About the Book
Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost...normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
Consequently, nobody believes Addison's warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what's left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.
Quick breaths drew Memory-Asher’s gaze left. A form huddled in the midst of torn skirts, her brown hair hanging in messy ringlets around her shoulders, one of which was bare and covered in goose bumps where the sleeve had been torn away. It wasn’t the same Adaline I’d seen in the mirror.
This one was somehow softer, daintier.
“Do you hear that?” she asked in a voice that sounded similar to mine, only the cadence sounded more old-world. She turned to him. Moonlight highlighted her pale face, her eyes showing too much white. She had my eyes, only…they weren’t. It was Adaline, the original, before Izan had set her on the path to becoming me.
Old-World Asher sat up and picked a twig from her hair, using it as an excuse to touch her as he’d been tempted to do all day. It was the first time she had shown an ounce of fright since she’d freed him from the soldiers, her brave face faltering soon after the sun had set that night. It was the first they’d spent out in the open, free of the briar patch.
Desperately needing to give comfort, he said, “Do not fear what you hear, Adaline. That is only the night song. It can only harm you if you listen.”
“But I can hear nothing else. I could see the soldiers, and I do not fear them, but I cannot see where the wolves are. They could be in the shadow of that tree, or there, or there, and we would not know it until it is too late.”
He took hold of her hand, and she resisted. “There is another song I wish for you to hear. Will you trust me?”
Slowly relaxing her arm, she smiled tentatively. “Always.”
My throat locked. That was what he said to me every time I’d asked him that question.
Asher drew her hand to him and placed her palm beneath the loose once-white shirt he wore. “This heart beats because of you, and now it beats for you. Will you listen?” Although he trembled inside, his voice had taken on that smooth cadence that could have me out of my pants in two seconds flat.
Oh, you are smooth, Asher Green. Even in the days of petticoats and leather armor, he’d figured out how to push my buttons.
“Just watch,” he said, his voice echoing all around me. Not amused, but deadly serious.
After eyeing him with suspicion, Adaline leaned in and let him guide her ear against his chest. He tangled his fingers in her hair and held her to him, mesmerized by the softness of her. “This song is for you,” he said. “One touch, and the tempo speeds up.”
Taking the bait, she slipped her fingers inside his shirt and around his side. Even I could hear his pulse take off, and Adaline giggled. “What other tricks does this heart of yours do?”
“For you, many things. If you would let me hold you in my arms so that I might protect you through this night, you will find my heart slows into a contented rhythm. If you should allow me a good-night kiss upon your lips, then it might swell up until it breaks through my chest. Since the moment your vision filled my eyes, you have held me spellbound with your sharp tongue and fierce heart. If it would please you, I would keep you through every night from now until the long road of time comes to an end.”
About the Author
Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.
With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.
When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.