Congratulations go to Carrie for winning an ebook of In Bonds of the Earth through our Newsletter giveaway (Click here to enrol for future giveaways).
If you did enter our giveaway and weren’t lucky enough to win, we are having hosting a Facebook event this evening (8pm UK, 3pm Pacific, 12 noon Eastern) where we will be having fun and games, as well as giveaways. Up for grabs will be ebook copies and paperback copies of In Bonds of the Earth as well as Amazon vouchers and the chance to win a personalised short story by Janine Ashbless. Janine will also be reading extracts from the novel which you don’t want to miss! Please join us, and be warned, there will be drinking involved 😉
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If you want to know what all the fuss is about, and trust me, there’s reason for it! here are links to some of the reviews and posts discussing In Bonds of the Earth:
Blurb for In Bonds of the Earth:
“Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. You’d be wrong.”
“I will free them all.”
When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.
As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.
Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.
In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.
I’m giving a presentation on my proposal for a commemorative footbridge to the Senior Design Team at Ansha Engineering, when Azazel strolls up to the glass wall of the office and smiles in at me.
It isn’t a reassuring smile. His never are. My heart meets my stomach with a big gloopy splash. This really isn’t the best moment for him to drop in.
Don’t get me wrong—a part of me is always delighted to see my boyfriend, if that’s the right word for him. No prizes for guessing which part of me is always delighted. Let’s just say that my clothes suddenly get too tight and I can feel a wet blush erupt all the way up from my panties to my face. Azazel is so ridiculously hot that just the sight of him melts me.
But I’m at work. The wrenching sensation as I tip from my professional headspace is far from comfortable. And that’s before I even begin to factor in the fear.
What does he want?
No normal boyfriend should ever come in and interrupt a girl at work—especially when she’s just switched jobs and city because he got her sacked from her last position, and she’s pretty sure her extended family will do something awful to her if she stays in Boston, and she’s desperate to make a good impression at her new place of employment. Especially when she’s showcasing her first design project. Most of all when she has the Senior Design Team watching her. It would just be incredibly intrusive and undermining to pay her a visit under those circumstances.
He lifts a hand to the door and I could swear I hear thunder in the distance.
See; that’s the thing about Azazel. He’s not a normal boyfriend; I’ve a nasty feeling ‘master’ would be closer to an accurate term. He’s made it very clear that he owns me. And yes, he loves me in his own primitive way. And he needs me: my eagerness to open my legs for him is more important than oxygen as far as he is concerned. Literally. But. But.
Not normal at all.
He’s not human, remember.
He’s one of the Fallen.
He pushes open the office door and strolls in like he owns the place. The misters Ellis and Singh and Constanzo and Mackenzie, who are sitting either side down the long table and have all been wondering why I’m staring slack-faced and flushed past their heads, all turn to look at him and frown. He’s not wearing an office suit. Not even any shoes, in fact; he never wears shoes. Just faded black jeans and a white long-sleeved T-shirt in some soft material that makes me want to press my face to it and feel the hard wall of his chest beneath. His dark hair is long and unkempt, his jaw scruffy with black stubble, his eyes slits of wicked anticipation. As an employee, he wouldn’t get away with that sort of appearance even down in the bowels of the drafting department where they hide the techies.
But he doesn’t look like an engineer. Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. You’d be wrong.
“Milja,” he greets me, his smile wolfish. “Come out and play.”
“Aziz,” I say weakly, trying not to use his real name, “you shouldn’t be here.”
“Last time I heard that I ended up imprisoned for eternity.”
He makes jokes about it sometimes. Brittle, jagged jokes, like snarls of rusty old barbed wire. Jokes that hurt him more than anyone. It’s best to ignore them.
“Excuse me—do you know this man?” Mr. Singh demands.
“She’s my leman,” he says, managing to sound helpful and yet not being helpful in any way whatsoever.
“Go away!” I beseech him.
“What’s the magic word?”
“Oh, I love it when you beg for me.”
He’s as old as the earth, and he’s prickly with rebellion, and he has no boundaries when it comes to sex. No social shame at all. That’s not a good thing.
“What’s he doing here, Ms. Petak?” asks Mr. Ellis, stabbing his notepad with his ballpoint pen in irritation.
“I want her,” he purrs. “Now.”
Excuse my language, but Azazel will screw me anywhere. In front of anyone. He’ll turn up without warning, wanting action, and he’ll fuck me breathless and then vanish into empty air leaving me in a puddle of exhaustion and bliss and shock. And in these months since I released him from his underground prison, I don’t think he’s managed to really wrap his head around the concept of ‘consent’ at all. I am, after all, his mortal pet. I’m a powerless, infinitesimally ignorant, transient blip in the annals of eternity. How could I possibly argue with him?
“Please, I’m working, this is important—just wait till I’ve finished?” I try.
“Important?” He comes up beside me and glances at my little audience. “More important than me?” he wonders as he runs his fingers through my hair. I’ve tied it back in a ponytail but the whole lot comes loose at a touch, allowing him to knot his fingers there. The gesture, as always, fills me with a wet heat.
“Of course not,” I stutter, “but…”
That’s when he kisses me. Hot, hungry, just this side of threatening. His mouth steals away my breath, and his hands in my hair and on my flank steal away my free will. One thumb presses into the soft flesh inside my hip, probing the pressure point there that makes me go weak.
“Milja,” I hear Mr. Constanzo growl; “this is most inappropriate.”
I tear my lips free with a gasp. “I’m sorry!”
“No she’s not,” says Azazel. His free hand drifts to the buttons at the front of my blouse. “She loves this.”
“Azazel!” I whimper, squirming with shame as his fingers flick open the first button, but unable to escape his grip in my hair. “Don’t!”
“Shush,” he admonishes, stooping so that his lips brush my ear. “I want you. You want me. These men want to watch. See?”
He turns me back to face them, sliding behind me. ‘These men’ are wide-eyed and open-mouthed by now. But oddly they voice no objection as he pulls aside my bra cup and pops my right breast out for all to see.
Oh God, they’re all looking at me.
My panties are soaked and my legs are actually trembling. Azazel knows me only too well. I get off on being claimed by him in public. I was always the girl no one noticed. But I can’t be ignored now. He’s right that I love it. Even when I hate it. Even when I’m crimson with shame. He wipes away all my common sense with a flick of a finger, the press of a palm, the first hint of a lecherous, knowing smile. I’m watching my career go down the can again, and all I can think of is how hot this is making me.
The other thing is that, if he were human, I’d at least have some sort of choice about walking away from it all. As it is…I’m not so sure.
So when Azazel lovingly touches my breast, when the dusky point of my nipple rises stiff and swollen under the play of his fingers as he sighs in my ear, I don’t fight him. Even when he pushes my bra-straps all the way down my shoulders to bare me and cups both my orbs, soft and quivering in the rough heft of his hands, to present me to my audience, my only protest is the squirm of my hips and the press of my ass against his body. My face is averted, my lips soft with submission.
“She has beautiful breasts, hasn’t she?” Azazel asks. I can hear the sounds of throats being cleared, of uncomfortable shifting in chairs. But no one answers or stands up to my defense. It’s all been so fast they’ve gone into shock.
“You know, I hate these ugly clothes she wears,” he muses. He means my white lacy bra, my button-down blouse, my respectable A-line skirt. “I would have her naked, all day, so that I might see her beauty any time I choose. But she persists in defying me.”
He abandons my breasts to unhook the catch at the back of my skirt and draw down the zipper. My skirt slithers down my thighs and hits the floor at my feet, baring my legs. Suddenly the rest of me is on display too—my white thong panties, my narrow hips, my vulnerable thighs, creamy in contrast to the fabric. I know the dark shadow of my fleece is visible through the white lace. All four men are staring at me. I lift my gaze and see, through the glass beyond, that fellow-workers in the office have started to notice. Some have stopped in their tracks.
“Forward over the table, Milja,” Azazel orders.
I obey. My bare breasts squash against the varnished wood as I press my forehead to the hard surface, surrendering the right to see my audience for the moment. I sneak my hands back and grip the edge of the table by my hips, holding tight.
Azazel slaps my ass cheeks, right then left, once each. His hand is heavy, yet I know he’s not doing this to admonish me, but merely for the pleasure of seeing my ass bounce. It’s sharp enough to make me gasp out loud, nonetheless. Then, as if in compensation, the sting and burn is followed at once by the stroke of fingers along the edge of my panties. A broad strip of lace runs down the cleft between my cheeks and he explores this, his fingertip playing with the sensitive dimple of my ass. I didn’t think I could feel any more shame than already burns my veins—but now I do, and my skin glosses suddenly with sweat.
Azazel chuckles. Then his fingers slip lower, teasing the pip of my clit, pressing the narrow gusset of my panties. “These are soaked,” he observes. “Are you so wanton, Milja?”
He’s got an odd turn of phrase sometimes. I mean, English isn’t my own mother-tongue either, so I can’t criticize, and it’s been five thousand years since the last time he was free so I guess the subtler points of modern American can be forgiven him. Especially in comparison to his next move, which is to take the lace of my shameful garment between two hands, first over one hip and then the other, and snap it.
He’s really strong. I’ve learned not to get too fond of my items of underwear.
“Here,” he says, dragging the ruined piece of clothing deliciously over my pubis and my pussy and up the valley of my ass before drawing it out from between my cheeks. “Sodden. Am I right?” He tosses the scrap of lace straight at Mr. Ellis, who manages to catch it before it slaps him in the face.
Ellis doesn’t throw the garment from him in disgust. He just sort of holds it. His middle-aged face is beet-red.
“Soaked, isn’t it?” says Azazel.
Ellis nods. His pupils are dilated.
My sight mists. If I could cry with shame I would, but the ability to cry is one of the things Azazel took from me when I freed him. I only sob and quiver as my lover fingers me.
“Divest yourselves of any concern that Milja is not enjoying this, gentlemen. She is wetter than you could possibly imagine.” I hear the rasp of his zipper. “But you will have to take my word for that, I think.”
Oh Jesus, he’s going to shaft me in front of them all.
I brace myself. But there is no steeling oneself against the descent of a Son of God. And besides, he’s right: I’m so wet and so turned on that I’m practically a gravity-well drawing him into me. I ache with needing him to fill me. I burn for his fire.
The first huge thrust is enough to make me cry out: enough to push me over into orgasm.
Enough to wake me up.