After diving into a black hole in search of the source of Meridian, the key to immortality, the crew of the Blood Hunter finds themselves stranded in an alternate universe.
Engineer Devlin Stark doesn't want immortality. He just wants to live long enough to get his revenge on the man who murdered his brother. Now, he's trapped in a strange world with a crazy woman who claims he's fated to be her lover.
Saffira Lourdes has a destiny: to save humanity and lead her exiled people to the Promised Land. Haunted by visions of the past and future, she's been sustained through the years by a dream lover. Unfortunately, Devlin doesn't believe in fate. But it's obvious there's a connection between them, one that will soon be tested by the limits of time and space. Saffira is about to make the crew of the Blood Hunter an offer they'll find impossible to refuse.
They're heading back to Earth, and they're going back in time...
Each book in the Dark Desires series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Break Out
Book #2 Deadly Pursuit
Book #3 Death Defying
Book #4 Temporal Shift
Book #5 Blood and Metal
Book #6 Flying Through Fire
About the Author
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina's writing mixes romance with elements of paranormal and science fiction.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Read an Excerpt
A Blood Hunter Novel
By Nina Croft, Candace Havens, Marie Loggia
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
Saffira floated in a sea of time, aimless, drifting with the currents. Then the drug kicked in, sucking her under. It could have been hours or years or lifetimes before the world came into focus once more. Heat suffused her and she slipped into the familiar, sensuous warmth of the vision.
He lay behind her, his hard body stretched over hers, on her, in her. His long hair—a blend of black and gold—hung across her shoulder, tangling with the dark red ripples of her own.
"Saffira ..." he whispered her name against her skin, followed by words of love, words she'd never heard in real life. Then he thrust into her with a powerful flex of his hips and her body went up in flames. She pushed back against him and he chuckled.
"More?" His voice was like the silky softness of the sea tinged with the roughness of the rocky shore.
"Much more. Everything. I want everything ... all of you."
He kissed her throat as he withdrew, the drag of his hard flesh an exquisite pleasure.
"And do you love me, Saffira? Will you love me for eternity?"
As she opened her mouth to answer, the vision wavered. She wanted to scream, fight against the relentless pull of real life, as she was drawn inexorably away.
She pried open her heavy lashes. A tall, familiar figure loomed over her bed and inhuman violet eyes glowed down at her.
She scowled. "Damn it, Thorne. You woke me at the good bit. Again."
"You were twitching."
"Of course I was twitching. I was ..." Saffira dragged herself up in the bed and clamped her lips shut. She'd wanted to stay. Just once, she'd yearned to see that vision through to the end.
Was that too much to ask for?
The stroke of her dream-lover's hands lingered on her skin. If she closed her eyes, his words of love caressed her ears.
"Saffira!" Thorne flexed his black membranous wings, a sure sign he was agitated.
She sighed and shook her head to clear the last of the vision. "What is it, Thorne?"
"The Old Ones are restless. Someone has breached the Circle of Change."
"Someone has entered the Circle?" The muscles tightened in her gut and a sense of prescience shivered across her skin. "It's a sign. We have to go."
She jumped out of bed, found her boots on the floor, tugged them on, then pulled her hair into a ponytail so it wouldn't get in her face and blind her while they were flying. Thorne hadn't moved; he stood in the center of the room, arms crossed over his chest, wing tips vibrating. "A sign of what?"
Her brows drew together. "I don't know, but why don't we go and see?"
Not waiting for an answer, she strode past him out onto the ledge. The cave was cut into the rock face high above the Keep. She squinted into the distance; the Guardian mountains rose from the ochre plain, stark against the twilight. But nothing moved.
Thorne came up beside her. "Maybe I should go and investigate. Come back and get you if it's safe."
She cast him a look of disbelief. "Not a chance."
For a second she thought he might argue. Then an expression of resignation settled on his features. "You'll follow orders?"
She grinned. "Don't I always?"
He snorted but turned away and she climbed on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck. Thorne spread his wings and leaped from the ledge.
She loved this moment, as though they were plummeting towards the hard ground, about to crash ... then the first swoosh of his wings, and they were flying.
Her bodyguards fell into formation behind them and they headed toward the setting suns. Night was almost on them when they crossed the Guardian Mountains. Thorne slowed his wing beats, hovered about a hundred feet above the Circle of Change, and Saffira peered down on the scene below.
"How the hell did that get here without us seeing?" Thorne muttered.
A huge, shiny spaceship stood in the center of the basin. Sleek and black and beautiful. From her visions, Saffira knew the words that would be written on the side in flowing silver script. The Blood Hunter 2.
She gasped and then her breath stalled. The Wardens, who guarded the Circle of Change, had gotten here first. In the red glow from the setting suns she could make out a fierce fight around the ship. At least three bodies lay on the ground; two more were on their feet and fighting. All strangers by their clothing. Saffira's heart rate picked up until the blood was thundering in her veins. No strangers had come to this planet in over ten thousand years. They could only mean the start of the prophecy, and the Wardens were about to slaughter them all.
She tugged at Thorne's shirt. "Put me down."
"What? Right now? Might hurt a little."
"Ha-ha. Come on, Thorne, we have to save them."
"They're important. I'm not sure how or why, but I've seen them in my visions. They have a part to play."
Thorne exhaled loudly, but flew lower, finally alighting on a rocky outcrop about twenty feet from the ship. She slipped to the ground, and he launched himself back into the air. Two of her bodyguards landed and took up positions in front and behind her, while the others followed Thorne and headed for the fight. A niggle of worry prodded at her mind, but she ignored it. Thorne was ten thousand years old; he could hold his own against any of the Wardens.
But she couldn't see what was going on. Gritting her teeth, she nudged at the tall figure planted firmly in front of her. His wings were folded at his back, but all the same, he blocked her view.
"Shift, Rory, I want to see."
"It's too dangerous."
"The first time anything exciting has happened on this godforsaken planet and you expect me not to watch?"
"That's the point. We don't know who or what they are."
"Come on, Rory, this is really important." When he didn't move, she tried a different tack. "You know, I've seen myself watching this in a vision. I'm meant to watch this."
He glanced over his shoulder and grinned. "Liar. But good try."
She edged to the side and peered around him. Thorne and his men circled above the ship. Down on the ground, it was chaos. The strangers fought hand-to-hand with the Wardens. But humans couldn't stand against them for long. The Wardens were too strong and virtually indestructible.
A man in black was taking on one of the Wardens alone. Saffira held her breath, fingernails digging into her palms, as she waited for him to be annihilated. Instead, he wrenched back the Warden's head and ripped out his throat with his teeth—ugh. Her breath left her in a gasp as he heaved the body aside and leaped for the next one who flew down to fill the gap.
What was he? More than human, that was for sure. Still, there were too many. He couldn't win.
A second man was hidden behind the outstretched wings of a Warden. Now he lunged clear, drew a knife from his boot, and stabbed his attacker in the chest. The Warden didn't even flinch, just drew out the blade and tossed it away.
The man backed up into the light cast from the open doorway of the ship.
And everything stopped. For a brief flash of time, Saffira's world stood still.
She knew his face from her visions, though she'd never seen quite that expression on it before. Always, he'd been tender, sweet. This man appeared anything but sweet. The word vicious came to mind, but then, he was fighting for his life.
He was dressed in khaki pants tucked into combat boots, and a shirt stretched tight across a broad chest. His hair was loose around his shoulders and, even in the dim light, she could make out the gold strands woven with the midnight black. She remembered the feel of it, silky soft through her fingers.
She tugged at Rory. "Tell Thorne to hurry. To do something."
Kronus! What was he waiting for?
She forced herself to keep watching as the Warden stalked toward the man—her man. He backed up a little more, whirled around, and kicked the Warden in the balls so he collapsed to his knees.
"Ouch," Rory muttered.
The Warden didn't stay down for long, and the stranger was unarmed now.
Come on, Thorne.
At last he swooped down. She recognized the moment he took control of their minds—the Wardens went rigid and collapsed to the ground.
Within seconds, they were all down, only Thorne and his people still airborne.
The man ran a hand through his black and gold hair, picked up something from the ground, and shoved it in the holster at his waist. He remained watchful, splitting his attention between the downed Wardens and Thorne, who landed lightly beside the ship.
"Let's go." Rory spoke from beside her and she dragged her attention from the man of her dreams. "Thorne says it's safe to join them now."
Suddenly, she didn't want to go. What did you say to a man who had made beautiful love to you countless times, but who would presumably know nothing about it?
Be cool. Just be cool and try to forget that she knew the feel of him when he was deep inside her. Knew the taste of him, sharp and spicy, knew the musky scent as she lay in his arms after they had made love. A shiver ran through her, settling in that place between her thighs that had never been touched by another.
Rory wrapped his arms around her, picked her up, and flew her the short distance, putting her down on the ground close to Thorne. She edged even closer, trying not to look at the man. Her lover.
"What do you want to do?" Thorne asked her. "Perhaps we should kill them. They've violated the protocols."
"So have you," she replied. "Many times."
"Not this particular protocol." He nodded at the bodies on the ground.
She stared. Blinked a couple of times but nothing changed. Two of the unconscious strangers were women. "They're female," she said.
"Abominations," Thorne added.
"Don't be so melodramatic." But no doubt that was the reason the Wardens had tried to destroy them. According to the fifty-eighth protocol, females were not permitted to undergo the Change. She nodded toward the unconscious Wardens. "How long have we got?"
"Not long. They'll wake in minutes."
So they needed to get out of there fast. They had enough men to carry the strangers to safety, but a better idea occurred to her. She glanced at the spaceship as excitement bubbled up inside. It must have shown in her eyes.
"No," Thorne said. "You'll put yourself in their power. We cannot permit it."
"We can't let the Wardens destroy the ship. We need it, Thorne."
"What the fuck's going on?" A voice jerked her from her concentration on Thorne. A voice she knew intimately, though always before it had whispered words of love. "And who the fuck are you? And what the fuck are they?"
Turning her head slightly, she forced a blank expression and then swallowed. He was really here. And he was quite the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. But as she stared, she became aware of something else. There was a darkness to him. A deep-rooted rage flowed off him in waves so she had to fight the urge to step back and behind Thorne.
As he stalked toward her, Thorne growled low in his throat and stepped between them.
The man cast Thorne a disparaging glance but halted, and his gaze caught and held hers. He had slanted blue-green eyes, vivid against his golden skin. She saw nothing in his expression. No recognition. But why would there be?
She looked away, forcing her brain to function. "Does this thing fly?" she asked.
"Of course it fucking flies."
Hardly sweet nothings. At least he'd turned away from her—giving her a chance to pull herself together—and was now eyeing Thorne and his men as though he didn't quite trust them.
Not surprising. Time to be proactive. She was supposed to be the savior of the world. Maybe she should start acting like it. "Let's go."
"Go?" Thorne swung around to face her. "Go where?"
"Away from here."
Thorne took a step closer. "You are not stepping foot on that ... thing without your bodyguards."
She stood on tiptoes so she could speak quietly into his ear. "He's the one, Thorne."
"You know. The One."
Thorne glanced from her to the man who bristled with barely concealed aggression. "You're kidding."
"Nope." She cast him a wicked grin. "And you did tell me I needed to have sex." When she'd mentioned her dreams to Thorne, he'd decided it must be due to some sort of hormonal imbalance and offered to order one of the guards to have sex with her.
"I meant with someone of my choosing," he said.
She shook her head—he was so romantic. Then she turned to her bristling dream-lover. "You won't hurt me, will you Mr ...?"
"Starke. Devlin Starke."
Devlin. She rolled the name over in her mind. She liked it. It suited him.
"Well, you won't harm me if I board your ship? Will you ... Devlin?" Considering their intimate relationship, they should definitely be on first-name terms.
He looked her up and down and didn't appear particularly impressed. "I might not. But that guy over there—" He nodded to where the man in black crouched over a blond woman. He glanced up at Devlin's words and snarled, revealing the tip of one sharp white fang. His face was daubed crimson and his eyes reflected the color. "If his woman doesn't wake up soon, I'm guessing he's going to get real pissed off with someone. You might not want to be around when that happens."
No. She shivered. He hardly appeared human. "What is he?"
A flicker of amusement lightened his features. "Just hope you never find out, little girl."
Little girl? She wasn't that little. Though she supposed next to him and Thorne she must appear that way.
Forcing her fear down, she stepped closer. The blonde was still unconscious, but behind her a man with wings was already stirring. Judging by those wings, he must be older, stronger. "She'll be all right," she said. "Really, they just zapped her mind, but it won't be permanent."
Some of the tension drained from the dark man, and he nodded once. "Let's get the hell off this shithole. We've got what we came for. Time to leave." He picked up the blonde as though she weighed nothing and strode up the ramp to disappear inside the ship.
Devlin turned back to her. "Well, thanks for the rescue and be seeing you. Not."
He was going to walk away. Did he really feel nothing, no connection between them?
"Mr. Starke—Devlin—we saved you. The least you can do is take me with you."
Beside her Thorne bristled. "You are not going on board that ship alone."
She glanced at his face and took in his steadfast expression—he wasn't budging on this. She scowled but turned back to Devlin. "Okay, the least you can do is take us with you."
"Give me a reason why."
So we can make love?
So I can fulfill the prophecy and save my people?
Not really wanting to go with either of those options, she improvised. "The Wardens will wake up. And they'll kill us if they find us here." She took a step toward him and laid a hand on his arm. "Please."
"So why don't you and your friends just fly away?"
She resisted the urge to stamp her foot. "The others can. But Thorne is ..." she thought quickly, "... tired from saving you. It takes a lot of mental energy."
"I never lie," she lied.
"Take them," a voice said from behind her. She turned around. The winged stranger was awake. He rose up onto his knees then pushed himself to his feet. He had short dark hair, a handsome, lean face, and the violet eyes of the Others.
"You giving the orders now?" Devlin snapped.
"We should let them come. I want to talk to them. I want to find out about this place. These people. I want to know what they are. What we are." He turned and went to the other woman, the dark haired one who was still unconscious. "Tannis, sweetheart, wake up." When there was no reaction, he turned back to Saffira. "Will she be all right?"
"She's new," Thorne said. "It will affect her badly. But she'll come around."
The man nodded, picked her up and, holding her cradled against his chest, disappeared into the ship.
Saffira blew out her breath and then glanced around. There was just Devlin and her people left now. And the Wardens, unconscious on the ground.
Excerpted from Temporal Shift by Nina Croft, Candace Havens, Marie Loggia. Copyright © 2014 Nina Croft. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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
5 stars of Amazeballs. I loved this book so much. Love and I cannot recommend enough to lovers of Paranormal Romance. This story had the perfect blend of an alpha male that was not an A$$wipe, humor, hawt sizzling sex, and action, vampires, space adventure, and totally believable time travel. Really? When I opened this book, after the first chapter I ran and made some coffee. It was 2 am in the morning and I knew I would not be able to sleep until I devoured every single page. I stayed awake and I read. And it was worth it. The world was beautifully drawn. While I realized that this was book four in a series, I felt like I got enough background to understand the complexity of this amazing world Nina Croft has built. There were a few times though I thought my clarity would have been better if I had read the others in the series. My intrigue was stoked, so I now have ALL books in the series waiting to be devoured on my Ereader. This author has captivated me with the vivid drawing of her characters, the amazing world, and the uniqueness of how she crafted her story. I love our hero, sarcastic, but so charming. The blend was perfect, Devlin was the one that hooked me into the story, he was delicious, a really great hero that grew and showed his strength and tenacity. Our heroine Saffira was no crème puff either. I started out only liking her, but by the time the book ended I was in love with her.Loved the plot. Just loved it. Fast pace and intriguing. Another aspect that contributed to my enjoyment was the secondary characters. They added wit, humorous bantering, and intrigued to the general plot. I loved our vampire Rico. I am dying to read his story to see how he and Skylar got together. Rico’s book BREAK OUT was the first book I one clicked after I finished Temporal Shift. Highly recommend.
WOW! Time-mancers, space ships, worm holes, black holes, vampires, winged creatures and more! It sounds like a lot to take in but it all fit. This is a fantastic story. Very well written and put together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. There was never a dull moment. Nina Croft is an amazing author and I look forward to reading more from her. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Devlin Starke lives for revenge. He will kill those who wiped out his family. Suddenly he finds his world turned upside down when he meets an idealistic time-mancer who believes they are fated to be together. Saffira needs the Blood Hunter 2 and her crew to save earth and her people. Can she convince them? Saffira is an amazing character. She's feisty, determined and dedicated to her goal. Devlin doesn't want to be involved, but her desire attracts him. Passion and danger surround them. Captain Tannis and her crew add to the tension. I never knew what would happen next. What an intriguing plot! Nina Croft wrote an entertaining and solid story that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't stop reading, I had to know what happened. Temporal Shift is filled with great dialogue and characters. Best of all Blood Hunter is not done yet. There is more to come.
Caught between destiny and desire... After diving into a black hole in search of the source of Meridian, the key to immortality, the crew of the Blood Hunter finds themselves stranded in an alternate universe. Engineer Devlin Stark doesn't want immortality. He just wants to live long enough to get his revenge on the man who murdered his brother. Now, he's trapped in a strange world with a crazy woman who claims he's fated to be her lover. Saffira Lourdes has a destiny: to save humanity and lead her exiled people to the Promised Land. Haunted by visions of the past and future, she's been sustained through the years by a dream lover. Unfortunately, Devlin doesn't believe in fate. But it's obvious there's a connection between them, one that will soon be tested by the limits of time and space. Saffira is about to make the crew of the Blood Hunter an offer they'll find impossible to refuse. They're heading back to Earth, and they're going back in time... Review: This book is freaking AWESOME! I don't even know where to begin, I just loved it. This sweeping story of space and time travel just made me so happy when I read it, I am really at a loss for words and to give this story a review it deserves. If you grew up on science fiction and Star Wars movies, like I did this space opera is for you! I thought the author did an amazing job of weaving all the elements of the story into a work that had me engrossed and really had no idea what was coming next. When I picked up this story for review, I had no idea that it was actually in a series. The beginning of the story does go through a lot of past occurrences, but honestly I did not feel lost. I think the author did a great job explaining things for us newbies. I liked all the characters and thought how they interacted with each other was at times exciting, funny and intense. I will definitely look up the other stories and read them. I was not sure what to make of Saffira at first, I am sure just like Devlin did. You have this young girl who can see the future and has been told since she was born that she is going to save the world. She is a whole lot of naive, but is strong and knows that her and Devlin are meant to be. She has this whole Oliva Newton-John thing going on where she is Sandra Dee in the first part of the and Sandy in the second part. Devlin on the other hand is not drinking the kool-aid and even though he very attracted to her he tries to keep her at arms length. Devlin kind of reminds me as a Harrison Ford/Han Solo kind of character, rogue-ish, hard and at times charming. Without giving anything away, when Saffira and Devlin come back together and Saffira has changed, I can see why after what she has been through, but I felt so bad for her. They really are a great pair and one of my favorite couples this year! Hopefully, I have not rambled so much as to drive you away from the book. It really is a great book and I did not want to give away to plot too much. The ending is really exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. Just read it! 5Stars
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Ms. croft said this book is part of the Blood Hunter seriesbut could be read as a standlone. I can tell you that it is true; you really can read it as a standalone. It took a couple of chapters to get the cast of characters straight in my head but I really was able to get into the world. The main characters, Saffira and Devlin, have fantastic chemistry and take a very interesting and surprising journey through space and time. There were very unique plot twists that kept me guessing until the end. If you are looking for a paranormal romance that has a sci-fi bent, this is a safe bet. Now I need to go back and read the first three!
is part of a series.is about time travel -time hopping. -Saffria and Devlin are a good couple who gives off a lot of heat. ****A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review**** This is a time-travel romance with a lot of time hopping. It was , at times, very confusing. his book is part of the Blood Hunter series and the author stated that it could be read as a standalone. I will tell you that I think you do need to read the other books to be able to understand this book/story better. After diving into a black hole in search of the source of Meridian, the key to immortality, the crew of the Blood Hunter finds themselves completely stuck in an alternate universe. Saffira has always known her karma, her kismet was to end up saving humanity and she's always counted on that Devlin is her one true love. The problem is, they have never met and Devlin has other ideas involving avenging his brother’s murder. There are a lot of twists and turns that it made this a very thrilling, frantic read but take into account the confusions I had at the start of reading this book and at times when reading there is the lingering confusion and that detracts from how I would rate this book, but I would urge readers who have read the other books, then maybe you would not be as confused as I am for I have not read those other books in the series. Overall the heat and connection between Saffria and Devlin was this book’s saving grave. My rating: 4.2 stars ****
This book is a good read. Saffira and Devlin story is sometimes dreams come true and you have eternity together to figure it out.
Very good read. Had everything that I like - romance, time travel, sci-fi. I would recommend the other books in the series. Story line was good - characters were well developed . My favorite are Rico and Tannis.
This was the first time I read from this author and it did not disappoint. I really enjoyed to read this. I found out it was a serie but I could read it without the other books. I will definitely check out the other books from Nina Croft!