Scorched by Darkness (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 18) by Felicity Heaton – Book Tour and Giveaway!
New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new paranormal romance release, Scorched by Darkness, the latest release in her popular Eternal Mates world.
There are now eighteen books in this series, but don’t worry, you can dive right on in with Scorched by Darkness, or start at the very beginning with Kissed by a Dark Prince, which is FREE at all retailers right now. Binge-read to your heart’s content!
If you love big worlds packed with detail and every paranormal species imaginable, together with hot alpha heroes and strong heroines bringing them to their knees, then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!
by Felicity Heaton
Even for one of the top assassins in Hell like him, Hartt’s latest contract would have been difficult enough, but there’s a complication—a beautiful, flame-haired, and dangerously tempting complication. Not only is the bewitching female a distraction he doesn’t need—she’s the competition.
Mackenzie’s life hasn’t been easy. Held captive by blood mages who murdered her family, forced to spend every day guarding her secret, and now she lands the biggest contract ever—one that would set her assassin’s guild up as one of the best in Hell—and it turns out her client hasn’t only hired her. He’s hired the top guild in Hell too. Worse, the male she’s up against is wickedly alluring, a dark elf warrior who sets her blood on fire, and the heat that sparks between them is in danger of burning her resolve to take him down to ashes.
It’s a race against time and each other to fulfil the contract by taking out one of the most dangerous men in Hell, a vampire with a name befitting of his bloody history, but who will be the one to claim victory—one of them or the King of Death?
Find out in Scorched by Darkness, an enemies-to-lovers fated mates paranormal romance that will set your heart on fire!
Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Scorched by Darkness book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on May 2nd. Enter now: http://www.felicityheaton.com/scorched-by-darkness-paranormal-romance-novel.php
Fuming wasn’t a strong enough word for how Mackenzie was feeling. Furious? Filled with rage? Liable to detonate at a moment’s notice? That one seemed to convey the fire that burned up her blood and ignited something dangerous inside her as she searched for the male she had spotted.
That fire only blazed hotter as she finally located him on a rooftop overlooking the square, felt his gaze light on her as a shiver that cascaded over her entire body.
And then he was gone.
She clenched her jaw and cursed him as he sprinted across the rooftops, leaping alleys with ease.
Closing in on her mark.
Another bloody assassin!
Worse, he was an elf.
That could only mean one thing—her client had some explaining to do.
She was sure he was the reason the most renowned assassin’s guild in Hell just tossed their hat into the ring and was following her mark.
Mackenzie was swift to move, slipped through the crowd and worked her way back to the raised walkway where she had been when she had first spotted the other assassin. Where the sight of him had completely arrested her, bewitching her as if he was a mage rather than an elf. Her blood chilled at that word. Mage. She shook it off, together with the unsettling effect the elf had on her, and bit out another ripe curse as she checked his position.
The black-haired bastard was above the target now, looming at the edge of the roof, peering down at them and looking for all the world as if he was contemplating leaping on them.
Maybe he was.
Damn him. He was forcing her hand. She hadn’t come here to take down her mark, wasn’t appropriately armed for a kill.
She had come here to follow up a lead, part of her not expecting the vampire to be here tonight. Her plan had been to study him if he was and see what she could learn about him, to gather intelligence she could use to form a plan of attack. She regretted not bringing her arsenal with her now, but she hadn’t known she would have competition.
She was going to have to improvise.
Another, fouler, curse rolled off her tongue as five demons formed a blockade ahead of her. She sprinted right at them, unwilling to let them slow her down, fear a potent motivator as her gaze flicked to the elf again and then to her target as the idiot stopped right below him.
She nimbly leaped, slapped her left hand down on the shoulder of one of the big males and ran up the wall behind him. The demon grunted as she shoved off, growled as he twisted towards her, and she landed and ducked beneath the meaty fist he swung at her.
“Sorry!” she hollered over her shoulder without slowing.
She checked the elf again. Still there. What was he waiting for?
Her focus darted back to the mark.
He wasn’t alone.
The dark-haired male turned towards his companion—a stunningly beautiful woman with long white hair and curves to die for wrapped in cerulean leather.
A phantom made flesh.
The intel Jasynder had gathered for her was right then. The vampire was mated to a phantom. She could understand why the elf was hesitating now. Getting on the wrong side of a phantom was a sure-fire way of getting your soul devoured. It only took one kiss and the elf would be toast. Of course, the terrifying woman could kill Mackenzie just as easily with the same tactic, but phantoms were all female and preferred to turn males into ghosts to either use for procreation or to kill by draining their life essence.
Chances were high that if she and the elf both attacked at the same time, the phantom would target him, leaving Mackenzie open to take down the mark.
Which was going to be easier said than done. This vampire had a bloody reputation, led the fiercest legion of the Preux Chevaliers—an organisation of vampire mercenaries in Hell. Taking him down was going to be hard, and it was going to require some finesse if she didn’t want to die in the process, or before she could deal a fatal blow on him, but it would be worth it.
This contract was a huge deal for her guild.
Judging by the sour look on the elf’s face as he glared down at the couple and then at Mackenzie, it was a big deal for him too.
She glanced back at the mark.
“Shit!” she muttered as she saw they were gone.
She halted at the edge of the raised stone walkway and scanned the crowd with her senses, but there were too many people packed into the square. She couldn’t pick out vampire or phantom among the blur of scents and powers.
Mackenzie huffed and strode down the alley ahead of her, one that ran between the building where the elf still stood and the first building on the side of the square to her right. She exited it on a broader cobbled street and checked in both directions, and then did a quick lap of the demon district.
The thoroughfare was just as busy as the square, filled with demons grouped together in front of the one and two-storey grey stone buildings. Hordes of them had gathered around the tavern to the north of the district, a pale cream stone affair that was a contrast to all the dark grey. It was more elegant too, resembling something from the Victorian era.
“Hey,” she breathed as a big demon noticed her and his dusky horns curled a little, beginning to resemble those of a ram, and his crimson eyes brightened. She skimmed her hands down her burgundy corset to her hips, making sure she had the whole of his attention, and canted her head as she sidled up to him. “Don’t suppose you’ve seen a vampire and a phantom coming this way?”
He shook his head, and then growled and bared fangs when two other demons looked at her. She pegged one as from the Fifth Realm, and one as from the Second. Demons didn’t exactly like to share, but she needed information, and if a fight broke out, she would make a sharp exit.
“How about you, big guy?” She ran an assessing gaze over the demon from the Second Realm, taking a moment to appreciate all that muscle jammed into only a pair of tight black leathers, and how his black horns grew as he gave her a leisurely once-over in return. “You seen a vampire and a phantom?”
“Maybe,” he grunted and continued in stilted English, revealing he didn’t get out of Hell much, “What… information… worth?”
“More than you can afford, gorgeous.” She offered a sultry smile because that was all he was getting from her.
He hadn’t seen anything. None of them had. She debated questioning the others and then decided against it. She wasn’t going to find her mark again tonight. By now, he was either holed up in the vampire district to the north of the enormous cavern, or he had used one of the portal pathways and gone back to his stronghold in Hell.
She ogled the demon one last time, shutting out a stray thought that left her reeling—she liked her men a little leaner and a lot meaner.
The elf popped into her head.
She was about to banish him, but paused and frowned as she shrugged. Her mark was gone, but she could still come away from tonight with some valuable intel if she tailed the assassin. It might go some way towards making her feel better.
Mackenzie returned to the square and looked up to her right, at the rooftop. He was gone. She muttered another curse, one that felt like the millionth she had unleashed since noticing the elf.
That sizzle-spark rolled along her spine again and she jerked her head down.
Her gaze collided with pure amethyst across a sea of people, violet that held her fast as a thousand tingles tripped through her.
The elf frowned at her, his sensual lips turning downwards as a disapproving look settled on his handsome face. The black slashes of his eyebrows met hard and he pivoted, breaking the spell he had placed her under. She shook off the lingering effect and glared at his back as he eased through the crowd, heading towards the clock tower at the other end of the square.
Mackenzie gave him a few seconds to build a lead and then followed, keeping her senses trained on him so he couldn’t escape her.
Which of the elves was he? There was only one guild in Hell that employed his kind, and when she had been researching assassin organisations with the intent of forming one of her own, before she had joined a guild instead, two names had come up.
Fuery and Hartt.
Rumour didn’t need to paint an interesting picture of them. Fact had already done it. The two elves were practically famous and as far as she could tell, one was as bad as the other.
As dangerous and deadly as her mark.
Her client had obviously hired him too and she couldn’t really blame him for putting the contract out for tender at several guilds. Not when there was a ridiculously high chance the vampire would kill whoever was sent to take him down.
The elf hit the broad street that cut through the witches’ district. She locked up tight when he suddenly stopped and began to turn his head. She ducked behind a group of shifters, sure he was looking for her. Her heart shot into her throat and pounded there, adrenaline a sweet kick in her veins as she edged forwards and risked peering around the female shifter who was looking down at her as if she were insane.
He was gone. Damn him.
Mackenzie stood and tiptoed, peered over the heads of the crowd and tried to find him. The tightness in her chest evaporated as she spotted him heading along the side of the square and she hurried to catch up with him as he ducked into an alley.
Following an elf with a reputation as dark as the one attributed to the two assassins in his guild into an alley was probably suicide. That thought flickered through her mind, but she paid it no heed. She mounted the steps up onto the stone walkway and pressed her back to the building beside the alley.
Being prepared was worth the risk. She had never seen an assassin from his guild in the flesh, and she wanted to know what she was up against because she doubted her client was going to change his mind about having more than one assassin guild on this job for him.
The elf was her competition, and he was going down.
She needed to be the one to take out the mark. Claiming a trophy of this magnitude would establish her guild as one of the most prestigious in Hell. It would finally get her small band of assassins recognised and would lead to getting bigger and better contracts.
Her guild needed this.
Ever since she had taken over leadership of it a few decades ago, they had struggled to keep their heads above water, let alone establish themselves in the fiercely competitive world of contract killing. It was a miracle this client had approached them and offered this opportunity, and she wouldn’t mess up this chance they had been given.
She had to secure the kill for her guild.
She leaned left and peered into the alley, glared at the elf’s back as he strolled away from her.
Plus, she had a score to settle.
She had lost track of the number of clients who had dumped her guild halfway through a contract because an opening had come up at the one he worked for. Her scowl deepened, mostly because those electric shivers were back as she studied him, sending heat rolling through her.
But there was something arresting about him.
The fluid way he moved, a startling combination of grace and raw sexuality that shouldn’t be possible considering he wore a drab black knee-length tunic over his tight trousers, was drawing more than just her gaze to him. Every female in the alley looked him over after he had passed them and some had the courage to eye him up as he approached.
One even offered herself up to him.
He politely turned her down with a smile and a wave of his hand.
The subtle shift of his body caused the fine material of the tunic to pull taut over his biceps and across his broad shoulders, revealing toned muscles. Apparently, elves had incredible armour that was imbued with magic or something. The black scales resided in twin bracelets and could cover their owner in a handful of seconds if they issued a mental command. Those scales could transform into talons too, and only metal of the same type could cut through it.
She had never seen it in the flesh, but heat sizzled through her as she pictured what he would look like in only skin-tight black armour that revealed everything.
And she meant everything.
Several of the accounts she had read about elf armour, and some of the ones she had been told by women who had witnessed it, had been very clear about that. Every muscle on their body showed, and not just that, but you could tell the size of the package on offer too.
That sizzle became a spark that ignited her blood, had her thoughts going hazy for a moment before she snapped herself back to the world and shut it down.
She blamed the elf for her out-of-control libido and imagination, put it down to his good looks and incredible physique, and the fact it had been far too long since she had taken the time to scratch her itches.
She wouldn’t let herself get distracted by him.
It would be a death sentence.
He was the enemy and he had clocked her in the square, knew they were after the same mark. He was probably aware of her right now and was leading her to her doom. Well, it would be his doom that awaited him at the end of this dance.
Mackenzie tailed him, studying everything he did, learning all she could about him, right down to which foot he favoured as he pivoted and turned down another alley. The more she knew about him, the more likely it was she would survive a fight against him.
And they would come to blows.
She felt that in her gut.
She peeked into the alley. He was still a good fifty feet ahead of her. She slipped into the narrower space, hating the way the two dark stone buildings seemed to close in on her to steal all the light. The strange burn he had ignited in her blood turned to ice and she breathed through it as her chest constricted. She was fine. She focused on the electric lamp mounted on the wall at the end of the alley, using the soft light it emitted to banish the darkness.
As the momentary panic passed and her senses came back online, she swore under her breath.
The elf was gone.
“Damn it, Mackenzie,” she muttered and frowned as she hurried forwards. “Losing track of your targets now?”
It wasn’t like her. She prided herself on her skills, on her dedication to her work and how professional she was compared with a lot of other assassins. She had never lost track of a mark and now she had done it twice in one night.
She slowed her pace, catching herself. Rushing headlong after the elf was a foolish move. Whether the male was Hartt or Fuery, he was a merciless killer. Darkness made flesh.
And sharp as a blade too.
The tales of them were legendary. More than one account glorified how quickly they could think on their feet and how intelligent they were. She supposed skills like that came with the territory when you were thousands of years old.
She took a moment to breathe, to focus her mind again. She was quick and clever too.
He wasn’t going to get the jump on her.
She brought her guard up again as she slipped a dagger free of the sheathe at her waist and stretched her senses around her as she exited the alley onto the main street that cut through the heart of the demon district. She palmed the grip of the blade, her pulse picking up as she scoured the area.
Had he teleported back to Hell?
She squeaked as a hand suddenly appeared around her throat and hauled her back against a rock-hard body, and shivered as his deep baritone teased her ear.
“Looking for me?”
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger
Book 15: Unchained by a Forbidden Love
Book 16: Avenged by an Angel
Book 17: Seduced by a Demon King
Book 18: Scorched by Darkness
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling London Vampires series. Seven sexy and sinful Greek god brothers can be your new addiction in the Guardians of Hades series. Or how about four hot alpha shifter brothers in her Cougar Creek Mates series? Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places: