Barnes & Noble
Title: Hot Blooded
Series: Dark Kings #4
Release Date: December 30, 2014
The Dark Kings must battle to preserve their dragon magic. But can one warrior fight his greatest desires?
SWORN TO PROTECT
His name is Laith. To most, he’s known as the owner of a local pub near Dreagan. But little do his patrons know that beneath his red-hot exterior lies the heart, soul, and cravings of a Dragon King—one who wields control by keeping his friends close and his enemies, just across the border, closer. Until a mysterious and seductive stranger enters the picture, and sets his whole world off course…
DRIVEN TO DESIRE
Iona is a woman with a mission: To discover the deep, dark truth about her heritage. She has returned to Scotland only to learn that she’s part of an ancient pact with Dreagan—one that will threaten the fragile peace with the Dragon Kings. Gorgeous, sly Iona isn’t like anyone Laith has ever met before…and she harbors a secret that others would kill to possess. Will she complete him—or destroy him? Passion always comes at a cost. Iona’s: priceless…
5 I’m lovin’ this series stars!***** “Hot Blooded is definitely one of my favorites in the Dark Kings series so far…” – KT Book Reviews
5 Stars Top Pick “You are in for romance, action, magic and the best of all dragon shifters.” – Night Owl Reviews
5 Stars! “MUST READ Series!” – Girly Girl Book Reviews
4 Stars! “…charming and sizzling.” – RT Book Reviews
“…Suspense, mystery, action and romance…” – The Reading Cafe
“HOT BLOODED is enchanting, intense, and steaming hot.” – Fresh Fiction
“…sexy…” – Canadian Book Addict
“…fast pace keeps readers spellbound…” – Literary Addicts
“…fresh and entertaining!” – The Jeep Diva
“Awesome!” – Butterfly-O-Meter Books
“…wonderfully captivating…” – JMossReads
Also in this series:
Laith leaned back in the chair with his hands behind his head as he looked around Constantine’s office. There were only a handful of Dragon Kings in the large room. Some were on various missions regarding the Dark Fae, Ulrik, and others that only Con knew about.
Still other Kings were on the sixty thousand acres of Dreagan property tending to livestock, overseeing their famous Dreagan whisky, and patrolling their borders. Because even though their dragon magic kept most humans and other beings out, some still tried to gain entrance.
As a race of shape-shifting immortals who had been around since the dawn of time, the Dragon Kings weren’t without their share of enemies. And the list kept growing as the months went by.
Each King was powerful in his own right or he would never have been chosen to rule his dragons, but there was one who was King of Kings—Constantine.
Con with his surfer boy golden blond hair and soulless black eyes could be a cold son of a bitch. He did what was necessary, regardless of who was hurt, in order to keep the secret of Dreagan from leaking to the humans.
While turning the gold dragon-head cuff links at his wrist, Con sat patiently behind his desk staring at a file folder while everyone took their seats.
“What’s up?” Ryder leaned over to whisper before promptly taking a bite of a jelly-filled donut.
Laith shrugged. It could be anything, and he learned long ago not to try and guess what was going on in Con’s head or try to figure out Con’s thinking when he did something. The fact Con wouldn’t look up from the folder meant that whatever was inside was troubling indeed.
Kellan was the last to enter Con’s office. After a quick look around, Kellan closed the door behind him. The Keeper of the History remained as he was, leaning against the door instead of taking a chair.
Another sign that something bad had happened. Laith took a deep breath and slowly let it out. Besides Ryder, Con, and Kellan there was Rhys, Warrick, Hal, and Tristan. Everyone looked at ease. Except for Rhys.
There was something going on with his friend, but so far Rhys hadn’t shared it with anyone. The lines of strain around Rhys’s mouth said that whatever bothered him was taking a hard toll.
Rhys ran a hand through his long dark hair, his gaze meeting Laith’s. A heartbeat later, Rhys’s gaze skated away. Laith scratched his chin, the two-day’s growth of beard itching, as he considered how hard to push to get Rhys to tell him—or someone—what was wrong.
“Come on, Con,” Tristan said as he bent a leg to set his ankle atop his knee. “Stop stalling. Why did you call us in here?”
Con’s black eyes slowly lifted to meet Tristan’s. He let the silence lengthen before Con leaned forward and stabbed a finger on the file folder. “This.”
“And what is that?” Hal’s voice was calm, but as one of six Kings who had taken mates, he was anything but. His gaze was riveted on Con, his bearing anxious and worried.
Con sighed and got to his feet. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his navy slacks. “I’d hoped we would have a reprieve. I’d hoped that Kiril and Shara would have more time to themselves being newly mated.”
“For the love of all that’s holy, spit it out,” Ryder stated, unable to wait any longer.
A muscle in Con’s jaw jumped. “John Campbell was found dead this morning.”
Everyone stilled, their faces expressing shock, surprise, and disbelief as Con’s words penetrated. No one said a word as they comprehended what John’s death meant to Dreagan.
Laith closed his eyes, feeling remorse for John’s death. The Campbells had owned the fifty acres bordering Dreagan for countless generations. It began shortly after the war with the humans, once the Kings sent the dragons to another realm. There was a doorway onto Dreagan, it was hidden, but could be used by their enemies. Since no Dragon King’s magic could touch the area around the doorway, it became apparent that they would have to trust a human to do it for them.
The Campbells, one of the few groups of humans who didn’t wage war on Dreagan stepped forward. And so the watch of the Campbells had begun.
Only the head of the family, the one responsible for ensuring no one accidentally stumbled upon the doorway, knew the secret of Dreagan and what it was being guarded. It continued in that vein for thousands of years through wars and invasions. The Campbells kept the Dragon Kings’ secret, and the Kings, in turn, protected them.
How Laith was going to miss John’s laughter and his jokes. John hadn’t just protected Dreagan, he’d become a friend.
“Who’s going to guard the land?” Laith asked.
Kellan glanced at Con. “John has a daughter, Iona.”
“That’s right. I forgot about her,” Rhys said.
Hal frowned as he sat forward and rested his arms on his legs. “She’s been gone for a while, aye?”
“A verra long while,” Con said. “Twenty years in fact.”
Laith shifted to get comfortable in the chair. “John often talked of Iona. He showed me her photographs when he’d come into the pub. For as long as I knew him, and as often as we chatted, he never told me what happened with his wife.”
Con stood and walked behind his tall chair, leaning his arms upon the back. “One of John’s responsibilities was to remain on the land.”
“He remained when his wife left and took Iona,” Hal said softly.
Laith shifted his gaze back to Con. “He could’ve left for that.”
“He took his oath to us seriously,” Kellan explained. “To help with the pain of his loss, he buried himself in his writing after that.”
Warrick nodded slowly. “He was an excellent writer.”
“That he was.” Con looked at the file folder again.
Laith dropped his arms to his lap. “What’s in the file, Con? If it was only a matter of ensuring his daughter take up her father’s duties, we wouldna been called here.”
“Iona stepping into her duties is another matter entirely. I’ll get to that in a moment. What’s in the folder is a report. John didna die by natural causes,” Con said as he locked his gaze on Laith’s. “He was murdered.”