Sheri Lynn will give away a digital copy of His Eternal Promise to one randomly drawn commenter.
Title: His Eternal Promise
Eternal Gifts Book Two
Author: Sheri Lynn
Genre: Paranormal romance; vampire
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4
She never imagined that a peculiar encounter with Maxim, followed by a night of extraordinary passion, would result in His Eternal Promise.
Carlee put everything into her family and her job over the last couple of years, sacrificing any personal life. After a rare evening out with a few girlfriends, she encounters a captivating man under inexplicable circumstances. Against all rational judgment, they share an evening of the most fulfilling and erotic sex she’s ever experienced.
Maxim hasn’t wanted a woman, especially a mortal, in over a century, but he wants Carlee. He intends to keep the truth from her in order to build a relationship first, but a woman from his past complicates things forcing him to reveal the truth. He hopes Carlee chooses to keep him in her life, because he can’t leave, her life is in danger.
PLEASE PICK ONE EXCERPT:
He didn’t sleep. Carlee breathed deep and steady, so he knew she slept. He should not have followed her. In a whole century, he never interacted with mortals other than business. The desire to be with one, sexually or in any intimate manner, never appealed to him.
Something about this one human reached out and into the dark, lonely places inside him. He couldn’t let her go. He knew that. Looking into her eyes, hearing and feeling her blood circulating through her lovely body, he knew he found the exception. For her to accept him, want him, and take him as she did, just reinforced it.
Her light hair spread out inches from his face. Rubbing his nose in it, he breathed in the scent, reveling in the reactions her smell conjured in him. Many women attempted to attract him, entice him, and he always rejected them. After he fled Annika, he lost interest in women. Until Carlee. The need to seduce, cherish, protect, and indulge her consumed him.
How would she see him this morning? She could have regrets. She could obsess over what she saw behind the building. She could decide to end any further interaction with him. There were so many questions, and he needed to decide what he was and wasn’t ready to divulge. With all certainty, he knew she belonged with him. She would remain his.
Without any sleep, and enraptured in the beauty of the woman lying beside him, his impatience mounted. Let the spoiling commence. Without disturbing her, he got out of the bed to put some coffee on. She probably drank coffee.
As he entered the kitchen, a coffee pot came into view. Now to find filters and coffee.
“Right upper cabinet, over the sink,” informed Carlee. He didn’t hear her enter the kitchen, but the sight of her standing there, just waking up, tousled hair, and nude, made him want to reclaim her right then and there. As if she read his thoughts, she grinned, lifting her arms awkwardly to semi-cover her chest.
Approaching her, he took both her wrists and pulled her arms to her sides. “Kotyonok, don’t you ever hide from me…especially that exquisite body.” Leaning in, he brushed his lips over hers. Her round, hazel eyes never leaving his. “What is it you normally do on a Sunday?”
That produced another grin from her sweet mouth. “I don’t do anything before coffee.” Scooting around him, she said, “I’ll make the coffee.” Filling the carafe from the sink, her back to him, the questions began. “So…your accent, is it Russian, or thereabouts?”
An easy one first. Good. “Yes. I grew up in a small village just outside of Saratov.” Plagued with an inner turmoil of what truths to expose and what to suppress, he realized a human part of him still existed. He made the decision to hold onto her…build a trust…protect her, and if that meant withholding, that’s what he would do. He wouldn’t lose her.
Enjoying the sight of her moving about the kitchen invigorated him. These feelings were nonexistent since the change and before he became tainted. He resigned himself to the fact that he lost this forever. Her shoulder length hair swayed with her movements. Her beautiful soft skin with live blood flowing underneath it, her narrow hips, all of which he intended to worship…forever. Her plump rear bore light marks from his belt. The need to take her again, now, challenged his restraint.
Opening his mouth to speak, anything to subdue his yearning, she turned to face him and asked. “Before we take this any further…I need to know what was going on last night.”
Not his initial impulse, but he decided to toy with her. He sensed she could handle it, and wouldn’t accept it for long before she demanded the answers she really needed. “I had the pleasure of feasting my eyes upon you, Kotyonok. I followed you home, and to my ultimate surprise, you left the key in the door, allowing me access to your home.” Placing her hands on her hips, she pursed her lips, but he continued. “You were in bed, in all your naked glory, and I couldn’t resist tasting and feeling you from the outside in…and spanking your lovely needy ass.”
His recount of their evening altered her breathing, and he heard her pulse quicken. She even paced in front of him before she scolded him. “Maxim…you know damn well that isn’t what I’m talking about. Are you a fucking murderer?”
Surprised by her outburst, he answered in a calm, authoritative tone. “Language, Kotyonok, very unbecoming from someone so lovely.” He hated lying, and prided himself on only doing so to survive. For now, he must do it out of necessity, necessary to keep her as his. “No. I am not a murderer. That was James. He drinks too much, and never learns. He is killing himself. I would not normally have treated him so shoddily, but I was worried about you.” The lie executed, he hoped this won more time with her. He decided he better continue, remove any possible concerns from her mind. “His girlfriend was on his way to take him home. I attempted to have him walk it off a little.”
Considering this, her brow furrowed, resulting in a cute crease in her forehead. “To answer your earlier question…on Sundays I go and see my father. Usually, I get him out of the house. Take him to eat.”
That let him off the hook. His self-control waned, as thoughts of taking her as his again dominated his mind and body. He must handle this right. Scaring her off was not an option. She was his. Moving in front of her, he placed his right hand in her hair, tilting her face to look at him. “Though I would love nothing more than to spend the day with you, you have plans, and I also have an engagement.” Gazing into her beautiful face, it bewildered him how much she affected him, reaching places he believed died in 1917.
He placed his cheek on her forehead. He savored her sweet warmth. Clearing his throat, he pulled back, giving her a quick kiss. “I very much want to pick you up…say around 6:30 this evening and have you attend a small art show at a gallery downtown with me.”
Smiling, she nodded. “I would very much like that too.”
There were other women in the bathroom, but she located an empty stall. Her mind begged her to take a moment and think about all this. If Maxim appeared in front of her at that moment, she knew the pleas of her mind would go unanswered. This whole situation was beyond crazy. Who does this? Chucking to herself, she decided that would be most women—if pulled from their beds and their body worshipped and awakened by Maxim, that’s who.
This couldn’t all be in her imagination. The way he looked at her…touched her…considered her, he must feel it too. According to Greta, she never saw him with anyone, so—it wasn’t his “thing” to go out and lure women in to just leave them. Or was it? What did she really know about him? He lives in Canada and sells his grandfather’s art.
“Carlee…are you ok?” Maxim’s voice reached her from the other side of the door.
She must have sat in the stall longer than she realized. Adjusting her dress, she flushed the toilet and unlatched the door. There he stood with a genuine look of concern across his handsome face. Glancing around, two other women at the sinks stood frozen in place watching this unexpected exchange. Grabbing his hand, she squeezed it then released it. “Yeah. I’m sorry.”
Moving to the sink, she placed her hands under the faucet to trigger the water sensor. Soaping up her hands, she kept her eyes low, avoiding any contact with the other women who remained immobile, gawking at the exchange between Maxim and her.
He moved in behind her, placing his arm around her waist. She looked up into the mirror, and his eyes caught hers. “What is it? Do you feel well?”
“Yes. I’m sorry. Let’s get back out there.” Grabbing a hand towel, she dried her hands, threw it in the basket and walked to the door. Glancing over her shoulder at him, she gave him a big smile. “Come on. You should be out front.”
Just as she stepped into the hall, he grabbed her wrist, pulling her back hard into his chest. Her breath caught as she looked up at him. “I’m where I should be,” he said huskily as his mouth claimed hers in a sweet, passionate kiss.
Cupping Maxim’s face, Carlee encouraged him to return to the showing. “Go on now. You said you wanted to finish up and get out of here.” They re-entered the showroom together, but she waved him off as several people circled him, commenting and asking about the paintings.
The crowd thinned. Carlee kept her distance, letting Maxim answer potential buyers’ questions and deal with Chester and Greta. It warmed her that she felt his eyes on her, no matter where she stood in the gallery. She sipped her champagne. She hadn’t eaten since lunch, and she didn’t need or want it going to her head. Not having spent much time in this area of the showroom this evening, she noticed something…rather someone…in each of these paintings.
Not the main focus, she appeared more in the background, a part of a crowd, but visible. With long, straight black hair, pale skin and the same silver eyes as Maxim, she held an obvious presence. Reading the details of these pieces, they were all post Russian Revolution. The locales varied from the Russian area in prior paintings, to other European regions and possibly the Mediterranean.
“Are you ready? Thanks for coming with me, and I hope I haven’t neglected you.” His cool breath hit right under her left ear, sending shivers along her spine.
Stepping away from him, as she recognized that any proximity with him rendered her mindless, but sent her senses ablaze. “No, no…I’ve enjoyed it. Learning about your ancestors has been interesting.” Pointing at the painting in front of her, at the mystery woman, she asked. “Who is she? She is in a lot of the pieces in this era. A relative…your great grandmother?”
Catching a glowing silver flash in his eyes, she turned to face him and his body went rigid. “No. She is not.” Leaving her standing there, his words rushed out as she stared at his retreating back. “I’ll get your coat.”
Hating that she hit a sore spot with him, for whatever reason, Carlee kept quiet during the drive back to her place. He drove in silence, no attempt to engage her in any conversation, and probably all for the best anyway. Whatever it was they were doing…was too strange, and undoubtedly temporary. With that knowledge already bothering her, smart to let it end before she got more involved.
Pulling into a parking place, he put the car in park and pulled Carlee to him. His nose circled in her hair, and she heard him inhale her scent as he spoke. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean nor do I want to shut you out like that.” Nuzzling her neck, he continued, “I told you I have no living relatives. I have no one I can ask anything about the paintings. My knowledge of them, the people, the locations…is limited. I tend to get frustrated.”
Rubbing the back of his head, it pained her to realize how alone he must be. She understood. All she had left was her dad, but at least she did have him. “Do you want to come up?”
Lifting his head from her neck, he brushed her lips with his again. She closed her eyes awaiting his answer. “I didn’t get you anything to eat, Kotyonok. I’m failing you…but would like nothing more than to come up.”
That admission caused her eyes to fly open, her face flush, and a breathy sigh escaped past her lips. “I can scramble some eggs.”
I grew up an Army brat, so my childhood involved moving every three years. However, truly a southern gal, I currently reside in Alabama with my husband, two Chihuahuas, a mean cat, turtle, and a teenage daughter. I have two sons, who live on their own, and a stepson and stepdaughter.
Romance novels have always been my first reading choice. I’m a hopeless romantic, and that trait materializes in every aspect of my life. “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” has been a common phrase repeatedly heard throughout my life. Writing romance and happily ever afters comes naturally.
Whether a result of my childhood, or not, I love to travel. Warm weather and beautiful beaches are always my choice destination.
Keywords: Romance, paranormal, vampire, contemporary
Blog URL: https://sherilynnauthor.wordpress.com