Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Tower in the Woods
By Tara Quan
Special Agent Dane Prince was sent to gather intelligence on the WITCH, and his journey leads him to a mysterious tower in the woods. Snowed in with a virginal member of the feminist cult, Dane is determined to use the situation to his advantage. Not only will Nel provide him with the information he needs, she will also learn to submit to his every desire.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 14, 2013
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Excerpt:Taking in deep, steadying breaths after she finished untying the rope from her waist, Nel aimed her pistol directly at the middle of the man’s forehead. Now that the large body had pulled itself through her small window, she was hyperaware of the very real danger in which she had placed herself. This human, this man, was indeed more than capable of overwhelming her resistance. Now that he stood in her small room it was apparent he was more than six inches taller than her, and his broad shoulders were easily twice the breadth of hers. Even those bloodied hands were large and burly, the opposite of her small, slender ones in every way. His black leather boots appeared huge against the narrow wooden floorboards, and the dark, thick denim above them stretched over what were clearly strong, muscular legs. He wore a thick brown leather jacket so Nel couldn’t know for sure what his torso looked like, but from the way his chest filled out the oversize clothing, she suspected he was very muscular.
He held his hands up in the air, his bloodied palms facing her, as his brown-eyed gaze calmly met hers. His skin was weathered and darkly tanned, especially compared to her now pasty-white coloring, and his face appeared very different from what she was used to seeing. His jaw was sharp and angular, his cheekbones protruded to make his face look rectangular in shape, and there was a cleft above the blunt, stubborn chin. His nose stuck out from his face, hooking at a bony bridge before pointing downward, appearing almost crooked. His lips were thin and without color, and brown tendrils of hair stuck out from his knitted black cap in wisps that framed his face.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” the man told her as he took a step forward. “Not in the way you think, anyway.”
“If you move I will shoot,” Nel warned, recalling Mother Gothel’s teaching that all men lied. The problem was, she too was lying. If she had it in her to shoot this man, she would have done so long before he reached the Tower.
The man stopped immediately, his hands remaining in the air. “I’m not armed. Put the gun down before you accidentally shoot me.”
Nel’s eyebrows rose in confusion. “I have never accidentally shot anyone,” she said, trying to compose her thoughts. For some reason this man’s very presence unsettled her, making her feel odd sensations in her stomach and causing her heart rate to increase despite the freezing wind.
She wouldn’t describe the man’s face as attractive, but for some reason she couldn’t take her gaze off it. There was something about him, a sense of strength and the promise of protection that made her feel oddly safe, even though the truth was clearly the opposite. She had no reason to trust this person, no reason not to believe he had every intention of hurting her. Even then, knowing too well what might happen, Nel couldn’t bring herself to execute him.
The man’s lips curved into a crooked grin, and Nel felt as if her heart skipped a beat. “You know what? I actually believe you. You’re probably the best sniper I have ever met.”
Praise was something Nel wasn’t accustomed to. Doing the best she could was a matter of duty, something that was expected rather than appreciated. “Why are you here?” she asked, feeling distinctly uneasy. The man’s gaze swept up and down her body, lingering at her breasts and hips before rising back to her face. There was a gleam in those brown eyes that made an instinct Nel did not understand flutter into awareness, a shiver that had nothing to do with the cold running down her spine as she took another step back.
“I got lost in the woods. This was the only shelter in the area,” the man answered, his voice rougher, tinged with an emotion Nel didn’t recognize. He took a step toward her. Followed by another.
“I told you to stop,” she protested, suddenly very afraid.
“You’re not going to shoot me,” the man replied calmly. “You’ve never shot a human, have you, sweetheart?”
“My name is Nel,” she corrected instinctively. She knew what sweetheart meant, but she didn’t understand why he called her that. It was a term of endearment and they barely knew each other.
The man took another step toward her, and for the life of her Nel couldn’t figure out why she didn’t just pull the trigger. “I’m Dane. Dane Prince,” he offered, his voice low and soothing. “Nel, I want you to put down that gun.”
“It’s not a gun, it’s a pistol,” she corrected again, moving reflexively backward and nearly tripping over a box of ammunition on the floor. There wasn’t much room to maneuver as the area was stocked full of food, supplies, and bullets. The entirety of her quarters took up less than five hundred square feet and most of it was covered in boxes and stacks of books.
“You’re right. Guns are in ships and very big. Have you ever seen one?” the man asked as he continued to crowd into her space.
Nel shook her head and her voice came out in an unfamiliar squeak. “I’ve seen pictures. Please, don’t come any farther. I don’t want to hurt you.” She realized once she spoke her body trembled, something that rarely happened, not even when it got so cold her water supply froze.
“You’re not going to hurt me. I know that now. You’re not a killer; you’re just a girl,” he argued even as he stopped in front of her so close the barrel of her pistol dug into his jacket.
“I’m too old to be called a girl,” Nel corrected one last time. She found it difficult to breathe, air coming into her lungs in shallow gasps. She should have listened to Mother Gothel, should have realized this man’s very presence would mess with her mind. What was she going to do now that she had let this very dangerous entity into her home? He was right. She didn’t have it in her to pull the trigger.
“Yeah. I noticed that,” the man remarked with a wicked grin.
Less than a second later, he grabbed her weapon and easily twisted it out of her grasp. Before Nel had time to react, she found herself pinned by the man’s weight onto the floor, her small body completely imprisoned in a warm cage of hard muscle stronger than any steel.
Find Tara Quan at:
Liquid Silver Books
Be on the lookout for Tara Quan's next book, Warlock's Pawn, coming late Spring 2013.