Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless--and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost...until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.
Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation--or her ultimate damnation?
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June 25, 2012
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Excerpt from Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
"How does that make you feel, Annabelle?" The male voice lingered over the word "feel," adding a disgusting layer of sleaze.
Annabelle tilted her head to the side, her gaze locked on Dr. Fitzherbert, though the other patients in the "trust circle" remained in her periphery. In his early forties, the doctor had thinning salt and pepper hair, dark brown eyes and perfectly tanned, though slightly lined, skin. At five ten, he was only a bit taller than her, on the thin side and, if you ignored the blackness of his soul, moderately attractive.
The longer she stared at him, silent, the more his lips curled upward. How that smugness grated--not that she'd ever let him know. She would never willingly do anything to please him.
He'd drugged her once. Well, he'd drugged her every day of his two-month employment at the Moffat County Institution for the Criminally Insane. But last night he had sedated her with the express purpose of stripping her, touching her in ways he shouldn't and taking pictures.
Such a pretty girl, he'd said. Out there in the real world, a stunner like you would make me work for something as simple as a dinner date. Here, you're completely at my mercy. You're mine to do with as I please. Mine to control.
Humiliation still burned hot and deep, a fire in her blood. She'd like to say he was the first medical professional to violate her confidence. Yeah, she'd like to say that.
Over the last four years, the doctors and nurses in charge of her care had changed more times than her roommates, some of them shining stars of their profession, others simply going through the motions, doing what needed doing, while a select few were worse than the convicted criminals they were supposed to treat.
"Annabelle," Fitzpervert chided. "Silence isn't to be tolerated."
Well, then. "I feel like I'm one hundred percent cured. You should probably let me go."
He frowned with exasperation, all I'm such a good doctor and I could save you if only you'd let me. "You know better than to answer my questions so flippantly. That doesn't help you deal with your emotions or your problems. That doesn't help anyone here deal with their emotions or problems."
"Ah, so I'm a lot like you then." As if he cared about helping anyone but himself.
Several patients snickered. A couple merely drooled, foamy bubbles falling from babbling lips and catching on the shoulders of their gowns.
Fitzpervert's frown morphed into a scowl, the pretense of being here to help vanishing. He enjoyed his power, and he would not hesitate to strike at her for challenging it. "That smart mouth will get you into trouble." Not a threat. A vow.
Didn't matter. Her "smart mouth" was her life raft, her only way of fighting back. She lived in constant fear of creaking doors, shadows and footsteps. Of drugs and people and...things. Of herself.
The innocent, naive girl she'd once been was dead, killed the same day as her parents, the ghost somehow alive inside her, haunting her. At the worst times, she would remember things she had no business remembering.
Taste this, honey. It'll be the best thing you've ever eaten!
A terrible cook, her mother. Saki had loved to tweak recipes to "improve" them.
Did you see that? Another touchdown for the Sooners!
A diehard football fan, her dad. He had attended OU in Oklahoma for three semesters, and had never cut those ties.
She would remember, and she would cry. She would crave the things that had once been--the things that should have been. But okay, fine, whatever. Whaa,...