With her debut novel, SHIELD OF FIRE, Boone Brux weaves a story transcending genre and time. Every page seems filled with demons, dragons, shape-shifters, redeemers, and the underlying thread of death-defying love. Using electrifying fights, passion-drenched scenes, and amazing imagery, Boone has brought one hell of a world to absolute life! Wow!? -- ~ Jackie Ivie, bestselling author of the 'Knight' books
Sheild Of Fire (A Bringer And The Bane Novel, #1)by Boone Brux
Protecting humans is the Bringers' duty.Sending demons to the Shadow World is their pleasure.In one night, Ravyn's life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she's known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating. When
Protecting humans is the Bringers' duty.Sending demons to the Shadow World is their pleasure.In one night, Ravyn's life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she's known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating. When Rhys realizes the woman he's rescued from the Bane Demon is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he's unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death. As the Demon King's desire for ultimate power escalates, fathers are slated against sons, and foes are made allies. The Bane threat upon them, Rhys and Ravyn must quest to unite the last of the Bringers-and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.
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Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane, #1)
By Boone Brux, Libby Murphy, Kerry Vail
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2011 Boone Brux
All rights reserved.
Menda Abbey, Itta Territory, Inness
One Thousand Years after the Bane War
The demon's gaze narrowed. "Let me see her."
Beautiful and horrifying, Icarus moved toward Brother Powell with frightening grace. Sinewy muscles rippled under taut, black skin as he prowled toward the crumbled wall of the abbey. His leathery wings scraped the tree branches overhead and waves of ebony hair, banded with rings of gold, cradled two spiraling horns that jutted upward.
Powell glanced away, refusing to gaze into the mesmerizing, reptilian eyes.
The demon's deep purr poured over him. "What troubles you, Brother? Are you not happy to see me?"
The monk ignored the question and swiped the cold rain from his eyes. He held the hissing torch higher to reveal a young woman. She stood unnaturally still, compelled by the monk's hypnosis — a spell taught to him by the demon. Her thin shift clung to her bony frame, and her dull eyes stared ahead. Angela had been lovely once, but like so many, she hadn't been woman enough to withstand the honor of his attentions. They never were, always crying and pleading to be left alone. Lucky for them, the Demon Bane preferred their sacrifices pure.
"This is not what I asked for." The deadly calm of Icarus's voice belied the danger of his statement. "Where is the other woman — the gifted one?"
"In her cell. She doesn't trust me." Powell stroked Angela's limp, blonde hair. "But she'll not be able to resist the cries of her closest friend."
"For your sake, monk, I hope you are right." Icarus held out his hand. "Come to me."
The compulsion whispered past Powell, sweeping across his skin with the promise of pleasure. He slipped his hand under his robe and adjusted his erection.
The demon's call slithered toward Angela and wrapped around her like a sensual net. Before the force could ensnare him as well, Powell released his hold and backed away. She glided forward.
He watched, immobilized with morbid fascination. Her progress faltered when she reached the holy ground's boundaries. He leaned toward Angela, willing her to cross the invisible barrier.
"Come to me," Icarus repeated.
Weak of mind and body, she lumbered forward through the opening in the wall and away from the protection of the abbey's sanctified ground.
The demon stood before her and grasped her frail arm. With the smooth curve of his talon, he caressed Angela's cheek.
She didn't move.
Powell cringed, excited and repulsed at the same time. He ached for a taste of the power Icarus would give him one day.
"So pure," Icarus crooned. He trailed his talon down her neck. "So sweet."
Powell squeezed his holy medallion, its ornate embellishments biting deep into his skin. The pain kept him present and protected against the call of the Bane, a call he wanted to answer. Riveted, he held the torch higher, trying to shed more light on the black demon.
Icarus slid his claw lower, coming to rest between Angela's breasts. His energy pulsed and reached for its prey. The compulsion grazed Powell's mind. The medallion slipped from his grasp, the chain catching on his fingers to hang loose. Forgotten.
"Awaken, little bird, and let me see your fear," Icarus whispered.
Like a parting veil, Angela's deadened expression cleared. She gasped, frozen by the sight of the towering demon before her. She twisted and fought for her freedom. Bare heels dug into the soggy earth, but the slick grass provided no traction. Icarus jerked her hard, his hold unbreakable.
"No!" Her scream shattered the silence of the night, its echoes hanging in the air like a heavy mist.
He pressed his fingers against her heart and pricked her delicate skin.
She convulsed, her strangled cry dying in her throat. With whispers as soft as the lightest breeze, the silvery essence of her soul sighed and bled from her body. Gossamer threads slithered around Icarus's hand like small, white snakes, encircling his arm and swirling along the planes of his rounded biceps in an achingly slow, erotically sublime dance. The demon tilted his head and closed his eyes. Angela's shimmering purity crept up his neck and hovered at his lips. He inhaled and drew her in, stiffening as if in the throes of passion, absorbing every delicate wisp.
The intimate union between predator and prey mesmerized Powell. He crept forward, forgetting the danger. The seductive and deadly act held a perverse beauty. Powell stroked himself, dragging the rough material of his robe over his erection, losing himself in The Taking. Time had no place; the tap, tap of rain on the leaves the only disruption brave enough to break through the reticence of the night.
When the sparkling vapor faded around her heart, Icarus retracted his talons and released his hold. Angela's body slumped to the ground, dead. He stretched and smiled, his fangs glimmering in the torchlight. "That's better."
Powell's heavy breathing punctuated the quiet. His body quivered from the demon's feral presence. As the pleasurable effect began to fade, he opened his senses and scrambled to ingest the lingering scraps of Bane essence. Its pure power raced through his body and filled his veins with an intoxicating fire.
Icarus bent and scooped up Angela's body. Four powerful strides brought him to the abbey's border. He heaved his burden at Powell. The monk shrieked and jumped back, his euphoric haze evaporating. Bones snapped as the body landed in a crumpled heap at his feet. Bile rose in his throat. For a fraction of a second, remorse pawed at him, but, just as quickly, the sentiment disappeared.
"Bring me the other — now." Icarus's wings unfurled and stretched behind him. "Do not fail me, monk." He crouched and pinned Powell with a yellow stare. "Or I won't be as kind to you as I was to the girl."
Powell glanced at the broken body at his feet and swallowed hard. Meeting the demon's stare, he nodded.
With a powerful leap, Icarus launched into the sky and was instantly swallowed by the darkness.
* * *
Ravyn jolted upright in bed. She pushed her mass of black curls out of her face and looked around. Had somebody screamed, or was it only her nightmares?
Darkness blanketed her cell, and rain pounded a steady beat against the ledge of her narrow window. Shivers crawled down her spine like a dozen tiny spiders. The abbey, the wind, and the rain had a natural rhythm she had come to know. Like an off-key note, she heard the wrongness of the night's cadence.
She closed her eyes and released her awareness. It flowed down the dark corridors of the ancient abbey, seeping into the corners and rooms, making its way toward the chapel. Malevolence strummed along the mental threads of Ravyn's consciousness as it ghosted across the chapel door. Heat skittered along her arms, awakening the protective fire within her. She flexed her fingers and relaxed into the sensation. Always the awareness was bittersweet. The same power that made her an outcast with the Sisters now rallied to protect her from the evil housed inside the supposed holy space.
She yanked her senses back and pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes, trying to steady herself against the draining presence. Only one evil dwelled within the abbey: Brother Powell.
Ravyn threw off the worn blanket and crammed her feet into the only pair of slippers she owned. She stood and tiptoed across her room. The cell's heavy oak door loomed before her. Pulling on the iron handle, she prayed the hinges remained quiet for once. A soft squeak of protest pierced the silence and she flinched. Hopefully, the other girls were sound asleep. She poked her head into the corridor. Empty. Good. Their safety was one less problem to worry about.
Two sparsely placed torches threw small circles of light around themselves but did little to illuminate the passage. Ravyn darted from her room and blended with the shadows. To most, the dark passages appeared empty, but for her, people and memories of the past whispered around her, longing to tell their tales. Despite the Sisters' efforts to beat this evilness out of her, knowing and listening had always felt right.
The spirit of a young woman materialized in front of her. Dressed in The Order's habit, she was immediately recognizable to Ravyn as Sister Amalee. She smiled, but the ghost did not smile back. Instead, Amalee stood close, wringing her hands and shaking her head. Ravyn stepped around the spirit, not wanting to experience the staggering punch of emotion she felt when passing through the dead.
Blackness pulsated around the edges of the chapel door as Ravyn approached. The sensation of a thousand biting needles abraded her skin. She rubbed her arms, trying to scrub away the sting. The assault was all too familiar.
Powell waited inside.
She shook her arms. Tonight, his presence felt more caustic than usual. He was a venomous snake coiled within the delicate flowers of a garden.
Amalee slid forward and blocked Ravyn's path.
"Move," Ravyn whispered.
The ghost shook her head and held her hands out in a silent plea.
"I have to go in."
Amalee threw her slightly transparent arms across the opening.
"You can't stop me." The spirit's attempt to protect her was touching, but she needed to get inside the chapel. "Please move."
Amalee bowed her head and folded her hands in front of her chest. Her mouth moved with a silent tirade of prayers. Without looking up, she floated forward and passed through Ravyn.
Waves of distress flowed from the center of Ravyn's body and out toward her limbs, unbalancing her. She bit her lower lip and silently cursed, trying to calm the spirit's tumultuous essence. After a few seconds, she shook her head and opened her eyes. She was alone.
Blackness bled around the edges of the door, reaching for her.
The Sisters sealed the chapel after evening prayers and, not surprisingly, as she shoved against it, the door yielded to her push. She'd learned long ago evil had a way of unlocking what should be locked, and unbinding what should be bound.
The groan of the old hinges announced her entry and echoed through the chapel. She grimaced, knowing now she was exposed to whoever waited. The prickling sensation on her arms increased.
Torches burned in their sconces. She swallowed hard and stepped inside. This hallowed chamber had never felt welcoming. She glanced up at the altar. The carved and still faces of The Sainted Ones scowled down at her.
"Good evening, gentlemen."
Their sightless eyes seemed to judge her, finding her unworthy to enter such a holy place. Their condemnatory glares followed her, but like always, she ignored them and drifted deeper into the chapel.
She scanned the shadows. Madness and the taint of evil seethed at the edges of the light. Her search tracked along the darkness, coming to rest on a crumpled body between the benches.
She gasped. "Angela."
Sweet, naïve, and ready to believe in the good of others — that was Angela. Ravyn caught up her skirt and ran, the need to protect her friend blotting out the danger.
"Angela." She dropped to her hands and knees and gathered her friend's soiled and drenched body in her arms. "Angela!"
At first touch, a crushing blackness crashed into Ravyn. Unable to hold on, she released the body. Her stomach twisted in tight coils of pain. She clutched her throat, trying to tear through the feeling of drowning. The blackness choked and smothered her. She clawed at the stones of the floor.
Air. She needed air.
Heat spread through her body, her defensive fire once again flaring to life. It pushed against the dense darkness fighting to consume her. The evil's grip loosened. A brutal hand seized her hair and yanked. She tipped backward, sharp knees driving deep into her spine. Wetness spattered her face. Please don't let that be blood. Her hands pawed her cheeks and frantically brushed the droplets from her face.
Brother Powell towered above her, hair dripping with rain and lips twisted in a contemptuous smile. Before she could scream, he jerked her head at a painful angle and wrapped his hand around her throat.
"Well, well, well. Look who's come to save the day. I'm afraid you're too late. And just to let you know," he whispered in her ear, "Angela died an incredibly painful death."
Shadows darkened the edges of Ravyn's vision. The foul stench of his breath assaulted her. He shouldn't be this close. He should never be this close.
She struck out with her elbow and landed a blow to his stomach. A grunt huffed behind her and the pressure on her head eased. She scrambled across the stone floor, trying to regain her footing, but the dense blackness sucked at her strength.
Curses and footsteps echoed from behind. Her desperate grab hooked the back of a pew, but weakness caused her fingertips to slip from the wood and she collapsed to the floor. Her lungs ached. Darkness crept through her body. She shoved against it, fighting to keep its invasion at bay, refusing to give in so easily.
Powell's boot pressed into her behind, and with a hard thrust, he sent her sprawling across the aisle. Bent on deflecting his attack, she rolled to her back and kicked at him. His hand wrapped around her ankle. With a yank, she tried to break his hold, the feel of his fingers against her flesh making her skin crawl. His mouth stretched into a wicked grin as he dropped her foot and straddled her. He fisted two handfuls of hair and jerked her to her feet. She slapped at him, hoping for a solid hit, but her hands sliced through empty air.
He released her hair and backhanded her across the face. Pain shot through her jaw as her head snapped sideways. Her body crashed into a wooden bench and tumbled over the top. Tangled in her gray wool dress, she lay on the floor, unmoving.
Powell's words penetrated her muddled haze. "Oh yes. Icarus will reward me well for you."
She slowly rolled over and sat up. Bursts of heat sparked in her veins. She shivered at the commands of her powers as they pushed against her barrier. She wanted to give the fire its freedom but clamped down the urge. The coppery tang of blood coated her tongue and she swiped the trickle at the corner of her mouth. "What's wrong, Brother? Are you tired of tormenting me?"
"That's a pleasure I'll never weary of. Unfortunately for you, somebody has made me an offer I cannot refuse."
He was on her in five short strides, latching onto a handful of hair to drag her across the chapel floor. She'd not cry out and give him the satisfaction of knowing he hurt her.
Fire surged through her body. She shuddered against the force of the inferno, struggling to keep it restrained. Unlike him, she was no murderer.
Blindly, she grappled with both hands for Powell's arm and found his wrist. She twisted, digging her heels into the uneven stones and pulling her and the monk to a stop.
She leapt to her feet, knocking the monk off balance. He released her hair and pivoted to face her but Ravyn held tight to his arm.
He glanced at his wrist and back to her face. "Is that your attempt at escape?" He yanked on his arm but she didn't release him. "Really, Lady Ravyn, is that the best you can do?"
The power within her billowed, demanding its freedom. She captured his gaze.
His milky gray eyes widened. Tears. Torment. Wickedness.
Her rudimentary connection to him opened a torrent of suffering. His debauchery swallowed her. She sensed the fear of his victims, and she touched ... nothing. Like a sucking void, a dense aura surrounded the monk.
Her anger swelled. She gripped his wrist tighter, determined to give him a taste of what roiled inside of her. Maybe in some small way she could avenge Angela's death. What sweet ecstasy to burn this abomination of a man.
She concentrated her energy on his arm and forced her heat into him. The power rolled through her body. He fought to pull free but she squeezed harder, her heat increasing.
"Let go!" He tried to shake her free, but she remained unmoving and locked. Fire danced up his arm. He clawed at her fingers. "Let go!"
"See what awaits you beyond this life, Brother?" Emotions slipped away as the trance overtook her. "The fires of The Abyss burn without mercy."
He screamed and dropped to his knees, the fire engulfing his hand. "You are Bane!"
His words leeched through the fiery spell holding her and took coherent form in her mind. He had called her a Bane. The slur struck close to the fears she kept buried about her powers. "It would serve you right if I killed you where you kneel."
Excerpted from Shield of Fire (Bringer and the Bane, #1) by Boone Brux, Libby Murphy, Kerry Vail. Copyright © 2011 Boone Brux. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Boone is an award-winning writer, crafting everything from humor to dark fantasy, but has a warm spot in her heart for demons. Her novel, Shield of Fire, is out with Entangled Publishing and her stories appear in the ezines Digital Digest and Everything Erotic. She's lived in beautiful Alaska for nearly two decades and spent many of those years in the bush, where the internet and flush toilets were a luxury. Now in civilization, she's a full-time writer, spinning tales for the thirsty soul.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The book is written in both the main characters pov's but also in the villains pov as well. So it was interesting to see what was going on behind the scenes before an attack happens. There is quite a bit of action in this book considering that Rhys is a shield/protector, so he's always battling the Bane/demons. As well as the fact that Ravyn has managed to gain the Bane King's unwavering interest. I liked that the danger that's presented in the beginning of the book is present throughout the entire story. You never get swept up into the romance and forget about the danger that's going on around them. I like the world that the author created. We have a historical paranormal romance with chunks of adventure in it. I found myself not only liking the main characters but the side characters as well. Ravyn is a strong female character. She's new to the whole paranormal world since she's been living in an abbey the entire time. She's never left the sacred grounds until the night her friend is murdered and she escapes the same fate by running away, only to run into the hands of a Bane. A creature that she thought was just a myth. However, she's saved by Ryhs and taken under his protection only to find out that Bringers also exist as well. She doesn't fight the news and in fact becomes an asset to Ryhs on a couple of occasions when it comes to fighting the Bane. Ryhs is a 300 year old Bringer. He's been fighting the Bane a lot time and is actually the only full blooded Bringer left. So when he comes across a young woman who isn't exactly human, he's intrigued to figure out what exactly she is. There's no way she can be a full blooded Bringer since they were all killed off centuries ago but she harnesses more power than he does. Since the Bane seem to have their sights set on Ravyn, he takes on the task to keep her safe. Heck even the Bane, Icarus, is a big part in the story. He's the second in command of all Bane and his father is the ruler. He's sick and tired of being under his father's rule. He's ready to take over but he has to get the timing just right, otherwise it won't end so well for him. So when his father orders him to retrieve Ravyn, he decides to figure out why and take her for himself. Like I said, all the characters in this story have a backbone. None of them were one dimensional. We even meet Rhys' best friend Luc who is a womanizer but is also very loyal to both Rhys and Ravyn. As well as a crew member named Jaden. Who, has a little bit of evil taint but proves that they will protect their comrades when the time comes. There were some parts in the story that were predictable but there were also a handful of surprises that I didn't see coming as well. I wish the cover were different only because Rhys has long black hair... not a buzz cut. But overall I enjoyed the story and look forward to the next book in the series.
This was my first Boone Brux novel, and I was very happy with the outcome! It was a refresing story that I absolutely enjoyed! Boone built an exciting world, filled with both Bane and Bringer, with such emotion that I felt that I was fighting right along with Rayvn and Rhys. The budding romance that turned into raging love was a journey full of twists and turns, and always kept me on my toes. I was not bored at all with any part..it was also filled with rich humor (often provided by the superly hot Luc)...I read it in one sitting. I can't wait to read the next installment of the Bringer and Bane, which I hope will be about Luc and Jade....(keeping my finger crossed!
I loved this book. I'm always looking for a new series to follow and I definitely found one with The Bringer and the Bane series. Loved the world and characters. The story runs on the darker side, which I like. Ravyn and Rhys's attraction was immediate, but felt the author balanced Ravyn's innocense well with her car-do attitude. I think what I liked best is that this world and storyline feels unique to many of the paranormals out there today. Love when I find something new.
I loved this book. As a long time fan of Ms. Brux's work, I eagerly anticipated the release of Shield of Fire and it did not disappoint. The world Boone creates in the pages of her book is filled with demons, magic, action, adventure and more than a few handsome men. Fast paced and action packed, the story pulled me in and kept me reading until the very last page. I read Shield of Fire in one sitting and it's definitely going on my 'to read again' shelf. I can't wait to see what happens next. More, please!