How To Lose a Demon in 10 Daysby Saranna DeWylde
Grace does. She's got more demon than she can saddle. In fact, she's got a sinfully sexy Crown Prince of Hell named Caspian. She's also got ten days to get rid of him or Bad Things shall ensue. See, her Russian mobster ex-boyfriend didn't take kindly to her smutty Mephistophelean contract. It's not that she's conspiring with fiends; that was his idea.
Grace does. She's got more demon than she can saddle. In fact, she's got a sinfully sexy Crown Prince of Hell named Caspian. She's also got ten days to get rid of him or Bad Things shall ensue. See, her Russian mobster ex-boyfriend didn't take kindly to her smutty Mephistophelean contract. It's not that she's conspiring with fiends; that was his idea. It's that she's conspiring against him with outrageous devilry that runs the gamut from embarrassing to a dead hooker turned dominatrix demon gunning for his soul.
One should never trust demons, let alone shag them. They don't have hearts. Yet Grace is buying hers some slightly tarnished armor and hoping that once he's been shoveled into it, kicking and screaming, he'll find it's just his size. This damsel in distress needs a dark knight for a Happily Ever After.
"Grace + Caspian = LOL demonic lovin' fun!"Dakota Cassidy, author of The Accidental Series
Read an Excerpt
How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days
By Saranna DeWylde
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2012 Saranna DeWylde
All right reserved.
Caspian was technically a Crown Prince of Hell. Technically. And technically, he was royally fucked. Or was about to be, if he could manage it.
How did he get himself into these things? He felt the pull, and there was no use in fighting it. The Big Boss had seen to that. Fighting would just make this harder.
Caspian gave a dramatic sigh and followed the call up into the mortal world. Which he hated. Not the mortal world per se, but the bitch work. He materialized in the middle of what was obviously a woman's bedroom. There was enough purple to choke a unicorn. He quickly realized he was trapped within a chalklike circle drawn with finely ground bone.
Correction, not ground up. It was old. It smelled like rot. It had turned to dust on its own. What was this happy-crappy, another weekend warrior? How come he always got the freaks? No one sensible ever tried to summon a demon. Perhaps that should have been a consideration when he'd been frolicking down the primrose path that led to his current career.
She wasn't bad to look at, aside from the sneer, which was a bit scary. He was willing to overlook it because the rest of her real estate thrilled him. On the other hoof, as some of his co-workers would say, she didn't look at all impressed at his entrance, and Caspian was a showman.
"WHY HAST THOU SUMMONED ME?" he began in a large, thunderous voice that rattled the windows and made books and knickknacks fall off the shelves in a most pleasing way. Pleasing to him, anyway.
"I hope you know you're cleaning that up." The voluptuous woman put her fist on her hip and tossed long dark hair over her shoulder.
"WHAT?" Caspian would have clapped a hand over his mouth had she not been staring at him so intently with those large chocolate eyes. Who was she to tell him that he was going to do anything of the sort?
Chocolate eyes? Where the hell had that come from? Did he care what her eyes looked like? No. Not in any meaningful sense, anyway. He wouldn't remember them in a hundred years and describe them like foodstuffs he could get lost in or whatever.
"I know you don't have to bellow like that. It's not cute. I am not impressed."
What did she mean, she wasn't impressed? Of course, she was impressed. He was Caspian, Crown Prince of Hell and demon extraordinaire. He was Infernal Royalty. While Caspian couldn't imagine the Big Boss being rendered somehow impotent and unable to perform his cosmic duties, on the off chance he was, it would be Caspian's turn to pull the strings. No matter what the other twelve Crown Princes had to say about it.
"Look, lady. You summoned me. You take what you get."
She damn well better take what she got and like it. He used his demon sight to look at himself. No broccoli in the teeth; they were all straight, white, and perfect. There was the hard jaw, broad shoulders, wicked tongue—check, check, and check.
"Why, pray tell, did I have to get stuck with the metro-sexual demon concerned with making an entrance? You should be on Broadway. Do you sing?"
Apparently, the question was serious. She was looking at him expectantly. Not only that, but she'd insulted his manhood. Demonhood. Whatever. She'd challenged his prowess.
Caspian looked at himself again. Metrosexual? He didn't think Regency GQ was metrosexual. He rather liked cravats, velvet coats, and breeches. Especially the breeches because they showed off his considerable package and his ass. All the girlies liked it, thought he was going to spout poetry and fling a sword about and ... oh.
"Well, do you? I need to know."
"Why?" he grunted.
Wow. That was intelligent. Way to make her understand that she was in the presence of Caspian, a Crown Prince of Hell, his power second only to that of the Devil himself. Way to make her quake. If it wouldn't totally shoot his credibility to shit, he would have palmed his forehead.
"I can't have you bippity-bopping along behind me, now can I?" She sneered again, her cute little mouth curling in a very un-cute way.
His gaze lingered on her lips. They were making them better these days, human women. For a while, when summoning demons had last been all the rage, the women had been very skinny and worn ugly clothes. The '70s hadn't been a pleasant time for Caspian. Lots of offers for sex, though. He had actually inspired many of those gothics where the heroine gets it on with the Big Boss. Of course, he wasn't the Big Boss, so that had gone over like an airborne pisser. See, the Big Boss was a showman, too. He didn't really care to be upstaged.
This summoner really would be prettier if she smiled. He opened his mouth to tell her so.
"Oh, for the love of Hell. Not you, too."
"Not me, what?" Again, he had yet to put her in her place, to make her quail before the might of—
"'You'd be prettier if you smiled,'" she mimicked in a nasal little voice. "I can see the look on your face."
"Well, you would be. I'm not gonna lie."
"Why not? You're a demon."
He sighed. "Because lying is bad for business and it's boring. Can we just get on with this? What do you want? Riches? Power? The ability to eat anything you like and not gain a pound ...?"
She looked down at herself for a moment and snorted. "I like my figure fine, thanks. What I want—"
Caspian cut her off. "Really? Because you know most women are unhappy with themselves, regardless of size. It's nice to see a woman with real hips and"—he paused to look her up and down again—"very nice breasts who—"
"Excuse me?" she practically growled. "Can I send you back and get another? Because this is not working."
"No. And I'm offended." He pulled at his sleeve for a moment. "I really don't want to have to drag out the fire and the tail and the—"
"Fine! Let's get on with it. Vengeance. I want vengeance."
Caspian snorted. Hell, she was a woman scorned, which meant she didn't need him. "Lady, I don't know if someone forgot to tell you, but you're a woman. You don't need a demon to help you with vengeance. Most chicks do just fine on their own."
"You don't understand who he is. I definitely need help."
"Let me give you some advice," Caspian began. He could feel himself about to get into trouble again. He really shouldn't be spouting off at the suck hole, offering free suggestions. He should get something from her.
She sighed loudly, as if anything he might say would be superfluous. It annoyed him far more than made sense.
"Sleep with all of his friends," Caspian suggested. "They hate that."
"Uh, he'd kill them ...?" She let it hang like a question, almost with a Valley Girl inflection, as if he were the stupidest of all creatures.
"Oh." Well. Yeah, killing could definitely put a damper on that sort of plan, especially if one had a conscience. Which this chick seemed to have. Caspian supposed she hadn't actually killed anybody for the bone dust, which was why it smelled old. He wasn't sure if she was just enterprising enough to acquire what she needed in the simplest way or if she was against staining her soul with murder. He hadn't pinned that down yet, but he was definitely interested in finding out. Which was bad. He shouldn't care one way or the other.
"Well?" she demanded.
"Well, what, gorgeous?" He found his gaze zeroed in on those magnificent breasts. And they were magnificent. Creamy scoops of mouth-watering—
"Are you going to help me or not?"
"Yeah, yeah." Caspian waved her off. He could stare at that rack for hours, imagining it in a push-up bra, in a corset, or just running wild and free, as he could tell those breasts so obviously yearned to do. Really, that was what he wanted for them. It was wrong to capture something so beautiful, unless it was using his mouth, which—
"But what?" Caspian said, still pondering the pleasures of that milky flesh. If she would just shut up.
"Demon! Hello? Up here." She crossed her arms over her chest. "They can't talk."
"I know. That's part of the appeal."
"Can we just get to the part where we make the deal?"
"Just a second," he grumbled. He wanted to ogle the chest some more before he dealt with the head. Why did something so delicious have to be sour in the mouth?
"I'm not making one of those open-ended deals," she growled. "I want to know the price up front. And I want it in writing."
"By the Sulfuric Rod, you are a difficult little baggage, aren't you?" He hated when they wanted things in writing. He sighed. "Yes, fine."
"Signed in blood. I won't settle for anything less."
"No. You wouldn't." He rolled his eyes.
"You still haven't told me the price. Don't we need to haggle?"
"There will be no haggling, witch."
"I'm n— a witch." It was a pointless denial. She couldn't even get the not out of her mouth.
"Mother of Christ!"
She was screaming at him now. Not that anyone would blame her. He was being difficult. But what could you expect from a demon? Really.
Caspian cringed. "Heed your tongue, witch!"
"Don't call me ..." She trailed off, then sighed. "I really don't like you."
"That hurts. I like you." He eyed her lasciviously. "I like you very much."
"I'm sure. Your price, demon. Now."
"Well, usually it's virgin's blood. But I'm thinking you don't have any of that." He looked her up and down lasciviously again. "Do you?"
"A gentleman wouldn't ask."
"But I am no gentleman. I'm a demon." Why did he feel the constant need to remind himself—and her—of the fact?
"This is so much more trouble than it's worth."
"Is it really? If you were angry enough to summon a demon, a Crown Prince of Hell, no less, it should be worth plenty of trouble. Because that's what you are going to get."
She smirked. "Oh? So you're a Crown Prince? How did you get stuck with this gig, then, answering summonses in the middle of the night? Isn't that like busting a detective down to traffic?"
He narrowed his eyes at her. "No. More like vice president down to jizz mopper."
"Thank you for the visual."
"So polite," she volleyed.
"So, barring the virgin blood? What's your price?"
Tenacious, wasn't she? Caspian sighed, a very loud and bothered noise. Snide or not, he really wanted to get between this mortal's thighs. How badly did she want vengeance? And also ... how badly did her state of nonvirginity concern him? It was something he had to consider.
See, there were rules to the game. Demons went around deflowering virgins not because they liked their purity. Oh, no. It was more because virgins wouldn't ripen with fruit grown from the seed of demons. However, a more experienced Daughter of Eve? Well, her experience decided how fast and how easily she would ripen. One couldn't go around banging the corrupted willy-nilly or else hordes of imps would destroy the world. And, contrary to popular belief, the Big Boss was happy with the status quo.
It was an ugly mess, denying demons their nature. See, angels on both sides of the Eternal War still found the daughters of Men to be beautiful. Hell, the Book even talked about it. So, how badly did he want this chit? It had been a long time.
A very, very, very long time.
His decision had been made for him the moment he was summoned, really. She was hot. Hotter than the Diablo peppers the Big Boss kept in a jar on his dining room table. Caspian had to corrupt her for all mortal men. It would be a good day's work.
He'd forgotten that it was dangerous to conspire against women, who are at their core capable of much stranger plots than any simple demon. Even a Crown Prince of Hell.
Chapter TwoSign on the Dotted Line
Damn, if he wasn't the sexiest thing she'd ever laid eyes on. Grace almost had to fan herself. Of course, she couldn't go around thinking things like that. He might hear her. Though, she was sure the personal fanfare in his head was louder than anything she might be thinking. Demons were like that. If he did hear her, she'd just blame it on hot flashes. Not that she was old enough to have them, but what would he know about such things? He was too busy trying to play with his toy rather than learn how it worked.
That lacy jabot thing had to go. It wasn't the eighteenth century, after all. His hair was obnoxiously pristine. She wanted to run her fingers through it, muss it all up. And his eyes? Oh, saints and devils, his eyes! The irises raged with hellfire—though she kind of figured she wasn't supposed to find that attractive.
Those eyes were still on her breasts. She was drawn to ogle him in return, just a little bit more. That jawline? She almost shivered. He had a jaw so smooth, so defined, that it should be a sin. She was sure that somewhere it was. Maybe that's why he was doing time in Hell: because he was so devilishly handsome.
Of course, Grace couldn't have him running around thinking she was impressed. She'd never get anything out of him, then. Demons were like that, vain and incorrigible creatures. She'd also read they could be fun—at least until they pulled out the brimstone and damnation and whatnot.
She stole a peek at his fingers. You could always tell a powerful demon by his hands—or hoofs, if you'd gotten one of those. But she'd been specific. Her granny Seraphim didn't raise no dummy. Despite her previous protestations of ignorance, Grace had tried to conjure Caspian specifically, and he had nice hands indeed. The fingers were long and tapered. Elegant. He could work great magicks.
Also, the thing about Caspian was that he hadn't always been all demon. He wasn't even particularly evil. It was more like he'd run with a bad crowd. Been born into a bad place. Guilt by association.
Or so she'd read.
"Okay, then. For my boon, I want some poon."
"Excuse me, what?" Grace snorted. If she'd been a different woman, she would have blushed.
"Poon. Pussy. Love cave. Velvet sheath. Horizontal mambo. Any of this ringing a bell?"
"I don't think I heard you correctly."
"You heard me all right, girly."
"Number one, I am not a 'girly.' Number two, I'm not a virgin. I thought all of that cavorting had to be with innocent flesh?"
He raised a black brow. "How un-virgin are you?"
"Un-virgin? Is that even a word?"
"Does it matter?"
Grace sighed. "Yes. If you are going to drop bad Netherworld pickup lines and invoke outdated Mephistophelean contracts, you should at least have your grammar down. I mean, Faust never used any tripe like that."
"Faust never got laid."
She opened her mouth to say something and then realized she really couldn't. How was she to know what Faust did with his male parts? Caspian could have been there for all she knew. "I suppose there is that."
"So, is it a deal?"
"I don't know. It's not going to end up like that scene from Devil's Advocate, is it? I don't fancy all the scratches and psychosis, thank you very much."
Caspian grinned, flashing very white and unnaturally perfect teeth at her. "If every deal turned out bad, why would women keep doing this?"
"Duh. Because the virgins don't know any better. The rest of us want whatever we want more than we don't want a few minutes of discomfort."
"There you go. You must make your choice based on those criteria." Caspian paused his pacing in the small circle of decayed bone. He looked pleased with himself. "But I can assure you, it will be more than just a few minutes."
"Whatever." Now he looked annoyed. "Stop impugning my manhood or I will not be nice to you when you let me out of this circle."
"Who says I'm letting you out? How stupid do you think I am?"
He sighed. "You have to let me out to fulfill both ends of the bargain. I can't shag you senseless if I'm in here, now, can I? Nor can I wreak misery and despair upon your chosen victim."
Grace hadn't thought about that, really. The specifics hadn't been mentioned in any of the books she'd read.
"You can't just, you know ..." She waved her hand in the air.
"No, I can't 'just,'" he sneered, "'you know,'" and waved his arms in a similarly wild but mocking gesture. "I'm a hands-on kind of guy. I've gotta make sure it goes as intended."
"Why don't I trust you?" Grace asked sarcastically.
"I don't know. You're the first. I have a very honest face." Caspian winked.
She snorted. "My ass."
"Yes, it's nice. What would you like me to do with it?"
"Nothing!" He'd actually sounded sincere. "Not a damn thing. I want you to—"
"Let me remind you, we still need to sign the contract. That was one of your stipulations. I wouldn't feel right beginning without it," he interrupted.
"Fine. Get the damn thing already."
She experienced a moment of contrition. What had she just agreed to—besides possibly life-threatening or, alternately, mind-blowing sex? Either way, the possibilities were ...
He produced something from his sleeve with a grand flourish reminiscent of the great turn-of-the-century showman magicians. His hands were probably slicker, quicker ... Whatever.
Excerpted from How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days by Saranna DeWylde Copyright © 2012 by Saranna DeWylde. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Demons, angels and the Russian mob-------who could resist that? Laughter and romance aplenty. Treat yourself to a lighthearted read crafted by a wonderful storyteller!
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