A gruesome crime brings them together. His secrets could rip them apart.
He is Barakiel. Warrior. Exile. Hopeless romantic.
Barakiel is Covalent, a race of ancient beings who use their great power to hold the cosmos in Balance. The rulers of his world banished Barakiel to Earth for the crimes of his father, Lucifer, who wages perpetual war against them. Lucifer also seeks to enslave his son, sending demons to attack him in exile and invading his mind with a whispered ultimatum—join me or die.
She is Alexandra O'Gara. FBI Agent. Army veteran. Recovering drunk.
Zan’s troubled past left her with little interest in men, but she had never met anyone as fascinating as Barakiel, a wealthy businessman who offers to help with a murder case. She’s stunned by the intensity of her attraction, which both frightens and thrills her, and breathes life into emotions she thought were long dead.
This is their love story.
As he struggles to decide whether he should reveal his true nature to Zan, Barakiel learns his presence on Earth has placed its most vulnerable citizens in danger. Compelled to protect them, he undertakes a series of duties he may not survive, even as his passion rescues him from centuries of loneliness.
2016 Medalist in Fantasy — New Apple Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing
"A tale about Lucifer’s son that deftly draws in readers with engrossing characters." — Kirkus Reviews
The epic love story continues in The Pain Season: Book II of the Covalent Series, available now.
The Passion Season
Book I of the Covalent Series
Length: 117,370 words
Ryan Steel is known in Snow Creek as the handsomest Steel brother with the most jovial personality. Now that his busy grape harvest and winemaking season is over, he's happy to spend time with his family and help his brothers, Talon and Jonah, celebrate their impending nuptials. The Steels are taking a well-deserved break from the conspiracy surrounding them...until an unlikely woman and a long-buried secret shatter Ryan's world.
Detective Ruby Lee has been on her own since she was fifteen. When her past collides with the Steel family's mysteries, she's determined to find the truth. She has her own issues, and she's not looking for a relationship, despite her all-consuming attraction to Ryan Steel. The gorgeous dark-haired man gets under her skin anyway...and he needs her.
Together they explore both of their histories, but those pasts could cost them a future.
She's got nothing left to lose …
With her fiancé suddenly engaged to another and her reputation in tatters, Merribeth Wakefield needs a bold plan to reclaim her life. She must be brave. Confident. She must … kiss a rake? The suggestion is ludicrous! Yet when Merribeth finds herself alone with the dark and brooding Lord Knightswold, suddenly the plan doesn't seem so farfetched. So she does something she never thought she'd do—she kisses him.
But he has everything to gain …
The Marquess of Knightswold—Bane to most—has no use for the affections of women. Well, none lasting longer than a single night. A plot for revenge weighs heavy on his mind, leaving no room for romance. But then a shy, witty miss borrows a kiss from him in a darkened room, and everything he thought he knew about innocent debutantes vanishes along with her.
When a twist of fate brings Merribeth within Bane's grasp, he'll have to resist her charms—or risk losing everything—for the sake of his heart.
He swore he'd never love again...
She'd risk her heart time and again to prove him wrong...
Much to his aggravation, the wickedly handsome Duke of Sethe, is wanted by every husband-hunting, title-chasing female in the country, or so it seems. Twice betrayed by women he loved, Nicholas Leighton is no longer the gullible young fool he was in his youth. Having grown cool and cynical, as well as older and wiser, he has vowed to never again allow another woman to affect him emotionally, for he has learned his lessons and learned them well. So, when the breathtakingly lovely Ashleigh St. John suddenly and unexpectedly enters his life, as well as his home, he is determined to keep the alluring interloper at an emotional and physical distance. Unfortunately, he quickly discovers that some things are easier said than done.
Reckless and daring, Ashleigh St. John is an unconventional young lady with the heart of a hopeless romantic. When she meets Nicholas Leighton she is certain that she has met the man of her dreams, but unfortunately, the man of her dreams seems bound and determined to keep her at a distance, hiding his true emotions behind a self-erected wall of cool detachment and calculated indifference. But having glimpsed the wonderful man hiding behind the facade, she too is determined, determined to do whatever it takes to break through the intractable barriers that guard his heart, willing even, to surrender her innocence and time and again risk her ravaged heart to ultimately win his trust and more importantly his love.
Dear Reader: Warning: If you are looking for a hearts and flowers romance, this probably isn't the book for you. This story involves a damaged hero who is desperate to keep from being hurt again and will do just about anything (including acting like a complete jerk at times) to keep the heroine from breaking down the walls he's built around his heart.
The Reformed Rakes Series:
Book 1 – Until You (Nicholas)
Book 2 – You, and Only You (Alex)
Book 3 – When Only a Rake Will Do (Brendon)
(Although these books are part of a series, each can be read as a stand alone novel.)
Original Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Please note: This book was originally titled Forever & Always.
As a young, penniless gentleman, Maxwell Harwick knew he had little to offer Juliet White—the most beautiful debutante of the season—except his love, and one thoroughly scandalous kiss. But when they were discovered in a compromising position, a nearly ruined Juliet fled into the arms of a rich, older lord... taking Max’s heart with her.
Now a widow, Lady Juliet Granworth intends to use the fortune she inherited from her odious husband to build a new life in London. Five years have passed, but she’s never forgotten Max… or his soul-searing kiss. Yet it’s clear the newly-minted Marquess of Thayne has not forgiven her—after all, the infuriating man can barely stand the sight of her. But Juliet has endured far too much to give up without a fight and if it’s a battle of wills he wants, it’s a battle he’ll get.
He hates her for breaking his heart. She detests him for destroying her future. But beneath all the loathing simmers an intoxicating passion that neither can ignore… and the harder they resist, the harder they will inevitably fall.
When does proper behavior deserve a deliciously improper reward?
The scandalously unmarried Lady Margaret Sawford is looking for adventure—and is always up for a challenge. Her curiosity is aroused by a dangerous-looking stranger with an eye patch, an ideal companion for the life she longs for, no matter what Society might say. So when the piratical gentleman turns out to be a duke—and just as boringly proper as any other nobleman—she can't help but incite him to walk on the wild side.
Well-heeled, well-mannered, and well beyond any interest in society's expectations, the Duke of Lasham is tired of being perfect. Margaret's lush beauty and gently laughing eyes are an irresistible temptation to embrace the imperfect—and her. But if a little misbehavior is appealing, unleashing his wild side is completely seductive—as long as the lovely Margaret is the object of his passion . . .
A dragon never leaves his hoard unguarded. His heart is another matter.The second eldest in an ancient line of Russian dragon shifters, Mikhail Barinov had one job: protect one of the family hoard of jewels. Distracted by the English virgin queen Elizabeth, who was as dazzling as she was devious; he lost everything. Five centuries of exile later, news that a construction crew has unearthed a massive trove of gold and jewels sends him racing to London, determined to steal back his family’s treasure…and his honor. Professional gemologist Piper Linwood can’t wait to bury herself in her newest project, evaluating a hoard of Elizabethan-era treasure. But both her life and career are threatened when a mysterious, brooding man with a dangerous smile—and an even more dangerous kiss—snatches the lot.Unwillingly swept along for the ride, Piper discovers Mikhail is no mere thief. And the dragon on his back is more than a tattoo. It’s a living, breathing extension of a bad boy she’s finding harder and harder to resist. But his heart is a treasure she can never own…because to save her career, she’ll have to betray his trust. Twilight meets Games of Thrones in this hot new dragon shifter romance by USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Smith!Scroll up and one-click your copy today!