Six weeks! Didn’t that go by fast?!
Last week I introduced you to Helen, TEMPTATION’S main character and heroine extraordinaire, and gave you a tiny teaser.
This week, you’ll get a much bigger excerpt of the book and a little intro to Darius and Griffin Channing. Which is good preparation, because NEXT week you’ll get to meet Griffin up close and personal.
In the meantime, the Superfan Giveway is live for about 24 more hours. 50 of you will win TEMPTATION prize packs just because I love you.
You can also enter to win an ARC of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS from Penguin on Goodreads.
Hope you enjoy this week’s teaser!
It took her a few minutes to dress and find the staircase lead-
ing to the main floor.
The house was eerily quiet as she made her way through
the halls. She was used to the rushed voices of her parents,
the ticking of the grandfather clock, the scuffle of the servants
above and below stairs. Even in the dark of night, her home
had rarely been silent.
Here, there was not a sound until she reached the bottom
of the stairwell.
Murmuring drew her down the hall to the library door. The
marble was cold underfoot, but she was glad she had left her
shoes behind. They would have made too much noise on the
The voices grew louder as she came closer to the library.
She stopped just before reaching the doorway. The hall, spare
and without furnishing or ornament, did not leave many
places to hide. Glancing around, she settled for a deep shadow
in the corner where the hallway met the entrance to what
looked like the kitchen beyond.
Aided by the utter silence of the house, she picked up snip-
pets of conversation from the library.
“She has the pendant. She’s one of us, Darius. Why are you denying
She could hear the frustration in Darius’s voice, even from
afar. “Because I don’t want it to be true. She’ll be nothing but a bur-
den. She hasn’t even reached Enlightenment.”
“It doesn’t matter. We have to protect her.”
“We can hardly protect ourselves, Griffin. She would be safer in
hiding while we find out who’s responsible.” There was a shuffle
from within the room, and she leaned farther back into the
shadows, still listening as Darius continued. “Let’s go see Gali-
zur. He probably already knows, but we should be sure.”
Boot steps sounded across the carpet, and she pressed as
far back into the shadows as she could, holding her breath and
willing herself to become invisible, yet again.
The brothers crossed the threshold of the room, turning,
and passing her without a glance. They did not head toward
the front door but to the back of the house. She waited a few
seconds before following in their footsteps. She had never fol-
lowed anyone before, but it seemed only wise to keep as much
distance between them as possible.
The click of the door somewhere beyond her line of vision
freed her from the shadows, and she hurried through the door-
way which did, indeed, lead to a cavernous kitchen. There was
only one exit. She made her way to it with as much speed as
possible. It would not do to lose the brothers in her worry
over being caught following them.
The door opened to the back of the house. She had the
sense of a garden or grounds beyond, but it was too dark to
make out anything other than the steps leading downward.
Taking them as quietly as possible, she continued down a path-
way at the side of the house. She could not be certain this was
the direction Griffin and Darius had traveled, for they were
already out of her line of sight. But the only other possibility
was the backyard, and she was quite sure the brothers were
not taking tea in the garden.
The path led her to the front of the house. She saw the
streetlight under which she had stood some time ago, trying
to decide whether or not to ring the bell, and stood back from
it, not wanting to be seen. She had a moment’s panic as she
surveyed the streets, black save the pools of light seeping from
the streetlamps. What if she was too late? What if they were
already out of sight?
But no. As she looked to the right and spotted the broth-
ers making their way down the smoky walk, relief flooded
through her. She followed them down the street, trying to
maintain enough distance that they would not see her shadow
or hear her footsteps, though this was likely an unnecessary
precaution. She noted with satisfaction that her bare feet made
nary a sound on the stone.
It was not easy, trying to keep up with the long-legged
stride of the two men while trying to mind landmarks so
that she would not be lost on her way back to the house. She
was skirting a light post when a dark figure appeared out of
nowhere, standing in the shine of the lamp.
“Oh, my goodness!” She clamped a hand over her mouth
even before the words had escaped entirely.
“You must be joking.” Her shock at the sudden appear-
ance of the figure was outdone only by her surprise at the
dry—and now slightly familiar—voice that came from its
She leaned toward him, peering through the fog. “Darius?”
He sighed, tipping his head so that she could make out his
features. “You shouldn’t sound so surprised, given that you
were following us. Unless you’re in the habit of following
She shook her head. “But you . . . I . . . That is, I was fol-
“I think that has already been established.” The voice came
from behind her. She knew without turning that it belonged
She blinked a few times, trying to clear the fog that seemed
to have drifted from the street to her mind. “I was following
you. That means you were in front of me.”
Darius folded his arms across his chest, his expression
growing as dark as the streets around them. “That’s generally
how following someone works.” His gaze drifted to Griffin.
“She is a clever one, brother.”
“No need to be snide,” she snapped. “You know what I
She looked up the street where they had been walking only
moments before. She knew they had been there. She had seen
them. And yet now Darius was right beside her as if he had
appeared out of thin air.