His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his.
Imagine meeting a man who looks like an angel, wings and all? What would you do if this man told you he existed with only one purpose – to claim you and only you?
Destiny Carter is a feisty, take charge, Rubinesque beauty with a tough façade, who finds herself in that age old quandary, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” A string of lackluster relationships leave her hopeless and ready to settle…Until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend! Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, and instinctively, she knows this is just the beginning.
Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even drink human blood, to have one meant for him alone.
When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, he will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love.
J mowed-down the second of the biggest, rarest T-bones Destiny had ever seen. He ate as if he hadn’t eaten in days. Destiny noticed that J didn’t miss a beat in the conversation, yet his plate got emptier and emptier. She found herself staring at his throat, the muscles moving up and down as he chewed and swallowed.
She wondered absently whether it was wrong to be drawn to his beauty when her inner voice kept telling her something about him wasn’t quite as it seemed, but oh, he was beautiful. No other word described him. In fact, he was unnaturally so. No man should have his looks. It just wasn’t fair.
“…don’t you think so, Baby?”
“W-what?” Lost in her own thoughts, she had missed her cue in the conversation. She glanced up, shifting her gaze too slowly from J’s throat to his eyes. His lips were tilted into a smile, and his eyes held a gleam of mischief. He had seen her watching him. Bastard.
Robert offered her a tolerant smile. “I was telling J he’s staying with us. All the hotel rooms in this area are gonna be taken because of the convention.”
Destiny could see the pleading in Robert’s eyes as he awaited her answer. The apartment was his, and while she stayed over with him at times, she had not felt convinced enough to agree to move in with him.
She appreciated him at least giving the impression that her opinion mattered. The keyword there was impression, because he certainly should have discussed this idea with her before they reached the terminal, and certainly not with J’s unsettling gray eyes boring into her. Again, she thought, it wasn’t her place so she didn’t really have a say. She didn’t even have to be here, let alone at Robert’s apartment, and she could always go back to her place if she felt too uncomfortable.
She glanced at him, then back at J. “Sure. Robert and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She showed them a few teeth to seal the deal, then tried to focus her attention on the menu again. Well, there goes steering clear of him.
“Don’t you guys want shakes? It’s a rhetorical question.” Destiny raised her hand to get the waitress’s attention. She still felt J’s gaze on her, but avoided looking in his direction.
“No chocolate for you, Baby. Remember? You’re staying with me tonight, and caffeine keeps you awake.” Robert took a paternal tone, showing off. She wanted to slap the back of his head.
As soon as the waitress came over, Destiny addressed her, drawing the woman’s attention away from J. The woman’s big blue eyed gaze seemed to have lit on him without her notice – like a pin to a strong magnet. Destiny had to raise her voice. “I’ll also have a chocolate shake, please.” She put emphasis on the word “chocolate.”
J laughed and turned toward the waitress, who appeared to be enjoying the exchange. “I’ll have chocolate, too. Do you have chocolate cake also, miss?”
The waitress blushed maroon, her hand going to her chest as she laughed, obviously affected by him. “Lily. My name is Lily.” She pointed to her name tag.
J nodded and smiled before breaking the woman’s apparent trance. “Thank you, Lily. Do you have chocolate cake? I’d like to OD on chocolate. Can you help me do that, Lily?”
“Oh!” She covered her mouth like a giddy teen. “Yes. Yes, I’ll bring your chocolate shake and chocolate cake over. We also have hot fudge and chocolate syrup, if you’d like to add one of those. On the house.”
Destiny’s jaw nearly dropped. What the hell did he do to deserve his on the house?
After Lily took J’s order for chocolate cake and a chocolate shake, she turned to Robert. By then, Destiny couldn’t help sharing a conspiratorial smile with J. His eyes seemed to dance, watching the exchange he’d instigated. She had to admit it. The man had charisma to burn.
“Nothing for me.” Robert frowned, patting his slim middle with his palm as he silently judged them with his eyes. “I’m watching my weight, and I don’t have anywhere else to put it, anyway.”
Destiny glared at him. He was already too thin for his height as far as she was concerned. Her weight topped his by at least 30 pounds. Hearing his comment about watching his weight grated like having lunch with a picky, pretentious size zero model. J, on the other hand, probably shopped in the Big and Tall shops. He was muscular and solid without being bulky, and he couldn’t seem to get enough to eat. Something about a man who liked to eat made her toes tingle, not to mention what it did to her other parts.
About the Author
Dariel Raye is an animal lover, musician, and author of powerful IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She is a mezzo-soprano who fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. She also plays over 11 musical instruments..Multi-cultural) paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She is a mezzo-soprano who fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. She also plays over 11 musical instruments.
Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). Dariel is currently writing three series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim), and “Gateway” (a crossover erotic paranormal suspense with romantic elements).
For more about Dariel, follow her blog or visit her website. She also publishes a new release newsletter. If you enjoyed this book, please post a review on review sites. You can also follow her and contact her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Kelly’s breath caught as
she watched him. He really was the most gorgeous, sexiest man she’d ever met.
“I’ve heard that over-stimulating the senses can be deadly.”
“There’s only one way to
Kelly smiled as the
kitchen door swung shut behind him. She could still feel the touch of his kiss
and hands on her body and she felt a soft blush warm her cheeks. She shook her
head in awe of her own unhindered response and turned to the task of preparing
The china sparkled as she
lit the candles, watching each wick ignite into a glowing flame. Otis Redding’s
“Dock of the Bay” drifted to her ears as she dimmed the lights.
“Perfect,” she whispered,
surveying the scene. She raised her wine glass in a silent salute. A caress
from eyes behind her softened her smile as she turned.
Kelly’s smile wilted as
the delicate crystal she held in her hand slipped to the floor with a
splintering crash. She shook her head in denial at the little girl standing a
few feet away and cringed beneath the haunted, forlorn light-blue eyes that
pleaded for help. They seemed to bore into the very depths of Kelly’s soul, and
she shuddered as the little girl lifted her hand, beckoning her to follow.
“Please, help us.”
Cynthia H. Wise lives with her husband in Marietta, Georgia, where her series, The
Marcel Experience, is centered. When she is not writing novels about the
supernatural and the fantastic, Cynthia can be found with her husband, Cliff,
their two dogs, Jake and Sadie, and their cockatiel, Sam.
Cynthia H. Wise’s paranormal mystery series, The Marcel Experience, readers
will find themselves thrown into haunted houses, avenging ghosts and wandering
spirits, and even, possibly, falling in love with a handsome shapeshifter. In
the next novel in the series, Eyes of Autumn, releasing this
October, a dangerous enemy from Marcus’s past is threatening to destroy
everything he holds sacred, including the only woman he’s ever loved—a woman
who doesn’t remember him.
information and updates on new books, giveaways, and other news, visit her
Former Army helicopter pilot Jake Donovan is lucky to be alive. At least that’s what his team of neurosurgeons said. But he knows differently. Jake’s crimes almost cost Holly Hoffman her life, and even though he can’t remember, the pain in her eyes is something he’ll never forget.
Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.
Jennie Bateman has again fallen in love with Thomas, her former husband, but Tasha, one of his children, is determined to destroy their relationship.
Jennie had done that herself a number of years earlier. In the midst of a manic episode, she had deserted Thomas and their two daughters, choosing, instead, a life of shameless debauchery.
Perhaps she was shocked when Thomas filed for a divorce. Perhaps it was the influence of a preacher who took an interest in her. Perhaps she simply cycled back toward normal.
Whatever the cause, years later, when she again made contact with her family, she was a different person. Even so, they wanted nothing to do with her.
But time moves on. Circumstances change.
Jennie has been accepted by her children. Thomas’s second wife has died, leaving him a single parent with four adult daughters and a newborn. In Jennie’s eyes, he is the same good-looking, kind, loving person she had fallen for when they were in college.
While Jennie has fallen in love with Thomas, he has no interest in romance. He is still mourning the loss of his second wife, he is caring for their infant daughter, and he still nurses the hurt he felt when Jennie abandoned him so many years before. He does not want her around his children, and he is determined to shelter his infant daughter from her.
As time passes, though, he finds himself attracted to Jennie again, discovering she now resembles the girl with whom he once fell in love, rather the shrew who once walked out of his life.
Tasha knows of Jennie’s earlier life and she has discovered that she still takes medication to control her behavior.
“Are these your crazy pills?” Tasha mocks her as she snatches the bottle from Jennie’s hand. “If I flush them, will you be crazy in the morning? Only a weakling depends on medicine,” she asserts.
She insists that whether Jennie takes the medication or not, she will ultimately relapse, that another manic episode lies ahead, perhaps just around the bend. She taunts Jennie by printing documents from the internet to support her claim. She reminds Jennie that if she were to relapse after marrying Thomas, she would ruin his life – a second time.
Shamed by Tasha, Jennie ponders tossing her medication, hoping to prove to both of them that she can live without it. As she considers what to do, she fears that she will fail the test, be unable to cope, and her demons– anger, alcohol, and sex − will come rushing back to thwart her chance for a second marriage just as they destroyed her first.
Thomas would not try to cope with those demons again, would he? She couldn’t ask that of him, could she?
In Once and Future Wife we follow Jennie as she goes a second round with her demons, hoping to find a way to stop them from destroying the love and happiness that finally seem to be within her reach.
Once and Future Wife is a stand alone sequel to Those Children Are Ours. The first book does not have a cliff hanger of any kind at the end. Once and Future Wife picks up with Jennie four years later and can be read apart from the other book.
Jennie Bateman screamed at her daughters, cursed at her husband, packed a bag, and walked away. Twelve years later, she petitions the family court for visitation with her daughters, Alexis and Christa.
Her attorney tells Jennie that, ordinarily, she could not imagine that some type of visitation would not be granted. But, she warns, the situation is hardly ordinary.
True, Jennie suffered from a bipolar disorder when she began to drink heavily, abandoned her family, and moved in with another man. True, she has turned her life around: leaving her boyfriend, returning to school, entering therapy, taking medication, finding a job, and joining a church.
But she pressed no claim for her children when her husband divorced her, and she has made no attempt to contact them in any way since then. Her daughters, now sixteen and fourteen, live four hundred miles away. They have busy lives that do not include her, lives that will be totally disrupted by the visitation that she requests. Their father is engaged to be married to a woman who has taken the role of their mother for a decade. Alexis remembers nothing good about Jennie. Christa recalls nothing at all.
Conflict ensues as soon as Jennie’s petition is served: her former husband does not want to share his children with the woman who deserted him; her children have no interest in knowing the mother who abandoned them, and her father insists that she is being timid and ought to demand full custody, not simply visitation.
As court convenes, Jennie’s past is dredged up− the desertion, the men, her drinking, her mental health − and paraded before the judge. Her claim to be a different person, now, is attacked. The judge hesitates to grant Jennie’s request, but reluctantly agrees to order three trial visits.
If persuading the judge to let her see her children was difficult, convincing them to allow her to be a part of their lives seems to be almost impossible. What happens as she finally begins to connect with her daughters places them all in grave danger and threatens her life, itself.
I read David Burnett’s ‘Those Children Are Ours’ I thought the story was well
written and the characters believable. I simply could not get enough. Therefore, when I discovered that there was a sequel I could not wait to get my hands on it. I expected it to be as good as the first book and I was not disappointed. Once and Future Wife can be read as a stand-alone. However, I would recommend that you read Those Children Are Ours first so that you will better appreciate the events taking place in the sequel.
Thomas has moved on with his life, after suffering so much from being abandoned by Jennie and was left to take care of two small children. He had given upon Jennie returning and after several years has found happiness with Emma. However, this happiness was to be destroyed when tragedy struck and Thomas and his children lost Emma. Thomas was left to care for their newborn on his own.
Jennie has gotten her life back on track after recognizing that she had bipolar disorder. She has been reunited with her children and had regular visits with them. She has a great job and enjoying life like a normal person. One thing, however, has not changed and that was her feelings for Thomas. As such when she heard that Emma was killed, she began to wonder if there was a chance for Thomas and her to rekindle what they once had. (This is not to say she was not affected by the death of Emma. They had moved past their and became friends.) Thomas has come to realise that Jennie was not the same woman who had abandoned her family years ago. He has started to rely heavily on her for help with the newborn. As a result, they grew closer. Just when things seem to be going great between them, Thomas’ step-daughter Tasha decided that she would destroy Jennie. Will she succeed in her diabolical plan?
Once and Future Wife which I found inspiring and emotional, is a story of love, acceptance, second chances and forgiveness. Once again David Burnett has transported me into a world where I got a first-hand look at the effects of mental illness. He demonstrated the misunderstanding that surrounds it and the daily struggles that sufferers of the disorder face. He also demonstrated the effect it has on their loved ones.
If you are looking for a story that will engage you and keep you glued to the pages, then Once and Future Wife would be a good choice.
About the author
David Burnett lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston.
David enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.
He has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, a Native American powwow, and his grandson, Jack. David and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen. In The Reunion, Michael's journey through England and Scotland allows him to sketch many places they have visited.
David has graduate degrees in psychology and education and previously was Director of Research for the South Carolina Department of Education. He and his wife have two daughters.