Friday, January 10, 2014

Series Spotlight and Giveaway with Jacqeline Rhoades GUARDIANS of the RACE

Guardian’s Grace Book 1 of Guardians of the Race

Blurb: Grace Masters always wanted a family she could call her own. Of course, in her imagination it didn’t include a pair of rambunctious and affectionate twins who can turn into killers within the blink of an eye or an aging vampire who has trouble controlling his thirst. She never expected to find a friend and mentor in a three hundred year old witch who looks like Sophia Loren. And she certainly never dreamed – okay, she dreamed but never thought it would come true – of a tall, handsome hero who would sweep her off her feet. Yet here she is, in an old Victorian home, living and loving under the cover of night.

Who knew that the source of her lifelong torment was really her gift as a Daughter of Man or that this gift could be controlled and used for something good? Who knew there was another race called the Paenitentia who live side by side with humans? Who knew that demons were real?

Grace certainly didn’t until one fateful night when her world falls apart and comes together again in a place where she finally feels she belongs. Sometimes a person just knows when something is right and destined to be. Sometimes convincing someone else of that fact is a little more difficult. Canaan ad Simeon is that someone else.

Canaan is Liege Lord to a House of Guardians whose job is to protect the Race from a demon threat many no longer believe in. Already breaking away from the outdated traditions that are depleting their numbers and threatened by a hierarchy resistant to change, the last thing Canaan needs is to fall for this innocently sexy Daughter of Man. But fall he does, with a mixture of comedy, drama and sexy fun that will touch your heart.

Excerpt: “Not much to tell, it happened so fast.” said Col after a guilty glance at his brother. “There was a bad guy. He attacked your friend. We happened to be in the area and we stopped him.”

They were treating what had happened, all the fear and horror of the night before, as if it were nothing. I have to rip a monster’s heart out, order desert for me, will you? A woman was ripped apart, let’s have another drink. Anger bubbled up inside of her and she didn’t try to hold it back.

“Bullshit!” she spat, “That guy was no guy and you know it. What was he?” She held up the hand with the knife. “No, never mind. I already know your answer. You can’t say,” she mocked. “So I’ll say it for you. He was some kind of monster.” She waved the knife. “Don’t look so shocked. Or maybe you didn’t see him the same way I did, long ugly face, sharp gray teeth, no nose, hooded black eyes, misshapen body. Yeah, maybe you forgot those little details. Just like you forgot to mention that white light business and the way you moved and the weapons. Oh and let’s not mention your faces.”

Scenes from the night before flashed through her mind. What she’d seen was real. All of it. She wished she could blame it on hallucinations. She wanted it to be drug induced, but it wasn’t. It was real.

“Did you forget about slicing the monster open? Did ripping his heart out just slip your mind? And how about those teeth, boys? Let’s give Grace a great big smile.”

The twin’s eyes were wide. With fear? She didn’t care. She’d been lulled by their good looks and their easy going style. She’d been so relieved that she was alive and unhurt. She’d wanted to believe that she couldn’t have seen what was right before her eyes. But she had seen it. She knew. It was real.

She pointed the knife at Col. “You ripped out its heart. And you.” The knife switched to Dov and her voice faltered. “I saw what you did to Alice.”

Her voice broke on her friend’s name. Tears streamed down her face and a great wracking sob spasmed through her body. “She was my friend. The only friend I ever had and now she’s dead.”

Dov knelt in front of her, his hands raised as if to ward off a blow. “You think I killed her?” He sounded horrified. “I didn’t, Grace. I couldn’t. She’s an innocent. I’d never hurt an innocent.”

Col came to her side and gently laid his hand on her shoulder. “Grace, listen to me. What Dov did? It didn’t hurt her. It saved her. Dov stopped the bleeding. He called 911. Alice isn’t dead. She’s in the hospital. If you want, we can find out more about her condition tonight.” He leaned down so they were face to face. “Did you hear me, Grace? Your friend is alive. Dov’s the one that saved her.”

“Aw, Gracie,” Dov pleaded, “You don’t have to believe anything else we say, but you have to believe this. I didn’t kill her. I couldn’t. It’d be like… like kicking a puppy or something, just wrong. I couldn’t do that to an innocent.”

They had lied to her before or maybe just omitted the facts, but everything in her told her that about this, they were telling the truth. Alice was alive. Anger and sorrow were replaced by relief and Grace cried harder. She couldn’t stop. The fear and horror and tension all released at once in a massive flood of sobs and tears. The knife fell to the floor and she buried her face in her hands.

Dov brought her a towel to mop up her tears and Col made her tea ‘to calm your nerves’. The towel was stiff and stank of sweat and the tea was bitter and stale, but the gestures were kind and the twins looked so anxious that she sniffed back her tears and gave them a tentative smile.

“Hey, how’d you know that would work?” Dov gave his brother an approving nod and Col blushed and shrugged.

“Are you done now?” Col asked nervously and when she nodded and wiped her nose one last time with the smelly towel, “You promise?”

Guardian’s Hope Book 2 of Guardians of the Race series

Blurb: Hope Parsons has heard about the evil of demons since she was a child in the little isolated community where she grew up. Demons were part of the outside world; demon sex, demon drink, demon music, demon woman. According to her father, her mother had a demon in her, too.

This is Hope’s world until she finds a box her mother hid years ago and the remnant of a letter her runaway sister wrote begging for help. These finds are the impetus she needs to embark on a journey out into the world and the city where she hopes to find her sister and learn more about her mother’s legacy. Once there, she learns her father was wrong about most of the evils of the outside world. Unfortunately, he was right about one; living, breathing demons are real.

Nico ad Nimeni, with his dark charm and magazine cover good looks, is a recent addition to Canaan ad Simeon’s House of Guardians. As a Guardian of the Race, it’s his job to protect his people, the Paenitentia, along with humankind from the demons who cross over from the Otherworld, but Nico knows there are demons other than those that stalk the night preying on the fear and flesh of humankind. Nico’s personal demons are the ones that plague a man’s soul and insist he stand apart.

When circumstances bring Hope to the House, she finds a place where everything she was taught about good and evil is turned upside down. In this world of witches and demons, vampires and Paenitentia, she learns that things are not always what they seem and that a shy, self-conscious country girl can be beautiful and find love in the arms of a suave sophisticate.

Join Hope and Nico as they search for her missing sister and discover in each other the healing power of love.

Excerpt: Hope stood in the bathroom door and stared at Nico standing across the room fully clothed. Only his shoes and socks were gone.

“I thought…”

Nico put his finger to his lips and said softly, “Don’t think. Don’t speak. Just let me look at you.”

She stood there, hands to her sides, not knowing what else to do. She thought he might be disappointed she wore her white gown, buttoned up and tied tightly at the neck. She’d tried the one Grace had snuck into her bag, but she couldn’t do it, didn’t want to add to her nervousness. Wearing it, she felt too naked and exposed. The white gown was a touchstone of familiarity, of security, a bastion against the chaos raging in her body and her mind. Nico stared until her heart began to tremble and then he smiled.

“You are the woman of my dreams,” he said a little breathlessly.

This was not the place he would have chosen for her first time. She deserved plush carpets, fine furnishings, champagne served in crystal and silken sheets on her bed. She had no idea how beautiful she was standing there in that snowy gown, quietly offering herself to him. She deserved so much better and yet she had chosen him.

She smiled nervously and went to the bed to turn down the covers.


She looked up and he was holding out his hand.

“Come to me, Hope.”

She crossed the room and reached out as if seeking support. He held her hands in his and he kissed her as he had so many times before, softly, gently, until she was kissing him back and the tension left her shoulders and arms. Only then, did he pull her into his embrace. Her tongue danced with his and her heart beat faster and her body grew warmer with need.

She didn’t flinch when he drew his body slightly away and slipped his hand along her side up to her breast. She leaned into it. She felt her nipple pucker and stiffen against the soft material of her gown and she moaned softly into his mouth. His other hand moved to her other breast and another moan escaped. His hands kneaded and prodded and he groaned with pleasure and need. Her head rolled back and he kissed her exposed neck, sending little shocks of fiery delight through her as he nipped and licked his way down to the top of her gown.

With one hand wrapped securely around her waist and the other gently pushing her shoulder, he bent her back, forcing her breasts forward and up. His mouth found her aching point and he suckled her through the cotton. She gasped and he smiled. His mouth became more aggressive and he used his teeth, gently biting down. Then sucking a tip of fabric into his mouth, he used his teeth to rub it over the swollen and tender nipple.

And through it all, her hands moved over his body, his back, his shoulders, his hair. Her body still quivered, not with apprehension, but with anticipation. Until his fingers tugged at the strings of the bow at her neck. She stiffened.

“What is it, precious?” Nico’s voice had deepened.

Hope looked to the bed. “I-I thought we would be under the covers. I-I don’t want…”

“What? You don’t want what?” he asked, his voice not harsh, but insistent. He ran his finger over her bottom lip already swollen with his kisses. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me.”

“I don’t want you to see me… naked I mean.”

He hugged her to him and chuckled into her hair. “I see you naked every day in my dreams. I see you naked in my waking thoughts. I have felt your body next to mine. You know this.”

She turned her head away. “You see me in your imagination. The reality is different,” she whispered. Why couldn’t he let her have her way in this?

He stepped away and pulled her with him to stand before the mirror between the dressers. He stood behind her and when she would have looked away, he held her shoulders facing the glass.

“Look,” he said slowly, “See your body as I do.”

She watched in the mirror as he moved his hands to her face, fluttering his fingers around and over her eyes. His voice was tender.

“These eyes,” he whispered by her ear, “Smolder when I kiss you. I never knew that green could burn with such a fiery richness and I would happily burn in their flames. And even though you try to cover it, those same eyes glitter like green ice when you’re angry.” He ran his finger across the bridge of her nose. “These freckles here, stand out when you blush and beg to be kissed.” He chuckled deeply in his chest as his hands moved to her mouth. “This mouth, these lips, so soft and full and inviting. Do you know what a mouth like this can do to a man? I want to show you, Hope, and I will.” His fingers moved to her hair, unbinding the braid that held it.

“This hair, with all the color of autumn, draws me to pull the pins from it, unbind it and bury my face in its silken luxury. You smell like roses, Hope, roses in a garden of delight.” He pushed her unbound hair over one shoulder to expose her neck and kissed it lovingly. He spoke with his lips against the vein. “Just here, I can feel your pulse quicken. I can feel the pleasure my lips bring to you.” His hands moved to her shoulders and traveled lightly to the base of her throat and the bow. She closed her eyes and swallowed.

“Open your eyes, my precious. Open your eyes and see what I see.” And when she wouldn’t, he commanded softly, but firmly, “Open your eyes, Hope.”

She opened her eyes and watched her face flame with embarrassment as he pulled the ribbon tails of the bow. One by one, his fingers deftly pushed each tiny pearl button through its hole exposing more and more of her throat, her chest and finally her breasts. He pushed the gown over her shoulders and down her arms, trapping them at her sides. His hands slid over and under her breasts, weighing them in his palms, pushing them together.

“Look at their beauty, Hope.” He held her breast like an offering and pressed himself up against her from behind. She could feel his heart pounding in his chest and the bulge of his pants throbbing up against her rear.

“They, too, call me to touch them. Their beauty, softness and comfort are a gift to me. I long to play and kiss and lick and nibble until you cry with pleasure.” His fingers caressed and stroked and kneaded and pulled until her head fell back on his shoulder and she moaned. His laugh was full of lust and love.

“Look,” he said again and his voice forced her eyes back to the mirror. He flicked the pebbled bud lightly with his fingers. “See how they enjoy my attentions; how they tell me you want me as I want you.

“Watch. Don’t close your eyes. Watch.” His voice was a breathless rumble from his chest.

His hands moved back to the gown and he pushed it slowly down her arms until it pooled on the floor at her feet. She stood there naked but for her white lace panties already soaked with her want and need of him.

“Why would you be ashamed of this, full and soft and round as a woman should be.” His hands roamed over the small pouch of her belly and moved across her hips to her rear.

She couldn’t move, couldn’t close her eyes as she watched him fall to his knees in front of her. He pulled her panties down her legs and lifted each foot until they were free.

With reverence, as if he really was worshiping her, he brought his lips to the edge of her womanly slit and kissed her. This time when she closed her eyes, it was not from embarrassment but from the rush of emotions and physical pleasure he brought with the touch of his lips. A small cry escaped. Her hands went to his head. Her fingers curled in his hair. Without words, she told him she wanted more.

He rose and pushed her gently back to the bed where he sat her on the edge. He bent and kissed her. There was an urgency to it that she’d never felt before. She saw the images from his mind and was no longer afraid. How could she be?

Using only his mouth and his kiss, he pushed her back to lie on the bed and once again began with her eyes and face, kissing, nibbling, tasting his way down to her breasts until she was panting with need. She reached for his belt.

“Not yet,” stopping her hand with his. “This first time is for you and only you. Let me worship you. Let me show you how it should be.”


Blurb: Joy “JJ” Justice has spent her adulthood lost and alone and vulnerable to the haunting of a past she can’t remember. It’s no wonder she feels different from other people and not surprising that she chose the police force as a way of standing up for others who are defenseless against the evils of the world, but when her only friend and partner is brutally murdered by a creature not of this world, JJ discovers a greater purpose. She is called to hunt the monsters only she can see. Once again, she resigns herself to living her life alone.

Guardian of the Race, Bernardo ad Tormeo, longs for a woman of his own, one that’s as fun loving and loyal as his Liege Lord’s Lady, Grace, and as soft and gentle as his fellow Guardian’s mate, Hope, but the chances of meeting such a woman seem slim to none. What with the nightly patrols and his gaming business, he hasn’t the time to go searching for love. Besides, he’s seen too many mating’s that didn’t work out.

Nardo is sworn to protect his people and their human cousins from the demons who cross over from the Otherworld. He never thought he would be hunting a vampire; just like he never thought of falling in love with a leather clad ex-cop who can kick demon butt with the best of them.

How do you romance a woman who thinks more of knives than roses? And how do you help her fight the demons of her soul when she can’t remember who they are? Nardo doesn’t know, but he’s determined to find out. He only hopes he and his new love can find the answers before a monster from Joy’s childhood and a myth from the Paenitentia’s ancient past take away the only woman he will ever love.

Excerpt: JJ ran without thought of where she was going. She knew now what made those men different. They were vampires, another myth come to life and one of them was responsible for the death of that poor child.

They were every bit as bad as the beasts she hunted, so why couldn’t she kill him when she had the chance. She’d aimed true and only had to throw the fire, but at the last second, the fire sputtered and her aim faltered. If he hadn’t moved, she would have missed him.

The wound didn’t seem to slow him down much. Shock and panic had her running in circles and she no longer knew in which direction lay the safety of the street and her car. Her only hope was to keep moving until the sun came up, if that part of the mythology was even true. She was a marathon runner and she could keep this up for as long as she needed to. She heard him coming at her from the right and she sprinted forward, ducking into the next alley.

With the occasional patch of yellow moonlight providing the only illumination, JJ was running blind and the brick wall at the end of the alley appeared out of nowhere. She slammed her palms against it as if her fury could knock it down and then she spun away to run back the way she had come. He was there, standing at the mouth of the alley, hands on hips; a blacker silhouette against the darkness of the night.

She watched him walk toward her with long, slow strides, his shoulders rolling with each step and she knew, by the movement of his body, that this was an accomplished athlete. She hadn’t outrun him, hadn’t evaded his pursuit. He’d been toying with her, running her up one alley and down the next. He wasn’t even breathing heavily. She rubbed her thumb across the tips of her fingers to bring forth the fire, but it was useless. For six months, she’d been fully in control, yet now, when she needed it most, the power abandoned her.

He paused in a pool of moonlight half way down the alley and JJ had time to study the face of the man who might kill her. His sharp, almost too thin features had sharpened even more with his anger. His fangs flared, piercing his gums and forcing his lips back into a snarl. His muscles hardened, seemed to grow, thighs bulging in definition against the narrow cut of his jeans. His eyes blazed with a golden fire.

He stalked toward her, his body language daring her to flee. She couldn’t, though everything in her screamed at her to run. This creature, this vampire, was something feral. If she ran, she would trigger the primal instinct to chase and maybe the other, more deadly instinct; the need to kill one’s prey.

All this flew through her mind in an instant as she watched him close the distance between them, his eyes locked on her face. She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet and moved her hands up and out, ready to defend. There were nights in her past when she’d prayed for death. Now that death was here, her anger rose against it and the anger overrode her fear. She might go down, but she would go down fighting.

Nardo saw the shift from fear to fury, saw her ready herself for battle and had to admire her courage. Not many humans could face down a Guardian transformed by rage. She was awesome in her anger. He’d never killed a woman before, never dreamed he’d have to, but he was a Guardian and it was his job to do what must be done. He flashed to white light and was on her before she had time to react.

His hands grabbed her biceps as he pushed her to the wall. Through the silky softness of her sleeves, he felt her muscles bunch beneath his fingers, still ready to fight and he tightened his grip. He should have snapped her neck and ended it there, but he brought his body close to hers and set his pelvis against the tops of her hips never taking his eyes from that arresting face.

Nardo was surprised by the strength of her slender body as she strained against him. She’d looked so delicate when she stood alone watching the dancers. Her skin was smooth and unblemished, a dark, dusky rose though whether it was from nature or from anger, he couldn’t tell. And she was more angry than afraid. Her body vibrated with it and the vibration set his own body thrumming in response. Her eyes were defiant as she boldly returned his stare. Lightly lined and mascaraed, they were pools of liquid smoke, a dark and glistening grey that looked almost black. Her face was long and narrow, her nose long and straight. Her wide sensual mouth, now tightened and shaped with anger, beckoned to be softened with a kiss. She was beautiful in a way that sucked the air from his lungs and all thought from his head.

He snarled, a reminder to himself that she was the killer of a Paenitentia child, and shifted his stance.

JJ was pressed into the wall, her shoulders grinding into the brick. He’d moved so fast she didn’t have time to strike or dodge. She struggled against his hold, but it was useless. When he pulled back slightly from his full body press, she raised her knee, aiming for his groin, but the maneuver seldom worked and this time was no exception. He shifted his body so that his right knee hit the bricks between her legs and his thigh and hip pressed into her abdomen effectively repinning her lower body. Her hands were still free and she should have been able to call on her power to zap him with enough energy to stop his heart. She could feel the blue fire crackling at her fingertips, but she couldn’t send it out. When he raised his thigh into her crotch and lifted her off the ground, she gasped.

Her pulse quickened beyond the adrenaline rush of fear and flight. She closed her eyes and silently cursed the tingle of desire that crept from the juncture of her legs where his thigh was pressed tight, up to her abdomen where muscles constricted in anticipation and fingers of heat curled through her stomach. Her breasts stood taut against the confining leather of her vest and when he spoke, inches from her lips, her body quickened with desire. Goddamn him.

“Who the hell are you?” he asked in a whispered growl.

Her lips parted against her will to drink in the warmth of his breath and her body trembled slightly with her sigh.

“Why did you do it? Who are you?” he asked again without the growl. He didn’t want to do this, didn’t want to question her, didn’t want to hurt her. He bent his head to her neck and took a long, slow breath, trying to place her scent. She smelled of something spicy and sweet and delicious. Goddammit, he couldn’t do this.

“Who are you?” he asked a third time and his lips touched her neck. Recognition came as the scent and the taste blended together in his memory and he couldn’t help it. He smiled. It was those little red candies Grace used to decorate cookies.

“Joy,” she whispered and swallowed hard. Why had she given him that name, the one she abhorred? His lips were on her neck, over her jugular and their whisper soft movement sent another sexual shiver through her core. Was this what it was like to die from a vampire’s bite?


BLURB: Physically and emotionally damaged by the horrors of her past, no one is more surprised than meek and silent Faith Parsons when she feels compelled to stow away in the van of the taciturn Liege Lord, Lucien ad Toussaint and travel to his House of Guardians in the faraway Southwest. She’s even more surprised when some of the local women see her as the one who will heal the 160 year old wounds that are destroying their way of life. Lucien, too, is haunted by his past. He has withdrawn from the world around him and lives a reclusive and duty-bound life. He never expected that a tiny Daughter of Man could open the doors to a heart he’s kept closed for so long. As the attraction between Faith and Lucien grows, the events of both their pasts begin to replay in the present. Must history repeat itself or can their future be changed?

Excerpt: Lalo swallowed hard and said what he knew he probably shouldn't. "What about Faith, my Lord?" "Faith will be fine," Lucien told him and hoped he was right. "Once she settles down, she'll come back." He smiled wryly. He used to run away when he was a boy, but usually got no farther than the barn. "We're in the middle of nowhere. How far can she go?" They heard the crunch of tires over gravel. "I dunno, sir," Lalo answered, "How much gas you got in that truck?" The grinding of gears followed as someone tried to shift and made a poor job it. "Maybe she'll drop the transmission first," Adam added. Lucien didn't hear either one of them. He was already running out the door.

Faith scooted up in the seat until she was sitting right on the edge, a torn strip of vinyl digging uncomfortably into her left cheek. She'd tried to move the seat forward to accommodate her height, but it was rusted into a position only suitable for giants. Her grip on the steering wheel was the only thing that kept her from sliding to the floor. Still, she could barely reach the pedals and every time she shifted; the horrible thing made a grinding noise she was sure could be heard for miles. Though the truck was old and the shift was on the column, it wasn't as ancient as the one Tommy Barrett taught her to drive when she was thirteen. In the Community, personal use vehicles were frowned upon, but sixteen year old Tommy was allowed to drive the truck when hauling in produce from the field. Hope knew how to drive a tractor, so Faith had to go one better. It was the first time she used her feminine wiles on a young man, having practiced only the more childlike version on her father to lighten his black moods. Along with two short practice sessions, that was the entirety of her driver's education before someone tattled to her father. Hope got a beating for not keeping better track of her sister and Faith got a scolding with a promise not to do it again. That was always the extent of her punishment; a scolding. Her rebellions got greater, but the punishments didn't.

Faith was too tiny, too pretty, too dainty to pay the price. Hope paid it for her and what was worse was that her sister still loved her and suffered the beatings willingly if not gladly. Her sister should have hated her for it and extracted her revenge when their father wasn't around. She never did.

Only once had her father raised his hand to her and she welcomed the pain of the strap on her bare back because it was what she deserved, but what followed…

The truck hit a pothole and Faith lost her precarious perch. Her feet slid from the pedals as she slid to the floor. The truck stalled, but not before it fishtailed to the side and off the road because of her pull on the wheel. It tipped dangerously to the right and then fell with a bone jarring clang back onto all four wheels. Hauling herself back up, she pressed down on the clutch and turned the key. The engine whined and sputtered, but wouldn't turn over. She tried again and again and again. She slapped the wheel in frustration and mouthed the words she'd heard from Dov so many times before.

"Shit, fuck and be damned."

"You've flooded the engine. Give it a minute before you try it again."

Lucien stood next to her open window, breathing heavily. White light was a useful gift, but it sapped a lot of energy and a four mile run was still four miles and his legs felt it.

"I need to start running with the boys. I'm out of shape," he said conversationally to Faith's open mouth. He opened her door and held out his hand.

Faith drew back from the offer. She didn't know why she was afraid to touch him. He'd kept his promise that he'd allow no one to harm her and he'd shown nothing but courtesy and kindness since he discovered her presence.

He laughed, dropping his hand to his side. "Oh, come now, you think I don't know your secret? Your friend Lalo spilled the beans, remember." He shook his head in mock exasperation. "Are you afraid of beguiling me with your touch? Because I have to tell you, it would take a lot more than that to beguile a Guardian of the Race." He held out his hand to her again. "Come, how else will we be able to understand each other?"

For a moment, Faith stared at the hand, so big and warm and brown. How else will we be able to understand each other, he'd asked and she knew as soon as he asked the question why it was that she was afraid to touch him.

He might understand her and if Lucien ad Toussaint understood who she was and what she had done, he would hate her. Manon said he was a man of duty and honor and integrity. A man like that would not want someone like her under his roof.

This time, Lucien refused to drop his hand and patiently waited for her to take it. Like the wild horses he'd tamed so many years ago, the first thing this little filly needed to learn was trust. She needed to learn that his word was his bond. He would do her no harm.

When she finally laid her tiny palm in his, he was surprised by the wave of tenderness he felt. He could feel her heartbeat rapidly pounding in her chest; hear her tiny breaths puffing in and out between her parted lips.

"Hummingbird," he said when her feet were on the ground. When she looked at him strangely, he smiled. "A little hummingbird, that's you," he told her and led her to the back of the truck where he released the tail gate. "My mother used to attract them with her flowers. In the courtyard of the house, every urn and basket would be filled with red flowers for the hummingbirds. You're like those birds, tiny and delicate looking and filled with nervous energy." He paused. "And ready to fly off at the first loud noise."

She took the hint and looked a little embarrassed, but then she moved her hands. "Hummingbirds are beautiful, aren't they?"

It was amazing! He understood every gesture as her words formed in his mind.

"Very beautiful," he answered and watched her head drop and her fingers trace the scars that ran along her cheek.

"I'm no hummingbird," she stated flatly. Lucien decided to ignore the comment. Instead, he lifted her onto the tailgate and took a seat beside her.

"When I was a very spoiled little boy, I used to be jealous of those little birds. I thought all my mother's time should be devoted to me. I already admired my father's size and strength and power and wanted to be just like him. I didn't know then what I know now. Hummingbirds aren't what they seem. "They're very strong and powerful little creatures. They migrate hundreds of miles over open water, braving storms and larger birds and even starvation to get to their homes. Don't let those delicate bodies fool you. They're fierce fighters and very protective of what is theirs."

Underneath the starvation-taut skin and dark-circled eyes, he could see what a beautiful woman she would one day be. He wanted to tell her so, but she wasn't ready to believe that. He would save that for later when Agdta's good cooking began to work its wonders. Trust couldn't be built on things she wouldn't believe. The little hummingbird sitting next to him looked up at his face with those big blue eyes and Lucien felt something stir inside him and it made him uncomfortable. Those eyes expressed her every emotion and thought and were mesmerizing in their clarity. They were bright oceans of blue and a man could drown in their depths. If she ever turned those eyes to seduction, her victim would be doomed.

Bio: A New Englander by birth and an Ohioan by choice, Jacqueline, known as Jackie by her friends, makes her home in a small, rural town with one lovable husband, one spoiled dog and one disinterested cat. (The adjectives are often interchangeable). An avid reader from a very early age, Jackie has an eclectic taste for books and therefore has trouble naming a favorite genre or author, though she does admit that for pure personal fantasy and 'take-me-away' books, you just can't beat a good romance.

Jackie believes in the beauty of all women and thinks most women don't see themselves as they should (herself included). She tries to make the women in her books reflect the best of 'average' in a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds, and each is beautiful in her own way. Some of her heroes are movie star handsome, while others are not. All her characters are beautiful in the eyes of their lovers and that, to Jackie, is the most beautiful of all.

Bookshelf: with Amazon links: 
The Guardians Of The Race Series
Guardian's Faith #4

1 winner will receive - an e-copy of Guardian's Faith
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  1. My Favorite Xmas gift in 2013 was just having all my kids together under 1 roof and being together..

  2. I got a new book, one of my favorite authors.

  3. My husband got my a kindle for Christmas! He hasn't gotten me anything in years! I think he did good! :)

  4. my son got me a necklace that came with a award that I have to frame the necklace is beautiful and I have not seen one like it before. It also came with a meaning for each line on it . It had me in tears . My son is navy and I miss him dearly .

  5. I didn't get anything for Christmas this year, but I am ok with that! My daughter who is 8 comes first and watching open up her presents was plenty enough for me! That's all that matters! :)

  6. Spending time with family and received amazon gift cards to buy more books of course lol

  7. This looks like a great series!

  8. Lots of books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Gift card to by Books. Great giveaway. This series sounds great.