A love story so epic you’ll be begging for more.
Title: The Evolution of Fae and Gods
Series: Chronicles of the Stone Veil #3
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Evil is coming.
A dark malevolence the likes of which this world has never seen, and it comes straight from the depths of Hell. Darkness meant to destroy. A prophecy I am fated to fulfill but will most likely not survive.
Through it all, Carrick Byrne has stood strong by my side. Something has deeply changed between me and the man I once despised, and all it took was a kiss of provocation for both of us to feel it. I know deep in my soul we’re being guided by destiny, but I don’t know if I can trust it. Carrick is holding something back, and I fear the consequences could be deadly once his truth is revealed.
We’re not ready, but calamity waits for no woman. I have discovered a power within myself I must learn to master. A new connection in the Underworld has been revealed to me, one that I hope is friend but is just as likely foe. We are in a race against time as we try to figure out how to stop the end of the world from occurring. The battle is coming, and I can only hope we’re prepared for what happens next.
The Evolution of Fae and Gods is book three of the Chronicles of the Stone Veil series and is best enjoyed if read in series order.
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We go at it for almost half an hour, working in four-minute fast rounds with one-minute breathers in between. Of course, that’s for my benefit, not Carrick’s, who doesn’t get out of breath at all. In fact, he hasn’t even broken a sweat while I’m covered in it.
“Last round,” Carrick says as he presses the button on his watch to reset the timer. I’m still a little wheezy, bent over with my hands on my knees, but I give a resolute nod.
We start again, my arms and legs feeling heavy and weighed down from the prior rounds we’d completed. I spend a little too much time putting space between us, walking in a circle to keep him at my front.
He doesn’t like me taking this extra breather when I just had one, and he comes at me. He volleys several punches, which I’m able to parry only because he’s slowed them down even more in deference to my frail human body being nearly depleted of energy.
An inside-out parry misses his punch and would have connected with my nose had Carrick not pulled it at the last minute.
“Come on, Finley,” he growls. “If you’re fighting a daemon or fae, they’re not going to go easy on you like this. Give me more.”
I go on the offensive, hit him with a one-two, and manage to block a roundhouse punch from him. But I don’t merely block it, I wrap my arm around his, pin it hard to my side, and step into him to give three hard uppercuts to his stomach that’s seemingly made of steel, and I can feel my knuckles bruising.
Carrick easily pulls free, puts his hand on top of my head, and pushes me backward like I’m an annoying kid throwing a tantrum.
It’s humiliating—even more so when he lectures me. “That was pretty pathetic. Come on now. Pull deep.”
Christ, I’m tired, but anger fires my blood up and I get a burst of energy I didn’t expect. I take advantage of it while he’s standing complacently and attack. Except this time, I feign high and then take a page from Titus’ book and crouch low. One foot planted hard on the floor, the other leg extended, I make a twirl like a top and sweep Carrick’s leg out from under him.
He goes down and I start to pop up, intent on bringing my knee down onto his chest and putting an elbow to the bridge of his nose, and then I can see if demi-gods bleed black or red.
But Carrick isn’t about to let me attack him further. His arm shoots out as he falls to the floor, hooks around my thigh, and brings me crashing down with him.
Carrick to his back.
Me coming straight down on top of him, in what might be a bizarre twist of fate, has me perfectly aligned on top of his body. My torso to his torso and my face hovering right above his, my hands on his chest, his on my hips.
I’m breathing hard, not just from the physical exertion but from the fact I’m lying on top of Carrick.
Weirdly, Carrick’s chest is moving a bit more rapidly than his placid, under-exerted self was just moments ago.
And those honeyed eyes of his… glowing again. I know now it’s not a trick of the light, but something otherworldly in him that tells me he’s feeling strong emotion.
There’s no rational thinking or pre-planned speech. I react from my gut and my heart as I advise him in the barest of a whisper. “I’m going to kiss you, and if you don’t want it, you better throw me off now.”
Not a muscle twitches on Carrick’s face so I can read what he might be thinking, but a red haze starts to overtake his pupils. I have no clue what that even means, but the gold in his eyes is still gleaming bright, and the fact he hasn’t thrown me off spurs me on.
I bend my head, tilting it slightly, and press my lips against his as my eyes start to flutter closed.
At first, nothing happens. I don’t feel a thrill of pleasure, and his lips stay firmly locked tight. A flicker of doubt hits me, and I even consider pulling away.
But then a low rumble of a growl emits from Carrick’s chest, and I find myself rolled off his body as he changes our places, coming to rest right on top of me. His hand goes behind my head so it doesn’t hit the hard gym floor.
I get just a flash of Carrick’s eyes, and he doesn’t hold back a single thing that’s running through that gorgeous head of his. He lays it all right out in his expression.
Lust, anger, possessiveness, and even regret.
It’s the lust that wins out because Carrick doesn’t just kiss me. No, he takes my mouth and brands it as his. He kisses me hard and deep, and I become a riot of feelings. My head spins because I never knew a kiss could be like this. Perfectly domineering and yet gentle at the same time, the glide of his tongue on mine is the best thing I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s the first taste of an addictive drug, and I know I’ll never in my lifetime get enough.
I’m not embarrassed by the moan that slips free of my mouth and fills his, nor how my hips try to rise upward to touch him.
Which is a mistake because the minute the soft center between my legs presses against the extremely hard, long, and thick ridge between his, Carrick rears back from me like he’s been electrocuted.
I cry out in despair when his mouth leaves mine, and my heart is crushed as I see his eyes darken and go flat.
“Fuck,” he mutters as he rises fluidly to his feet.
I scramble to mine, needing to be on equal footing and braced for the lecture I know I’m going to get.
“We can’t go there, Finley,” he says hoarsely, raking his fingers through his hair in agitation as his hard eyes pin on me.
About Sawyer Bennett
New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Sawyer Bennett uses real life experience to create relatable stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From contemporary romance, fantasy romance, and both women’s and general fiction, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
A former trial lawyer from North Carolina, when she is not bringing fiction to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to her very adorable daughter, as well as full-time servant to her wonderfully naughty dogs.
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