I’m a longtime paranormal romance fan with numerous PNR books packed into my keeper shelves. And, whether the stories are light and funny or dark and intense, almost every paranormal romance I’ve read contained a common theme: that living forever isn’t such a great thing if one has no one with whom to share the experience. Seth, the eldest and leader of my Immortal Guardians, agrees. So he and the second eldest immortal — David — have gone to great lengths to cultivate a familial atmosphere among the immortals they oversee.
Almost every Immortal Guardian, each of whom spends his or her nights hunting and destroying psychotic vampires, is assigned a human assistant (Second), not just for practicality’s sake — even in today’s society, there are still a number of tasks and business transactions that can only be taken care of during daylight hours — but also for companionship. Seth and David also both open their homes to all immortals and their Seconds, so they can gather together any time they wish to and have a family that will always be there for them.
And they are like a family. There’s Roland, hero of Darkness Dawns, whom I suppose some might consider the grumpy uncle:
“I’m not antisocial. I just want to be left alone.”
Roland was betrayed so many times in the past by those he trusted that he shut himself off and kept his distance from others for centuries . . . until Sarah charged into his life and utterly entranced him with the love and laughter she brought with her.
“My life was so barren before we met, Sarah. I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Didn’t let myself feel anything.” Reaching up, he stroked her lovely face. “Then you came along with your courage and teasing and passion and woke me up.”
Ami, the heroine of Night Reigns, would be the heartbreaker of the group. Having barely survived a torturous past, she still strives to overcome the fear it instilled in her. Quiet and shy, she’s nevertheless ferocious on the battlefield . . . and affects Marcus, who is battling his own demons, is unexpected ways when she is named his Second.
“I know what it is to grieve.”
And there was something in her voice, as she continued, that made his steps slow, then halt altogether. Something that seemed to resonate in the dark, hollow void that now resided deep inside him.
“I know what it is to lose your compass. To suddenly find yourself floundering without direction, far from the path you were treading. How . . . exhausting it can be, knowing you’ll never find that path again, to just trudge forward anyway, forcing one foot in front of the other again and again in what feels like an utterly useless endeavor. I know what it is to live without hope.”
Then there’s Bastien, hero of Phantom Shadows:
The black sheep of the immortal family. The weird cousin no one wanted to invite to Thanksgiving dinner, but did anyway out of some grudging sense of obligation, hoping all the while that he wouldn’t come or that his flight would be cancelled.
Bastien is indeed the black sheep. In fact, when the series began, Bastien was the villain. He actually raised an army of vicious vampires and pitted them against the Immortal Guardians, intending to defeat them, so . . . his entrance into the immortals’ ranks has not gone smoothly.
Seth and David, as the eldest, are naturally the father figures. And, while they’re both incredibly powerful and can be quite terrifying when angered, both are subjected to the same teasing the rest enjoy as in Darkness Rises:
Admit it,” Chris said. “You’re both just a couple of old farts who are technologically challenged.”
“Admitted without shame.”
My Immortal Guardians have their ups. They have their downs. They razz and tease each other. They lift each other up if one falters. Sometimes they do both at once as Seth did to Marcus in Night Reigns:
Seth shook his head. “One should never only feel alive when one is faced with the possibility of death.”
Damn. How did Seth read him so well? “I’m fine,” he insisted once more, not knowing why he still pushed the lie. He hadn’t felt fine in a long time.
“You are not fine. But you will be. Even if I have to kick your ass every night to get you there.”
“How is kicking my ass going to help?” Marcus grouched.
Seth shrugged. “Makes me feel better.”
Tempers flare. They bicker and get snippy with each other, something that was bound to occur when Bastien began to play a more prominent role in the group in Phantom Shadows:
“You’re just pissed because he managed to get past you and all of your men and kidnap Sarah, taking her right out from under your noses.”
Heavy silence took the room.
Really? Was that it? Was that the bug, so to speak?
Melanie studied Chris’s reddening face and decided, yes, that was definitely the bug.
“Actually,” Bastien said slowly, “he’s pissed because, while I stole Sarah right out from under his nose, I broke that nose and shattered several bones in his face, knocking him unconscious before he could get off a single shot or give a shout out to warn the rest of his men.”
Ooh. That was . . . That was not good.
Chris’s face turned positively purple.
Sarah cleared her throat. “If it helps, I didn’t see Bastien coming either.”
Darnell grinned. “Yeah, but you managed to shoot him twice and stab him in the ass.”
Seth held his hands up. “All right. All right. Settle down. We’re all glad Sarah stabbed Bastien in the ass.”
Young or old. Social or antisocial. Taciturn or jovial. Beloved or barely tolerated. All of my Immortal Guardians thrive in the family setting they’ve created. I hope you’ll enjoy the love and laughter they share while they meet the many challenges that arise. :-)
One winner will receive a signed copy of my latest release — Predatory, an anthology that includes my Immortal Guardians novella In Still Darkness — plus some Immortal Guardians swag.
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Four of today's most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire...
Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he's actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other...
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d'Alençon can't forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay's design contest rival is found dead, she's the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He's the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him--and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?
***Dianne's winner is Sonia Christina! Please email email@example.com with your full mailing address.***