TITUS—To most his gift seems like a blessing, but for him it’s a curse the other Eternal Guardians—those who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld—seek to exploit. One he would gladly trade for the chance to be free…
Obsessed. Her touch is like a drug. From the moment he met her, Titus knew she was different. Even dangerous. Yet though his guardian brethren are convinced Natasa is working for Hades, Titus can’t stop thinking about her. Can’t stop fantasizing about her. Can’t stop craving the one thing he knows could lead to the downfall of his world.
Possessed. Faced with stopping Natasa or joining in her quest, Titus falls to temptation and is thrust into a world of lust, deception, and deadly treachery designed by the gods. Her touch—only hers—frees him from his bonds, but desire may just condemn him. Because before the end he’ll have to decide which is more important: duty and honor to those he took an oath to defend, or a woman who could very well be the biggest curse to them all.
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Never had Titus been thankful for his curse until this moment.
Not only were the Amazon queen’s freakin’ eyes glowing, she was shaking and rubbing against him like something was trying to claw its way free from her body.
He was never going to look at jiggling breasts the same way. This was not a turn on. It was a major-ass turn off. And shit, he did not want those things touching him.
He swallowed hard. Jerked against the bindings. Couldn’t move them even a centimeter. The only consolation was that as soon as she did touch him, he’d be in too much pain to pay attention to what she was doing to his body.
And skata, do not think about what she’s going to do to your body.
Closing, his eyes, he imagined Natasa’s fire-red hair and those mesmerizing green eyes to distract him from that first touch of skin against skin. Wondered—again—why she’d pulled away from him back in her tent. She’d wanted him. He’d known it even if he couldn’t feel it.
A whir echoed through the air. The queen jerked against his legs. A scream rose up in the night.
His eyes shot open. The queen lurched to her feet on the stone slab, stood over him and batted at the headdress. The feathers burst into flames. An arrow hit the ground. The queen knocked the headdress off her head. The heavy metal object cracked against the slab then dropped to the ground with a smack.
Gasps rose up from the audience. The queen’s face tightened, and she whipped toward the crowd to see where the arrow had come from.
Another whir cut through the silence. The queen flinched. This time the banner just to the right of her head ignited in flames.
Titus lifted his head to see what the hell was going on. Bodies rushed every direction. The guards scrambled down the steps, armor clinking. Another whir echoed through the air, then the queen’s robe, lying where she’d dropped it on the stage, ignited in flames.
“Natasa,” the queen growled. She pointed toward the trees on the far side of the crowd. “Find her!”
Excitement flooded through Titus. She’d come back for him, even after she’d been so freaked out in her tent. He pulled against the bonds tried to find her in the crowd.
The queen scrambled off the altar and lurched into the crowd.
Another whir. Another banner up in flames. Titus pulled and wrestled with the bindings. If he could just break free… If he could get to her…
“There!” The voice rang out clear. Before Titus could track what the Amazon guard was pointing, and an entire tree burst into flames.
A thud echoed to his right. He strained to look behind him. Natasa pushed up to her feet, her eyes as intense as he’d ever seen them, her face illuminated by the flames around her, making her look like a fire-goddess.
Relief and hope and excitement shot through his entire body. But quickly morphed to fear. At her back, closing in fast, an Amazon raced toward her with sword held high.
Natasa dropped the bow and arrows in her hand, reached for the daggers she carried at her back. Panic overwhelmed. Titus strained against the cuffs with every ounce of strength left. She didn’t have time to react. She—
The chain anchoring one wrist gave with a snap. The other burst free. He bolted upright, kicked out at the shackles around his ankles. Couldn’t take his eyes off Natasa.
She whipped around. But before the charging Amazon’s blade could slice deep into her flesh, the warrior jerked, her eyes grew bug wide, then she hit the ground with a thud. An black arrow stuck out of her side. Blood pooled all around her body.
Natasa’s eyes grew side. She scrambled back. More screams echoed from deeper in the city, and her head whipped that direction just as Titus’s did. Blood-curdling screams. Followed by hooves pounding the earth and male voices rising up in the night sky.
Natasa lurched to the railing and looked down. Shock raced over her features. She stumbled back, turned and raced toward Titus.
“What the hell’s happening?” He fumbled with the bindings on his right ankle. That arrow hadn’t come from her. And it wasn’t an Amazon weapon. Which meant it had come from someone or something else.
Natasa unstrapped his other leg, reached for the bow she’d dropped. “Zagreus’s army found us.”
“Zagreus…Hades’s fucking son??”
Her hand closed over his upper arm, and she yanked him from the altar. “I don’t know how, but be thankful. I wasn’t going to be able to distract Aella’s guards for long with my flaming arrows.”
Heat built in his veins and shot to his belly. She’d rescued him. Again. He was supposed to be the hero and yet she was the one doing all the saving. And at the moment, he didn’t mind one bit.
She tugged him out of the torchlight and into the shadow of a tent. Before she could pull him around the other side, he closed his hand over her wrist, dragged her close and lowered his mouth to hers.
She gasped in surprise, but it didn’t stop him. He dipped into her mouth, slid his tongue along hers and reveled in the warm, wet taste of her. That and the fact he couldn’t feel anything other than the heat of her body, the silkiness of her skin and the pulse in her veins that indicated she was alive.
He pulled back, smiled at the confusion swirling in her mesmerizing eyes. “You did it again. You saved me. I knew you cared.”
“I…” A frown turned her lips, equal parts frustration and desire. He didn’t have to read her mind or feel her motions to know what she was thinking this time. “I haven’t saved you yet. Save your thanks for someone who deserves it.”
He kissed her again. Quick. Safe. Chaste. Not a thing like the way he wanted to kiss her. “I will. When we get out of here and are finally alone, I’ll thank you the right way. That’s a promise.”
The author is doing a giveaway package! Package includes:
1 ebook copy of “Bound”
Character Trading Cards
1 Eternal Guardian Bookmarker
1 Eternal Guardians Drink Coaster
1 Eternal Guardian logo Temporary tattoo
1 Bound Car Charm
1 Bound Keychain
I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.
Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.
My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.
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I loved this book and enjoy this series so much!! Elisabeth is a great author and I can’t wait to see what’s next!!
[…] Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Pure Textuality […]
Have you ever read a book/series and thought to yourself “I wish I could live there”? This is that series. Eternal Guardians are beyond incredible. Titus is such a mysterious being, and we finally got to find out about him. *swoon* Put whatever you’re reading down, and go buy MARKED if you have NOT started this series!!
I can’t wait to read Bound. And I loved that excerpt! 🙂
I am so in love with this series! Such a great giveaway!!
Need to take some time for myself so I can get this book and read it.
I really enjoy this series – what a great giveaway too :).
That excerpt was awesome…I’ve got to get this series started 🙂
I love me some Guardians!! 😉
This is a wonderful series.
“And shit, he did not want those things touching him.” Cracks me up! Ms. Naughton’s writing is absolutely fabulous. I can’t wait to get my hands on this story. I know Titus and Natasa are going to be one helluva ride!
I love the series so far i havent read the recent one but i have the others all of her books totally rock this one cant be any different
love love love
Love this series. Dying to read BOUND