in The Valthreans series
Keeping it simple doesn’t always work out so well…After exacting his longed-for revenge, Massimiliano “Max” Damiani’s life is about to get more complicated when he is sent by the Valthrean Council to investigate the mysterious death of one of their Councilmen. Duty-bound to protect the victim’s daughter and her young brother, the stakes are upped as Max and those around him become targets of a dangerous enemy. The Cult is closing in, threatening the future of their kind.
Fate is a cruel mistress…
Piper Ingram’s existence is thrust into turbulent waters. Her father has been murdered in cold blood and she is now sole guardian to her little brother, Charlie. After years of helping others come to terms with their problems and move on to better lives in a domestic violence shelter, she now needs help protecting herself and her kin.
Salvation comes when we face our deepest fears…
Max values his independence above anything. Meanwhile, this case brings him more trouble than he’s bargained for, pushing his limits, and testing his fear of commitment. While striving to keep his personal demons at bay and holding on to his set ways, he fights his attraction to Piper, but he fast learns some things are not within his control. Will he save those entrusted in his care this time? And most importantly, will he finally find redemption … and love?
step closer to the young woman who sat stiffly on a chair, one room away from
where her father lay dead, murdered in cold blood. A redhead, yes, but not as
solid a shade as Madeleine’s, he realized. Miss Ingram’s thick, copper-infused
corkscrew tresses tumbled about her head in willful abandon, reaching down past
her breasts. The mass of loose hair possessed burnished gold tints that would
create a blinding halo under direct sunlight, as though spun from that bright
star at the liminal stage of a breathtaking sunset…
magnificent fall of autumn brilliance like a blanket of grief separating her
from the world. A lone figure, her head down in a pose that dared anyone to
come pull her from the clutches of hushed despair, she kept her hands linked
tightly together on her lap, each finger vying to be the others’ lifeline, and
stared hard at the carpet beneath her feet—a woman in utter disbelief that her
life had been turned upside down, that her dear father was no more.
ought to have raised its scratchy, skeletal hand from the depths of his being,
screaming, ‘I know this!’. The same
vacant aura, a cosmic inner emptiness, had been his, once in the distant past.
He’d had to snap out of that daze fast back then because circumstances had
dictated it, but not before grief had burned itself into every vein, every
muscle, every sinew, every layer of flesh he possessed. He’d been branded, time
and again, with its red-hot poker, until the furtive chill of resignation had
put its anesthetizing balm on his heart. Time could heal in some ways, but his
wounds had been haphazardly patched up, leaving his soul marred with permanent
scars. Does one ever shake off such horror? He had come to doubt that over the
years and, eventually, disbelieved it altogether. Memories got fuzzier, but the
worst ones stuck like wasps on honeydew and stayed there, mired in his psyche.
himself in equal measure entranced and disgusted. But, while he stared at the
woman, revulsion started to give way to something else, something eminently
more insidious. He did not enjoy having his heartstrings pulled, or moments
when a sense of duty felt dangerously close to personal obligation. He didn’t
know these people, didn’t owe them anything except a day’s, week’s, or month’s
work. Anything more—the threads of emotion—would be unwelcome. He quelled the
pang of sympathy that rose from his gut. Pity is a springboard for trouble, and
trouble brings pain or, at the very least, undesired change.
felt his attention on her for she tilted her face up to him.
hitched, drawn with startling violence into his lungs as green eyes fixed on
him. Green eyes—but not a copy of
Madeleine’s emerald ones that had haunted his nightmares for years, and still
did on occasion. This woman’s were a precious blue-green jade. Limpid and light
in shade, they shone like twin stars. Beautiful porcelain skin complemented a
perfectly shaped angelic face with a pointed chin, perked up nose, and Cupid’s
a vision of her bending down and wrapping those sensual lips around his
throbbing erection finagled its way in his mind…
thumped faster and empathy gave way to yet another emotion so overwhelming and
unexpected, he felt powerless.
be standing there, mesmerized by a beautiful woman, when he’d been called to
assist with a murder investigation.
Pink velvet and black lace. Light and darkness. A world of contrasts exists in Natalie’s stories because every rose has its thorn. Her favourite stories to write are romances with a dark edge featuring brooding heroes, strong heroines, an intriguing mystery, and a good dash of fantasy.
TOP TEN FACTS ABOUT ‘A LIFETIME FOR REVENGE’
- Max Damiani proved the hardest character to write. At the start, I kept getting him wrong, trying to impose my will on him. When I finally let him have a voice, he started speaking to me. J
- Max is a rather accomplished chef. Which woman doesn’t love a man who cooks delicious meals for her?
- Vivane Cross’ dog, Jolly, although a retriever, reminds me of the German Shepherd I had growing up
- All the recipes in the book are tried and tested by me J
- The heroine’s (Piper Ingram’s) assistant, Jan, is based on a British lady I met last summer while at a dinner with my family
- All the characters became close friends of mine throughout the course of the book
- Every now and then I expect Max to just walk in through my front door and start talking to me
- Two of the scenes I enjoyed writing most in the book: Max and Piper’s hot first kiss, and the scene where Max kicks a domestic abuser’s butt (then Piper shoots him)
- I started writing the latest draft of this novel during NaNoWriMo 2014
- Hunter Reese, one of the Valthreans, is based on a mix of two people I’ve known in the past
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