FROM THE BOOKCOVER:The Highwayman is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by Michele called Wicked Games that is set in the same universe as her Bewitch the Dark series. This was the first book I picked up on the start of my summer break and it was the perfect choice – breezy and fun, sexy and satisfying.
Max Fitzroy, the legendary Highwayman, had slain scores of demons with a razorlike whip and a burning need for revenge. Now, to rid himself of the demon inside him—who'd cursed him with immortality and stolen all sensual pleasures—Max needed a witch's familiar, the one creature he'd made a career of killing.
But the Highwayman wasn't prepared for the familiar named Aby. The sleek and sexy conduit to the demon world saw past his swirling shadow as easily as he scaled the walls she'd erected to protect herself. Max needed Aby to grant him his freedom, and then he needed to slay her. But how could he destroy the only creature he'd desired in centuries?
Named the Highwayman because of his profession in 18th century France, Max is also a demon hunter and immortal.. Because familiars are conduits for witches to bring demons into the world, they are also his prey. Kill a familiar and he may save multiple lives by preventing demons entry to the world. Problem is Max himself is infected by a demon that deprives him of basic human comforts – he doesn’t sleep, dream or eat and while he can perform sexually he cannot climax. After centuries of this, Max desperately wants to rid himself of his demon taint and regain his mortality. And he needs the services of a familiar (a cat shapeshifter) to achieve this, and then of course he will kill her.
Aby is the familiar that Max approaches to assist him in his quest. She has been warned by her protector Severo, a werewolf, to avoid The Highwayman at all costs, that he is her enemy. In fact she has a tattoo on her arm to remind her of that fact. Aby has recently come out from under Severo’s protective shadow and in wanting to exert her new found independence, considers Max’s proposition to assist him. She also feels a certain attraction to him. Despite the fact that familiars require extended bouts of satiating sex to become a conduit for demons, Aby is innocent when it comes to intimacy and matters of love.
"The two of you don't kiss when you summon a demon?"The Highwayman delivers a perfect blend of action and romance as Max and Aby set out to Paris to locate his ex-partner, who also shares the demon infection. Intrigue and betrayal follow. Max begins to fall for Aby and his resolve to kill her falters. Max and Aby have a great dynamic that makes you root for their success. Does Aby survive? Does Max regain his humanity? Is there a happily ever after? Read The Highwayman for answers to these questions. The Wicked Games series continues in September as Severo meets his match.
"Never. Kisses are too personal, Max. Jeremy respects me. He understands what we do together is a job." She clasped her hands beneath her chin. Her eyes absolutely twinkled. "Kiss me again."
"Again?" Max swallowed. He gripped his chest. Mercy.
How in hell did a woman who had lived four lifetimes manage to go without a kiss? It astounded him.
"The first for this life, right?"
She shrugged. "I think it's the first for all of them."
Max gulped audibly.
If you are looking for a perfect beach read for your own summer vacation, I have an autographed copy of The Highwayman up for grabs that Michele Hauf has generously provided. Michele remarks that “The apartment Max and Aby stay at in Paris is her dream apartment. A chaise, a bed, a fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower”. To enter the giveaway leave a comment telling us what your ideal place and view would be on summer vacation. Contest open until Friday, July 10 at Midnight. Blog about the giveaway and leave a link for an extra entry.
Behind the Scenes Tidbits About The Highwayman (from Michele’s Blog)
- The heroine started out as a white Persian cat-shifting familiar. Halfway through the book I thought "I so cannot see a fluffy white persian kicking butt" so I switched her to an Abyssinian, which, through research, I learned was a breed that is very chummy with dogs. Worked out perfect because her best friend is a werewolf.
- This was originally a love triangle story, featuring Max, Aby and Severo. I wanted Aby and Severo to have had a sexual relationship. But, you know, after you've written a good part into the story, you can see the forest for the trees. Or is that the trees for the forest? Anyway, it was best she didn't have that kind of relationship with the wolf.
- I was going to buy absinthe (for research purposes) but do you know a bottle is like $80? I decided to just imagine, and Google it.
- Max drives a Mustang because I wanted to somehow work in the image of a highwayman riding a horse (mustang; horse; get it?) I know. Don't complain, just accept it. :-)
- Harlequin actually made up a nifty little graphic of Aby's tattoo (how it looks at the END of the story) and was going to insert it on the last page. It got missed, and instead it's just depicted using regular text.
- The name of the dude at the beginning who gets wasted... That's my hubby's first and middle name. Hee. I like to use names of people I love for the dead guys. Used my son's name for In The Event Of My Death, a Harlequin Audible read.
AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE
Read the Prologue and Chapter 1.
Wicked Games Series:
"After The Kiss" (ebook – September 2009)
Bewitch the Dark Series: