warrior races of the Greek Pantheon. Only months away from 30, she is now duty-bound to participate. When she meets Tai, a half-human warrior who revs her up beyond legal limits and nurtures the gentleness she’s had to keep secret, thirteen nights of pleasure don’t seem nearly enough.
As a half human, Tai has survived by being faster, more lethal, and a whole lot smarter than his brethren. While the male warriors accept him for his achievements, the Amazons have never given him a second look. Until he meets Annie, whose smile is warm and real and whose body shudders with desire—for him. Determined to have her, he hacks into the Thirteen Nights database and rearranges the pairings to make Annie his breeding partner. Together, their strength and tenderness combust into pure love.
But Tai’s actions are forbidden under Amazon law, subject to a death. To stay together and alive, they must take on the Greek Pantheon and win.
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An Excerpt From: THIRTEEN NIGHTS
Copyright © SABRINA GARIE, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
A strong drink in hand, she found her seat by matching the number on her name tag with the table number. Following the instructions on the card, she swiped it over the datapad and put her thumbprint on the screen where directed. That would tap into her medical records to ensure genetic compatibility. A bell rang in the distance and the first male slid into the seat. A small human. She smiled politely but knew that weak frame could never handle an Amazon lover. Humans were not forbidden, but strongly discouraged. Not all were as frail as this one, but humans usually wanted more than the Amazon vows permitted. The bell couldn’t come soon enough. Annie clandestinely hit the no button on the pad.
A giant of a man swaggered into the now-open seat, all testosterone and appetite. Linebacker shoulders, six-pack abs straining against a muscle shirt chosen to show them off, thighs so big they could choke a horse—and probably had. Elaborate tattooing covered his left arm from shoulder to wrist, detailing every victory, every kill. Similar markings ran diagonally across Annie’s back.
He touched his card to the pad and instantly his resume popped up on her screen. Black belts in karate, kendo and Kung Fu, expert sniper, awarded the Golden Shield—the Gargarean symbol for valor—six times, hobbies included hunting, archery and jousting. Okay, the man could kill, but who was he really?
“I’ll give you a good ride. You’ll be well-sated. I’ve fathered two already, one on a first-timer.” Typical Gargarean—built for show and incapable of mincing words. His eyes burned over her, intent blazing so fierce she felt the heat crawl across her skin. It was said the male warriors went celibate for six months before a breeding to build their lust to a fever pitch. From that look, she’d say it was true for this one.
She nodded, splaying well-manicured, fire-engine-red nails on the table. The male covered one hand, pushing the his palm against the tips.
“Yes,” he rumbled. “They’ll feel good tearing through my back when you lose control.” He laid his left arm out in front of her, an invitation to test the strength of him, and show off his prowess. As expected, she walked her fingers along the planes and angles of his muscles, periodically digging her nails in to test his reaction to different pain levels—to see if he really could handle her and show respect for his military achievements. Those muscles would ripple well under her fingers and nails.
A Gargarean in his prime, proven in battle and the bedroom. She should want this. Damn the little voice in her head that told her that it wasn’t enough for the father of her child, so she rated him acceptable, not preferred. Some part of her she kept well-buried thought it would be nice to find someone with an interest beyond weapons and bloodletting. Someone who could handle, I don’t know, maybe a conversation. The next twelve nights joined at the groin could be a lifetime.
Each new Gargarean who plopped down in front of her merged into the next one until she couldn’t distinguish among them. They all rang the same—deadly, dominant and completely interchangeable. She knew she was a desired partner, and would be many of these men’s first choice. The male warriors liked to boast about knocking up the first-timers, it was worn as a sign of their sexual prowess. The DNA compatibility test would have to choose one of them for her. She didn’t really care.
Lost in frustration, she didn’t register the newest candidate in front of her. The blue light on the screen identified him as Gargarean, but he lacked the giant muscular proportions of the male warrior race, that scent of pure dominance and heightened testosterone. Oh, his eyes revealed menace and the lethality of the warrior-bred and his arm tattooing was as detailed and complex as the bigger men who came before him. But he had the lean, muscled strength of a human soldier, the power he emanated more subtle and highly controlled. From the way her lower body pulsed, she liked it. A lot. When she eyed the screen with more focus, the mystery resolved itself. Tai, human father, Amazon mother, given to the Gargareans at birth. That explained his size. “How did you survive their training as a youth?”
“Your mind can bring you to places your body cannot.”
“That’s not a very Gargarean philosophy.” Or Amazon for that matter, even though she agreed with him. “How would your background play out over the twelve nights?”
“Each night more attuned to your needs than the next. You would be seduced across all dimensions, pleasured in the realm of mind, body and spirit.” He flashed her a smile that promised all kinds of sin, but those deep brown eyes, so tender and soulful, pledged warmth and humor. With that, her panties were drenched, her nipples bullet hard, and tingles ran up her spine straight into her brain. Swallowing, she struggled to pull it all back under control and explore this possibility in more detail.
“Your expertise is…” She lifted an eyebrow. “Cyber security.” She placed her hand on the table as she did for all the others. Instead of using his palm to test the bite of her nails, he ran his finger across her knuckles and down her thumb, a lingering caress that promised gentleness, not just a good, hard ride. When he offered her his arm, she did the same up his wrist to his elbow, watching lust flicker in his eyes as her fingers glided across his skin. “You’re not like your brethren, in many ways it seems.”
“No, but I think that’s the pot calling the kettle black and it pleases you.” His voice lowered a decibel, the sound a rough caress around her body. “Why? Most of your sisterhood reject me out of hand for my size, my human heritage, even my talents.” His gaze locked onto hers and held it in an iron grip. He might be small for a warrior of the Greek pantheon, but he made it clear he was no less potent and he wasn’t going anywhere without an answer.
“Because you’re different…like me.” She was not at all sure she should have confirmed his observation but she felt no deception coming from him. “It tempts me.” She gave him her biggest, sexiest smile.
“Choose me.” His gaze still tethered to hers, he glided his forefinger along her lips in a quiet tease. “I’ll make it worth it to you.”
My Review: 4 stars
I liked this book. It was interesting and creative. Sabrina brought a tale to life utilizing the mythology of not only the Amazon women, but also included Gods from a variety of pantheons, including the Greeks. Tai and Annie enter into a relationship that is forbidden by the laws of their people. Tai does it willingly, because once he's seen Annie she's all he wants. He makes their pairing up happen, and then puts everything into getting Annie to break the rules and fall for him as well. Sometimes, breaking the rules IS what's called for. This was a great read, interesting lore and well written. Well done, Sabrina.
About the Author:
Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine romance fiction has ever known and the hero who can take her. A believer that big, audacious goals spice up life, she relies on coffee, red wine and laughter to make those goals (and her characters) come alive.
When not at the computer, she wrangles vegetables and extra helpings of homework into her fashion-loving progeny, kowtows to a fat cat and reads, a lot.
Since it is more fun to travel in packs, come along for the ride.
Catch the train at www.sabrinagarie.com
Other Blogs: www.darkertemptations.wordpress.com