The desire-and danger-reaches the boiling point in NIGHT'S BLAZE (The Dark Kings): Part III from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.
Lily forgot to breathe. She reacted instantly, desire tightening, coiling within her until her chest heaved. Rhys wasn't just sexy. He was the god of sex, skilled and proficient in the many ways to bring a woman to her knees with a seductive smile.
"If I go back in that bed, I wouldn't ever want to get out."
Rhys' grip tightened on her waist. "Is there anything wrong with that?"
As their newfound passion blazes, Rhys is determined to know Lily, body and soul. But as their lust burns hotter, danger looms closer. Yet as Rhys and Lily stand together to protect the growing intensity between them, one troubled past-and a powerful secret-could tear them apart forever...
Read all four parts of this sensational e-serial-and look for the full volume of Night's Blaze in April 2015 from St. Martin's Paperbacks.
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 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
Night's Blaze Part 3
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Rhi was veiled as she stood on the balcony of the hotel and looked through the window at Rhys and Lily cuddled once more on the bed. Of all the Kings, Rhys was one of her favorites.
He was one of the first to welcome an ally with the Light Fae, and then when she fell in love with her Dragon King, Rhys supported her. Rhys was cocky, impulsive, reckless, and wild. But he was brave, valiant, bold, and daring.
It was going to take a certain kind of woman to tame him, and she suspected that the woman now lay in Rhys's arms. But did Rhys realize that?
If Rhys hadn't had his ability to shift taken from him, Rhi imagined that he would've gone after Lily and made her his own in quick order. The fact he had spent weeks away from Dreagan so as not to see her didn't bode well. However, seeing them in bed naked was definitely a step in the right direction.
The question now was would Rhys take what was meant to be his? Or would he run?
The Dragon Kings were frustratingly idiotic at times. They were fearful of trusting humans, and rightly so after what had happened to Ulrik. Despite that, they found love among the mortals.
Well, some did. Kiril was the odd one who'd found love with a Fae.
A stab of pain lanced through Rhi's chest every time she thought of Kiril and Shara. It wasn't that she didn't like Shara. She was the first Dark Fae to turn Light, and she made Kiril happy.
No, Rhi was hurt because they had what she was told could never be—a union of the Kings and Fae.
The overwhelming tide of heartbreak still had the ability to take her breath away. For thousands of years she'd lived with the pain of her one-sided love. There was a way to turn it off. It was there, inside her, waiting. All she had to do was search out the darkness within her and she could shake free of the hold her lover had on her.
She could move on with her life, forget the love they shared and the happiness that had been hers for a short time. She could wipe away the promises he'd made her—and broken. She could ignore the pull Dreagan had on her.
Usaeil and the Dragon Kings all thought she was her old self. They assumed because she broke the Chains of Mordare that had held her and escaped Balladyn that the dark couldn't penetrate the light inside her.
They were wrong.
At all times she knew were Balladyn was. The darkness inside her sought him out, searched for him. She almost went to him once while in Rome.
Even with Balladyn becoming a Dark Fae, he was the only family she had left. He hated her though. He blamed her for his becoming Dark. It was her fault. She shouldn't have left him. He wouldn't have left her, even in the middle of battle.
Rhi was tired of the weight of her unreturned love. She was tired of pretending the darkness wasn't part of her. She was tired of fighting the inevitable.
The Dragon Kings had a good chance to win the war, but that chance was growing slimmer by the day. The writing was on the wall. Ulrik would win. The Kings would be defeated, and the Silvers woken.
As soon as the Silvers woke and took to the skies, the humans would die. The Dark Fae believed they would still have mortals to feed off of, but Rhi recognized the truth.
Ulrik wanted to rule this realm as it once was—with dragons. He would kill any King who didn't side with him, and he would find a way to return the dragons to this realm to eradicate mortals once and for all. Earth would no longer be inhabited by humans, and the Fae—Light and Dark—would have no reason to remain.
Rhi jerked as she felt the darkness pulse inside her. Balladyn was in the city. She located him and teleported nearby, remaining veiled.
It was lucky that she could keep the veil up for long periods, unlike most Fae. She peered around the corner of the building and spotted Balladyn talking to another Dark who wore glamour to appear human, hiding his red eyes and black and silver hair.
Balladyn finished the conversation and turned on his heel to walk away. He took ten steps before he halted and turned his face in her direction. He was only twenty feet from her. She could see his red eyes in the light of the streetlamp. His long black and silver hair was pulled back in a series of small braids that formed one thick plait down his back.
His customary black leather pants were sculpted to his muscular legs, and the deep red V-neck tee showed off the thick sinew of his chest and arms.
"Rhi?" he called softly in his Irish accent. "I can feel you. Talk to me."
She remained veiled, barely breathing.
"You've sought me out for a reason," he continued. "I've been searching for you. Let me see you."
Rhi teleported away before she gave in.
* * *
Rhys woke suddenly, immediately reaching for Lily as the morning sun filled the room. His hands met cool sheets. He lay there on his elbow looking at the empty bed, his heart thumping in his chest.
Not once had he remained all night with one woman, and he certainly had never woken to find himself alone. He didn't like the desolation, the void that filled his chest.
He jumped from the bed and walked naked to the doorway. His steps slowed when he saw the light on in the bathroom. Rhys looked inside to find Lily with the white hotel robe on, standing at the sink looking at the tattoo on her forearm.
Whatever had tightened around Rhys's chest released so that he could breathe easier, the relief palpable. He leaned a shoulder against the doorway and watched the subtle play of emotions crossing Lily's face. There was despair, misery, sadness, and finally anger.
She inhaled deeply and slowly released it as she looked up in the mirror. Their eyes clashed, held, and a slow smile pulled at her lips.
Rhys's gaze raked over her disheveled hair and her swollen lips. He'd never seen a more beautiful sight. "I'm pretty sure you should still be in bed," he said with a grin.
She turned to face him and shrugged, the movement causing her robe to gape and expose a tantalizing side of her breast. "I'm an early riser."
"I'm going to have to change that."
Her laughter filled the bathroom when he closed the distance and pulled her against him. "I didn't wake you, did I?"
"Nay," he replied, not wanting her to know it was her absence that pulled him from sleep. "Are you hungry?"
Rhys reluctantly released her and went to order breakfast as she grabbed a brush and began to run it through her long tresses.
"I don't even know what time I need to meet Denae to go home."
Rhys glanced at his suit jacket where his mobile was. He was sure if he checked there would be a message from Kellan asking him to take Lily back to Dreagan. It was a task Rhys relished. "We'll find out," he called.
He ordered room service and replaced the receiver. He was on his way to his suit when a robe hit him in the chest. Rhys instinctively caught it and looked up at a grinning Lily.
"You can't be walking around naked," she said. "What will the hotel staff think?"
He winked at her. "They'll think you're a verra lucky lass."
"They wouldn't be wrong."
Rhys put on the robe and loosely belted it at his hips before he checked his mobile. Sure enough there was a message. Denae and Kellan indeed wished for him to drive Lily back to Dreagan.
He heard the shower turn on and caught a glimpse of Lily as she let the robe fall. She looked over her shoulder through the door and smiled before she stepped into the shower and shut the glass door.
Since he hadn't heard any more about Henry, Rhys called the one person who would know. Banan. It took four rings before Banan answered.
"I gather you're having a good time," Banan said testily.
Rhys frowned and walked out onto the large balcony. "Aye. Tell me about Henry. All Con told me last night was that he was at Dreagan."
"First, it is Ulrik doing all of it."
"Tell me something I doona know."
Banan sighed. "Ulrik told the group of Dark and MI5 that Henry was a spy. The Dark attacked him, but somehow Henry ended up with Ulrik, who wanted Henry to join forces with him."
"What?" Rhys stated with a snort. "Ulrik has no love of mortals, Banan. You know that."
"I do. I also thought it sounded a bit ... strange."
Rhys leaned on the balcony railing. "But you believe Henry?"
"He wasna lying. For whatever reason, Ulrik offered Henry that deal."
"Are you sure Henry didna take it?"
There was a slight pause and then a sigh from Banan. "I doona think he did. He was injured badly, Rhys. Several broken bones and at least two broken ribs, not to mention I suspect there was internal bleeding the Light healed."
"Somehow the Light got Henry away from Ulrik and healed him."
Rhys knew it was Rhi who had saved Henry. What was she doing with Ulrik? "How did Henry get away?"
"He says he doesna know, but he's keeping something from us."
Rhys immediately thought of Rhi and her ability to teleport with a passenger. "Rhi got him to Dreagan."
Rhys dropped his forehead into his hand and closed his eyes. Rhi was like a sister to him. She drove him nuts at times, but she was loyal, a skilled warrior, and had a quick wit that always made him smile.
If he hadn't been so consumed with his own misery, he would have been there to help her through whatever was going on. Not only had Ulrik carried her out of Balladyn's fortress, but Rhi was visiting him. Her constant wearing of black nail polish said more than her words ever could.
She was being torn in two.
There was a time, not so long ago, that he had been in a similar position with the wound Ulrik had inflicted upon him. It was Rhi who had eased the pain and given him the ability to shift one more time if he so chose. It was a miracle that she had, otherwise he would not have had the pleasure of Lily's body.
"You know something." Banan let out a string of curses. "It has to do with Rhi."
Rhys opened his eyes and straightened. "Trust me when I say that Rhi is on our side." He hoped.
"Con isna going to like this."
"Con doesna have to know a damn thing," Rhys bit out.
Banan gave a bark of laughter. "That's true, but I have to say I doona like being kept in the dark."
"Rhi has always helped us. She's no' going to turn her back on us now."
"Why no'?" Banan asked. "In her shoes, I certainly would have. Long, long ago. After what he did to her ..."
"I know," Rhys said into the silence.
Banan cleared his throat. "There's more."
"More?" This didn't sound good in the least.
"It involves one of Ulrik's men. The mortal is using a woman who works here to gain entrance onto Dreagan and search for the weapon."
Rhys's ears began to ring as he thought of the bruise on Lily's cheek. She'd told him her ex-lover had returned after a year, but she'd never said why he came back.
"Rhys? Did you hear me?" Banan asked.
Rhys ignored him and asked instead, "Who is it? Who is the woman?"
"We doona have many working for us," Banan began slowly.
"Who?" Rhys demanded harshly.
The silence grew as Banan hesitated.
"Just spit it out." Rhys knew in that instant, knew with a certainty that rocked him, that it was Lily.
"We've narrowed down the names to two," Banan finally said. "Lily's is one of them."CHAPTER 2
Lily bathed, hating to wash off Rhys's scent. She was deliciously sore from their repeated lovemaking. If only they could remain in the hotel and halt time. If only she had some kind of superpower to stop Dennis so she could have her family and Rhys. But she wasn't a superhero, and no one was going to save the day for her.
Lily finished rinsing her hair and turned off the water. She grabbed a towel and opened the shower door to find Rhys. A small shriek sounded from her as she put her hand to her throat. "You scared me."
Rhys's lips lifted in a lopsided smile. "I was just about to join you."
That's all it took. A few words from his sexy voice, and her body began to throb.
"Then our breakfast arrived."
Lily was more than a little disappointed. Her stomach growled as she dried off. "Right on time."
He walked out of the room, and Lily put the robe back on and ran her fingers through her hair before she joined him at the table that was loaded with food.
"I didna know what you liked," Rhys said with a shrug.
There was a little of everything. Lily laughed and eyed the Belgian waffles and bacon. She chose her dishes and tucked a foot beneath her on the chair as she poured both of them coffee. Rhys took the seat opposite her and picked the omelet and a piece of toast. They ate silently for a few minutes as she studied him.
"I need a shave," he said when he caught her staring.
She lifted a shoulder in a shrug. "It's not bad."
"I'd scrape your delicate skin if I tried to kiss you."
"Want to find out?" she asked with a mischievous smile.
His gaze darkened. "Doona tempt me."
"I'd do anything to remain right here forever."
Was it her imagination, or had there been a hint of something in his voice? As if he knew about Dennis. But that was silly. There was no way he could know. Rhys was intelligent, but Dennis was careful and she hadn't told Rhys anything. No, it was just her imagination at work. "I would."
"What about your job?"
Lily swallowed her bite of food. "I don't have to work. I do it because I enjoy it. Many of my jobs were about having the satisfaction of supporting myself without having to fall back on my family's money. But Dreagan ..." She paused and glanced at her plate. "This may sound silly since I've not been there long, but Dreagan has become a home for me. I found true happiness there. And friendships. That doesn't happen often."
She winced as she caught sight of the bags of clothes from the day before. "I was only going to spend my money yesterday, but then I wanted to erase all parts of the last four years."
"I know how all of this makes me look. I needed to make a clean cut, to eradicate the past."
"You can no' erase it. It's part of you. It made you who you are today," he said as he leaned back in his chair and pushed his empty plate aside.
Lily rubbed her left wrist that was beginning to ache. A reminder of one of the first instances of abuse from Dennis. "My scars will be a constant reminder, yes, but I have to remove the parts that keep me from being who I really am. The clothes, the attitude. The fear."
"He chose your clothes?"
It took her two tries to answer. "Yes. He didn't like anyone looking at me, so he had me wear loose, baggy clothes. I forgot what it was like to feel good in something until yesterday."
"Did he break your wrist?"
Lily stopped rubbing it and stared at him.
Rhys's gaze dropped to her left wrist for a moment. "You've no' stopped rubbing it for some time. Does it hurt?"
"Only when it's about to rain, and yes. He broke it a month after I chose him over my family."
"Why did you no' go back to them then?"
Lily wrapped her now cool fingers around the cup of coffee to warm them. "My mother was a commoner. She had no connections to the upper class, and yet my father fell head over heels for her. My grandfather wasn't pleased at all. He wanted his children to marry in the upper class, but especially his heir. My parents snuck off and married, much to the dismay and anger of my grandfather. It wasn't until my eldest sister was born three years later that my grandfather would even speak to my parents."
"All because your father chose your mother?"
Lily nodded and scrunched up her face. "Sad, isn't it? My parents told all five of their children that it didn't matter who we fell in love with, be it prince or pauper, if we loved them, then they would be welcomed into the family."
"Then what went wrong with your lover?"
"Dennis won my parents and brother over initially. He could be very pleasant when he wanted. One weekend my father and brother went hunting and invited Dennis. When they returned, my father was agitated. He told me I was still young and that I shouldn't be ready to settle down so soon."
A frown furrowed Rhys's brow. "No explanation?"
"None. My sisters never liked Dennis. They were always rude to him, and yet he was so congenial. But they saw the evil inside him that I never did. Until it was too late. After the harsh words to my family when I left, I was too proud to go back to them then. I only wish I had."
Excerpted from Night's Blaze Part 3 by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2015 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The love affair between Rhys and Lily heats up in Part 3 of Night’s Blaze. Many more secrets are revealed and new characters are introduced including Mikkel. I’m not going to reveal who he is exactly but let’s just say he’s definitely complicating and spicing things up. Rhys is finally able to admit that Lily is his mate. He’s laid it all out on the line revealing his true origins and what Dreagan really is. Lily has in turn opened up and told Rhys about Dennis and how he’s blackmailing her. With their secrets revealed to one another, the two have forged an even stronger bond but before Rhys and Lily have a chance to explore that bond they have to outsmart Dennis and the rest of their enemies who are intent on getting hold of a special weapon, the only weapon capable of killing a Dragon King. The questions and suspicions regarding Ulrik and his exact part in taking down the Dragon Kings is brought to light in Part 3. Ulrik is an even more complicated character than I imagined. He’s not exactly a bad guy but he’s definitely not a good guy and after reading the story of how it went down when his woman was killed I can’t exactly blame him for holding a grunge against Con. I feel bad for Rhi. I’m not sure she has the emotional strength to ignore the pull from the darkness inside her anymore but I have my fingers crossed that things turn out well for her. Part 3 is another well-written and exciting story full of action and romance that will have you immediately moving on to Part 4 which is what I’m going to do right now. Copy provided for review. Reviewed by Joy for Crystal's Many Reviewers
FINALLY!! Rhys got off his miserable butt and admitted it!!! Feelings exist!! We all knew it, but when they admit it, it's a bit more satisfying.. lol. While all of this is going on between Lily and Rhys, the Kings are still trying to unmask their enemy who's desperately trying to get onto Dreagan land... It was cool to meet a new dragon and Darius came JUST in time!! This part drops off just when you need to be able to turn the page too... I can't wait for part 4!!!
Are you ready to drown in the sensual seduction that is the Dragon Kings! If so Rhys and Lily’s heart stopping, gut wrenching journey will take you on one hell of a ride and leave you panting for more. I have counted down the days for this one and believe me you will love this book! Get ready to fall in love with one irresistible Dragon King. Lily and Rhys are fantastic! I love Lily! She is a strong women on the brink of something far greater than her troubled past. With the help of one devastatingly handsome dragon she will find the confidence and passion she needs to have the life she has run from for years. Lily has felt an overwhelming connection to Rhys since she first came to work at Dreagan. The only thing is that playful and carefree Rhys always has a different beautiful women on his arm, so Lily has resigned herself to longing from afar. Until Rhys completely shocks her by kissing her like she has never been kissed before. Her fear of the past has kept her from living her life and is threatening her growing love for Rhys. Since Rhys’s disappearance, she can tell something in him has changed. He looks to be carrying the world on his shoulders. He is not the same as he was, he is … Darker. Rhys after being injured and having lost his ability to shift to his true form is feeling angry yet useless in the fight to uncover the enemies trying to expose all at Dreagan. As he spends more time with Lily, he discovers there is a lot more to the women than her baggy clothes and shyness than meets the eye. For the first time in all his years on earth he has never felt more alive than when Lily is in his arms. Even having lost a core piece of himself, Lily is slowly filling in the pieces. After fighting his desire for so long to be with Lily and wanting to claim her as his mate, Rhys is finally ready to make her his but it may be too late as the past comes back to haunt them all. So many Twist and Turns! New Enemies! Old Enemies! So much is going on at Dreagan! We learn the answers to some secrets and find more we are dying to know! Donna is one talented lady and sure knows how to keeps us on our toes! Can’t wait for more!
I highly recommend NIGHT'S BLAZE to anyone who enjoys sensuous and magical paranormal romances! Only one other time in his career as a spy had Henry felt as if he were thrown to the wolves. He'd nearly lost his life that first time, and he was certain he would this time. It wasn't so much that he was going to die, but the fact that everything he knew --- or thought he knew --- wasn't the whole story. All he had to do was look into the gold eyes and know that Ulrik held all the cards in this particular game. No matter what the Dragon Kings did, no matter if M15 got rid of all the traitors, no matter if the Dark Fae left Earth, Ulrik was going to win it all. OMG, OMG, OMG! NIGHT'S BLAZE by Donna Grant is the fifth book in Donna's Dark Kings series. I inhaled it in four serialized installments and am choosing to write this one review for all four. It's a fabulous fantasy read no matter how you elect to enjoy it. Donna never ceases to amaze me with her creative storylines, captivating sexy alpha Highlander dragons, charming damsels in distress, gripping mysteries and dangerous perils. Let there be no doubt that I'm addicted to her Dark Kings... AND NIGHT'S BLAZE is totally awesome! Rhys has been one of my favorite dragon kings through-out this series and we are treated to his story in this installment. Needless to say, it does not disappoint! First of all, I have to mention the cover... I love it! I dream about staring at that yellow dragon snaking around his torso and having it dance and undulate for me. Ooh la la! My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Check it out there. 5 Wine Glasses!
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review** Rhi felt Rhys was cocky, impulsive, reckless, and wild, but also brave, valiant, bold and daring. Rhi was being torn apart as her time with Balladyn brought forth some of the darkness in her. Ulrik's uncle Mikkel had not left when all of the dragons were supposed to go and became the silver dragons' king, which was supposed to be Ulrik. Ulrik's ability was that he could give life back to the lifeless. The dragon kings had a weapon hidden. Con and Killian were the only ones that knew what the weapon was. Lily was supposed to help Dennis get into where the dragon kings resided so he could find the weapon. Once again, still very much enjoying the story and the twists and turns that are coming up. I would recommend it to anyone that likes paranormal books.
Emotional and so much suspense. Lily goes on a shopping spree and receives a few surprises and some of her secrets are revealed. Rhys shows up and sparks fly. Ulrik receives a shock or two of his own. This portion of the read is sexy and kept me on the edge of my seat, I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Who will prevail, darkness or the light and what will happen with Rhi? So many questions, can’t wait for the next installment!
So our story is to start from Episode 2. This is a story line for everyone to try to get what they want-NOW! Rhys has finally admitted he cares for Lily. The Kings are trying to find the person who wants to trespass and steal from them. Rhys knows Lily is helping under duress. The Kings are happy when Darius wakes and shows up to help. They recover Kyle while Dennis drags Lily into Dreagan with a dead ending. No, I wanted more! I hope you get this book and enjoy it. One more to go! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
The saga of Rhys and Lily takes a turn of deception and betrayal… With Lily and Rhys confessing their feelings for each other and letting the passion building between them consume them in its fine glory, and now it’s time for trust to take its turn in their relationship. As the intel regarding the attack behind Rhys seems to become a little more clear, Lily’s past comes up in the quest for finding answers, along with the fact that Lily is the mortal being blackmailed into finding the opening into Dreagan’s guarded land…to find that ultimate weapon being guarded by Con with his life. I love the way the story progresses, with all cards on the table as Lily’s true identity comes into light. With the Dragon Kings planning a course of action to bring down the pawns in the game to get to the main player in this chess game, Rhys and Lily need to trust each other with their lives, as Lily will be the key player in this plan. Night’s Blaze, Part 3 (Chapters 21-30), keeps the adrenaline and passion on Dreagan Land going at a fiery speed. You can feel the aura of danger surrounding the Dragons, and the main threat to Lily’s life, should the plan go awry. The anticipation is high on drama and the anti-climax is nail biting.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 *Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. Part 3 covers chapters twenty-one through thirty. There were a lot of interesting developments in Part 3, specifically with Ulrik and someone he was very surprised to see. I assumed the newcomer may have behind everything the other Kings were blaming on Ulrik. But the question remained on whether Ulrik was really lost to them, or not. I'm dying to find out. Thanks to the intel from Henry, the Kings were very astute in finding out about Lily that I had hope the story would not go down a predictable path. I also appreciated that Rhys was not a male blinded by love and lust to completely dismiss the threat, but he believed in her goodness to know that she wasn't a willing participant. And bless Kiril for being the voice of reason and Rhys for being smart enough to take it. Lily took the big revelation very well, and I liked her honesty with Rhys in return. The Kings rallied around Rhys to help Lily keep her family safe and to trap her blackmailer. I was intrigued by the return of another Dragon King to the fold, Darius. While I still liked Lily and her continued determination to deal with her past, and I understood why she had chosen her brother over everyone else, I was getting tired with her continued coulda, woulda, shouldas. I already sympathized with her and her feelings of pain and guilt in Part 2 that the constant mulling over Dennis and her problems were repetitive and whiny. The same applied to Rhys and why he couldn't or wouldn't try to claim Lily. Since that was a constant thread throughout this part, it dampened the enjoyment a little for me. I just wanted them to get on with it.