Category Archives: Winter’s Kiss

Teaseday – Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm Romance Series Book 8) Plus FREE EBOOK

 

Today’s tease comes from the book Winter’s Kiss, which is book 8 in my popular Vampires Realm romance series.

Read on for this Tuesday’s tease… It’s a super long one today but I just couldn’t help including all of this scene as it’s one of my favourites in the novel. A little background info – Nika has been bitten by a werewolf and was saved by Winter, a vampire of the Validus bloodline who secretly longed to turn her when she was mortal, claiming her as his mate. Now, they’re on the run from the werewolf, Willem, trying to get Nika to safety… and have sneaked into the Validus mansion for a brief pit-stop…

Winter's Kiss - paranormal werewolf romance Book

She took his breath away. Her honey blonde hair hung in wet ringlets that stroked her cheeks and caressed her bare shoulders. A black towel hid her soft pale body, a dazzling contrast. His gaze skimmed over her, taking in the shape of her and stopping when he reached her legs. The one she had broken still bore a red mark where the bone was healing. It marred her otherwise perfect skin, a reminder of her ordeal.

Taking the shirt with him, he walked across the room to her. She smiled when he placed the oversized black shirt around her shoulders and covered her. His gaze fell to her throat and he noticed that she had removed her cross. He glanced down to see it in her hand, spinning as it dangled from the chain.

“I’m scared,” she said, her eyes reflecting all that fear, enormous and soulful, tempting him into holding her and whispering sweet words of reassurance.

He smiled, hoping it would be enough to calm her, and drew the shirt closed across her chest. “There is nothing to fear. We shall leave this place soon.”

“And go where?”

Winter wished he knew. The thought of taking her to the compound made a strange uneasiness settle in his chest. He pressed his hand against it and rubbed the spot over his heart, hoping to soothe the dull ache. There had to be a way of discovering where the werewolves hid their bastion.

“We cannot remain here.” He moved back across the room to the bed, sensing her following him, her footsteps almost silent on the extensive black and red Chinese rug that covered most of the floor, leaving only a thin border of dark wooden floorboards around the edges.

“Why not?” she said and sat down on the end of his double bed.

The black towel she wore melted into the black sheets. She removed the shirt from her shoulders and placed it down beside her. When she leaned back, her slender pale hands were a stark contrast to the bedclothes. His gaze traversed the length of her arms, following the line of them up to her shoulders. His stomach turned and growled when his gaze reached the smooth, sublime column of her throat. Her hair had fallen away, revealing the slope of it, covered with dewdrops of moisture that clung in the most enticing way to her skin. An urge to chase them with his tongue filled him, commanding him to go to her and slowly lick her throat until he had caught every drop. It led onto a desire to lean into her then, to ease his teeth into her neck and draw on her warm blood, to take her completely and in ways that he had only seen in fantasies of her.

“Why can’t we stay here?”
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Sensual Sunday – Hot Teaser from Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm Romance Series Book 8)

 

Sensual Sunday is brought to you today by Winter’s Kiss, which is the 8th book in my popular Vampires Realm romance series. Sensual Sunday’s always feature a hot excerpt from one of my paranormal romance books. Read on for this Sunday’s sensual snippet…

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Winter Warmers – Get THREE FREE EBOOKS and fantastic discounted books too this holiday!

 

As a HUGE thank you to all my readers for their continuing support and kind words about my books, heroes and heroines, this year, I’m offering THREE FREE EBOOKS and some fantastic discounts in my Winter Warmers deal.

The FREE EBOOKS are the first romance books in my three main series. You can pick up Covet (Vampire Erotic Theatre Romance Series), Her Dark Angel (Her Angel Romance Series) and Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm Romance Series) for FREE right now at selected Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks and Kobo Books stores.

If you’re a Nook or Sony user, don’t worry! You can download the FREE books from Kobo Books, download the epub file and read it on your Nook or Sony Reader without any problems.

Here’s more about the books, including the links to where they’re free. Hurry though, this offer ends December 31st 2012. Don’t forget to share it with your friends too if they like paranormal romance books.

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Posted in angel romance, Ascension, Covet, demons, forbidden blood, free stories, Heart of Darkness, Her Angel Series, Her Dark Angel, Hunter's Moon, Love Immortal, paranormal romance, Prophecy Trilogy, urban fantasy, Vampire Erotic Theatre, vampire romance, Vampires Realm, werewolf romance, Winter's Kiss | Comments Off on Winter Warmers – Get THREE FREE EBOOKS and fantastic discounted books too this holiday!

Sunday Snippets – Winter’s Kiss – paranormal vampire / werewolf romance novel excerpt

It’s time for this week’s Sunday Snippet from one of my paranormal romance books. While I’m away, my snippets are going to vary between full length chapters and teasing snippets. Which will it be today?

WINTER’S KISS

Nika stopped in front of the mansion, a short distance from the place where she knew she would find him. She took a deep breath. There was no reason to be nervous. She had walked past him countless times. In the winter, every morning and evening had seen her walk past him when she had been on her way to or from school. Tonight was nothing special. She had been away from the area for a few weeks and she’d had a few drinks before leaving work so her tongue was a little loose and her bravado was up, but that didn’t mean that she was going to do anything. She would walk calmly by and steal a glance, the same as she always did, as though she had never been away.

And he wouldn’t look at her, just as he never did.

The weather was bitter and inhospitable, the wind stealing all the heat from her cheeks and leaving them numb. Light snow whipped around and stung her face. She pulled the collar of her black winter coat up and tugged the sleeves down over her gloves, trying to eliminate any gaps where the wind could sneak in. The full moon shone behind the clouds, almost visible through their thin fluffy bodies. She had seen it a while back as it had been rising, fat and deep orange. She had taken a moment to stop on the narrow country road and watch it. It was a long walk from the nearest train stop to her village, but never once had she thought about calling her father for a lift. She liked the walk. She liked to pass the mansion without hearing her father’s terrifying tales of its occupants.

She liked to see the man.

Stamping her feet to get some life back into them, Nika sniffled and sighed. Her breath turned to white fog and drifted away. She started walking again, ready for her glimpse of the man and eager to get home where it would be warm.

The men slowly came into view. There were two of them as usual. Her heart skipped a beat and pounded a little harder. Would one of them be her man?

She was going to walk straight past and just sneak a glance at him, but some part of her had a different idea. When she had passed him and seen his beautiful dark eyes, she ground to a halt. He hadn’t looked at her again. She frowned, turned on her heel, and walked back to him. Standing opposite him, she stared up at his face. Neither man moved. They stood frozen to the spot, the tall blade-tipped staffs held resolutely at their sides and the large black wrought iron gate standing behind them.

He blinked. When his eyes opened, he still had them fixed on a spot in the distance over her head.

“What’s your name?” she said. The remaining trace of alcohol in her veins made her brave.

Nothing.

The wind howled through the gate and she frowned when it battered her coat and dress, but didn’t move the guards’ thick midnight black cloaks at all. Their black chest armour was visible on the side they held the weapon. She had never seen anything like it. It fascinated her. Moulded to mimic muscles, it would have been a fine body if it were real flesh and blood. The kind of male body that she had seen in magazines.

“Do you do this every night?” She tried again.

Nothing.

“Can you even speak?”

Nothing.

“Are you blind? Is that why you don’t look at me?” She waved her hand in front of his face.

There wasn’t the slightest reaction. He didn’t even blink.

Losing her patience, she huffed and frowned at him.

“The history of our village is written and in the books it’s said that a man moved here centuries ago, a man with purple eyes and a penchant for bloody murder, and that he’s lived here ever since. The tale goes that he feasts on the blood of virgins to keep himself young and that those who serve him are dead men walking.”

No reaction.

Nika stood there a moment longer, wondering what she could possibly say that would draw a reaction from him. He faltered in her vision, distorting along with the other guard and the mansion behind them. The steady drumming in her chest became a staccato rhythm and her eyes widened while she watched the whole world shift before her eyes.

One moment the guard stood before her and the next a different man. This one sent a chill tumbling down her spine and spreading to her fingertips. His rough-hewn features gave him an air of brutality. Dishevelled black wiry hair tufted up, streaked with silver by his temples, drawing her gaze to his slightly pointed ears. A thick scar cut across one cheek, tugging the corner of his lips into it. It looked as though someone had sliced through his mouth to his ear.

She looked away from it, disturbed by the sight, and found her gaze meeting his. Hard, penetrating amber irises held hers. Their dark wide pupils made her tremble with the promises of violence and pain that they held.

Nika knew those eyes.

The wind blew, sweeping her hair from her face and making the plush grey fur collar of his coat dance. He smiled at her, revealing sharp teeth that made her gasp in recognition.

Before she could even think it, he twisted and growled, fur chasing over his skin as it stretched to fit new bones. She wanted to look away but found that she couldn’t. She could only stare in horror and sick fascination as he transformed into a wolf before her eyes.

Suddenly, six wolves were with him and she was in the forest. Nika turned in a heartbeat, running away from them before they could reach her again. Again? She hazily remembered that she had done this before. She had already run away from these wolves. In the distance, the shack appeared. She had run there. The guard had saved her. Her leg had been broken.

It exploded in pain as she remembered and a red haze covered the world. It quickly faded to black. Unable to run any longer, she started to fall.

Nika’s eyes snapped open and she stared at the sloped wooden ceiling. Her heart hammered against her chest, her breathing fast and panicked. She slowed it down, drawing careful even breaths. It was hard to figure out what was real and what had been just a dream. Her leg ached. The wolves had been real. Her head rolled to one side and she stared at the man sleeping in the corner of the shack. So was the guard.

Who was the other man?

She rubbed her face and sat up, grimacing when her whole body protested. A thick black blanket covered her. No, not a blanket. The man’s cloak. She moved it aside and saw her own coat beneath it. He had covered her to keep her warm. She glanced at him again. The air in the room was icy at best. He would be freezing.

A frown married her fair eyebrows when she saw her left leg. He had bound it with what looked like part of her dress, some wood and some leather straps. It hurt, a dull throbbing pain, but nowhere near as badly as it had done last night. She looked at the windows. She couldn’t tell what time of day it was now. The light was golden, that of either morning or evening. What had happened to the night?

Panic lanced through her.

Her father.

He would be worried sick by now. She should have returned to the village hours ago. What if he came out looking for her and the wolves attacked him too? She tried to move and a wave of nausea crashed over her, sending her mind spinning and her skin burning. She pressed her hand to her head, feeling the heat of it and the damp layer of sweat. Was she infected? When she had been a child, the wolves had attacked the village and many had fallen sick from their wounds. The doctors had said it was blood poisoning and had sent the people away. She held herself, wrapping her arms across her chest. Did she have blood poisoning?

Nika jumped when the man in the corner stirred. Winter. She vaguely remembered him saying that was his name. Winter looked at her with dark eyes that she couldn’t read. There was no emotion in them. In all the times that she had seen him and looked into them, they had always been unreadable, but she knew there were feelings inside him. She could feel them.

He stood, crossed the small room to her, and inspected her leg and her cuts. His eyes grew darker. He frowned.

“I feared it would be this way,” he said in a heavy voice laden with the emotions finally surfacing in his eyes—anguish and despair. She wished those hadn’t been the first feelings that he had shown her.

“What way?” The sudden appearance of his feelings made her panic. Blood poisoning. It had to be.

He moved towards her, his face expressionless even when his eyes shone with what looked like fear.

She closed her eyes when his palm pressed against her forehead, cool and refreshing. His touch sent waves of relaxing calm through her and she leaned back against the headboard of the bed, her whole body humming softly.

“Did any of the wolves bite you?”

Those words chased away the calm and brought fear crashing back. Her eyes shot wide and she stared at the opposite wall, her thoughts running a million miles an hour through what had happened last night.

“The big one, with the black fur and grey mane,” she said and looked up at Winter. “I remember it from when I was small. The wolves came to the village one harsh winter. My father protected me.”

Winter was silent. His expression turned grim, sending fear into her heart.

“If it bit me, am I sickening—will I die? I’ve seen others die from a fever like this.” Her eyes searched his, heart holding onto the hope that he would tell her she would be fine. If he told her, she would believe him. He had said she wouldn’t die last night and she hadn’t. Perhaps if he told her that she would get better, she would.

He shook his head.

“No…” He sat beside her on the bed and removed his hand from her forehead. He placed his other one against her cheek. It was so cold that her eyes slipped half-shut again as she savoured the cooling effect that it had on her body. “You will not die. You will heal and you will grow stronger than you have ever been.”

Her eyes opened again.

“How?” She looked at her leg and concentrated. “I’m healing. I can feel it. The pain is almost gone, but the fever… what’s happening to me?”

A look that spoke of discomfort crossed his face and he stood, walking to the end of the bed and then turning to face her, as though he needed the distance. She willed him back to her. Whenever he was close, she felt safe and as though nothing could hurt her.

“You are becoming like them,” he said in a near whisper. He had to be joking. People didn’t become wolves. His gaze met hers. His eyes held nothing but honesty. Waves of panic rocked her, one after the other, each stronger than the last. They tightened her chest until it became hard to breathe. “Within the next few days, your transformation will be complete.”

“I’m becoming a wolf?” Her voice was a high squeak of hysteria. “What crazy idea is that? You can’t become a wolf from being bitten by one!”

“They are not wolves,” he said, emotionless.

“They’re not?” She laughed but stopped when his face remained serious and it became even more difficult to breathe. She had to do something to dispel this growing fear inside her. He couldn’t be telling her the truth. “Next you’ll be telling me that you’re not human and we’re not in a shack in the woods.”

He took a step towards her, hesitated, and then curled his hands into fists. When he spoke, his voice was one of pain and anger.

“I am not human, Nika, and neither are you… not anymore. Rest. You will be weak until you are healed.”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was she still dreaming? Was she delirious?

“Rest? You tell me that I’m not human and neither are you, and then you tell me to rest?”

He just stared at her.

“There is nothing we can do. You cannot move until your leg is healed and even then it is dangerous to move you before your transformation is complete.”

That word made her sick. Transformation. He kept saying it as though it was really happening. She was becoming a wolf. How was that possible? People really didn’t turn into wolves when one bit them. She frowned at her leg. Winter had said that the wolves hadn’t really been wolves. Had the man in her dream become the wolf?

This was insane. She had to get out of here and away from this craziness. If she did, then maybe she would be fine.

“I can’t stay here. My father will be worried and the wolves might return. This shack won’t hold… and you’re clearly as demented as the man in the mansion you protect!”

He said nothing. He stood still a moment and then walked to the window and stared out of it. The broken glass let the frigid air in. How could he stand the cold? Her gaze fell to his armour. The back of it was as detailed as the front, shaped like black muscles and intricately decorated with silver lines. His thick black shirt and that armour couldn’t be keeping him warm. His hands had been freezing.

“What kind of lunatic do you protect that demands you wear such an outfit? It’s the twenty-first century and you’re wearing armour.”

He whirled to face her, expression dark and deadly, eyes black as midnight. “My lord is none of your business. You would do well to keep your questions away from him.”

Nika leaned back into the bed in an attempt to avoid the cutting edge of his tone and the violent darkness in his eyes. She hadn’t meant to provoke him, or perhaps she had. Her father would be worried about her and everything that Winter said seemed impossible.

When she opened her mouth to speak, his eyes narrowed, silencing her.

“You must stay here,” he said, his tone still rough. He looked at the window again and then back at her. This time when he spoke, his voice was softer and full of feeling. “If the wolves return, which is likely since their leader will now see you as his, then I will protect you. He is no match for me, but with the others, I will be at a disadvantage. I am not demented, and I was not lying to you when I said that I am not human, and neither are you. I see no point in this conversation. You cannot change what happened…”

Nika winced when her leg hurt and curled up, drawing her one good leg to her chest and holding it. His words had started out so nice, but the cruel brutal edge they had gained made her heart ache. For a moment, she had thought that he was kind to want to protect her. Why had he spoiled it by reminding her about the wolf bite and her supposed new inhuman status?

Surprise claimed her when Winter sat beside her on the bed. He sighed. Was he upset about something other than what she had said about his master and her insistence about going home? She sighed along with him, wishing she understood what was happening. He stared down at his lap. He really was handsome, and very pale. Perhaps his position kept him away from the sunlight, or maybe the black clothing and his dark hair was the reason his skin appeared milky.

It suddenly sunk in.

It was an utterly ridiculous thought that made an impossible amount of sense.

“I’m a werewolf, aren’t I?” she said, still looking at him, studying his face for a reaction to her words.

He nodded. Not a flicker of feeling crossed his face. Anyone else would have laughed at her suggestion. Then again, anyone else would have insisted that she was human and just had a case of blood poisoning, not that she was turning into something else.

“Are you one too?”

A shake of his head this time.

“Something else?” she said, wondering what he could be.

He nodded again.

“What?” Nika had to ask. Winter had said that he wasn’t human. If he proved that, perhaps she would be able to start believing that she was becoming a werewolf.

His gaze slid across to meet hers. Her eyes widened when the colour of his irises gradually changed from deep blue to a rich purple. He straightened, turned his head to face her, and slowly smiled. His lips parted to reveal sharp pointed teeth. When he grinned fully, she realised that they were his canines. Fangs.

Her heart thumped erratically against her chest. Fear pounded down on her. Her instincts told her to run but she kept still instead, standing her ground in the only way she could. This man had saved her. He had offered to protect her when the wolves returned, regardless of how outnumbered he would be. He wasn’t going to harm her.

She swallowed when his gaze raked over her, slow and assessing, somewhere between an animal eyeing its prey and an amorous man eyeing a potential bedmate.

His eyelids dropped, hiding his stunning purple irises, and he inhaled, slow and deep, as though savouring the smell of something.

“You still smell of blood… the temptation…”

Her, apparently. He liked the smell of her blood. Blood, fangs, pale skin, never aging. She should have spotted it before. A vampire. That meant that she was definitely becoming a werewolf. Or was she still trapped in that dream?

His eyes opened and he stared straight into hers. His gaze slid down to her neck and then moved across, narrowing with contempt. Was it her gold cross that made him look that way? In the movies, vampires hated crosses. Perhaps it was true.

She removed her hand from her arm and looked down at her palm. Crimson stained it. She held her hand out for him to see and trembled when he took hold of it, his skin cool against hers and his touch gentle. With wide eyes, she watched him, unable to move as he leaned towards her. He closed his eyes, dipped his head, and licked the blood from her palm.

Her heart rocketed when he drew her hand closer to him, forcing her to lean forwards, and then opened the slit in the arm of her dress with his other hand. His tongue swept across the cut and then his mouth closed around it. He gave a shallow suck, as though removing poison from a snakebite, but she didn’t feel the sting of the wound as it reopened. The pleasure from such a sensual caress drove it to the back of her mind along with the dull ache in her leg. He licked the wound again, sending desire spiralling through her.

When he pulled back and released her hand, she felt bereft and cold. She looked at him and his eyes opened, meeting hers. They were blue again.

He blinked slowly.

“Is your lord a vampire too?” If he were, it would explain the story about him being centuries old.

Winter spat onto the floor.

Nika looked at the dark red wet mark on the dusty wood.

Her blood.

“We all are,” he said in a distant voice and wiped his lips.

Nika frowned, trying to ignore the fact that he hadn’t swallowed her blood. For some reason, it offended her.

“The village tales are true then. Fell creatures roam our land and they have the form of man,” she said in a false light tone and then frowned again at the dark patch of blood on the floor by Winter’s booted feet.

“How is your leg?” he said with a glance at it.

“Fine,” she snapped, unable to help herself. He had spat out her blood not seconds after saying he wanted it. “I thought you were tempted by my blood?”

His eyebrows knitted together and he stared pensively at the floor. “I am, but it tastes… it is tainted. The werewolf’s saliva is changing you and the process is not yet finished. When it is—”

“I’ll be like them.”

Winter nodded and kept his face bent towards the floor. “I came as fast as I could.”

Nika studied his face, surprised by his words and wanting to see if there was truth behind them. He had? There was such pain in his eyes, and regret. He looked vulnerable as he sat with his hands in his lap, his head bent and his profile to her. Something about the air of hurt around him made her want to reach out and cover his hand with hers, to reassure him that what had happened wasn’t his fault. His shoulders heaved in a sigh.

“They killed your horse,” she whispered, feeling ridiculous and cruel for mentioning it when his eyes closed in visible pain.

When they reopened, he was looking at her. He straightened and turned to face her, their eyes meeting. Tears filled hers as she thought about everything that had happened. Her life was over. She was becoming a werewolf and a vampire had rescued her. It was all too much and none of it made sense even though she knew that it was true.

She kept waiting to wake up from the nightmare. She kept waiting for Winter to tell her that it was a joke and that none of it was real. He was only joking. He wasn’t a vampire. She wasn’t turning into some kind of hellhound. Her stomach roiled and flipped, burning with acid and her tumultuous feelings. A longing to bury her head in her hands and cry until she was sick filled her but she denied it. She didn’t want to be weak. Not in front of Winter. She wanted to smile even though she was falling apart inside. The way he looked pained her, brought out her fear and shattered what little strength she had managed to retain. She wished she could smile for him, could alleviate all that sorrow in his beautiful blue eyes, but she wasn’t strong enough. A tear tracked down her cheek, another quickly following it. She let them come, let them quietly slip one after another, not sobbing, just surrendering to her feelings and the weakness that filled every inch of her, right down to her heart and soul.

Winter gave her another pained look and brushed the backs of his fingers across her cheek.

Her lips parted and a tear rolled down her cheek to her jaw.

Instinct made her lean into his touch and draw comfort from it.

He broke the silence with words that made her heart ache.

“I am only sorry I could not save either of you.”

Winter’s Kiss
F E Heaton
Their lord drinks blood and they are dead men walking. The tales of the mansion don’t stop Nika from falling for one of the guards, but when wolves attack her and he rides to her rescue, she discovers that her knight is anything but saintly. He is a vampire and she is becoming a werewolf, and love between their species is forbidden—the penalty death.

Winter’s world is shaken beyond salvation and his allegiance to his bloodline tested as he watches the woman he’s fallen for turn into a werewolf. His heart demands vengeance and that he protects her, both from the werewolf now hunting for her and from himself, but she tempts him more than he can bear and it isn’t long into their journey before he’s torn between upholding the law and succumbing to desire.

Will Nika be able to convince Winter to leave his world and stay with her or will she spend eternity dreaming of Winter’s kiss?

Available in e-book from:
Amazon Kindle Stores:
USA / WORLD | UK | Germany | France | Spain | Italy

Apple iTunes Stores:
USA | UK | Australia | Canada

Other Ebook Retailers:
Author’s website | Barnes and Noble | Sony Reader Store | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes and Noble

Posted in paranormal romance, snippets, vampire romance, Vampires Realm, werewolf romance, Winter's Kiss | Comments Off on Sunday Snippets – Winter’s Kiss – paranormal vampire / werewolf romance novel excerpt

Teaseday – Winter’s Kiss – vampire werewolf romance book

Today my Teaseday post comes from another of my current books on offer, Winter’s Kiss, a vampire werewolf romance book and the 8th book in my popular Vampires Realm romance series.

At the moment, I have a fantastic offer on a selection of my ebooks. There are plenty of fantastic reads to choose from, all priced between $0.99 and $2.99 and in a range of lengths between novella and long novels, and a variety of paranormal romance sub-genres including sinful angels, sexy vampires, seductive werewolves, and even a super-hot demon and sassy witch pairing. Offers end 15th January 2012.

Find out more about the books, including excerpts and reviews, and these great offers at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/paranormal-romance-ebook-offers.php

Winter’s Kiss is on offer for just $2.99 on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, Smashwords and other retailers. You can also get Seventh Circle for just $2.99, and the first three books in the series, the Prophecy Trilogy, for only $0.99 each!

So, here’s a single chapter tease and a link to a downloaded extended excerpt pdf!

F E Heaton
Their lord drinks blood and they are dead men walking. The tales of the mansion don’t stop Nika from falling for one of the guards, but when wolves attack her and he rides to her rescue, she discovers that her knight is anything but saintly. He is a vampire and she is becoming a werewolf, and love between their species is forbidden—the penalty death.

Winter’s world is shaken beyond salvation and his allegiance to his bloodline tested as he watches the woman he’s fallen for turn into a werewolf. His heart demands vengeance and that he protects her, both from the werewolf now hunting for her and from himself, but she tempts him more than he can bear and it isn’t long into their journey before he’s torn between upholding the law and succumbing to desire.

Will Nika be able to convince Winter to leave his world and stay with her or will she spend eternity dreaming of Winter’s kiss?

LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER: Only $2.99 (normally $3.99) as part of my Winter Warmers deal – offer ends 15th January 2012. Find out more about the offer and where it is available.

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Winter’s%20Kiss
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/Felicity-Heaton/e/2940000802090/
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-winter039skiss-620974-139.html
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/f-e-heaton/winters-kiss/_/R-400000000000000254325
Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Winters-Kiss-Vampires-Realm-Romance/book-EnqLOg3Bska1G5ouPxjkcA/page1.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7932
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle France: http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Apple iBookstore USA: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore UK: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore Australia: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore Canada: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/isbn9781452386980

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456489895/
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1456489895/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/F-Heaton/e/9781456489892/

EXCERPT

A scream rent the still night air.

Winter raised his head. The brush in his right hand paused against his horse’s sleek black flank. He frowned, calculating the distance from where he stood in the stable courtyard to the person who had shrieked. The human female voice could carry for miles on nights as calm as tonight. If she screamed again, he would be able to pinpoint her location to within one hundred metres.

A Watchman of the Validus bloodline, Winter had spent years honing his skills in tracking, hunting and killing to the highest echelon of perfection. They gave him the ability to ascertain that whoever the victim was, she was over three miles away.

He returned to his work, lovingly stroking the huge beast’s glossy coat and murmuring soothing words to him. It had been too long since he’d had the chance to ride. The rotation of duties within the household and Hyperion’s plan to spread their empire wider across Europe had left him with longer shifts at the gate. It was an honour to protect his lord, but long nights spent braced against the freezing winds that scathed the landscape in this part of Russia were tiring and left him little time before dawn to ride. His eyes closed. Honour wasn’t the only good thing to come of standing guard from sunset to sunrise.

He saw her more often.

An image of her flashed across Winter’s mind. Pale blonde hair hanging in waves down her back. Sparkling green eyes that glittered under the moonlight. A cherub’s rosy lips that promised sweet kisses and an imp’s smile that spoke of mischief. That image had branded itself on his mind the first night he had seen her as an adult. Every night that she passed and looked at him out of the corner of her eye, she burned her face a little deeper into his heart.

His horse kicked impatiently at the floor, scratching the scattered hay away from the dirt and leaving a long groove.

Winter patted Midnight tenderly on the neck and placed the brush down. Gathering the large black saddle, he positioned it on the horse’s high back and let his thoughts wander while he buckled the straps.

They instantly roamed back to her. Many years had passed since Winter had first seen her. She had been a little girl then. Now she had become a beautiful woman. Perhaps soon she would find the courage to speak to him for longer. She had stopped a few times, always singling him out even though his black armour covered him from head to toe, leaving only the section across his eyes exposed. She had spoken to him tonight, asking him why he wore armour and guarded the mansion. He hadn’t answered her. He had no place talking to humans when he was on duty.

There had been a beautiful lack of fear about her. Not even the sight of the naginata that he and the other Watchman held bothered her. Perhaps one day he could turn her. He cursed under his breath and tightened the last strap on the saddle. Those were not thoughts that he should be entertaining. His loyalty was to his lord and his bloodline first and foremost. He had a debt to repay. Once he felt as though he was worthy of asking his lord for permission to court the girl, he would, but until then he had a duty to do.

And that duty came first.

No matter what his feelings for her were.

A ride would clear his head.

A wolf howl sliced through the night.


Winter tensed and instinctively brushed his long heavy black cloak aside and reached for the sword hanging at his side. His fingers closed around the hilt as he calculated the distance to the howl.

Three miles.

Was the wolf after the woman?

Another scream shattered the returning silence. This time, it was a word.

“Niet!”

Winter’s eyes shot wide, an emotion rushing into his heart that he hadn’t felt in long years. Fear. The girl. He would know her voice anywhere.

With the preternatural speed and grace of his kind, Winter mounted the horse and bolted straight for the stable entrance. Midnight thundered forward, hooves pounding the dirt in a sure confident gallop. The gates barely had time to open as they approached. Winter tucked into the horse, bringing his feet up behind him along with the stirrups. The half-open wrought iron gates brushed his knees as they raced through, almost knocking the guards over.

Someone shouted something abusive in his direction.

He didn’t have time to slow down. The moment they had turned onto the road, he urged Midnight on, lowering his feet again but leaning forwards against its neck. It stretched forwards too, mimicking his move and galloping harder as though it had sensed his desperation.

The bottom of Winter’s chest armour dug into his hips as he rode. His long cloak streamed out behind him. The light flurry of snow became bitter darts of ice that cut into his eyes, forcing him to squint. He changed, his eyes turning purple to reveal his bloodline as his senses sharpened. The thundering hooves of his horse were the only sound in an otherwise still world. Winter snapped the reins. Midnight snorted and galloped faster, heading directly for the woods with no sign of slowing.

Winter willed the woman to make another noise, or the wolves to break their silence. He needed to get a fix on their location but it wasn’t only that driving him to beg the woman to shout or scream. He needed to know that she was still alive.

He hunkered down against his horse’s neck when they entered the thick forest of pines. Snow exploded from the branches as they crashed through them, heedless of the pain it caused them both. His armour would protect him from the whip-like branches of the trees, and his horse, Midnight, would go wherever he bid him to, regardless of whether it hurt.

A branch hit Winter directly across the black leather and metal mask covering his nose and mouth. It smacked the armour against his nose and forced a flinch from him as pain shot out in warm waves across his skull. He turned Midnight to his right and towards a more open area of forest. While the pain didn’t bother him, it would dampen his senses and he needed those as sharp as possible.

He pulled Midnight to a halt in a clearing and scanned the darkness, stretching out with his senses and searching for her. The wintry weather hadn’t managed to penetrate the dense trees and the ground was clear of snow, leaving him without a visible trail to follow. He breathed deep, catching a faint hint of her scent on the breeze. She had been here. He cursed. Where was she now?

Was she dead?

Had the wolves killed her already?

That thought made a dull ache settle in his chest. Winter refused to believe it. He wouldn’t believe it until he saw her body for himself. Another deep breath caught a stronger scent. A growl rumbled up through his chest.

Not wolves.

Werewolves.

His eyes narrowed into dark slits between his black helmet and facemask. He stared into the distance as one hand left the reins and closed around the hilt of his sword. Blood would spill tonight. Not only because werewolves had dared to enter Validus territory. If they had killed her, no, if they had even touched her, they would die by his hand.

A distant scream reached his ears.

He pulled on Midnight’s reins.

Midnight reared onto his hind legs, whinnied and then broke into a gallop. Winter sneered behind his facemask, his blood calling for violence.

* * * *

Nika walked the quiet winding path through the woods, wishing she had chosen to wear her thicker coat. Thick fake fur lined the long black coat she wore and it would have been warm enough under normal circumstances in late spring, but tonight was bitterly cold and the icy wind was searching, discovering cracks and places it could sneak into the coat and chill her to the bone. It was strange to have such wintry weather this side of spring. When she had left, the weather had been pleasant enough, and the snow had melted. Now it had come back with a vengeance. She had hoped the weather would be warm and sunny by the time she had returned from the city.

She folded her arms across her chest, trying to keep a little heat in. Her coat and dress reached the floor, both grazing the leaf litter and twigs that covered the path. The wind found its way into there too and blew upwards, snaking around her legs and sending her shivering. Her honey hair blew across her face as she turned and she clawed it away, thankful she’d had the good sense to take two long strands from beside her temples and plait them before tying them at the back of her head. It kept the bulk of her hair in place but left the long strands from that point downwards to dance in the breeze.

At least the snow couldn’t make it through the trees.

Nika hummed quietly to herself while she walked, thinking about how nice it would be to arrive home and sit down in front of the fire. The thought of that warm blaze made the cold feel distant. She wasn’t far from the village now. Soon she would be safe in her family’s home, out of the frigid night and bleak woods. It felt like months rather than weeks since she had gone away to St. Petersburg. A smile touched her lips when she recalled walking past the mansion. He had been on guard duty again, silent and sentinel outside the gate with another man. She knew it was him. Those beautiful dark eyes had spoken to her as they always did, telling her words that her heart loved to listen to. He never looked at her, but there was always a strange emotion in his eyes when she stopped in front of him. The cold emptiness that used to fill them disappeared, leaving what her heart interpreted as warmth behind.

She didn’t know who he was, or even what he looked like beneath his armour, but she knew one thing. She wanted no other man in this world.

Her heart lightened as memories of him came back, always protecting the gates of the large mansion. On the few occasions that she had plucked up the courage to speak to him, he had never uttered a word back at her. He hadn’t even spoken tonight when she had mentioned the tales about the man he guarded. Terrible tales they were. Stories of demons and death, of bloodshed and violence. Her whole village whispered of them. They were right in a way. There was something different about the men there. In all the years that she had passed those gates, that man had never changed. Not when she was a child and not now that she was an adult. It was the same man. He hadn’t aged one year in the twenty she had seen him. She was sure of it.

Through the trees, pinpricks of light flickered in the darkness. The village. She doubled her pace, thinking only of the warm fire and seeing her father again.

A howl sliced the night in two.

Nika froze to the spot, ears pricked and heart thundering.

Perhaps it had been the wind.

Low growls made her head snap around. Seven large dark shapes slinked out of the shadows. Their fur spiked in a line down their backs, wriggling like a snake when they shook themselves and growled at her. They stepped onto the path between her and the village. These were no ordinary wolves. She remembered them from her childhood. They had killed half of the village.

The one in front lowered its head and stared at her with bright amber eyes that promised a painful death. It snarled to reveal huge canines.

Nika screamed.

Before it could attack, she turned, dropped her bag and ran. She grabbed the front of her coat and skirt, lifting them so she could sprint unhindered, and headed through the woods in the direction of the mansion.

It wasn’t long before her legs were beginning to tire. Their muscles strained under the pressure of running over the uneven ground and seized up as the fear broke into her mind, sending panicked thoughts pounding through her skull.

She was going to die.

The voice at the back of her mind told her to give up, but she wouldn’t. She wasn’t ready to die. It was something that happened to someone else, not to her or the people she loved. If she could make it to the mansion, she would be safe. The men there would fend off the wolves. The man would protect her.

Nika shrieked again as she tripped on a branch hidden beneath the frozen leaf litter and hit the ground hard. She immediately scrabbled to her feet and ran blindly into the forest, desperate to escape the wolves. Behind her came their thundering feet and heavy panting. They were closing in.

In the blink of an eye, it was over. The full weight of one of the wolves hit her in the back, sending her tumbling to the floor. Another howled. She turned and wrestled the wolf off her, scrambling across the dirt away from it. One of them grabbed her ankle, the thick leather of her boot the only thing protecting the delicate joint. It growled. Nika screwed her eyes shut and brought her hands up in front of her face as the others leapt at her.

“Niet!”

Nika kicked the wolf off her ankle, eliciting a whimper from it, and pushed against the others. Breaking free, she got to her feet and ran again. Moonlight broke through a gap in the trees some distance ahead of her, illuminating a small shack.

Her heart willed her to make it there. It was her only chance.

She screamed again when one of the wolves snapped at her, trying to grab her arm. She punched it across the face and kept running, desperate to survive.

A thundering sound joined the cacophony of wolf growls and snarls and her rough breathing. Nika looked ahead of her to see the shack and then a large black horse with rider. She reached out to him, a silent plea for him to help her, and then fell when the wolves pounced on her. Pain erupted in her leg. Her heart missed beats as claws and teeth tore through her clothes.

Her last hope left her when she found herself face to face with the largest wolf. Hot breath washed her face, stealing her own. She sent a prayer to God and stared into the wolf’s yellow eyes, into the eyes of death.

The thundering hooves stopped. Above her the horse’s legs appeared, kicking out as the huge black beast whinnied and snorted. The wolves scattered, leaving her pressed into the dirt and frozen leaf litter, petrified and in too much pain to move.

The horse snorted again as it came down onto all four feet beside her and the rider appeared in her tear-blurred view.

“Hand,” he said in a muffled Russian voice and extended his towards her.

Nika feebly raised hers towards him. She wanted to take hold of that black gloved hand and escape this nightmare. He shook his impatiently. She struggled to move faster, weak from the white-hot pain burning inside every inch of her body. He bent forward on the saddle, caught her hand, and pulled her up into the air as though she weighed nothing. He settled her on the saddle in front of him. Pain shot up her leg and lanced her stomach. It stole her senses, filling them until she knew nothing but the warm pulsing throb. She was vaguely aware of his arm against her back and his hand on her waist, and the wolves closing in.

He turned the horse. Nika gritted her teeth and leaned into him. Each step of the horse’s gallop jostled her on the saddle. The pain was unbearable, wracking her to the depths of her bones with each movement, but the alternative made her cling to consciousness and life. The wolves growled, closer now. The horse suddenly stopped and the man lowered her to the ground. Her legs buckled beneath her. He caught her before she could collapse and held her close to his hard chest.

“Run!” he said and she hazily wondered if he was talking to her. She didn’t think that she could run. The pain in her leg was too intense, blinding. The horse whinnied. Was he talking to it?

Her heart beat faster, each pulse sending stabbing needles sweeping around her body. Darkness encroached at the edges of her mind, sending her thoughts fuzzy and her body numb. The man carried her into somewhere and set her down on something soft but lumpy. The sound of wood scraping and heavy objects slamming made her open her eyes. She frowned, vaguely aware that they were in the small shack she had seen and that he was barricading the door.

A wolf howl sounded just outside.

She flinched in pain when she curled up, the wounds on her body stinging. Her left leg burned as though it was on fire. She couldn’t move it. She left it lying limp in front of her. The man looked at her and then around the small hut.

“Do not be frightened,” he said, as though those four words could erase all her fear.

It crushed her chest and stole her breath. She struggled to suck in air, panic closing her throat and pain making the slightest thing too hard. Her leg was wet. She could feel the steady slide of blood down her arms. Oh God. She was going to die.

Her panic only increased when the dreadful sound of claws against wood filled the small shack. Snarls came in under the door and growls made her skin crawl. She tried to back away but the sound surrounded her, leaving her nowhere to go. The man stood at the door, his tall figure a black shadow in the low light. He didn’t move. He stood sentinel with his hand on the hilt of the sword at his side.

The blade of which gleamed when he began to draw it.

The wolves scrabbled faster at the door and walls, as though they were trying to dig their way through. Nika reached out to the man, numb and petrified. He stepped towards the door and her heart slammed against her chest.

The two small windows on either side of the door exploded, showering her and the man in glass. The wolves leapt high, paws scrambling for purchase on the windowsill. They disappeared again only to attempt another go at getting into the building.

The man fully drew his sword.

She extended her hand further towards him. “You can’t fight. There’s too many!”

A terrible scream made them both jump. She had never heard such a horrifying and inhuman sound. A chill swept over her back and down her arms. The scream came again amidst a discordant symphony of growls and snarls. She closed her eyes and used the last of her strength to cover her ears, not wanting to hear the horse as it died.

Dreadful silence fell.

DOWNLOAD EXTENDED EXCERPT PDF

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Winter’s%20Kiss
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
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Saturday Snippets from my Paranormal Romance Books – Winter’s Kiss, Ascension and Prophecy: Child of Light

It’s the weekend which means that it’s time for my Saturday Snippets. Since it’s a special weekend, I’m posting snippets from three of my paranormal romance books each day!

Your Saturday Snippets fix this week comes from Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm romance series #1), Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm romance series #8), and Ascension! Ascension and Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm romance series #1) are available for just $0.99 and Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm romance series #8) is available for just $2.99 for a limited time at Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBookstores, Kobo Books, Sony Reader Store and other retailers.

Click on the book covers to read more about the book, including excerpts.

“I’m not a child!” She retaliated and his fingers closed tightly around her arms again as he stared into her eyes. They moved over her, hunger burning in him as he ran them down her body and back up again.

“You really aren’t.”

She stilled in his grasp, her eyes becoming wide at first as she caught his meaning and then drooping again as the moment of recognition passed and the pleasure of the feed fogged her brain.

Her flesh felt so warm under his fingers. The borrowed heat from the blood and the alcohol made her even more alluring than she had been in the cemetery. He pushed her away, wanting to shut out the desire he felt for her. A deeper sensation coiled in the pit of his stomach, spreading into his chest and drawing him to her as she stood before him with a drunken smile on her face. She was too tempting right now and he was too weak to resist if she made a move.

He looked down into her eyes and stepped towards her again. He licked his lips at the same time as she cleaned hers of blood. He wished it were his tongue doing that, not hers.

The sun broke the horizon.

Slumping into the corner, Winter closed his eyes and his head fell forwards. He would need to sleep light in case Willem caught up with them. His eyes opened when Nika knelt beside him, her knees brushing his thigh.

“What is the matter?”

She toyed with her cloak and smiled nervously. He frowned and sat up, assessing her heartbeat and the flush of heat through her body, trying to discern what was wrong. Was she becoming sick again? Her heart beat erratically. Deep rose stained her cheeks.

His body jolted when her hand caught his and her fingers curled around to hold it, their tips brushing his palm.

“Kiss me, Winter, please?”

When she was like this, the magic making her hungry, it wasn’t her in control. It wasn’t her who reacted to him in lustful ways. It was her magic. It wanted more than just blood. It wanted his power. It wanted his body.

Lealandra suddenly pulled back, releasing him and gasping at air. Her chest heaved with it, bosoms pressing against her rich purple corset top and threatening to spill over. He stared at them, watching the rough rise and fall, tempted to reach out and touch, to take this to the next level regardless of his knowledge that she was barely in control. Until the power in his blood was absorbed into hers, the magic held the reins.

She knocked the air out of his lungs when she slammed into him, her hands on his shoulders, gripping tight. Her mouth was on his before he could stop her, the taste of his own blood stirring his demon until it verged on taking control. He grabbed her arms and shoved her away.

Red eyes glared at him with pure anger.

I hope you enjoyed these Saturday Snippets! What books would you like to see snippets from?

Posted in Ascension, paranormal romance, Prophecy Trilogy, snippets, Winter's Kiss | Comments Off on Saturday Snippets from my Paranormal Romance Books – Winter’s Kiss, Ascension and Prophecy: Child of Light

Daily Dozen – Winter’s Kiss – vampire/werewolf romance book

Today’s Daily Dozen is brought to you by a firm favourite of some of my readers, the 8th book in my Vampires Realm series and a vampire / werewolf romance book, Winter’s Kiss.

Winter is the hero and a Watchman of the Validus bloodline. The woman he secretly loves has just been attacked by werewolves and bitten, and is in the process of becoming one herself, meaning that his feelings for her are now forbidden. The scene is set in his room in the Validus mansion, where they have just bravely snuck into so he can arm himself and figure out what to do about Nika and the werewolves hunting for her.

“We cannot remain here.” Winter moved back across the room to the bed, sensing her following him, her footsteps almost silent on the extensive black and red Chinese rug that covered most of the floor, leaving only a thin border of dark wooden floorboards around the edges.

“Why not?” Nika said and sat down on the end of his double bed.

The black towel she wore melted into the black sheets. She removed the shirt from her shoulders and placed it down beside her. When she leaned back, her slender pale hands were a stark contrast to the bedclothes. His gaze traversed the length of her arms, following the line of them up to her shoulders. His stomach turned and growled when his gaze reached the smooth, sublime column of her throat. Her hair had fallen away, revealing the slope of it, covered with dewdrops of moisture that clung in the most enticing way to her skin. An urge to chase them with his tongue filled him, commanding him to go to her and slowly lick her throat until he had caught every drop. It led onto a desire to lean into her then, to ease his teeth into her neck and draw on her warm blood, to take her completely and in ways that he had only seen in fantasies of her.

“Why can’t we stay here?”

Did you all enjoy this Daily Dozen?

Winter’s Kiss is currently on offer for $2.99 in ebook as part of my Winter Warmers deal. The offer ends on January 15th 2012. Here’s more about this werewolf/vampire romance book…

Winter’s Kiss
F E Heaton
Their lord drinks blood and they are dead men walking. The tales of the mansion don’t stop Nika from falling for one of the guards, but when wolves attack her and he rides to her rescue, she discovers that her knight is anything but saintly. He is a vampire and she is becoming a werewolf, and love between their species is forbidden—the penalty death.

Winter’s world is shaken beyond salvation and his allegiance to his bloodline tested as he watches the woman he’s fallen for turn into a werewolf. His heart demands vengeance and that he protects her, both from the werewolf now hunting for her and from himself, but she tempts him more than he can bear and it isn’t long into their journey before he’s torn between upholding the law and succumbing to desire.

Will Nika be able to convince Winter to leave his world and stay with her or will she spend eternity dreaming of Winter’s kiss?

LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER: Only $2.99 (normally $3.99) as part of my Winter Warmers deal – offer ends 15th January 2012. Find out more about the offer and where it is available.

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Winter’s%20Kiss
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/Felicity-Heaton/e/2940000802090/
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-winter039skiss-620974-139.html
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/f-e-heaton/winters-kiss/_/R-400000000000000254325
Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Winters-Kiss/mix-SbRY0TdPE0-Zl8QkcSDTzA/page1.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7932
Apple iBookstore USA: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore UK: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore Australia: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/isbn9781452386980
Apple iBookstore Canada: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/isbn9781452386980

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456489895/
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1456489895/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/F-Heaton/e/9781456489892/

Posted in Daily Dozen, paranormal romance, vampire romance, Vampires Realm, Winter's Kiss | Comments Off on Daily Dozen – Winter’s Kiss – vampire/werewolf romance book

Teaseday – Winter’s Kiss – vampire werewolf romance book

Autumn is well and truly here now and it’s almost Halloween, so I’m in a vampire sort of mood. Contuining with the Vampires Realm series theme, I’ll be posting a chapter from my vampire / werewolf romance book Winter’s Kiss today for my Teaseday. If you like heart-wrenching stories of forbidden love, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. It packs quite the emotional punch.

My Vampires Realm series is full of stories of forbidden love, not only between vampires and werewolves but also between the different vampire bloodlines and humans too, even vampire hunters! If you like vampires that drink from the vein, are kick arse, and dark and mysterious, then this series is definitely for you!

Winter’s Kiss
F E Heaton
Their lord drinks blood and they are dead men walking. The tales of the mansion don’t stop Nika from falling for one of the guards, but when wolves attack her and he rides to her rescue, she discovers that her knight is anything but saintly. He is a vampire and she is becoming a werewolf, and love between their species is forbidden—the penalty death.

Winter’s world is shaken beyond salvation and his allegiance to his bloodline tested as he watches the woman he’s fallen for turn into a werewolf. His heart demands vengeance and that he protects her, both from the werewolf now hunting for her and from himself, but she tempts him more than he can bear and it isn’t long into their journey before he’s torn between upholding the law and succumbing to desire.

Will Nika be able to convince Winter to leave his world and stay with her or will she spend eternity dreaming of Winter’s kiss?

ebook price: $2.99
paperback price: $7.99
genre: paranormal werewolf romance book
length: 78000 words
rating: sultry
released: June 2009
Book 8 in the Vampires Realm series

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Winter’s%20Kiss
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/Felicity-Heaton/e/2940000802090/
Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Winters-Kiss/mix-SbRY0TdPE0-Zl8QkcSDTzA/page1.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7932
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/f-e-heaton/winters-kiss/_/R-400000000000000254325

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1456489895/
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456489895/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/F-Heaton/e/9781456489892/

EXCERPT

A scream rent the still night air.

Winter raised his head. The brush in his right hand paused against his horse’s sleek black flank. He frowned, calculating the distance from where he stood in the stable courtyard to the person who had shrieked. The human female voice could carry for miles on nights as calm as tonight. If she screamed again, he would be able to pinpoint her location to within one hundred metres.

A Watchman of the Validus bloodline, Winter had spent years honing his skills in tracking, hunting and killing to the highest echelon of perfection. They gave him the ability to ascertain that whoever the victim was, she was over three miles away.

He returned to his work, lovingly stroking the huge beast’s glossy coat and murmuring soothing words to him. It had been too long since he’d had the chance to ride. The rotation of duties within the household and Hyperion’s plan to spread their empire wider across Europe had left him with longer shifts at the gate. It was an honour to protect his lord, but long nights spent braced against the freezing winds that scathed the landscape in this part of Russia were tiring and left him little time before dawn to ride. His eyes closed. Honour wasn’t the only good thing to come of standing guard from sunset to sunrise.

He saw her more often.

An image of her flashed across Winter’s mind. Pale blonde hair hanging in waves down her back. Sparkling green eyes that glittered under the moonlight. A cherub’s rosy lips that promised sweet kisses and an imp’s smile that spoke of mischief. That image had branded itself on his mind the first night he had seen her as an adult. Every night that she passed and looked at him out of the corner of her eye, she burned her face a little deeper into his heart.

His horse kicked impatiently at the floor, scratching the scattered hay away from the dirt and leaving a long groove.

Winter patted Midnight tenderly on the neck and placed the brush down. Gathering the large black saddle, he positioned it on the horse’s high back and let his thoughts wander while he buckled the straps.

They instantly roamed back to her. Many years had passed since Winter had first seen her. She had been a little girl then. Now she had become a beautiful woman. Perhaps soon she would find the courage to speak to him for longer. She had stopped a few times, always singling him out even though his black armour covered him from head to toe, leaving only the section across his eyes exposed. She had spoken to him tonight, asking him why he wore armour and guarded the mansion. He hadn’t answered her. He had no place talking to humans when he was on duty.

There had been a beautiful lack of fear about her. Not even the sight of the naginata that he and the other Watchman held bothered her. Perhaps one day he could turn her. He cursed under his breath and tightened the last strap on the saddle. Those were not thoughts that he should be entertaining. His loyalty was to his lord and his bloodline first and foremost. He had a debt to repay. Once he felt as though he was worthy of asking his lord for permission to court the girl, he would, but until then he had a duty to do.

And that duty came first.

No matter what his feelings for her were.

A ride would clear his head.

A wolf howl sliced through the night.

Winter tensed and instinctively brushed his long heavy black cloak aside and reached for the sword hanging at his side. His fingers closed around the hilt as he calculated the distance to the howl.

Three miles.

Was the wolf after the woman?

Another scream shattered the returning silence. This time, it was a word.

“Niet!”

Winter’s eyes shot wide, an emotion rushing into his heart that he hadn’t felt in long years. Fear. The girl. He would know her voice anywhere.

With the preternatural speed and grace of his kind, Winter mounted the horse and bolted straight for the stable entrance. Midnight thundered forward, hooves pounding the dirt in a sure confident gallop. The gates barely had time to open as they approached. Winter tucked into the horse, bringing his feet up behind him along with the stirrups. The half-open wrought iron gates brushed his knees as they raced through, almost knocking the guards over.


Someone shouted something abusive in his direction.

He didn’t have time to slow down. The moment they had turned onto the road, he urged Midnight on, lowering his feet again but leaning forwards against its neck. It stretched forwards too, mimicking his move and galloping harder as though it had sensed his desperation.

The bottom of Winter’s chest armour dug into his hips as he rode. His long cloak streamed out behind him. The light flurry of snow became bitter darts of ice that cut into his eyes, forcing him to squint. He changed, his eyes turning purple to reveal his bloodline as his senses sharpened. The thundering hooves of his horse were the only sound in an otherwise still world. Winter snapped the reins. Midnight snorted and galloped faster, heading directly for the woods with no sign of slowing.

Winter willed the woman to make another noise, or the wolves to break their silence. He needed to get a fix on their location but it wasn’t only that driving him to beg the woman to shout or scream. He needed to know that she was still alive.

He hunkered down against his horse’s neck when they entered the thick forest of pines. Snow exploded from the branches as they crashed through them, heedless of the pain it caused them both. His armour would protect him from the whip-like branches of the trees, and his horse, Midnight, would go wherever he bid him to, regardless of whether it hurt.

A branch hit Winter directly across the black leather and metal mask covering his nose and mouth. It smacked the armour against his nose and forced a flinch from him as pain shot out in warm waves across his skull. He turned Midnight to his right and towards a more open area of forest. While the pain didn’t bother him, it would dampen his senses and he needed those as sharp as possible.

He pulled Midnight to a halt in a clearing and scanned the darkness, stretching out with his senses and searching for her. The wintry weather hadn’t managed to penetrate the dense trees and the ground was clear of snow, leaving him without a visible trail to follow. He breathed deep, catching a faint hint of her scent on the breeze. She had been here. He cursed. Where was she now?

Was she dead?

Had the wolves killed her already?

That thought made a dull ache settle in his chest. Winter refused to believe it. He wouldn’t believe it until he saw her body for himself. Another deep breath caught a stronger scent. A growl rumbled up through his chest.

Not wolves.

Werewolves.

His eyes narrowed into dark slits between his black helmet and facemask. He stared into the distance as one hand left the reins and closed around the hilt of his sword. Blood would spill tonight. Not only because werewolves had dared to enter Validus territory. If they had killed her, no, if they had even touched her, they would die by his hand.

A distant scream reached his ears.

He pulled on Midnight’s reins.

Midnight reared onto his hind legs, whinnied and then broke into a gallop. Winter sneered behind his facemask, his blood calling for violence.

* * * *

Nika walked the quiet winding path through the woods, wishing she had chosen to wear her thicker coat. Thick fake fur lined the long black coat she wore and it would have been warm enough under normal circumstances in late spring, but tonight was bitterly cold and the icy wind was searching, discovering cracks and places it could sneak into the coat and chill her to the bone. It was strange to have such wintry weather this side of spring. When she had left, the weather had been pleasant enough, and the snow had melted. Now it had come back with a vengeance. She had hoped the weather would be warm and sunny by the time she had returned from the city.

She folded her arms across her chest, trying to keep a little heat in. Her coat and dress reached the floor, both grazing the leaf litter and twigs that covered the path. The wind found its way into there too and blew upwards, snaking around her legs and sending her shivering. Her honey hair blew across her face as she turned and she clawed it away, thankful she’d had the good sense to take two long strands from beside her temples and plait them before tying them at the back of her head. It kept the bulk of her hair in place but left the long strands from that point downwards to dance in the breeze.

At least the snow couldn’t make it through the trees.

Nika hummed quietly to herself while she walked, thinking about how nice it would be to arrive home and sit down in front of the fire. The thought of that warm blaze made the cold feel distant. She wasn’t far from the village now. Soon she would be safe in her family’s home, out of the frigid night and bleak woods. It felt like months rather than weeks since she had gone away to St. Petersburg. A smile touched her lips when she recalled walking past the mansion. He had been on guard duty again, silent and sentinel outside the gate with another man. She knew it was him. Those beautiful dark eyes had spoken to her as they always did, telling her words that her heart loved to listen to. He never looked at her, but there was always a strange emotion in his eyes when she stopped in front of him. The cold emptiness that used to fill them disappeared, leaving what her heart interpreted as warmth behind.

She didn’t know who he was, or even what he looked like beneath his armour, but she knew one thing. She wanted no other man in this world.

Her heart lightened as memories of him came back, always protecting the gates of the large mansion. On the few occasions that she had plucked up the courage to speak to him, he had never uttered a word back at her. He hadn’t even spoken tonight when she had mentioned the tales about the man he guarded. Terrible tales they were. Stories of demons and death, of bloodshed and violence. Her whole village whispered of them. They were right in a way. There was something different about the men there. In all the years that she had passed those gates, that man had never changed. Not when she was a child and not now that she was an adult. It was the same man. He hadn’t aged one year in the twenty she had seen him. She was sure of it.

Through the trees, pinpricks of light flickered in the darkness. The village. She doubled her pace, thinking only of the warm fire and seeing her father again.

A howl sliced the night in two.

Nika froze to the spot, ears pricked and heart thundering.

Perhaps it had been the wind.

Low growls made her head snap around. Seven large dark shapes slinked out of the shadows. Their fur spiked in a line down their backs, wriggling like a snake when they shook themselves and growled at her. They stepped onto the path between her and the village. These were no ordinary wolves. She remembered them from her childhood. They had killed half of the village.

The one in front lowered its head and stared at her with bright amber eyes that promised a painful death. It snarled to reveal huge canines.

Nika screamed.

Before it could attack, she turned, dropped her bag and ran. She grabbed the front of her coat and skirt, lifting them so she could sprint unhindered, and headed through the woods in the direction of the mansion.

It wasn’t long before her legs were beginning to tire. Their muscles strained under the pressure of running over the uneven ground and seized up as the fear broke into her mind, sending panicked thoughts pounding through her skull.

She was going to die.

The voice at the back of her mind told her to give up, but she wouldn’t. She wasn’t ready to die. It was something that happened to someone else, not to her or the people she loved. If she could make it to the mansion, she would be safe. The men there would fend off the wolves. The man would protect her.

Nika shrieked again as she tripped on a branch hidden beneath the frozen leaf litter and hit the ground hard. She immediately scrabbled to her feet and ran blindly into the forest, desperate to escape the wolves. Behind her came their thundering feet and heavy panting. They were closing in.

In the blink of an eye, it was over. The full weight of one of the wolves hit her in the back, sending her tumbling to the floor. Another howled. She turned and wrestled the wolf off her, scrambling across the dirt away from it. One of them grabbed her ankle, the thick leather of her boot the only thing protecting the delicate joint. It growled. Nika screwed her eyes shut and brought her hands up in front of her face as the others leapt at her.

“Niet!”

Nika kicked the wolf off her ankle, eliciting a whimper from it, and pushed against the others. Breaking free, she got to her feet and ran again. Moonlight broke through a gap in the trees some distance ahead of her, illuminating a small shack.

Her heart willed her to make it there. It was her only chance.

She screamed again when one of the wolves snapped at her, trying to grab her arm. She punched it across the face and kept running, desperate to survive.

A thundering sound joined the cacophony of wolf growls and snarls and her rough breathing. Nika looked ahead of her to see the shack and then a large black horse with rider. She reached out to him, a silent plea for him to help her, and then fell when the wolves pounced on her. Pain erupted in her leg. Her heart missed beats as claws and teeth tore through her clothes.

Her last hope left her when she found herself face to face with the largest wolf. Hot breath washed her face, stealing her own. She sent a prayer to God and stared into the wolf’s yellow eyes, into the eyes of death.

The thundering hooves stopped. Above her the horse’s legs appeared, kicking out as the huge black beast whinnied and snorted. The wolves scattered, leaving her pressed into the dirt and frozen leaf litter, petrified and in too much pain to move.

The horse snorted again as it came down onto all four feet beside her and the rider appeared in her tear-blurred view.

“Hand,” he said in a muffled Russian voice and extended his towards her.

Nika feebly raised hers towards him. She wanted to take hold of that black gloved hand and escape this nightmare. He shook his impatiently. She struggled to move faster, weak from the white-hot pain burning inside every inch of her body. He bent forward on the saddle, caught her hand, and pulled her up into the air as though she weighed nothing. He settled her on the saddle in front of him. Pain shot up her leg and lanced her stomach. It stole her senses, filling them until she knew nothing but the warm pulsing throb. She was vaguely aware of his arm against her back and his hand on her waist, and the wolves closing in.

He turned the horse. Nika gritted her teeth and leaned into him. Each step of the horse’s gallop jostled her on the saddle. The pain was unbearable, wracking her to the depths of her bones with each movement, but the alternative made her cling to consciousness and life. The wolves growled, closer now. The horse suddenly stopped and the man lowered her to the ground. Her legs buckled beneath her. He caught her before she could collapse and held her close to his hard chest.

“Run!” he said and she hazily wondered if he was talking to her. She didn’t think that she could run. The pain in her leg was too intense, blinding. The horse whinnied. Was he talking to it?

Her heart beat faster, each pulse sending stabbing needles sweeping around her body. Darkness encroached at the edges of her mind, sending her thoughts fuzzy and her body numb. The man carried her into somewhere and set her down on something soft but lumpy. The sound of wood scraping and heavy objects slamming made her open her eyes. She frowned, vaguely aware that they were in the small shack she had seen and that he was barricading the door.

A wolf howl sounded just outside.

She flinched in pain when she curled up, the wounds on her body stinging. Her left leg burned as though it was on fire. She couldn’t move it. She left it lying limp in front of her. The man looked at her and then around the small hut.

“Do not be frightened,” he said, as though those four words could erase all her fear.

It crushed her chest and stole her breath. She struggled to suck in air, panic closing her throat and pain making the slightest thing too hard. Her leg was wet. She could feel the steady slide of blood down her arms. Oh God. She was going to die.

Her panic only increased when the dreadful sound of claws against wood filled the small shack. Snarls came in under the door and growls made her skin crawl. She tried to back away but the sound surrounded her, leaving her nowhere to go. The man stood at the door, his tall figure a black shadow in the low light. He didn’t move. He stood sentinel with his hand on the hilt of the sword at his side.

The blade of which gleamed when he began to draw it.

The wolves scrabbled faster at the door and walls, as though they were trying to dig their way through. Nika reached out to the man, numb and petrified. He stepped towards the door and her heart slammed against her chest.

The two small windows on either side of the door exploded, showering her and the man in glass. The wolves leapt high, paws scrambling for purchase on the windowsill. They disappeared again only to attempt another go at getting into the building.

The man fully drew his sword.

She extended her hand further towards him. “You can’t fight. There’s too many!”

A terrible scream made them both jump. She had never heard such a horrifying and inhuman sound. A chill swept over her back and down her arms. The scream came again amidst a discordant symphony of growls and snarls. She closed her eyes and used the last of her strength to cover her ears, not wanting to hear the horse as it died.

Dreadful silence fell.

Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Winter’s%20Kiss
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle Germany: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0035LDN4Q/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/Felicity-Heaton/e/2940000802090/
Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Winters-Kiss/mix-SbRY0TdPE0-Zl8QkcSDTzA/page1.html
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7932
Sony Reader Store: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/f-e-heaton/winters-kiss/_/R-400000000000000254325

Available in paperback from:
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1456489895/
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456489895/
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Winters-Kiss/F-Heaton/e/9781456489892/

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