After a life filled with tragedy, rocker Gabriel Gunn thinks he's finally getting the better of his personal demons. Then he's attacked after a concertand rescued by a warrior goddess brandishing a sword and white wings. As hard as it is to believe in an angelic bodyguard, Gabriel must face an even more impossible truth: he carries the devil's soul within him.
Amelia has been watching over Gabriel for years, using her angelic powers to prevent Lucifer's return. Now she must also protect him from warring angel factions with their own agendas. Amelia would do anything to avert another angelic war, even sacrifice her own emotions to avoid temptation. Yet with Gabriel she feels things she no longer wants to deny, and pleasure she never imagined.
But the closer Gabriel and Amelia get, the stronger Lucifer becomes. Will Amelia be forced to kill the man she's come to love to stop the war she's always feared?
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July 17, 2011
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Excerpt from Falling Hard by J.K. Coi
From the Book...
The hot, colored spotlights hanging above the stage penetrated Gabriel's dark lenses. He blinked, seeking relief from the stinging sweat pouring down his forehead and into his eyes through the thick layer of makeup and eyeliner.
He closed his eyes. That was better. He didn't need to see the teenage girls screaming and jumping up and down in the front row. He didn't need to see the rhythmic undulations of a crowd that had merged into one monstrous entity, moving before him like a great urban swarm.
A year ago he would have reveled in the size and energy of the crowd and seized the worship of his fans as nothing more than his due. Now the only thing that kept him onstage was the music.
He nodded, and behind him Samuel drummed the opening beat. Remmie followed on acoustic and Jackson broke in on bass. Their timing was perfect--Gabriel couldn't have asked for a better set, especially since this was their last performance of the tour.
Hanging back, he gave the three of them this final chance to go nuts on the instrumental. The music pounded into him hard, each rough chord pulsing behind his closed eyelids in vibrant colors that swirled together to form familiar patterns. He sometimes wondered if everyone "saw" the notes like he did, if the music lived for them the same as it lived in him. Somehow he didn't think so.
The boys were winding down, falling back into the official choreography of the song. Grabbing the strap of his bass, Gabriel swung it off his shoulder and readied his fingers on the strings. The crowd screamed his name, urging him to join his instrument and his voice with the others, as if only he could answer the savage demands of their hungry, desperate souls.
He opened his eyes again but the music had him in its grip and now he saw nothing except for its dark, electric colors. He let his body respond to the heavy beat as he leaped into the air. Expertly, his pick plucked the hard metal of the strings, the deeply calloused fingers of his other hand sliding along on the delicate neck of the instrument.
The notes flowed through him, a part of him. Stepping in front of the mic, he paused, waiting a heartbeat before he opened his mouth and started to sing.
You think you know... You think you understand.
Who I am. What I am.
The lyrics had been written by him, just as every song had come from him, from that honest, dark place nobody ever saw except through the music.
You can't. You'll never know...I pray you'll never see.
The real me.
Gabriel felt the power and energy of the music extending outward into the audience. This was an abrasive tune with a heavy, industrial beat that made you feel certain--you either moved or you died. He didn't have to see the crowd to know booted feet thumped madly on the concrete floor, sweaty bodies slammed forward and back, heads thrashed, and blood pumped fast and hot in thin veins already overtaxed by heroin and coke.
But it wasn't only the beat that drilled into the core of every person in the audience. Gabriel himself drove them higher. He dictated the temper of the crowd and controlled it with his voice. His words. His will. That's what left them frantic, roused and desperate for more--which is exactly the way he wanted to leave them tonight, when it would be more than a year before he stepped foot on a stage again.
Don't try to find... Don't try to see...
The real me.
Suddenly Sam's drums quit. The guitars went silent.
-- END OF EXCERPT --