Victoria Sue is stopping by today, to bring an exclusive excerpt from her most recent book, Dead of Knight (Guardians of Camelot, Book 2). If you haven’t checked out this series, it is a good one, combining some historical, some contemporary, some paranormal, and a whole lot of love. Check out the excerpt, and the giveaway at the end.
A battle is coming…
…and the immortal knights aren’t ready.
Will an orphan be the key?
For fifteen hundred years Lucan has waged war with the greatest enemy the world has ever known
…and fought the ancient curse that means loving someone with all his heart and soul might be the reason they die.
Tom wasn’t supposed to be born… twice.
How, as a young child, had he even heard the monsters at all?
How, as an adult, is he caught up in a deadly battle to fight evil, but cannot get one stubborn man to even acknowledge he exists?
Time is running out, not just to unravel the secrets of Tom’s destiny, but for Tom to show Lucan that loving someone with all that they have doesn’t mean breaking their heart.
Or does it?
“How will we know where to look?” Ali shot a worried look at Lucan. Lucan had already walked around the perimeter railings. The cemetery had shut at 4.30 p.m., but it wouldn’t be dark for another hour. They needed to find Tom, and fast. Lance pulled up, and he and Mel got out. Mel didn’t speak, just gazed at the ornate gates and dipped his hand under the collar of his jacket.
Kay looked over the huge area. “Where do we start?”
“Fan out?” Ali suggested. Lucan closed his eyes. He’d hoped for something, anything to say Tom was here, but there was nothing.
Mel brought out the pendant he wore around his neck and glanced at Lucan. “Do you feel him?”
Lucan shook his head. “But I don’t know that I would do.”
Mel scoffed, making his opinion of Lucan’s answer abundantly clear.
Kay looked around. “He would want somewhere as isolated as possible.”
“No,” Mel said slowly. “I don’t think he would. The college wasn’t isolated. I think he enjoys hiding in plain sight.”
“Are there any other places near?”
Mel tilted his head on one side, seeming to think. “He’s not here.”
Lucan growled in frustration. There was nowhere else. They could search the city if they had a few spare years maybe, but Tom barely had an hour before dusk. Tears clogged his throat, and he swallowed hard. He didn’t have time for this. He didn’t—
“Wait.” Everyone looked at Charles, a frown marring his features. “That makes no sense.”
“Nothing makes any sense,” Lucan bit out.
“No. I’ve been going over in my head all the things Gawain told me. What you know about them. The safeguards Merlin made as much as he could. But didn’t Father Joseph just say when Tom was born he heard the Ursus?”
“We assume so,” Lance agreed. “He wouldn’t know what the sound was, but he described it perfectly.”
He glanced at Gawain. “And I know humans can’t hear them even if they are standing next to them, but what if the night Tom was born caused something to go wrong?” He grimaced. “That’s the wrong word, but if great magic is generated when the Tresors are created, what if it was taken from somewhere else?”
“What do you mean?” Mel queried.
“Magic doesn’t exist in a bubble. Earth magic cannot be created without harnessing power from elsewhere.”
Gawain glanced at Mel. “Do you remember when I explained rebirth?”
Mel nodded. “That the way I use fire draws on the power of the earth.”
“And the way Merlin altered Morgan’s spell. Dark magic could only come at a heavy cost,” Lance added. “And how we will only be able to defeat it when we are joined as whole.”
Gawain chewed the inside of his cheek. “But I don’t think you’re saying that, are you?”
Charles shook his head. “Or not just, no. One of the notebooks mentions the word tentoria. It means devoid of soul, and I took it to mean how your souls were originally split, but it appears with the phrase incompleta mortem which means incomplete death and renascentia which as you know means rebirth.”
Gawain leaned forward, his face a study of concentration. “You are worried that one causes the other, and that incompleta mortem means tentoria or that bringing someone back doesn’t make them whole.”
“I have absolutely no idea what either of you mean,” Lance said with frustration.
Neither did Lucan.
“Necromancy is a forbidden art,” Gawain explained. “Morally it was always so, but the notebooks explore a deeper meaning.”
“What?” Lucan asked, running out of patience rapidly.
“That bringing back someone from the dead means they have an incomplete soul.”
Mel shuddered, and Lucan and Gawain both noticed. “I don’t mean you,” Gawain said hurriedly. “Your soul was reborn; you weren’t brought back from the dead.”
“And what has any of this got to do with Tom’s birth?” Lucan said, his voice gaining in decibels.
“Sorry.” Charles was immediately contrite. “That was my roundabout way of explaining there has to be a balance. Gawain told me about the teenager, and I have seen many things in my life to doubt any possibility, no matter how fantastic it sounds. What if he’s incomplete? What if it takes magic to generate him? But he doesn’t have enough? What if good magic can only take power from bad, the same as good and evil being two sides of the same coin? He’s been in the chapel twice. What if he’s a warning? What if he’s trying to tell us something? And Mel said about Aalardin hiding in plain sight. I just—”
Lucan stared at Lance, comprehension and horror registering on his face.
Lucan was running for his bike before Charles had finished his sentence. He heard the shouts behind him and the start of car engines. He swore under his breath because if Charles was right—and Lucan knew, absolutely knew he was—Tom had been under their noses all day.
This series….Oh, this series…I really do like this series a whole lot. It has a lot of what I look for. I love historical, and this definitely has some aspects of King Arthur’s Court in it. I love some suspense, and there is definitely plenty of that. This author really excels at suspense in my eyes, throwing out a few clues here and there, then just tossing it all on the table. And even some contemporary aspects, although they are a bit smaller in book 2, than they were in book 1.
For my tastes, I think I preferred book 1 more simply because it had more romantic elements than I felt Dead of Knight did. In book 2, it wasn’t insta-love, because they really had loved each other the entire time, age was what was holding Lucan back. It was more a breakdown of the walls that had been holding Lucan back, and a realization that they really did belong together. This book was far more, in my opinion, heavily towards the suspense side. That was fine, just not what I had expected. There were a lot of small details in this book that the reader needed to keep track of, in order to understand why something happened, or would happen. I always enjoy a book that makes me think.
Lucan was exactly what you want for your Valentine, steadfast, loyal, and when he loved it was with everything in his heart. Meanwhile, Tom was discovering who he was, who he was to become, and dealing with a past that wouldn’t let him go. During that though, he never gave up on his love for Lucan…well, there was one tiny moment, but…you’ll see. 🙂
Seeing how everything worked out, at the end, even with Lucan and Tom’s HEA (well, really right now it can only be a HFN), I’m looking forward to how the story arc continues to play out. Kay gave us a little bit of a shock at the end of this book, so seeing where it goes will be interesting.
4 pieces of eye candy
Victoria Sue fell in love with love stories as a child when she would hide away with her mom’s library books and dream of the dashing hero coming to rescue her from math homework. She never mastered math but never stopped loving her heroes and decided to give them the happy ever afters they fight so hard for.
She loves reading and writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—and creating a family for them to adore. Thrilled to hear from her readers, she can be found most days lurking on Facebook where she doesn’t need factor 1000 sun-cream to hide her freckles.
For a chance at a $5 Amazon US voucher an ebook from her backlist, just leave a comment on this post.