What was supposed to be a celebration of life turns into a festival of fear…
Natalie Devonshire is nervous about attending the invitation only, annual Beltane feast. She's heard it can be wild and naughty and though intrigued, she plans only to observe. That is, until she meets handsome William Zapata, who convinces her that trying something new can be as fun as it is daring.
William's been coming to this festival for several years, for one reason only—to spend time with his sometime lover. When he meets Natalie outside the gates, his interest is immediate. He's drawn to her, and as backward as this celebration makes their introductions, his intention is to keep seeing her long after the festival ends.
Not all is a bed of roses, however. Some attendees see the festival as a way to meet needs of a darker nature. Beltane not only has a history rich in fertility and life, but also has historical ties with the occult. This includes human sacrifice and all the necessary preparations are in order. When people begin to disappear and death explodes around the celebrants, panic ensues.
Trapped and confused, can Natalie and William find out who is behind the destruction of this celebration and stop the spiralling events before they become part of the sacrifice themselves? And when all is said and done, will the attraction between them be strong enough to last, or will they discover their interest was fleeting and best left burning with the fires?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of orgies, gay/lesbian intimacies, anal sex, public sex, the occult, blood and murder. Not for the faint of heart.
|Publisher:||Totally Entwined Group Ltd|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
The challenge of finding and holding onto this love is what drives Ayla in her fiction. She likes stories that strip love—among other things—down to the skin and test the attachment and beliefs of the participants. Sometimes that test can come in the form of multiple partners, overcoming a desperate fear or even being sexually inventive.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Ayla Ruse, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.
Excerpt From: The Fires of Beltane
Natalie Devonshire pulled her red cloak tight around her body and chewed her lower lip. People mingled around her, wearing red, blue, white or green cloaks. They talked loudly, animated and excited about the evening ahead. She knew a few faces in passing, but her best friend had abandoned her a few minutes ago, having said, "I have to get ready, Natalie. Listen to be called. You’ll be fine and I’ll see you inside."
Second thoughts beat through her head, and she wondered how long it’d take her to trudge across the wide field back to the roomy farmhouse-turned B&B she’d stayed in the night before. She shook her head, knowing she couldn’t reach the B&B before nightfall. With no lights or moon to guide her way, it’d be her luck that she’d find herself lost and halfway to Canada. "Lord, I don’t know why I let Sonya talk me into this. I shouldn’t be here."
"Why would you say a thing like that?" asked a deep voice from behind her.
Startled, Natalie turned and her eyes went wide before she schooled her features into what she hoped passed as mild curiosity. A very attractive man—somewhere around six feet to her five and a half—stood near her shoulder, watching her with open interest. He smiled and, as if on cue, a cool evening breeze blew short locks of dark brown hair across his brow.
With her momentarily speechless, he continued as she tried her best not to ogle him. "If you hadn’t come, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what a pleasure it is to meet you." He stuck out a large, rough-worked hand. "Name’s William Zapata."
"Hi. I’m Natalie Devonshire."
"This your first time?" he asked, indicating with his arm the group surrounding them.
"Am I that obvious?"
He grinned. "A little. But this is my fourth time coming and I’ve never seen your face around here before. Do you go to the University of Nebraska?"
"Yes. I’m about to receive my Master’s in Classic Roman history."
His eyes lit up. "Really? I got my Master’s last year in Greek history. Amazing we haven’t met before now."
"It is," she agreed. "So, do you work at the University?"
He shook his head. "No, I’m a regular Joe right now, saving up to go to Greece for a PhD program there."
It was Natalie’s turn to be impressed. "Wow. I hope that goes well for you."
William’s dark green cloak fastened at each shoulder, but his confidence in wearing the garment far eclipsed hers. He stood with his arms by his sides—not crossed and worried about the small breezes catching the bottom of the cloak and flipping it open, like her. "Why did you say you didn’t want to be here?" he asked. "Wait, if you’re not a first year, you’re probably with someone, aren’t you?"
"Yes. I came with my best friend, Sonya Greene. She’s invited me for years, and this is the first time I’ve had the chance to come. She told me a little of what to expect, but I don’t know. This may not be my thing."
"Sonya... I’m pretty sure I know who she is. She’s takes Professor Whitlock’s classes, doesn’t she?"
"Isn’t she the May Queen tonight?"
"Yes, that’s why she’s not here now, leaving me to talk myself into backing out. If she were here she’d be busy telling me why I should go in."
He chuckled. "I can do that, and don’t worry—it’s okay to be nervous. I was, too, my first time. I think everyone who comes to one of Whitlock’s festivals is a little nervous at first. I mean, the embodiment of Beltane is a very ancient, primal and sometimes raw experience. In our current civility, we tend to shun such apparent chaos, when in reality, this is an event that calls to our buried natural tendencies."
"Okay. Wow, Mr Zapata," she teased. "You sound like an authority. I thought your proficiency was on Greece."