It’s finally time for the release of MAREK, the latest novel in her epic Guardians of Hades series. I’m sorry this one took so long to get out, and thanks for being so patient and waiting for it to come along. The rest of 2020 is going to be packed with these sexy seven brothers, so mark your calendars for the next book, coming in July, too!
If you love dark, alpha Greek gods and strong heroines who bring them to their knees, together with epic action, sizzling passion and high stakes drama, then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!
Marek (Guardians of Hades Paranormal Romance Series Book 4)
by Felicity Heaton
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Earth, Marek was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai. Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence.
Haunted by a betrayal that shattered him and set him on a dark path of vengeance, Marek closely guards his heart, as determined to keep it safe as he is to wipe the scourge of vampires from the world.
Until a hunt lands him in the presence of a beautiful woman who threatens to steal that heart as she battles his sworn enemy, her graceful moves igniting a passion so fierce and hunger so deep it consumes him.
Caterina’s sole purpose for the last decade has been freeing her brother of the curse of being turned into a vampire. When an alluring dark warrior steps in to help her battle a nest of bloodsuckers, her entire life is tipped off balance. She knows deep in her heart the warrior can help her save her brother, but can she trust a man who is driven to slay every vampire he meets?
When Marek’s enemy emerges from the shadows, and Caterina is pulled down a dark rabbit hole into a dangerous world, will they be strong enough to overcome their pride and their prejudices or will a dark turn of events shatter both their hearts?
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He had never been one for believing in signs, but as Marek watched the skull made of bubbles slide down the glass shower screen, a bad feeling stirred deep in his gut.
He finished scrubbing the suds from his hair and slicked it back, running both hands over his head as his eyes strayed back to the skull now stretching and deforming into something resembling Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.
It meant nothing. Omens weren’t real.
If the bad feeling came from anywhere, it was because things had gone too quiet since the wraith had broken into the Tokyo mansion and rescued the shapeshifter female he and his brothers had managed to capture. It had looked as if she was going to be a valuable source of information, that Esher could break her down and convince her to talk if he had enough time.
Marek and his six brothers had held her in their grasp for only a few hours before the wraith had used the memories he had stolen from Esher to penetrate the barrier around the mansion and had whisked her away through a portal.
Now, they were back to square one. They had an enemy and they had no clue how many were in their ranks or what they planned to do next. All they knew was that this band of daemons wanted to destroy the gates he and his brothers protected between the mortal world and their home, the Underworld, to merge the two realms into one they would control.
Keras was still annoyed about the fact they had lost their only source of information, as well as other things.
Marek couldn’t remember the last time his oldest brother had said more than two words to him. At every meeting Marek attended, Keras spoke to the others about their reports and what he wanted them to do next, but when it came to Marek, all Keras dished out was the cold shoulder.
Marek cursed Enyo under his breath, not foolish enough to do it aloud in case the damned goddess of war was able to hear him. It was time she overcame whatever it was that stopped her from facing facts and his brother, before she ended up getting Marek killed. The next time she showed up on Marek’s doorstep, she was getting the cold shoulder treatment.
Or he would damn well teleport to wherever Keras was so she was forced to see his brother again.
It was about time they both faced their feelings.
Keras was as in denial as Enyo was.
The skull continued to mock him. Marek swiped the side of his left hand across the glass, obliterating it, and shut off the water. He didn’t believe in signs.
He made his own destiny.
The Moirai could tell him the future all they wanted, but what good were the seers when they couldn’t tell him the details? He and his brothers had been stuck in the mortal world for two hundred years thanks to the fates and their sketchy facts. Their father, Hades, had banished them from the Underworld to protect the gates and await the attack the fates had foreseen, believing it would motivate them and give them reason to focus all of their effort on their mission so they could return home.
Two centuries of waiting and the enemy had finally made themselves known.
War was coming.
Marek couldn’t wait.
His gut swirled with a dark hunger, one that had been steadily building over the last two weeks and pressed him to obey it. He flexed his fingers as his thoughts trod a dark path, feeding that hunger with images of beautiful carnage, of walls painted crimson, and blood rolling down his body as he stood amidst the aftermath of a battle.
The image wasn’t one he had witnessed, but one that was to come. Marek could tell the future too in his own way. He could predict the result of a hunt—because he always won. Nothing stood between him and the high of victory, not when he was hunting. His blood burned with need as his hunger got the better of him, and he stepped out of the shower, unable to deny it any longer.
He would make that vision real tonight.
He dried off and scrubbed a towel against his dark hair, mussing the waves into curls as he stared at himself in the mirror. He wasn’t surprised to find his normally brown eyes were black with the dark need to hunt, revealing the depth of his hunger.
He tried to keep his mind on other things as he tugged on his trunks and then his black combat trousers, and pulled on a tight black T-shirt, but his focus kept slipping, filling his head with pleasing images of fighting that roused another need in his veins, a trickle of pleasure that warmed him. His eyes slid shut as anticipation built, the thought of what was to come making him want to rush.
He clenched his fists, savoured the sting of his nails biting into his palms, and tamped down the urges, clawing back control. He would have his high soon enough. It was better he remained focused during the fight. Afterwards, when the twelve vermin he had been tracking for the last two weeks were little more than fizzing piles of flesh and bone, he could indulge himself and enjoy the bliss and satisfaction that came from killing them.
His father, Hades, would be angry with him if he discovered Marek’s need to slay vampires, a species his father viewed as allies. His brothers would probably be just as furious. Knowing that didn’t stop him. It couldn’t stop him.
The vampires needed to pay.
He had tried to deny the hunger to kill them, and it hadn’t ended well. The compulsion was strong, so powerful that it had driven him into his darker side—a side that came from Hades’s blood in his veins—and he had lost all control, becoming a slave to it.
His second-eldest brother, Ares, had found him a week later, caked with blood and grime. Apparently, he had located him by following the trail of carnage Marek had left in his wake. By his brother’s estimate, close to a thousand daemons had lost their lives to Marek’s blade, and on top of that he had slaughtered five Hellspawn.
Hellspawn were what he and his brothers called the daemon breeds that Hades deemed acceptable, ones who still served him and were allowed to travel freely between the mortal world and the Underworld.
Hades had forgiven him for killing them.
He doubted his father would forgive him if he became aware of the thousands of vampires he had slaughtered since then.
All of them in cold blood while fully aware of what he was doing.
Marek stalked into his bedroom, the terracotta tiles cool beneath his feet despite the thick heat of summer. Insects buzzed and chirruped outside, their song a soothing melody as he breathed deeply to focus, centring himself as he prepared for battle.
He felt the earth deep beneath him, sensed it surrounding him, and he closed his eyes as he allowed his connection to it to calm him further, and push out the frantic need building within him. Patience.
There were a dozen vampires in that nest in Barcelona, and he was going to butcher every single one of them.
Nothing was going to stop that from happening tonight.
He rounded his oak double bed that stood against the wall opposite the bathroom and opened a drawer on the side table to its right.
His dark gaze landed on the one thing it contained and the hunger roared back to life inside him.
He swallowed and reached into the drawer, his eyes slipping shut and pleasure rolling in on the wake of his hunger as his fingers made contact with the leather hilt of the blade. It was smooth beneath his touch, worn from centuries of use. He bit back a groan as he curled his fingers around it and lifted the blade, felt the delicious weight of it in his palm. He opened his eyes and looked down at it, shivered as he drew the curved knife from its sheath and the silver blade caught the low lights, reflecting them up at him.
The beauty of it hit him hard in the way it always did, had him transfixed as he took in every nick in the razor-sharp blade and recounted all the vampires he had killed with it, using the silver it contained to send them to their final deaths.
The need to hunt condensed inside him, boiled and raged, pushed at him until he surrendered to it. He swiftly sheathed the blade and jammed it into the waist of his fatigues, and focusing on his destination, he summoned his ability to teleport.
Darkness whirled around him, consumed him as he took a single step forwards. Familiar sensation washed through him, his connection to the Underworld lasting only a heartbeat before he emerged from the teleport. It was comforting nonetheless, and the closest he had been to home in two hundred years.
He landed in a cobbled alley surrounded by old cream stone buildings. The air was thicker here in Barcelona than in Seville, heavy with moisture that made it hard to breathe as the stifling heat bore down on him. He gave himself a moment to adjust to the summer temperatures, and then silently moved along the alley, using the shadows as cover as he stealthily approached the arched entrance of the vampire nest.
His senses sharpened as he focused them ahead of him, eager to count the number of foes awaiting him.
Only it wasn’t twelve signatures that popped up on his internal radar.
It was only five.
Marek cursed and moved faster, drawing his blade from its sheath at the same time. He could still eliminate these five, taking the edge off his hunger, and then he would wait for the rest to return. He reached the entrance of the building and stopped dead as the scent of spilled vampire blood hit him together with a feminine grunt and a hiss.
There hadn’t been any females among the vampires.
Was it a vampire?
Or a victim?
He eased the heavy wooden doors open and slipped inside. His eyes rapidly adjusted to the darkness that clung to the ground floor of the building, revealing the courtyard.
And a woman.
She stood in the centre of the courtyard, the low lights reflecting off her caramel-coloured hair as it tumbled around her shoulder, shifting in waves as she turned her head left and then right, eyeing the four male vampires moving to flank her. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she was facing off against the vampires, he would have thought her one of them with her tight dark clothing. She matched their style perfectly, calf-height black leather boots showing over her tight navy jeans and a form-fitting black tank revealing her toned figure.
A thin cut slashed up her left arm, a crimson trail from it reaching her elbow.
Darkness stirred inside him as she took in the vampires, her wide luminous hazel eyes bright with what looked a lot like fear.
A startling new urge blasted through Marek in response.
A need to protect her.
The dark-haired vampire facing her licked his fangs.
Not on Marek’s watch.
Darkness rushed through him, sweet and addictive, dangerously seductive as it subdued his softer emotions, leaving only raw rage and a black hunger for violence behind. His nails sharpened into claws, canines lengthening to match those the vampire was flashing at the woman.
His would-be victim.
Marek leaned his weight forwards and readied his blade, his gaze locking onto the male; mind racing to calculate everything about him, from his weight and height, to which foot he favoured and any possible weapons he had concealed on his body.
Satisfied that the vampire wouldn’t stand a chance, Marek pressed down on his right foot, intending to launch at the male.
Only the woman picked that moment to yell a battle cry and spin on her heel, a silver blur shining around her as she gracefully pirouetted.
And stabbed the vampire nearest Marek right through his heart with a short sword.
Marek rocked back on his heels.
She wasn’t a victim.
She was a warrior.
Breathtaking as she ducked beneath the blow from the blond male behind her and lashed out with her leg in a fluid sweep that looked as if she had performed it a thousand times. She caught the male’s ankles, toppling him, and spun back up to her full height as she brought her blade around.
It sliced clean through the throat of the vampire she had stabbed, cleaving his head from his body as he frantically clutched at the bubbling wound in his chest. The vampire slumped to land by what appeared to be the fizzing remains of another vampire, giving Marek a better view of the warrior as she took on the remaining three.
Part of Marek growled at him to intervene, to protect her as he had intended.
The rest of him was struck dumb by how gracefully she moved as she twisted and turned, blocked and attacked, undeterred by the way the vampires evaded her blows.
He had never seen anything like her.
It wasn’t fear that flashed in her hazel eyes as she spun on her heel and jammed her blade into the gut of the blond vampire. It was excitement. Pleasure. The same thrill he felt as he watched her.
Who was she?
The hunger that had gone dormant inside him the moment he had set eyes on her returned with a vengeance, snarling a black demand in his head as he watched her fighting the vampires.
Fighting his vampires.
It didn’t matter who she was. She was intruding on his battle, had ruined his plans for the night. These vermin were his to kill.
The woman slashed her blade across the leg of the blond vampire, cutting deep into his thigh through his black jeans, delivering another deadly blow of silver judging by how the vampire she had managed to kill was slowly melting away to nothing.
She leaned over and grasped the male by his hair, stared into his eyes as the silver consumed him, tearing pained hisses from between his clenched teeth as he convulsed.
Her first mistake.
A fatal one.
She had taken her eyes off the remaining two.
The tall dark-haired male grabbed her from behind, fisted her fall of caramel hair and pulled her head back, ripping a pained cry from her lips.
The vampire’s eyes blazed red as he bent his head to pierce her delicate neck with his filthy fangs.
Marek growled from the shadows, the feral snarl pealing from him before he could contain it as the need to protect her roared back to the fore, stealing control of him again.
The woman tensed.
The vampires froze.
Their glowing scarlet eyes edged towards him.
Marek launched at them on a roar.