I promised more snippets and contests for WICKED BITE, and I’m here to deliver! First up, a new Arc (advance reading copy) contest for WICKED BITE just went live on Goodreads. For this contest, five lucky winners from the US and/or Canada will receive a signed early copy. See below for details:
Goodreads Book Giveaway
Giveaway ends December 06, 2019.
Next up, the new scene snippet! Before we get to that, allow me a moment of shameless glee: Kirkus gave WICKED BITE a starred review and had this to say: “Frost’s second Night Rebel title is a fierce and satisfying sequel, brilliantly fleshing out two vibrant characters in ways that feature their surface power and irreverent attitudes but also spotlight the internal courage and nobility which make them perfect for each other. The hurtling plot and outstanding worldbuilding frame a poignant, character-driven romance that explores unconditional love and self-acceptance. The book stands alone, but reading the first title is recommended. A breathtaking paranormal romance.”
*happy dances* Thank you, Kirkus! And now, the new scene snippet. I’ve already posted the prologue, first three chapters, and another scene snippet, so if you haven’t read those yet, they’re HERE. Also, USUAL SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read Shades of Wicked, you WILL get spoiled on some plot points from the below snippet. For context, this scene is cut from Chapter 8 in WICKED BITE, and Veritas starts out maudlin because she’s still trying to stay away from Ian for his own good. Ian, no surprise, is having none of that, especially since Veritas is also still refusing to tell him what he can’t remember. Disclaimers and spoiler warnings aside, enjoy :).
WICKED BITE, copyright Jeaniene Frost
“There’s nothing crueler than time,” I murmured. “It stretches when you’re in pain, flies away if you’re happy, and crushes you when you remember all the years that are now gone.”
Ian seemed surprised by the change of subject. Then, his gaze became hooded. “True. And every so often, time can also be stolen from you. It was from me, and I won’t stop until I’ve recovered every bit of it.”
I let out a short laugh. “Then those ‘migraines’ you’re so dismissive of will be the least of your problems. You don’t want to know everything you’ve forgotten, but I will tell you this—Dagon has no claim on your soul any longer. It’s yours again.”
His brows rose. “Demon deals are unbreakable unless the demon dies. Are you saying that Dagon is dead?”
“I wish,” I said with feeling. Then I retreated into my icy Law Guardian persona. “Dagon’s deal with you has been nullified. The details are unimportant. What is important is that you’re free, so take your freedom and go.”
His gaze gleamed with green highlights. “There are many words I’d use to describe marriage. ‘Free’ isn’t one of them.”
“Whose fault is that?” I snapped, before composing myself again. “I have no intention of asserting my rights over you. I’m sure you feel the same way about me. That makes our marriage nothing more than an unfortunate technicality.”
He tapped his chin. “Not sure I agree. I wanted to rip Xun Guan’s head off over how she incessantly eye-humped you. The more the merrier, I usually say with lovers, but I seem to be jealous and possessive over you.”
I covered my shock at that with more chilly deflection. “What makes you think we were lovers?”
His grin was everything that made Ian unforgettable. “Oh, I have many of those memories.” Then his voice deepened. “Though sometimes, I wonder if they’re real.”
“Why?” I shouldn’t have asked. Why had I? Maybe Mencheres’s truth spell on me from earlier hadn’t worn off yet.
He came nearer, brushing my arms with the lightest of strokes. It still caused shivers to race over me. “Because nothing that good could possibly be real,” he murmured, and bent his head.
I turned away before his mouth touched mine. Then I pushed him back. Doing both took all of my strength.
“Your memories are wrong,” I said, proving Mencheres’s spell was no longer affecting me as that was a lie. So was what I said next. “During our brief alliance, yes, we had sex to break up the monotony of laying out our trap for Dagon, but it was nothing exceptional. Once we’d both gotten what we wanted from Dagon, we were glad to part ways with each other.”
Ian’s brows had risen at the start of my heartless rendition. By the end of it, they were almost in his hairline. Then he burst out laughing.
“What’s so amusing?” I asked in my chilliest voice.
“You,” he said, still chuckling. “Knew you must fancy me to convince Crispin to lie his arse off to protect me from a demon I can’t remember, but I didn’t realize this.”
He gave me a sunny smile. “You’re madly in love with me.”
He waved away my gasp. “Nothing to be ashamed of. You’re in the company of multitudes, though none of them got me to the proverbial altar the way you did. Have I mentioned how impressive that was? Blimey, talk about making the impossible a reality.”
Outrage had me sputtering. “You are such an ass—”
“Can’t blame it on the Red Dragon, either,” he went on as if I hadn’t spoken. “I’ve been high on that several times, yet never woken up with a wife before. Means I must have wanted to marry you, too, shocking though the thought may be.”
“Your arrogance is astounding—”
“Then again, I do know you’re mine,” he continued, eyes gleaming now. “Did I tell you I sometimes feel things before they happen? Ah, I can see from your expression that I did. Imagine my surprise when I felt that you were mine the first time I saw you. Felt it again with every memory I had of you. Felt it when you were lying your arse off to the council about me, too, and I really felt it when I walked into your hotel room and breathed in your true scent.” He came close, letting me see him inhale again. “Knocked me right off my feet,” he murmured. “’Course, that also could have been the new memory it elicited, but either way, I know you’re mine. And so do you.”
“Bullshit,” I said with all the emotion I was denying.
Ian only smiled. “Keep pretending, then. I don’t need you to admit what you feel in order for you to help me recover what I’ve lost. You can show me.”
I regained enough control to ask, “How will I show you?”
“Being near you has already inspired one new memory. I expect more will come the longer we’re together.” His gaze turned knowing. “Did you realize that? Is that the other reason you’ve tried so hard to avoid me?”
“No.” But now that I did know, it would be.
If Ian remembered everything, he’d never let me pay the price for his resurrection alone. His sense of honor would demand that he hunt down the other souls along with me, danger be damned. I had to get away from him before that happened. But now that he could teleport, how could I escape him?
Of course. Ian was formidable, but he did have one rather large weakness.
I came toward him and dropped my glamour. My skirt suit was already ripped from the ghoul fight and being buried alive, so my real curves almost overflowed the torn fabric, now too tight. His gaze raked me from the top of my streaked, silvery hair all the way to my feet, and his nostrils flared when he caught my real scent.
“There you are,” he said in a throaty voice.
“Here I am,” I agreed softly.
Then I put my arms around him, steeling myself not to get lost in the feel of him. He pulled me close, his body flush against mine. Every nerve ending I had caught fire. So much for me maintaining control. Still, I couldn’t stop now. I tilted my head back and parted my lips, an invitation for him to kiss me.
His eyes glowed emerald as he took me up on it.