Derik's Bane

Derik's Bane

by MaryJanice Davidson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425199978
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2005
Series: Wyndham Werewolf Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 969,479
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

MaryJanice Davidson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Undead novels featuring Betsy Taylor; Derik's Bane, and the new young adult novels featuring Jennifer Scales, written with her husband, Anthony Alongi, among other titles.

Hometown:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

1969

Place of Birth:

Minot, North Dakota

Read an Excerpt

THE PRESENT

Michael Wyndham stepped out of his bedroom, walked down the hall, and saw his best friend, Derik Gardner, on the main floor headed for the front door. He grabbed the banister and vaulted, dropped fifteen feet, and landed with a solid thud he felt all the way through his knees. "Hey, Derik!" he called cheerfully. "Wait a sec!"

From his bedroom he heard his wife mutter, "I hate when he does that ... gives me a flippin' heart attack every time," and couldn't help grinning. Wyndham Manor had been his home all his life, and the only time he walked up or down those stairs was when he was carrying his daughter, Lara. He didn't know how ordinary humans could stand walking around in their fragile little shells. He'd tried to talk to his wife about this on a few occasions, but her eyes always went flinty, and her gun hand flexed, and the phrase "hairy fascist bastard" came up, and things got awkward. Werewolves were tough, incredibly tough, but compared to Homo sapiens, who wasn't?

It was a ridiculously perfect day outside, and he couldn't blame Derik for wanting to head out as quickly as possible. Still, there was something troubling his old friend, and Michael was determined to get to the bottom of it.

"Hold up," Michael said, reaching for Derik's shoulder. "I want to-"

"I don't care what you want," Derik replied without turning. He grabbed Michael's hand and flung it away, so sharply Michael lost his balance for a second. "I'm going out."

Michael tried to laugh it off, ignoring the way the hairs on the back of his neck tried to stand up. "Touch-ee! Hey, I just want to-"

"I'm going out!" Derik moved, cat-quick, and then Michael was flying through the air with the greatest of ease, only to slam into the door to the coat closet hard enough to splinter it down the middle.

Michael lay on his back a moment like a stunned beetle. Then he flipped to his feet, ignoring the slashing pain down his back. "My friend," he said, "you are so right. Except you're going out on the tip of my boot, pardon me while I kick your ass." This in a tone of mild banter, but Michael was crossing the room in swift strides, barely noticing that his friend Moira, who had just come in from the kitchen, squeaked and jumped out of the way.

Best friend or no, nobody-nobody-knocked the alpha male around in his own ... damned ... house. The other Pack members lived there by his grace and favor, thanks very much, and while the forty-room house had more than enough room for them all, certain things were simply ... not ... done.

"Don't start with me," Derik warned. The morning sunlight was slanting through the skylight, shining so brightly it looked like Derik's hair was about to burst into flames. His friend's mouth-usually relaxed in a wiseass grin-was a tight slash. His grass-green eyes were narrow. He looked-Michael had trouble believing it-ugly and dangerous. Rogue. "Just stay off."

"You started it, at the risk of sounding junior high, and you're going to show throat and apologize, or you'll be counting your broken ribs all the way to the emergency room."

"Come near me again, and we'll see who's counting ribs."

"Derik. Last chance."

"Cut it out!" It was Moira, shrieking from a safe distance. "Don't do this in his own house, you idiot! He won't stand down, and you two morons-schmucks-losers will hurt each other!"

"Shut up," Derik said to the woman he (usually) lovingly regarded as a sister. "And get lost ... this isn't for you."

"I'm getting the hose," she warned, "and then you can pay to have the floors resealed."

"Moira, out," Michael said without looking around. She was a fiercely intelligent female werewolf who could knock over an elm if she needed to, but she was no match for two males squaring off. The day was headed down the shit hole already; he wouldn't see Moira hurt on top of it. "And Derik, she's right, let's take this outside-ooooof!"

He didn't duck, though he could see the blow coming. He should have ducked, but ... he still couldn't believe what was happening. His best friend-Mr. Nice Guy himself!-was challenging his authority. Derik, always the one to jolly people out of a fight. Derik, who had Michael's back in every fight, who had saved his wife's life, who loved Lara like she was his own.

The blow-hard enough to shatter an ordinary man's jaw-knocked him back a full three steps. And that was that. Allowances had been made, but now the gloves were off. Moira was still shrieking, and he could sense other people filling the room, but it faded to an unimportant drone.

Derik gave up trying for the door and slowly turned. It was like watching an evil moon come over the horizon. He glared, full in the face: a dead-on challenge for dominance. Michael grabbed for his throat, Derik blocked, they grappled. A red cloud of rage swam across Michael's vision; he didn't see his boyhood friend, he saw a rival. A challenger.

Derik wasn't giving an inch, was shoving back just as hard, warning growls ripping from his throat, growls that only fed Michael's rage

(rival! rival for your mate, your cub! show throat or die!)

made him yearn to twist Derik's head off, made him want to pound, tear, hurt-

Suddenly, startlingly, a small form was between them. Was shoving, hard. Sheer surprise broke them apart.

"Daddy! Quit it!" Lara stood between them, arms akimbo. "Just ... don't do that!"

His daughter was standing protectively in front of Derik. Not that Derik cared, or even noticed; his gaze was locked on Michael's: hot and uncompromising.

Jeannie, frozen at the foot of the stairs, let out a yelp and lunged toward her daughter, but Moira moved with the speed of an adder and flung her arms around the taller woman. This earned her a bellow of rage. "Moira, what the hell? Let go!"

"You can't interfere," was the small blonde's quiet reply. "None of us can." Although Jeannie was quite a bit taller and heavier, the smaller woman had no trouble holding Jeannie back. Jeannie was the alpha female, but human-the first human alpha the Pack had known in three hundred years. Moira would follow almost any command Jeannie might make ... but wouldn't let the woman endanger herself, or interfere with Pack law that was as old as the family of Man.

Oblivious to the drama on the stairs, Derik started forward again, but Lara planted her feet. "Quit it, Derik!" She swung her small foot into Derik's shin, which he barely noticed. "And Daddy, you quit, too. Leave him alone. He's just sad and feeling stuck. He doesn't want to hurt you."

Michael ignored her. He was glaring at his rival and reaching for Derik again, when his daughter's voice cut through the tension like a laser scalpel. "I said leave him alone."

That got his attention; he looked down at her in a hurry. He expected tears, red-faced anger, but Lara's face was, if anything, too pale. Her eyes were huge, so light brown they were nearly gold. Her dark hair was pulled back in two curly pigtails.

He realized anew how tall she was for her age, and how she was her mother's daughter. And her father's. Her gaze was direct, adult. And not a little disconcerting.

"What?" Shock nearly made him stammer. Behind him, nobody moved. It seemed nobody even breathed. And Derik was standing down, backing off, heading for the door. Michael, in light of these highly interesting new events, let him go. He employed his best Annoyed Daddy tone. "What did you say, Lara?"

She didn't flinch. "You heard me. But you won't hear me say it again."

He was furious, appalled. This wasn't-he had to-she couldn't-But pride was rising, blotting out the fury. Oh, his Lara! Intelligent, gorgeous-and utterly without fear! Would he have ever dared face down his father?

It occurred to him that the future Pack leader was giving him an order. Now what to do about it?

A long silence passed, much longer in retrospect. This would be a moment his daughter would remember if she lived to be a thousand. He could break her ... or he could start training a born leader.

He bowed stiffly. He didn't show the back of his neck; it was the polite bow to an equal. "A wiser head has prevailed. Thank you, Lara." He turned on his heel and walked toward the stairs, catching Jeannie's hand on the way up, leaving the others behind. Moira had released her grip on his wife, was staring, openmouthed, at Lara. They were all staring. He didn't think it had ever been so quiet in the main hall.

Michael was intent on reaching his bedroom where he could think about all that had just happened, and gain his wife's counsel. He didn't quite dare go after Derik just yet-best to take time for their blood to cool. Christ! It wasn't even eight o'clock in the morning!

"Mikey-what-cripes-"

And Lara. His daughter, who jumped between two werewolves with their blood up. Who faced him down and demanded he leave off. His daughter, defending her dearest friend. His daughter, who had just turned four. They had known she was ferociously intelligent, but to have such a strong sense of what was right and what was-

Jeannie cut through his thoughts with a typically wry understatement. "This can't be good. But I'm sure you can explain it to me. Use hand puppets. And me without my So You Married a Werewolf guide ..."

Then he was closing their bedroom door and thinking about his place in the Pack, and his daughter's, and how he hoped he wouldn't have to kill his best friend before the sun set.

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Derik's Bane 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
AnkhetCM More than 1 year ago
Derik, a werewolf from MaryJanice Davidson's east-coast Pack of Wyndham werewolves, is on a mission: he has been told to "take care of" Dr. Sarah Gunn, the reincarnation of Morgan Le Fay - lest she destroy the world. The only problem? Sarah isn't evil. In fact, she's downright cute, and too lucky for words. When Derik literally cannot kill her, he and Sarah decide to team up to take a cross-country road trip to track down and eliminate the real threat.

The story was cute. I finished it quickly, but I think if I had had to put the book down, I would have been hard-pressed to pick it back up. I didn't care overmuch what happened - I knew that Sarah and Derik would end up together and that the world would be saved. I knew the "twist" almost from the beginning.

The best way for me to describe Davidson's writing is "brain candy." I know it's empty calories, so to speak, but it's addictive in the same way cotton candy is: fluffy, full of air, saccharine-sweet, and you just can't get enough.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Although I enjoy Davidson's work in general, this book failed to capture my interest for even a minute. There was a rushed sense to the pacing - and a superficial tone - that prevented me from truly engaging with the story. After several aborted attempts at reading, I finally put this down as a lost cause.
EmScape on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Fortunately, even though Derik is an alpha werewolf, he¿s not in the way of behaving way too alpha for me to enjoy reading about him. Derik is given a mission by the Pack¿s seeress to go take care of an ¿evil sorceress¿ before she ends the world. But, she totally isn¿t evil. So, that¿s nice. But, they¿ve still got to save the world. And that¿s cool.There¿s a lot more plot to this latest installment of the Wyndham Werewolves than the last, which makes me pretty happy. I¿m not a fan when a story, even a romance one, is just an excuse to write a bunch of steamy sexy parts. I really liked both Derik and Sara and they both grew as people throughout. The snarky dialogue that Davidson excels at was evident here as well. A very entertaining and satisfying read.
new_user on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I gave this 5 stars mostly for the Wyndham stories as a whole. I think Derik's Bane was actually my least favorite of the bunch, but not bad for all that.
ankhet on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Derik, a werewolf from MaryJanice Davidson's east-coast Pack of Wyndham werewolves, is on a mission: he has been told to "take care of" Dr. Sarah Gunn, the reincarnation of Morgan Le Fay - lest she destroy the world. The only problem? Sarah isn't evil. In fact, she's downright cute, and too lucky for words. When Derik literally cannot kill her, he and Sarah decide to team up to take a cross-country road trip to track down and eliminate the real threat.The story was cute. I finished it quickly, but I think if I had had to put the book down, I would have been hard-pressed to pick it back up. I didn't care overmuch what happened - I knew that Sarah and Derik would end up together and that the world would be saved. I knew the "twist" almost from the beginning.The best way for me to describe Davidson's writing is "brain candy." I know it's empty calories, so to speak, but it's addictive in the same way cotton candy is: fluffy, full of air, saccharine-sweet, and you just can't get enough.
gwendolenau on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Enjoyably light and funny; so well-written it leaves the reader wishing there was a bit more substance underneath all that froth.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Derik is sent out by his pack to destroy the reincarnated Morgan LeFay before she can destroy the world. When he arrives he sees that she is just too unaware of what is going on to destroy. Will they be able to stop the end of the world together or will she have to be put down?Very cute tale.
CheriePie69 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This was a quick read, and I think I enjoyed it more coming into it after having read the two Wyndham werewolf stories from the Secrets anthologies since I already recognized many of the characters. This is Derik's story. In it, he leaves the shelter of his pack leader Michael's home to head out to California, to supposedly kill the reincarnated Morgan LeFay, destined to bring the end of the world. Instead of killing her however, Derik falls in love with Dr. Sarah Gunn, the reincarnated LeFay, and cannot bring himself to do the deed. Besides, she apparently has some strange cosmic forces at work that make it impossible to kill her. So Derik takes matters into his own hands (paws) and attempt to change Sarah's fate.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This really was a very very fast read (even for me and I'm a fast reader!) Derik is geting bored and just as he's about to do something really stupid he's rescued by having to go across the country to stop Dr Sara Gunn from destroying the world. He's pretty sure that means killing her, but when he bumps into her she's incredibly attracted to her and she to him. Sparks fly as they race to save the world from some loopy Arthurian cultists who want to return Arthur to the world as Sara is the reincarnation of Morgan Le Fay. Will they survive, will she accept his furry side? Fun and frolics from the Author of the Undead series, light, undemanding and amusing.
Darla on LibraryThing 11 months ago
AT LAST A full-length book sequel to those first two stories that got me hooked on MaryJanice Davidson's writing in the first place!Derik's Bane is about werewolf Derik Gardner. He's been picking fights with Michael, his best friend and head of the werewolf pack--seems he's just become an alpha werewolf. Before he has to choose between leaving his pack and fighting his best friend to the death, he's sent of a mission by the pack seer to "take care of" the reincarnated Morgan LeFay before she destroys the world.Dr. Sara Gunn is the woman in question, although she has no idea she's the reincarnation of one of history's most famous sorceresses, much less that she's going to destroy the world. Sure, she's always been a little lucky, but surely that's all chance, right?Once they meet, Derik does his duty and tries to kill her painlessly, but he can't. No, not because he's smitten, although that will happen in due time , he literally can't kill her. Neither could the men who attacked her at the hospital earlier.So Derik decides if he can't kill her to prevent her from destroying the world, perhaps they can find out how it's supposed to happen, and prevent it.There's all the humor and banter you'd expect, and I found myself laughing aloud frequently. I especially liked the way Sara's luck worked.Derik's Bane is a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to seeing more in this series.
la_librarian on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Nowhere near as good as the Undead series. Very dissapointed in this book. Character development was poor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad I had such a wonderful impression on you ^-^ I knew you were gonna turn out to be a wimpy cu<3>nt when I told you off. That's what I call a character flaw, and I don't tolerate that sh<3>it from anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always like to view a book before buying, as I dont want to be stuck with something I have no interest in. Reason being for a sample. Ha! What sample????? The supposed sample is 9 pages which none of its the actual book. Not one sentence! Acknowledgments and critic reviews does me no good in a sample I need some of the story/book. Does this make me want to buy this book? Not a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read this one probably 20 times- a mjd favorite.
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