We hope you enjoy this excerpt of Blood and Blade by Lauren Dane, out 12/30
“Here’s a thought,” Rowan said while she took in her very grumpy spouse.
He’d just touched down in their backyard and had sauntered into the house all smooth and debonair but the line between his eyes and the set of his mouth told of his ruffled feathers.
Her super competitive, hyper achieving alpha Vampire had been used to being the best at everything he tried for so long, he was decidedly averse to anything else. His inability to access what had always been a unique and powerful Vampiric gift was eating away at him.
It was time to get this situation in hand before she broke furniture over his increasingly grumpy head because she rather liked fucking him but being crosswise with him—in truth seeing him distressed—was uncomfortable for her.
Ugh. She was sappy now. That was what love got you.
“This never ends well for me,” he grumbled. Rowan rolled her eyes at him. So spoiled. “Listening to me always ends well for you. It’s when you don’t that there’s a problem. So. Back to my idea so we can remedy that. Guess who I ran into earlier tonight?”
“I need a cup of tea for this, I can tell,” he muttered as he started toward the kitchen of their beautiful new home complete with a freaking butler slash house manager and his wife, a fantastic cook and housekeeper.
“Elisabeth, Clive would like a cup of tea,” Rowan called out.
“Of course he would. And who wouldn’t after a long night of work?” Elisabeth replied as they entered her domain. “There’s dinner soon but the teapot is already out on the table there for after you’ve changed your clothes.”
Clive looked down at himself and corrected his trajectory, heading to the side of the house their bedrooms were located in. His was a light tight vault where he spent his daylight hours. Not in a coffin or anything like that—though she teased him about it from time to time. A super luxurious bed with one of those mattresses that was perfection naturally. He liked his comforts, did her Scion.
They shared a communal sitting room connecting her bedroom to his. The space was super comfortable, sporting a television that tucked away into a cabinet and a fireplace. It was a room she could easily see them spending those hours before sunrise together just watching movies.
The whole setup was custom made for her. He paid attention to what she wanted. What she needed. And he made it happen. Sure he was grumpy and a control freak, but what Vampire wasn’t a control freak? No one in the world understood her the way he did. No one saw all her jagged edges, her flaws, her scars and hang-ups and accepted her so openly. Even covetously. He didn’t just look at her; he saw her.
She still wasn’t ready for it sometimes. It left her befuddled and anxious and off balance. But less and less the longer they were together. They fit and she accepted it. A gift.
Her pleased musings about how their new home was something he’d done for her came to a screeching halt when Clive made a surprised then annoyed sound.
“What the bloody hell is that?”
It wasn’t like she’d eaten nachos in his bed or anything so she stepped forward, curious as to whatever he was so worked up over.
Star lay on his bed. Legs up in the air, head tilted to see the door, her tongue hanging out the side of her widely grinning mouth.
“We talked about you waiting until the time was right to meet your new dad,” Rowan said as she pushed past her husband. “Your belly is very nice. Don’t tell anyone or I’ll deny it,” she added in a whisper before giving Star a belly rub.
“Rowan. What have you done?” Clive asked through a jaw clenched tight.
“Get changed and we’ll talk about all sorts of things. There’s tea and dinner waiting.” She pointed at Star and then the floor. Star snorted but rolled and hopped down.
“Tell me these things as I change from this suit.”
Normally, if he’d been that arrogant she’d have flipped him off and left the room. But she had a lot to tell him and talk him into, so it paid to follow him into his closet and at least pretend to be slightly reasonable.
“So, back to what I was saying when you first got home.”
He hung his tie carefully before he shot her a look. “Not that. The thing that got fur on my bed. That living thing.”
Star trotted in like Rowan hadn’t just put her out in the hall. She paused to sit at Rowan’s feet and stare up at Clive with that same grin she’d had earlier.
“Well. So this is Star. She’s sort of like my guide or keeper or something like that. A familiar? Whatever she is, she’s a magic dog.”
Brigid warmed Rowan’s belly. The Goddess approved of Star and already had protective feelings over her.
“You can’t just bring a dog home. We’re not dog people.”
“I bet you had dogs when you were galloping around England rutting and looking gorgeous and being rich.”
He smirked at her after his head popped out of the neck of his sweater. “Don’t think I’m unaware that you’re flattering me. Yes, I did have dogs at one time. But that was a few centuries ago. They did not get on the furniture.”
“Seems to me, it’s time to switch it up now that we’ve got electricity and running water.”
He made another annoyed sound and she had to bury her snicker.
“Where did you get this dog? You’ve avoided that answer twice now.”
He glared at her after pulling on jeans she knew were buttery soft. Rowan shoved her hands in her pockets to keep from stroking his butt.
“Quick version. I had a visit with Carl today. He brought Star to me then. And told me a bunch of stuff that’ll take a while to unfold.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose and she went to him, going up on her toes to move his hand aside and kiss that spot. Goddess, he was adorable when he was frustrated with her.
“For god’s sake, Rowan, we’ve only been back in Las Vegas for two days. I leave you alone for a moment and you come home with an animal.”
She took his hand, tugging him out toward the kitchen. “Not a drop of blood on me though. Which is pretty snazzy, right? Don’t I get credit for that? Come on. Tea and food and explanations.”
“I’m positive I’m going to regret this,” he muttered and she gave in to laughter.
“You are not.”
About the Book
On-Sale Date: December 30, 2019
Book Description: Rowan Summerwaite is ready to finish what she started in Blood and Blade, the next installment in the Goddess with a Blade series by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Dane.
It’s been only days since Rowan and her friends eliminated the immediate threat to magic users and Vampires, but they’re already back on the hunt. Rowan’s out for vengeance, and she’s never been more driven—or angry. But she’s up against a being stronger than any she’s ever fought. To bring it down she’ll need more than the powers the goddess Brigid gave her…
This time she’ll need her friends, too.
She knows her husband will always have her back. As an ancient Vampire and Scion of North America, Clive has more clout and dominance than almost anyone. Rowan’s small but trusted inner circle insist they’ll join her in the thick of the battle, even as she argues it’s too dangerous for them. She’s also got a new dog. Familiar. Whatever. Star is a magical being put in Rowan’s path to help and protect her.
The hunt for ancient evil takes Rowan and her team to London and back to Las Vegas, bringing with them an unexpected alliance. Fortified by their rage, grief and determination, Rowan and her friends will stop at nothing when they track their enemy to the high desert in a final, deadly showdown.
About the Author
The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time so her husband took her comments about “giving that writing thing a serious go” to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it before it gave up the ghost. Even better, she sold that book and never looked back.
Today Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over sixty novels and novellas across several genres.