Take it away, April :-)
As some of you now know (thank you for subscribing to my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/01Eef) ! Sign up today if you haven’t already!) I have decided to self-publish a couple of books. This isn’t something that I took too quickly, in fact it’s something I’ve agonized over for a while now.
As you all know I once wrote as Honor James. I was with another publisher and wrote a series called Knights of Ares. I loved these men and when I left the publisher I thought that I would lose them forever. I couldn’t do that however, but part of me needed a fresh start as well.
All six books of the Knights of Ares series have been re-written (I only saved the names of the men because they were so close to my heart) and I’m going to self-publish the series. I hadn’t intended on this series coming out yet – however I guess I uploaded it far too soon to the retailers and boom, here it is!
So, without further ado here is the first book of the series.
The Knights of Ares are a joint Navy SEAL and Army Ranger team that has been tasked with a new war. One that needs to be kept from being discovered, at all costs.
Mikhail “Wolf” Rossov and Gareth “Gunner” Gruffyd are part of the team that are fighting a war no one knows is happening. Out on the job, they end up saving a woman who turns out to be more than they could have believed.
Morgan Berry is a kindergarten teacher. The most dangerous part of her job is a wide spread flu epidemic in her class. Being a teacher is all she’s ever wanted, she never thought she’d soon be part of something bigger.
Kidnapped to become a pawn in a dangerous, violent game, Morgan has only one hope. For her men to come to her rescue, before it’s too late. She knows that they would walk through the fires of hell for her. But will they make it in time?
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I really hope that you enjoy these books.
Avril Stepowski Who edited the book
Jess Buffett Who did the cover
Doris O’Connor and Kacey Hammell Who critiqued the book before I sent it for edits (thank you, Doris!)
Rhonda Butterball – Thank you for being you!
And last but most certainly NOT LEAST!!
Moira Callahan Who was there for me while I waffled on what I wanted to do with this series. Seriously, Moira, love ya lots lady and you are really my best friend and I’m so freaking grateful to have you in my life!
PS – this does NOT mean that I’m no longer writing for Evernight Publishing, I am. I have several books slated in the “coming soon” area of Evernight and I’m working on more for them. These six books however will be self-published.
Now, how about a couple of excerpts? Mmmm I love reading a little about the books, don’t you?
It was good to be back on American soil. While he thought of himself as more Russian than American, America had been his home for all his life and would always be home.
Stepping out of the steam from the bathroom, he finished toweling off as he padded into the locker room. Nodding to his teammates who were scattered around in various states of undress, he grabbed up a pair of jeans and pulled them on.
Three weeks since their mission to extract the CIA operative from Greece without anyone, official or not, the wiser. While it hadn’t been smooth, they’d gotten in and out without alerting anyone that they’d ever been there. Bad guys notwithstanding of course.
Buttoning up his fly, Mik crammed his feet into a pair of boots. Grabbing his shirt, he hauled it on before dropping to sit on the bench to do up his boots.
They’d been in various meetings and sessions to debrief since they’d gotten out of Greece with the operative. All they knew about her was her code name for the op, Sugar. Not exactly fitting given the venom she’d directed their way the entire flight out of the country and then back to the States. But then again, she hadn’t looked all that happy before they’d met her so, really, who was he to judge.
What her mission had been in the country he couldn’t say. But since they were, currently, on friendly terms with Greece, who the fuck knew. Especially when it came to the spooks. Those guys just loved to root around in the darkest of corners looking for enemies and, if they couldn’t find one, making new ones.
Getting to his feet, he stomped them a little to settle the boots in place. Just as he grabbed his leather jacket, the door into the locker room crashed open and four MP’s came in.
“Sorry, sirs. The Admiral has requested your presence, immediately.”
Shooting his team mates a look Mik knew it wasn’t an actual “request.” No one, an Admiral especially, needed four heavily armed MP’s to pass on a “request”. No, it was an order that if not obeyed, he would bet the MPs had very specific and detailed instructions about what to do.
Shrugging into his jacket, he leaned against his locker as his cohorts got dressed. Not a one of them in any apparent rush. While the MPs had said immediately, and he was sure the Admiral had meant yesterday, they weren’t really going to just give in. That wasn’t how a one of them was made. He watched his fellow team members as they all seemed to gravitate into their duos, as usual. He wasn’t surprised when Gareth shot him a small crooked grin. The men weren’t couples, but they all worked together very well and at least where he and Gareth were concerned, shared women more often than not.
Rubbing a hand over his mouth, he hid his smirk as James “Fury” Ashton asked one of their team, Anton “Viper” Lueger, which shirt went with his eyes better. Always pushing the envelope that one. Catching the look on the MP’s faces and the way they were fiddling with their sidearms, he cleared his throat. Catching everyone’s attention he gave them a couple of signals out of sight of the MPs.
It got everyone moving faster. If a bunch of highly trained military cops were that twitchy, something big was going down. No need to provoke them more than absolutely necessary.
Leaving the locker room as a unit, they all shared a look. No one had a clue what was going on and not a one liked it. Especially since they’d all just been told they had three weeks leave. Which, in their minds, meant they got to leave, no questions asked. Not good.
* * * * *
Twenty minutes later Mikhail could not believe how fucking right he’d been. “Excuse me, sir. I mean zero disrespect, sir, but are you off your fucking rocker?” he asked.
His teammates all nodded. Yeah, every single one of them had been thinking it. He was just the craziest of the bunch to actually say it out loud. But it was part of his rep, and he so did love to live up to his rep.
“I wish,” the old man said. He rubbed a hand over his military regulation cut and looked at them all.
Mik couldn’t believe how old the Admiral looked right then. Sharing a worried look with Marius, he shook his head. “Sir, this is crazy. I might buy that Marius might believe in the Greek Gods, growing up as he had, but coming from you,” he shook his head again. “I’m sorry sir, but I’m not buying it.”
“You’d better,” a new voice said. One that was deep, bowels of hell deep, and sent a shiver down every man’s spine.
Spinning Mikhail stared up, yeah up, at seven and a half feet of solid muscle covered in leather. Holy shit, where the fuck had this guy come from?
“Olympus by way of Athens,” the large male said. He turned his blacker than night eyes to the Admiral. “Andrew, sorry I’m late. Had a small family matter to attend to.”
“No apologies needed, come on in and grab a seat. I think I’ll let you tell them the rest of this, as they don’t seem to be taking me seriously.”
The large man chuckled and, not kidding, Mikhail could have sworn the room actually pitched and rolled like the deck of a battleship on high seas.
“They are trained to believe what they can see, hear and touch, Andrew. Of course, they are not going to just take you at your word,” the male said. He walked around them all, he was light on his feet too, and took the seat that the Admiral had offered.
Shooting Marius a look, he saw the same WTF expression he was sure was on his face. The guy was on a first name basis with the Admiral and seemed to be buying into the same delusion, too. This would be interesting to hear.
“It’s not a delusion, Mikhail,” the guy said. “The Greek Gods are real, all of us.”
“So, we’re to believe you’re one?” Meirion “Saber” Jamison asked.
“Yes,” the male told them.
“Right,” Thomas “Brick” Gordon drawled out in his Southern manner. “Which one, just so we keep it all straight and shit?” he asked.
The Admiral looked like he was either going to shit himself or be sick. Not a look one expected of a career military man who’d been through more wars than most could lay claim to. And all on the front lines for the most part.
“Ares,” the male said.
“God of War,” Stefan “Orion” Patras said softly. “Son of Zeus and Hera.”
“Bingo,” the big male said. “Got it in one. Which, considering your heritage, I’d be truly miffed if you hadn’t.”
Shooting his Greek teammate a look, Mik shook his head. “Okay, I have a question, if we’re all going to play along with this delusion.”
“It’s no delusion and yes, the Gods are real.” Ares, or whoever the fuck he was, got up from his chair. He pushed it out of the way and settled with his feet spread so they were right under his shoulders.
A flash of light and they were staring at the guy in full battle regalia. As in, ancient armor with one hell of a big ass sword in hand, tip to the floor. Oddly enough, the guy even seemed bigger.
And he was walking straight toward Mik.
Standing his ground Mikhail notched his chin up to keep eye contact with the guy. Which was a lot harder than he’d thought now that they guys eyes were silver swirling pools, much like a whirlpool, trying to suck him in.
“Military men are always the hardest to convince,” the God, or whoever he was, said. Then he smiled, perfectly straight white teeth no less, and lifted a hand. “Let’s see if I can’t convince you, shall we?”
Mik would have protested, but he wasn’t quick enough. The Gods' hand landed on his shoulder and suddenly he was being torn apart and then rebuilt molecule by molecule. He saw the beginning of the world, Zeus’s creation of man, the “birth” of the other Gods and times in history that even scientists and the best historians could only make educated guesses on. He saw battlefields where the God before him was in the thick, covered in blood and other bodily gore.
He watched as cities burned, crumbling into dust, and civilizations fell. He watched the march of the Roman empire across Europe and their eventual retreat. Cities rose, fell, changed, grew and then technology began to come into sight. Then they were back in the room, in the present and he was staring up into a pair of swirling silver eyes.
The hand on his shoulder squeezed before falling away. “Believe now?” the deep voice asked softly.
Stumbling back Mikhail groped for a chair and fell into one when it was close enough. Shivering he couldn’t tear his eyes off the guy. “What the fuck?” he asked.
Ares just nodded. “Good. Now we’re getting somewhere.” Another flash and he was back in his leather striding back to the head of the table to sit down once more. “Gentlemen, sit,” he told the rest of the team. “We have a lot to discuss and very little time.”
He could feel the worried eyes of his teammates on him, but he couldn’t say anything. His mind was still fighting to resolve all he’d just witnessed and make sense of it. And he was failing miserably.
One hand cupped her ass, a finger pressing between her cheeks, and the other was in her hair, pulling her head back to accept his dominance. He growled into her mouth as he flicked his tongue to hers and pressed her against the growing, hard evidence of his desire for her. His mouth grew more demanding the more she responded to him and he pulled her in even closer, grinding his hips to hers slowly.
Morgan didn’t even think twice about it, she wrapped both legs around him when he lifted her fully. She needed more than just a kiss and made sure that he knew it. When they parted finally she was panting. “Heavens,” she whispered the singular word. “You are dangerous, and good heavens if I don’t want more.” Her words were clearly a plea to him for more.
He licked his lips slowly as his hands squeezed her ass. “At this very moment I do believe you are the more dangerous of the two of us,” he said quietly. Rocking his hips forward he ground his cock to her pussy slowly. The look in his eyes was cautious and wary as he watched her. “Morgan, what do you want?” he asked. The question was loaded in more ways than one, but the look in his eyes told her he was serious and a little unsure.
“And if I say you?” Morgan asked softly, never letting her eyes leave his face. “You are someone worth putting my heart on the line for. I don’t understand the feelings, the connection I feel to you but also your friend, Gareth. I need you to know that I’m attracted to him as well.” She very well might be signing away any pleasure she might have found with Mikhail, but she was a believer in honesty first. “None of the other men turn me on the way that you do.” Stark and honest truth.
He didn’t say anything for a long, long time. But he also didn’t push her away. He just held her close and watched her. While he watched, she was watching him. She could, almost, see him working through it in his head. At that moment she truly understood that he did everything with careful thought. From what he did, to what he said, all was thought through with great and meticulous care.
Leaning in closer to her he brushed his lips over hers, so lightly she barely registered the touch before he drew back a bit. “Are you sure, Morgan?” he asked softly. “We don’t exactly have the best of lives or careers right now. Every moment is a guessing game and, at any time, we could be drawn away. This is a war for keeps of the most monumental sort. We could die tomorrow, next week or years from now. But, most importantly of all.” Mikhail brushed his lips over her jaw to her ear. “We’re very, very possessive,” he whispered before biting her earlobe lightly.
Morgan shivered in reaction to that low rumbly growl. The confession, if one would call it that. She called it more of a claiming, but that only made her hotter. “Oh, I’m very sure. What better reason to do the things that you want and be with the men that you want than the idea that we all could die tomorrow? Today is the only guarantee, our yesterdays were treasured reminders of what we wanted and tomorrow.” She leaned closer, her cheek to his and mimicked his growl. “Tomorrow I want to wake up naked in your bed with you balls deep inside of my pussy. That’s what I could call a delicious and wonderful future.”
His entire body jolted, whether from her growl or her words she didn’t know, but it did press his cock harder to her aching pussy so really, who cared. Mikhail scraped his teeth down her throat lightly before nipping, hard. “Don’t tease me,” he said lifting his head. His face was serious as he looked at her. “Is that truly what you want, Morgan?”
“Yes, Mikhail. That is what I truly want, more than I want my next breath. I know we should go eat, but honest to God, right now all I can think of doing is getting naked on your bed with you and riding you until we both pass out from the sheer joy of it.”
He was staring at her with a singular focus she’d never known before. “There’s always lunch,” he said adjusting his hold. And then they were moving, to his bedroom she noticed. Once inside he shut and locked the door before striding to his bed and dumping her down onto it. “Get undressed quickly or I’ll tear your clothes off of you.”
She began to peel out of her clothes, her eyes never leaving his. “And you are okay with me wanting Gareth as well?” She wanted to know now before they got down to the business of making love, she needed to know so that she wasn’t feeling guilty later for wanting another man as well. When she was naked she looked at him and licked her lips. “Gods you are glorious.” He was too. His skin was tanned with scars here and there, and tattoos, glory be the tattoos and, holy shit! “Is that a piercing you have?” She wanted to put her tongue on it and tug it gently, she wanted to taste all of him.
“We all have piercings, some from before and some from after meeting Ares,” he said. “All have metal from Hephaestus’ forge to protect us. It’s an added layer to help hide us from the Weres and Vampires. The tattoos are all mine from before, though they’ve been added to here and there with more protection.” He climbed up on the bed and prowled toward her, the only word to describe the movement. “You are more than welcome to want Gareth. He wants you,” he said softly as he got close enough for her to touch. “I think we may just have to have you between us one day. One cock in your pussy, one in your ass, or maybe, in your saucy little mouth instead.”
“Oh Gods.” She breathed softly, her mouth going wet at the thought of them doing just that. “I love the idea, a great deal.” Her hands moved down his chest, a finger lightly stroking the piercing in his nipple and then she dipped her head and put her mouth to the small ring there. She licked the nipple until it was taut and then nipped the piercing with her teeth, tugging it gently. She wanted to taste the other piercings too, the ones she saw on his cock. Gods she wanted him, desperately. “You would have to get lots of lube, because I’ve never had anyone in my ass, but I would love to feel it. I want to experience everything with you, Mikhail.”
“We wouldn’t put you through that right away. We’d need to get you ready, slowly and carefully. Butt plugs to stretch you out, maybe with a remote vibrator that either I or Gareth controlled. You’d never know when or where we’d turn it on. They’d get bigger over time, easing you slowly in preparation to take one of our cocks. Then, and only then, when you were ready, would we do that. Not one second before,” he said softly, brushing a kiss to her shoulder with just a hint of teeth.
Morgan’s legs were around Mikhail’s hips and they tightened at the promise that was held in his voice. “I would love that, I’m sure. We will have to do some shopping I think. Get me some cute little outfits to wear in the bedroom for you.” She could see herself in a maid get up and him ripping it off of her, leaving her just in the white thigh highs.
“Or you could just be naked,” he said softly. Lifting his head, he looked at her as he brushed his nose against hers. “Naked is very good, especially when you look so delightful and sinful as you are.” He kissed her before she could respond, his body settling over hers in the perfect press of skin to skin as he wrapped his arms around her to hold her close.
“Naked is very, very good.” She agreed wholeheartedly. “I think that naked is the best of the best of ways to be.” She agreed with a low moan. “Mikhail.” His name was like a prayer. It was a calling of her soul to his. She was desperate and didn’t care that he knew it.
Mik lifted his head from where he was nibbling on her jaw. “Condom,” he muttered it like a curse. Rolling them over he took them right to the edge. Her ass actually was hanging off into space but she never once felt like she’d fall, not with the hold he had on her, as he rooted around in the bedside table. Then they were rolling again until she was on top of him and he held up the condom to her. “You said you wanted to ride.”
“Oh yes, I do.” She took the little foil package from him and wiggled down his body. “But first.” She didn’t tell him what was first, she showed him instead. With her ass high in the air she began to lick and suckle his cock. Her hand wrapped as far around the girth as she could possibly get and her tongue toyed with the little barbells that were on the underside of his cock as well as the little ring at the opening. She had never been so turned on in her life, there was something about seeing those piercings that had her pussy creaming.
Looking up his body at him she grinned. “Will the condom hold up to these?” She asked and stroked her tongue along the piercings. “I’ve never had anyone inside of me before with piercings. I can’t wait to feel this.” Too much talking, needed more licking and sucking.
The sound he made couldn’t actually be called a word. She wasn’t really sure what it was but he seemed to be wrestling for some control. “It’s made for them specifically.” He finally managed to croak out as he drove his fingers into her hair and thrust his hips up, to encourage her she was sure.
“Good.” Was all that she said before she once more turned her mouth and attention back to his glorious cock. She worshiped it with her tongue, with her hands. She shivered because she knew she was so damn close to coming and he hadn’t even touched her, yet. Before she ran out of time and they both came, she unwrapped the condom and then lifted so he could see her. Popping it into her mouth she winked at him, and then with her mouth and tongue rolled the condom down his cock.
Once he was covered in the latex covering she prowled up his body and licked her lips. “So I take it you enjoyed that?” Her hands were braced on his chest and her pussy was poised over his cock, not taking him inside of her body, yet. She wanted him to be the one that pushed inside of her, wanted to feel his need for her mirrored in the sharp thrust of his cock into her waiting and wet pussy.
His eyes were definitely not icy cold anymore, hot for sure, burning would actually be more accurate. “Later you will pay for that torture,” he said softly. “But not now. Now I want you too much, need to be buried inside of you,” he growled out at her. He grabbed her hips tighter and thrust up, filling her full but not fully. He stopped when her fingers clenched on his chest and he watched her with that predator's gaze. “Morgan?” he turned her name into a question, one filled with concern.
She had let her head fall back and her eyes close when he thrust into her. “Don’t.” She gulped, forced herself to pull away from the joy of that moment and looked down at him with a greedy smile. “I loved the way that felt. I was savoring the feeling of the first time you entered my body.” She admitted and then lifted slightly, only to move downward once more with a low moan. “Oh Gods.” She breathed. “I can feel each barbell. I can feel the loop at the end of your cock. Jesus. H. Christ.” She panted. “I’ve never been so full in my life.” Never felt so good, and they had just begun.
His hands tightened on her hips briefly before loosening a little. “You’re supposed to feel them,” he said softly. “When I take you from behind later you’ll feel them rubbing over every nerve ending you have. It will likely be the quickest orgasm of your life.” Moving his hands, he took hers in his and braced his elbows at his sides as he watched her. “Move.”
She began to move. “And when you are in my ass?” Because she knew she wanted him there, she wanted everything. “They won’t harm me, right?” Morgan shimmied on his cock, that was the only term to describe the little twist and shake that she did as she slid back down on him a little harder. “God, I can’t wait to feel you taking me from behind. Feeling those barbells rubbing against my clit as you fuck me until we are both limp and gasping for air.”
“They won’t do you any harm, but the sensations will be intense,” he said, his hips rising to meet her descent. “They are designed without sharp edges or anything that could hurt you or me. They only give pleasure,” he said as he flexed his cock inside of her.
“Oh god and they do.” She was panting now, moving faster upon him as she did so. “So much pleasure. Mercy.” She let her nails curl and bite into his chest, she was riding him harder and faster, moving more and more quickly with each and every passing second in time. “Mikhail.” She saw stars, already she was so close, riding that edge, but wanted to hold off. God, she needed to hold off to experience more.
“Let go,” he told her, gripping her hips again as he lifted and lowered her to meet his thrusts. “Just let go and fall, I’ll catch you,” he said slamming his cock into her faster, harder and impossibly deeper.
Morgan trusted him. She did just that. She let go. She screamed as her pleasure seemed to fill her. Her flesh prickled in gooseflesh and her back bowed as she stilled on top of him, her pussy clenching his cock greedily.
Mikhail thrust up into her a few more times before he tensed and his back bowed. He let out a fierce sounding growl as his cock twitched inside of her and, oddly enough, seemed to swell a little more. As she began to collapse he caught her and pulled her down to lay over his chest. His frantic heartbeat was right under her ear as his arms held her to him tightly.
She was very glad she wasn’t the only one so profoundly affected by their lovemaking. The sound of his heart rapidly beating with hers made her smile. With her eyes closed she began to pet him and whispered, “I think everything has just changed, and I for one couldn’t be happier.”
Squeezing her gently he rolled them over and pulled out of her. “Let me get rid of the condom,” he said when she tried to hang onto him. Brushing a kiss to her lips Mikhail slipped off the bed and walked to the bathroom. He was out of sight for a couple of minutes before coming back toward her, apparently without any worry about being naked.
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