Eternal Ever After
His past holds a secret…
Arie Cush has a secret that he thought he’d left behind. When his past follows him to Chicago he must protect someone that reminds him of all the painful memories he’s tried so hard to forget. But when every touch from her sets his heart and body on fire—he finds it hard to maintain his aloof façade.
that becomes her nightmare.
Holly Ellis has secrets of her own. An encounter with the handsome stranger who frequents her coffee shop reveals a vampire with baggage. Even though it might be more than she bargained for, she can’t resist the one person who understands her. But her life is in danger and a supernatural threat could reveal the underground world of vampires to humankind in this Gothic Cinderella re-telling.
In the dominatrix’s hand she twirled a black and red leather cat o’ nine tails. She wore a wicked smile that broadcast the nature of her intentions and seared unexpected heat throughout my body. A tattoo of a Roman numeral VII graced her right breast. I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she descended the stairs without speaking a word. Applause broke out and it appeared no introduction was necessary.
I felt heat rise up my neck. Then I noticed Arie watching me. It seemed like he sensed my embarrassment conflicting with my arousal, and that maybe it turned him on too. I couldn’t be sure. But when he continued to look at me the way every woman wants to be looked at, my doubts flew out the window, right along with every sensible objection to the current situation. And he seemed to be gauging my reaction to whatever we were about to witness. I could already feel dampness lining my underwear as my mind flew to the fantasy that was walking down the stairs in the shape of form-fitting leather, just like in the books I read.
I returned my attention to the bottom of the stairs where two dommes, female dominants, helped strap a man to a chevalet. This drew my attention to the exposed flesh of his back. I shuddered involuntarily. The woman who descended the stairs nodded her approval before smiling toward the crowd. I held my breath, along with the rest of the audience, in anticipation.
She began to flog him.
Small round welts began to rise on his back like tiny angel kisses. The crowd cheered in approval as she continued her ruthless administrations. She paused to hand the cat o’ nine tails to one of the assistant dommes and snapped her fingers.
“My god, she’s hurting him.” But the way she hurt him was sexy as hell.
“No more than he wants her to,” Arie said.
Again, he looked at me like he imagined bending me over in a similar position to spank my ass or flog the living daylights out of me. My nipples hardened just thinking about his hand on my ass or the bite of leather strands on my skin. I could feel my pulse quicken. Was it my imagination or was he breathing just a little bit faster too?
A domme disappeared, only to return with a black-handled rattan cane, which she handed over. The woman twirled the cane, brandishing it before the crowd, mounting the suspense. When she released the cane with a resounding smack across the back of the man’s thighs, just above his knees, he let out a yowl. A cheer rose throughout the audience. The second lash came crashing down on his upper thighs just under his buttocks. The third stroke landed in the middle, and the fourth and final blow landed across all three.
Arie reached for my wrist and his thumb caressed my pulse point. Just that simple back and forth motion with his thumb over the thin skin of my wrist had my heart beating in time to the electronic drumming downstairs. He watched the woman. I wasn’t sure if he was aware that he had grabbed my wrist or not. I didn’t pull away.
She threw back her head with a laugh; the crowd responded with open applause and a few wolf whistles. Both dommes unstrapped the man, one on each side taking him under the arm, and brought him before the dominatrix. She lifted an index finger before pointing down at the floor. At once the man knelt at her feet. She pointed again at her feet—the man bowed his head, kissing the tip of her gauntlet boot. Then she bent down to grasp his chin, yanking him to his feet. Letting go of his chin, she paused before slapping him so hard across the cheek that his head was thrown to the side. I flinched even though I wasn’t the one being smacked around.
Arie seemed to notice then that he’d been stroking my wrist and released me. I felt keyed up, ready to go, and didn’t want him to stop.
Staci T.’s Review
ETERNAL EVER AFTER by A. C. James is an erotic paranormal romance novel, the first full length novel in the EVER AFTER SERIES. Having already read a collection of short stories by this author that introduced these characters and this world, I was excited to finally get to read a novel that explored one of them in deeper detail.
James didn’t disappoint. The characters we met and loved in the short story collection make appearances in this first novel, but we get an intimate look at Arie, an ancient vampire. And I do mean intimate.
Arie is a vampire who finds himself drawn to Holly, a waitress at a coffee shop, who reminds him of Katarina, an ex-lover. Someone he and everyone else would like to forget. Arie’s an enigma to Holly—part refined gentleman, part restrained power—but one hundred percent passion.
She’s a puzzle he can’t solve, and she can’t help him, because she doesn’t know her history either—her mother died giving birth to her, and she grew up in foster care. Between the two of them, they discover she’s not only a seer (which makes her a hot commodity in the supernatural world), she’s a witch. A very powerful one.
When Katarina comes crashing back into their lives, she comes with a vengeance, tormenting Holly and leaving a trail of dead bodies in her wake. Not only is Holly in danger, the whole vampire race is in danger of being revealed to humans.
Arie and the Council of Sanguis have to put an end to her before Holly is killed and vampires exposed. A plan is put in place, using Holly as bait. But Katarina steals the protection amulet that Holly’s godmother gives her, the one she made her promise to wear after she had a vision of her death. Can Arie and the Council protect Holly from his psychopathic ex-lover?
Eternal Ever After
Series: Eternal Vampires – Book #1
Publisher: Swoon Worthy