Available April 15
Lori Lawrick runs to her aunt’s bed and breakfast after she realizes the man she’s been dating is a murderer. There she meets Bryan MacLauchland. He fascinates her and she is instantly drawn to him.
Byron hides a secret. He is a dragon who crossed worlds centuries ago and landed here on Earth. He also can be a teapot, forced to provide tea to any mortal who asks.
The Bed and Breakfast Dragon’s Roost Inn sits at the nexus of worlds, and Byron is one of the forces guarding it from evil. Lori’s former boyfriend Andrew is actually a wizard intent on taking over or destroying the Inn, and he wishes to open portals to other worlds in order to gain more power. He had planned on using Lori to achieve those goals.
Byron is wounded defending the Inn, and Lori must save his life. While doing so, she discovers that she is a powerful witch, able to close portals, a skill few others possess. Together Lori and Byron fight to keep the Inn safe and to understand this love growing between them.
Byron crossed his arms against his broad chest. His muscles stood out in stark relief in a body so perfect, Michelangelo could have used him as an ideal. There would be no finger-walking between belt and neck now. Byron’s laughter rang around the landing.
“Run back downstairs to your aunt, maybe she can protect you from me, but I doubt it.”
He grabbed her sweater in his fist, dragged her closer until his lips were inches from hers. “Then return to your lover. You won’t be welcomed here again. This
“Byron, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He released her, but then immediately thought better of it, for he grasped her again, pulled her to him, matched his lips to hers with a violence that was not painful, only abrupt and shockingly sexual. Her body responded to his, instantly with a sharp, incredibly thorough arousal. She would melt there, at his feet, but first she wanted the feel of him, in her, over her, through her. She begged for completion of the building explosion his kiss had ignited.
Lori desired him enough to plead. “I want you.”
“Oh, yes,” Byron laughed, large and aroused and very powerful. “I have no doubt of that. But I do not play pawn to a mortal wizard.”
“You…” words failed her. She groped her hands outstretched, for she could not understand his reaction, but she certainly could her own. She wanted him with a desperation which bordered on insanity. “We made love the other night, in my dreams.”
“Yes.” He would not deny it and the answer was growled out on a snarl. “And that is all you shall have from me. I had plans for last night, to complete what we both yearned for, but that was before I found out where your loyalties lie.”
“I do not work for Andrew, and I do not love him. I am terrified of him.”
“You should be terrified. When he finds out how you have let him down, there will be another sacrifice in his attic room. Your aunt will grieve, but I will laugh.”
“Byron, please, don’t make the mistake to believe that I serve Andrew. I didn’t know what love was until I tasted your kiss.”
He nodded, and on one level looked relieved. “In this house the kitchen is the best place to talk, although,” and here his eyes took on a devilish gleam, “I suppose we could …eventually…have a lovely discussion in your bedroom.”
Lori felt her face flush and just for a second experienced heart palpitations. Yes, that was an option she had definite plans of exploring. But not at the moment. She had another goal in sight. “I look forward to that—“ then she made herself clear, “at another time.”
She lowered her lashes, hoped he read invitation, not cowardice before she raised them again, looked him in the eyes. When had he gotten so tall, or had she shrunk?
“I am not ready to go back down. I’ve come such a long way. I would like to see what’s behind that door.”
“Pandora,” Byron said, with a casual amusement, “learned not all boxes should be opened.”
Lori felt her own power. “Pandora also learned that once a box has been opened, shutting it too quickly, before it is fully investigated, is perhaps even worse than opening the box in the first place.”
He bowed again, this time a shade deeper, a touch more respectful. Still he kept his head raised, his eyes locked on her. “But, it would have been better in the long run if she hadn’t opened the box at all,” he said.
“For her,” Lori answered, a distinction which he could not misinterpret.
“You’ll have to take my advice on this,” Byron said, his tolerance slipping a notch, “some things are best left alone.”
Lori stepped closer to him, felt the heat radiating off him—fires burning deep within him. She thought again of the huge bed she had slept in alone. “Step aside, or are there things chained in the attic as well?”
“No.” He shook his head, but his next words carried the tightness of a threat. “The monster which roams this attic is free to do as he wants. You should know that. This is his lair and he has dominion. You will have no power here.”
She didn’t understand, but then, she didn’t want to understand. She wanted, no she anticipated, being foolhardy.
“Step aside.” This time she made it a command.
But Byron had a warning of his own. “Remember what I said: I have no soul, so I will not, cannot regret anything which happens to you inside. And this is my domain. To a large degree the laws of Earth do not exist here.”
Lori laughed but it was forced, to cover an increasing nervousness. “Is there a monster?” she asked, but the question he answered was significantly different.
“I am a monster,” Byron said. Then he stepped aside and opened the door.