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“The diverse cast of characters…will impress fans of paranormal fantasy sagas, such as Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, as the potential for future storylines seems virtually limitless.” —Kirkus Reviews
Nicholas Theodoulos is an immortal savior in desperate need of saving. All the power, wisdom, and even the favor of the gods is not enough when 1,700 years of heartache have left marks on his soul. But Noory Abramson, a streetwise woman with a sacred tattoo and a touch of grace, steps from the shadows, not knowing if she’s arrived in time to save him or end him for good. With a heart grown as heavy as his, either fate might do.
When Noory observes Nick grieving over the body of a young girl in a deserted Atlanta alley, she isn’t sure whether he is friend or foe. However, she quickly realizes his special powers to rescue children and rain down vengeance on those that harm them may be the only thing that can help her when one of her charges, sixteen-year-old Grace, goes missing from the local homeless shelter. Soon, Nick discovers Noory has secrets of her own: one that might lead him to redemption, and possibly love, for the first time in his painful existence.
In their world, a gift looks a lot like a curse, and Noory must reach Nick before his gift consumes him.
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Paranormal Romance Emphasis:
Nick leaned on Noory as alcohol emanated from every pore. “It’s gone on forever, you know.”
“What has?” Noory asked.
“Me, saving them. Sometimes not. I’m exhausted, Light.” He looked at her with a sad smile.
“Light? You know my name means light.”
“I do. I can see it, too. It’s like a soft glow,” Nick said, passing a hand over her head to indicate an aura around her. Noory wondered if he could see anything else about her but didn’t dare ask. She was suddenly afraid to know.
“Now,” she said, “how could it have gone on forever? You don’t look like you’re much older than me. You’re what? Thirty?”
Nick laughed as he failed typing the pass code to get into his penthouse. “Third time’s a charm,” he said. The door gave a soft click, and Noory helped him inside.
She looked around at the open space and large windows framing the Atlanta skyline as the city lights twinkled in the night. The place was all polished dark wood floors and leather furniture, but she didn’t see any pictures of family or friends. She led Nick to the couch, and he fell onto it as she sat down beside him. He looked at her.
“Do you hear them, too?” he asked.
“Who?” Noory thought she saw a glimmer of hope in his whiskey-brown eyes.
He placed his hand on the top of her head, warm and strong, if a little clumsy. He ran his fingers down the length of her hair, past her cheek, her neck, and dangerously close to her breast. The look of hope was replaced by desire for the briefest of moments before she marked the instant he withdrew back into himself. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Nick exhaled and sank deeper into the couch. She watched as his eyelids grew heavier.
“You’d be surprised what I’d believe, Nick.” She leaned over and gently brushed the thick brown hair from his forehead. As she did, her sleeve fell back from her wrist, revealing a small tattoo of an “X” with a tiny hook on the top right corner. Nick’s eyes opened wider in recognition before they rolled back into his head, and he began to softly snore.
Noory passed her fingers across the tiny hooked “X” and wondered if he had really known what it meant but doubted he would remember seeing it in the morning.
If leaning more toward Urban Fantasy angle:
Nick felt the energy on the roof shift before his body even hit the ground. When he looked up, he saw Noory had gone feral: she looked at Blake as a deadly smile made its way across her face while sweat and blood carved thin trails down her cheeks. She threw her arms out wide in smug invitation before crouching slightly, fingers curling. She was no longer simply defending Grace. Something ancient and wild had clawed its way to the surface. A string of lights hanging from the pergola above Noory flashed brightly, then burst. Glass rained down to coat her hair like a fine layer of snow. The outdoor furniture began to slowly slide across the concrete in Noory’s direction as energy coalesced around her.
Blake grabbed her by the throat, but Nick was no longer worried; he knew the man was toast. Noory snatched the arm that held her. The man screeched and began loosening his grip, barely able to hold on through the pain she was obviously causing him. Nick got to his feet and watched as Noory’s hair fanned out from her face, her eyes narrowed, and he felt chills run up his spine as he heard her speak.
“You will release me.” The voice was hers but sounded as if it were in unison with hundreds of other female voices, some with Hebrew accents, others Irish, Norwegian, all as fierce as her own.
The rooftop door opened, and Nick turned to see that John had shown up. He knew Noory must have called him to help.
“Oh, Noory,” John lamented. As he watched her, grief and awe made their way across his face.
Nick knew John’s mind was inside the same memory as his own: a memory of Noory’s young, widowed, great grandmother, Sarah Solomon, wild-eyed and shoving Nick and John out of the way so that she could deliver the killing blow to one more Nazi, never sleeping, nor eating, just blazing a trail of vengeance that would never bring Levi Solomon back. The three of them had saved hundreds during that time, but Nick and John couldn’t save her. Despite John’s apparent hesitancy, Nick wanted Noory to embrace her power. In the short time he’d known her, he’d sensed it: a kindred soul. Best of all, she could help save those kids she cared about.
Then shame washed over him as he realized it may have only been that he was sick of being alone—the only killer on the block.
Kim Conrey is the author of the sci-fi romance series Ares Ascending and the urban fantasy series The Wayward Saviors. She’s also the recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Romance. When she’s not working on her next book, you can find her trail running or cosplaying as a Box Hero Wonder Woman in Atlanta’s Dragon Con Parade. She also writes about living with the misunderstood condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her stories and essays have been published in regional and local press as well. In addition, she serves as VP of Operations for the Atlanta Writers Club and collaborates on the Wild Women Who Write Take Flight podcast. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
To learn more about my books (including trigger warnings under “Kim’s Books”) signup for my newsletter, and more, visit: Kimconrey.com
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