The desire-and danger-heats up to a scorching degree in the third installment of SOUL SCORCHED (The Dark Kings) from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.
It was as if he was changing her. And she welcomed it...
Darcy's desire for Warrick has altered her life forever. But now that she's being hunted by the Dark Fae, it's up to Warrick to do whatever it takes to keep Darcy safe. But how can he protect Darcy when that means putting himself-and his entire race-at risk?
Read all four parts of this sensational e-series-and look for the full volume of Soul Scorched 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
Soul Scorched Part 3
A Novel in Four Parts
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Darcy looked at the food delivered by Thorn and wasn't sure if she could eat. She was in knots after what happened, and not even Thorn's assurances that Warrick was fine helped.
Of course Thorn would tell her Warrick was all right. But if Warrick wasn't hurt, why didn't he bring the food?
"Because you told him to leave, that's why. Idiot," Darcy told herself.
She swiped a hand to shove the hair back from her face and sighed. She had taken her hair down twice. Now she was alone again. Not completely alone. Warrick and Thorn were near, but Warrick wasn't with her. All because she'd let her anger get the better of her.
Darcy brought the food into her office and placed it on the desk. She couldn't sit. She had to occupy her body somehow to keep her mind off what had occurred.
With nothing else to do, she made her way into the back and tended to her plants. It did nothing to help as it usually did. Her hands were working but with tasks she could do in her sleep. Which left her mind free to wander.
And all she could think about was her words to Warrick, him walking out, and then the Dark arriving. She grew ill recalling how they had surrounded him.
Darcy finished with the plants and returned to the front. The rain had yet to let up, and the spray was getting into the store. She tried to lift the door, but it was too heavy for her. Undeterred, she released just enough magic to help her not just right the door, but set it in place. It wouldn't close, but it kept most of the water out.
Next, she gathered the crystals that weren't broken and set them in a box in her office. Once that was done, she began to clean up the mess.
When Darcy finished, she looked up to find only an hour had passed. At least she'd had sixty minutes of not worrying. It wasn't a lot, but it was enough to give her a bit respite.
Darcy looked at the shattered window on the door hoping for some glimpse of Warrick. She didn't get one. Not only was the rain coming down too hard to see more than a few feet from the door, but the dark skies cast shadows everywhere.
Storms like these were a common occurrence, and they didn't keep people from going about their business. They kept their heads down and hurried from place to place.
Humans weren't the only ones walking about however. Her gaze snagged on a Dark here or there. Just her luck they wouldn't go away. Most likely they would return with more. Would she survive another encounter?
Would Warrick and Thorn?
Darcy was about to turn away when she saw a woman hurrying past the front of her shop bump into a Dark. Darcy shouted to get the woman's attention, but one look into the Dark's red eyes, and the woman was his.
They walked off together, the Dark shooting Darcy a smug smile.
She prepared to send a blast of magic at him, but stopped as she remembered the woman. There was a chance Darcy could hit her and kill her. Was that better than the poor woman having her soul sucked out by a Dark?
By the time Darcy came to the conclusion that it was, the couple was out of sight.
She was so distraught by what she'd seen that she couldn't move. Darcy stared, unseeing, into the rain thinking of what the woman would endure.
Darcy then spotted two college-aged girls come splashing down the sidewalk. Only one had an umbrella, but they were too busy having fun and seeing who could get the other the wettest to notice the danger fast approaching.
Three Dark made a beeline for them.
"Hey!" Darcy shouted. "Those guys are dangerous! Do you hear me?"
When the laughing girls kept coming her way, Darcy yanked open the door and moved forward until her toes hit the threshold. She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, "Hey! Keep away from the guys!"
The girls finally stopped, their laughing dying instantly. They looked from Darcy to the three Dark who approached them.
Darcy held her breath, hoping the girls would realize how perilous the situation was. "Please," she whispered. "Walk away."
Instead, the girls were soon giggling again. One sauntered off with a Dark while the other two pushed the second female against the front of Darcy's shop and began to kiss her. Darcy covered her ears as the girl's sighs grew louder and louder. The only way Darcy could help the girl was by going out of the shop and away from the dragon magic that protected her.
She contemplated it for a minute. The Dark weren't going to give up, and the longer she held out, the more humans they would take.
Darcy took a step back and shut the door. The Dark were going to take the people regardless. They had been doing it for centuries, and they weren't about to stop now just because she gave herself to them.
With her heart heavy, she walked to her office and leaned against the wall. She slid down to the floor and simply stared off into nothing.
If only it was a dream. What spurred all of this almost three years after she unbound Ulrik's magic? Why would the Dark just now be coming after her? None of it made any sense. Why not do it when she first helped Ulrik? Why wait?
She knew it wasn't Ulrik after her. Why would he tell her she was in danger only to send the Dark?
It wasn't the Dragon Kings either. They wouldn't protect someone they wanted dead.
The Fae? There was that option. It could be the Light who weren't happy she helped Ulrik, but why would they care? And if it was them, why was Rhi assisting her? Because Ulrik asked her to?
Darcy shook her head as her thoughts jumbled. She had no idea what was going on between Ulrik and Rhi, and she didn't think she wanted to know.
As for the Dark? Again, why would they wait three years to come after her? Unless it was in retaliation against Ulrik for something.
The only other possibility was that there was another player no one knew about. Which was ludicrous. The Dragon Kings knew all the participants in this war. If there was someone else, Warrick would have told her.
No closer to figuring out anything, Darcy leaned her head back against the wall and closed her eyes. How quiet the shop was without Warrick.
It wasn't as if he ever talked a lot, but his mere presence changed everything. All these years she'd never minded the quiet. Why had that changed after Warrick?
* * *
Warrick stood in the rain watching the front of Darcy's shop. He too had seen the Dark walk off with two females. Thorn killed one while Warrick took the other. As for the two remaining Dark and the girl, he wasn't going to stand by and watch them suck her soul away out on the street.
Warrick stalked from the shadows to the Dark. He tapped the one kissing the girl's neck on the shoulder. The Dark looked over and frowned. He nudged the second Dark who was on his knees trying to yank the girl's wet pants down.
"Get away from her," Warrick demanded.
The two male Darks laughed as they stood facing him.
Warrick was eager to end more Dark. "You've broken the pact signed by Taraeth and Con several times over. You will be removed from this realm."
"Good luck," the Dark on the right said with a sneer.
The one on the left chuckled. "You know nothing, Dragon."
Warrick slammed his elbow into the Dark's face to his right. He wrapped his hand around the throat of the one to his left and squeezed. He shoved the Dark back against the corner of the building where Thorn was waiting in the alley.
Thorn grabbed him from behind and dragged him into the darkness.
Warrick saw the hilt of a dagger in the Dark's waistband. He grabbed it and plunged it into his throat. The Dark's eyes widened in fear a moment before the life faded out of them. With no other choice, Warrick half-carried, half-dragged the Dark into the alley where Thorn was standing over the other Dark Fae.
"No' that I'm no' enjoying ridding the realm of Dark," Thorn said. "But I'd much rather do it in our true forms."
Warrick dumped the Dark next to Thorn's and nodded. "I agree. That willna happen until we get out of the city."
"Which we can no' attempt with Darcy."
Warrick ran a hand down his face. His body had quickly healed from the Dark magic he'd endured, but he was weary. And the fear wouldn't shake loose. For every Dark they killed, three more seemed to take their place. Who but Taraeth or Balladyn would have that kind of pull?
They stopped talking when Thorn helped the young girl to her feet and gave her a nudge to the alley entrance. "The robber has been dealt with. Go find your friend."
The female looked around confused and stumbled out into the street. Warrick waited until he saw her and her friend walk back the way they had come.
"What about the first mortal?" Warrick asked.
Thorn came to stand beside him. "She got away quick enough when she saw the Dark lob a ball of magic at me."
"She willna say anything. She was undressed when I interrupted them."
Warrick cut his eyes to Thorn. "Let's hope no'."
"What are you going to do about Darcy?"
Warrick turned back to the Dark. "What about her?"
"She needs you."
"She told me to leave," Warrick argued.
Thorn grunted loudly. "For someone who's studied mortals as long as you have, you know nothing about women."
"And you do?" For some reason, Thorn's comment really annoyed Warrick.
"She was angry, but she didna really want you to leave."
"You didna see her face or hear her voice. She most certainly wanted me to leave."
Thorn glanced down at the dead Fae. "We've got two immediate issues to deal with."
"And they are?"
"Getting rid of these ugly buggers."
Warrick blinked the water out of his eyes from the rain. "And the other?"
"One of us needs to be back in there with Darcy."
Warrick thought of their kisses, of the heat and desire and need that being near her caused. His cock hardened just thinking of pulling her into his arms for another kiss. "I take that look to mean you'll be headed back into the shop," Thorn said with a knowing grin.
Warrick shoved him in the shoulder.
"That's a definite aye," Thorn said with a laugh. "I'll do my best to keep the Dark away and give the two of you some ... alone time."
Warrick swallowed hard.
Alone. With Darcy.
Already his hands itched to feel her soft skin. Whether she wanted him with her or not, he was going to be by her side until this fiasco was over.
He started to walk to the back entrance when Thorn called his name. Warrick turned back to him. "What?"
Thorn gave him a dry look and pointed to the Dark.
Warrick was so caught up in thoughts of Darcy he'd forgotten about the dead Fae.CHAPTER 2
Ulrik was used to wearing a façade. He had a different one for every aspect of his life. There were times that he forgot who he really was buried under so many different identities.
But that didn't make being summoned any easier to swallow.
Ulrik stepped into the dimly lit restaurant on the outskirts of Glasgow and stopped so that he could slowly survey the inside.
"Hello, sir," said a high-pitched feminine voice.
Ulrik lowered his gaze to look at the young blonde. She smiled brightly, her gaze raking over him not so subtly. He lifted his eyes back to the occupants of the restaurant. "I'm meeting someone."
"Oh, yes," she said, her brogue becoming thicker. "He's expecting you. Please follow me."
Ulrik should've known Mikkel would have alerted the hostesses of his arrival. Because it never entered his uncle's mind that he wouldn't come.
For now, that's exactly what Ulrik wanted Mikkel to think. But there would come a time when their positions were reversed.
Ulrik followed the blonde, glancing at her ass as he did. His attention was snagged by the alcove he was taken to. He spotted Mikkel sitting comfortably with one arm resting along the back of the curved booth while his other lay next to a stemless glass of wine.
When the hostess stepped aside, Ulrik spotted the woman with his uncle. She was a stunner with her dark hair falling in big curls to the tops of her shoulders. She wore a low-cut shirt that showed off her assets so that Mikkel couldn't take his eyes off her breasts.
So much for a business meeting. Ulrik was about to turn and leave when the woman's gaze slid to him. The exact color of her eyes couldn't be garnered in the dim lights, but it didn't matter. He recognized her.
Ulrik looked at Mikkel. It was obvious by the way his uncle let his fingers brush her shoulder that he was completely captivated. It was also obvious that Mikkel didn't have a clue that his companion was a Dark Fae using glamour.
There was a flash of surprise and fear in the Dark's gaze when Ulrik returned his attention to her. If she was here, that meant she had been sent by Taraeth.
"Ulrik," Mikkel said when he noticed him. "Glad you could finally join us. Sit," he ordered as he grabbed the bottle of wine and filled a new glass before topping off the Dark's.
Ulrik was curious as to why the Dark was there, and even more interested in why Taraeth would send her. That was the only reason he slid into the booth.
Mikkel was across from him, and the Dark sat in the middle but closer to his uncle. Which was fine with Ulrik. He recognized the Dark from being in Taraeth's court. Unfortunately, that was all he knew.
"I found this beauty sitting alone at the bar," Mikkel said as he gazed at the Dark. "I couldn't imagine such a woman being by herself. So, I invited her to my table."
"Is that so?" Ulrik said and met her gaze once more.
Her hand shook slightly when she brought the wineglass to her lips. She drank deeply before she smiled at Mikkel.
"She's rather shy, I think," Mikkel said. "I hope you won't mind us cutting our meeting short. Why would I want to talk business with her next to me?"
"Why indeed." Ulrik's mind was already running through the Dark he knew who he could contact and ask what was going on.
Depending on the reasons for the Dark being sent to Mikkel, Ulrik might not get any answers.
Unless he went to Taraeth himself.
It wasn't optimal, but Ulrik wasn't ruling that out as a possibility. He couldn't care less what happened to Mikkel. If the Dark wanted to take him, then Ulrik wouldn't stand in their way. It would be one less foe to worry over.
"I called in a favor," Mikkel said in his British accent. "However, it isn't going to plan."
By the tone Mikkel used, the problem was a Dragon King. Which meant this was about Darcy. "I warned you that you were bringing unwanted attention where there shouldna be any."
"And you know why I had to do it."
Back to this again. Ulrik rested both hands atop the table, but didn't bother to reach for the glass of wine. How many times were they going to go over this? "You didna call me all the way here just to tell me of the problem."
"How perceptive of you."
Ulrik waited for Mikkel to elaborate. The silence stretched as his uncle leaned closer to the Dark and whispered something in her ear that had them both smiling. By the way the female licked her lips in anticipation, it was about sex.
Ulrik thought he was going to be sick.
If Mikkel wasn't going to tell him what he wanted, then Ulrik wasn't going to stay. He started to rise.
"We're not done."
Every muscle in Ulrik's body locked. It went against everything that he was to take orders. It would be so easy to reach across the table and rip out Mikkel's throat with his bare hands. But that was to come later. For now, Ulrik must hide his anger and strength and pretend once more.
It took every last shred of Ulrik's control to tamp down the need to kill and relax his muscles. Only then did he return his gaze to Mikkel. He didn't sit back, but remained on the edge of the booth.
Mikkel smirked. "That's what I thought."
Ulrik's vision went red with fury. How did he ever think he could act the fool and bow down to Mikkel? It was impossible.
Yet he had to think of the end goal. The first step was protecting Darcy. Thanks to the Kings watching over her, that was one problem he didn't have to worry about.
Nor did he concern himself with Darcy siding with the Kings. She wasn't just the most powerful Druid he knew, she also had a mind of her own. Darcy made her own decisions, which meant she was rarely swayed in any one direction.
That was the first thing Ulrik had learned about her. He didn't try to convince her he was in the right. In fact, he didn't say anything. All he did was ask her to free his magic. Darcy made the decision to help him, and to continue helping him.
Excerpted from Soul Scorched 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
As Soul Scorched continues things between Darcy and Warrick are heating up. I love the chemistry and passion between those two. We also get a visit from The Warriors! It’s always good to see them help save the day! The Dragon Kings are more confused than ever about who their enemies are. What is worse, if they are not careful they are going to be divided. That is the last thing they need to happen because to defeat the Dark all the Kings need to stand as one. The Dark Fae are nipping at their heels and have their eyes set on Darcy. Warrick will do everything he can to keep her safe, even from a pissed off Dragon King set on vengeance. My heart just aches for Rhi. I truly hope she gets some peace soon, but I have a feeling it’s going to get a whole lot worse for her before it gets better. There is so much going on in this book. The world as the Dragon Kings know it is going to change.
War grows closer between the Dark Fae and the Dragons. As the pieces begin to unravel all is not what it seems, is there another enemy the Dragon Kings don’t know about? In the middle of all this will Warrick and Darcy find their way together? I am hooked love this series looking forward to more! Suspenseful and sexy. Great Read!
Part 3 of 4: SOUL SCORCHED Part 3 finds the Dragon Kings at a crossroads. Con-the King of Kings-is determined to destroy Ulrik and everything he represents, while the other Kings begin to piece the events together realizing that perhaps Ulrik is not the Dragon responsible for everything that has been happening in their world. Part 3 finds Warrick contemplating his future as his attraction to Darcy moves their relationship from friends to lovers, but his need to protect Darcy focuses on the possibility that Con will not be satisfied until everyone connected with Ulrik has been destroyed or killed. SOUL SCORCHED part 3 reintroduces the Warriors and Druids from Donna’s original series. The Dark Kings is a spinoff from Donna’s Dark Warrior series which in turn is a spin off from Donna’s Dark Sword series- all set in the Highlands of Scotland. The Druids are called in to help one of their own, in the hopes of preventing a war between the Dark Fae and the Dragon Kings.
Something is going on. The Kings are on guard but who or what is the danger. The Dark know the Kings can't switch. Ulrich has a lot of pots on the fire. He is betrayed but still hangs around to save The, Lillian and Darcy. Con is really mad she helped Ulrich get some of his powers back. This gets more and more curious. Can't wait for the last episode! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.