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Chains of Frost
The Bellum Sisters - Book 1
by T.A. Grey
Three Fates. Three Sisters.
When a will from her dead father decrees Chloe into the protection of the renowned vampire commander, Tyrian en Kulev, she does what any woman would do—and casts a spell. Things get worse for Chloe when the spell she and her sisters perform summons an ancient demon from deep within the earth. Now she's being hunted by a demon set on killing her and must live at the aptly named Castle Death with the king of cold, Tyrian. Surprisingly, Chloe finds that she doesn’t mind her new Protector so much. His cold, impassionate nature needs a firm push to show his true colors, and Chloe thinks she’s just the one to do it.
Tyrian en Kulev always pays his debts. When Francis Bellum dies and orders Tyrian to act as his eldest daughter’s Protector, Tyrian resigns himself to the position. What should have been a simple deal--keep her in the castle, protect her--has turned difficult. Chloe comes to him with a demon trying to kill her and a sexy attitude that keeps invading his thoughts everywhere he goes. The little succubus easily grabs hold of the heart he’d kept locked away for so long and makes him feel once again. But can they defeat the demon that haunts her and can Tyrian overcome his past and move on to a new future with Chloe?
[WARNING: Chains of Frost is a sexy, fun adventure with potion making, demons, alpha men, a vampire with a temper, and some succubus sisters not afraid to fight.]
- Series: Book 1 of the Bellum Sisters Series
- Publication Date: November 6th, 2011
- Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
- Length: Novel ~85,000 words. Print length: 320 pages.
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Review from NIGHT OWL ROMANCE:
"Having never read a novel by this author before, I was delighted to pick up this novel. It [Chains of Frost] is extremely fast paced and never slows down. The story flows beautifully together, and will lead perfectly into the second novel. This is a truly enchanting novel that will grab the interest of readers everywhere and will not let go." 4/5 stars!
Review from THE BOOK LOVER'S REALM:
"Chains of Frost is a fantastic read by paranormal erotic romance author T.A. Grey. The first book in the Bellum Sisters Trilogy is filled with an intriguing plot, great humor and best of all, the perfect amount of heat. Her characters are well written and her story is engaging. The Bellum sisters are a handful for sure and it’s their feistiness that creates sparks for the males who have recently “acquired” them. Tyrian and Chloe may seem mismatched but as the story develops you will see exactly why they are so well suited for one another. Bravo!! Five stars to T.A. Grey for a series I am dying to continue."
Review from PROSERPINE CRAVING BOOKS:
"If you're a PNR lovers, you'll find your match with this series: vampire, shape shifter, demon, succubus, black magic! You want something; you'll find it in this book!" 5 stars!
Chloe awoke to a definite chill in the air. She shivered and pulled the covers more fully over her. Except all that did was make her legs colder as the cover came up. Grumbling, she turned to the other side and pulled the cover up to her cheek. Instantly her legs and butt were chilled with goose bumps.
Popping open her eyes, she sat up and came to the quick and sudden realization that she was not in her hotel room anymore. She looked down at the little white towel wrapped loosely around her and pulled the ends tighter as she tried to control her racing thoughts.
Where the hell was she? A vast study or maybe a library. Her sister was nowhere to be seen.
The room was dark and filled with low-lit candles and a grand chandelier that cast the leather furniture in shadows. She stood on shaky legs and tried to remember what had happened. Cemetery, spell casting, demon zombie screaming her name, then to bed. She gasped as she recalled waking up to two men and that nasty roaring she’d heard in the cemetery. The demon had followed her. And men were trying to kidnap her.
Spinning around, she caught sight of a man standing at an archway window looking out. Shoot, that wasn’t a man.
As silently as she could, she kept her eyes on him and backed up. Don’t hear me. The man was huge, though not in a steroid taking, pumping iron way. He was tall with shoulders that filled the wide-open window. Damn, that window really needed bars or something over it to keep people from, oh, falling to their deaths. His back and lean hips caught her attention next. He wore a black long-sleeve shirt and matching pants yet the simple ensemble made him look dangerous in an ‘I’m completely normal’ way. Even his hair was dark. Long too, pulled into a severe tie at the back of his head.
Three more silent steps backward on the freezing cold floor beneath her bare feet.
“Surely, you at least wish to know who I am before you leave.” She jumped at the sound of his voice and tripped over a table behind her.
She toppled to the ground, her butt skidding on the cold stone floor in a clump. Quickly disentangling herself, she stood, clutching the towel tighter around her. His voice…It was cold and hard. It held a tone that could mistakenly be construed as passive or bored, but she was sure was just indifference. Was this what a killer sounded like? He could talk to you in that detached voice as he swung the sword that would take your head.
She thought briefly about righting the table she knocked over but decided edging toward the huge double-sided door was the smarter idea. Escape. She took another silent step toward those doors.
He turned toward her and her feet stopped moving. It was the complete opposite of what she should be doing, yet she couldn’t will her body to move any more than she could tear her eyes away from him.
She knew who he was in an instant. It didn’t matter that she’d never met him or even had one iota of what he looked like before. One did not become commander of a legion of vampires that fought demons for a living without getting that cold, hard look in his eyes.
A deep scar was set into his skin underneath his right eye. It was jagged and reached from his nose to his temple. It must be old because it wasn’t red with freshness, but a paler shade of his skin. His hair formed a widow’s peak that somehow made him look more severe…and even more intriguingly handsome. Chloe tried to recall the last time a man had her staring but couldn’t think of one. Yet this man commanded her attention with his very presence, without words or actions.
He stood straight and erect as if he was about to command armies to attack, not have a conversation. This man was Commander Tyrian en Kulev, the scariest man on the face of the Earth. And he wanted to talk to her. Hell, he technically owned her, thanks to her father’s insane will. Right, time to go, Chloe thought, and edged toward the door.
He merely watched her. “If you will not have this conversation with me, then you will only make things harder on yourself, Ms. Bellum.” She winced at the use of her name. But his words worked. She stood frozen, clutching the small hotel towel like it could save her from this man.
A swarm of emotions flitted through her as he simply watched her with those tracking, deadly eyes. With one look, he managed to make her feel like the sole focus of his thoughts and words. It might have been flattering if this man didn’t technically have rights to her now. And if he didn’t make his living by being a really good killer. Oh, and if he didn’t scare her so badly.
Bravely lifting her chin she said, “Then talk.”
His eyebrows rose just a hair, as if he wasn’t used to being ordered to do anything. He pulled his arms behind him. The action opened his chest to her and made her realize just how built he was. His shoulders were wide and filled out his shirt well, while his chest tapered to a more slender waist.
“We are in a situation that cannot be changed. Were you notified of the rights of ownership given to me?”
Chloe ground her teeth and seethed inside. The word ‘ownership’ while referring to her made her want to hit him. Yet all she could do was stare at his eyes. This man and his eyes were unlike anything she’d ever encountered before. Icy blue like the sky, glittering and bright.
“I’m quite aware,” she said, peering at the wide double door. It looked heavy. Would she even be able to pull it open?
Nerves had her feeling twitchy, like bugs were crawling up her arms and legs. She rubbed at them and took uneven breaths.
“Since your rights have been given to me, stipulations must be made.” He took a step forward and she flinched, unable to help herself. He either didn’t notice her reaction or didn’t care, because he ignored her and went to the corner of the room where the biggest desk she’d ever seen was situated. It was bigger than the bathroom of her first apartment and much cleaner.
“You are not to leave the compound under any circumstance without strict permission from me. You are not to be outside these walls at night. There will be no trips, no friends visiting, and absolutely no bothering me, my quarters, my things, my guards, or my work in any way.”
Chloe stifled the sharp retort that was on her tongue and made a dash for the double doors. Her hand touched the brass handle, pulled down on it, then started to yank it open when a big hand slammed against the door an inch above her hand. She gave a startled scream and spun around, nearly losing the towel. He was standing not even a foot away.
Although he might as well have been on the far side of the room, for she couldn’t even feel a hint of heat from his body. Well of course, she thought coldly, the man was a cold-hearted killer. Sure, he fought on the right side of things, if there was such a thing, but his eyes were those of a man who’d seen terrible things for far too long. No one could ever remain unjaded after that.
She hadn’t realized she was staring into his eyes—eyes the color of the lightest of skies—until he blinked and shattered the look.
“You know what I say is true, Ms. Bellum. Do not fight this or you will only make trouble for yourself. If you are aware of what your father has done upon his death, though I am still unsure why he made such a decision, then you know you are under my exclusive care. I am your Protector now.”
Being so near him was like standing next to your executioner. An executioner who could take her, use her, share her in the worst of ways and nothing the law did could help her. Because she was his.
“I am not yours. I will never be yours.” She gulped at his unblinking stare. “Commander,” she added somewhat nicely. If she couldn’t take the bull by the horn, then maybe she could coax it to lie down while she found a way out of here…and maybe a shirt.
His brow furrowed and she swore that he seemed closer to her, though she hadn’t seen him take a step. Was this a vampire trick or her imagination?
“This situation is one that neither of us seems to want.” For some reason, the fact that he didn’t want her miffed her. Just a little.
“Then let me go.” He didn’t shake his head, but she sensed the refusal in him.
“Impossible. I am sealed by a debt of honor to your father. I will uphold it, no matter how complicated this matter is. The rules I mentioned before still stand and will never change.”
He had a mouth that if wasn’t pulled into that tight line might be kissable, even lickable. Dang, Chloe. What’s wrong with you? Checking out the captor? She was crazy.
“Honestly, who upholds any of that old school stuff anyway? No one. My Papa didn’t even pay into the whole patriarchal thing. Seriously, we were raised to be independent and taught not to rely on a man. That fact that he’s…he’s given me to you is ridiculous and completely wrong for him. Just let me go and we’ll call it even. Your debt paid.”
“I can’t do that, Ms. Bellum. I will not dishonor your father and the vow I made to repay my debt to him. You will stay here, under my protection.”
She scoffed. “And where is here?” His voice was like cold ice running over her. It pebbled her nipples and brought goose bumps over her skin but not in a pleasurable way.
“You are at my castle in Norway. We are near the Jorgmund, the biggest hole in the rift, where we get the most lapses. Many of the Atal Warriors are stationed below the castle.”
Chloe squeezed her eyes shut. Think! Okay, what would her sisters do? Willow was probably already near China. No one could ever stop her, and Lily would probably try to perform some voodoo to get free.
She took a deep breath, which did the opposite of calming her, because she accidentally drew in his scent. She gasped and felt a flash of pleasure surge through her. He smelled as a man should, like something she could lick and bite and sink her teeth into over and again.
Oh God, what am I doing thinking thoughts like that! She was losing her mind. First, her Papa died leaving her to this nonsense, and now she was stuck with the most notorious man in the world. She would escape. She could do that. He didn’t seem intent upon hurting her and she might even be able to use the fact that he was indebted to her Papa to gain some leverage, if necessary.
Escape. Her mind whirled with possibilities. Like how the heck did she get out of Norway and to an airport? She didn’t even have any money on her.
“We need to discuss what will occur at the next new moon.” The thought she’d been having came to an abrupt stop in her head. Her eyes slammed open and her back dug into the door to try to get away from him.
“You can’t…we can’t,” she said, shaking her head to clear it. “No way,” she said finally. The commander turned around and marched away. She took a deep breath; it was as if he sucked up all the air in the room with his presence. Now she could breathe, but it didn’t smell as delicious as it did when he was near.
She tightened her grip on the towel to keep it from sliding down and embarrassing the hell out of her while she slowly, quietly slipped her free hand behind her. Her heart was beating so hard and fast, she prayed he couldn’t hear it. Could vampires hear such things? She reached, searching for the door handle.
“Something must be done. I am sure you are aware of the changes that you will go through at the new moon.”
Chloe glared at him. He knew just the right things to say to piss her off. “I am a succubus; of course I know. Better than you, I’m sure,” she said without hiding the sarcasm in her voice. “And I am not doing that with you,” she added for good measure.
He brought those eyes back to her, seemingly assessing everything about her. From the red nail polish on her toes to the not-perfectly-thin figure she sported. She clutched the towel tighter around her and did what she knew Willow would do. She glared at him with a look that clearly said fuck you.
“That is more than acceptable to me. I am sure you can find any number of willing males around the castle for your time of need. I’d recommend one of my closest guards because I sincerely trust them. If they do not meet your standards, perhaps one of the other Atal Warriors that reside below the castle. Please feel free to ask any of them. I shall not announce it to them in order to spare your privacy.”
Chloe thought his proclamation might be sweet if he didn’t say it with a tone that bordered on arctic. Though she couldn’t help but think that he was acting as her pimp with the suggestion. Bastard. Handsome bastard with a nasty scar that kept drawing her gaze. What was the story behind it? Every scar had a story, no matter how simple. Never mind, it didn’t matter. She was getting the hell out of here.
“I’m rather tired. I’d like to go now.” That is if I even get my own room. She swore that if he tried to put her in his own bed, he was going to lose his balls by the end of the night.
He gave a clipped nod then strode toward her. Her heart kicked up again. If she plastered herself any more thoroughly against the door, she’d carve herself into it. Whatever she thought he was going to do, it wasn’t to reach behind her and grab the door handle. His hand touched hers, which had curled tightly around the brass. She squealed, jumping at his unexpected touch. The action sent a series of events into motion.
Chloe jerked her hand away from the shocking, scalding heat of his hand. The quick motion dislodged the knot of her towel and sent the scrap of cloth fluttering to a pool around her naked feet. As her wide eyes shot to his, she bent forward to try to cover her nakedness. The commander, Tyrian en Kulev’s expression was something she would never, ever forget.
The cool, indifferent blue of his eyes ran quickly over her nipples, stomach, and sex. Those ice blue eyes widened a fraction, flared, and burned her with the intensity of their heat. Chloe gasped in a mix of surprise and pleasure. Stupidly she wondered if the commander had any idea how…seductive, intoxicating, sexy, he looked right now.
The bloom of heat that unfurled from inside her couldn’t be stopped, nor could the thought of him taking her into his arms and kissing her. Do it, she pleaded silently to his downcast eyes. How did he make her go so quickly from wanting escape to wanting to be in his arms?
He blinked and took one hard step back. The spell broke like glass shattering. He didn’t meet her eyes, but pulled down the door handle and opened it. It was as if the moment never happened.
“Draven,” he called out. A second later, a tall warrior appeared at the door. His eyes instantly hit hers and a grin spread across his face as his eyes trailed down her body in a purely masculine sweep. His appearance didn’t have the intensity that Tyrian’s had, nor did it warm her body in hot anticipation. She recognized the warrior as one she’d twice punched solidly in the face before he captured her.
Before she had a chance to move, Tyrian flashed before her, picking up the towel and wrapping it around her. She had only a brief glance, but it was enough to see the anger in his eyes. At her or at the warrior? Another flare of heat sparked inside her, warming her blood like hot syrup.
The warrior named Draven nodded at her, and at Tyrian’s orders, led her to her room. Chloe ached to look back at the commander, which was silly and all kinds of stupid. She was…attracted to him. Literally, the absolute last thing she’d expected when she learned she was his. A warmth washed over her back. Was he watching her right now as his guard led her away?
Surprisingly, insanely, the thought of spending her new moon with the commander was not unpleasant. Chloe followed the guard and wondered what her sisters would do in this situation.