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A Gift of the Darkest Magic

Author(s): Ashlynn Monroe

Would you be willing to betray the person you love in order to save their life?
 
Clarissa's husband Matt is dying of cancer. They've tried everything that medicine has to offer, both traditional and experimental, and nothing's worked. Clarissa spends her days in the hospital, watching the man she loves slip closer and closer to certain death.
 
When her sister tells her she knows a way to save Matt, but it involves visiting a local club run by vampires, Clarissa is outraged that her sister would believe something so insane. But then she learns the truth.
 
Braden, the sexy and mysterious vampire who runs the club, does indeed have the means to save Matt, but he demands a high payment in return. He doesn't want money, her blood, or even her life…he wants something she never expected. Clarissa has a choice—spend twenty-four hours in Braden's bed or let her husband die.
 
But what she never foresaw was how much more the vampire would truly want after he'd given her the gift of the darkest magic.
 
Content Warning: infidelity, light bondage, anal sex, and rough sex


EXCERPT:
 
The quiet drip of the IV and the occasional bleep of the monitor were the only sounds in the dim hospital room. Clarissa Blair held the cold hand of her husband, Matthew. Matt's diagnosis of cancer, just after Christmas, had been a horrible surprise. His condition rapidly deteriorated. The vibrant forty-year-old lay reduced to a thin husk, wasting away in the small room on the fourth floor of Mercy General Hospital. Clarissa could only wait and mourn quietly. She'd tried to hide her pain and stay positive for Matt, but it was getting harder to pretend as he slipped closer to the end of his life.
 
Their twin seven-year-old daughters spent a lot of time with her mother. She didn't want them to remember their father as the corpse she saw each day when she came to the hospital after work. Her life was a cycle of working and grieving. She knew the girls missed her, but she just didn't have the strength to be there for them and keep up with the day-to-day battle of holding herself together. Matt was leaving them.
 
The sound of the door opening roused her from the dark, sad thoughts. She stood up and hugged the visitor. "Hi, sis."
 
Caren, her younger sister, breezed into the room smelling of sunshine and fresh air, in contrast to the stale stench of death she'd come to associate with her husband's hospital room. "How is he today?"
 
Her sister's sadness only added to the weight in Clarissa's heart. "About the same. The nurse said last night was tough, but he pulled through. He's a strong fighter." She knew the last words sounded bitter. He was the strongest man she'd ever known; she couldn't understand why he couldn't beat the disease ravaging him. His once handsome face was pale and sunken. Her Matt had left long ago, leaving the dying man in his place. Her Matt would never have abandoned her and their daughters as this man was doing.
 
For a long moment, Caren looked into her face. She knew Caren wanted to say something, but was holding back.
 
"Go ahead and say what's on your mind. You're always so afraid of saying something that'll make me cry. I'm past that stage now. Just talk, you're irritating me." She knew her shrill statement bordered on cruel, but she didn't care. What was the use of pleasantries when her whole life was over and she'd never be happy again?
 
"Sorry, sweetie," Caren whispered, laying a gentle hand on Clarissa's shoulder.
 
The simple act of kindness tore at her soul, making her want to lash out again. She shrugged off her sister's caring touch. The unwavering love in the deep turquoise eyes, the same shade as her own, sent a little stab of guilt through Clarissa. "I'm the one who should be sorry, but seriously just tell me what's on your mind."
 
Caren gave her a weak smile. "You know I love Matt too."
 
Clarissa nodded. Matt had no siblings. She'd married him when Caren was still in high school and he'd taken to her sister as if she were his own. "I know." She sighed.
 
"I think I know a way to save him, but I need your help," Caren whispered.
 
Clarissa's eyes narrowed. Her whole body began shaking. "How dare you!" She hissed at her beloved younger sister.
 
"Really. I mean it, Clarissa. I think I know a way that we can save Matt's life." She said the words with genuine hope.
 
"We've tried faith healers, herbs, expensive specialists, what more can there be? I can't believe you'd spout such bullshit. Especially when he's so close to…" She couldn't say "the end", but it was true. Her husband only had a few more weeks to live, maybe less. The doctors had made it perfectly clear. It was time to give up hope. She'd already picked out his casket and bought the plot. Matt was gone.

"I'm not pulling your leg, or giving you false hope. I saw it work!"
 
 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781937325329
Genre: Paranormal
Date Published: 08/31/2012
Publisher: Beachwalk Press

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