Redemption of the Gorgons Book 1
by Claire Davon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Euryale will never forget the day the gods turned her into a monster. After millennia, her heart beats faster at the idea of regaining her normal form. For the feel of skin and not scales, hair and not snakes. But the price could be too high.
Knowing full well the gods can’t be trusted, Euryale agrees to take on a reluctant partner to track down whoever is murdering a growing number of gods. A murderer no one cared about until the killings edged uncomfortably close to bigger and bigger pantheons. Tracking the murderers down is the price she has to pay for her newly restored form—and that of her two equally cursed sisters.
Asher’s unusual gift for eerily horrific sound effects make him a highly sought-after voiceover artist. While he keeps a low profile, there has always been a ticking time bomb in the form of the bargain between his banshee mother and his father, the god Ares. It’s time to pay up—or pay with his life.
As Euryale and Asher dance around their mutual mistrust, the friction ignites a fire of unexpected attraction. But love is almost as impossible as the dangerous task ahead. Because even if the murderers don’t stab them in the back, the fickle gods certainly will.
Asher’s broad shoulders twitched against the trendy form-fitting shirt he was wearing. The ripple of his muscles was evident under the cloth, and something flipped inside her belly. It had been a long time since she had been driven by anything other than bestial desires. If she were in her other form, she would have sniffed the air to inspect if he was feeling the same heat she was. But she was no longer a beast.
Except she was. It had taken them decades to stop thinking of themselves as immortal goddesses, and it would also be the reverse. It had been so long since someone considered her with longing—and for her to feel that same pulse within her—Euryale wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“How much do you grasp of how things work today?”
She scoffed at him. “I’m a monster, but I’m not living in a cave. That’s for legends. I made my home in Casper, Wyoming after all. I can function—I have a glamour that allows me to move in human circles. I keep to myself and don’t socialize, but I get by. I can assure you I act appropriately in polite company. I’m not going to turn around and eat them. Although,” she grinned and allowed her shields to slip, “mortals can be tasty.”
The image she projected of eating a man who had mistaken her human form for a weak one was designed to shock. To Asher’s credit, he displayed no emotion.
“Good. That will make this easier.” Euryale was disappointed. He took her for who she was now and not a monster, something she hadn’t experienced in a long time.
“What do you have in mind?”
“Our cover is that I met you when I vacationed here last, and we fell in love. It’s been a long-distance relationship. You’re moving to Los Angeles to live with me. To answer your question, I think the reason that the gods asked for our help is because we can find out things a god could not. We’re both creatures whose weapons are sound, and it may come in handy in battle.”
Euryale met his gaze and tried to probe his mind but found that his shields were good. Almost, but not quite as good as hers.
“Asher, that’s nonsense. The real reason they came to us is that we are expendable.”
He nodded. “That too.”
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Redemption of the Gorgons Book 2
Thanks to her sister Euryale’s bargain with the gods, gorgon Stheno is back in human form—but far from comfortable in her skin. As the fiercest warrior of her three sisters, she mourns her tough, beastly hide and snaky hair.
The last thing anyone would call Stheno is girly—much less beautiful—but before she sets out to find her lost, mortal sister, Medusa, she googles a salon at random to cut off her annoyingly long hair. Her stylist is Marwen, a man with compelling, light-brown eyes that glow with an otherworldly light.
The last of Stheno’s unruly locks barely hit the floor when the first attack comes, and in a heartbeat they’re on the run. As their passion ignites, they realize they didn’t meet by chance. They’re both entangled in a prophecy drawing them inexorably toward one fated conclusion: Medusa. But there’s a faction working just as hard to make sure it never happens.
To save her sister, Stheno will have to face her fear—that once she unleashes her beast, Marwen won’t look upon her with love any more, but with horror.
His indrawn breath satisfied her ego. He rose to a semi-seated position and waited, his eyes like dark coals against his tan skin, showing the heat and fire inside him. It echoed within her as well, a burning desire that outstripped anything she had experienced for a long time.
“Stheno,” he said on a gasp. “You are…you are…” He shook his head. “There’s no words for what you are. I want to kiss you.” He said it as though expecting to be rejected. She moved her hand up his leg and then removed it. He let out a disappointed sigh until she eased onto the bed, stretching full-length against him.
She turned her face to his and grinned at his avid gaze. “I want to kiss you, too,” she said and then bent over to press her lips to his. It was a gentle caress, but his warmth seared the chill deep inside her. Marwan made a soft moan and put an arm around her, hauling her over him so that they were chest to chest.
“Stheno, miya miya,” he murmured, smoothing her hair back and holding her head still. “You are beautiful.”
She wasn’t, not by god standards. She was attractive, and could become ravishing if she chose, now that her godhood was restored, but she stayed the way she was made at the beginning. Not for her—the gleaming radiance of false beauty.
“It is my sister Medusa who is the magnificent one.”
He pressed a finger to her lips. “Don’t argue with me. Medusa is trouble, and she has caused you nothing but misery for centuries. I say it is you who are beautiful. Stunning, fierce, and so sexy.”
Then he kissed her again, and all rational thought fled. She nipped at his lips, her hips pressing against his. He was firm and hard, leaving no doubt that he was a man aroused. The Stheno of a few weeks ago, the monster who could glamour herself to seem normal, would have grabbed this man and plunged him into her body, beast self or no. But something made her hesitate. Marwan was not that man, or her that beast. He was something and someone different.
She stroked his head, experiencing something akin to gentleness, which was unlike her. Unable to resist, she kissed him again, this time darting her tongue inside his open mouth. He tasted of the sugar cookies, and the drink Ayizan had given them, and something more. There was a flavor to him that was attributable only to Marwan, and all the more compelling for that distinction.
He groaned and moved his hands down her back until they pressed against her butt, holding her against his fierce erection. He was shuddering, his breath coming in hard pants, matching the passion building inside her. Part of her wished to throw caution to the wind and embrace her monstrous side, but still, she slowed. As much as she desired to have sex right now, it wouldn’t be…right.
Still, she kissed him, nipping and tasting and licking, and as she did so, she allowed herself to rub over his hard heat, his body convulsing as she touched him. That she could be doing this to him made her feel like the most special woman in the world. It was a moment that transcended all others because he knew her for who she was, and still burned for her. It had been centuries since any man had felt that way about her, if anyone ever had. The two people who had loved her in her life were her sisters.
His hands ducked under her shirt, the shock of his touch resonating through her. It would be so good to be naked with him, stroking and caressing, savoring each other’s flesh until they were screaming for one another…
She murmured a protest and he stopped.
Marwan met her gaze. “I could get carried away.” He kissed her before putting his arms around her and embracing her. She rested her head on his shoulder and let herself be rocked. He was something special, and she wouldn’t rush it.
“I could as well, but we need to take it slow.”
“I’ll go at your pace. So,” he said after they embraced for long moments, “what is our next move?”
She accepted the change in topic, aware that she had caused it, and regretting that necessity.
“Now that your task here is done, it is time for us to go to Sumeria.”
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Redemption of the Gorgons Book 3
A prophecy has been set in motion. Only love can change its course.
Medusa awakens in an unfamiliar cave, catches a glimpse of her reflection in a pool—and screams. Her thick hide, claws, snake-hair, even her ability to turn anyone into a garden statue with a look, all gone. The heart-stopping beauty that caused her and her sisters’ downfall is restored.
Confused, uncertain, vulnerable in her weak human body, she sets out across an unfamiliar countryside, where she meets a stranger from whom she can’t tear her once-deadly gaze.
The first time Olivier lays eyes on Medusa, awareness hits him low and hard. Her penetrating gaze ignites desires deep in his psyche, and an awareness that brought him across an ocean to await the answer to his great-grandfather’s cryptic message: Now is the time.
A secret in Olivier’s bloodline could help Medusa fulfill a prophecy to cause the downfall of the gods. But as they race to discover its final missing pieces, the truth becomes clear. They could be pawns in a hidden struggle for power. One wrong move, and their future could be lost like stones in the sea.
As she ran back to the fountain, the sounds of the altercation faded behind her. She rounded a corner to the fountain, and its thick press of tourists came into view. Medusa searched for Olivier’s large form and spotted him above the fountain, searching the crowd. She dashed toward him, calling his name. Olivier whirled and staggered, his face widening in what appeared to be a combination of shock and relief. She threw her arms around him and he grasped her close, his body trembling.
“I couldn’t tell which way you went. I searched, but you were out of sight. What happened? How did you get away?”
He ran his hands over her body as he asked questions, as though to reassure himself that she was okay. She let him touch her, belated fear surging through her veins.
“It was the Tritons. They came out of the museum over there.” Medusa pointed toward the street she had come from. “I don’t know how they knew we were in trouble, but the gods are mysterious. Perhaps they saw it through the fountain. It is over. We are safe—for now.” She touched the welt on his forehead. “Olivier, you’re hurt.”
He jerked his chin in the direction she had indicated. “It’s nothing. Let’s go.”
They rushed back toward the fracas, Olivier’s hand firmly in hers. But when they got to the spot where the Tritons had sent her on her way, there was nothing but broken tree branches and gawking pedestrians. Olivier focused on the nearest person, a teenager with a cell phone who was recording the area.
“What happened?” Olivier asked, his body studiously at ease. “We heard the fight, but now there’s nothing. Did we miss something good?”
The younger man continued to use his phone to scan the site as he spoke. “It was some Roman reenactment or role-playing. The guys were weird, like some kind of mermen. They came out of nowhere and then disappeared as quickly, like a flash mob. They’re gone now—went that way.” He pointed away from where her would-be kidnappers had been taking Medusa.
The kid wandered off, his attention fading. Medusa wondered why he wouldn’t just examine the beauty in front of him instead of through his phone.
“Should we follow them?”
The thrill of seeing the Trevi fountain dissipated in the face of the attack. It had been far too easy for the men to take her.
“No.” She shook her head. “It would do no good. The only reason anybody would kidnap me is the foretelling. They are getting bolder if they would strike at me in this crowd. Events are coming to a conclusion.”
“It’s no surprise. They don’t know which gods you’re supposed to kill. It could be anyone. I’m surprised more aren’t seeking you out. We got lucky that it’s just a handful so far. We could chase them down. I’ll protect you.”
Like you protected me just now? It would be cruel and unkind to speak the words, and he was good to her.
“It’s not necessary. They have already vanished into Rome. What we need to discover is what was not revealed in the oracle’s divination that make the gods believe I have a chance of accomplishing this thing. Without that, we are at a disadvantage.”
He nodded and she let out a breath. The remembered feel of the weapon on her back made her shudder. It could have ended her life if the man had fired it. Her monster form could protect her better than this human one could.
“You’re right. We’ve got to take our chances with the Fates. There might be a loophole that will help this make sense. That’s the way your tales work. Like Achilles, right? His mom did everything she could to protect him, but he still died in the end. These things have a way of coming true.”
She took his hand, forcing herself to lose the pique of earlier. “You are right. That is another reason they are frightened. Like Achilles and those like him, once a seer has spoken, it is difficult to alter the course. Yet I have no ability to defend myself against a deity as I once did.”
She waited for the remorse over losing her savage form, but it didn’t come. The pleasure she gained in touching Olivier made the loss of her abilities tolerable.
If someone had told her a week ago that she would have feelings for the gargoyle, Medusa would have dismissed the idea. Olivier was more than a man who admired her, he was someone she respected. This was not going at all like she planned. A man that she didn’t care about she could use, but one that she was falling for was vulnerable.
She shouldn’t indulge this weakness. She had a prophecy to fulfill. Vengeance lay within her grasp. Having an attachment to the gargoyle would only hamper her. In order to do what needed to be done she had to be ruthless, and not be impeded by affairs of the heart.
If the gods knew of her vulnerability, it would be one more weapon to use against her. She had to protect Olivier from the truth by remaining silent.
Even if her soul longed for something different.
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About the Author
Claire can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t part of her life. Growing up, she used to write stories with her friends. As a teenager she started out reading fantasy and science fiction, but her diet quickly changed to romance and happily-ever-after’s. A native of Massachusetts and cold weather, she left all that behind to move to the sun and fun of California, but has always lived no more than twenty miles from the ocean.
In college she studied acting with a minor in creative writing. In hindsight she should have flipped course studies. Before she was published, she sold books on eBay and discovered some of her favorite authors by sampling the goods, which was the perfect solution. Claire has many book-irons in the fire, most notably her urban fantasy series, The Elementals’ Challenge series, but writes contemporary and shifter romances as well as.
While she’s not a movie mogul or actor, she does work in the film industry with her office firmly situated in the 90210 district of Hollywood. Prone to break out into song, she is quick on feet and just as quick with snappy dialogue. In addition to writing she does animal rescue, reads, and goes to movies. She loves to hear from fans, so feel free to drop her a line.