For half-Sidhe billionaire Conal Donovan, rich people problems include an ex who’s an evil Fairy goddess named Siobhan. When Siobhan sends a team of werewolf terrorists to kidnap and torture him, he’s rescued by Helena Baker, African American, former FBI agent, and wolf-shifter. But Conal’s not out of the woods, because Siobhan has sworn to kill him, his sisters, and all his Sidhe friends. He and Helena decide the only way to protect the innocent is to focus Siobhan’s vicious jealousy on them by pretending to be lovers.
Helena Baker’s best friend is a gun inhabited by a retired death god, so she can handle werewolves. She’s less sure about the handsome white guy with the talking phoenix and the relentless commitment to protecting his sisters. Especially considering that she’s in her Burning Moon — the werewolf version of heat. Her pheromones make Conal just as interested in her as she is in him. But is their growing love real? And what will happen when the hormones wear off?
Love really shouldn’t be this complicated.
Publisher’s Warning: Master of Desire includes scenes of graphic violence and previous sexual abuse that may be triggers for some readers.
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Angela Knight
“You just ate. Last week you had two Fomorians and a troll.” Helena Baker turned the page, trying to concentrate on her romance novel. The roses that covered the arched wooden arbor cast cool, sweet-smelling shade over the pages. Maeve’s palace was surrounded by glorious gardens, and the arbor’s cushioned wooden bench was her favorite spot to enjoy them.
She glanced up from her book. The palace looming over the trees was breathtaking in its fluid Sidhe architecture, white marble blazing in the golden afternoon sunlight. I’m living in a Fairy tale. When she remembered she used to be an FBI agent, it was enough to give her psychic whiplash.
“That was last week. I’m hungry now.”
“What you are is bored.” Why wouldn’t he shut up? She was almost at the good part. Sexy, threatening Daegan was about to dominate Gideon. These days reading a BDSM romance was the closest she came to getting any. And she needed some. So, so bad. Her Burning Moon hormones were driving her insane. Swear to God, it gets worse every year.
“But it’s your job to provide for me.” His voice was way too close to a whine.
“My ‘job’ to keep you from killing people.” Turning the page, she glared down at him. “Would you please let me read my book in peace? Or do I need to put you in the Box?”
“All right, all right! You get so bitchy this time of year.” His tone brightened. “Maybe we could release some of that pent-up aggression by hunting a serial killer. Remember that DCN piece about those murders in…”
She held up one finger, frowning. “Hear that?”
“What?” Liam said.
“It’s the Box, calling your name.”
“That’s it!” Helena picked up the Desert Eagle and started to stuff him into the enchanted holster on her belt. “You’re getting quality time in the gun safe.” An hour in the Box would shut him up and give her a little privacy for a foursome with Daegan, Gideon and her new vibrator.
Liam promptly turned into a rocket launcher. She almost dropped him before she managed to get a good grip again. “The hell? You trying to shoot me in the head?”
“Of course not.” Lacking vocal cords — or a mouth, for that matter — he had to use magic to generate speech. “You’re my priestess.”
“For the last time, I’m not your damn priestess. I’m your keeper, and my job is to make sure you don’t kill anyone who doesn’t deserve to die. If I weren’t immune to magic, you’d be trying to convince me to shoot myself.”
“I’d never do that. You’re the best priestess I’ve ever had.”
“Yeah, in the sense I’m the only one you haven’t managed to kill. Yet.”
“I am a death deity.”
“A retired death deity. You swore to obey me, Liam. Change. Back.”
“Fine. Keep your flea collar on!” Sparks exploded, leaving behind a very ladylike Smith & Wesson with a pink grip.
Helena glared down at him. “Now you’re just being insulting.”
“Helena?” Maeve’s voice rang out over the garden, sharp and urgent. “Where are you?” Normally the Mother of Fairies could sense anyone on the palace grounds, but her magic rolled off Helena like water off a mallard.
Helena’s head snapped up as she rose from the bench, gun in hand. “Here! What’s wrong?”
“Werewolves have captured Conal Donovan.”
Liam cursed in a language that had been dead since the last ice age. Thrusting him into his belt holster, Helena leaped into a dead run. “Coming!” Conal Donovan might be a Changeling — half human, half Sidhe — but he’d also saved the life of Maeve’s granddaughter at considerable risk to his own. That was the kind of debt the Mother of Fairies took seriously. Since the goddess’s magic had no effect on werewolves, rescuing him would fall to Helena.
Maeve rounded a topiary unicorn and strode between towering mounds of Mageverse blooms toward Helena. Six feet, six inches of sculpted, regal beauty, the goddess radiated power like a storm front. Gleaming green hair fell around her shoulders, pulled back and bound with thin braids to reveal the elegant points of her ears. An emerald-green leather vest hugged her full breasts and bared powerful biceps, while matching leather pants and thigh-high boots made her muscled legs look even longer.
She was every bit the badass she looked, which was why the grim look on her face made Helena’s blood run cold. “What happened?”
“A team of werewolves broke into Conal’s house.” Maeve’s voice was clipped and crisp, but her peridot eyes held worry. “Essus was injured in the fight, but he managed to open a link to me. He says he can hear Conal screaming.” Her mouth tightened. “They’re torturing him.”
“How many wolves?” Helena thrust away the memory of blowtorch pain as fangs ripped into her belly. Looking down to see a coil of something red…
“At least ten. But there’s worse news.” Her jaw flexed. “I tried to open a gate and couldn’t.”
“Siobhan,” Liam spat. The magical geas that bound Maeve and her daughter insured neither could use magic in anything directly involving the other. It was a devil’s bargain from Maeve’s point of view, but she’d have agreed to worse to save her granddaughter. Otherwise Siobhan would have killed the little girl despite Conal’s efforts to save her.
Unfortunately, the geas did nothing to protect Conal, which was apparently why Siobhan had gone after him. She had an uncanny instinct for the best way to hurt her mother. But why now? Helena wondered. It had been thirty years, for God’s sake. Figure it out after you save the hostage. “We’ll take care of it. Where’s Conal now?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela Knight’s romance writing career began in 1996, when she realized her dream of romance publication with Red Sage’s Secrets anthology. She is a New York Times best-selling author of more than fifty novels, novellas, and ebooks, including the Mageverse and Time Hunters series. Her career spans twenty plus years. Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine gave her a Career Achievement award in Paranormal Romance, as well as two Reviewers’ Choice awards for best erotic romance and best werewolf romance.
Angela is currently a writer, editor, and cover artist for Changeling Press. She also teaches online writing courses with SavvyAuthors.com. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s writing career includes a decade as an award-winning South Carolina newspaper reporter. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a thirty-year police veteran and detective with a local police department.