USA Today Bestselling Author
The fierce twin.
The dark brother.
The wild one.
I don’t give a damn about labels. I never have. Not when it comes to me. But stay the hell away from my brothers. All of them. I’ve sacrificed a lot for them, and I’m more than willing to give a lot more.
If my blood, sweat, tears, and life were needed, I’d give it all up. Every damn drop. For my brothers, there was nothing I wouldn’t lose.
Reckless, ferocious, and seemingly born to match me in temperament and spirit, Hellspawn is not the fragile flower they all think she is. I don’t think she ever has been. She will not be left behind, she will not hide, and she will not take the crap that life has been throwing at her.
She’s saved our lives, defended us, fought for us, and sacrificed herself for us. I have no questions about what she would do if they tried to leverage us against her. This is why I won’t allow anyone to put her to that test. She has nothing to prove to us.
She’s a Vandal.
My name is Liam O’Connell. Hellspawn is mine. Emersyn is ours. We aren’t going to wait around for the next attack. No, we’re taking the fight right to them.
If you haven’t read the other books in this series, STOP! Go back and read them, this book starts where the last one left off.
Emersyn Sharpe has grown in these books. She has a bunch of nicknames that are specific to each of the guys. This book while somewhat centered on Liam and his ‘Hellspawn’, it also delves into all of them and their relationship with her.
There are important milestones here, for Emersyn overcoming the damage her uncle has done to her is cathartic. She’s so much more than she was, she’s stronger both physically and mentally. The hurdles she’s overcome so far make us love her even more.
The guys, well, I’ve loved all of them from the start and in this one we get to see how they are adjusting the way they think of Emersyn. They are still a bit overprotective, but not to the extreme they were. They recognize that through their efforts and her determination she is far more capable of protecting not only herself but them as well.
In the last book, Emersyn and Rome were taken when Liam and Rome had a surprise planned for her. In this book that surprise reaches fruition.
This is a favorite scene.
I lifted my hands so I could study the scars on the inside of my forearms. Even with all the physical therapy, they were still not what they had been. I wasn’t who I had been.
“You can,” Liam echoed his brother. Wrapping his hands around my wrists, he stroked the ends of the scars with his thumbs. The soft circles sent another shiver through me. “Do you remember what it was like the first time you went up in the silks?”
“Yes.” I didn’t even have to strain for that memory. It had been terrifying and exhilarating. It took concentration and confidence. Muscle control.
Discipline and faith.
I had to trust myself.
“Can you show me?” Liam asked, his voice a husky whisper at my ear. “Show us?”
He lifted my wrists to kiss each one before letting me go.
“We won’t let you fall.”
“Sometimes you have to fall,” I said as I gazed up at the silks.
“Sometimes,” Rome agreed. “Trust?”
I raised my brows. “Yes, I trust you.” “Then fall.” He motioned for me to turn and fall toward him.
A dozen questions formed and dissipated without me ever giving them voice. He asked for my trust. I trusted him. I trusted them both.
Pivoting, I fell backward and he caught me with a hand on my shoulder, balancing my weight. With a light roll, he pushed me back to my feet. I met Liam’s gaze as I went rigid and continued the fall forward.
My stomach bottomed out, but elation flooded me when he caught me easily, balancing me with one hand and then rolling me up and around. Laughter escaped me when I rocked back and forth between them, spinning like a top, as they controlled the motion and I let my center of gravity balance us all.
Sliding his hand along my arm, Rome changed the game and I fell to the side, except I never touched the ground as he gripped my hand. With my gaze fixed on Liam, I smiled as Rome pulled me up and then cupped my nape as he dipped me back.
His whole body moved, dipping with me even as I held fast. When he pulled me upright and forward, catching my hand, I let myself spin as he twirled me around, stepping over me like I was the silk. The torque and pull on my arm pinched a little, the stretch warming my forearms up and then I was on my feet and facing Rome again.
“Trust,” he repeated. It was a single word. One syllable. It held so much meaning. I was facing Rome and just behind him were the silks.
Trust him to get me up there. Trust them to help me fly.
My pulse raced briefly, even as my breathing deepened. I nodded and lifted a foot. Rome bent one knee slightly and I stepped up onto it then lifted my other foot to his shoulder as he stood.
He was the perfect partner. Steady, balanced and he didn’t shift as I stepped up beyond straightening as I balanced on one foot and then settled the other on his free shoulder.
My pulse steadied out again as he braced one hand on each ankle. He’d studied every single one of my performances. I stared up at the silks. The lights didn’t change. The air didn’t shift. And at the same time, everything seemed to balloon, swelling with a greater meaning.
I reached for the first silk, wound it around my arm, and then the second. Rome kept sturdy and when I glanced down, I found him smiling up at me.
The question in his eyes asked me if I was ready?
When I gave him a slight nod, he pushed my legs up and then out as I stretched them and then let go as I balanced. The music started, filtering in from somewhere. The notes as familiar to me as my own heartbeat. It was one of the first songs I’d ever choreographed a silk routine to.
The trembling in my arms steadied as I rolled upward, weaving the silk around my torso so I could do a drop. It was— muscle memory and instinct. I angled upward and then began to move with the music. Awareness rippled over me as I glanced down and locked gazes with Liam a moment before I dropped then angled back up.
My heart seemed to fist-bump my ribs when a drop of uncertainty dribbled through me. Would my arms hold? Did I have the form? And then I lifted my chin and spread my arms to fly.
I spiraled up then down again. The routine was familiar enough for me to go through most of it before I let out a gasping laugh, spinning the final bit into an arched pose for the last frame.
A pair of hands began to applaud, and I grinned at both Liam and Rome.
“Now,” Rome said as he strode toward me. “Together.”
Together? Of all the things I’d been thinking he would do, leaping to catch one of the silks and pull himself up as he wrapped it around his forearm as I had the other around mine, wasn’t it.
“You first,” Liam said. “Then me.”
The music started again, and Rome extended his free hand toward mine. It took strength to get us going. Strength and momentum. We started circling, and then he gave me a push as he let me go and we were doing spirals together. There had been one routine where Eric and I had…
I hooked one of my legs around his where he extended them to me, and we spun together, sliding apart and back together. Then, I had my legs around Rome as I tied us up into the silks.
Trust shone in his eyes as he let go, and we flew.
It seemed to last a lifetime and no time at all as we were then standing below the silks again. Liam wasted no time wrapping one of the silks around his forearm and curling his free arm around me.
Laughter vibrated through me as he lifted us upward into a twirl. His was a little more gymnastic and it definitely made me laugh, but after all our grappling, I could grip him and trust his body to keep me aloft as I entrusted his strength.
Heather Long. Merciless Spy (Kindle Locations 1871-1915).
Rome and Liam in the silks with her, was breathtaking to read. I felt the jubilation from Emersyn, she needed to know she could fly again.
No, I am not forgetting the cliffhanger of the last book, and getting Emersyn’s mother out of that facility is something that will be accomplished. There’s also the ‘King’s’ demand to meet Emersyn, that will be addressed. That doesn’t give the satisfaction I thought it would.
Lots of sizzling heat in this book, as well as a relationship that gets a challenge. Miss Stephanie gets an awesome moment in this book, and we also meet Liam’s parents.
Then of course is the ending that even now I am still processing. I really need the next book as soon as possible. This suspense is killing me…
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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I love books. Not just a little bit, but a lot. Books were my best friends when I was growing up. Books didn’t care if I was new to a town or to a class. They were always there, my trustiest of companions. Until they turned on me and said I had to write them.
I can tell you that my own personal happily ever after included writing books. I’ve always said that an HEA is a work in progress. It’s true in my marriage, my friendships, and in my career. I am constantly nurturing my muse as we dive into new tales, new tropes, new characters and more.
After seventeen years back in Texas, we relocated to the Pacific Northwest in search of seasons, new experiences, and new geography. I can’t wait to discover what life (and my muse) have in store for me.
Maybe writing was always my destiny and romance my fate. After all, my grandmother wasn’t a fan of picture books and used to read me her Harlequin Romance novels.
Friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, friends to enemies to lovers, you name it, I love them and love to write them. I started with Earth Witches Aren’t Easy, the first in the Chance Monroe trilogy, but my characters and I have traveled a long way since I created that urban fantasy world.
One of the series I hear my readers recommend the most is the Untouchable series followed in quick succession by the Vandals, and that just delights me. No lie, whenever one of my readers brings up my wolves, I do a little a fist pump.
I’m active on social media, and I love hearing from readers. Feel free to tag me with a question about any of my books, or just say hi!