Book 3: Seven Forbidden Arts Series
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Publisher: Mélange Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Format: eBook / ePub / PDF
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Pump Up Your Book and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Passion always comes with a price.
All he could offer was thirty days of passion.
He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.
Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.
He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.
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From the expression on Lann’s face, Kat knew he hadn’t expected her. Alfonso hadn’t warned him of her visit. Lann sat behind his desk, very similar to the first time they had met, but this time he was in the library, and not in his office. He had probably been working on the restoration of his ancient books, because he wore his glasses. Removing them, he immediately got to his feet. The air felt lighter, as it always did in his presence. Wisps of her hair lifted as if to an invisible caress, but Lann didn’t acknowledge the subtle dance of molecules this time.
As always he looked impeccable in tailored pants and a white dress shirt. He stood immobile, exerting calm, waiting for her to make the first move. Kat had never been fooled about the latent danger that lurked under his quiet sophistication and intellectual air. There was a raw energy about Lann that hinted at his wildness, even as his exterior was polished civility.
“Alfonso showed me in,” she said.
“Katherine.” His lips lifted in the corner, exposing his dimple.
Her heart broke at his smile. It was the one he reserved for other people. Never for her. It was automatic, a practiced social stance, and she hated it.
Hers was faint in return. She glanced at the employees who were handling his books with protective gloves. “May we speak in private, please?”
He frowned. “Let’s go to my office.”
He led the way. At least he hadn’t thrown her out on sight. She was walking the familiar path she believed she’d never walk again. The air gathered around his ankles as he moved, lapping at her feet as she followed in his wake. She had never felt it stronger, and yet, it should have been the reverse. She was supposed to be cutting the tie, not strengthening it, dammit.
Inside his office he almost took a military stance, his shoulders straight, his arms behind his back, as if keeping them there would prevent him from touching her. But his eyes were filled with warmth and concern.
“Katherine, I didn’t tell you I was back because I didn’t want to make it harder on you.”
He didn’t owe her an explanation. She agreed to his terms. With her eyes wide open.
“I came back to take care of the money,” he continued. “When Alfonso told me you returned everything–”
“I don’t want your money.”
“You can live in comfort. Why struggle, if I have enough to share?”
“Because it wasn’t part of our agreement,” she snapped. She took a calming breath. “Because it’ll make me feel like a prostitute.”
His expression was incredulous as he considered the statement, but after a moment he inclined his head. “Of course. I respect your decision.”
“Lann…” She chewed her lip, thinking of the best way to tell him. Hadn’t she practiced her line a million times? “I wouldn’t have broken our agreement if it wasn’t necessary.”
He stared at her expectantly. There was no easy way to break the news.
He froze. The heat evaporated from his gaze. His upper arms flexed as he clasped his hands behind his back. She couldn’t tell if he was mad or disappointed. Either way, neither was the reaction she was hoping for.
The silence stretched between them. For a while he seemed incapable of speaking or moving. Only his eyes lowered and rested on her abdomen.
“It’s impossible,” he finally said.
She opened her handbag, retrieved the blood test results and offered it to him shakily. Lann lifted one hand from behind his back and took the piece of paper. Kat watched him closely as he read it. His eyes widened and narrowed again. She presumed he was looking at the age of the child growing inside of her, doing the calculation in his mind. Emotions she couldn’t place played across his face. Was it sadness, envy, anger that made him press his lips so tightly together? Finally, he lifted his head. She didn’t like the way he looked at her.
He handed her back the report. “Congratulations.” His voice was impersonal. “Who’s the father?”
The words punched the air from Kat’s lungs with the same ferocity as when he had cut her airflow during lovemaking. Then it had given her an earth-shattering orgasm. Now it caused her pain, with the same intensity. She couldn’t believe he said that. Hurt and anger blurred her vision. She drew back her hand, and before she could stop herself, she slapped him. She took a step away from him, biting back the tears. The trace of her fingers lay red across his pale cheek. Lann accepted her abuse with a stoic expression, without uttering a word.
“You bastard,” she whispered. “You needn’t feign your innocence by insulting me. Are you afraid I’ll ask you for child support? Do you think I expect you to play an unwilling role in this baby’s life? Maybe you think I’ll try to emotionally blackmail you into marrying me.” She clutched her bag to her chest like a shield. “I didn’t come here expecting anything from you. I want nothing. I only came because you had a right to know.” She took a ragged breath. “And to ask why you lied to me.”
When he still didn’t speak, she nodded slowly, the unwelcome tears threatening to find their way to her cheeks. He wasn’t going to offer any explanation, any solace, any excuse.
“I see,” she said. “Then we have nothing more to say to each other.”
She turned for the door, but Lann’s voice halted her. “Please stay. You’re upset. I’ll take you home when you feel calmer.”
To her dismay, a small gasp escaped her. Did he honestly think she’d stay after what he just said? Not looking back, she ran downstairs, not caring that Lann was calling after her loud enough for the building to hear, or that his employees were staring at her from the library window.
Katherine White has to deliver some interesting news to Lann Drean. It doesn’t take me long to realize how jealous I am of the author – I realize that I will never be as creative as our author is. But I’m also lucky because I had a chance to read this great book. You will want to get comfortable because you will find yourself getting lost in the story. You’ll not realize how many pages have gone by until you come up for air. A perk of this book is that it was part of the paranormal genre – the sky’s the limit and the author can be so much more creative.
Our author has done a great job at creating Lann’s character because she gives him some real emotions that at times he tries to hide. He can be a real jerk sometimes and has a hard time understanding women. Kat is a woman who accepts her fate but that doesn’t stop her from trying to fight the inevitable. And she won’t put up with any of his alpha male attitude.
It caught my attention right away and if I wanted to know the ending I was going to have to continue to read. Over the years, I’ve learned that I miss out on an awful lot if I skip – which used to be a very bad habit of mine when I wanted to know the ending before I even read the first word. Now I look forward to reading a book from beginning to end so that I can be surprised to see how the author handles the ending.
One downside was that Kat meets a couple that had me wishing that I had started with the first book. Another downside was that I also missed out on the prequel to this book. But the good news is that I can always go back and read them. You won’t need to have to have read them in order to enjoy this story but it is a way to get to know the characters better.
“You made your bed, you sleep in it,” my mother always said.
I made this bed, with Lann Dréan in it. Only, he wasn’t anymore, not after thirty days of the best sex of my life. What remained were crumpled sheets and consequences.
How could I not be attracted to him? I had a thing for intellectual guys, especially damaged ones. And Lann was damaged, alright. His father abandoned him at birth, never forgiving him for his mother’s death. It took some time before Lann told me how he grew up in the streets of Moscow, stealing and cheating his way to survival. He never revealed what he did for a living, how he became a self-made millionaire. He had pulled himself from the gutter and built a life. From the guards surrounding us, I knew he was involved in something dangerous, maybe illegal, but I told myself it didn’t matter because ours wasn’t a permanent relationship. It was a thirty-day contract.
When I first met Lann it was in his privately owned library of ancient books. He had just bought the Santiago convent. The plan was to spend a month of holiday there before going home to New York. I had been rewarded a scholarship for an exchange program in Chile to conduct my thesis on daemon lovers. His handwritten books were invaluable to my research. He spotted me from his office balcony and when everyone else left, kept me behind.
Lann was reserved, to the point of being recluse. Few photos existed of him, even as the paparazzi hunted and stalked him. Nothing could have prepared me for the tall Russian. He was lean, well defined, minus the bulging muscles I hated. His long, blond hair was mostly braided down his back. I preferred it to when he wore it loose, because that way I could admire his ears. He had perfect ears–beautifully proportioned, slightly elongated–but I never said as much because he was sensitive about them. A silver ring was pierced through the top left one. His dark Prada glasses gave him an academic look in a sexy kind of way. His most unusual feature was his eyes. In the dark they seemed yellow. In daylight I could see they were a mix of amber and brown flecks. And when he opened his mouth and spoke to me in his thick Russian accent, telling me I moved the air for him, my knees went weak.
So, when he asked me to give my body to him for thirty days, exclusively, I signed my name on the dotted line. Although I had given him carte blanche, he took his time to lure me, to teach me what he liked. It was never a seduction. Unless I gave him permission, he didn’t move on. But I wanted it. All of it. All of him. Lann woke a dark side in me, a part I didn’t know lurked in the shadows of my desire. Only when I was comfortable with him did he tie me up, blindfolded and gagged me, and he didn’t introduce me to breath play until I trusted him. In those naked moments I made myself vulnerable, gave him control of my body, and he rewarded me with pleasure that wracked my mind and left me craving more.
One day, he flew me in a water plane to a private lake for a picnic. It was the most perfect day of my life.
We were sitting on the shore.
“Lann, this is incredible,” I said.
His palm smoothed over my shoulder. “You’ve been studying too hard. Been cooped up in my convent for too long.”
“So this is my reward?”
“No. I think your reward will come later.”
“What a lucky girl I am.”
“The luck is all mine, bella.”
“Are you hungry?”
“For food?” he drawled.
“You’re impossible.” I gave him stern look and brought a piece of cheese to his lips. “Open.”
He obeyed. He took the cheese, and sucked my fingers into his mouth. I could feel the atmosphere shift in a second. Lann had a hundred different moods a day, and I took pleasure in the knowledge that I started to understand how to navigate them. He allowed me to feed him some more, and after I had eaten, he got to his feet and started removing his clothes.
“What are you doing?” I said with a laugh, looking around, even if I knew we were alone.
“Come swim with me.”
“The water will be freezing.”
“Are you a pussy?”
“You didn’t just call me that.”
“Oh yes, I did.”
I jumped up and discarded my clothes faster than him. Before he was out of his pants, I was running to the water, stark naked. I gritted my teeth when I felt the iciness around my feet. Looking over my shoulder, I saw Lann making his way to the water, a huge grin on his face. I held my breath and charged. It was so cold it felt as if it would stop my heart. I let out a yelp, and heard Lann’s laugh echo behind me. I dove in and swam furiously for a few strokes to warm up my limbs. When I turned, Lann still stood on the beach.
“Come on!” I beckoned him with a curled finger. “Or are you a pussy?”
He made big eyes at me. “What did you just call me?”
Before I could complete the sentence, he was storming me. I managed to splash him before he got wet, and heard his curse before he dove underwater to resurface in front of me. Laughing, I tried to swim away from him, but he grabbed me around the waist.
“Not so fast, bella.”
He turned me to face him and jerked me against him. His body was warm in the coldness of the water. I wrapped my arms and legs around him, pressing close. His erection strained against my pelvis. Lann wasn’t laughing any longer. He groaned, and his eyes turned a darker shade of gold. His hands went to my bottom, gripping me firmly. He lifted me slightly so that his hardness pressed against my folds. The water contracted my skin, and when he lifted me higher with one hand, spreading my opening with the other, an onslaught of cold water assaulted my swollen clit. Immediately the sensation was replaced with the warmth of his body as he lowered me onto his erection, sliding effortlessly into my lubricated depth. I arched my back, gasping as he claimed me with every inch he had.
“God, Katherine, I’m buried so deep inside of you,” he said against my neck.
He kissed me feverishly, sucking my skin into his mouth, making me scream as he bit down gently.
“You drive me wild, krasota.” His tongue moved down my neck to the hollow of my throat, trailing a path to my breasts. He licked each upper curve, before he took a cold, hard nipple in his warm mouth. I moaned loudly. He started suckling me, moving me up and down on him.
“Is this good, bella?”
I whimpered. “Lann…”
“Tell me, Katherine. Tell me what you want.”
“Everything. I want everything.”
“You don’t know what you’re asking,” he said darkly.
“Then show me.”
His mouth claimed mine with hard approval, his tongue sweeping over my lips before he drank the very breath from me. I struggled to draw air through my nose while he claimed my mouth like that. He kissed and kissed me until I felt the urge to shove away from him to draw air, but when I pushed with my palms on his chest, he only sealed his lips tighter over mine, at the same time increasing the pace with which he was penetrating me. My clit rubbed against his pelvis. One hand closed around my throat, applying gentle pressure, while the other spread the cheeks of my ass. Sensations slammed into me. His fingers around my neck tightened, cutting off my oxygen. I felt a finger rubbing down my cleft, and then I felt it there. I jerked when Lann pushed on that forbidden entrance. It was hard to think with my body craving air, craving him, and craving release. Already my orgasm was a tightly coiled cord, a second away from snapping. Just when I thought I was going to black out from the lack of air, he released my throat, at the same time pushing his finger inside my rear. As oxygen reached my brain, my orgasm exploded in me with an intensity I had never felt before. I clung to him, filled by his cock and his finger, as the waves crushed over me and continued to ripple long after he had spurted all of his seed inside of me. My strength gone, all I could manage was to lean my head on his shoulder, and to trust him to take care of me.
Lann kissed my hair and my cheek. He said gentle things to me in Russian, while he slowly pulled his finger from my slightly burning backside. I moaned, and he kissed my forehead. I felt like fainting from the aftershocks of pleasure. I tried to lower my legs, but Lann prevented me with his hands on my ankles.
“Hold on, krasavitsa,” he said against my ear. “Don’t try to walk.”
He gently cleaned me in the water, washing his semen from me, before carrying me to the shore. I had never felt more depleted in my entire life. It was worse than the time I had a few drinks too many at the student bar and my friend had to drive me home and put me to bed.
I started shivering as Lann lowered me onto our picnic blanket. He stretched out on top of me and folded the blanket around our bodies. He kissed my neck and shoulder until I felt his heat penetrating my skin, and my body once more relaxed. When the shivering stopped, he lifted himself to look down at me.
“The sun will warm you. I’m going to get off you now. At first it’ll feel cold with the breeze, but you’ll dry in no time.”
I whimpered when he rolled off me, exposing my skin to the air. “No, don’t.”
“I’m too heavy.” He rubbed my arms.
That was the first time I felt the air move around us. It shifted down from my shoulders to my feet, a blanket of clouds pulled over a naked body. This was the dance of air Lann had tried to describe to me, what he meant when he said I moved the air for him. At first the breeze made me feel colder, but then I gradually warmed as the sun dried my skin. I felt extremely lethargic.
“What did you do to me?” I said, trying to focus on Lann’s face and not fall asleep.
“I cut off your ability to breathe, just for a few seconds. The surge of oxygen that follows makes you come harder.”
“That it did,” I said, closing my eyes.
“Katherine, look at me.” I gazed back at him. His expression seemed concerned. “Did you enjoy it?”
“Oh, yes.” I tried to nod. “It was the best sex of my life.”
A slow smile curved his lips. “Good.” His eyes warmed. “Your trust means everything to me.”
He lay down next to me and pulled me into her arms. We stayed like that until I felt some of my energy return. When I tried to sit up, he shook his head.
“I need a drink.” I reached for my glass of champagne.
“No more alcohol,” he said. He sat up and reached inside the basket, taking out a bottle of water. He unscrewed the cap, lifted my head and brought the bottle to my mouth. After a few sips, I lay back again, studying him.
“You’re so handsome,” I said.
“And you’re so expressive. I can never get enough of your face when it’s contorted with pleasure, knowing it’s the pleasure I bring you.”
“You bring me lots of pleasure,” I said, mumbling my agreement.
“Now I’m going to feed you strawberries.” His eyes went to my breasts. “And then I’m going to fuck you softly.”
That was the day I knew I had fallen in love with him.
By the time Day Thirty arrived, I was addicted. To him. But I had signed a contract to walk away, and never look back. And it wasn’t as if he gave me a choice when he left me behind. What I thought would be a harmless sexual adventure had burned a hole in my existence. I had fallen in love with Lann, when I promised I wouldn’t. But there was more at stake than my heart. I never would have guessed that accepting his contract was signing my death warrant. There was only one thing left to do. To sleep in the bed I had made. And it may just cost me … everything.
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a set of 5 antiqued silver bookmarks,
a paperback copy of Aeromancist
and eBooks of the preceding books in the series:
Loving the Enemy, Pyromancist, and Aeromancist, The Beginning
About The Author:
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.
Contact Charmaine at:
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