Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.
This is an excerpt from The Forbidden Chamber, from Samhain Publishing.
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“Your life is forfeit if you open that door.”
All her life, Lady Isabel Colven has followed the path laid out for her, content to look neither left nor right for excitement. Her future holds a dutiful, passionless marriage to some nice young man, and she’s content…until the exotic and compelling Lord Rukh Hayle threatens her maidenly reserve. Rumor paints him as a wife-murderer; desire tempts her to look past his aura of danger.
Rukh refuses to let his family’s curse kill a third bride, but Isabel awakens the Raven within him, compels him to take her to wife—and to bed—despite the secrets that live under his skin. That lie is locked in the darkest corners of the manor, waiting to be unleashed. Their lusty union arouses the curse, entangling Isabel in an erotic tug of war that can only end in her destruction. There is no escape for either of them. Not from his family’s shadowy history. Not from demons imagined and real. And not from the choice Rukh faces to save his bride from a fate worse than death…
Warning: This gothic contains heady kisses that lead to ruin, passionate sex on a desk chair, a mysterious husband who may be a murderer, a cursed family of raven shifters, and an unspeakable evil hidden in the closet.
“...We both know what will happen before the night is through. Or do you? Your purity is the very reason we are married. Do you know what to expect?”
“Yes.” Well, she didn’t understand, but her answer was sure. He arched a brow at her, and his lips quirked. He didn’t believe her.
“No matter. You’ll understand before the day dawns.”
She shivered, and his smile broadened to show all his teeth.
“Well then,” he purred and swayed toward her before he blinked slowly. His smile faded as he sat back. “It pains me to wait, but I must inform you of your status before we go further. Despite rumors you may have heard about me, I am an honorable man when allowed the choices to behave in an honorable manner.”
He took a deep breath, and Isabel kept her mind from conjuring stories, weaving the rumors in her mind. What was he saying?
“There are some things I must explain before the sun goes down.” His voice no longer unaffected, his ominous tone should have frightened her. He reached across the space to the small table, plucked a sweet pink confection from the plate, and placed it upon her lips. How could such an attentive man harm her?
She had her answer when he pushed the candy into her mouth. His finger followed. The sweet taste on the back of her tongue exploded, at odds with the salty digit touching the tip. A small blaze erupted beneath her skirts. Her lord’s dark eyes glittered with banked promise.
He ran his short nail across her lips. Once. Twice. She wanted more. So much more, but her new husband sat back in his chair and folded his hands across his waist. The crested ring reminded her of his status, a powerful man of influence. With his legs extended toward the fire, the bulge in his pants stole her attention. She swallowed the sweet confection that made her mouth water. Or was it the handsome man before her who whet her appetite?
His urgent voice opposed his relaxed outward appearance. His eyes bore into her, the dark eddies within lit by the fire.
“First, I must give you a commandment you will obey. Do not question it, but trust I have your best interests at heart.”
His ring flashed in the firelight when he raised his hand and pointed toward a red door she’d not seen before. Overwhelmed by the expectations of her wedding night, her mind fixated on the barred passage.
Red, a strange color for a door.
Absorbed in the tableau before the fire, she hadn’t noticed her surroundings beyond their fireside setting. Well, other than the giant bed on the far wall that she dare not consider. Pulled back in invitation, the bed drapes absorbed the light in the room. The dark black velvet matched the covers folded down to expose luxurious sheets of white cotton.
The entire room held rich appointments in colors of black, white, and red. With the nearly monochromatic design, the red lined chairs, pillows, and small appointments drew her eye, but the door remained ominous. She turned to her husband. The picture of the red barrier ghosted her vision and superimposed over the figure reposed in the chair. She blinked the harrowing image away.
“Never open that door. Plainly put, if you open that door, you will end as my first two wives.”
Links to other Excerpt Monday writers
Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.
Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)
Joining us this week:
Jane Bled, Yaoi/M-M Erotica/Vampire/Paranormal/Horror (PG 13)
Danie Ford, YA Urban Fantasy (PG 13)
Heather S Ingemar, Dark Fantasy (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Cynthia Justlin, Contemporary Romance (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical paranormal romance (PG 13)
R.F Long, Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Debbie Mumford, Fantasy (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG13)
Megan S, Paranormal (PG 13)
Rosalind Stone, Women’s Fiction (PG 13)
Jo Lynne Valerie, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Kendal Ashby, YA (R)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary (R)
Cate Hart, YA Paranormal (R)
Inez Kelley, Romantic Comedy (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Fantasy (R)
Jeanne St. James, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Paranormal Romance (R)
Jeanette Murray, Romantic Comedy (R)
Christa Paige, Paranormal (R)
Michelle Picard, Fantasy Romance (R)
Mary Quast, Contemporary Romance (R)
Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Zora Stout, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Sara Brookes, Erotic Sci Fi (NC 17)
Emily Ryan-Davis, Romance (NC 17)
Ella Drake, Historical Paranormal Romance (NC 17)
Angeleque Ford, Erotic Dark Urban Fantasy (NC17)
J.W. Hankins, Dark Fiction (NC 17)
Annie Nicholas, Paranormal Romance (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Erotic SF Romance (NC17)
Michelle Polaris, Erotic Futuristic Romance (NC 17)
Bryl R. Tyne, Contemporary M/M (NC 17)