THE AKSELI and THE PURVELI were both nominated for Book of the Year!
Return to the “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews) world of New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians.
Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember. But she never saw Aidan coming. When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion. Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed. Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings.
Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him. The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed. While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?
"Outstandingly vivid characterizations, dangerous dynamics, humorous banter and swoony sexy times. If you enjoy passionately hot, action-packed paranormal urban fantasy romances teeming with twists and turns, I'd highly encourage you to check out Dianne Duvall's Blade of Darkness!"
—Reading Between the Wines Book Club
"I thoroughly enjoyed Blade of Darkness! Between the banter, the steamy scenes, and all the twists and turns, I was engrossed from start to finish."
—Little Shop of Readers
"Oh another addition to this wonderful series. Seriously, if you haven't started this one yet you are missing out on some great action and romance."
—Books and Things
"Dianne Duvall's Immortal Guardians series has a place high up on my list of favorite series of all time and it's well deserved...I was entertained every minute spent with this book."
"The next book can't come fast enough . . . all of these books are amazing."
—From the TBR Pile
"It really doesn't freak you out, even a little bit, knowing I can see things from your past, present, and future? Knowing that the more time we spend together, the more I'll see and the more I'll know about you that you may not want me to know? Because I will see stuff you don't want me to, Aidan. I always do. And it always ruins things."
Leaning forward, Aidan crossed his arms and braced them on the table. "It doesn't freak me out at all, Dana, because I'm in the same boat."
She frowned. "What?"
Aidan took one of those pauses that made her think he questioned the wisdom of speaking. "I'm in the same boat," he repeated. "I haven't dated in a long time because I was born with gifts similar to yours that tend to make others uncomfortable."
Disappointment filled her. Seriously? He was mocking her?
"You look a bit like you want to hit me over the head with the breadbasket," he stated, brow creasing, "so—to keep you from thinking whatever it is that's making your eyes flash with fury—I'll tell you that I'm telepathic and can prove it if you'll give me permission to read your thoughts."
Hell yes, she was furious. This was Jason all over again. That asshole had pretended he had psychic abilities like hers in a lame attempt to get into her pants. He hadn't realized she actually was psychic and would see through his bullshit.
Dana leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. "You're telepathic?"
"I can read your thoughts?"
"You tell me," she countered, a blatant dare. Read my thoughts, my ass, she mentally grumbled. She had thought Aidan was different, but to mock her like this by pretending he had a special gift, too? What a disappointment.
"I am different," he insisted. "And I'm not pretending. I do have a special gift. More than one, if you're to know the truth of it."
She frowned. Had he just read her thoughts?
"Yes," he said.
She narrowed her eyes. Yes, what? Yes, he had read her thoughts? Or was he just guessing the path they would naturally take?
"Yes, I read your thoughts," he said. "And yes, I could've guessed the path they would take, but I didn't."
She stilled. Okay. That was a little spot-on.
"And to prove it," he continued, "I'll tell you that, although I have not been listening to your thoughts on our date, I did give them a listen both times you gave me a reading and know that you've had two visions about me that you failed to mention."
Her heart began to pound. How did he know that?
"In the first one," he said, lowering his voice, "we were naked in bed and I was touching your—"
"Holy crap," she whispered, dropping her arms and gaping at him.
His lips twitched. "I was going to say breast, but—"
"How do you know about that?" she blurted.
"The same way I know that in the second vision, you were cupping my face in your hands—as you did earlier—and I kissed you and pulled you up against me, sliding my hand down over your lovely bottom. I read your thoughts and saw it as clearly as you did."
Speech eluding her, Dana stared at him so long that her eyes began to burn.
"Blink," he instructed.
"I know it's a bit of a shock," he murmured, eyeing her with some concern.
"A bit of a shock," she parroted numbly.
"I know it feels intrusive. But I didn't read your thoughts the whole time. Most of the time I can control what I hear and don't hear and can block others' thoughts fairly easily." Younger telepathic immortals weren't so lucky. "But when the visions struck you, I saw them as clearly as you did without even trying. I think because we're both gifted."
She hadn't told anyone about those visions. There was no way he could've known about them without reading her mind. "Holy. Crap."
His eyebrows rose.
"Are you reading my thoughts right now?" she asked.
"Yes. They're a little chaotic. I'm sorry I've shaken you up so much. I just wanted you understand why I haven't dated in so long and hoped you'd appreciate my honesty."
Honesty! He had read her thoughts! He had apparently been reading them all this time, saying exactly what he knew she wanted him to say and—
His brows drew together. "Now wait a minute. That's not true. I would never use what I saw in your thoughts to manipulate you. If that had been my intent, I never would've told you I'm telepathic."
"Dude," a voice interrupted, "you told her you're telepathic?"
Aidan swung around and shot a glare at Sheldon.
Dana guessed Sheldon was in his early twenties. Tracy looked to be thirty or thereabouts. Both eyed her and Aidan with great interest as they gathered their laptops and gear and stopped by Dana and Aidan's table on their way to the door.
"Sheldon," Aidan growled, definitely a warning.
"You know he's telepathic?" Dana asked his friend.
"Yeah," Sheldon responded simply. The woman at his side nodded. Neither seemed to view it as anything extraordinary, as if she had just asked them if they knew Aidan could play the piano.
"It doesn't bother you?" Dana pressed.
Sheldon gave a dismissive shrug. "Nah. Aidan's a good guy. He almost never reads my mind."
Aidan grimaced. "Because there's too much porn and weird shite up there."
Tracy laughed and gave Sheldon's shoulder a shove. "Freak."
Sheldon grinned. "You know it." Then he caught Dana's eye. "I'm surprised he told you. People don't usually react well when they find out he's different. I'd think you'd understand that since you're different, too."
He knew she was a psychic? "How did you—?"
"I heard a rumor that Aidan was smitten with a psychic." He shrugged. "When I saw you two together, I assumed you were her."
Aidan frowned. "Where'd you hear that?"
Sheldon hesitated. "Cliff let it slip while we were playing video games. You won't hold it against him, will you? He didn't mean to. He was just more distracted than usual. And Tracy is the only person I've told."
Aidan shook his head. "It's fine."
Tracy smiled. "We'd better go before Sheldon says anything else that will embarrass you." Taking Sheldon's arm, she urged him toward the door. "You two have a nice evening."
"What'd I say that embarrassed him?" Sheldon asked, puzzled.
She whispered something to him.
Sheldon snorted. "Yeah, right. Like she didn't already know he's smitten. It's so obvious."
Tracy pushed him into the hallway and closed the door after them.
In the wake of their departure, Aidan swung back around and met Dana's gaze with obvious reluctance. "Apparently there's something else I failed to tell you that you should probably know."
Seriously? Something else? "What's that?" she asked, unsure she wanted to hear it.
He sighed. "I suck at dating."
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