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Beauty and the Gargoyle (MF)

The Gargoyles of New York

Evernight Publishing

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 16,320
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During the last attack on him and his brothers, Rafael Mansovich was turned into a monster. His face and upper body are badly scarred, and the PTSD of the attack has left him trembling at the idea of being frozen in his Gargoyle form every day. But he has no choice because as soon as the sun rises in the morning, he is transformed into a real, stone beast.

Isabella is the head librarian at the New York City Library, and she loves her quiet life away from the corporate rat race. But when she meets a spectacular man with silver eyes and an attraction she can’t fight, she’s thrown into a world where winged creatures are being hunted, and shifters are a very real thing. Can Isabella’s love reach Rafael, or will her heartbroken beast not care if his attackers find him once more?

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Excerpt

The library is finally empty, except for Chrissy and myself. Time to go home.

I walk towards her as two men step out of the ancient lift in the corner of the library and move into the foyer.

What were they doing up on the roof?

“Christiana.” The larger man’s voice was deep, and had a threatening edge I didn’t like. Perhaps this was Roman?

I hasten towards Chrissy, coming to a stop as the men turn to face me.

They both have bright silver eyes that are as eerie as they are beautiful. That isn’t natural.

The man closer to Chrissy pulls her into his side, his handsome face twisting into a look of protective annoyance.

The man next to him, clearly his brother if the strong jaw and silver eyes were anything to go by, drags his gaze away from mine and turns his head so I can’t look at him properly.

“Bella, this is my partner, Roman, and his brother, Rafael. Roman, this is the curator of the library, Isabella.”

My mind goes blank, and my whole body begins to quiver with arousal and awareness. Who is this man?

A power I cannot explain draws me closer, making me circle him until I’m standing in front of him again.

My heart pounds so hard in my chest I can barely contain it. I’m not scared, though this man’s injuries would make me flinch on any other day.

“What’s happened to you?” I ask Rafael, raising my hands and cupping his face so that he is forced to look at me.

What am I doing, touching a complete stranger? The reasonable voice in my head screams at me to stop. But it’s as though a puppeteer has control of my limbs, because I cannot stop myself.

He glares at me the best he can, steel in his eyes, his mouth turned down.

“I was shot.”

I take a closer look, my hands still clinging to his strong jaw. His injuries don’t look like gun wounds. His lip is torn, and one side of his face looks like it has been burned, or cut up in some way.

It is strangely ugly, and yet my knees shake and my core melts as arousal floods me like a hot storm.

He is still staring at me, but this time, his lips are parted, dragging in air.

“Let go of me,” he says, though his voice is strained.

He’s twice my weight. I’m tall, but thin, and he’s huge. Warrior size. If he wants me to stop touching him, why isn’t he stopping me himself?

“I can’t,” I whisper, though it sounds utterly ridiculous. Every educated, independent, “strong woman” part of me screams at me to let go.

I don’t.

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