The Curse of the Templars,
After the brutal murder of his
seraph, Iain Donnelly’s salvation is eternally lost. Damned to become a dark
knight of Azazel, he can no longer embrace his immortal purpose as a Templar
Knight. When the archangels send him on Sabbatical to find his faith once more,
his quest leads him straight into the forbidden arms of a Benedictine Sister,
whom Azazel is threatening. But
this woman arouses far more than his protective instincts. He wants her as he’s wanted no other
woman, and he’s willing to provoke the archangels’ fury to keep her safe.
Catherine Grady has devoted
herself to the fellowship of faith and forged a path of eternal dedication to a
higher calling. But when a traffic
accident forces her to accept Iain’s aid, she discovers that her chosen path is
not what her heart craves. Iain
awakens a buried yearning to be needed and loved in a way her broken childhood
denied her. As she struggles to
reconcile her desires, she stumbles into the truth about her heritage, ancient
secrets, and unholy danger. Iain’s
immortality is all that can protect her.
For Iain, it’s an impossible
choice. The archangels have
decreed if he walks away from the Templar, they will reclaim his soul. Yet returning to the Order only
guarantees his inevitable death…
“Catherine,” he began, his voice unsteady. He cleared his throat,
tightened his grip on the steering wheel. “I return home in a short while. But
I should like to see you again.”
She went absolutely still.
Horns of warning echoed in his
head. A woman who returned his interest would not behave as if she had suddenly
turned to ice. And yet, he could not still his tongue. “I have not enjoyed an
evening so much in too many years to count.”
Her teeth worked at her lower
lip. In her lap, she twisted her hands together. “I’ve enjoyed it too. A lot.”
Her confession came so quietly,
several seconds passed before it fully registered in his head. When the words
connected, the space behind his ribs contracted pleasantly. “Then tomorrow—”
“Turn here.” Her unadorned
fingernail rapped on the passenger-side window.
Iain navigated the turn and
pulled into the abbey’s small parking lot. He nosed into a spot, turned off the
engine, and jumped out to hurry around and open her door. She slid out of the
seat, and her gaze connected with his. Before she quickly averted it and took a
step toward the entrance, he caught the flash of appreciation that had so oft
filled those pale blue eyes throughout the night.
She desired him, though for some
reason she did not wish to acknowledge it.
Iain fell into step beside her,
taking her small hand in his once more. She did not fight the contact. Indeed,
her fingers slid between his in a most welcoming manner. “Tomorrow is Friday—do
you have transportation to your school?”
“Not . . . really . . .” she answered hesitantly.
“Then what say you about allowing me to drive you in, come morning.
After, I will take you to dinner, and I shall spend tomorrow planning the rest
of the eve.”
She came to a halt on the top stair and turned to face him. “Iain, I—”
Her eyes locked with his, and her words fell into silence. A riot of
emotions reflected in those blue depths. Desire, hesitation, uncertainty, and
curiosity captured Iain like a tightly woven net cast over his person. The air
around them transformed, filling with subtle heat. Her gaze lowered to his
mouth. When she drew her upper lip between her teeth, an invisible fist thumped
into Iain’s gut. Saints’ blood, he wanted to know the softness there. Wanted to
taste the sweet sugar that lingered on her tongue from the minted tea she drank
About the Author:
Building on a background of fantasy game design, a
fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, Award-Winning Author
Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart.
Her first contemporary novel, Seduction’s Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press
in 2008, where she continues to write for the Champagne and Black Rose lines.
Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire’s paranormal series, The
Curse of the Templars (Tor), marries the history of the Knights Templar with
the chilling aspirations of the most unholy–a must-read for speculative
fiction fans. Her books have received multiple nominations for “Best
Romance of the Year” awards as well as placements within a variety of
contests, including the rigorous, Reader’s Crown Awards, where Immortal Hope
was named Best Paranormal Romance of 2011. For those who prefer the more erotic
side of life, she also writes darkly arousing espionage novels for Berkley as
the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire.
She is an active member of Romance Writers of
America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance
Writers, and North Texas Romance Writers of America.
Claire lives in Missouri with her two young sons
and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she enjoys
cooking, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending downtime with her
children and the critters. She credits her success to her family’s constant
support and endless patience.