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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(121) by Anne Bishop
  • Jaenelle made a sound that was one part laugh and two parts disbelief. “What dinner party were you at tonight?”

    “The point of the evening was to give Gray a foundation for interacting with a Kaeleer Queen, and in that, I think we did quite well.”

    Her eyes widened. “I created an illusion spell to give Cassie more confidence about her looks and ended up scaring Gray out of half his wits, and also managed to stomp on Papa’s toes hard enough to have him angry with me twice, and you think we did well?”

    Daemon raised a shoulder in a half shrug. “Gray got to ask about things that were bothering him, he now has a measuring stick for how to react the next time Cassidy does something that upsets him, and he learned that he doesn’t have to give up the things that are most important to him if he’s willing to yield about other things.” Gauging her mood—unchanged—he added,“And I learned that Lucivar’s idea of a romantic kiss is not drooling on the girl or chewing her face.”

    Jaenelle popped up so fast she almost clobbered his chin.

    “No,” she said. “You’re making that up. He is not that . . . that . . .”


    “Mother Night.” Jaenelle looked a little stunned, but when her sapphire eyes focused on him, he wished he had the width of the bed between them. And he was beginning to think that teasing her about Lucivar’s sexual skills hadn’t been the best idea. Especially since he knew Lucivar had said that for Gray’s benefit.

    “You have to do something,” Jaenelle said.

    “Like what?”

    “No woman should have to put up with that. And certainly Marian shouldn’t have to put up with that. If that’s Lucivar’s idea of romance, you need to teach him how to kiss properly.”

    “If a man is doing it right, there’s nothing proper about a romantic kiss,” Daemon murmured.

    “Daemon.” She poked his chest with a finger. “Do something.”

    So he did. He kissed her. And when he was done, one of her hands was fisted in his hair, encouraging him not to go too far away.

    “I gave Gray some tips about romantic kissing,” he said as his lips drifted across her face, leaving a trail of delicate kisses.

    “You did?” She sounded breathless, and her scent had shifted toward arousal enough to warm his blood very nicely.

    “Hmm. I don’t think he had his mind on much else through the whole of dinner.”

    “That explains why he was so cheerful,” Jaenelle murmured, tipping her head to one side so that he could nibble on his favorite part of her neck.

    “Lucivar is a more difficult challenge.” He slipped one hand under her nightgown and his fingertips whispered up and down the insides of her thighs.

    Nothing in her eyes now but desire. Nothing in her touch but love as she slipped a hand under the covers and stroked him.

    “I should practice my technique,” he said as he licked the valley between her br**sts.

    “Daemon,” she gasped when his fingers found other interesting bits of her to play with. “How much practice do you need?”

    He settled over her, enjoying, for the moment, the thin barrier of fabric between them. “I’ll let you know in the morning,” he purred.

    Her reply was a moan of pleasure.


    Theran walked into the parlor in the family wing and flopped on the sofa.

    “Want some brandy?” Talon asked.


    He accepted the glass Talon poured for him, then slugged back half the liquor.

    “How did it go tonight?” Talon asked, settling into a chair near the sofa.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire