Seducing the Demon Huntress

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Kerilyn is nearly the last of her demon-hunter family, her parents and siblings killed by the creatures they resolved to destroy. Alone on Halloween, the one night spirits and demons escape the Netherworld to wreak havoc on the mortal world, Kerilyn tries to stay safe at home, protected by spells and weapons. But one spirit is waiting for her right outside her gate: Arawn, Lord of the Spirits.

Arawn has visited her every year, determined to seduce her. Though Kerilyn tries to resist her forbidden attraction to him, he vows to win her by dawn and draws her into a sensual dream world that tempts her to drop her barriers and indulge in his touch.

But Kerilyn still believes Arawn is her enemy—especially when his brother, the Lord of the Demons, kidnaps her niece. To get her back, Kerilyn will have to risk abandoning her defenses and trust Arawn completely…

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"Trick or treat, give me something good to eat."

Kerilyn jerked toward the singing children skipping past her gate. They laughed as they hurried home, no doubt eager to change into their colorful costumes. They'd never know the danger they courted with their song.

But she did.

With a sigh she continued with her ritual, stepping backward around her home.

"Three times around the house," she whispered to herself. "Counter clockwise. Always walk backward." It was a simple protection ritual, one she'd cast over the house every year since she was old enough to understand why it was necessary.

Tonight was All Hallow's Eve, the one night when the dead walked the earth. And the spirits had never been particularly fond of her family.

Completing her third rotation around the home, she glanced up at the setting sun. Time was running out. Grabbing her lighter, she quickly lit the eight jack-o'-lanterns lining her front gate. Several others ringed her house, already lit. Most people set out jack-o'-lanterns for the fun of Halloween. They'd long since forgotten the lore of glowing pumpkins warding off evil spirits. Kerilyn, however, had been raised to remember all the tricks of Halloween. She was well aware of the power within the flickering candlelight.

Every year she waited for this night with a mixed sense of terror and anticipation. From the time she was born, she'd been kept safely indoors every Halloween while her parents and older siblings guarded the house against the beings who always tried to get in.

Kerilyn wasn't an average woman, after all. She came from a very long line of demon hunters. Every year her family and others like them did their best to rid the world of the things that go bump in the night. And every year on Halloween, those things crept back from the Netherworld to take their vengeance.

Wiping a hand across her brow, she studied her front gate. The superstitions were simple but the magic inherent in them had kept her family safe for generations. Of course, times changed. She walked to the corner of the fence and knelt. A small but powerful laser sensor ran the perimeter of her property. She adjusted the invisible beam before slipping the touch screen interface from her pocket.

Kerilyn waved her hand in front of the laser, breaking the beam, and saw the alarm system leap into action around her house. On the screen she saw the computer run through her designated protections. Automatic locks clicked into place on every door and window. Electrical current flowed into every outside doorknob, ready to temporarily incapacitate an enemy foolish enough to touch the metal. If she were inside, she'd hear the whistling alarm warning her trouble was coming. Glancing at her windows, she saw the lights flare on in the house. The brightness would hinder a demon. Once the system was set up for real and not a test run, flood lights would switch on to illuminate the yard. Nowhere for demons to hide.

As she tapped the interface, images from video feeds jumped onscreen. Every angle of the house was monitored with small cameras. Another tap and the images changed to heat sensors set to detect the low temperature of the creatures hunting her.

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Published on
Jun 3, 2013
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Fiction / Romance / General
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / General
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A stunning new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—Year One is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives...

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

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