paranormal angel romance book
genre: paranormal angel romance book
length: 110000 words / long novel
released: July 2011
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Her Guardian Angel
A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.
A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Amelia’s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.
Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesn’t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world. On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by warrior angels and their amazing women, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.
When the strength of that love is put to the test, will Marcus and Amelia win their fight for survival against the odds or will they lose in a deadly eternal game between Heaven and Hell?
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Marcus stretched his left arm out above his head on the pillows of his double bed, buried the fingers of his right hand into his overlong black hair and stared into the inky dark of his bedroom. The open window to his left allowed pale light to filter in from the street far below but it barely cut through the gloom and it wasn’t the reason he had lifted the sash around midnight. The stifling summer’s day had given way to a humid night that showed no sign of cooling down before dawn broke and heralded the next unbearably hot day. A light breeze washed in through the open window, refreshing him as it caressed the left side of his bare body. The heat wasn’t the only thing robbing him of sleep.
The banging came again, more persistent this time, and Marcus clenched his teeth to contain his growing irritation, his focus wholly on the hall outside his apartment. The man had been attacking the door of his neighbour for almost twenty minutes now, rousing Marcus from sleep and throwing him straight into a bad mood that had gradually deteriorated into a desire to beat some sense into the mortal.
He drew in a long breath, held it a moment in a vain attempt to regain control of his temper, and then exhaled slowly. The man hurled another string of impotent threats at his neighbour’s door and Marcus’s anger spiked right back up. His silver-blue eyes slid towards the digital clock on his bedside table. The display mocked him with the ungodly hour this man had chosen to air his bitter disappointment to not only the female but the entire apartment block. Three in the morning.
Because of the humidity that showed no sign of abating and had made it impossible to get comfortable, Marcus had only been asleep for a scant few hours. He hated waking early, especially when he was stuck in the hell known as the mortal realm.
The man banged again, rattling the wall with a tremor that reached Marcus. He was no threat to the woman because she wasn’t foolish enough to answer her door, but it grated on Marcus’s nerves nonetheless.
His temper frayed when the man shouted foul accusations at her.
All of them false.
Marcus had known Amelia all of her life, although she had only known him this past month. He had watched over her and she was a pure soul with terrible luck when it came to men, and the man knocking down her door didn’t deserve her.
Unable to bear another second and sensing Amelia’s increasing fear through the wall that joined their apartments, Marcus rose from the bed and slung on a pair of dark grey jogging bottoms. He walked through his unlit apartment with ease, not bothering with the lights as he could easily map a safe path around the furniture without seeing it, and unlocked his front door. He yanked it open and stepped out into the dull cream hallway on the other side, his gaze immediately fixing on the mortal that was daring to break his sleep and threaten Amelia.
The dark haired man looked at him.
Marcus coolly stared back.
“What’s your problem, mate?” The man’s fingers curled into fists at his sides. Marcus noted everything about him in under a second.
He was drunk. He was itching for a fight. And he was a fool who thought this sort of abuse would win Amelia back. On the surface, the man wanted to upset her and hurt her, but Marcus could see beyond the façade to the pale hope in this man’s heart that Amelia would be his again.
That was something Marcus would never allow.
“You.” Marcus pinched the bridge of his nose, rubbed sleep from his eyes, and then leaned back against the doorjamb, folding his arms across his bare chest and crossing his legs at his ankles.
The man regarded him for a moment and then turned back to Amelia’s door.
“I think you should leave now.” Marcus stepped forwards, bringing the man’s attention back to him so he wouldn’t bang on the door again and cause Amelia’s fear to increase. “Before things get out of hand.”
The man smiled, amusement touching his dark brown eyes. “What you gonna do about it? She’s my girlfriend… not yours. Piss off back inside and get your nose out of my bloody business before I break it.”
Marcus sighed. He had warned the man. He had done everything by the book. His patience wearing thin, he looked the man over again, taking in his dark jeans and the loose t-shirt that covered a physique half his own and the way his fists shook as he shouted at Amelia’s door. Without resorting to violence, Marcus wasn’t sure how to convince the man to leave. He could compel him, but using his powers on such a base creature was beneath him and would do nothing to teach the man a lesson in manners towards women.
The man banged on the door again before Marcus could stop him, hard enough this time that the white painted wood creaked under the attack, and he heard Amelia gasp.
“That is it.” Marcus took another step forwards and the man swung at him. Marcus dodged his fist, clamped his left hand down on the man’s wrist, and twisted his arm behind his back. The man bent forwards to stop his shoulder from popping out of its socket, facing away from Marcus, and grunted in pain. Marcus glared at the back of his head. “I said to leave.”
The man struggled in his grip but stilled when Amelia’s apartment door eased open a few inches and she peered around it. Marcus stared at her, frowning at the tears that streaked her flushed cheeks and the fear in her grey eyes, and tightened his grip on the man’s arm until he let out another deeply satisfying grunt.
“What do you want?” she whispered, voice hoarse and trembling.
It wasn’t like Amelia to look afraid of anything. Marcus had seen her fight it out face-to-face with her exes without showing a trace of fear but this one had rattled her. Weariness shone in her grey eyes, lending them a cold edge he hadn’t seen before. Her gaze tracked up Marcus’s arm, lingering a moment on his bare torso, and then reached his face.
“I’m sorry if he woke you.” Her gentle tone dissolved some of his anger.
Marcus loosened his grip on the man’s wrist but held on to him. “It’s not a problem. I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”
The man twisted enough to look back at Marcus over his shoulder and then turned his head towards Amelia.
“Oh, I see how it is. Dump me and then move on to the next bloke, right? You’ve probably been fucking him from the moment he moved in. Well, I’m sure Mr Muscle is a great catch…” The man wrenched free of Marcus’s grip and stumbled forwards a few steps before righting himself. “But I’m gonna have to fuck up that pretty face of his.”
Marcus reacted on instinct and launched his left fist at the man to counter his attack. The moment he did, he felt the strength drain from his arm and pushed harder. He had been holding back to avoid seriously injuring the mortal but now that Heaven had stripped him of his immortal strength he needed to do the opposite and give it everything he had.
He leaned back to avoid the man’s punch while still pushing forwards with his own and slammed his fist hard into the man’s jaw, cracking his head to one side and sending him crashing into the cream wall. The man bounced off it, hit the dark banister opposite and then collapsed into an ungainly heap on the wooden floor of the hallway.
“Shit.” Pain shot along every bone in Marcus’s hand and up his arm to his elbow. It had actually hurt.
The man groaned and dragged himself to his feet and Amelia hesitated in the doorway of her apartment, looking as though she couldn’t decide whether to assist him or keep back. Marcus shook his hand and waited for something to happen. Instead of the instant punishment he had expected, there was only silence as the man stared hard at both him and Amelia, and then stumbled down the stairs to the next floor.
Marcus still waited.
Part of him couldn’t believe that he had struck a mortal and the rest couldn’t believe that he wasn’t being punished.
Heaven had limited his power the moment he had subconsciously decided to hit the man, leaving him with only the strength of a mortal and therefore open to attack himself. The punch had hurt him. Perhaps that was punishment enough. Perhaps all of this was punishment for his misdeeds.
Marcus sagged against the wall and blew out a sigh, clutching his injured hand to his chest, convinced that Heaven would call him in to reprimand him soon enough. He had committed an act of violence against what could be considered an innocent human. Marcus couldn’t think of the man that way. He was vile and cruel, seeking to scare Amelia and hurt her. Marcus had only done his duty by protecting her.
He opened his eyes and looked across at her where she stood at the banister peering down into the stairwell, her hands clutching the wooden railing.
His gaze drifted down over her shoulder-length straight dark hair to the plum-coloured slip that only emphasised her sensual curves, to the lean lengths of her legs. She was so soft and pure. Delicate yet strong of heart. Her fear was gone now, leaving behind the confident woman he was used to seeing in her.
She looked across at him and his eyes dropped to her bare feet. He frowned at the tattoo on her left ankle. A cherub? The plump winged babe sat just above her ankle bone, staring back at him. He smiled. Is that what she thought his kind looked like? The image humans had of angels couldn’t have been more wrong. It amused him, stealing away his pain and pushing it to the back of his mind.
His strength returned and the pain dulled further, leaving only a gentle throbbing and bruised knuckles behind as a reminder of what he had done.
“I really am sorry about that.” Amelia’s soft voice stole into his thoughts and he glanced up at her. She crossed the hall to him and peered at his left hand. “You should put some ice on that.”
Marcus studied his red knuckles. Is that what humans did in this sort of situation? In his world, they had angels with the ability to heal others. Such an angel could easily fix this issue for him. Even if he couldn’t find one, the red marks would be gone in less than a day, his body’s superior healing ability quickly erasing them.
“Would you like to come in for some coffee or a drink? It’s the least I can do as payment for being my hero.”
Marcus stared at her. Coffee was payment for being a hero? He hadn’t indulged in such drugs in a long time and while he knew about the sexually stimulating effects that caffeine had on his kind, he had no interest in drinking coffee with Amelia. If he did that, he wasn’t sure what would happen between them, but it would certainly be embarrassing for him.
“No, thank you,” he said and when she looked as though she needed a reason for his refusal, he added, “It will keep me awake.”
She still didn’t seem satisfied. She shifted foot to foot, her gaze darting down to her hands in front of her, and then looked right into his eyes again.
“How about I ice those knuckles instead then?”
Marcus glanced into her low-lit apartment and then back at her, and caught the fear in her eyes as she looked down at the stairwell. She was afraid that the man would return and begin harassing her again. He would accept her offer but not because he needed her to assist him with his healing. He would go with her because he could see that the man had won and had shaken her up, and that she was asking him to stay with her a while because she was scared.
It was his duty to protect her. Tonight, that duty could extend to guarding her a little more closely than usual. Once she had settled and was comfortable with the idea of being alone again, he would take his leave.
He nodded when her attention returned to him.
Amelia led the way into the apartment, leaving him to muse what he had done tonight and his duty.
She deserved better.
A better life.
That was the reason he was here—to keep her safe and watch over her. To protect her from the creeps and from something else.
To give her that better life.
He was sure of it.
Marcus followed her towards the kitchen, noting that the layout of her apartment differed slightly to his as he passed through the pale square lounge. There were no windows in it, just like his one, because the bedroom and bathroom lined the exterior wall opposite him. Their positions in the apartment were reversed in his. He stared through the open door of the room to the right. Her bedroom was next to his and the head of her bed rested against his wall. She slept so close to him, yet he couldn’t feel her when he was in bed, couldn’t sense her on the other side. At such proximity, he should have been able to even when her signature was dulled by her sleeping. His gaze fell to rest on the long cream couch angled towards the television set to his right in the corner of the lounge. A pillow occupied one arm of the sofa and a scrunched up dark blue blanket sat at the other end.
Did she sleep on the couch?
He looked through into the bedroom again, frowning at the smooth covers on the double bed.
Was that why he couldn’t feel her when he was in his bedroom?
Back when he had been watching over her from Heaven, she had always slept in her bed. Had something happened recently to change that? If it had, it must have occurred in the past month when he had been in the mortal realm. When he was here, he couldn’t watch over her as he had in Heaven, able to view her through buildings using the power granted to the angels of his division. He had to physically see her.
Amelia came back out of the room to his left. He dragged his gaze away from the bedroom and the bathroom next to it, and finished crossing the room to the open double doors that led into the kitchen. Her small kitchen was brighter than his, the cupboards a pale type of wood, with stainless steel appliances.
Some former owner of his apartment had deemed it stylish to have a dark kitchen. Marcus deemed it impractical. It was a nightmare to keep clean so he had given up feeding himself shortly after moving in and had resorted to eating take away food, instant meals or eating out.
Marcus leaned against the kitchen counter, his hand throbbing. It had been a while since he had felt physical pain. He couldn’t remember the last time it had hurt to punch something.
He couldn’t remember the last time he had fought someone.
Amelia placed a red and white chequered tea-towel down on the side and emptied out several trays of ice cubes into it. She gathered the ends and twisted the bulk of the cloth around to keep the ice in, and then came over to him. He started when she took hold of his hand, gently slipping her fingers under it so they brushed his palm, and raised it. Heat travelled up his arm and it had nothing to do with pain this time.
She rested the ice pack on his knuckles and he didn’t feel the cold at all. He stared at their joined hands, urgently trying to decipher how she had warmed him with only a light touch and alarmed by the hard beat of his heart against his chest. She looked up into his eyes, her grey ones full of warmth again, softening her delicate features and holding his attention.
“Thank you.” She glanced away again, her gaze briefly dropping to their hands and the ice pack, and then met his eyes. His pain faded in an instant, driven away by the heat of her touch and her concerned expression, and he marvelled at the effect she had on him. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. She was his duty and that was all she could ever be. Once he had fulfilled his mission, he would finally request his transfer and would never see her again. Her thumb brushed his and fire shimmered over his skin. “I really am sorry that he woke you and that you had to hit him.”
“I said it was nothing.” Marcus hadn’t needed to hit the man. He could have compelled him to stop but he had reacted on instinct, and for some reason that instinct had been to punch him. He could think of a million situations with mortals when he had been in danger and had compelled them. Why not this time?
Had Amelia’s presence as a witness deterred him?
Or was she the reason he had struck the man?
He had been consumed by anger, enraged by what the man had said about himself and Amelia, driven to violence by a handful of words.
He was Amelia’s protector. Her guardian.
He was not her lover.
Her fingertips grazed his palm as she removed the ice pack and inspected his left hand. A shiver tripped up his arm and down his spine, and his shoulder blades itched. He took his hand away from her and rolled his shoulders, trying to relieve the tension building there.
His wings wanted out.
“How are they feeling?”
Marcus’s head snapped up, his eyes immediately locking on Amelia. His wings? She nodded towards his knuckles and relief swept through him.
“Fine,” he said absently and breathed slowly to steady his racing heart.
There was no way she could know about his wings but, for a moment, it had felt as though she had been reading his mind. It had been a while since his wings had wanted to come out. After five centuries of living with them sealed away, he had grown used to them not being there. It had been strange becoming accustomed to them again when the binding curse had started to lose effect over thirty years ago. Most of the time, he was content to physically put them away as he was now. It took concentration to maintain their disappearance but it used less energy than hiding them from human eyes with a glamour, and it was far easier to move around in the mortal realm without worrying about accidentally knocking things over with them.
“Are you alright?” Amelia ducked towards him, interrupting his view of his knuckles and replacing it with an altogether more pleasant one of her face and her cleavage.
Marcus stared at her plump full breasts, his pulse picking up again, and then averted his eyes. Women had no shame. It was little wonder his master had decided that they should not serve him. They were wily, manipulative, a distraction, and considered by most as the source of all sin.
“Fine,” Marcus repeated and took the ice pack from her, ramming it onto the back of his hand when all he wanted to do was stick it down his jogging bottoms to bring his libido under control.
His fellow warriors had warned him about women, especially ones as beautiful as Amelia, and he wholeheartedly believed every word that they said. Women were dangerous. He would not falter though. Amelia was his mission and his allegiance was to his master, his loyalty to his duty, and nothing would change that.
Once this irksome mission had ended, he would return to Heaven and request his transferral as originally planned, and would join the ranks of the soldiers who protected the realm of Heaven from intruders and wars. He would defend that which he believed in. Not this mortal world, but his world.
He had never physically guarded a human before but was certain that his assignment to act as her next door neighbour was a sign that his mission was progressing and soon he would be free of it.
He couldn’t wait to return home.
“How are you feeling?” Marcus took the ice pack away from his hand and set it down in the stainless steel sink beside him.
Amelia shrugged. “Better, I guess.”
She didn’t look better. The weary edge was back in her eyes, draining them of warmth, and he found himself desiring to comfort her.
“He won’t come back.” His words had the desired effect and she brightened for a brief moment and then it faded again.
“You don’t know that.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “I do pick them.”
Marcus turned and ran his hand under the cold water, letting it wash away the trace of blood on his knuckles. When he reached for the tap to shut it off again, he felt Amelia’s eyes on his bare back, boring into his shoulders, and lingered a moment. Would she mention the marks he had revealed by carelessly turning his back on her?
“It won’t be long before I drive you away too.”
Those words, softly spoken, caused him to look over his shoulder at her, a frown drawing his dark eyebrows tightly together. She dropped her gaze and then met his with resolution that didn’t surprise him. This was the Amelia he had come to know these past three decades. Strong, able to face anything head on, unflinching.
“What makes you say that?” Marcus turned back to face her, aware now that he was bare from the waist up and was probably only encouraging any attraction she might feel towards him. He should have put on a t-shirt before leaving his apartment but he’d had one thing on his mind—getting the irritating bastard in the hallway to shut up so he could sleep.
Or was it purely so he could sleep?
He stared at Amelia, taking in the way her cheeks coloured as he did so and how she couldn’t hold his gaze.
He had thought only of protecting her.
“The last bloke who lived alone next door to me left only a couple of months after moving in.”
Marcus knew for a fact that the man had been forcibly evicted due to a minor error in payments caused by Heaven’s intervention but had later won money on the lottery that had allowed him to place a down payment on the house of his dreams. The young man had been the easiest target to remove in order to place Marcus close to Amelia. The old lady who lived in the apartment on the other side of Amelia was frail and had lived in the building for over twenty years and relied on those around her to assist her. She also slept heavily, meaning that Amelia’s ex-boyfriends didn’t wake her when they came to knock down her door. Marcus would have had a contender in the guardian stakes if the young man had remained living next to her and they had moved the old lady.
“You do live alone, don’t you?” There was a tremble to that question.
Marcus nodded without thinking and then considered the implications of his answer when Amelia’s grey eyes warmed again. A loaded question. She had cleverly used it to discern his availability.
He briefly considered making up a girlfriend in order to obliterate any attraction she might feel towards him so he could continue his mission in peace but couldn’t get the words out when he looked into her eyes again.
The space between them shrank until it felt as though she was barely inches from him. Her soft breathing filled his ears, drawing his attention down to the sensual bow of her dusky pink lips. The tip of her tongue swept across them, leaving moisture in its wake, luring him in.
How long had it been since he had kissed a woman?
Not in this lifetime, that was for sure.
Marcus dragged his eyes away from her, shutting down his emotions at the same time. Amelia was a mission. He couldn’t allow things to become complicated. Not when he wasn’t even sure why he had to protect her.
He couldn’t get involved with her.
He had to maintain his distance.
No matter how impossible that seemed now.
No matter how much he wanted her.
"I feel like this book has changed the entire dynamic of the universe Felicity Heaton has created. Something big is introduced and if the series continues I can see it having huge impact on the overall battle between heaven and hell. The battles are big, the love is even bigger and the betrayals our heroes face is game-changing. Just the way I like my romances."
-- Kelly, Reading the Paranormal -- 5 out of 5 (read the whole review)
"This book had me glued to the pages. It was an unputdownable read with an array of characters that you feel an instant connection with, a swoon worthy hero who risks it all for the woman he loves, and a strong heroine who will fight right along side him, this book truly has it all."
Paromantasy -- 5 out of 5 (read the whole review)
"I LOVED this book!! It has to be the best in the series so far. I couldn't put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and used a box of Kleenex in the process. I swear I cried my way through it, and was a total emotional train wreck by the end of it all. But it made for an amazing read!... You have to grab a copy, it will awe you."
-- Madame D, Madame D's Boudoir -- 5 out of 5 (read the whole review)
"I highly recommend reading this book in a seat that you can buckle yourself into while having an entire day on your hands. Once you pick up Her Guardian Angel you canít put it down. The anticipation of what will happen next will keep the pages turning as fast as you can read them. Heaton does an amazing job of telling a story that is filled with interwoven destinies, curses, deception and a history that some will fight all to see that it is never repeated again. This book is packed with awesomeness. Readers are giving an incredible love story, heaps of action and fighting and a suspenseful story that you are crazy if you donít run out buy it and read it."
-- Vanessa, The Jeep Diva -- 5 out of 5 (read the whole review)
"A story with a dark and lethal mystery laced with betrayal, of Heaven and of Hell. Her Guardian Angel is a full throttle, action packed love story that you will not be able to put down! Felicity Heaton, I hope you are working on the next installment because I am addicted to this series!"
-- Talina, Night Owl Reviews -- 4.75 Star TOP PICK! (read the whole review)
"The story explodes with excitement as it took off and I couldn't read it fast enough. The chemistry between Marcus and Amelia was very empowering and hot. Who would not love an uber sexy Guardian Angel for their very own!"
-- April, Nocturne Romance Reads -- 4 Hoots (read the whole review)