In JEWELED, the heroine, Evangeline, has not experienced her own emotion since she was a child. Her magickal gift is stealing emotion from others, trading it, and “manufacturing” feeling in others. A part of her gift is the ability to build strong walls against emotion for herself and after a very traumatic experience as a child, she did just that.
But when the palace where Evangeline lives is taken over by a mob during a bloody revolution and she’s turned out into the street, penniless, all her walls coming tumbling down and Evangeline is forced to learn how to feel again.
There to help her is Anatol, an adept of light and illusion. He is also a “Jeweled,” one of those with enough magick to earn him a precious jewel set into his flesh and be considered good breeding material for the royal family, (that, over the years, has bled out all the magick from their line through inbreeding).
The backlash of Anatol’s gift of being able to sculpt illusion is the ability to see truth. He sees that Evangeline is a very special person, but she needs lots love and support to get through the sudden changes in her life. He has loved for her for a very long time and is willing to give her anything she needs.
Complicating matters is Gregorio Vihkin, the scholarly mastermind behind the revolution that has disrupted Anatol and Evangeline’s lives. When the upheaval in the streets threatens Anatol and Evangeline’s lives, he takes them in.
At first Evangeline hates Gregorio for what he’s done, but when she gets to know him and sees the truth behind their former pampered lifestyles and how it hurt the rest of the people, her feelings for Gregorio warm. Warm a little too much for Anatol’s taste. Soon both men are in love with Evangeline and Evangeline has more than she can handle.
Together, in a world gone mad, they must find a way to come together.
Please enjoy a small excerpt from JEWELED, which releases tomorrow! I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
“All I’ve ever had in my life to use was my looks and my willingness to have sex.” She swallowed hard. “Honestly, Anatol, I should go to the Temple of Dreams. It’s all I’m really suited for.”
His jaw locked and something dangerous flashed in his eyes. “We’ve had this conversation before.”
“Why are you so against the idea of it, Anatol? We could both go there to work. I know you say you’re in love with me, but that’s just silly—”
He rounded on her, arresting the end of the sentence in her throat. Fire jumped in his eyes. “Not silly, Evangeline, true. I don’t want to make love to any woman but you. I couldn’t do it. So you go, if you think that’s what you want.” He turned away. “I won’t stop you.”
She chewed her lower lip and let emotion rise up to swamp her for a moment in punishment. She deserved it; she’d hurt him. Wrapping the blanket around herself, she stood and walked to him. “I don’t want to leave you,” she murmured at his back.
He turned and pulled her into his arms. “Good. That’s a good thing to hear, Evangeline, because I don’t want you to leave me.”
She wrapped her arms around him, letting the blanket fall to the floor and his body heat warm her. Nuzzling her nose into his chest, she inhaled the scent of him. “I want you to . . . make love to me, Anatol. I want to know what it feels like.” The words came out as a whisper, like she was afraid to say them too loudly. She wasn’t sure why.
His body tensed against hers. “Don’t tempt me.”
She gave a soft laugh. “Haven’t you noticed that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do?”
“Yes, I’ve noticed.” He made a tortured sound in his throat. “The scent of you tempts me. The sound of your breath tempts me. You tempt me even when you’re not trying.” He turned her and she saw that the cracked head -to -toe mirror was directly in front of them. “Look at yourself, Evangeline. You’re beautiful.”
She smiled. “Like I said, it’s been my currency in life.”
He moved her closer to the mirror. “I don’t just mean your face, hair, and body. Look into your eyes, hold your own gaze in the reflection.”
She met her eyes, blinked, and looked away. Staring into her own eyes was uncomfortable.
He gripped her shoulders. “No, look, Evangeline. See what I see.”
Her face flushing, she raised her gaze to her eyes again. They were gray, the color of metal. That’s what she noticed first. But if she went deeper, which felt a little like diving into her own soul, she saw . . . vulnerability. Honesty. Emotion. Joshui, so much of it. Her eyes seemed to swim with it. She saw strength, too.
Anatol dropped his mouth near her ear. “Your eyes have always been this way, even when you were at your worst. There was always beauty in you, complexity, empathy, caring, and I always saw that beauty. Always. No matter what you did or what you said to me, it was there.”
Her lips parted as she stared into her own reflection in a way she’d never done before. Anatol was helping her see herself in a way she never had.
His hands rested on her hips as he took a slow sweep of her body. “You are, of course, also beautiful in the more traditional sense.”
“Touch me,” she murmured, meeting his gaze in the reflection.
Anya will give away a signed copy of JEWELED to someone who comments!