Assassin's Kiss by Sharon Kay
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Witch Tessa promises to marry a rival leader to save her people. But she never planned on the new prisoner in her coven. Scorpio, a rough, former mercenary makes the outrageous claim that she belongs to him.
Even from behind bars, the longer Scorpio stays, the more he unsettles Tessa and she questions all she thought she knew. Choosing him will put everyone she cares for at risk. He’s nothing like she expected, and the last thing she could dare to want.
Scorpio and Tessa are a match that you would think would be impossible to bring together, but strangely they are both cut from the same cloth and have the same priorities which are basically... I will do anything to keep those I love from coming to harm. Because they had similar values, it helped them to come together in a way that made sense.
Scorpio has a past that haunts him in the worst way. Tessa is unfortunately that one individual he meets in which his past collides very abruptly with the present. He must correct an act he was forced to commit decades earlier which caused a chain reaction of deadly consequences for an entire village. Tessa is his mate, but she hates him and that is a problem that is not easily resolved. He has to find a way to make her see him not as the mercenary he was forced to be in the past, but for the man he is now.
I love stories that revolve around magic and I think that is why I really enjoyed this installment. I loved Tessa and her ability to manipulate metal. I loved the conflict between her coven and the coven that they are fighting against who seem to be touched by dark magic. I loved the values that her coven held too and their determination to not give into hate but instead see the value of not succumbing to acts that would align with those touched by dark magic.
This is a very creative story, with really interesting and well developed characters. And, if you've read all of Sharon Kay's books you will get to see a few characters that you've met in prior books pop in for a visit. The writing in this one is stellar! It's easy to see that this author put a lot of heart into the emotions and feelings of these characters. It helped me to become more invested in their story.
So, another entertaining and enjoyable read by the lovely Sharon Kay. Looking forward to more from her for sure.
Tessa’s eyes swung back to Scorpio, and he knew the exact minute that realization sunk in for her.
She was alone with him. All alone, in the middle of the woods. “We just, um…” She blinked. Her pulse ticked wildly at her throat.
“Tessa.” He lowered his voice to a tone he hoped was reassuring. “The other night you said you weren’t afraid of me.”
Her chin jutted. “I’m not.”
He touched the collar, not taking his eyes from hers. “Then take this off.” His voice came out in a whispered growl. His body hummed with the need to be unhindered around her, to absorb everything about her sensually and to not have any impediments to protecting her.
She swallowed hard. Her chest rose and fell. She didn’t speak.
“You know I will never hurt you,” he continued. “Right?”
She nodded, eyes huge.
“You know I will never leave you here alone or unprotected.”
She nodded again.
“Do you trust me, Tessa?”
She sucked in a breath.
“I think you do. And I swear on all that’s sacred, I won’t ever do anything to damage your trust in me.” He leaned closer, his body roaring to be skin to skin with her. But not yet. “Tessa,” he whispered, the ache to touch her nearly unbearable. “Take this off.”
Take this off.
Tessa couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, as Scorpio overwhelmed her every sense. Her brain was mush, muddled, worthless. His voice licked over her skin, making her want to follow his words. Because really, was it so much to ask?
They were all alone in the woods. Alone. That one word should have chilled her, should have made her run. But running was the last thing on her mind. He was more intense than ever, towering over her, eyes bright with feeling she was drawn to but was afraid to think too hard about.
The words he spoke were true, and somehow he had tapped into that trust that she herself couldn’t explain.
If she trusted him, truly, then the collar wasn’t needed. She had a knife at her thigh, but that would hardly hurt a huge demon like him.
He waited—simmering with energy, and power, and strength—as she stood frozen. But her body seemed to have decided for her, leaving her mind far in the dust. Finally her lungs rebelled against the lack of oxygen and a breath forced its way into her body on a gasp. Next, her arms moved up as if on their own accord, hovering near his neck. In a trembling voice, she revoked the spell on the collar and the clasp released, restoring every dollop of strength to those huge muscles of his.
The metal thudded to the forest floor, and still she stood, unable to move, not sure if she had signed her own death warrant or made a good choice.
But then he grinned. A true smile that pulled his full lips up and reached into his golden eyes, bringing a devastating handsomeness to his face. “Thank you.” He closed his eyes and leaned back, extending his arms. He inhaled a deep breath, the muscles in his chest and abs swelling with the motion. His biceps strained the T-shirt he’d been given.
She shook her head, glad he had his eyes closed so he didn’t see her staring like she’d never seen a male before. Surprising glimmers of both blond and brown streaked through his buzzed hair. She glanced away at the trees, but the image of him was burned onto her brain. No, she’d never seen a male who looked like him. And for the first time, she let herself simply exist in his presence, not thinking about the past. She allowed herself to absorb every detail about him, lethal and otherwise.
Peeking beyond his scary, sometimes stony façade, she found a male whose eyes teased her with a hidden sensuality. As if he would make her body reveal secrets she didn’t even know about. Every inch of him was honed to a warrior’s perfection. She had no doubt he’d be able to fight anything in the realm…and win.
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