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Welcome to the Newsletter!

To read this in your browser, click this link.

You're receiving this e-mail because you signed up for my newsletter via my website, blog, or Facebook page, or requested to be added via e-mail.

If you didn't sign up, then please accept my apologies. You can easily unsubscribe by clicking the link in the footer.

I do hope you'll stay however, and enjoy the newsletters to come! In welcome, this newsletter includes a download link to your very own copy of the Newsletter Exclusives ebook, full of short stories set in my worlds. If you'd like to try the stories before you download, I have several stories in this newsletter itself. Also in this newsletter is some information about my books and series.

I'll be sending out further shorts, as well as news about my books several times over the year, so keep an eye on your in-box! If your email program clips this newsletter, you can read it online here.

If you have any issues with receiving or viewing the newsletter, please email Ashwini: naliniDOTassistantATgmailDOTcom (replace the words DOT and AT with . and @).

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Cover Newsletter Exclusives Volume 1 - Copy

Newsletter Exclusives: Volume I

Note from Nalini

This collection came together over several years, mostly via the stories I write for newsletter subscribers. Together, they add up to roughly 275 pages. Forty-one different stories in the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss worlds.

We didn't include the deleted scenes in this volume, as the collection was already a big one. They may turn up as a surprise another year. :-) Until then, you never know what story or sneak peek may appear in a future newsletter.

How to Get the Book

I'm using a delivery service called Bookfunnel to deliver the book to you. It may take a few steps to get the book on your device, but they provide you with step by step guidance. If you have trouble, just tap the Help link at the top of the book download page. They're fantastic with helping you through the download process.

Ready? Click this link to grab your copy.

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Thrillers

Alongside my paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romances, I also write thrillers set in wild, moody, beautiful New Zealand.

You can read about my first thriller, A Madness of Sunshine, on this page of my website. My next one, Quiet In Her Bones, releases in 2021.

A Madness Of Sunshine US - Copy
 
Quiet in Her Bones medium Nalini Singh - Copy
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Exclusive Extras: Free Short Stories & Deleted Scene

As all the newsletter short stories and the Rock Addiction deleted scene are exclusive to subscribers, I'd very much appreciate it if the stories aren't copied and pasted online.

If you'd like to share them with friends, you can easily forward this newsletter using the "Forward to a Friend" link in the footer. They'll also receive the stories automatically if they sign up to the newsletter. Thanks!

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FREE PSY-CHANGELING SHORT STORIES

If you'd like to know where each of the short stories fits in the series, you can find a full chronological list on the website.

Poker Night ~ Included in this newsletter. Just scroll down.

Rowan

Ain't No Party Like A Bear Party

Wolf Heart

Seedlings

Beary Tiny Ghosts

Wildcat Blues (Part 1)

Wildcat Blues (Part 2)

Also, don't forget to check out the Psy/Changeling Free Short Stories page on the website. There are several more short stories available for you to read there. I hope you enjoy!

POKER NIGHT

A Psy/Changeling Short Story

A quick note: Some email programs may clip the newsletter, so it looks like it ends in the middle of a sentence. If that happens, just click this link and you can read everything in your browser.

~~~


For those of you unfamiliar with this series, this story features the DarkRiver Leopards (Alpha: Lucas) and the SnowDancer wolves (Alpha: Hawke). The narrator is Nate, the most senior sentinel in the DarkRiver pack.

~~~

Nate didn’t know how poker night at his and Tamsyn’s place had been invaded by a bunch of wolves, who well, played like wolves. “Damn it.” He scowled as a grinning Drew gathered up the pot. “I think we need to ban you and Hawke from the table.”

The wolf alpha glanced up at the sound of his name, husky-blue eyes amused. “Scared, cat?”

Nate bared his teeth. “Now you’re just trying to make trouble.”

“No bloodshed until after I win back my money,” Lucas said, the four slashing lines on the right side of his face catching the light as he looked around the table. “We’re meant to be thinking about plans for Riley and Mercy’s one-year-anniversary.”

Nate drank half his beer before replying. “Did anyone ask Mercy or Riley?” Leopard sentinel and wolf lieutenant, both were dominant predatory changelings with strong personalities, likely had plenty of ideas of their own.

“If asked my brother," Drew pointed out, counting his chips, "he’d be unable to resist the temptation to take over the whole planning process, and this is meant to be a gift for the two of them, not more work for him.”

Nate had to agree with the blue-eyed wolf on that. Riley was Hawke’s right hand—the entire SnowDancer den depended on his quiet, implacable strength. If anyone had asked Nate prior to Mercy and Riley’s mating if he saw them as a pair, Nate would’ve answered with an immediate and surprised no. Not that he didn’t respect the hell out of Riley, but where the wolf male was a rock in a storm, Mercy was wildfire. Two more different people, he couldn’t imagine.

What he’d forgotten was that they were both protectors, both blood-loyal, and that love wasn’t always a simple equation. Wild and vibrant Mercy adored her solid, strong wolf mate—a mate who looked at Mercy the same way Nate knew he looked at his own Tamsyn. As if she was the greatest, best surprise of his life.

“We’ll have to do something that pack members from both SnowDancer and DarkRiver can easily attend,” Dorian said as Lucas dealt the cards, the leopard sentinel’s surfer blonde hair bearing a streak of citrus-orange paint—he’d played babysitter to a group of the littlest DarkRiver cubs this afternoon while their normal caregivers had their monthly meeting.

Finger painting had apparently been on the menu. Mostly on Dorian.

Grinning at the memory of what the younger male had looked like before the shower he’d taken an hour ago, Nate said, “The Boy Genius is right,” and laughed when Dorian growled at the nickname that refused to die. “Location choice is critical.” Much as both the alphas at the table liked to jerk one another’s chain by claiming Mercy and Riley solely for their respective packs, the fact was, the couple straddled the line. They were part of the very core of DarkRiver and SnowDancer, beloved by their packmates.

“Thing is”—one of the wolves, a senior soldier, grabbed some nuts from the bowl on the table—“Riley might not appreciate us trampling over his own romantic plans for the evening.”

“Details, details.” Drew waved away the concern with an insouciance that so often blinded people to the fact that like Lucas, he was a hunter, born with the ability to track down and if necessary, execute violent rogue changelings. “We’ll do the celebration a week before the actual anniversary. That way, we stand a better chance of surprising them.”

“How about the eastern border between leopard and wolf lands?” suggested the sentinel seated across from Nate, green eyes so vivid, it was clear his leopard prowled close to his skin tonight. “Canopy cover in that section wasn’t impacted by the battle, so it’ll be private, and security’s airtight.”

Lucas raised an eyebrow at Hawke.

Leaning forward, the wolf alpha clinked his beer bottle to Lucas’s.

“Great.” Nate scowled at the hand he’d been dealt. “Now, what are we actually going to do?”

“Can I ask a question?” Drew said in a tone that had everyone around the table going, “No.”

Ignoring the sound negative response, he said, “Where the hell is Bastien?”, naming the eldest of Mercy’s brothers. “He swore to me this afternoon that he’d be point man on DarkRiver’s end if I took SnowDancer.”

Showing impeccable timing, all three of Mercy’s siblings walked in that very second to pull up chairs around the already crowded table. “No trust,” Bastien said with a sigh. “Such a sad, sad world.” A shake of his head. “And this after I recruited these two”—nodding at his younger brothers—“to be our minions.”

Drew snorted. “I have Indy and Brenna. My mate and sister leave those two scrawny cubs in their dust.”

“Back to the point,” Nate said as one of the six-feet-tall “scrawny cubs” threatened to beat Drew dead, then went to raid the cookie jar with the ease of a packmate who’d been in and out of this house since he truly was a cub. “Ideas for the celebration?”

It was Hawke who came up with the winner. “Riley loved that trip he took with Mercy to Rio for Carnaval.”

“Carnaval themed party?” Dorian’s teeth slashed white against tanned gold skin. “It’s perfect—especially since Riley’s no longer holding a grudge against the South American cats who came sniffing around while he was courting Mercy.”

The blond sentinel’s statement was echoed around the table, and with the theme set in stone, Drew and Bastien parceled out tasks.

“Done,” Bas said ten minutes later, and the game resumed…to leave Drew and Nate as the sole survivors after the others folded with muttered imprecations about the blue-eyed wolf’s luck.

“Time to show and tell.” Drew fanned out his cards and proved he hadn’t been bluffing. “Full house.” A grin. “Your poor sad face informs me I’m about to go home a happy, happy man. Thank you very—”

Leaning forward with a slow smile, Nate laid out a hand that would make the angels themselves weep. Drew groaned and fell back, while the others around the table hooted, wolf and leopard in harmony—Riley’s brother had fleeced the lot of them.

“One more game.” Rolling up the sleeves of his checkered shirt, Bastien picked up the cards to deal the next round. “I feel lucky.”

The other man was shuffling the cards when Nate heard a suspicious whisper from the doorway to the kitchen. “Julian. Roman. In here now.”

His sons, both in sky-blue pajamas patterned with racing cars, feet bare, sidled over to stand beside his chair, heads ducked. He wasn’t fooled. Only this afternoon, the four-and-a half-year-olds had decided to coat each other in mud they’d dyed red using food coloring filched from the pantry, and he’d had to hose down the demons while they laughed like maniacs. “I thought I put you two to bed.” Tamsyn had gone to spend some time with a packmate who was pregnant with her first child, leaving him in charge of the twins.

“I was thirsty,” Julian said, meek stance forgotten as he tried to crane his neck to see the poker table.

“And I’m hungry,” Roman added.

“I saw you eat half a chicken an hour ago.” Reaching out, Nate poked at his boy’s stuffed belly, got a giggle.

By this time, Julian had wiggled his way between Nate and Bastien and had his hands on the edge of the table, standing on tiptoe to peer at the game. His leopard giving a feline grin, Nate rubbed at Jules’ hair, then pulled Rome up onto his lap and down over the other side, so he could copy his brother’s position between Nate and Lucas. “We have two new players.”

To the boys’ wide-eyed delight, Bastien dealt them in. Taking the cards, both his cubs shifted closer to him, their bodies warm and small against his own. “Daddy?” Julian whispered, pointing at the neat pile of chips in front of him. “Do I put those in the middle?”

Nate looked at his son’s cards, advised him to call. Jules did so with a serious expression on his face. And so the game continued, with Nate bowing out in favor of guiding the twins. He’d half-expected them to become bored, but they were fascinated all the way through, and Julian crowed in delight when Roman took the pot.

Grinning his thanks at the others around the table as Dorian exchanged the chips for cash, he pushed back his chair. “Right, off to bed or your mom will never leave me alone with you two again.”

This time, they didn’t argue or attempt to stay behind, knowing that tone in his voice. Discipline was as important to young predatory changelings as affection, and his leopard knew instinctively when they needed a stronger hand—as it knew when they needed room to give in to the wildness within. Because they weren’t human, were changeling, their leopards an integral aspect of their nature.

“’bye everyone!” Julian said, helping Roman carry his loot.

Getting them up to their room, he watched them deposit that loot in the shared piggy bank that sat on the table between their twin beds. He and Tamsyn had offered to buy two, but after a quick conference, heads together, the boys had decided they’d be better off pooling their funds.

Now, having made a last visit to the bathroom, they climbed into bed without help, but waited for him to pull the blankets up. Leaning down, he kissed each one of his sons in turn, smoothed the silky softness of their hair, his heart so huge with love that it was an ache in his chest. “No sneaking downstairs this time.”

“Yes, Daddy.”

Smiling at the sweet chorus, he turned off the light—no leopard needed it to see in the dark—and walked out, leaving the door open so he’d hear them if they called out. “Goodnight, boys.”

He knew if he came back in an hour, he’d find them in the same bed, curled up together in leopard cub form, claws carefully retracted to avoid damaging the superhero sheets they’d received from their grandmother.

However, close as they were as siblings, they’d already developed unique personalities of their own. Julian was a bundle of energy, outspoken and with his leopard an inch from his skin, while Roman was a planner, an intensity to him that said he had a thousand thoughts going on in that small head of his.

Together, they were hell on wheels. Jules came up with the “brilliant” ideas, while Rome figured out how to put those ideas into practice. Nate grinned, shaking his head at the way they’d not only retrieved the food coloring from the very back of the highest shelf in the pantry—their mother hadn’t been born yesterday—but created their own mud using soil dug up from one of the gardens Tamsyn had let lie fallow this year. His cubs weren’t stupid. They knew if they dug in their mother’s neatly kept vegetable patch, they’d be in so much trouble they wouldn’t get out of it until they were teenagers.

Stifling a laugh, he pulled out his cell phone and skimmed down to the photo he’d taken of them before turning on the hose. Naked as the day they’d been born under the scarlet mud, arms flung around each other’s shoulders, they grinned in open glee at the camera. “That’s my boys.” He knew the twins would grow out of this kind of mischief as they got older, but Nate hoped they’d never lose their trust in, and love for one another.

About to head down to the living room to rejoin the others, he felt his cell phone vibrate in his hand. The incoming message made his lips curve.

How many times did our gorgeous babies sneak out of bed? Did you kiss them goodnight for me?

Just once, and yes.

Did you save a goodnight kiss for me?

I saved two.

Charmer. I love you. Be home in an hour.

“Forty-five minute warning,” he said, sliding away the phone as he walked through the living room doorway.

“In a hurry?” Bastien drawled, a very feline glint in his eye.

“No offense, Bas, but you’re not my idea of a dream date.” As the others laughed, Nate retook his seat…and began to plan exactly how he’d pounce on his mate the instant she walked in the door.

Inside him, his leopard flexed its claws, ready to play.

(c) Copyright 2012 by Nalini Singh

~~~

WildInvitationFC Medium

Psy/Changeling Series

If you enjoyed that story (and I hope you did!), and you haven't started the Psy/Changeling series, the first book is SLAVE TO SENSATION. Follow this link to read an excerpt.

If you'd like to know more about Nate and Tamsyn's courtship, their novella, "Beat of Temptation" originally released as part of the AN ENCHANTED SEASON anthology, has now been re-released in the WILD INVITATION anthology, which also features three other Psy/Changeling novellas.

You can read the excerpt from their story here.

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Out Now

Bonus Thea and David Short Story

This bonus short story, titled "With This Memo" went out with the July 19th newsletter. You can
read it here!

Bonus Kit & Noah Short Story

This bonus short story, titled "Sunshine" went out with the October 6th newsletter. You can read it here!

Bonus Rock Courtship Memos

If you love David's memos, check out these bonus memos!

David's memo to Thea

Thea's reply

Bonus Molly & Fox Short Story

This bonus short story, titled "That Lip Ring..." went out with the December 31st newsletter. You can read it here.

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Out Now

Deleted Scene from ROCK ADDICTION

Contains SPOILERS so please save this to read after Rock Addiction.

In my original draft of Rock Addiction, the band members and Molly attend an awards ceremony during Part II. That scene eventually no longer fit the timeline of the story, but I thought it was a fun one you might enjoy reading, so here it is!

DELETED SCENE FROM ROCK ADDICTION: MUSIC AWARDS


Molly whirled in front of the mirror, the dark, mysterious green of her evening gown catching the light, the sequins multi-faceted and glittering. Sleek and elegant, the gown shaped itself to her breasts before sliding down her body to curve over her hips and down to her ankles in a classic mermaid style. The boning in the corset style top left her barely able to breathe, but man did it make her look good.

“I feel va-va-va voom,” she said to Fox when he walked into the bedroom, turning to face him.

He whistled. “You look like sex.”

Molly had lost the ability to speak. Fox was wearing a black suit paired with a crisp white shirt open at the throat. “Wow.” Shaking her head, she said, “I thought you were going to do the rock star thing and wear jeans and a T-shirt.” She’d seen the music awards on television multiple times, and Fox most often turned up like that—and looked smoldering doing it.

“I can’t let my girl down.” Kissing her neck, he ran his hands along her bare arms, twining his fingers with her own. “I like this gown.”

“Kit helped me choose it.” It was a designer piece, something Molly would’ve never aspired to if Kathleen hadn’t dragged her along to the showrooms. “Most of the sample sizes were too small, but this designer, he likes curves.” Molly had immediately fallen in love with his collection.

“A smart man.” He palmed her hips, his smile making her heart squeeze.

Bracing her hands flat on the warmly muscled plane of his chest, she leaned into him. “I’m excited about tonight.” Butterflies fluttered in her stomach.

“I’m excited about showing off my Molly.” A suckling kiss that left him with lipstick on his mouth.

Smiling, she wiped it off, then gave in to temptation and kissed him. By the time they drew apart, her lips were swollen and devoid of lipstick. “Kit will kill me,” she said, but she wasn’t the least bit sorry about kissing her gorgeous rock star. “She called in a gazillion favors to get me an appointment with the makeup artist in town.”

“She’s in the limo, too.”

Molly raised an eyebrow. “The same limo as Noah?”

“Opposite sides according to the message I just got from David.” Curving his arm around her waist once she’d fixed up her makeup, he walked with her to the door. “They’ll be pulling up soon.”

A couple of minutes later, she was maneuvering herself into the limo. The sequins shimmered under the lights inside as she slid into the seat next to Kathleen, who passed her a flute of champagne.

When Molly demurred, the other woman said, “It’s grape juice.”

“Thanks.”

The Oscar-nominated actress winked. “Thank your hunky man. Standing orders.”

Watching Fox exchanging fist bumps with the other guys, she said, “Abe, David, and Noah are all going stag?”

Kathleen nodded, her hair slicked back into an smooth knot that exposed the exquisite perfection of her bone structure. “If they want company, there’ll be plenty of chances to pick it up.” An edge in her tone, her amber-eyed gaze pointedly not on Noah. “The parties after the awards go all night.”

Knowing what she did about Kathleen and Noah, Molly took out her phone in an effort to distract Kathleen from the bad memories. “We have to take a picture for Charlie.” She’d introduced the two women via Skype, and it made her so happy that the two had hit it off. The three of them would have an awesome time together when Charlie came to visit.

Squeezing in close to Molly, Kathleen held up her glass as Molly took the shot with an extended arm. She sent it to Charlie straight away; when Molly had called earlier, her best friend had told her she’d be watching the awards live on a satellite channel.

The response came in seconds.

You look AMAZING! Can’t wait to see you on TV!

Molly texted back. I hope I don’t fall flat on my face getting out of this limo.

You’ll knock ‘em dead.

Fox shot her a wicked grin at that instant, and her whole world tumbled over. God, she was so in love with him it terrified her on a daily basis. But he loved her, too...and that made it all worth it.

~

Forty minutes later, she had the nerve-wracking experience of standing next to Fox on the red carpet. The only thing that stopped her from bolting was his arm around her and the strength of his body next to her own. The fact that Kathleen was nearby, as were the other men from the band, also helped.

When photographers asked the four men to stand close together for a group shot, Kathleen kept Molly company, ignoring the photographers calling out her name. “I just gave them a ridiculous number of shots,” she muttered without ever losing her smile. “They can wait for a few more.”

“You’re a good friend.” Molly found the constant camera flashes overwhelming, had to fight the urge to flinch each time. “I don’t know how you can be so calm about it.”

“I’m an exhibitionist.” A dry comment. “You, on the other hand, don’t need the world’s attention to feel good.”

Kathleen’s eyes widened as Noah strolled over and, with a wink to Molly, slipped his arm around the other woman.

“How about we give everyone something to talk about?”

Kathleen smiled for the cameras but Molly could tell she was fuming.

“If Noah’s not careful,” Fox said, weaving his fingers with her own again as he led her farther down the red carpet, “he’ll end up with a broken nose. She’s got a mean right hook.”

Since Kathleen’s eyes had held murder, Molly nodded in agreement. “Are we heading inside?”

“I have to do a couple of quick interviews first.” He kept her with him as he answered the reporters’ questions.

No one asked Molly for her name. She would, she thought, be the “companion” in any photos that featured her. Not of interest except as Fox’s current date. That was fine by her.

So it took her completely by surprise when one of the roving photographers yelled at her to strike a pose. “Love the dress!”

Startled, she glanced at Fox. “I can’t do that.”

Fox rubbed his hand over her hip. “Sure you can. Do you want to?”

Molly shook her head. “Not alone.”

“Together, then.”

Her heart squeezed. “Together,” she whispered, finding her courage in him.

(c) Copyright 2014 by Nalini Singh

I hope you enjoyed this deleted scene! If you'd like to check out photos from some of the locations in Rock Addiction, please visit the special Behind the Scenes page on the website.

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Hard Play Series

In Rock Hard, we met ex-professional rugby player Gabriel Bishop as well as his big and loving family. The Hard Play series tells the stories of Gabriel's gorgeous, funny, rugby-playing brothers and their friends. The first book is CHERISH HARD, followed by REBEL HARD, and LOVE HARD.

You can read excerpts from all the books on this page of my website.

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FREE GUILD HUNTER SHORT STORIES

Follow the links to read! I've added a short note at the top of each story that tells you were the story fits in the series.

Also, don't forget to check out the Guild Hunter Free Short Stories page on the website. There are several more short stories available for you to read there. I hope you enjoy!

Knives and Sheaths ~ Included in this newsletter. Just scroll down.

An Unexpected Guest

Secret Things

Elena's School of Horror

A Little Bakery

More short stories to come as the newsletters continue. The date for the next newsletter is always at the bottom of the previous one, so you'll know when to expect it. :-)

KNIVES AND SHEATHS

A Guild Hunter Short Story

A quick note: Some email programs may clip the newsletter, so it looks like it ends in the middle of a sentence. If that happens, just click this link and you can read everything in your browser.

~~~

The original version of this short story was meant to be a scene in ARCHANGEL’S STORM, but I deleted it in an earlier draft and the information shared here about Lijuan eventually became part of chapter 8 in the book.

However, I thought the scene offered a nice glimpse of Elena and Raphael’s relationship, so I decided to edit and extend it into a short story. I hope you enjoy!

~~~

Hanging up the phone after getting some further details from Jason about the developing situation, Raphael turned to where his consort stood on the other side of the private office attached to their Tower suite. She was currently sliding knives into the special forearm sheaths she used for the most lightweight of her blades, a scowl on her face.

“Damn it.” Pure aggravation. “I really need to replace these—this side’s threatening to fray right off.”

“Deacon would not do such shoddy work,” he murmured, naming the weapons-maker so respected that he handled commissions from immortals around the world, his waiting list extending years into the future. However, regardless of the incentives offered, Deacon’s first loyalty was to the guild of hunters of which he had once been a member.

Elena colored. “I’m too embarrassed to ask him to make me new ones—I bought these on a whim from a weapons-maker in Turkey. I feel like I cheated on Deacon.” Ripping off and throwing the sheaths on the bed, she put her hands on her hips. “So, Lijuan’s up to her old tricks?”

“It’s not so surprising—she believes herself beyond even the Cadre.” Raphael had once thought Lijuan right, but now he’d seen her wounded, knew the other archangel could be stopped.

Elena reached back to redo her braid with quick, competent hands, one of which bore a healing knife wound she’d sustained during a training session. It would be gone within the next two hours, her strength growing at an unexpected rate—but then, his consort had never once done the expected.

“You’d think after seeing the results last time, no one would volunteer to become reborn,” Elena said, her eyes filled with memories of the horrific night in the Forbidden City when a dead woman had jerked back to shambling life in front of them. “She has to be coercing them…” A shake of her head. “No, most of her people treat her like a goddess, so I can believe they’d sacrifice themselves to her vision, even knowing the horror. She could conceivably build an army.”

“Yes.” It was a future that could not be permitted to come into being, for Lijuan’s reborn were a plague. “Jason’s information is that she’s only making one or two at a time before executing her creations—but we cannot stop monitoring her.”

Braid done, Elena picked up the inferior knife sheaths and chucked them in the trash, putting her throwing knives onto a table with the mournful look of a woman being parted from the most precious of jewels. “No, and not only because of the reborn—Lijuan isn’t going to be satisfied until you’re dead.” Her irises gleamed metallic silver around the rims, immortality having taken a stronger hold on her in the preceding months. “And I won’t be satisfied until the bitch is boiling in her own blood.”

Raphael raised an eyebrow. “I would say you’ve been spending too much time with Dmitri were he here.”

“No, that’s all me,” she said with a smile that was a blade to his heart, it cut so deep. “She tried to hurt you, and she’ll keep on trying to hurt you because she knows you have the potential to destroy her. I don’t intend to sit back and let her, archangel or not.”

A warrior, he thought, his wings unfurling, that was who he had taken for his consort. “If you will permit,” he said, “I would assist you in your task. Lijuan cannot be allowed to blanket the world with her perversions.”

His consort’s face dissolved into laughter before she reset it into a suitably haughty expression. “I do permit.” Walking across to join him where he stood with his back to the plate-glass window that looked out over the steel spires of Manhattan, she ran her fingers across the inner surface of his left wing. “Your wings…the gold filaments aren’t like before. It’s as if each has been coated with finely crushed glass, until it glitters like living flame.” That she found him beautiful was an unspoken kiss.

“It is a time of evolution. Now we must wait and see if another Lijuan is born amongst the Cadre.” He rubbed his finger over the arch of Elena’s own wing, felt her responsive shiver.

“Enough talk of Her Grand Evilness and her nefarious plots.” Wrapping both arms around his neck, his hunter dressed in black leather and armed to the teeth but for her bare forearms, said, “Kiss me, Archangel.”

I am but your slave. He caught her laughter in his mouth, felt it in his veins, the passion between them a smoldering flame.

Pulse a drumbeat when they separated, she parted moist lips to say, “You’re lethal.”

He smiled and knew it held the arrogance of deadly power—it was who he was, what he needed to be to rule. But his consort was not a woman to be scared by such a thing, and she demanded another kiss before stepping back, cheeks flushed and breath shallow. “No melting my bones. I have to go haul three baby vamps off their asses and back to their angel.”

“I sense a note of disgust.”

“I’m one of the most experienced hunters in the city, and Sara puts me on babysitting detail—I’d think it was a conspiracy, but turns out a whole group of baby vampires got it into their heads that they need to ‘rebel against the hierarchy’.” A snort. “Ransom’s got two on his list today, and Ashwini’s bringing in three.”

“It’s astonishing,” Raphael said, moving to the sprawling breadth of his desk, “how people do not find such a cause until after they have been Made.” The lure of almost-immortality was a drug, but the reality was a hundred years of subservience to the angels, and that reality could have a bitter taste.

“Buyer’s remorse doesn’t negate the Contract.” She rubbed absently at her forearms. “I should be back in three hours tops, since none of my targets appear to be geniuses. Do you have time to spar with me? With Dmitri, Venom, and Jason all gone, I’m losing practice time.”

“I need to meet with Nazarach,” he said, speaking of one of the powerful angels in his territory, “but Janvier has settled in and should have some time, so speak with him when you return.” According to Dmitri, the younger vampire was the dirtiest street-fighter the leader of Raphael’s Seven had ever met. He’d be able to assist Elena increase her arsenal of tricks, give her further tools to survive the immortal world. Come here, Consort.

Giving him an arch look, she sauntered over. “You summoned?”

He opened the small box sitting on his desk and brought out two butter-soft knife sheaths meant for her forearms. "I cannot have you out in the world without your blades."

“Raphael!” Gathering up the gifts, she made feminine sounds of pleasure he usually only ever heard as she lay sweat-slicked and naked in their bed. “This is Deacon’s work. Oooh, they feel…” Doing up the buckles, she slid in the knives and shivered.

“Careful, Elena. I may decide you enjoy those sheaths far too much.”

Grinning, she twisted and pulled out the blades in a quick draw, testing positioning and tightness. “God, Deacon is talented.” She slid the knives back in a second later, and spun into his arms with the lithe grace of a fighter, her smile fading into an intensity of emotion so raw, it was a stormcloud over her irises.

“You know me.” Her fingers brushing his cheek. “You see me.” Thank you.

He brought her closer to his body, her weapons hard edges against him. “You are extraordinary.” And you are my consort. Mine to know, mine to see.

Lips curving, though the intensity didn’t abate, she rose up on tiptoe and whispered, "Knhebek, Archangel," the emotion in her a vivid wildness as she spoke words of love in the language that meant so much to her. Knhebek.

(c) Copyright 2012 by Nalini Singh

~~~

Angels Blood Small

Guild Hunter Series

If you enjoyed that story, and you haven't started the Guild Hunter series, the first book is ANGELS' BLOOD - the story of how Elena and Raphael first met.

Follow the link to read an excerpt!

***
Slave to Sensation - UK

International Covers

Both the Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series have a number of different covers around the world.

If you'd like to see what the covers look like in your neck of the woods, check out the International Releases page of the website.

(On the right is the UK & Commonwealth cover for the first book in the Psy/Changeling series.)

***
Archangel s Sun UK high res - Copy

Useful Links

All three series have Behind the Scenes pages on the website. There are spoilers on these pages, so be warned!

Psy/Changeling Series: Behind the Scenes
Rock Kiss Series: Behind the Scenes
Guild Hunter Series: Behind the Scenes

And in case you missed them, there are a number of deleted scenes and short stories available on the website for you to enjoy.

Deleted Scenes from both the Psy/Changeling Series and Guild Hunter Series
Psy/Changeling Short Stories
Guild Hunter Short Stories

Until next time, take care and happy reading.

~Nalini

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