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Immortal Heat

Immortal Heat cover

A goddess in peril… A god in exile…
Love forged in the flames of…

Immortal Heat
by Lanette Curington

Aglaia is one of the Charites, a goddess of grace and a messenger for her half-sister Aphrodite. Righting a wronged love on the isle of Lemnos puts Aglaia in danger when her duplicity is discovered. Dark and brooding Hephaestus, god of the forge, is in seclusion on Lemnos after the humiliation he suffered from his ex-wife Aphrodite’s infidelity. He finds the injured Aglaia and nurses her back to health. As their attraction for one another heats up, only the ingenious creations of Hephaestus can save Aglaia from destruction, and only by the grace of Aglaia can Hephaestus’s heart mend.

A sensual romance novella, approx. 25,000 words or 84 pages.

Published by Silver Heart Books.

Coming soon to Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, and other retailers.

EXCERPT

“I’ll race you to that large egg-shaped boulder,” Aglaia called out and started hobbling as fast as she could down the stretch of sand.

Hephaestus watched her a moment then followed after her. His stride was longer and he soon caught up and passed her by.

“Oh, that isn’t fair!” she cried out in mock indignation. “You’re accustomed to your metal contraption, and I haven’t had time to get used to mine.”

He slowed enough to look over his shoulder at her–and smiled. The golden headband he’d fashioned to hold back her hair was skewed to one side. Strands of hair, the shifting colors of the flames in his forge, lifted in the breeze then wrapped around her shoulders. She had grabbed the skirt of her chiton with both hands and raised it above her knees for unrestricted movement. And she limped just like he did. Unlike him, she would heal in time and no longer need the greave he had made for her.

Still, Aglaia was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, including his former wife. If Aphrodite knew his thoughts at this moment, she would be enraged even though she had never loved him. If she knew, she might exact her revenge on Aglaia and that he couldn’t allow. If he and Aglaia became lovers, he would have to go to Aphrodite and tell her himself. He didn’t want Aphrodite to hurt Aglaia in any way.

“You are so cruel!” Aglaia shouted at him, but she was smiling. “You’re supposed to let me win.”

“Am I?” he called out over his shoulder. He had almost reached the oval boulder, standing on its end, that she had designated as their goal.

“Of course! To boost my confidence, to show me I can do anything as well as before. Shame on you, Hephaestus,” she scolded, but the words were spoken between giggles and he didn’t take her seriously.

He was breathing heavily when he reached the boulder. He leaned back against it and leisurely crossed his arms, as if to say he was waiting on her. She was only a score of paces away when her greave-clad foot hit a small rock half-buried in the sand and her leg flew out from under her.

Aglaia landed on her backside with a small sound of surprise before she toppled down the steep incline toward the sea. Hephaestus pushed off from the boulder and ran after her, but she had rolled to a stop just above the waterline when he reached her.

His knees went weak and he fell beside her. She was positioned too much like the way she had been the day he found her all bruised and battered and littered with sand. Her head was turned away from him, but the golden band had somehow managed to stay in her hair although it hung loosely to one side. She was a goddess, he reminded himself, and she couldn’t die, but even such a simple tumble could cause more grievous
injuries.

“Aglaia,” he whispered and turned her face toward him. Her eyes were closed and she didn’t move. He leaned in closer and her eyes sprang open, surprising him.

“Boo!” she said.

He sat back on his heels, aggravating the discomfort in his deformed foot, his hands spread wide on his thighs, and scowled down at her.

“Oh, Hephaestus, don’t be angry.” She tried to mimic his dour face, but she couldn’t hold it for long. She laughed and this time he found himself laughing with her. “You have a wonderful laugh, so deep and rich. You should do it more often,” she said between gasps for air.

He didn’t want to spoil the moment by telling her that he’d never had much to laugh about. In truth, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d laughed. Aphrodite had never made him laugh or laughed with him. Only Aglaia.

“You aren’t hurt?” he asked when he’d caught his breath.

“No, not a bit. I was only teasing you.” She rose up on her elbows, the headband slipping from her hair. “I’m sorry–”

“Don’t apologize. It was a fine trick, and I should have suspected.”

“No, you shouldn’t have. That’s what made it a fine trick.”

Hephaestus reached out to straighten the headband, but his hand touched her brow and swept back over her flame-red hair, catching her at the nape, and then he found himself moving in closer to her, so close their lips touched. Aglaia’s neck bowed and her lips parted against his, warm and inviting. He felt her arm glide to the back of his neck, her fingers tangling in his hair. He closed his eyes and lost himself in her kiss.

When they parted, Aglaia ran the tip of her tongue over her lips as if to savor the last taste of him. The simple yet seductive action drove him wild and would have brought him to his knees if he wasn’t already there. He throbbed with desire.

Her eyes opened lazily, their dusky luster mirroring his own need. “Mmmm,” she murmured and licked her lips again. “I’m so glad you did that. Could you do it again?”

“If I do it again, I won’t stop at a kiss,” he warned huskily.

She smiled sweetly. “Good. I was afraid you might.”

Published by Silver Heart Books.

Coming soon to Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, and other retailers.

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