(Dark Siren, #1)
Publication date: July 4th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
To survive, their bond must be unbreakable.
When the mysterious and passionate Rhane rescues Kali from an attacker in the theater parking lot, they form an immediate, smoldering connection. But Kali doesn’t remember Rhane or anything from their past. As far as Kali knows, she’s just a seventeen-year-old kid coping with an insatiable hunger for the “spark” or energy of others, feeding on classmates to survive.
A unique artifact—one that may hold the key to returning Kali’s memories—is uncovered by the archaeology firm where she works part-time, sending Kali and Rhane on a dangerous journey that leads them to the Forbidden City, into the unforgiving Gobi, and into the ruins of Rhane’s ancient homeland. As they fight for survival, Kali begins to discover who she really is and the true power she possesses.
But Rhane still harbors a secret that could destroy Kali…unless old enemies kill her first.
“Kali, open up!”
Quickly detangling herself from the sheets, Kali raced across the room, reaching the door just seconds after Bailen. She opened it to find Orrin frowning impatiently. Rion and War flanked right on his heels.
“Did you hear that?” War asked. He was the first to move past her and enter the suite. Kali didn’t mind. As far as she was concerned, he and the others required no invitation.
Kali blinked stupidly. “Hear what? War, I was asleep.” Looking down, she realized the only covering of her assets came from a pair of skimpy lace panties and a sheer white babydoll negligee. Kali may as well have been naked. Maybe they won’t notice in the near darkness, she hoped while easing discreetly over to the closet to grab one of Rhane’s shirts.
The kin moved through the room like a whirlwind. Orrin checked each of the room’s windows while War secured the balcony. Finally satisfied with what was seen or not seen, the twin brothers strode back to the center of the room. Water dripped from War’s hair onto the carpet. “So you were asleep just now, until Orrin knocked?”
They both watched as Kali slipped into an oversized shirt. Orrin’s eyes raked appreciatively over her near nudity. “Nice.”
Kali couldn’t stop the blush from rising to her cheeks. “I was expecting Rhane, obviously.”
War winked. “Obviously.”
~PRIMED SON: by Eden Ashley
“Someone’s shooting at us,” York said, breathing heavily. The grave stone was barely big enough to shield the both of them, even with York’s body stacked directly on top of Rhane’s.
“Yeah. I got that part.” Growling, Rhane glared up at him. “But why?”
“Well…who have you pissed off in the last nine hundred years?”
Rhane stared at York with frank disbelief. “You just got shot and still can’t be serious.”
York pressed a hand to his side. “It’s not bad.”
“You’re bleeding all over me.”
“Barely. That shirt was ruined anyway. You would have never gotten the smell of blood out. I just did you a favor.”
“The jacket was salvageable.”
York hesitated. Then he nodded. “Yeah. It was. I bet you paid five hundred bucks for that grain of leather.”
“I thought I’d get more use out of it.” He risked a cautious peek around the stone. No one shot at him. Turning back to York, Rhane lifted an eyebrow. “You mind?”
“Oh. Sure,” York said and lifted himself into a push up position. The sound of gunfire immediately erupted, this time splitting off a section from the top of the headstone.
“Keep your head down,” Rhane hissed. Then he rolled quickly across the ground, taking cover at the next grave. He looked back at York, now in a much more protected position. He still clutched his side, but the bleeding seemed to have slowed. Rhane knit his brow together. “How worried should I be?”
York glanced down at his wound. “Stings like hell, but the bullet was regular lead. Already healing. Whoever’s shooting at us obviously doesn’t know who they’re dealing with.”
~PRIMED SON: by Eden Ashley
EXCERPT – Rhane:
The stranger shifted, leaning over until his mouth was within a millimeter of her left ear. He spoke softly, his lips brushing against some serious nerve endings, “Is this seat taken?”
If an eighty-year-old grandmother had been sitting next to her when this guy had shown up, Kali would have politely asked the old lady to move so the stranger could sit down. He was absurdly good looking. Silver lighting accented every perfect line and angle of his face. Several locks from his thick mass of hair fell idly across his forehead, slightly curling at the ends. There was softness to his features that suggested he could be a keeper.
The stranger returned Kali’s stare with an intensity that took in every part of her. But his eyes never left her face.
Realizing she had been staring at him stupidly for far too long, Kali struggled to find something to say. “I’m…” She cleared her throat. “It’s yours.”
He finally looked away. Whatever tied her to him was loosed, and Kali pulled her gaze away. They didn’t speak again for a long time, but Kali was constantly aware of him. She kept stealing furtive glances in his direction because the sight of him was more enthralling than anything the movie had to offer. Growing bolder, Kali watched him from the corner of her eye at increasingly longer intervals. Apparently, the stranger was not as bothered as she was. Relaxed in his seat, he sat observing the screen with languid interest, doing a pretty good job convincing her that he’d forgotten anyone was beside him. Kali was so immersed with watching him, and was completely startled when he spoke.
“It’s not polite to stare,” he murmured softly without taking his eyes from the screen.
Kali jerked and turned away. But she wasn’t fast enough and was mortified to see the beginning of a satisfied smile appear on his face. She slid down into the chair, grateful for the darkness that concealed a blush spreading across her cheeks. From then on she tried to concentrate on the movie. But it was useless. She gave up and watched the screen absently, all the while thinking about the guy sitting next to her and how he probably thought she was an absolute dork. She didn’t get it. Boys never had this affect on her. For the past two years, it had always been them falling helplessly at her feet.
A mutated mix of human and creature launched itself from a quiet scene, growling and snarling into the camera. Several audience members jumped in surprise, and Kali was one of them. She made a noise that sounded like a strangled bird.
“Do these things frighten you?” the stranger asked. He was clearly enjoying her discomfort.
Kali cleared her throat. “Why would they? This stuff isn’t real.” This time, she didn’t look at him.
After a long moment, he spoke again. “Right,” he slowly agreed.
Unyielding arms slid unexpectedly around her waist and should have startled her, but Kali was all too familiar with his touch. Recognition immediately trampled any fear she might have felt. His hands pressed almost roughly against her, forcing her to sink into the hard planes of his body. Kali’s eyes fluttered shut as he buried his face into her neck and inhaled deeply, capturing all of her scent. The raw power he possessed and the gentleness with which he chose to wield it felt so erotic. It made her belly tighten and her knees weak. And when Rhane placed his lips against the delicate hollow of her neck, Kali almost came undone.
Then his hold shifted, and Rhane gently pushed her away, steadying her trembling form as he did so. The entire exchange had taken less than three seconds.
Despite the uncanny influence he exerted over her body, Kali knew she claimed equal sway over him and was determined to regain her senses first. She met Rhane’s darkened irises, still hooded with lust.
“So what’s the situation,” she asked evenly, hiding the struggle it took to mask her breathlessness. Focusing on how pale his skin appeared and the tired circles beneath his eyes helped as worry crowded out her hunger. She gently wiped at a smudge of dried blood staining his cheek. The scar beneath it was barely visible. Though Rhane had told her what to expect over the phone, she couldn’t help fretting over what wounds lay hidden beneath his clothing. Rhane always downplayed the extent of his injuries.
“Right,” he answered after a moment and exhaled softly. “We think…” he began but stopped. Frowning, he peered past her shoulder.
She at once became more alert. Kali narrowed her eyes. “What is it?”
Rhane took a guarded step forward. “Stay behind me.”
It was then that Kali heard the screams.
~PRIMED SON: by Eden Ashley
Moving toward him, Kali rested one palm against his cheek. His eyes were translucent in the sunlight, two seas of emerald bordered with flecks of amber. She leaned in close, wanting to drown in them and nearly did so. Her lips brushed softly against his as she spoke. “You won’t refuse me.” She felt him tremble.
A long moment passed. “I think you’re right,” he finally said, and held up a key.
Snagging it, Kali smiled gratefully. Then she walked away, throwing her hips deliberately because she knew he watched her. “Don’t worry,” she called to him. “I promise to thank you later.”
Placing one foot on the runner, she hauled herself into the truck. The dark grey leather molded to her form as sank into it. Kali sighed, remembering how Rhane’s lips and hands felt against her body. She wriggled in the seat.
“You might need this, Kalista.”
Startled, Kali jumped about four inches. She adjusted the shoulder belt in an attempt to hide her embarrassment. Her cheeks were flaming, but she found the nerve to look at him. Rhane was holding her purse.
“Oops, I almost forgot. Thanks.” She took the bag and started the truck. The engine came to life with a purr, and the time displayed on the clock. Six a.m. was approaching fast. She was already ridiculously late. A few more minutes wouldn’t hurt. Besides, Kali was curious about him. Such a nice suit had to mean Rhane had been headed somewhere. And it certainly wasn’t to deliver pizzas.
“Will you be late for work?”
“Not really, it was a business meeting.”
“Will you make it?”
He shrugged. “It’s via satellite and can’t happen without me. I’ll reschedule.”
She nodded, wanting to know more but lacking the time to pry. She put the gear in drive but kept a foot on the brake. “How did you fix Greg’s car so fast?”
“I know a guy,” he answered vaguely. “And I threw a lot of money at him.”
“You loaded or something?”
“You could say so.”
“I really wish I had more time to finish this conversation.”
He scratched his head. “I’m glad you don’t,” he said and smiled.
Kali grinned back and was about to go, but stopped again. Her smile faded. “Rhane?”
“I usually don’t do this. Go around kissing strange men I’ve just met.” They’re usually teenage boys, she amended silently.
His expression was unreadable. “I surely hope not.” He leaned into the window. “Are you free tonight?”
“Can’t wait for that thank you?”
He winked. “That, and I’d like my nice, shiny and new truck back.”
“Then it’s a date.” With an earsplitting grin pasted across her face, she pulled out into traffic. Looking into the rearview mirror, she noticed Rhane watching her until he was a tiny dot in the distance.
~DARK SIREN: by Eden Ashley
Her first novel, Dark Siren, is best described as paranormal romance artfully wrapped within a plot chock-full of action, adventure, and edge-of-your-seat suspense, while the series has evolved to become a journey of redemption and second chances as two characters understand that sometimes committing evil is necessary to protect what is loved most. Eden took the siren from Greek mythology (and borrowed a little from mermaid lore), creating an entirely different creature, with its own mythology, and one that Publisher's Weekly praised for its passion and complexity. This is not just another werewolf/shapeshifter romance or vampire romance. This is a story that both adults and teens can enjoy, full of great characters to fall in love with!