Dark Sentinel (Netherworld #1) by Melissa Combs
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Their love could give him a second chance at life-or condemn her to an eternity of damnation.
Yanked from his tortured existence in Netherworld and dumped naked in the Louisiana Bayou, Lash could swear he’s died and gone to heaven. Except for the fact that a millennium ago he died a condemned soul, forever barred from Paradise. His new life feels like the next best thing, full of small miracles. Like silence. And ice water. And the company of a beautiful, compassionate woman.
Teva is a woman with a taste for heavy-metal music, an inherited talent for magic, and a trusting heart. She knows nothing about the mysterious stranger she’s taken in, only that he needs her help. And the fact that he’s gorgeous hasn’t escaped her attention. She can’t see Lash as anything other than a sexy, gentle man who soothes her nightmares away. Then Lash learns the real reason for his reprieve from Netherworld-he’s been sent to corrupt Teva’s soul with sinful pleasures. Starved for tenderness and aching with desire, Lash yearns to accept the loving embrace Teva offers. But he can’t give in to passion without tainting her, condemning her to the horrors of Netherworld.
The ultimate battle between good and evil is brewing, and Lash stands caught in the middle between Teva, who owns his heart-and Satan, who owns his soul.
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The Prince sighed. “It seems many of my disciples believe I’ve chosen poorly.” A shiver ran up Lash’s body as the Prince clasped the side of his face and forced him to meet cruel demon eyes. “But I think not. And do you know why that is, slave?”
“No, my lord.” Lash swallowed, mesmerized by the fire blazing in the demon lord’s eyes.
“I’ll get far too much pleasure out of eating you and shitting you out.” A twisted smile crossed the Prince’s mouth. “Just to do it again.”
Lash’s heart hammered. The Prince’s words had been more than an idle threat. Never had he believed someone more.
“I’ll never let a soul due me escape. You will bring Teva to our side.” The Prince nuzzled Lash’s temple. “Fuck her. Get her to break any number of sins. Just remember, she mustn’t repent before her death. That doesn’t seem like too difficult a task for one with your masculine beauty.”
Lash forced a nod.
“Nicodemus, do you know why I singled you out?”
Again, the Prince forced him to meet his burning gaze.
“Because you never broke. You simply accepted your fate.”
Lash closed his eyes. Yes, he’d accepted his place in Netherworld.
“I think bringing you back home after you complete this for me… will be pure torture on your already lost soul. After all, I’m giving you all this… to remember.” The Prince’s twisted smile was back.
Lash’s chest constricted at the sickening thought of the inevitable.
“Now, I must go home and punish several for interfering with your task.” The Prince patted Lash’s cheek. “Slave, you have my word, you’ll have no more visits. You’ll be free to play house to your heart’s content.”
“Yes, my Prince.”
The Prince eased back a half of a step. “But remember, I do have the power to control you. In no time, I’ll hold Teva’s future in my hands. In Netherworld, I can offer her a life of leisure.” Then, without another word, he disappeared.
Life of leisure meant you winded up in the Prince’s harem. Sickness knotted his stomach. Teva didn’t belong in Netherworld at all, let alone at the feet of the Prince.
Turning the water hotter, Lash sat on the floor of the stall.
He’d just been paid a visit by Satan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa writes for herself and creates her worlds for her characters. She’s authored stories in several different genres of romance, including paranormal, contemporary, suspense, dark fantasy, historical, futuristic, as well as, horror. She’s also collaborated with Mechele Armstrong. She’s been interested in the human psyche and paranormal activities since she gained eyesight at the age of twenty-two. She’s earned dual MAs in English and creative writing and advocates for the blind.