That said, yes, there's a new release!!!
I'm so proud of this book. Previously published with Ellora's Cave Blush/Cerridwen Press as Rhiannon's Pride, it's taken a little work to revise and revamp it, not only with a new title Pride, but with more detail, more action, more of a paranormal feel without losing the historical setting, the Italian Renaissance. Please note, that it's the second of a multi-book series. And, though four came out through Cerridwen Press/Blush, plans are in the works for several more stories.
As with Persuasion, available now at Amazon, Kobo, Nook B&N, iBooks, and Scribd, Pride is a historical and every attempt was made to be certain that proper address, detail, words, and fashion is correct, though because The Abcynians are an ancient race they tend to be more advanced than their human counterparts about Florence, England, and Europe.
Also, characters from Persuasion return in Pride. While Dante and Rhiannon's story unfolds, their romance is unique to them, but as a reader, you may find reading Book I helpful. Both are set at reasonable prices and easy to download to your favorite reading device.
Link to Pride, The Abcynians Book II
For Nook B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd follow an easy link: books2read.com/u/mVZ7AA
For Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0744196VX
To learn more, take a look at the blurb and a short excerpt!
They have lived for centuries. An ancient, secretive race of were-panthers faced with near extinction. To assure their survival they must conceal their identities and abilities, while protecting mankind from an unimaginable, primordial evil.
Pride: The Abcynians, Book II
Plagued by headaches and memory loss after a life-threatening injury, Rhiannon has spent years confined behind the walls of a decrepit castle. When a loathsome earl attempts to earn her favor with an extravagant painting, she is inexplicably drawn to its depiction of an ancient, mythical race. Believing the Florentine artist could be the key to unlocking her past, she and her maid escape, hoping to enlist his aid. Upon reaching the Piazza della Signoria months later, she is unaware that the handsomest man amongst the lavish merchants is the one she seeks.
Dante Luciano is considered the most renowned artist of his time. His patrons are wealthy and powerful. His charm and prowess with women legendary. Yet, as the adopted son of the king of his kind, he must guard his secrets. For he possesses the heart and soul of a panthera prince, therefore, able to shift into a lion. Taken by the discovery of a rare Abcynian female nearby, he recognizes her as his destined mate. Discovering Rhiannon is stricken with debilitating pain, he takes her home, providing the remedies, protection, and knowledge she needs to survive.While she heals, they fall in love, beginning to plan a future together. However, when her memory returns, imminent danger looms. It’ll take all of Dante’s abilities and the Abcynians to save Rhiannon from a vicious, beastly foe.
In the following excerpt, Dante meets Rhiannon for the first time!
Dante Luciano searched the crowded piazza for Paolo Arrigo. Fortunately, he had already caught the boy’s scent.
Spotting his youngest apprentice hiding near a prosperous English merchant, he hurried through the crowd. “Paolo, there you are. It is good that I have found you,” he greeted in English so the man would not misunderstand his intent. “Why did you run?”
“Master,” Paolo grumbled, looking away as Dante stared down at him. “I spilled blue powder. I did not mean to make you angry. I’d hoped to replace it.”
Dante placed his hand on Paolo’s stooped shoulder, guiding the boy away from the merchant, who’d taken notice of their conversation.
“Accidents occur,” Dante said. “Next time do your best. It is all I require of you.”
“It was lapis lazuli, not azurite, Master Luciano,” Paolo confessed.
“The loss of powder matters less to me than the loss of an apprentice. You’ve great promise.”
“Are you certain? I will return home, if you wish.”
Studying Paolo’s tiny body, Dante could not let the boy come to harm. “There is a place for you in my workshop. I’d like you to stay.” He meant to say more, but something new and interesting caught his other half’s notice. Underneath his tunic, his skin warmed, responding to whatever it was that lay just beyond his reach.
Lifting his head, he looked about, inhaling a woman’s scent that was both different to him and familiar, hinting she may be one of his own kind. The piazza was filled with signori, merchants, and travelers seeking a glimpse at the artwork commissioned by Florence’s prominent leaders.
“Paolo, return to the workshop. I will speak with you later.”
The boy obeyed, allowing Dante to concentrate on searching the piazza. Trusting his superior sense of smell, he ignored the heavy perfumes and gum arabic Florentine women tended to use in their hair. This woman’s scent was appealing to the man and the panthera leo that he was.
As he progressed toward the Palazzo Vecchio, his gaze raked the crowd, alighting upon the back of an Englishwoman. Her cassia and honeyed scent became stronger, drawing him to a sudden halt.
The mark etched upon his chest became as hot as embers, telling him much. She was so much more than an Englishwoman. Si, she was Abcynian. And, she well could be his.
Unlike Florentine women and servants who wore fabrics conveying their household’s status, she wore a faded brown dress with a linen apron. Her pale blonde hair was confined beneath a plain linen coif. How long would her tresses be, he wondered?
Incredibly, she was much taller than the other women in the courtyard. What worried him most right then was that she appeared too thin and he sensed she’d either been ill or she’d gone hungry too long.
Frowning, Dante moved close enough to pounce should she attempt to run, and far enough away to observe her without detection. As he watched, he realized why her scent, mannerisms, and movements were not the same as the Abcynian females he’d known in the past.
She was the offspring of a converted panthera leo pair. Had she been full-blooded, he’d have sensed her the moment she stepped into the piazza. As she would’ve sensed him.
Drawing nearer, Dante found himself hesitating to introduce himself. If he spoke to her in the way of their kind, and she acknowledged him, he would claim her as his mate by right of Abcynian law.
Being mated meant he could no longer take another lover. Whether they were heavy or slight, tall or short, merchant or servant, he loved women. Their uniqueness and beauty touched his artist’s soul, making him long to become as masterful bedding them as he was with a paintbrush and chisel.
He’d lived two hundred and forty-two years. Forty-two of them as an Elder. Was it right to have one woman and ignore the rest?
With a start, his concerns became inconsequential when she turned. Lifting her chin, she revealed her face, reminding Dante of the first time he’d seen a woman naked. Back then he’d been unable do anything other than stare like a hapless youth.
This woman was neither naked nor pleasantly attired, but she was beautiful with skin the color of honey and pale blonde hair that he longed to uncover. Her face was blessed with the high cheekbones and elegant straight nose of a lioness, a firm though feminine chin, and a lush mouth that made him groan. Her lips were as ripe and plump as berries, begging for a man’s kiss.
Yet, it wasn’t her beauty that caught his heart. It was her eyes. They were pure, haunting amber, hinting of a woman’s vulnerability, and a lioness’ curiosity. In that moment, all other women ceased to exist.
Unwilling to delay further, Dante spoke to her with his mind. Bella, per favore viene.
Waiting, he watched her look over at an older English maid. “Mary, I think someone spoke to me,” she said.
Her voice hummed like the strings of a harpsicord, resonate, melodic, soothing his lion’s soul as nothing and no one ever had. Smiling, Dante walked toward her, continuing to speak in the way of Abcynian mates. Come si chiama, bella?She looked about, searching the crowd. Her pretty scowl sent desire pooling low and deep in his groin. Surprised at how quickly he responded to her, he reminded himself to be patient. Right then, he realized she didn’t recognize another Abcynian.