Hello friends! Today we have the very lovely and incredibly sweet Anya Bast sharing an exclusive excerpt of her upcoming book, Embrace of the Damned. It will be out on May 1, 2012 from Berkley Sensation! Whee!
A damned Viking warrior.
Centuries ago Broder Calderson committed murder. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to an immortal life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel.
A mysterious woman he can’t resist.
One thousand years to the day he was damned, Loki allows him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. Once Broder sees Jessamine Hamilton, he is overcome with need. But Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who—and what—she is could have dangerous consequences.
A tormented man she can’t deny.
Though a future together is impossible, the warrior’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, will Broder surrender forever to his darkest impulses?
He stared at her, the curve of her hip, the press of her breasts against her sweater. Her brown eyes flashed with temper and that only made them more beautiful. He’d developed superhuman control where women were concerned over the centuries, but Jessa was shredding it like tissue paper in a tornado. She didn’t understand the danger, had never met a man like him.
“Back away, Jessa,” he growled.
She shifted and leaned in toward him. “No.”
The slim tether he had on his control snapped. He lunged at her, sweeping her up in his arms. She yelped and dropped the bag of ice, but he barely noticed it.
He wanted her. On the bed. Naked. Not in that order.
He pulled at the hem of her shirt. “I warned you to get away from me.”
“What are you doing?” There was a note of alarm in her voice, but the note of musk in her scent said she wasn’t exactly scared—not totally. That note of musk only made him need her more.
He cupped her face in his hands, forcing himself to stop tearing at her clothes. “It’s been a very long time since I was with a woman and I want you. You, above all others. If you don’t want me touching you, get the fuck out of this room and away from me right now.”
She went very still, staring up into his face with wide eyes.
“Last chance,” he gritted out.
The scent of her was strong now, though he could clearly see the conflict on her face. She wanted him, but knew she shouldn’t. If he was a gentleman, he’d back away right now. Except he wasn’t a gentleman; he was an immortal Viking who hadn’t touched a woman in a thousand years.
“Are you sure?” he managed to force out.
She gave him an almost imperceptible nod.
* * * * *
What was she doing? She’d wanted so badly to not give in to him and here she was, giving in to him. Worse, her body was humming with need. There was no way she could say no. Not now. Not with his hands on her and that look in his eyes—like she was every Christmas he’d never had, like he would die if he didn’t get to touch her. Her libido had trumped her mind.
All that mattered right now was his hands on her body. Everything else was going to have to wait until later.
With a growl of pure lust, he yanked her around and dragged her to the bed. His fingers worked to free her clothes the moment he tossed her down. “I want you bare,” he breathed against her mouth. “I want your skin on mine.”
She wanted that too, wanted more than that. She wanted her hands sliding over the warm, hard muscle of his chest and arms, desired his body flush up against hers, hot and intimate.
Her fingers caught in his shirt, finding the hem and yanking upward, as desperate to find bare flesh as he. Her hands slid over his muscled stomach and he groaned at the touch of her fingers. Her breath caught at the white crisscross of ancient scars, her fingers tracing a couple of them. It made sense he had them, but they were still jarring—so deep, so brutal, such blatant evidence of his violent existence.
“You’re making me crazy,” he murmured. “I’m trying to hold myself back from you, but you’re making it hard. A taste. That’s what I need. Just a taste.”
“You can take more,” she breathed against his lips. Please.
She pushed her sweater over her head and he tossed it to the floor. Next came her jeans, off and discarded. Now she was clad only in her black bra and underwear. Pausing, he leaned back and seemed to soak in the sight of her, as though memorizing the lines of her body. A moment later and his ferocity returned. He came down over her, forcing her thighs to spread and slipping his hand between them. She let out a shuddering breath of surprise mixed with arousal as his fingers found all the places where she was hot and excited through the thin panel of her underwear.
A little whimper escaped her throat as her need built. His touch excited her in ways no other man’s ever had. It had to do with his masterfulness, his aggressiveness, or maybe it was simply his sexual appetite—so great and so obvious.
“I remember this,” he rasped. “How a woman feels. I want to make you moan with pleasure, Jessa.”
She gasped as a powerful wave of sensation radiated through her. “I’m already there.”
Broder shuddered against her. “No. I want more from you. More.” He lowered his mouth to hers, almost kissing her. “You feel so good, so hot and sweet. I could get drunk on you.”
So what’d you think? Have you read anything by Anya Bast before? (If you haven’t you really should!) Isn’t that cover great too?! Very fitting. And you can read another excerpt here.