Bewitched and Betrayed (Raine Benares Series #4)

Bewitched and Betrayed (Raine Benares Series #4)

by Lisa Shearin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441018727
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Series: Raine Benares Series , #4
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 478,087
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lisa Shearin works as the editor at an advertising agency. She has been a magazine editor and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description. Lisa enjoys singing, reading, writing novels, and fencing (foil and epee, as well as rapier & dagger dueling). She lives with her husband, two cats, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.

Read an Excerpt

I was being chased by a pissed off naked guy with a knife. A really big knife.

Him being naked was expected since I was doing my ducking, weaving, and dodging down a hall in the Isle of Mid’s finest bordello. You’d think that the worst that could happen to me was acute embarrassment and possible death. But this naked guy was possessed by the specter of a three-thousand-year-old, evil elven sorcerer who’d turned Mid’s red-light district into his personal playground. I’d interrupted recess, and he was mad as hell.

My name is Raine Benares, and I’m a seeker. Tonight I’d found what I was looking for, as well as things I never wanted to see. The men who frequented the Satyr’s Grove were here because they had money, not muscle tone. These weren’t your finer specimens of manhood. And believe me, I got to see enough manhoods and fleeing pasty white posteriors to last me a lifetime.

Even worse, the sorcerer’s specter had picked himself a young, fit, and fast body, not an old, flabby, and slow one. But on the upside, apparently slinging spells was a challenge when wearing someone else’s skin. Hence the big knife and bad attitude.

There were screams, shouts, and chaos from the first and second floors. We now had the third floor hallway all to ourselves. Everyone had either fled downstairs, or barricaded themselves in the bedrooms that lined the hall. Unfortunately in the Satyr’s Grove, the more expensive ladies were on the top floor, and our quarry had decided to splurge. I’d gotten separated from my Guardian bodyguards in the stampede of working girls and clients on the two floors below. I couldn’t stop to wait for them. I’d been tracking this specter all week; I’d found him, and he was not getting away.

We’d had a plan, a good plan, but like most plans I’d been involved with lately, it’d gone straight down the crapper moments after implementation. I was upstairs, the specter was upstairs, but the man with the containment box to trap the specter in was somewhere in the chaos downstairs.

“Get him to stand still,” shrieked the necromancer.

Yeah, I was sure he’d do that, just as soon as he got close enough to start killing me. The specter-possessed man was chasing me. Sid, the necromancer on loan from the college’s necrology department, was chasing the man. At the same time, he was waving around a little drawstring bag of something he’d promised would keep the specter in his host body until an exorcist could extract him. With a choice of a naked guy with a knife versus an evil sorcerer with three thousand years of practice, I was all for the specter staying right where he was. Then it wouldn’t matter if the containment box that was downstairs found its way upstairs.

My job had been to find the specter; that’d been the easy part. But judging from the ruckus and outraged upper-class-sounding voices coming from downstairs, Mychael and his boys had caught some of Mid’s elite with their trousers down or their robes up. Getting caught being naughty by the commander of the Conclave Guardians and a dozen of his best knights had heaped mortification on top of outrage.

So until Mychael could cut through that crowd with the containment box, it was just me and Sid.

And a dead-end hallway.

Oh crap.

I drew a long dagger and spun to face tall, naked, and pissed—and he stopped dead in his tracks, eyes wide in recognition. He probably didn’t know who I was, but he knew what I was.

What he saw was a slender elf with red hair, pale skin probably paler than usual right now, and gray eyes wide with either mere panic or basic terror. But the thing he sensed coiled and eagerly waiting inside of me was what froze him to the spot.

The Isle of Mid was haunted. Not by the chain-rattling, cold spot, moaning sort of specters. This sorcerer and five of his coconspirators had escaped from the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone of unlimited power. They weren’t dead, but they weren’t exactly alive, either. A couple thousand years ago, this guy had probably tried to use the Saghred to do something he shouldn’t, and by some mishap had gotten himself sucked inside.

Through a few mishaps of my own, I was linked to the Saghred. My life’s goal had become to find a way to sever that link, but for now the rock and I were locked in a struggle of wills. It wanted me to use its power so it could take my soul or possibly my sanity one nibble at a time, but mostly it wanted me to feed it. And right now, it wanted the ancient shadow I saw reflected in the man’s eyes, and it wanted it badly. My link to the Saghred made me the Conclave Guardians’ specter-hunting bloodhound. Not only could I sense the specters, I could see them. Lucky me.

No way in hell was I going to be a straw for the Saghred to slurp up stray souls, and I didn’t want to kill the host body. That would just force the specter out, and Sid and I were not equipped to handle that alone. Besides, this poor naked bastard had just been looking to get laid, not possessed. I didn’t want to kill him, but the specter inside of him didn’t share my moral dilemma.

His eyes glittered in the dim light. That was all the warning I got.

He lunged. I dropped into a low crouch, and his knife missed me by an inch and a hair, slashing the scarlet and gilt wallpaper covering the wall behind me.

I hadn’t survived my thirtysomething years by being squeamish. I twisted my body, going for an uppercut straight into his nuts, what I got was his fist on my back, pounding me flat to the floor and knocking the air out of me. His knife was going to follow his fist. I needed to roll, move, anything, but all my body could manage was a wheezing gasp. Stupid body. I managed to turn my head to the side and sank my teeth into his ankle.

He bellowed in pain and rage, and I felt a thump as Sid the necromancer jumped on his back and began beating him on the head with his drawstring pouch of ghost dust, pixie powder, or whatever the hell it was. I used the distraction to drag, crawl, and finally scramble my way out of knife range. Once I was on my feet, I drew my sword from the harness on my back. The naked guy whirled to face me while reaching back over his shoulder, trying to dislodge Sid. I had to hand it to the little necromancer; he held on with the tenacity of a tick. One thin arm was locked around the man’s throat, while the other continued to beat him on the head with the pouch—that is, until the naked guy snatched it away from him.

Oh damn.

Sid’s lips began desperately moving in silent incantation. Fast as a striking snake, the man had the tip of his knife under Sid’s chin, took a quick step back, and pinned the necromancer to the wall like a bug. A thin stream of blood ran down the blade. Sid whimpered. The fingers of the man’s other hand closed around the pouch.

I held out my hands, palms out. “Sid, don’t try anything else,” I told him, like the necromancer had a choice. I just didn’t want to give the specter any more reasons to kill him.

“Listen to her, or not, little human.” The elven sorcerer’s voice was a deep rasp emerging from the man’s throat, the rasp of a voice unused for thousands of years. An amused voice. Amused wasn’t good coming from a sorcerer with a couple of millennia of dark deeds and malicious mayhem under his belt. He spoke to Sid, but his gleaming eyes were locked on mine. “It matters not. I am finished with this body for the evening. I can find another. Perhaps yours, necromancer,” the last word came out as a lascivious rasp. “I can easily flow from this body into yours.” The specter caused the man’s lips to curl in a slow grin, and I saw the shadow of the elf’s face as if it were floating just beneath the man’s skin. His face was gaunt, his lips thin, and his hairline receding. No wonder he grabbed the best-looking body he could find.

“Are you up for an evening of sport?” the elven specter was asking Sid. “There are other establishments we could patronize. What say you, little man?”

My blade was worthless against the sorcerer. He knew it, and so did I. Even if I killed his host body, he would flow into Sid, or through the nearest wall and there wasn’t a damned thing I could do to stop him.

But the Saghred could. It could stop him, take him, and have him for a late night snack—through me. Though if I used one iota of the Saghred’s power to stop him, I didn’t think I could stop the power from taking me. It’d happened before with three demons. I vaporized them, and the only way I’d kept myself from sharing their fate was to discharge the surge of power by destroying another demon the size of a small house. I’d squashed him like a wet sponge—right before I passed out. Right now, I was in a building packed with people. I couldn’t let the Saghred off its leash, but the sorcerer didn’t know that.

I tried to swallow, but my mouth was bone-dry. “You’re forgetting the rock.” I said it slowly and deliberately. It was the only way I’d keep my voice from shaking. My legs were already shaking. They wanted to run; they had the right idea.

The sorcerer drew the man’s body up to his full height. “And you’re forgetting your place. The Saghred must indeed be desperate to accept a bond servant such as you.” The smile widened into a teeth-baring grin, and the man’s eyes went completely black. The lamps in the hall slowly dimmed to mere pinpricks of flame, and the bottom dropped out of the temperature. Two of those flames were reflected in the man’s black orbs. It was highly theatrical and spooky as hell. “The goblin has told us about you, the elven seeker who battled the queen of demons. I must admit my disappointment.”

It was more like a rolling-around-on-the-floor catfight than a battle, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. The goblin he referred to was Sarad Nukpana. Blackest of the black mages. Psychotic for the fun of it. Prisoner of the Saghred until said queen plunged a demonic dagger into the rock and opened the way for his escape, along with five other inmates he’d plotted with on the inside. Now they were all outside with us.

I felt the sorcerer’s specter gathering power, probing at my will. The air constricted, tightened, cold and brittle. Too tight to breathe, too cold to bear.

“Yes, you are weak, afraid. You will not take souls into yourself,” the sorcerer taunted, the heat of the man’s breath frosted the air with each word. He laughed, a hollow, ugly sound. “I’m leaving, and I’m taking the necromancer with me. Attempt to follow me and you will both die.”

I had no backup—and no choice.

The sorcerer knew I wouldn’t take his soul, but the Saghred had other ideas. The rock was starving, so I let it rear its head. I could handle rearing; rearing wasn’t taking. I wasn’t firing the cannon; I was merely opening the hatch.

And hunger gripped me, fierce and overwhelming.

I was starving. I had always hungered, never been satisfied, eternally needing, forever wanting. I couldn’t remember a time when I hadn’t been starving. I had been teased with food, so close, the souls writhing helplessly within my reach then snatched away, denying me yet again. I would be deprived no longer. Food was here before me, offering itself, teasing, tempting.

Mine.

The sorcerer made a low sound of satisfaction, and the eyes of the man he possessed no longer reflected flame, they were flame. “There you are.” His voice was a caressing whisper. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist coming out to play.”

The crazy son of a bitch was talking to the rock.

He was talking to me.

“Yes, we have spent much time together. I know its needs, its desires.” He took one step toward me, then another. “It wants me, almost more than it can bear. You feel its hunger, don’t you? I know you do. Your eyes burn with its need. As bond servant, the Saghred’s desires are your desires.” The man’s mouth twisted into a smirk as did the shadow lips of the elf possessing him. “Do you want me, servant? There are rooms here in which we may fulfill many such desires. Come to me now and I will allow the necromancer to live.”

Take him, take him now.

I dimly felt my right foot slide along the floor, trying to take a step toward him, wanting to go to him, my need overpowering. My breath hissed in and out between clenched teeth, the muscles in my legs were shaking with the effort not to move. I would not move; I would fight both of them—the specter and the Saghred. But part of me wanted to give in to the hunger, rush forward and take what was mine. Yes. I would feast on the traitorous spirit, the sorcerer who dared to pit his pathetic power against mine. I would take and rip—

“Raine!”

That strong, deep voice turned my name into a command and a lifeline, raw magical power given voice.

My mind instantly cleared. The sorcerer was a specter; the body encasing him was just a man.

I screamed and lunged, the point of my sword going between the man’s fingers, puncturing the pouch of Sid’s dust, sending a glittering cloud of glowing blue into the air.

“No!” Two voices screamed their denial—both man and specter. The man flung Sid to the floor and brushed frantically at the powder. It stuck to his skin, then it disappeared under his skin, the blue glow intensifying, consuming, until the man was glowing from the inside. His eyes went blank, his mouth open and gasping. The specter screamed alone, high and keening, as the man he possessed slowly sank to his knees, his eyes closing, his body falling forward.

The lamps along the hall brightened, and I leaned back against the wall, taking one deep, shuddering breath, then another. The man sprawled at my feet was still breathing, albeit raggedly, the sorcerer’s specter trapped inside. For now.

A few of the doors started opening, heads tentatively peeking out. They took one look at the hard face of the armored man—the owner of that commanding voice—striding down the hall toward me and slammed them shut again. His armor was dark, sleek steel and custom fit, conforming to his leanly muscled body almost like a second skin. No armorer was that good; magic was definitely involved when it was forged.

Paladin Mychael Eiliesor was the top law enforcement officer on the island, and as paladin and commander of the Conclave Guardians, he was in charge of the most elite magical fighting force in the seven kingdoms. He was a master spellsinger, healer, and warrior, lethally skilled in battlefield magic. What had happened downstairs had constituted a raid, even if it was only a raid looking for the naked man sprawled at my feet. A lot of Mid’s social elite were probably climbing out windows right now, some of them may have even remembered their clothes.

I felt the sense of controlled power emanating from him as he closed the distance between us. He was a man with a purpose, and that purpose was me.

Sid sank to his knees, hand clutching his throat. “It worked,” he said in utter disbelief. He took his hand away, looked down at the blood and turned kind of pasty.

I was incredulous. “What do you mean, ‘it worked’?”

“I’ve never used that formula on anything that old. It worked on a six-hundred-year-old poltergeist last year, but I have to admit it was touch and go there for a minute.”

A strong hand rested on my shoulder, and I shivered. Mychael’s hand was warm and I didn’t realize how cold I was.

I turned my head to look up at him. “As always your timing is perfect.”

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Bewitched & Betrayed"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Lisa Shearin.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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.

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Bewitched and Betrayed 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fourth book in this series is an action packed thriller. Raine has two magical bonds, five spectroms on the lose, and an angry rock to deal with. Of course, it's all in a days work for her.
CoryWT More than 1 year ago
I'd love to write as much as possible, be as descriptive as possible but I don't want to put any spoilers up. For those of you who are new to the Raine Benares series, I say start at the beginning--you'll be so satisfied! The experience of reading the first up to now is very fulfilling. However, it is totatly possible to read this book first of all the others and still gain a deep appreciation for the character, plot and setting developments. This is very much do to Lisa's thrilling style and serious, romantic with quite a bit of comedy tone; as well as her fantastic ability to make the reader feel like they are one of the characters directly experiencing the action, the feelings, and the mystery. This most recent book clarifies relationships, adds new twists, deepens the villains characters and introduces new magics! I won't say which ones (characters & magics) but the gang has a grand time kicking bad guy butt! I don't know what the 'offbeat' area means--this series is definitely full of adventure, fun, exciting fight scenes, original dialogue that will make you laugh out loud! I had to pause at some surprises--wow. Just wait till you read it! I am patiently or not so patiently waiting for the next one! (in the meantime, I've also picked up Devon Monk's "Allie Becksrom's 'Magic' " series and C.E. Murphy's "Joanne Walkingstick" series. Just so you know some background of what I like to read, I enjoy stories by Kim Harrison, Jeanine Frost, Vicki Petterson, Karen Chance, Caitlin Kittredge, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Karen Marie Moning, and more. If you've ever read any story by an one of the above mentioned authors I think you will feast on Lisa Shearin's books! I'm finding more authors all the time! Check out this website and see for yourself: http://www.deadlinedames.com/
Yue16 More than 1 year ago
Bewitched & Betrayed has definitely made it into my top books of the year list. I wasn't sure that I would survive the wait for it, but I did and it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! The snark and comedy is back in full force, with added jumbo helpings of drama, action and romance (and it's some romance). Ms. Shearin's writing style is as wonderful as before. From page one I was so into the book that I wanted to pick up a sword and fight. I was constantly laughing or squealing or swearing as I followed Raine, and when I was done I wanted nothing more than a time machine so I could jump to the future and read the next book. A lot of things happen in B&B. If you read the sample chapters on Ms. Shearin's website then you'll know that Sarad Nukpana is basically eating important/powerful people's souls to regenerate his body and get all of their memories and powers. If he consumes enough he could become a sadistic demigod, so there's a pretty big hunt going on for him. We get to meet some new characters, like Imala Kalis (the head of goblin), Markus Sevelien (head of elven intelligence) and Vidor Kalta (natchmagus and brother to Lucan Kalta). Also Tam gets arrested, Mychael has a dark side, Talon flashes some new skills, Raine loses one enemy (kind of), some interesting information about Taltek Balmorlan is revealed, Raine gets to blow something sky high, Vegard shows his soft side (Vegard got a major popularity boost in this book) and there's a mega-shock involving Raine, Tam and Mychael's umi-atsu bond. Honestly Bewitched & Betrayed is a ten star book. It's an awesome addition to the Raine Benares series, I loved reading it and I can't wait for the next book to come out next year!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, sexy, and exciting could not put them down. My husband would look at me funny as I would burst out laughing at parts in the books. Even got him to read them, and his take on the series was that who ever wrote them must have been around me for some of the creative one liners and sarcastic comments.
AngharadPV More than 1 year ago
Raine Benares's 4th adventure begins with a bang! Naked bodies, ghouls, and a 3-way bond between Raine, her goblin friend Tam Nathrach, and her elf might-be-more-than-a-friend Paladin Mychael Eiliesor are the least of her problems. The book is a fast-paced roller-coaster ride. Raine's attitude is as snarky as ever and continues to get her into trouble. Several new characters are introduced in the book as the line between the good guys and the bad guys is more clearly defined in this story. Ms. Shearin has developed the story line in a way that will allow her to continue Raine's adventures and create additional stories for several of her other secondary characters. This is good news for her readers!
carice More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful continuation of the rain benars series. This is the fourth book and I would not recomend reading them out of order. The books are in this order: Magic lost, trouble found, armed and magical, the trouble with demons, bewitched and betrayed. I realy recomend the series and think the books are absolutly amazing! It has just the right amount of sarcasm and adventure with romance and some awsome fight scenes. This book continues right were the last book left off: Rain is trying to find the escaped souls from the sagrahed and trying to escape the reapers. As the cover said war is the least of her problems. A war is brewing between the goblins and the elves and both of them want to use rain for their benifit. She doesnt like being used. I realy enjoyed this book and if you loved the last three books as I did you will love this one too.
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing 1 hours ago
I am so glad Raine's relationship is finally happening, all the tension was driving me nuts. I cried a ton at the end of this book. I LOVE all the characters in this series and can not wait to read the next book.
Tiffmeister on LibraryThing 1 hours ago
I picked this book up in my local library. I liked the cover and was looking for a new fantasy read. I read the first few pages and liked Lisa Shearin's descriptive humor. I was hoping it would continue through the book. It did, and I must say, it's a goodread even though it's book 4 in the series. I enjoyed how she developed the characters and filled in since I didn't read the other books. Her humorous first person narrative is hilarious! I've not seen a fantasy book written this way. If you want a little different take on fantasy, I'd recommend this book. Try a Search Inside feature to read the first few pages. You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of action. Great characters and a bit of romantic tension.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it
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TheCoffeeCup More than 1 year ago
I've so far read 1-4 out of this series and have yet to grow bored with the plot line( which with series that pass 3 installments I tend to do). These books have the intense evil-incarnate like The Ring in Lord of the Rings, the clever wit of Karen Chance novels, The delicious sexual tension and dilema over which man like early pre-nympho Anita Blake( don't get me wrong I'm not anti- sexually free Anita, I've just acknowledge to over done amount) and a flowing plot line like many PI novels. I love the minor characters like Raines' cousin Phaelan, a pirate captain, insatiable flirt, questionable morals but endearing sense of loyalty ( I'm so hoping Shearin does a Kelly Armstronge and writes another novel on Phaelan). The villains are ur classic love to hate men that make you want to scream and pull your hair out with their persistance with their evil plots. The magic thats described is easy to accept and follow, while I love fantasy/sci fi I have to be convinced of the paranormal aspect, it has to make 'sense' or be explained in a reasonable sense for me to not laugh at it and Shearin does it well. My favorite part in #4 is that Raine gets to break that nice 'tension' with one of her two eye candy men, perfect timing I might add. Don't pass this up, if you like Karen Chance, PI novels and the perfect amount of sensual heat this series is for you!
Stephen Kersten More than 1 year ago
Intelligent and absorbing. Massively enjoyable!
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