Beast of Darkness [NOOK Book]


Sarah is a mortal who hears the voices of spirits. Driven by tragedy, she chases sightings, investigating the supernatural. Called to Nowhere, Texas, she finds not ghosts, but terrible danger…and demons.

A soldier in the war between good and evil, Max is one of the oldest demons, stained by centuries of darkness, fighting to keep others safe without hope for himself.

Betrayal and loss haunt both of them, keeping them from finding peace. And yet...

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Beast of Darkness

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Sarah is a mortal who hears the voices of spirits. Driven by tragedy, she chases sightings, investigating the supernatural. Called to Nowhere, Texas, she finds not ghosts, but terrible danger…and demons.

A soldier in the war between good and evil, Max is one of the oldest demons, stained by centuries of darkness, fighting to keep others safe without hope for himself.

Betrayal and loss haunt both of them, keeping them from finding peace. And yet to save an entire town, Max and Sarah must do the impossible: let go of the past, and find a future with each other.

Love is their only weapon. Nowhere is the battleground.

This is their last chance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426819391
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Knights of White Series , #43
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 361,338
  • File size: 228 KB

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Read an Excerpt

Destination: Nowhere, Texas. A town with a strange name and no location on the map. Now, that little Nowhere town had managed to scare up stories of real supernatural troubles. Or so the town sheriff seemed to believe, which was exactly why Sarah Meyers and her team were headed that direction. They investigated the paranormal events, the unexplainable and often scary things most thought to be fiction.

Sitting in the passenger seat of the van, Sarah eyed the flatland around them, not a sign of life in sight. She glanced at Edward, a research assistant and friend, who manned the steering wheel on most occasions. He was their driver and electronics expert. "They don't call it Nowhere for nothing," she commented.

He grunted his agreement, which was about all Sarah expected from him. A big black man with the brains of a genius and the sense of humor of a rag doll, he didn't waste words. When he chose to speak, his words either had real value, or they were meant to annoy Cathy, who rode in the backseat for that specific reason. The two had a love-hate relationship, to say the least. At times, Sarah's ability to mediate Edward and Cathy's tiffs successfully felt like more of a gift than her ability to receive communications from spirits.

"What is a five-letter word for a breakfast?" Cathy asked, her voice laced with an Alabama accent despite graduating from the University of Texas. Cathy had an affinity for magic and crossword puzzles. The magic part of that equation had turned her into their field expert.

Edward flicked a look over his shoulder to offer a word choice. "Pizza."

Sarah smiled, not having to see Cathy to know she was rolling those big brown eyes, her brownbob bouncing around her head. Hunting spirits and demons who had nocturnal preferences demanded erratic hours, but it also bred a love of junk food—pizza being Sarah's favorite anytime snack.

Feeling a bit mischievous after the long hours trapped in the van, Sarah decided to aid Edward's efforts to tease Cathy. "I have to agree with Edward on this one. Pizza is—" Her words cut off as pain splintered through her head. "Oh." She moaned and grabbed her head, lacing her fingers through her long blond locks as she prayed the pain would ease.

Suddenly she was in the middle of one of her visions, a spirit communicating with her by making her relive an experience from the past. She was inside an unfamiliar car, seeing through the eyes of the female driver. She reached for the dash, but in her mind, it was the steering wheel. She had become the spirit that was guiding her.

Approaching an upcoming bridge, the rain pounding on the windshield, visibility near zero, she was nervous about the bad conditions, but the butterflies in her stomach were excitement not fear. Eagerness to get home, to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary, dictated her mood. The special gift for her man waited in the backseat, adding an extra thrill. She couldn't wait to see his face when he opened the big box.

The radio screeched, a terrible sound that bit through her eardrums. She reached forward to turn it off, glancing down for only a moment, but it was a moment too long. Her heart lurched at the sight of an animal in the road—a big black dog of some sort. No. It was too big for a dog, but the rain made it hard to tell.

She honked as she approached but it didn't move; it didn't even seem to hear the sound. And she was close now, unprepared for its stubborn stance. Her foot slammed down on the brakes, pumping them to no avail. The brakes gave her nothing, they wouldn't work.

Her stomach was in her chest as she jerked the wheel to the right to miss the animal, relieved when she didn't make contact. But when she tried to right herself, the car was going too fast. The front bumper hit the bridge's edge with a jolt that shook her teeth. The second before everything went black, she called out to the one she loved. Allen!

Sarah snapped back into reality with a gasp of air, yanking herself to a full sitting position to ensure she wasn't in the water.

"Easy, easy," Edward said, grabbing her arm as if he were afraid she might need stabilizing.

"Are you okay?" Cathy asked, concern in her voice. "I swear, I will never get used to this happening to you. It scares the hell out of me."

"I'm fine," Sarah said, and she was. She had lived with these visions since her teen years just as her mother had before her, and hers before her.

Reality slid slowly into place as Sarah noted they'd pulled over in front of the very bridge she'd had a vision of. She reached for the door and got out. Walking to the edge of the bridge, she noted the skid marks and shivered despite the hot summer day, hugging herself.

Edward and Cathy appeared by her side, but they didn't say anything. They'd been around long enough to know she needed to process and think. Sarah stood there for what could have been seconds, minutes, or much longer.

When she finally turned away from the bridge, she spoke. "A woman was murdered on this bridge."

"How?" Cathy and Edward asked at once.

"Black magic," Sarah answered, knowing the impact the two words would have on her friends, knowing they understood the implications. If there was one thing the three of them knew, it was what kind of trouble the dark arts could bring. Thanks to the university's support and plenty of grant money, they'd seen far too many bad things in their time together. Whatever was going on in Nowhere, Texas, had the kind of roots that festered into hell far too fast for comfort.

Sarah and her team pulled to a stop in front of the two-story town inn, the one recommended by the sheriff when he'd requested her presence. In a small town of three thousand, the 1800s Victorian-style house was the closest thing to a motel they possessed.

"Well, this is quaint," Cathy said. "So far the town looks more fairy tale than nightmare."

"Apparently, it normally is," Sarah commented, reaching for the door and shoving it open. She'd been hunting the supernatural since she was twelve, tagging along with her parents before their deaths. They'd died at the hand of a friend who was possessed by a demon. Sarah knew better than to underestimate a situation because it "looked" safe. Nothing had been safe since their deaths. "Let's size up the place before we haul our equipment inside."

Ten steps led them up to a porch that covered the front of the house. Cushioned chairs and couches sat in various positions, welcoming people to sit down and relax. Several wind chimes dangled from the roof, lifting with the wind. The scent of rain was in the air.

Edward held the door open for Sarah, and she entered the house, her boots scraping against the hardwood floor. To her right was a small dining area where several people mingled around a table, sharing coffee, and to her left, a lounge area with a fireplace and winding stairwell—all part of the inn's cozy allure.

Sarah walked up to the desk directly in front of her and pumped her finger on the bell. A woman came down the stairs mumbling as she rushed forward. "All right, already. I'm coming."

The gruff response took Sarah by surprise, and she turned to see if Edward and Cathy shared her reaction, only to find them arguing, their voices low but laced with heaviness. A flutter of unease touched her stomach. The sheriff had spoken of odd, violent behavior in the townspeople.

"Ringing the bell once was enough," the fiftysomething woman said, as she shoved her glasses on her face and slammed the guest book down. "Impatience will get you in trouble, Miss."

In a different situation, Sarah would point out that she had rung the bell only once. Not this time. Not in this situation. "Sorry for any inconvenience," Sarah said. "I should have reservations for three rooms under Meyers."

Before the woman could answer, two men came down the stairs exchanging heated words. One of the patrons in the dining area stood up and shoved his chair to the ground, yelling at the person he'd been speaking pleasantly to. The woman behind the counter screamed and took off toward them, as if intending to interfere. Sarah turned to find little five-foot Cathy poking a finger at Edward's chest, fearless of his towering six-three frame.

The door to the inn opened, and her eyes went wide at the unexpected sight of the man filling the entrance. Dressed in jeans and a leather jacket—that had to be hot considering the Texas summer, but damn he wore it well—he towered well above six feet tall; his shoulders nearly reached the width of the entry. His hazel eyes melted into hers for all of two seconds before he moved.

Next thing she knew, she was lying on her back, the hot leather-clad man on top of her. A knife zoomed past her and planted into the wall next to her head.

"You okay?" her stranger asked, near her ear.

"Yes," she mouthed, unable to find her voice. As okay as she could be with insanity and his rock-hard body surrounding her. Not to mention, the weapon she felt pressed against her leg. And it wasn't the kind meant for pleasure. Whoever this stranger was, he came armed and ready to fight. If he lost control like the rest of them, they could all kiss their tomorrows goodbye.

But he wasn't out of control that she could see. And it seemed they were two sane people, alone in a crowd that seemed to be losing their minds.

A crashing sound put them both into action. He eyed the counter and in silent agreement, they scrambled behind it, taking shelter. They both settled with their backs against the solid surface, waiting for what came next.

But nothing happened. "Do you hear that?" Sarah whispered.

He frowned and rotated to face the counter, squatting beside her, listening. The sound of nothingness filled the air. Complete, utter quiet had taken over where chaos had ruled.

"Let's hope this is a good sign," he said, as he eased upward to check out the situation. But Sarah had a feeling this was only the beginning. The beginning of what?—that was the question.

Max eased from his squatting position, analyzing the reason for the sudden silence. He knew he'd been sent to Nowhere, Texas, as part of a test. The ultimate test that would decide if his soul was worth saving. And as he peered from behind the desk, taking in the sight before him, he had no doubt that the test was not only already in full-blown effect, it was going to be hell.

Scrubbing his jaw, he watched as the faces of the inn's guests filled with bemusement, as if they had been zapped back to reality and struggled for their memories. They had no idea they'd just damn near killed one another.

In his four hundred years of living, three hundred and seventy of it had been spent fighting demon foot soldiers and protecting unknowing humans. He'd stuck to his own kind, The Knights of White; he had no clue what to do with a bunch of humans who'd clearly lost their marbles. But how ironic that he was here, dealing with them now, considering he'd gotten in trouble for killing a human— albeit an evil human, but it still broke the rules.

Beside him, the gorgeous blonde, who had his gut tightening and his heart pounding, peered out from behind the counter. "They don't know what they did, do they?"

"It doesn't appear so," he commented, discreetly inhaling another whiff of her jasmine-scented perfume. He cut her a curious glance. "Why is it you weren't affected?"

She narrowed her eyes on him. "I could ask you the same."

He laughed at that, watching her walk toward a petite brunette and a big black man. She had spunk, this one. Max felt an unnatural desire take hold, to pull her back by his side, to kiss her until she told him what he wanted to know.

There was something deep inside him that seemed to respond to this woman, seemed to call out to him. No woman had ever drawn such an instant reaction. The kind of reaction he'd heard spoken of as a sign of mating. But then, that seemed unlikely. He was inches from being destined for hell. He would not be rewarded with a mate.

Then again, this was the ultimate test he was living, a test that would push him to his limits. Perhaps, facing his mate and being strong enough to walk away, selfless enough to put her needs first, was part of that test. To claim her would mean locking her to him eternally. She would share his destiny, which was uncertain at best.

Of course, there was one other option. She could also be part of some sort of demon trick or manipulation. He couldn't be too cautious at this point.

Max decided whatever her role in this test—and she had one, of that he was certain—he had better keep her close. He stepped forward and joined her and her friends. "How is everyone?" he asked. "No serious injuries, I hope?"

The blond, would-be mate, would-be trickster answered. She had a soft, sweet voice that danced along his nerve endings with sensual results.

"Thankfully, they seem to be fine," she said, her gaze on him, a probing look in her sea-green eyes. "They don't remember any of it, though." She paused and studied him. Something in her probing stare gave him the impression she was looking for a reason to distrust him. "I'm Sarah Meyers, by the way." She motioned to her friends. "This is my research team, Cathy Wilburt and Edward Marshall."

He inclined his head at the introductions. "I'm Max," he announced, not willing to give a last name. He hadn't used one in centuries. His past was his past.

"Nice to meet you, Max," Sarah said, offering her hand.

Max steeled himself for the impact as he reached out to accept Sarah's hand. The minute their palms connected, molten heat shot up his arm. Shock darted across her face, and he knew that she, too, felt what he did. Discreetly, he cleared his throat, withdrawing his hand with regret. "What kind of research do you do?"

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The newest Knights of the White romantic fantasyi s a terrific thriller

    When something strange occurs in the neighborhood, everyone knows to call Sarah Meyers and her paranormal investigative team. Thus when unexplained happenings occur in Nowhere, Texas, Sarah and her squad arrives at the scene to study what is reported as supernatural phenomena.---------------- In Nowhere, Sarah meets Knight of the White Max. He is on ¿trial¿ within his group for breaking a major taboo when he killed a human. No excuse for such a code violating act is acceptable for a Knight of the White not even the fact that he saved a beast taming master, the mate of another Knight. However Max quickly realizes Sarah is his beast taming soulmate, but he refuses to claim her as his because he expects to fail the knight¿s test.------------ The newest Knights of the White romantic fantasy (see BEAST OF DESIRE and BEAST WITHIN) is a terrific thriller starring a courageous heroine and a brave soul who knows his future is so bleak he cannot proclaim her as his. The story line is fast-paced, but the paranormal subplot takes a back seat to the relationship between the fallen knight and his ¿ghostbusting¿ lifemate who rejects his denials.-------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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