The Book Gazette is sharing an excerpt today from paranormal romance novel “The Serpent’s Fate”.
Matthieu could feel sleep tugging at the edges of his consciousness—so much so that he felt his eyes trying to roll back in his head. How long had it been? Three days, maybe four. He knew that he was going to lose the battle, but he could only hope to hold out until Fate went to her room, and hopefully locked the door.
Snapping his computer shut, he got up and headed to the kitchen. “I’m gonna pour myself some more coffee,” he said, his voice slurring from exhaustion. “You want?”
Startled, Fate glanced at him, looking for all the world like she thought he’d lost his mind. “Coffee? Cheese ‘n rice, Matthieu, it’s nearly midnight?”
Matthieu blinked and had to lift his coffee cup in front of his face to hide a smile that was determined to come out. “Sorry, cheese who?”
“Oh, shut up. I have a seven year old. It’s habit.”
Matthieu snorted and returned to his place on the couch. He sipped his coffee in silence, letting the warmth the scalding liquid fill his body; letting the steaming mug warm his chilled hands. The room was comfortably warm, but he found himself wishing he could build a fire. He could practically feel the toasty glow fill the room, relaxing his muscles and easing his mind.
He was jerked out of his daydream by the sound of an explosion, the familiar sting in his ears as his eardrums burst, the burn in his throat as he breathed fire, ash and accelerant. His daydream had turned into a nightmare.
Pushing his way to the surface, Matthieu’s body jerked as he returned to consciousness, causing his coffee to slosh out of the mug he still held. Breathing rapidly, he cut a glance to where Fate was sitting to see if she had seen. She had.
She studied him closely, a line of concentration forming between her brows. Please, please let it go, he chanted inside his head. He was too strung out to explain it to her, his whole body was like a raw nerve.
Oddly, she seemed to take pity on him. After giving him one last concerned look, she stood and dropped her magazine on the coffee table. “Think I’ll go to bed. Don’t work too hard. ‘Night.”
“Goodnight.” She turned to head back to her room but he stopped her with a whisper. “Lock your door.” She froze with her back to him, and for a moment he wondered if she hadn’t heard him. But the tension in her shoulders told him she had. “Please.”
She sighed, but didn’t turn around. He watched her disappear into her bedroom and didn’t release the breath he’d been holding until he heard the lock click into place.
When the nightmare began, Matthieu knew it was happening. Just as he knew he’d be trapped and helpless. When he realized it was Kandahar, he was actually relieved. While this was a fresh hell in its own right, it was so much better than the alternative. There were no demons here—only soldiers and civilians, death and guilt.
The Serpent’s Fate
Author: J.K. Hogan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Can a traumatized veteran-turned-mercenary who is tormented by voices in his head be saved by the love of a wayward single mother with demons of her own? Afflicted by PTSD from serving in Afghanistan, and tormented by a childhood trauma, transient veteran Matthieu Rousseau struggles with the choices he’s made in his life. Estranged from his family, Matthieu drifts from one mercenary job to the next, until one thing stops him. Fate.
In hiding from her abusive ex-husband, musician Fate Callahan lives in New Orleans with her seven-year-old daughter. She remains in constant fear of being found, and her worst nightmare comes alive when a dark, dangerous stranger tells her he’s been hired to locate and kill her—but wants to save her instead.
Fate and Matthieu find themselves on the run together, fleeing from the hitmen and an unseen evil worse than anything else they’ll face. While just trying to stay alive, they become entangled in the battle between the Vigilati and the Lochrim; an archaic sect of witches and the evil creatures they are bred to fight. Unbeknownst to Fate and Matthieu, they are more deeply connected to the Vigilati than either of them could ever imagine.
They must join family and allies of the Vigilati to help save the human world, possibly saving each other along the way. Matthieu teaches Fate how to trust in love again, while she gives him back the one thing he never thought he deserved—family.
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit http://www.jkhogan.com.
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