By Larissa Ione
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Lore is a Seminus half-breed demon who has been forced to act as his dark master’s assassin. Now to earn his freedom and save his sister’s life, he must complete one last kill. Powerful and ruthless, he’ll stop at nothing to carry out this deadly mission.
AN ANGEL TEMPTED
Idess is an earthbound angel with a wild side, sworn to protect the human Lore is targeting. She’s determined to thwart her wickedly handsome adversary by any means necessary-even if that means risking her vow of eternal chastity. But what begins as a simple seduction soon turns into a passion that leaves both angel and demon craving complete surrender.
Torn between duty and desire, Lore and Idess must join forces as they battle their attraction for each other. Because an enemy from the past is rising again-one hellbent on vengeance and unthinkable destruction.
"Touch me," Idess whispered.
"No holding back anymore."
For a long, desperate moment, Lore did nothing. And then he cupped her cheek, the pressure so feather-light she barely felt it.
"I've never—" His voice cracked, and he cleared his throat. "I've never felt a woman like this."
"I've never been touched like this." It was an admission she shouldn't have made, but right now she couldn't care.
His heated gaze snapped up to capture hers, and that fast, the smolder was over and the flames burst out of control. In a mighty surge, he gripped her shoulders and backed her up against the side of the building.
He nuzzled her throat, nipping and kissing. "Now," he said against her skin. "I'm going to have you now."
"Ione knows how to make your heart race."
—CHEYENNE MCCRAY, New York Times
best-selling author of Dark Magic
MORE PRAISE FOR LARISSA IONE
"4½ Stars! The third book in Ione's supercharged Demonica series ignites on the first page and never looks back…. Adventure, action, and danger leap off every page. The best of the series to date!"
—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"Fast-paced from the onset and never slows down until the exhilarating climax…. Readers will be enthralled by the action and the charmed lead couple."
—Midwest Book Reviews
"Larissa Ione pulls no punches…. The love scenes are scorching hot and grab at your heart with their emotional intensity. Dark moments are written with just the right touch of hope that leaves the reader begging for a happy ending. I couldn't have loved Passion Unleashed more and hated for it to end. Raw, gritty, and tremendously passionate…. multifaceted It was awesome!"
"Serena and Wraith are good characters, layered and multi-faceted… Ms. Ione has created a world unique to the genre. Huge kudos for accomplishing with style what few authors can do. Bring on book four."
"5 Stars! Larissa has outdone herself with the story of Wraith. I was pulled into this story from the first page. The action is intense and nonstop. I was engrossed and enthralled… and highly recommend adding this series to your library."
"Each book has gotten better…. Passion Unleashed is the best book in the series."
"Awesome…. Everyone loves a bad boy and Wraith is so the poster bad boy. Another great novel… Ione gives us a great spin on the relationship between her 'Buffys' and the demons of the world, along with a good apocalypse."
"Heart-pounding… outstandingly superb… an adventure-filled romance where passion and danger continuously mount…. A paranormal story by Larissa Ione never disappoints readers, as the plot and characters are truly unforgettable. Her Demonica series only becomes more engrossing with each book. With genuine feelings being intensely depicted by the well-portrayed characters on every page of Passion Unleashed, there is never an instant when I was not held spellbound…. The sexual relationship between Wraith and Serena is particularly sensual and overflowing with tension."
"A delightful paranormal romance with strong world-building and a suspenseful plot. Passion Unleashed will captivate readers…. The seducer is about to be seduced, and fans won't be disappointed."
"Plenty of steamy love scenes… nicely balanced with a high-octane plot… Larissa Ione is fast becoming a master at telling dark, edgy, and highly complex paranormal tales."
Absolutely fabulous! I have thoroughly enjoyed all three Demonica novels, but this one is by far my favorite. Wraith is the ultimate bad boy who is just begging for salvation and Serena is his perfect complement. Ms. Ione will have para-normal fans begging for more."
"4 Stars! Rising star Ione is back in this latest Demonica novel… Ione has a true gift for imbuing her characters with dark-edged passion… thrilling action and treacherous vengeance… a top-notch read."
—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"A fabulous tale…. The story line is fast-paced from the opening sequence… fans will relish a visit to the Ione realm."
—Midwest Book Review
"Warning! Read at your own risk. Highly addictive…. Rising star Larissa Ione takes her already well-crafted and unique demon world to new heights. The sex is darker, hotter, wickeder, and wonderfully erotic; the vengeful enemy is diabolical, and the story line is unparalleled. Ione is a master at creating tortured, sexy bad boys who are full of flaws and make you melt… Desire Unchained may only be book two in her Demonica series, but I'm completely head-over-heels in love. I have never been so enthralled with a series before. With the end of each book, I'm left desperately wanting more."
"Imaginatiely riveting…. Emotional intensity is the driving force behind every Larissa Ione book. Scenes may be packed with suspenseful peril or steamy passions or even quick humor and clever banter, yet it is the emotions behind the reactions of the characters that really grab the reader. There are a myriad of potent feelings displayed all throughout Desire Unchained, and each one is shown with believable realism… [and] will cause the reader to be profoundly affected, often on numerous levels at once."
"Everything a paranormal romance lover could want… a raw, edgy, and enthralling read—Sure to scorch every inch of you…. Credit to Larissa Ione for an imaginative, dark world that haunts you as much as it intrigues you. "
"I was completely captivated…. From the first moment I picked Desire Unchained up, I was glued to its pages. Ione gives us a unique twist… something a little different and fresh (and involving hot Demons)."
"Fascinating…. This book started fast and didn't slow down. I really enjoyed how Larissa continued to build the Demonica world."
"Five Stars! Recommended read. I have to say that I absolutely love this book. Larissa Ione has become one of my favorite authors, and I crave more of her books. The first book in her Demonica series was fantastic, and this one is even better… [Shade] is the perfect romance hero…. The whole world and all the other characters have taken a place in my heart… I wish I could go back and read Desire Unchained again for the first time. It was just that good."
"What a ride! Dark, sexy, and very intriguing, the book gripped me from start to finish—totally recommended."
—NALINI SINGH, author of Mine to Possess
"Very dark, very sexy, and very creative."
—EMMA HOLLY, USA Today bestselling author of Demon's Fire
"4 Stars! [Ione's] hard-edged style infuses the story with darkness while taking it to sizzling heights."
—Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"Larissa's storytelling is compelling and raw. She is truly gifted and you will fall madly in love with the characters in this series."
—JACI BURTON, national bestselling author of Hunting the Demon
"5 Stars! Fascinatingly innovative… full of fervent encounters and shocking disclosures… compelling scenes and dynamic characters. Never has the paranormal world been more intriguing. Pleasure Unbound will leave a lasting impact on the reader, as this unforgettable story will evoke emotions long after the last page is read."
"This is a dark, sexy, and adventurous story… has everything a paranormal romance book needs, and it will have a lot of readers coming back for more."
"Fast-paced… never slows down…. Romantic fantasy fans will appreciate the first Demonica tale."
—Midwest Book Review
"Intense, engrossing, and titillating, Pleasure Unbound is a story not to be missed. I can't wait for the next story."
"Ione has… created a very imaginative demonic tapestry as well as rich, multilayered characterizations… a heady blend that I look forward to revisiting in her next installment."
"Ione writes a passionate tale. She is able to blend two different worlds together seamlessly."
"What a great read! Very sexy… Tayla is an incredible heroine and the conflict and sexual attraction between her and Eidolon just burns on the page."
—JOELY SUE BURKHART, author of Beautiful Death
"4½ Stars! Wow, wow, wow! This is one hot demon love story! The pages are riddled with action, sex, and danger. The intensity is palpable. I was moved by this love story and will think about it for some time."
"Sexy, dark, and emotion-filled…. Took me on a rip-roaring ride through every emotion I have…. Go out and buy a copy today."
ALSO BY LARISSA IONE
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2010 by Larissa Ione Estell
Excerpt from Lethal Rider © 2012 Larissa Ione Estell All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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First eBook Edition: February 2010
For my mom, who taught me to be strong, to believe I could be anything I want to be. I love you.
And for all my fellow military spouses out there—you handle so much while your other half is away, you deal with the moves, the functions, and the constant changes that put pressure on your families. Your sacrifices deserve recognition and thanks.
For all the members of LIST—you LISTEEZ are fabulous, and huge thanks especially to the women who made it happen—Lo, Cin, Ada, Olivia, Natasja, and Luna. You ladies rock!
Big nods go to Ayla and Ilona Fenton, Fatin Soufan, Valerie Tibbs, Kristin Manter, Charlotte Johnson, Maureen Klatte, Lea Franczak, Ing Cruz, Greta Wheeler, Joy Harris, Melissa Bradley, Hilda Oquendo, Lillie Applegarth… your support and friendship have been beyond amazing.
And for Mho, the demon sheep, because you just crack me up…
Writing this series has been a dream come true for me, and it didn't happen alone. Thank you to my agent, Irene Goodman, the entire staff at Hachette Book Group, and huge, special, mushy thanks to my editor, Amy Pierpont. You're a saint, Amy!
The Aegis—Society of human warriors dedicated to protecting the world from evil. See: Guardians, Regent, Sigil.
Carceris—The jailers of the underworld. All demon species send representatives to serve terms in the Carceris. Carceris members are responsible for apprehending demons accused of violating demon law, and for acting as guards in the Carceris prisons.
Council—All demon species and breeds are governed by a Council that makes laws and metes out punishment for individual members of their species or breed.
Dresdiin—The demon equivalent of angels. See: Memitim.
Fakires—Derogatory term used by vampires to describe humans who either believe themselves to be real vampires or pretend to be vampires.
Guardians—Warriors for The Aegis, trained in combat techniques, weapons, magic. Upon induction into The Aegis, all Guardians are presented with an enchanted piece of jewelry bearing the Aegis shield, which, among other things, allows for night vision and the ability to see through demon invisibility enchantment.
Harrowgate—Vertical portals, invisible to humans, which demons use to travel between locations on Earth and Sheoul.
Infadre—A female of any demon species who has been impregnated by a Seminus demon.
Maleconcieo—Highest level of ruling demon boards, served by a representative from each species Council. The U.N. of the demon world.
Marked Sentinel—Humans charmed by angels and tasked with protecting a vital artifact. Sentinels are immortal and immune to harm. Only angels (fallen included) can injure or kill a Sentinel. Their existence is a closely guarded secret.
Memitim—Earthbound angels assigned to protect Primori. Memitim remain earthbound until they complete their duties, at which time they Ascend, earning their wings and entry into Heaven. Also known to demons as dresdiin. See: Dresdiin, Primori.
Orgesu—A demon sex slave, often taken from breeds bred specifically for the purpose of providing sex.
Primori—Humans and demons whose lives are fated to affect the world in some crucial way.
Regent—Head(s) of local Aegis cells.
Renfield—Fictional character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Also, derogatory term for any human who serves a vampire. A vampire groupie.
S'genesis—Final maturation cycle for Seminus demons. Occurs at one hundred years of age. A post-s'genesis male is capable of procreation and possesses the ability to shape-shift into the male of any demon species.
Sheoul—Demon realm. Located deep in the bowels of the earth, accessible only by Harrowgates.
Sheoul-gra—A holding tank for demon souls. The place where demon souls go until they can be reborn or kept in torturous limbo.
Sheoulic—Universal demon language spoken by all, though many species speak their own language.
Sigil—Board of twelve humans known as Elders, who serve as the supreme leaders of The Aegis. Based in Berlin, they oversee all Aegis cells worldwide.
Swans—Humans who act as blood or energy donors for vampires, either actual undead or fakires.
Ter'taceo—Demons who can pass as human, either because their species is naturally human in appearance, or because they can shapeshift into human form.
Therionidryo—Term a were-beast uses for a person he or she bit and turned into another were-beast.
Therionidrysi—Any survivor of a were-beast attack. Term used to clarify the relationship between the sire and his therionidryo.
Ufelskala—A scoring system for demons, based on their degree of evil. All supernatural creatures and evil humans can be categorized into the five Tiers, with the Fifth Tier composed of the worst of the wicked.
Classification of Demons, as listed by Baradoc, Umber demon, using the demon breed, Seminus, as an example:
Family: Sexual Demon
He who does not see the angels and devils in the
beauty and malice of life will be far removed from
knowledge, and his spirit will be empty of affection.
Lore had always believed that when it came to sex, the more the merrier. Too bad for him that when "more" meant more than just himself, people tended to die.
So what the hell was he doing in bed with a curvy liquor store clerk he'd picked up while on his third tequila run in as many days?
Sure, technically, he wasn't in bed. He was standing at the foot of the human-looking demon's California King, pounding into her from behind as she kneeled on the mattress, moaning through her fourth orgasm.
Pressure built in his balls and his shaft throbbed with the need to blow, but no matter what he did, he couldn't ignite. He gripped her hips harder, thrust deeper. Faster.
He lifted her so her knees came off the bed, giving him absolute control as he ground against her with feverish gyrations.
Sweat streamed down his face, and his lungs burned with the force of his panting breaths.
"Come on, baby," the female—he thought her name was April… or May… maybe June—cried. She bucked, consumed by yet another climax, and then dropped her head in exhaustion, her flaxen hair pooling on the black satin sheets.
She was pretty—not as pretty as Gem, but then, no one was. Lore shook the image of the Goth half-Soulshredder doctor out of his head, because she was in love with a human jerk named Kynan, and Lore hadn't truly had a shot with her anyway.
That he couldn't climax because he was worried about snuffing this mystery species demon chick was really fucking funny considering that he killed for money, with no qualms, no regrets, and there were definitely worse ways to go than death-by-orgasm.
But Gem seemed to have opened up a vein in him, one that ran with pansy-ass feelings instead of blood. And in truth, there was a reason he hadn't had sex in decades, even though his Seminus breeding gave him the over-whelming need to screw every female who crossed his path. Fortunately for him, his human side allowed him to handle those urges himself, unlike purebred Sems who had to have a female partner or die.
When Lore had female partners, they died.
With a frustrated roar, he tore himself away from AprilMayJune and fisted his cock in his gloved hand. His release was hard and fast… and, as expected, no more satisfying than if he'd been by himself. And now, with nothing to distract him, he couldn't ignore the handprint-shaped welt that burned on his chest.
Lore had to go. No more stalling. After three weeks of avoidance—mainly to piss off his boss—it was time to take his punishment like a man. Well, a half-man, half-incubus.
The female rolled over, watched him with drowsy eyes. He still wasn't sure why he'd fallen off the celibacy wagon for her, except maybe for the fact that she'd been in the right place, right time when he'd gotten yet another text from Eidolon, M.D. Christ, the guy just had to include the M.D. in his signature, as if the entire underworld didn't know what he was.
The reminder that his brother was a respected doctor who saved lives, while Lore was nothing but a low-life half-breed killer, had sent him into a destructive, down-ward spiral that involved a lot of alcohol and a proposition for AprilMayJune.
Still, he was eventually going to have to face Eidolon and his other brothers again, no matter what Lore had promised his sister, because he had a feeling that if his newfound brothers wanted to find him, they would. And they didn't seem like the types to respect space and privacy.
"I told you I'm not in season," AprilMayJune said, her voice sleepy with sexual satiation. "I can't get pregnant."
"Doesn't matter." He tucked himself back into his leather pants. "I'm sterile." At least, that was what one of the other brothers, Shade, had told him. Lore wasn't sure how he felt about that, but it was definitely for the best.
She sighed and fell back against the pillows. "Then why did you just cream all over my floor? And why are you still wearing that glove?"
"To reduce the chances that I'll kill you." Anyone who touched the bare skin of his right arm and hand, marked by the color-diluted glyphs called a dermoire that snaked from shoulder to fingernail, dropped dead on contact. He'd worn a jacket and gloves around everyone except his sister for decades, but if he orgasmed or summoned his "gift," he could kill right through the protective leather, which was why, during sex, he tried not to touch his partners as he neared climax. Tried, because with very few exceptions, something had always gone wrong.
The female bared her teeth, which, in the last couple of seconds, had grown sharper. And longer. "You think you can take me?"
I just did, honey. "I know I can." He patted his pocket to make sure she hadn't lifted his wallet, then checked his weapons harness for the same reason. He'd have to kill her if she'd swiped his Gargantua-bone dagger.
Gracefully, she came to her feet, which were now tipped by curved claws, just like her hands. What the hell kind of demon was she? "Arrogant prick." Her pronunciation was mushy now, the words spoken through an extra row of teeth that hadn't been there before.
"You're messing with the wrong arrogant prick, little girl." Lore moved toward the door. "Thanks for the laughs. See ya."
"Little girl?" She launched at him, catching him in the back and knocking him into the wall. As he spun away, she raked her claws across his chest, tearing open his T-shirt and leaving a bloody trail of scratches behind.
- "4 1/2 Stars! Ecstasy Unveiled...is rich with passion, mystery and mythology. Ione is a master worldbuilder, and one can't help but fall headlong into this imaginative and compelling story."—RT Book Reviews
- "4 Stars! [Ione's] hard-edged style infuses the story with darkness while taking it to sizzling heights."—RT Book Reviews on Pleasure Unbound
- "Wicked...Decadently Sinful...Prepare to be burned."—Gena Showalter, New York Times Bestselling author on Desire Unchained
- "Very dark, very sexy, and very creative. Ione's Demonica series will have the most jaded paranormal fans perking up!"—Emma Holly, USA Today bestselling author on Pleasure Unbound
- On Sale
- Feb 1, 2010
- Page Count
- 432 pages