The exclusive e-serial continues! From New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant comes the second sensual Dark Kings tale set in the wild Highlands of Scotland, where desire and danger are one in the same...
She had no question that what was happening between them was meant to be...
Thorn's desire for Lexi knows no bounds. But by saving this tempting mortal, he exposes himself to his fiercest enemy--and a fiery passion. As the war between Dragons and Fae heats up, so does the heat between Lexi and Thorn. And when love is a battlefield, the heart takes no prisoners...
Read all four parts of this sensation e-series--and look for the full volume of Passion Ignites from St. Martin's Paperbacks (available in November 2015).
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
Passion Ignites Part 2
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
When Lexi next opened her eyes, she noticed how much better she felt. It was the noise that drew her attention. She raised her head and found Thorn in the kitchen making coffee with his back to her.
His dark hair was pulled back today. She rested her head on her arm to get a better look at him. His gray shirt once more hugged his impressive body. His long sleeves were pushed up past his elbows. His black jeans gripped his narrow hips, showing off his fine ass and his long legs.
Though he looked good in the clothes, she couldn't help but imagine him in something more ... historical. Like a kilt, or even something piratey.
He took a drink of the coffee, then with mug in hand turned to face her with a smile. "Good afternoon."
Lexi groaned as she glanced out the window. There were clouds again, once more hiding the sun. She couldn't tell what time it was.
"How many days did I lose this time?"
"Just the one," he answered. "How do you feel?"
Lexi took stock of her body. It no longer felt as if she had been dragged behind a vehicle. "Better, actually."
"Good. You have the flu."
Wonderful. Just what she needed. "I don't feel like I have the flu."
He raised a dark brow, his gaze pinning her as he walked to the bed. "We had a doctor come see you last night. She gave you a shot. Her orders were that you stay inside."
"Impossible." Lexi sat up and rolled her head from one side to the other to stretch it. "I have things that need to be done."
"Like catching Christina's killer?"
She froze. Slowly, she slid her gaze to Thorn with her heart thumping in her chest. How had he known?
"You said a lot when the fever had you." He shrugged then and said, "After, I searched the names of the victims and found Christina's. It didna take much afterward to put two and two together."
Lexi leaned back against the wall with the pillows behind her back. "I had one week left. I've lost four days. Three won't be enough to find him."
"You willna have those three. If you leave this flat in this weather, you could relapse."
Lexi lowered her gaze to her hands clasped in her lap. "I promised I would find her murderer."
Thorn let out a long-suffering sigh. "There is much you doona know. You're no' the only one fighting them."
"You are?" she asked as her gaze went to him. She leaned forward, wondering if she'd really seen him heal, or if it had been a dream. "Tell me all you know. Please."
He hesitated, as if he couldn't make up his mind. A resigned expression came over his face. "What have you seen them do?"
"Change," she replied instantly. "I've seen them change the color of their eyes and hair. How do they do that? Is it some illusion?"
"Nay. It's magic."
It was on the tip of Lexi's tongue to tell him magic didn't exist, but by the seriousness of his gaze, she kept silent. "How?"
"Do you believe you're the only intelligent beings on this earth?"
She scrunched up her face. "Well, duh."
"You'd be wrong."
Her breath left her in a whoosh. "You're lying."
"I'm no'," he said softly. He leaned forward and put his forearms on his thighs, his gaze on the floor. "Lexi, I doona wish to tell you any of this. You're no' ready for it. But I also know that if I doona, you could get yourself killed. You need to understand the full extent of the danger."
"Then tell me." Lexi was proud of herself. Her voice was smooth, even if she was shaking on the inside, as if on another level, she knew she wasn't going to like what she heard.
"What you've seen are the Fae. The Dark Fae, to be precise. There are Light Fae, but it's the Dark who have the red eyes."
Lexi sank against the wall. She had heard him call them Dark. But Fae? Surely not. Beings like that only existed in fairy tales.
"You doona believe me."
She looked to find Thorn staring at her. "I ... I don't know what to think. I know a man with red eyes killed Christina, though there wasn't a mark on her. I know that I've seen them change in ways that defy logic. Yet, if the Fae were real, wouldn't more people know of them?"
"They came to his realm millions of years ago. The Dark feed off souls. You didna find a mark on Christina because every time they had sex with her, they took parts of her soul until nothing was left."
Lexi was going to be sick. She clutched her stomach wanting to tell Thorn to stop while at the same time silently begging him to tell her everything.
"There was a war. The Fae Wars. The Fae were stopped before they could take over this realm. They signed a treaty agreeing to stay away, but the earth is a large place and no' everywhere can be patrolled. They slipped in here and there, taking their victims."
"Who fought the Fae? Us?"
Thorn sat back in the chair. There was doubt in his eyes, as if he didn't want to tell her the answer.
Lexi wasn't going to give in so easily. "You began this. Tell me. Because if it was us, that's not something that would've been kept secret."
"Nay, it wasna humans."
Somehow Lexi already knew that's what his answer would be. "There are other beings here?"
He gave a single nod.
"Who? What?" she urged.
"They keep to themselves. You'll never see them."
"But you know them."
Thorn waved his hand. "I help them."
"I want to help. I want to fight the Fae."
"No' all Fae are bad," he said. "The Light Fae sided with the other beings and helped end the Fae War."
Lexi rolled her eyes in agitation. "Fine. I want to fight the Dark."
"You have no magic."
She laughed at this. "As if any human does." When he didn't so much as blink, she knew she was once more wrong. What the hell was happening to the world she knew? "There are those with magic?"
"Oh." What else could she say? There was so little history about the Druids. Now she began to see why. "I have to avenge Christina."
"The Dark seduce you with a look, a smile, a touch. No one can withstand their pull. Your body instinctively knows it'll receive unimaginable pleasure at their hands. You seek it, crave it — and unknowingly go willing to your death."
Lexi's stomach rolled. Poor Christina. She never stood a chance. "Is there a way to block what the Dark do?"
Thorn's head leaned to the side as he studied her. "I know a few who can. It's rare, however, I watched you shake off their attempt."
"What are you talking about?"
"The Dark use glamour to change their appearance and hide their red eyes. You then wouldna be able to tell if you were talking to a human or a Fae. You felt the desire they can flip on in a human like a switch, and yet you fought it and got away."
Lexi remembered that encounter on the street. She hadn't known that's what was happening, or that she had come that close to dying. "How did I do it?"
"I'd verra much like to know."
"I've seen others flock to the Re ... Dark all over town. Why are their eyes red?"
Thorn rubbed his palms on his thighs. "All Fae are breathtakingly beautiful. They also all have black hair. It's a choice the Fae make to turn Dark. The first time they take a life, their eyes turn from silver to red. The more lives they take, the more silver runs through their hair."
Lexi thought back to the guy who had killed Christina. His hair was more silver than black. "Dear God."
"I can understand you wanting to avenge your friend's death, but if you get close to a Dark, it'll be your life you lose."
Lexi shook her head. "This can't be real. Please tell me this is all some kind of sick joke."
"I'm sorry, but I can no'."
"I didn't think so. It's just ... how could all of this be happening and no one get that it's other beings doing it?"
Thorn smiled sadly. "Humans like to pretend they're the only ones here."
"Yeah." Lexi had wanted to know the truth, but it made things much more complicated. How could she ever trust anyone again? If a Dark was using glamour, she'd never know it.
"I have a friend who has been hunting the Dark with me. His name is Darius," Thorn said as he got to his feet. "He'll be here shortly. He went to your place and gathered your clothes."
Lexi took a deep breath to try to steady herself. "Where am I, by the way?"
"A friend's. Her name is Darcy Allen."
"That's right. You told me that." She blinked, because she now knew she hadn't dreamed he had healed before her very eyes.
"Her place was warded by a Light against all Fae. The Dark can no' get to you here."
"I saw you heal."
His dark eyes dropped to the floor as he sighed.
When he didn't reply, she said, "Say something."
"I'd hoped you had forgotten that."
"Forgotten?" she asked in surprise. "How could I possibly forget that I stabbed you and watched your skin mend on its own?"
He shrugged and lifted his gaze to her. "You were still ill."
"What are you to be able to do something like that? Is it magic?"
"Are you a Druid then?" Because he wasn't Fae. He was unimaginably good-looking, and though his hair was dark, it wasn't black.
"Nay." Thorn motioned to the kitchen. "If you're hungry, I can heat up some soup."
"That sounds good." Lexi scooted to the edge of the bed and let him change the subject. For now. "I'd also like a shower."
Thorn eyed her. "Are you strong enough for that?"
"Probably not, but I'm going to do it," she stated.
He smiled as he turned away. "I'll start your food then."
Lexi waited until he was in the kitchen before she gingerly climbed out of bed. The last time she had nearly fallen on her face. She didn't want a repeat.
She took her time walking to the bathroom. After she turned on the water to get it hot, she looked in the mirror and closed her eyes at what she saw. Her hair was sticking out everywhere. She was pale with ugly, dark circles beneath her eyes.
It wasn't like she wanted Thorn to ask her out on a date — liar! — but she didn't want to look awful either. Lexi turned away from the mirror and stripped out of the gown.
It wasn't until she stood beneath the spray of water that she remembered Thorn had seen her naked. He hadn't shown the least bit of interest.
"You've been ill," Lexi told herself.
She angrily shoved aside such thoughts and began to wash. As she did, her mind went over all that Thorn had told her.
Fae. There were Fae on Earth, as well as some other kind of being. Those others had saved humans from the Fae, but why would they want to remain secret?
Then again, with the history of what humans did to things they didn't understand, she could well comprehend their decision. Still, she wished she could thank them for helping.
How shocking and strange to learn humans weren't the only intelligent beings on the planet. It scared the shit out of her to the point that she wasn't sure she could ever walk the streets alone again.
Nothing would ever be the same for her. She could never look at a person again without wondering if they were human, and she couldn't even think about dating.
Perhaps Thorn was right. She should go home.CHAPTER 2
Rhi stood atop a mountain looking at Dreagan. She was far enough away that none of the Dragon Kings would know she was there.
No matter how hard she tried, she always found herself back in Scotland. It was pathetic. Her King would never love her again.
It was something she told herself almost daily, but then she would remember the heart-stopping passion, the way he placed kisses over her body as if he were worshipping her, and the way he had once smiled whenever she walked into a room.
Those thoughts used to make her cry for the longing in her heart to have all of it again. But, oddly, there were no tears this time. Just ... sorrow to have lost something so precious.
A love of the ages.
That's what he had called it. Rhi had been too wrapped up in the desire and him to fully comprehend everything. It wasn't until he turned his back on her that it hit her.
"Rhi? Can you hear me? Where are you?"
She had heard Henry's summons for weeks now. He was handsome, and a wonderful kisser, but he was mortal. She had known it was wrong to kiss him. Rhi told herself she needed to feel something, but she was only going to hurt Henry.
It would've been better had she just told him the truth. Yet, she didn't want to wound him as she had been hurt. So she left.
Now he called to her daily.
"Forget about me, Henry," she said. "I'll only ruin things for you."
Rhi had been jumping from place to place in the hopes of finding some sort of peace and contentment. But it wasn't to be had.
She refused to return to Usaeil's court. The Queen of the Light had taken a Dragon King to her bed. Rhi had a suspicion that it was Con, but she couldn't prove it. Yet.
The fact that Usaeil had done everything in her power to break Rhi and her King apart was like a splinter she couldn't get out. It stung viciously that Usaeil would now have a relationship with a King.
Rhi also couldn't go to Dreagan anymore. How could she after she had refused to aid Warrick and Darcy? Rhi still didn't understand why she hadn't rushed to help as she always had.
Already she had gone to Ulrik too many times. And Balladyn ... The Dark wanted her. He pursued her relentlessly, and what worried her was that she enjoyed it. It felt good to have someone want her so desperately.
Then there were his kisses.
It would be so easy to give in to Balladyn. He would shield her as her King had once done. Balladyn loved her. How had she not seen it before?
Rhi shook her head viciously and turned her back on Dreagan. She was so confused. She didn't know what to do anymore or where to turn.
Then she thought of the one place she could go, the one person who she knew would always be there for her.
In a blink, she teleported from the mountain to a cabin deep in the forest. She had taken only two steps to the porch when the door opened and Phelan appeared.
The Warrior's smile dimmed when he saw her. "Grab the whisky," he said over his shoulder to his wife and Druid, Aisley.
Phelan didn't say another word. He opened his arms and Rhi walked into them, burying her head in his chest. He held her tightly, rubbing his hands up and down her back.
"Do you want to talk?" he asked softly.
She shook her head. It felt good to be able to lean on someone. Phelan was the only one who didn't want something from her. He was the only one she could show weakness to and know he would never use it against her.
"It's been weeks, Rhi," the immortal Highlander said. "I've been worried."
Rhi still remembered the first time she had spoken to Phelan. As a Warrior, a man with a primeval god inside him, he had been torn about his feelings for Aisley.
Phelan's blood could heal anyone of any ailment. The only thing he couldn't do was bring someone back from the dead. He hadn't known why his blood had such power.
But Rhi had.
She had watched him for centuries before she finally told him that he was a prince of the Fae. His ancestor had bedded a Light Fae, who happened to be the queen's brother, which is how his blood was able to cure anything but death. He was of royal blood on both sides of his family with his mortal side being the rulers of Saxony.
From the first time she and Phelan had spoken, there had been a bond that developed quick and strong. She had no more family, so she considered him a brother, and Aisley a sister.
"Can I help in any way?"
She smiled at Phelan's words, finding tears gathering in her eyes. "You already are."
Rhi shared almost everything with Phelan. The one thing he didn't know was who her Dragon King lover was. Because if he did ... Phelan would go after him.
She stepped out of Phelan's arms and wiped away the tears that had fallen. With as much of a smile as she could muster in place, she met his blue gray gaze.
"Tell me his name," Phelan said tightly. "Tell me who the bastard is so I can knock some sense into him."
"I would love to see that."
"I'd do it for you."
Rhi sniffed, feeling better than she had in days. "I worried you'd be angry with me."
Phelan's gaze turned troubled as he led her inside the house. He ushered her to the two sofas where Aisley already sat with three glasses of whisky.
"Rhi," Aisley said and stood. She rushed to hug her.
It had taken Rhi the longest time to become comfortable with the affection Phelan and Aisley showed her. Until Rhi realized they were like family, and it was all right for her to love them as she did.
Phelan's frown made Rhi uneasy as she accepted the whisky and sat beside Aisley. "You are angry."
"Nay," Phelan said. "I'm worried."
"Why didn't you show up?" Aisley asked. "Did someone detain you?"
It was there, the out Rhi could use to cover her ass. They knew she was a Queen's Guard and was called away for duties all over. She could lie and everything could go back to the way it was.
But she couldn't lie. Not just because she would feel unimaginable pain — a trait she inherited from her mother — but because they were family.
"No." The word hung heavy in the air. "I wanted to. I intended to. Then ... I couldn't."
Excerpted from Passion Ignites Part 2 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
This is the second part in Lexi and Thorn’s journey and battle against the dark Fae. With the help of a doctor, Lexi is finally better, but she can't help the overwhelming attraction for Thorn. However, he seems to try to avoid her because of it. This part moved just as quick as the first. I felt Lexi’s disappointment and hurt at how Thorn reacted, yet I understood his reasons as well. Excellent story and characters. I can't wait for the third part. I highly recommend. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
Things are definitely heating up in the world of the Dragon Kings, and in more ways than one. Lexi has seen and learned more than she ever wanted to about what is really happening all around her. She has also gotten much closer to Thorn. Thorn, on the other hand, is pulling away and trying to protect Lexi and himself in the only ways he knows how. Rhi is finally seeing the writing on the wall and stepping up to help the Dragon Kings. Ulrik is still a wild card and is having plenty of troubles of his own. On to part 3!
Passion Ignites: Part 2 (Dark Kings #7) by Donna Grant was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and by Donna Grant. Lexi is definitely having a hard time of it. She’s been sick with a serious case of the flu which Thorn has nursed her through. She is just regaining her strength. The longer Thorn is around her, the more he knows he must let her go. She already knows too much with all she has learned about the dark fey. While Thorn is away, Lexi gets Darius to give her some more answers to the world she never knew existed within her own. A chance sighting out of the window gives her even more questions as to what Darius and Thorn are. Lexi being Lexi, she follows them and gets the shock of a lifetime! “Dragons, My God, Darius and Thorn were dragons!” Again, Lexi ends up seriously injured. Thorn knows now more than ever, he has to send Lexi home to South Carolina, away from this madness. “I’m not some dog to be ordered around.” “Nay, you’re a human who has stepped into a war she has no business knowing about.” I love the Scottish brogue of Darius and Thorn and while I’m reading it I use the accent in my head. It makes them seem even sexier. The pending war against the dark fey is becoming more and more imminent. Two kings in the city is just not getting the job done. They are going to need help. Thorn’s priority, though, is to get Lexi safely home. He doesn’t know why she is able to somehow guard herself against the pull of the dark fey but she is still a weak human. Things are getting more suspenseful and I can’t wait to see what happens in part 3.