Passion of the Soul: Piper's Fury
by Rachel Firasek
It's an empath thing...
Using your "powers" to help the Dark Hills Police Department hunt down serial killers doesn't leave much time for dating. Not that Piper Anast is complaining. The last thing she needs is some guy brushing up against her and pumping his pornographic thoughts into her head.
When she meets Bennett Slade, a sexy, tormented vampire, Piper stumbles headlong into a telepathic connection with his missing daughter. She can't leave the kid to the evil surrounding her unwanted visions, nor can she resist her draw to Slade. He's the first guy she's been able to touch vision-free in, well, forever.
As she and Slade close in on the evil creature holding his daughter, Piper's powers morph into a deadly fury. To save Slade's daughter-and herself-Piper must face down demons she never knew she had and trust the one thing she keeps from everyone.
Copyright © Rachel Firasek
All rights reserved — a Crescent Moon Press publication
"How do you do it?"
"Feed," I said.
He grinned. "Your mind amazes me, Piper. It flits from one subject to the next. Do you ever find peace?"
I shrugged. He was avoiding my question with one of his own. "How?"
"If I tell you, do you promise not to run in horror?"
Good question. What if he showed me something repulsive like the fangs of a snake? I'd seen Gage's fangs, but what if they were little because he was a baby vamp? What if they kept growing? Would I be able to look at him the same again? "Yes. I promise."
"Give me your wrist."
I tentatively stretched my arm out, wrist up. He kept hold of my hand and raised it to his face.
I wrenched it back to cradle against my chest, "I didn't say you could feed on me."
"Piper, I would not feed from you without your permission. Trust me."
"No tasting either."
He shook with suppressed laughter. "I promise."
I stretched my arm back out to him and once again he raised it to his face. This time, he ran his nose along the vein running up my wrist, tickling me whenever he brushed my skin, but it was a tickle I wanted to continue forever.
"Open your eyes."
I wasn't even aware they'd drifted shut. My lids flickered open and my eyes met the blue flame flickering behind his.
"Watch." He opened his mouth. His canine teeth, slightly longer than before, subtly shifted in his gum line.
"Wow. That was cool. Can you make them go up and down?"
He snapped his teeth together. "I am not a freak for your entertainment. I do not ask you to touch everyone who passes to see what kind of life they have lived."
Obviously, I'd struck a nerve. "I'm sorry. I guess I expected something bigger. Like the fangs of a cobra or something."
"Well, I am sorry to disappoint you." He turned his face away from me to hide the pained expression my words had caused. I grasped his strong chin and turned his face back toward mine.
"I'm sorry. It was just a little startling, that's all. I didn't mean to poke fun at you."
He leaned into my hand. His slight stubble scraped along my palm and I found myself exploring the hard angles of his face, firm muscle wrapped over steel. I let my hand slide along his neck to tease the hair curling gently at his collar. His eyes shut, allowing me the freedom to watch the emotions shift across his skin.
Dark and strong. Two simple words to describe the vulnerable strength in this anything-but-simple man. I craved the taste of him again. Leaning forward, I slid my parted lips across his. His intake of breath encouraged me to run the tip of my tongue along the seam of his mouth, teasing for entry. His eyes opened and I pulled back.
"You were kissing me with your eyes open."
He touched my cheek. "Why?"
"I wanted to watch your face."
"Your honesty, Piper, is what I like most about you." His hands braced my head and he pulled me back down for another kiss. This time, he took control and deepened the assault on my senses. His tongue plunged into my mouth, sliding along mine and withdrawing only to plunge in again, coating my taste buds with his minty flavor. He tilted my head for better access and drove his tongue even deeper. A moan escaped him, sounding almost like a growl.
I broke away. "Am I hurting you?"
"No. Less talk, more kissing."
Talk was overrated, anyway. He leaned deeper into me and explored my mouth the same way you nibble the cherry out of a cordial at Christmas. Delicious. When he moved to tease my jaw with his teeth, I asked, "Slade, will you show me the other way?"
He had worked down to my neck and a ragged breath escaped me when he worked the skin between his teeth. My stomach tightened and a dampness gathered in my panties. "What other way?"
"You said there were two ways to feed."
His head rose from the crook of my neck and I completely forgot to breath. The heat in his eyes made my anger look like a holiday. Fire surged from his body and ate through my skin. Power. Pure energy. Little sparks darted between us like one of those static balls at the mall.
"You do not realize what you are asking."
"You won't hurt me, will you?" In my heart, I knew he wouldn't. He was too gentle, too careful.
"Well, show me a little of this so-called addictive euphoria." Curiosity usually never affected me, but with him, I wanted to know everything. Knowledge killed fear. "You give it to strangers—why not me?"
He kissed the pout from my lips and I grinned. Feminine wiles win again.
I stood and waited.
"Shut your eyes and turn around."
"Fine." I snapped my eyes closed and took a leap of faith by turning around. Several seconds passed before the rustling of fabric warned me Slade had removed his shirt. His voice rumbled close to my ear. "Raise your arms."
My arms went into the air as if his voice be-spelled them somehow. "Why?"
"Would you quit asking that?"
His soft chuckle made me grin. He tugged my t-shirt clear of my jeans and I spun around. "Whoa, what are you doing?"
"I want your skin against mine when I do this. It will be much better this way. I promise."
"Do I look stupid to you?"
"No. You look gorgeous. Now take off your shirt."
"You are most exasperating. You asked me to do this!"
"Why won't you tell me what you're going to do?"
He ran a hand through his dark hair. "Fine. I am removing your shirt because, if we get carried away, I do not want blood on your clothes."
"Blood? I didn't say you could feed."
"Piper, this will be good and when it is, you may ask me to bite you. I will not be able to deny you. If you want to stop, you had better do it now. I will not be able to later. Not with you."
"I don't want to stop—I just don't buy your reasoning."
"Humor me and turn back around. I am trying to be a gentleman." I gave him my back, feeling vulnerable and exposed as he drew my shirt over my head. The soft curls on his chest pressed against me. I leaned back and met the strong wall of steel.
He tensed and pulled my arms away from my body. "Who did this?"
I'd forgotten about the deep purple bruising on my upper arms. "Gage."
"Gage?" He blinked. "He should not have had the strength to do this on his own. What has that monster done to him?"
I shrugged and would have turned around if Slade's grip wasn't so tight. His thumbs softly stroked the bruising. "Does it hurt?"
"Nah. Can we get back to what we were doing? What happens next?"
He chuckled. "Listen. Listen to air. Listen until you hear nothing but the air around you."
What did he mean, listen to air? I stood still, listening to the soft sound of his breath teasing the top of my head. I was a good foot shorter than he was and felt miniscule against his mass.
After a few moments of relaxing and listening to nothing, a soft breeze floated along my skin. With it came the scent of vanilla. Warm. Inviting. I felt myself sway toward it. Slade's hard hands caught my upper arms and pulled me tighter to him.
"Listen," he whispered.
Then I heard it. A bell, soft chimes, ringing in my ear. "What is it?"
"That is the sound of the power. Now feel it." He placed his arms around me and engulfed me in his strong embrace. Heat rushed in, and at first, it was almost painful. Then came the liquid fire coursing through my veins. Following the fire, a lust so sinful all rationality fled. I wilted against him, wanting to feel more of the hardness pressed against my back.
His breathing shifted. Soft, warm pants tickled my neck. "Piper, turn around and look at me."
I did as he asked because there was nothing else I wanted to do. He was my everything at that moment.
"Your eyes..." He held my head tightly in his palms. "Piper, what are you?"
I love the way Rachel writes! Each character has a clearly defined personality and each place is easy to picture. Firasek really catches you and pulls you, vigorously at times, into the heart of the book. I found myself totally gunning for Piper and Slade to get together in the end! Did they? Well you’ll just have to read the story for yourself! I will say though be prepared for some very hot and steamy sexual content on the journey!
Rachel assures me that there is more to this story – THANK GOD! I was left wanting more, if I had the second book I would have been up all night reading that straight after I had read Piper’s Fury! I am not sure when it comes out but I hope to be one of the lucky ones to review it first. There is more to this story that I have to find out.
I would give Piper’s Fury 5/5. —Kate's Reviews for BackOfTheBookReviews.com