Hot Blooded: Part 2: A Dark King Novel in Four Parts

Hot Blooded: Part 2: A Dark King Novel in Four Parts

by Donna Grant

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Overview

Hot Blooded: Part 2: A Dark King Novel in Four Parts by Donna Grant

The exclusive e-serial continues! From New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant comes the HOT BLOODED: PART II, second sensual Dark Kings tale set in the wild Highlands of Scotland, where love and danger collide…
Heat infused her wherever Laith touched. Breathing became difficult as he caressed up her sides until he cupped her face. His head lowered, and she rose up to meet him. Their lips met, sending sparks of desire and need zipping through her. He moaned, low and needful, causing her knees to weaken. She wrapped her arms around his waist and simply held on.
A WARRIOR WITH EVERYTHING TO LOSE
Iona harbors a secret that others would kill to possess and Laith will do whatever he must to keep her safe. But what burns between them threatens to consume them both. Will she complete him—or destroy him?
Read all four parts of this sensation e-series—and look for the full volume of Hot Blooded from St. Martin's Paperbacks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466866263
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/16/2014
Series: Dark Kings Series , #4
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 241,550
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. She's the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night's Awakening, and Dawn's Desire. Her acclaimed Dark Warrior and Dark Sword series novels feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with hertwo children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."

--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author

Read an Excerpt

Hot Blooded Part 2


By Donna Grant

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2014 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6626-3


CHAPTER 1

Iona's mind was swirling in confusion. What was Laith doing in the Dragonwood? Why were men following her? Where was Laith taking her? And how was he moving so quickly?

Several times she lost her footing only to have Laith tug her one direction or the other and help her right herself. She was running as fast as she could on the slick—and sloping—ground and she wanted to slow down. Yet she could tell Laith wasn't moving nearly as fast as he wanted.

With her panting breaths, she couldn't discern if the others followed or not, and she didn't dare chance a look over her shoulder for fear of falling. Then she spotted the stream through the trees. A smile formed, because she knew where they were.

However, that smile died a quick death when Laith suddenly stopped and jerked her against him as he hid behind an oak tree.

Iona swallowed, her fear mingling with the desire that suddenly heated her body as she found herself forced against Laith's front. He looked down at her, his gunmetal eyes giving nothing away. His hands were steady as he held her while her palms rested on his chest—a very firm, very defined chest.

With her breasts pressed against him they were so close, she couldn't help but notice his fine body. She watched as Laith's lids slowly lowered over his eyes while his head cocked to the side as if he were listening. She did the same and realized that there was no sound other than the rain. It was as if the world had gone silent.

Iona tried to peer around Laith's shoulder, but he hastily pulled her back. She looked up to find him frowning down at her. The rain was coming faster, causing Iona to have to blink repeatedly to keep the water from her eyes.

Laith stood still as a statue. His gaze was on her, but she knew his attention was on the men. She looked back at the stream and noticed how open the area was. The stream wasn't wide. But they would need to go from the tree line to the stream and then across it before they could run across another ten feet of rock until they reached the opposite bank of the forest. It was a prime opportunity for someone to take aim and simply wait for them to cross.

Laith's big hand moved to her neck and slowly tilted her head up to him. His gaze searched hers while water dripped from his long eyelashes. His voice was barely above a whisper as he said, "When I say, run to the cottage and doona look back."

Iona shook her head and opened her mouth to speak, but he placed a finger over her lips to silence her.

"I'll be right behind you," he promised.

She'd been in enough war zones to know she would be better served doing as he asked. But once at the cottage, if the assholes dared to come closer, she wouldn't hesitate to use any weapon she could get her hands on.

Iona gave a nod of acceptance, and Laith's answering smile was enough to boost her courage. Laith turned her so that her back was to him. He rested his hands on her shoulders and leaned down so that his lips were by her ear. His warm breath skated over her skin, sending goose bumps rising and causing her to shiver.

"Doona look back," he whispered.

Iona was surprised when he gave a squeeze of her shoulders. She licked her lips and adjusted her camera case, her gaze on the stream as she searched for the easiest way down the slope to the water.

Then he shoved her.

Iona ran as hard and as fast as she could, her arms pumping and her gaze straight ahead. She didn't look back, though she wanted to desperately. She waited for the pain from a bullet, but none came. As soon as she cleared the forest, she leapt over larger rocks in her haste to get to the water. It didn't take her but a second to find where she originally crossed the stream and run to the other side.

* * *

Laith didn't watch Iona to see if she made it to the stream. He stepped away from the oak and took three long strides to the next tree where he grabbed the mercenary by the back of his collar and slammed him face-first into the bark.

The merc crumpled to the ground as three others stepped out from their hiding spots. Laith didn't waste time in toying with them. There was one missing, and he knew the arse had gone after Iona.

The mercenaries didn't use guns, as they didn't have any. They had knives and Tasers, both of which they had at the ready.

Laith smiled coldly at the three remaining men as they closed in on him. He contemplated using his power of paralyzing gas, but the need to punch something was too strong. It took all his patience to wait until they were close enough, and then with a quick shift of his weight, he knocked one out with a punch to his jaw, and kicked the other back into a tree, slamming his head against it.

With only one left, Laith leaned to the side to avoid the Taser. Before the merc even knew what was happening, Laith was behind him, choking off his air.

As much as Laith wanted to kill the guy, he didn't. He waited until the merc was unconscious, and dropped him next to the others.

Before the man hit the ground, Laith was running after Iona. While he raced toward her, he opened the mental link between all Dragon Kings and told the others what happened in quick order, as well as where the four unconscious mercenaries lay.

Then Laith severed the link. He needed to focus on Iona, not be bogged down with questions he knew Con would have. Laith was faster than Iona. Even with losing the few precious moments fighting, he easily caught up with her.

He didn't rush to her. Instead, he held back, watching the mercenary trail her. Laith didn't understand what the man wanted. There was ample opportunity for him to attack.

It almost looked as if he were trying to catch Iona instead of kill her. Laith changed his position so that he would come up behind the merc. The rain kept the man from hearing Laith's approach. Laith waited until Iona turned down the path that led to the cottage, and then sprang at the mercenary.

The momentum took both him and the mercenary to the ground. They rolled while the man tried to stab Laith. They came to a sudden stop, putting the mercenary on top, but Laith got the upper hand and landed two quick punches to the man's kidneys and another in his throat. With the merc wheezing, Laith took the opportunity and slammed his elbow into the side of the mercenary's head. With a quick inhale, Laith released the paralyzing gas, watching it billow around the mercenary as he jerked before falling over.

Laith shoved the man off him and got to his feet. He stared down at the man. "You came onto the wrong land. And you messed with the wrong woman. Doona worry. I'm no' going to kill you. You'll be detained by my friends, and we'll keep you until you give us all the information we need."

Next, Laith leaned over the man, and punched him to knock him out. Not because the gas would wear off anytime soon, but because Laith needed to vent some of his anger.

It took no time for Laith to catch up with Iona before she reached the cottage. She turned around swinging before he had a chance to say anything. Laith deflected her blows, impressed that she knew enough to defend herself. She gasped when she recognized him and lowered her arms. Her chin dropped to her chest as she stood shivering in the rain.

She didn't fling her arms around him or faint. She was frightened, but she held her own. A strong woman in a world filled with evil, danger, and death.

"It's over," he said above the thunder. "They willna be bothering you again."

She raised her coffee-colored eyes to him. "Are you sure it was me they were after?"

"Positive." He motioned to the cottage. "Let's get you inside."

* * *

Iona was never more conscious of a man as she was of Laith in her house. A wall separated them, and she found she hated that wall. She also hated that she couldn't stop thinking about Laith. How she looked for any opportunity to get close to him that he might touch her. How sad was that?

She closed her eyes and groaned. She was sad. Sad and depressing. Was she that hard up for some attention that she was willing to practically throw herself at a man who might not be as interested as she hoped he was? She sighed and opened her eyes. Laith was a man who went after what he wanted. If he wanted her, he would have made a move already.

With the towel in hand, she wrung out her hair and stripped out of her clothes before wiping herself down. She put on a new pair of panties and a bra. As she looked in her bag, she realized she didn't have anything to wear. All of it was in need of washing.

Iona wrapped the towel around her and hurried from her room to her father's. She opened three drawers before she found a pair of sweatpants and a shirt. She let the towel drop to the floor and stepped into the sweats that were several sizes too big. She rolled them up repeatedly at the waist. Iona reached for the shirt she had tossed on the bed when she looked to the doorway and found Laith.

He said nothing, simply stared, his eyes slowly drifting down her body before moving back up again. Her mouth went dry. Iona slowly straightened as their gazes locked, held.

Laith stepped into the room and closed the distance between them. He halted in front of her, his hands resting on her hips. Iona shivered again, this time for an entirely different reason.

Heat infused her wherever Laith touched. Breathing became difficult as he caressed up her sides until he cupped her face. His head lowered, and she rose up to meet him. Their lips met, sending sparks of desire and need zipping through her. He moaned, low and needful, causing her knees to weaken. She wrapped her arms around his waist and simply held on.

There was nothing else to do. Laith captured her interest, her mind, and her body with simply a look. Iona was out of her element, adrift in a sea of passion she couldn't navigate.

And for once, she didn't want to.

He kissed her again, pulling her lower lip into his mouth before releasing her. Iona sunk her nails into his back, silently begging him to continue. His lips found her again, except this time, he wasn't content with just tasting her lips. His tongue slid into her mouth while his arms moved to wrap around her and tug her tighter.

The kiss deepened as Iona opened for him. The longer they kissed, the hotter the fire inside her burned. His hands were all over her back, in her hair, and on her hips pressing her against his arousal.

Iona was trembling with fierce need the like she hadn't known existed. She was reaching for his shirt when a pounding came from her front door.

Laith ended the kiss and stared down at her, not bothering to disguise the desire darkening his gunmetal eyes. She didn't want to stop, didn't want anything to interrupt whatever had taken them.

But Laith was already releasing her.

"Get dressed," he said softly and ran his thumb over her bottom lip.

He turned to walk out when she tried to stop him. "Wait. You don't know who's out there. It could be more of those guys."

"It's no'," he said without stopping.

Iona threw on her shirt and rushed out of the bedroom as Laith opened the door. She slid to a stop when she spotted Tristan, Ryder, and another man she didn't recognize. Two of the three were from Dreagan, and she was willing to bet everything she had that the third was as well.

She looked from the men to Laith and watched how they greeted him. It was there before her all along, she just hadn't realized it. Laith turned to her then and waited. The room grew quiet as the group stared at her.

Iona wrapped her arms around herself and lifted her chin. "You're part of Dreagan too," she stated.

Laith gave a single nod. "I am."

"Why not tell me from the beginning?"

He glanced at the floor, a small frown furrowing his brow. "There is much more going on than you know, Iona. Those men in the forest for one. These are verra dangerous times."

"In more ways than one," she mumbled to herself.

CHAPTER 2

Rhi was thankful that she could remain veiled longer than most Fae. It allowed her a few minutes to wander her queen's estate on the west side of Ireland to make sure there were few Fae about.

Usaeil liked her privacy, and though she had a palace on the Fae realm, she spent a lot of time on Earth. Mostly because for the last five years she was posing as one of the most famous actresses in the world.

Rhi waited until the antechamber outside of the queen's throne room was empty before she dropped the veil and appeared. She took a deep breath and looked around at the high ceilings, ornate crown molding, and priceless art.

The room was small and narrow compared to others throughout the estate. It was where all Fae came if they wished an audience with Usaeil, or if the queen requested your presence.

It seemed like a lifetime ago that Rhi was there, when in fact it had only been over a month. She had been alive thousands of years, and yet one simple month drastically changed her life.

Rhi remained on her feet despite the cushioned benches set along the walls in various places. There was no need to inform anyone of her arrival. Usaeil already knew.

Almost on cue, the twenty-foot-tall double doors opened behind her. Rhi turned and stared through them to the throne room. There were two rooms in Usaeil's estate that no Fae could teleport into—the throne room and Usaeil's private quarters.

Releasing a deep breath, Rhi clasped her hands behind her back and walked to the doors. Her steps slowed a fraction right before she passed through them, because once inside the throne room, the queen would decide just how long Rhi remained.

Rhi spotted the white high-backed chair with a cream velvet cushion, but no Usaeil. She immediately halted, waiting for whatever punishment the queen deemed necessary because Rhi hadn't come when summoned.

"Rhi."

She closed her eyes at the happiness she heard in Usaeil's voice. The greatest day of her life had been when she had become part of the Queen's Guard. Usaeil wasn't just her queen—she was a friend.

When Rhi opened her eyes, Usaeil stood before her wearing jeans and a flowing yellow shirt that set off her long black hair. Usaeil's silver eyes were filled with tears while her smile was bright. She threw her arms around Rhi and held her tight. "We didn't think to ever see you again. You don't know how happy I am you've returned."

Rhi had never been very good with showing emotion, and she was always uncomfortable with displays of affection—except with him. She stopped that train of thought in its tracks. Thinking about her Dragon King lover wouldn't help matters.

She returned her queen's hug and waited for Usaeil to pull back. Rhi let out a thankful breath when she finally did. Usaeil wiped at her eyes and studied her.

Somehow Rhi remained still under the scrutiny. Only her family and Balladyn knew her better than Usaeil. Her family was dead, and Balladyn ... she was going to kill him for what he did to her.

Usaeil's smile slowly faded. "I came for you."

Rhi frowned, unsure of what to say. No Light Fae, especially the queen, ever ventured into the Dark. For anyone.

"I did," Usaeil repeated. "I was with Con, Rhys, and Phelan. I wasn't going to let the Dark take you. I ... I had no idea Balladyn was alive, Rhi. I'm sorry."

"You didn't free me," she said.

Usaeil swallowed and turned away to walk to a couch set against the far wall in a light brown distressed leather. "I was told Balladyn put the Chains of Mordare on you."

A tremor of fear raced through Rhi at the mention of the hated chains. They were thought to have been lost, until Balladyn locked them on her. The Chains of Mordare were only to be unlocked by the Fae who shackled them. Any time a Fae would try to use magic to remove them, unimaginable pain would shoot through their body.

The worst part was that the chains helped to drain a Light Fae of the spark within them, the light that made them who they were.

"No one has survived the Chains of Mordare," Usaeil said in a low tone. "No one but you, Rhi. I knew the first time you walked into my palace that you were special."

"Because I was foolish enough to fall in love with a Dragon King?" Rhi asked sarcastically.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Hot Blooded Part 2 by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2014 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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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Hot Blooded: Part 2: A Dark King Novel in Four Parts 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
So many things happening in this second installment I’m not sure where to begin. In this second installment to Hot Blooded, we see a letter from her deceased father; answer some of Iona’s questions. However, just as some of the questions she has are answered, many more crop up to take their place. Laith is finally coming to terms with the fact that Iona means something more than any other mortal does to him. Why is it that the Dragon Kings act as if they’re being hit by a semi when they realize what is obvious to everyone around them? Regardless, I think it’s high time for each of the Dragon Kings to find love. In this installment we get to see Rhi sort of rejoin the thick of things. It’s good to see that although Rhi has changed due to the ordeal she suffered in the previous book, she still retains the part of herself that makes her care about the Kings and the women that surround them. As someone who has read the previous books, it saddens me to see Rhi suffer, but I know that Grant must have a grand plan for Rhi somewhere down the line. Herein lays another reason why it is imperative that the previous books be read, Rhys situation has only gotten worse. Due to his injury suffered during Rhi’s rescue attempt in the previous book, he has to go through so much. I can’t wait for his book and hope that it’s the next one Grant will write for us.  That being said... on to part 3! Reviewed by Iris for Cocktails and Books
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
I simply cannot get enough of Donna's sexy Scottish dragons!  The plot thickens... dark forces are in play, but who is leading them? AND the attraction between Laith and Iona grows... AND favorite characters from previous books come into play! "John Campbell was found dead this morning." He was murdered... The Campbells had owned the fifty acres bordering Dreagan for countless generations... "Who's going to guard the land?" Laith asked.... "John has a daughter, Iona." HOT BLOODED by Donna Grant is another mesmerizing read in Donna's Dark Kings series. I read it as a four-part serialized story. I inhaled each installment as it was published and then couldn't wait for the release of the next! This review is a combined review of all four parts. The full book was released December 30, 2014. I had never been a fan of serialized books before I started reading this series that way, but Donna's Dark Kings are slowly, but surely, converting me. :-) I simply cannot get enough of Donna's sexy Scottish dragons! They're fierce, strong, fearless and delicious! While this is the fourth book in the series, it can be fully enjoyed as a standalone if that is your druthers. However, I recommend reading the whole series in order as there are interconnected characters and a common theme. I bet that once you read one, you'll be dying to read the rest!  My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club.  4 1/2 Wine Glasses!
CrystalMarie218 More than 1 year ago
Okay, in part 2, most of the storylines began to make sense. Unfortunately, we got even MORE points of view. I’m honest that overdone angst is liable to make me foam at the mouth and stop reading any book – and if I hadn’t already agreed to review all four parts, I would have stopped reading half way through this installment. As if this wasn’t troublesome enough, there were three characters with similar names – so much so that I got confused every time Rhi, Rhy, or Ryder was brought up. Having three names so similar was baffling. And, there were quite a few typos in part 2. Added to it, there was 1 item and 1 place named that were eerily close to other series I have read – Chains of Mordaire and Dragonwood. I’m sure the author didn’t even know, but to me, they stood out – or leapt out actually – jarring me out of the story itself. I couldn’t give this more than 2 stars and will admit I was not looking forward to the third part. Reviewed by a-nony-mouse for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for review*
Flowergirlzmom1SW More than 1 year ago
Hot Blooded Part 2: 'I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review' No matter how much Laith tries to deny that Iona is his he is starting to realize that she is his mate and it would be easier to not fight it. Iona is finally starting to realize what it's like to make friends. As well as finding out that her father was not who she thought he was. She comes to find out more and more everyday how much everyone liked and respected him. She also realizes that there are secrets being kept. Secrets that she needs to figure out. I have a love/hate relationship with books that are done in parts. I think that they can make a book more interesting because you have to wait for the next part. But at the same time the waiting when you are so into the book is a killer! Part 2 was just as good as part 1. I am a huge fan of Donna Grant and The Dark Kings series. Each part of the story I read just draws me further in. I find the books so hard to put down! I definitely recommend but you have to read part 1 first. I personally can't wait to read part 3!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
Building Suspense:4.25 stars-- The continuing story of Dragon King Laith and Iona Campbell follows our couple as they dance around their attraction to one another. Laith has kept secret his connection to Dreagon Industries and Iona’s safety is at risk when mercenaries come searching for the secrets to Dreagon lands. Part 2 looks closer at Iona’s family dynamics where the truth about her father was never revealed. Raised by her mother-a woman with issues about men-Iona never knew the real man that everyone purports to be kind, gentle and a true friend. But John Campbell never had the chance to reveal the family legacy, and in this, Iona has been placed in a precarious position with Dreagon Industries. Once again, the ensemble cast of characters tells of history, friendship and concerns about the future of the Dragons. While Rhys struggles with his own inner dragons, Rhi’s lightness is quickly turning to the dark. HOT BLOODED part 2 continues to build up the suspense while Iona struggles with everything she does not know. Her attraction to Laith deepens but all of the important and significant information has yet to be revealed.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
We left with Iona and Laith being chased by bad guys. They make for her house and Laith takes care of them so they will be safe. Iona learns her father was murdered and then Laith tells her to read his letter that gives her understanding about what she is up to. Now their friend Rhys is in trouble. What next? I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.