Keras (Guardians of Hades Paranormal Romance Series Book 7) by Felicity Heaton
If you love dark, alpha Greek gods and strong heroines who bring them to their knees, together with epic action, sizzling passion and high stakes drama, then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Keras (Guardians of Hades Paranormal Romance Series Book 7)
by Felicity Heaton
Keras is darkness. It sustains him. It strengthens him. It offers relief from the pain born of his feelings for a goddess of Olympus, a bewitching and beautiful female placed beyond his reach—one who stole his heart and broke it. Centuries of enduring that pain have left him tired, and the temptation to surrender control to that side of himself grows each day.
Even when he knows that darkness will destroy him.
Enyo has regrets. Hundreds of them. But the one that has plagued her for centuries, is the moment that shattered her friendship with the firstborn of Hades and her own heart with it—a moment that changed her and set her on a new path. With the battle between the sons of Hades and the daemons turning more dangerous for the man she loves, she can no longer stand on the side lines.
It’s time for this goddess of war to risk everything to fight for what she wants.
As the battle to save the Underworld and the mortal realm rages to dangerous new heights, will Keras be consumed by the darkness or will Enyo be the light that saves him?
Grab your copy today at http://www.felicityheaton.com/guardians-of-hades-keras-paranormal-romance-book.php
Enyo smoothed her black breastplate, fingers rubbing over the point where it met her waist, flowing down to the strips of onyx leather that encircled her hips. She repeated the process over and over again as she peered at herself in the mirror. The bright sunlight that streamed in through the windows on the left and right of her bedroom reflected off the silver metalwork on her armour.
Her senses stretched around her, sharpening to keep track of her brother. He remained at a distance, which was helping to keep her nerves in check, but did nothing to help her vanquish them completely.
The thought of what she was about to do kept them at a constant simmer inside her, had her smoothing her armour again. She twisted away from the mirror, pacing across the marble floor, her boots loud in the heavy silence that shrouded her. She struggled with her fear, battled it violently, refusing to let it get the better of her. She was a goddess of war, born for battle, shouldn’t be afraid of what she was about to do.
She kept telling herself that again and again, but it wouldn’t sink in.
Enyo paced back across her bedroom, each swift stride carrying her rapidly from one wall of the pale room to the other. She stilled when she sensed someone outside in the corridor, her focus narrowing on them as she waited. They moved on and she breathed a little easier when she realised it was only one of her brother’s aides.
This was foolish of her. If her brother discovered what she was about to do, or found out after she had gone through with it, he would be furious with her. She had vowed not to interfere with the war erupting in the Underworld, but she couldn’t stand by any longer, allowing the sons of Hades to fight alone.
She needed to be there, needed to help them.
Needed to help him.
Enyo strode back to the mirror, untied her hair and raked her fingers through it, smoothing the long black strands. Was it better down? She canted her head left and right, unable to decide. It was better down. No. It was better up. It looked more professional, would give a better impression, and make it clear she was only there to offer help.
Even when she wasn’t.
She pulled her hair back and twisted it into a bun, fastening it with silver clasps. Much better.
Her stomach flipped, and not for the first time. It had been constantly turning since she had made her decision. She would leave Olympus. She would go against her brother’s wishes. She had to.
So why was she still here?
Why couldn’t she find the courage to face him?
Enyo blew out her breath, seeking the resolve she had felt when she had spoken with Marek.
She needed to do this. She needed to see Keras again.
She needed to face him.
She was a goddess of war, not a weak little maiden.
But the thought of facing Keras was more terrifying than the thought of entering a battle where it was only her against ten thousand powerful enemies.
She pivoted away from the mirror, crossed the room to her wardrobes and rifled through her dresses. She stopped herself. Looked down at her armour. She looked fine in it. She was just delaying things now.
Enyo drew down another deep breath and summoned the power to teleport before her nerve failed her again.
Light whirled around her and when it dissipated, she was standing on the zinc roof of a Parisian townhouse.
She stared across the road at the building opposite her, all of her focus on it, her nerves rising faster now.
Keras was in there.
She could feel his power, and gods, it was a sweet comfort and a torment at the same time. How long had it been since she had felt this? How long had it been since she had seen him?
She slowly eased into a crouch, planting one hand between her spread knees for balance. The night air was cool around her, heavy with the scent of rain. In the distance thunder rumbled.
Enyo lingered, eyes fixed on the warmly lit windows of the pale townhouse opposite her, heart thudding against her chest.
That heart shot into her throat when a black shadow moved across one of the windows to the right of the building, drawing her gaze there.
She swallowed to wet her dry mouth as she watched him move around the room. A trickle of excitement ran through her blood, an urge to move closer so she could see him more clearly filling her. She wanted a better look at him, not these stolen moments where she couldn’t see all of him. She wanted to see if he was as she remembered him.
But still she hesitated.
Her mind filled with when they were last together and she cursed her own weakness.
Keras wouldn’t want to see her, and she could understand that. She despised how she had acted then, how weak she had been, allowing her brother to manipulate her and use that weakness against her.
He had taken her fear, all of her doubts, and moulded them into a weapon.
And she had been blind to it.
She had believed him when he had told her that Hades would never approve of the match, that he would expect more for his firstborn son than her.
Hearing that had stung her, not only because she had believed she could be with Keras but because it made her realise that her brother thought she wasn’t worthy of someone like him. It had shown her how little he thought of her.
Looking back now, she could see why he had done it.
Marrying Keras would not only have reflected badly on her brother Ares because he had promised her to another, but she would have been elevated in society and may have even surpassed him in standing and power. Her eyes were open now. She had learned over the last two centuries that her brother was an egotistical bastard, lived to constantly hold her back so she couldn’t surpass him.
He had trampled her feelings to keep her in her place.
She should have known that the moment he had confronted her two centuries ago, should have seen the reason why he had done it, why he had chosen to confront her the second he had noticed she was spending a lot of time with Keras and the two of them had been growing close.
Gods, she had been so defensive in response and had denied feeling something for Keras, and that was something she had come to regret. Her weakness had plagued her these last two hundred years.
She should have stood up to her brother.
She shouldn’t have let him walk all over her like that.
It had taken her far too many centuries to reach this breaking point, but she was going to step over that line her brother Ares had drawn, was going to defy him and do what her heart desired for once.
That heart ached as Keras moved to the next room, briefly disappearing before he appeared beyond an elegant couch. He kept walking, concealed by another wall for a hard beat of her heart before he emerged. He opened cupboards and withdrew some things, set them down before him and stood with his back to the window—to her—obscuring her view of the items.
What was he doing?
Preparing a meal?
A smile wound its way onto her lips as she recalled a moment with him, one shortly after he had moved into his own home on the grounds of the main palace in the Underworld.
He had confessed he found the thought of learning to cook appealing.
She had teased him often about that in the years that had followed, and always he had grumbled about how his parents insisted that the household staff took care of that sort of thing for him.
His parents were as old-world as her brother, believed that cooking and cleaning were the domain of servants, not the gods who ruled the lands of the Underworld and Olympus.
Enyo had tried to cook once, had been wandering the shores of Olympus near to the port and had found herself on rocks that jutted out into the crystal-clear water. Fish had been swimming around below her, and she had watched them for a while before realising that she wasn’t alone.
Two men had been fishing further along the shore and she had approached them, had been curious about what they were doing. They had kindly answered her questions and made an offering of fish to her.
She had attempted to cook it on their open fire, much to their amusement.
Apparently, it was better to remove the guts first.
A lesson that she still remembered now, together with how she had made the two men laugh by mentioning how removing guts was a specialty of hers.
Enyo let those memories fade away and focused back on the present, on the dark god in the building opposite her as he stood with his back to her, still in the same place she had left him when her mind had wandered.
She was putting things off. She knew it deep in her heart. The memories she conjured were a distraction, a way of lingering where she was, avoiding facing him.
She pulled down an unsteady breath and blew it out, steeling herself.
“Be brave,” she murmured softly and rose to her feet.
She clenched her fists at her sides and then flexed her fingers, called to mind all the times she had gone to battle. Countless wars. She had fought in thousands of them with her brother and sometimes alone. This was no different to them, and no more frightening.
It was though.
It was infinitely more terrifying.
She hadn’t seen Keras since he had been banished to this world.
Since she had told him that she was betrothed to another.
She stared at Keras’s back, aching with the need to go to him, to look into his eyes and read his feelings in them as she used to.
Had he ever had feelings for her beyond friendship?
He had closely guarded his heart when she had known him, had never given her a clear indication that he felt the same way as she did. Maybe if he had, she would have found the courage to defy her brother two hundred years ago.
She pushed those thoughts aside, aware that they weren’t helping her and that there was no point in thinking about how things might have been. She couldn’t change the past.
She could only shape the future.
Starting right here, right now.
By speaking with him again.
Would he remember her?
Marek said that he did, but for some reason she couldn’t bring herself to place what little faith she had in the words he had offered her. She feared that Marek was wrong and that if Keras had ever felt something for her, those feelings either no longer existed or no longer matched hers.
“Focus on why you are here,” she muttered, using it to bolster her courage. “You came to give him information.”
A sound plan.
One she had put into motion upon hearing from her brother that Nemesis had betrayed Hades.
Enyo had done a little digging, as Marek called it, and had heard many rumours about Nemesis.
She sucked down another breath and held it as she teleported, appearing in a swirl of white-blue smoke in the kitchen of Keras’s home.
Only a few feet behind him.
Her heart thundered, blood rushing like a torrent through her veins as nerves instantly crashed over her, had her hands shaking so badly she had to ball them into fists at her sides.
To distract herself from her fear, she took in the room, not missing how different it was to Marek’s Spanish villa.
It suited Keras.
There was an understated elegance about the room, a sense of luxury in every small detail. Clean white walls. Crisp polished wood. Delicate fabrics on the chairs seated around the table to her right. A chandelier that twinkled at her through the doorway beyond it, the crystals and gold reflecting warm light.
She could only imagine the money Keras had poured into his home.
It was opulent.
Befitting of the firstborn of Hades.
It was also very neat. Everything had a place and was in it, and not a speck of dust marred the furniture. She had never noticed how neat Keras was.
Her gaze strayed back to him, her heartbeat going off the scale again as she mustered her courage, as curiosity tugged a question to her lips.
Why hadn’t he sensed her yet?
Maybe he had. Maybe he was aware of her and too angry with her to face her. She studied him and frowned when she sensed no anger in him. She would have pondered whether he was struggling with other emotions.
Only she couldn’t sense anything coming from him.
Which was odd.
She had been attuned to him once, able to detect the slightest shift in his feelings. Perhaps in their years apart, that skill had grown rusty or a distance had grown between them, stealing it from her.
Enyo watched him for a few seconds more, giving herself time to grow accustomed to the fact it was Keras before her.
His rich masculine scent was the same, teased her senses with earth and spice, had her recalling the time she had fallen asleep resting against his shoulder in the secluded arbour in her brother’s garden.
It warmed her.
Gave her the courage she had been lacking as he opened the cupboard set into the kitchen island in front of him and bent over.
“It has been two centuries since I last laid eyes upon that fine backside but I do believe I would recognise it anywhere.” Enyo cringed as she finished saying that, sure she had made a terrible mistake and he wouldn’t remember that day several hundred years ago, when they had been hunting in the mortal world and his horse had bolted.
She had found him thrown face first into a bush, his backside sticking out of it, and had remarked about recognising his fine backside.
Tense seconds trickled past.
Keras straightened and turned. “Enyo!”
When he smiled at her, his emerald eyes lighting up with it, all of her nerves rushed out of her, replaced with warmth that heated her right down to her marrow.
To her soul.
Gods, he was as gorgeous as she remembered, and something hit her hard.
She had missed him so badly.
Surprise swept through her when he stepped into her and wrapped his arms around her, swiftly giving way to a lightness that chased every shadow from her heart, every fear from her mind as he held her.
She hugged him back, closed her eyes and told herself to keep it together and not be weak. She leaned into his embrace, fighting tears that stung her eyes. A whirlwind of emotions swept through her, tangled ribbons of them that pulled her along with them, had her spinning as she held him.
She kissed his cheek, secretly breathed him in.
He still smelled the same. Still felt the same. If not better. It had been centuries, but she had never forgotten how good it felt to be in his arms.
She did her best not to cling to him, not to let him see how deeply his friendly greeting was affecting her as a single thought spun through her mind.
It was Keras—his cheek beneath her lips, his strong arms around her.
She pulled herself together and withdrew her lips, before she ended up making a fool of herself. If she hadn’t managed that already.
Keras drew back and smiled at her. “Anyone would think you had missed me.”
She laughed, but couldn’t deny it. “There isn’t a man in all the Underworld who can hug like you do.”
His arms dropped away from her as he stepped back, the embrace over too soon, and she schooled her features to hide her disappointment.
Her nerves began to rise again as silence stretched between them once more, as he stared at her and she swore something lit his green eyes, something cold and dark.
“I have been scouting the Underworld,” she blurted, and cursed herself.
She crushed her nerves.
They rose back up again, persistent and more than a little annoying.
She needed to appear strong, as confident as she used to be. She needed Keras to believe she had only come to relay information to him, at least until she felt sure of a few things.
Like whether or not he hated her now.
“People have been seen entering Nemesis’s realm over the last few decades. Not the usual gods or goddesses who are summoned there either. I heard several reports that people of an unknown breed had visited her.”
Keras leaned his backside against the black counter of the island and folded his arms across his chest. Her gaze crept down to it, to the onyx material that hugged his lean muscled figure. The modern dress of the mortal world suited him, accentuated his fine figure, revealing his long legs and how his wide shoulders tapered into a trim waist.
“What breeds?” His deep voice rolled over her, warming her and making it hard to think.
“I am not sure.” That was the truth and not just because she felt a little addled being in his presence again, was still a little off-balance from the hug he had given her. “There were reports of both males and females, but none of them gods or goddesses. Not even demigods of note, but I cannot be certain there are not some involved. I can question the people who spoke of them and see if they know. Perhaps even visit the communities and ask questions there.”
“If more Hellspawn are involved, Father would want to know.”
Hellspawn. A term he and his brothers often used for the breeds Hades had allowed to remain in the Underworld after the last rebellion. The breeds that had been banished had been renamed daemons, a word that sounded more like a vile curse whenever Hades or Keras had spoken it in front of her.
Keras dipped his head and a damp ribbon of black hair slipped onto his brow, curled there and caressed his pale skin.
He had bathed recently. Just the thought of him doing such a thing had heat licking through her veins. She fought it and subdued it, aware that Keras’s senses were strong and not wanting him to detect the desire that still burned inside her despite their centuries apart.
He swept the rogue strand back and ran his long fingers through his hair. “Thank you for your information.”
Enyo frowned at that, his cold response causing her nerves to gain ground. Was he angry with her because she had never come to see him? Marek had told her more than once that she caused him trouble when she came to see him rather than Keras, that Keras was always furious with him.
Was he furious with her too?
He leaned to his right and went to turn.
Her gaze snagged on the bottle on the black counter and the empty glass beside it. “What is that?”
She jerked her chin towards it.
Keras didn’t even glance at it. “An experiment.”
She read the red and white label. Vodka. She knew what that was.
“Alcohol?” Her gaze leaped back to collide with his as shock rippled through her. “I thought that—”
Keras cut her off. “Valen tried it and went off the deep end.”
“Off the deep end?” She couldn’t hide the confusion that swept over her, knew he had heard it when a semblance of a smile touched his lips.
“A mortal saying. It means to lose control. To be wild.”
Enyo filed it away as she looked from the bottle to him, concern replacing her confusion. Valen had lost control, and Keras had decided to imbibe the same mortal-made brew that had made him wild.
Did he want to go off the deep end too?
“And you?” She frowned at him. “What did you feel?”
Her eyes strayed to the bottle again.
“Nothing.” Keras shifted a step to his left, into the path of her gaze.
“Why?” She lifted her eyes back to his, unsure whether she was asking him why it hadn’t worked or why he had done something as reckless as drinking mortal alcohol when he knew how badly it affected him and his brothers.
He hiked his shoulders. “I am still trying to figure that one out.”
Enyo moved around him, deeper into the kitchen, curiosity and concern pulling her forwards, flooding her with a need to see the bottle. “How much did you drink?”
He took hold of it before she could get a look at it by moving around him and held it up for her to see.
A third of it was missing.
Far more than she had expected.
She hoped to the gods that he had at least started with a sip to gauge his reaction to it rather than diving straight in at a full glass.
She stared at the bottle, unable to shake the feeling something was wrong. Very wrong. A third of a bottle of alcohol was a lot for him to drink. Was this more than an experiment?
Had he hoped to awaken the same destructive power that Valen had by drinking alcohol?
Her gaze drifted back to meet his.
Why would he want to unleash that sort of power on this world?
His eyes revealed nothing, not a single trace of what he was feeling. His heart was closed to her, and it chilled her, had the warmth she had felt from being in his presence and in his arms turning to ice in her veins.
She reminded herself that she deserved his anger and this cold shoulder. She had come here to make amends, to slowly piece their friendship back together and perhaps even build on it in time. Olympus hadn’t been built in a day, and she was going to have to pick up the rubble of their past before she could begin constructing the future she wanted with him.
Or at least a path that might bring her there if he felt something for her.
Right now, she wasn’t sure that he did.
In fact, she felt certain he didn’t, and that he never had.
She tried to focus on the present, refusing to let the past jade her or read into things too much. She had leaped the first hurdle. She just had to keep on her feet now and keep running forwards. No looking back.
“Perhaps your inhibitors are too strong?” she said.
He tensed and his eyes darkened briefly, a shadow passing across them that lifted when he glanced down at his wrists, at the twin bands that encircled them, dampening his powers so he could be in this world without destroying it with the strength of them.
She’d had thousands of years in this world to learn to control her power, and he had been thrust into it without any training, expected to know how to hold back his strength.
“A reaction?” Enyo watched him closely, canting her head to her right as she tried to decipher whether the alcohol he had consumed was affecting him.
He barely shook his head and didn’t look at her.
She closed the distance between them again and took hold of his hands. An electric thrill bolted up both of her arms, had a shiver tripping down her spine as she felt the coolness of his skin against hers. He had always run a few degrees colder than her, something she blamed on his father’s genes.
Hades could be as cold as they came.
Enyo used her thumbs to brush the cuffs of his black dress shirt back and stroked them over the twin braided onyx bands that encircled his wrists, sitting flush against his skin. The power locked within them seeped into her.
The man she had known in the Underworld.
Never as strong as she was, but still incredibly powerful.
She watched her thumbs caressing his wrists, fought another bout of nerves and ridiculous tears that wanted to fill her eyes as she felt a shadow of the connection that had once existed between them.
Strong. Capable. Skilled in battle.
Wrestling her emotions back under control, she lifted her gaze to his face, burning with a need to take it in again.
His green eyes lingered on her hands where she touched him, something she couldn’t decipher slowly filling them.
“I really did miss you,” she whispered, and cursed when the tears she thought she had wrangled under control began to fill her eyes. She blinked them away before he could see them. “I haven’t had a good fight in centuries.”
He smiled, but it lacked the emotion it would have held once.
He slipped his hands free of hers and turned his back to her, grabbed the glass and carried it to the sink to her left.
Enyo stared at the bottle on the black counter.
It worried her to see him doing something so irresponsible.
It wasn’t like him.
Sure, she had been hitting the ambrosia again recently, since things had started getting more intense in the mortal world. She had needed the escape it offered as her worry for Keras’s safety had grown.
Was Keras seeking such an escape too?
Keras casually turned back to face her, the air between them growing awkward again, something she felt sure she was the only one feeling. He stared at her in silence, and again she was hit by the fact that there wasn’t a single trace of emotion in his emerald eyes, none of the anger she deserved for avoiding him for two centuries and for the manner of their parting.
He was strangely calm.
There wasn’t even a hint of hurt in him.
It made her feel as if she was looking at a different man.
In the centuries she had known him, Keras had always shared his father’s personality, often calm on the surface but seething with powerful emotions beneath, a churning and dangerous mass of them that were liable to erupt to the surface at any moment. He had always been unpredictable. She had never known when his temper would snap, but she had always known when he was angry. His tone had never revealed it, but his eyes had.
Now those eyes were empty as they gazed at her.
She thought about the things Marek had said to her and the messages Valen had sent.
And felt they were both right.
Something was wrong with Keras.
Grab your copy today at http://www.felicityheaton.com/guardians-of-hades-keras-paranormal-romance-book.php
BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling London Vampires series. Seven sexy and sinful Greek god brothers can be your new addiction in the Guardians of Hades series. Or how about four hot alpha shifter brothers in her Cougar Creek Mates series? Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
136 total views