USA Today Bestselling Author
Idioms are what we idiots tell ourselves to make us feel better.
They’re all lies.
Truth sets you free. Ha.
Justice is blind. Hardly.
Life ends when you die. Wrong!
All’s fair in love and war. Fine. I’ll give you that one.
But you’d be wise to remember Fate isn’t fair, kind, or gentle.
How do I know?I almost died. I say almost because a moment before my last breath, Judgment found me. I don’t know what he saw in me but with one kiss, he changed me irrevocably.
My name is Dahlia. I am fate.
No, I am definitely not fair.
This is a reverse harem and the authors suggest you always read the forward in their books. Warning, this is a standalone tale with a fierce and feisty heroine, three heroes who are forces of nature, and a tale as old as time, humor, and a little bit of karmic justice thrown in.*
This book has some seriously awesome world building. As the book opens we meet some of the major players in this book beginning with Seth (Judgement) and Karmen (Karma). A scene is playing out here involving Seth’s brothers Tarus (Punishment) and Zhan (Justice). Tarus and Zhan have fallen, they don’t do their jobs anymore which in turn has stymied Seth. Without Justice how can Judgement pronounce verdicts and assign punishments. Sinner’s is the bar where the Keepers hang out and humans also come to drink and dance the night away.
Tonight things are going to take a very interesting twist as Dahlia and her boyfriend Alex argue in Sinners and in spite of an offer from a friend to follow, she leaves with him.
Even though they appeared very interested in Dahlia his two brothers turn away after she leaves. Seth decides it’s time for his brother’s to face their failures and follows Dahlia. Dahlia is a good person who is always helping people, even ones that she couldn’t really help. She doesn’t deserve what is happening to her but Seth is powerless to stop it without his brothers.
As Dahlia is dying he offers her a month of life if she agrees to help him with his brothers.
The deal made, rest and shopping later, an irritated Seth sends her to attract his brothers.
This is one of many favorite scenes.
“Another one, Bish?” Her dark bronze skin glimmered under the canned lights, her large gold hoop earrings swinging as she shook her head. “You know I love a little excess every now and then, but five drinks is a lot. Shewee.” She cackled and snatched the white dishcloth from her belt to wipe off the clean counter.
“Quetta, it’s not for me. I’d like to order a drink for my lady friend here.” He glanced sidelong at me, the grin he had been sporting morphing into a soft smile.
I coughed, choking on my own spit like an idiot who’d never been called a lady before. I had, damn it. But it was odd coming from this insanely tall, beautiful specimen of a man.
“A lady all right.” She laughed as she leaned against the slick black counter. “What will it be, hun?”
“Something dirty and dangerous,” Bish murmured and winked. I swore, my lady parts got so hot, they were calling for clouds of rain. “How about an Afternoon Delight?”
That did it. I was cheesy grinning. “Sounds good to me.”
“You got it.” Quetta walked off, her hips sashaying to the beat of the music. In the light of day, it seemed they preferred mellow music to the heavy bass at night.
“Now that we have a drink coming your way, tell me, what brings you in so early?” He shifted back around so his side pressed against the bar.
And the warm fuzzy feeling of being in his presence evaporated at the reminder of why I was there. And whose fault it was. Seth said his brothers had some responsibility. Funny, Alex was the asshole that threw me down the stairs.
“Let’s just say I’m no longer attached, and leave it there, deal?” I forced a smile and used my core to twist from side to side. Yes, I had resorted to nervous fidgeting.
His eyes darkened as he studied me, probably dying to call me on my bullshit, but he nodded. “Sure. I’ll just put it out there that I saw you last night, and I didn’t like the way he treated you. If you ever need a friend…” He let that linger in the air as if he wanted to say or more. “I’m that person.”
“Thank you.” I looked away, not happy at all with the turn in conversation. “How’s Gingersnap?”
He perked right up at the name of his adorable little cocker spaniel. Even taller than Seth, he had to have been around six-foot-seven inches, and his cocker spaniel was the size of his foot. It was fucking hilarious to see him play with her at the park, but it also melted my heart.
“Neurotic as always. She always tries to climb in my empty shoe and gets her head stuck. She’s not that little.” He chuckled like a proud papa.
Actually, she was that small, just her head made up at least a third of her weight.
Damn it! He was getting really good at killing my good mood.
“He’s Alex’s, so unfortunately, you won’t see me at the dog park anymore.” For more than the obvious reasons.
The assignment popped in my head for the briefest of moments, and I flicked my gaze to the mirror behind the bar.
Fuck! They were gone. I swiveled around on the bar stool just to make sure but, yep, their table was empty. So not only did I get distracted, but now I’d lost my targets.
“What’s wrong?” Bish reached out a hand, barely touching my shoulder, as if he wasn’t sure we had reached that level yet.
“I thought I saw people I knew.” Wait a second. If Bish was a regular here, chances were that he knew my unfortunate targets. “Hey, you didn’t see who was at that table, did you?” I gestured where the naughty boys had sat.
He stiffened, and for a moment, the man wearing an <em?I < 3 Cocker Spaniels</em? shirt flickered in and out, like the man I saw was an overlay for someone dark and other. Turning only his head, he glanced at the table, but like I already knew, it was deserted.
His entire frame was carved from stone as he brought his attention back to me, staring into my eyes like he could glean the answers in my soul with just a look. “Dahlia.” His voice deepened to a pitch that sent goosebumps racing along my exposed skin. “What table were your… friends at?”
Bish was the nice guy, the funny dog lover, but right now, I was thinking I shouldn’t answer him.
“Bish!” The bar vibrated as someone fell against the wood behind me. Someone with a voice smooth like whiskey, and just rough enough around the edges to melt the goose bumps right off of my body.
Where Bish incited a friendly sort of playfulness inside me, the newcomer threatened to kill all my brain cells. I knew that, because it was damn hard not to stretch out on the bar and offer myself up for his pleasure. But there was something dark there too, something that said he could make it hurt so good.
All right. I wanted to walk into this bar with a different mindset, live the last month up right. Now I realized I might be out of my depth. Especially because this chick was afraid to turn around.
“Tarus. I’d say it was a pleasure, but…” Bish shrugged, not at all concerned with his rudeness. “Where did your sidekick go?”
“Oh, don’t worry. Zhan is on his way over.”
It was time. I was not going to turn into a chickenshit for my last several weeks on Earth. Using the bar as leverage, I spun around so I could see both Bish, and Tarus at the same time.
For the love of all that was holy.
This had to be one of Seth’s brothers. And I was in trouble.
Tall. What was with these freaking men? Did they take some kind of power juice? In the dim light of the bar, he had dark hair. Luscious, dark hair. The tousled length hid some of his eyes, but not so much I couldn’t see the languid pools of endless dark pleasure. Head tilted, Tarus focused on me. My panties soaked and my nipples were so tight, either the temperature dropped to sub-zero or I’d discovered a new superpower.
A glass slid across the bar, and Quetta chuckled. “I’d say I brought you your Afternoon Delight, sweetheart, but I’m pretty sure it already found you.”
Movement behind me and Tarus flicking his attention back to Bish were all that allowed me to turn again. I closed my hand on the glass and lifted it, but before I could get it to my lips, I had to look.
Yep, I was that girl. You know, the one in the movies who runs up the stairs in the horror films to get away from the slasher.
Wait. Bad analogy.
Fuck the stairs.
Still, I’m that girl who opens the door and looks, even when I know whatever I turn and see is going to shock the hell out of me. Yep.
So I looked.
Standing not even an inch away was naughty boy number two. “Zhan,” I managed in a much slicker voice than I could possibly possess. “I presume?”
Tall. Did I mention tall? Where Tarus had dark hair like dusky shadows, this guy? His hair was almost the color of midnight. I wanted to meet his gaze, but it was his hand that caught me. The hand that was just an inch away from me, as if he’d been reaching out to touch me when I turned.
I slammed back my drink, not tasting a drop.
In. So. Much. Trouble.
That was me.
Instead of answering me, Zhan jerked his gaze up as Bish slid an arm over my shoulder. “Sweetheart, why don’t you go get a table and I’ll come join you in a minute. I’d introduce you to this pair of idiots, but they don’t play well with others.”
I opened my mouth and two things happened.
One, Zhan caught my arm.
Two, Bish was suddenly no longer touching me.
Instead, he was on the other side of the room, slammed against the wall by Tarus.
“Yes,” Zhan said in a low, rumbling voice that teased over every single one of my senses and actually swung me around to face him again. “I’m Zhan.” He paid zero attention to whatever was going down with Tarus and Bish. Like, none. He stared at me, and then he brushed his fingers to my cheek. “And you’re here…”
Well, I got their attention.
Heather Long; Blake Blessing. Kiss of Fate (Kindle Locations 563-629).
I have to say as these brothers fall for Dahlia, I spent some time wondering about each of the other characters we meet, trying to figure out who they actually are.
This book had my attention from the beginning and I love the way things play out. Plenty of problems to be overcome, some interesting battles, intriguing surprises and sizzling heat is an understatement.
While I read everything Heather Long publishes, I confess I haven’t read any of Blake Blessing’s books but I will definitely be doing so now.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather and Blake!
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
She attended ten different schools growing up, so books became her constant friend. Escaping into books of all different genres made life fun and exciting. Blake was also raised on music and still blasts it through the house and car at every opportunity.
She has a weird sense of humor and a penchant for chocolate milk. It only makes sense she would one day go on to write her own stories.