Fire of Stars and Dragons By Melissa A. Petreshock, a new adult paranormal romance published by Swoon Romance on April 29, 2014, available from Amazon.
From the Blurb:
Following the death of her vampire uncle, twenty-one-year-old CAITRIONA HAYDEN finds herself in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in 22nd century sovereign America where human females should be seen and not heard.
Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time. Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona. America's monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.
Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to choosing a husband in seven days, knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, and the bond timeless.
Dante lifts his glass toward me, one brow raised, polite smile on his lips. “A toast,” he offers, and I hold mine up as well. “To the death of old ways and the birth of new beginnings.” The smile plays at something more than mild politeness as he clinks our glasses together, waiting a moment before taking a drink. “This is quite a robust cabernet sauvignon, wouldn’t you say?” I nod, not much of a wine connoisseur myself. “I prefer a smooth mild, fruity merlot with a hint of spice.” His unnatural blue eyes bore into mine. “Though the company improves upon this particular wine with utmost significance.”
“You don’t even know me. For all you know, I make this a lot worse,” I counter, narrowing my eyes and daring him to say otherwise.
His smile tightens, and he looks to the SylvrSky screen. “True as that may be, you’re quite intriguing, Caitriona, a rarity for me. You might imagine the company I keep improves when I find them interesting.”
I gulp down half the glass. This is the strangest day of my life so far. “Really? It seems hard to believe that I could be so interesting to you.”
Dante sips from his glass, watching me as he does. “You have no fear of us, do you?” he asks, head tilted, lips pursed together, crease between his brows.
Repressing the urge to grin at his quizzical expression, far too adorable for a demigod, I shake my head. “No. I don’t see why I should.” His gaze drops to his glass, swirling the crimson liquid, that contemplative expression from the meeting today returned. “Should I?”
“No. No. … Of course not, Caitriona. I have no ill intentions toward you, no desire to harm you.” He reaches his hand out, and I place mine in it, an undeniable need to touch him surfacing. “None whatsoever, my dear.” Dante kisses the back of my hand, a feather-light brush of his lips on my skin, but a rush, an electrical charge at his touch is impossible to miss.
Setting my glass on the counter, I keep my eyes on it, my heart revving like a jumpstarted car that nobody let off the accelerator yet. If it’s natural to his touch or just my reaction to it, I don’t know. But it’s intense, impossible, insane, waking up wanting no one then wanting Theo, and now …
“Aren’t we supposed to have dinner together or something? Theo said that’s why you were coming.”
Seven days. Only seven days to choose the right husband. I take a deep breath, watching from the corner of my eye.
Glancing up and down at my t-shirt and jeans, taking a moment to stop on my bare feet, he laughs, light and airy. A warm smile spreads across his face, making him far more inviting than his ethereal appearance or the elitist persona tabloids describe. “Lovely choice of color,” he remarks of my nail polish. “A remarkable shade of blue.”
“Like your eyes.” The comment slips out as I focus on staring at my toes instead of facing him.
“Thank you.” His voice is soft, accent beautiful on the even simplest words. Reaching, Dante ghosts his fingers over my cheek, hovering, not quite connecting, and I hold my breath, waiting, expecting his touch … wanting it, but he pulls away. “However, I was going to say they complement your eyes.” Picking up his glass again, he takes another drink, far more than a sip this time. “Perhaps you would like to change then we could go to dinner.” His tone is formal, the soft edge gone and gouging me in its unexpectedness.
Considering for a moment, well aware that if we’re going anywhere, I can’t wear this while he’s dressed in black slacks and a midnight blue French-cuffed shirt, I back up, grab my own glass, and finish it. “You know, if you don’t want to do this, that’s fine. I don’t expect you to want any of it.”
Dante’s expression turns puzzled. “I’m sorry? I do not understand. Have I offended you in some manner?”
Refilling my glass, I gulp down half before answering. “Look, I don’t know what you were thinking getting in the middle of this whole thing between the king and Theo, but don’t feel like you have to save me or something. As interesting as you may think I am, there’s no reason for you to be stuck with a wife just because … because … Hell, I don’t even know why you did it, why you offered to marry me. Just know I’m not holding you to it.”
So much for giving him a fair chance. Instead, I’m giving him a way out. I polish off the wine in my glass and turn back to see his face, surprised how stricken he looks. “You do not wish me to court you, to desire your affections,” he states, not bothering to ask, as if he’s sure of the answer.
“I didn’t say that.” Maybe I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Maybe I’m afraid I will feel something for him, something too real, and it’s better for him to walk away if he’s doing this for the wrong reasons. “If you prefer to be alone, I’m not going to demand you change.”
The security of devout loyalty is always better than the pain of romantic heartbreak, or so I’m telling myself as Dante’s eyes meet mine. Blue eyes. Bluer than the sky or the Atlantic. Eyes to lose yourself in. And I swallow my heart before choking on the idea Theo could be right.
“ ‘There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic.’ A quote from a French novelist, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.” The demigod keeps his gaze steady on mine.
A fair chance. I promised a fair chance, a simple thing.
“She was quite correct.” He steps toward me, blue eyes intensifying, the lights flickering then dimming, making his eyes appear to glow. I set my glass down as he comes close.
A reasonable opportunity. Not an unreasonable thing to ask. Not with Dante. He’s so …
His fingers caress my chin, lifting it, enticing electricity humming through those fingers, and he leans over, running his tongue along my lips, deliberate and sensual, before kissing me. “ ‘Your lips are like wine, and I want to get drunk,’ ” he whispers, his breath candy-sweet.
“Shakespeare,” I reply. He nods, his hair brushing my forehead as he pulls me in, lips as soft and sweet as his breath, and intent on getting impressively tipsy.
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About the Author:
Melissa lives on a small farm in rural Kentucky with her genius husband, exceptional children, and their feline overlords. When not inhaling or exhaling words, she subsists on unnatural doses of coffee, sarcasm, and music. To date, no dragons have been found in the woods surrounding her house, but she continues to hold out hope.
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Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock was released by Swoon Romance on April 29, 2014 and is available from Amazon.