Authors: Elisabeth Naughton
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Fantasy
SLAVE TO PASSION
Copyright 2012 by Elisabeth Naughton
Cover art and design by Patricia Schmitt/Pickyme
Editing by Linda Ingmanson
This book is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locations are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity, and are used fictitiously. All other characters, and all incidents and dialogue, are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in encouraging piracy of copyrighted materials in violation with the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
“Filled with sizzling romance, heartbreaking drama, and a cast of multifaceted characters, this powerful and unusual retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice story is Naughton’s best book yet. Starred Review”—
, starred review
“Creative worldbuilding and ever-present danger pull the reader into this mesmerizing tale. 4 1/2 Stars”—
RT Book Reviews
“Endlessly twisting plots within plots, a cast of complex and eminently likeable characters, and a romance as hot as it is complicated.”—
, starred review
“Dark, dangerous, and absolutely addicting.”—
bestselling author Christina Dodd
“Ms. Naughton has taken the Greek Argonaut myth, turned it on its head, and OWNED it!”—
Bitten By Paranormal Romance
“An action-packed creative wonder guaranteed to snag your attention from page one.”—
“Do NOT miss this series!”—
bestselling author Larissa Ione
“Naughton has tremendous skill with steamy passion, dynamic characterization and thrilling action.”—
“Elisabeth Naughton’s MARKED gives an incredibly fresh spin on Greek Mythology that is full of humor, action, passion and a storyline that keeps you from putting down the book.”—
“This third book in the Stolen series is full of intrigue, secrets and undeniable love with characters you can’t get enough of…an awesome read!”—
“An adventurous story of twists and turns, this story will keep you guessing until the very end. And the chemistry between Hailey and Shane is sizzling hot. Naughton combines passion and danger in one fast-paced story.”—
News and Sentinel
“This book has got it all: an adventure that keeps you turning the pages, an irresistible hero, and a smoking romance.”—
All About Romance
“Stolen Heat is an awesome combination of deadly suspense, edgy action and a wonderful romance with characters that you’ll laugh, cry and yell with.”—
Night Owl Romance
“A rock solid debut…Naughton’s intelligent adventure plot is intensified by the blazing heat that builds from Lisa and Rafe’s first erotic encounter.”—
“Naughton deftly distills deadly intrigue, high adrenaline action, and scorchingly hot passion into a perfectly constructed novel of romantic suspense.”—
WAIT FOR ME
“This book blew me out of the water.”—
Cocktails and Books
“Wait For Me more than met my expectations, it was downright delightfully angsty with a great big dose of scorching hot scenes between two characters who could not have been more made for each other. The unraveling mystery is compelling all on it’s own but the chemistry between Kate and Ryan will keep you truly captivated.”—
Titles by Elisabeth Naughton
BOUND TO SEDUCTION
SLAVE TO PASSION
POSSESSED BY DESIRE (
Eternal Guardians Series
WAIT FOR ME
BODYGUARDS IN BED
with Lucy Monroe and Jamie Denton
For Rachel Grant,
Plotting queen extraordinaire and a whiz at all things title-related.
So thankful to have you in my writing corner of the world!
Pain rippled through every inch of Nasir’s body.
Muscles in his arms and legs quivering, he pushed up on his hands. Gravel and sand embedded in his palms, stabbed into his knees covered by the threadbare pants. Through bloody and sweat-drenched hair, he looked toward the Shaitan across the arena. The djinni’s chest rose and fell with his heavy breaths, and dirt and blood coated his skin from the fight, but he didn’t even seem fazed as he lifted his axe, ready to hurl the killing blow.
Roars from the crowd dragged Nasir’s attention. His gaze shifted to the stands, to the Ghuls—one of the six main tribes that made up the race of djinn—waving their fists, chanting “
!” as if he were nothing more than an animal.
He ground his teeth, pushed up on one knee. Refused to groan at the blinding pain in his shoulder. He wouldn’t go down like this. Not on all fours in the fighting pits of Jahannam, as entertainment for the most base and depraved djinn tribe. He wasn’t afraid to die, but he wouldn’t do it as a coward. And if he was going out, he planned to take the Shaitan out along with him.
Fire cut across his ribs. His muscles ached as he found his feet. He swayed but somehow managed to steady himself. Blood dripped from the gash in his side, ran down his torso to dampen his waistband. His vision blurred.
He tried to focus on the djinni ahead. Hair he guessed had once been blond but now looked as dirty as the sand beneath them hung to his shoulders. Sweat dripped down his angular and scarred face. As a slave, the Shaitan’s powers were bound, just as Nasir’s were, but the bastard didn’t seem to mind. He had size and brute strength on his side. And the shit-eating grin curling his split lip said he knew Nasir was fading fast.
The roars grew louder. The Shaitan growled and charged. Nasir gathered what was left of his energy and ducked beneath the swinging axe, thrust out his sword, and caught the Shaitan across the back.
Blood spurted, spraying across Nasir’s face and chest. The Shaitan arched and howled. Nasir’s adrenaline surged, empowering him with a fresh source of strength. He whipped around before the djinni could strike again and stabbed his sword into the Shaitan’s back.
The bastard’s eyes flew wide. The axe fell from his hand as he dropped to his knees. Blood gushed beneath his body, staining the sand of the arena. Breathing heavily, Nasir yanked his blade from the Shaitan’s back and beheaded him in one clean move.
The djinni’s head hit the ground with a thud, followed by his hulking body. Gasps echoed through the arena, then the chants fell silent.
Nasir’s chest rose and fell in an uneven rhythm as he looked up into the stands. Disgust rolled through him. They were savages. Every single one of them. Ghuls held no allegiance to any other race. They didn’t care if the winner of this battle was Marid or Shaitan. All they wanted was to be entertained by a gruesome death. But now that he’d given them that, they didn’t utter a sound?
Fuck them. Fuck them all. Their thirst for blood and death had shaped him into the brutal
he’d become. Though it sickened a place deep inside him, he knew he’d go on giving them exactly what they wanted. But not for glory or fame or even the miniscule hope that one day he could win his freedom. No, he’d kill again and again because staying alive was the greatest act of rebellion he could thrust upon those who had imprisoned him in this hell.
His arms shot to the open sky, and he roared.
The crowd exploded in excitement, their earlier apprehension forgotten. Females jumped up and down, clapping, waving vibrantly-colored scarves in his direction. Males cheered at the bloodbath at his feet.
Adrenaline pumped through Nasir’s veins. He turned a slow circle, clenched his empty hand into a fist, stabbed his sword higher into the air as he drank in their ovations. He was a Marid warrior, son of the great king, and he’d decimated every single thing those barbarian Ghuls had thrown at him.
This is not who you are
The voice hit him out of nowhere. Soft. Feminine. Sweet. So familiar it stole his breath.
He dropped his arms to his sides. Turned to glance behind him. But he was alone on the sand. With cheers ringing in his ears, he looked up into the stands, his gaze skipping from one exuberant face to the next, searching for her. But all he saw were hundreds of Ghuls, eyes and hair and the clothing of his enemy blending together in a wash of color until he couldn’t focus on a single one. Until the arena spun around him.
Something in his chest cinched down tight, followed by the memory of Talah’s face. Her smile. Her gentle spirit. The way she’d brushed her hand against his jaw and looked at him with tenderness that last day, when he’d left her to fight his father’s war.
When he’d left her to die.
This is not who you are, Nasir
She would not support this. She wouldn’t be awed by his victory. Though she’d hated what the Ghuls were doing—pillaging the Wastelands and threatening their kingdom—she’d despised death more.
The adrenaline waned, leaving him empty and cold. Leaving him feeling as dead as the Shaitan on the sand at his feet.
His gaze drifted to the mutilated body, and for the first time since he’d been imprisoned—for the first time since he’d lost Talah, really—he didn’t recognize himself. All he saw was the monster he’d become.
* * *
Kavin pulled back on the hand gripping her upper arm. “There has to be someone else.”
Zayd turned to face her, stopping in the dank hallway of the dungeon beneath the arena. His features were tight, his short, dark hair only slightly mussed from the dank air that had blown through it in the corridor. Cries of agony echoed through the walls around them, making Kavin’s stomach churn at the torture she could only imagine. The scent of rotting flesh was ever present, but Zayd didn’t seem to notice. He was as focused as she’d ever seen him, and his fingers pressing tightly into her bare skin were a stark reminder that he was in control, not her. “I choose who, female, not you.”
Kavin swallowed hard as she looked up at the Ghul who was, technically, her master. He was born of the aristocracy and could have chosen any female as his latest mistress, but he’d picked her. The fact her family had offered her up without protest still burned in the pit of her stomach. “I…I just think there must be one of better breeding. The Marid is an animal. He—”
Zayd stepped close, tightening his grip around her arm until pain shot up from the spot, cutting off her words midsentence. “Which is exactly why he must be the one. To appreciate all that I have to offer, you must first experience the dreck at the bottom of society.”
Horror washed through Kavin. He really was going to hand her over to that…that thing. “But he could kill me!”
Something dark sparked in Zayd’s eyes, as if he enjoyed the thought of that thing touching her. “He won’t. The Marid has a strong will to live. And he knows if he brings death to you, he’ll be executed. This is the test of all
, my dear. This is