The assassin and the angel. Can her song redeem his soul?
Miranda Devalande had long since given up on her dreams of a happy life. Forced to sing at mob boss Slick Sal's seedy nightclub to cover her brother's rising gambling debts, she survives from day to day as a caged bird. With each new bad bet by her wayward brother, her hope of finding a way free of her "contract" fades. Until a mysterious stranger arrives at the club and turns her whole life upside down...
Danger has always swirled around reluctant Guardian Warrior Sebastian Lambert. Trained as an assassin and recruited out of desperation, he now battles the evils of power-hungry Rogues in Chicago. When his friend and fellow Guardian Viktor Arnhart drags him into a nightclub, he would have never imagined to find an angel at the mic.
Caught between his desire to keep Miranda safe and his drive to hold her close, Bastian must walk the line between the light of a beautiful songstress and the dark of his perilous past even as dangerous forces threaten to destroy them both. Will he open his heart to her in time, or will she fall prey to her soulless fate?
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Sloppy snow crunched under Miranda’s boots and the frosty wind off Lake Michigan bit through her threadbare woolen coat, freezing her breath before it even left her lungs. She managed two steps toward the street before a shadow darkened the dingy white at her feet.
“Boss wants to see you now.” The hulking gorilla in the black trench hovered over her, his short phrase laced with an unspoken threat of violent repercussions. Yet tonight she was in no mood to be ordered into obedience like some well-trained dog.
“I’m off the clock. I will talk to him tomorrow.” Her attempt to sidestep the man did not meet with success. He dug his fingers into the meat of her bicep and yanked her to a sudden stop. Her gaze shot up; the muddied brown eyes above her regarded her with open disdain and no room for debate.
“Boss says now.”
Her heart began to pound as she frantically searched for a way out. “I’ve had a long night. I’m tired and I want to go home.”
Salvation came in the form of a deep and growling voice that flowed over her shoulders and a forceful physical presence at her back. “I believe you have your answer, signore.”
She struggled to keep her gaze forward, the urge to sneak a peek behind her powerful and compelling. The voice was harsh and gravelly, drawing to mind images of a giant bear rudely awakened and none too pleased about the prospect. His tone was commanding and undeniable.
Her face stared intently at the goon sent to retrieve her, watching as the snarl grew then melted, repugnance replaced by apprehension. The man’s eyes lost focus, a frown pulling his thick brows together in confusion.
Again, that powerful voice rolled over her shoulders. “I think it would be best if you got back into your car and told your boss that you were unable to catch her before she went home for the night.”
She fully expected a brawl to break out around her. However, what she did see was a thousand times more frightening. Sal’s lackey let go of her arm and turned away, heading toward the black Mercedes on the curb. Her jaw hung agape as the man simply drove away. Just like that.
This time, curiosity outweighed her sense of self-preservation. She had to see what kind of man could order around the meatheads that served as muscle for Francciolli. She spun around, eager to get a better look at her timely shadow.
The fierce scowl aimed at the receding lights softened as he shifted his whiskey eyes to meet hers. His face was cut straight from some ancient battlefield. A strong, square jaw dusted with the day’s stubble supported defined cheekbones chiseled out of the most intriguing shade of sun-kissed marble. A faded scar ringing his throat peeked from under the collar of his expensive-looking black sweater, further cementing her opinion of his true nature. Another jagged pale line trailed from the center of his left eyebrow to terminate somewhere in the thick hair.
“Are you all right?” His voice rumbled low, gravelly and intoxicating.
His amber eyes remained passively attentive as her gaze roamed across his face. Her head bobbed slowly as his words wove their way into her ears between the rapid beats of her heart. He was alpha male all the way, a predator who had seen the deadlier side of life and come out on the winning side. She wondered how many bodies he had crawled over to stand so casually before her on this cold night, one hand tucked into the front pocket of his black slacks.
The more she thought about it, the more she realized she didn’t care.
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.
A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.
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