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Incubus Rake: Damon Snow, #2

Incubus Rake: Damon Snow, #2

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Incubus Rake: Damon Snow, #2

ratings:
3.5/5 (2 ratings)
Length:
154 pages
2 hours
Released:
May 28, 2015
ISBN:
9780993918032
Format:
Book

Description

In the dark world of mollies and incubi, who can Damon really trust?

Incubus and prostitute Damon Snow wants nothing more than a repeat of his last fateful visit with his long-time patron Byrne. Not that he’d actually admit that. Week after week, Byrne’s door remains closed, until Damon discovers he’s not the only one paying Byrne a bedside visit. 

Even Damon’s only friend Rogers seems ready to discard him if he ever does get into Damon’s pantaloons. 

So when a dapper rake reveals himself as an incubus and offers to teach Damon how to bend men to his desires, Damon is quick to take him up on his offer, even if it means breaking a few of his own rules. 

But the rake has a secret of his own, and men keep disappearing around him. In a world of only users and the used, who can Damon really trust? 

If you love a mysterious, erotic and deviant historical romance novella, download Incubus Rake now.

Released:
May 28, 2015
ISBN:
9780993918032
Format:
Book

About the author

Olivia Helling doesn't believe in love at first sight... but maybe, just maybe, it blossoms along a few books. That is, after all, how she fell in love with her husband. Olivia writes about the darkness and flaws from within, the struggle with self-confidence, self-perception and fear of failure, and fantasy and historical worlds that refuse to allow love between men. So be warned: happily ever after is not guaranteed. The protagonist and love interest don't always end up together by the end of one book. But when they finally come together, their love will be a thing of beauty. Want to stay up to date with Olivia’s new releases? Want to get behind-the-scenes looks at Damon Snow? Go to http://oliviahelling.com/freebook/ to sign up for free twice-a-month emails.

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Incubus Rake - Olivia Helling

trust?

Chapter 1

November, 1809

Mayfair, London

Fog roiled through the streets of Mayfair, more snake than natural phenomenon. The only signs of anyone else existing echoed in the stuttering clip of horseshoes and the trembling of town coaches over the uneven cobblestone.

The bronze lion door knocker glared at me, seeming to demand to know why I still persisted in visiting the red-brick townhouse even though I’d been turned away for weeks. Or perhaps it wondered why the black iron gate, its points like halberds, had failed to keep me from even reaching its hallowed stone step.

I readjusted the knot on my cravat with one hand, the other hugging the leather-bound journal to my chest. My hands sweated beneath the soft cream gloves despite my dry tongue and the frigid November wind taking advantage of my lack of great coat. The great coat I’d lost in service to the master of this towering townhouse, my long time cull Byrne.

Shut up in bed for weeks with the physician’s damning prognosis, Byrne had ordered me to write him something hopeful. I’d scoffed, then had managed to stumble into the love affair between my fellow molly Kendall and his cull Price. An impossible love affair, a love affair that never should have existed. Culls only wanted one thing from us, and it wasn’t our undying love.

Love, love, love. I kept thinking that word, as if it had any meaning. Byrne might have enjoyed my journal entry, or maybe just what had happened because of it. We’d… made love. It was the only way I could describe it. He’d held me close to him, stroking my back as I’d trembled against his chest, caught in his scent, so much like the cream and cinnamon of rice pudding. We’d rocked together, and he had professed seeing me enjoy myself was worth far more to him than even coming himself.

That had not been simple fucking, like we had done so many times before, but something more. Something special…

It couldn’t have been too special. For weeks ever since then, I’d not been allowed one foot to cross the threshold this door knocker guarded. Not once. Byrne hadn’t even sent payment to the Dovers who ran the molly house I belonged to. Benjamin Dover had told me to stop wasting my time traversing the city to visit Byrne if he couldn’t be bothered to pay. Yet every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I found myself shivering on Byrne’s doorstep at our appointed time.

He owed me money. That was the reason, the only reason, I tried to tell myself over and over again. He owed me a new coat. Not because I wanted anything more. Definitely not because I…

I grasped the door knocker and beat it firmly, then once again adjusted the knot in my cravat and smoothed down my claret tailcoat, a favourite of Byrne’s. The silver sleeve buttons he’d rewarded me with peeked out of the cuff.

No word, not a single one, not even an invitation to see the Jubilee illuminations, snug and warm beside him in his coach. I’d bounded into Mother Dover’s kitchen every morning for a week, determined this would be the time, but day after day, Benjamin had merely raised his eyebrows, empty handed.

I shook such thoughts out of my head and knocked again on the door. Byrne was most likely laid up due to the dreary November weather, preventing him from enjoying clean air to improve his health, or whatever that chap in the Gentleman’s Journal had been on about.

But that didn’t excuse him. He had always left orders with his butler to let me in, whether Byrne was seemly or not.

Oh yes, I had words for Byrne, as soon as I managed to pass the butler. I screwed up my face. What was the man’s name again? Drat, I’d known it. But somehow in the years I had visited the place, I had never taken notice. That would not suit my plan to woo cum coerce him into letting me in.

The butler had to let me in today. He had to. My gloved fingers ran along the spine of the journal. After this entry, I’d get from Byrne what I wanted. After this entry, Byrne would never shut his door to me again.

The door opened. The nameless butler with a balding hairline and austere black coat stared down at me. At each unsuccessful visit, the corner of the butler’s eyes had drifted further down. I scowled at him for this obvious sign of pity.

But today, the butler merely nodded with a careful smile and manoeuvred to allow me entrance.

Success! I grinned at the man and glided into the marble entrance hall. The man indicated for me to go up to Byrne’s bedchamber, after which I handed him my beaver hat and climbed the stairs. At least this hadn’t changed.

Perhaps it had only been a foul mood that had kept the doors shut. An irritated Byrne absentmindedly telling the butler to bar all visitors, forgetting to allow me amnesty.

I hugged the journal to my chest. The volume contained three pieces — the short description of Price Byrne had rejected, the much longer and much celebrated piece describing how I had saved Kendall and Price’s love affair from themselves, and the newest piece.

Finally, I’d be able to show Byrne my latest masterpiece.

As I reached the corridor Byrne’s bedchamber resided on, I heard raised voices coming from behind Byrne’s closed door.

I frowned. Byrne never had visitors. Not to his bedchamber, and especially not since he had fallen ill. All his former friends had spurned him.

The door flung open, a stunningly handsome man storming out and slamming the door behind him. His eyes appeared to be two sapphires set by a master jeweller on his alabaster skin, his black jacket and short blue-black hair of the French variety bolstering the effect. My fingers tightened on the leather cover as I lowered the journal to my side.

The man, noticing he wasn’t alone, paused, tilting his head in a devil-may-care attitude.

Do I know you? the man asked, rather rudely, in a crisp, educated English accent.

But then, I would not expect polished manners from him, no matter how finely he dressed. In passing, I said.

Of course the man wouldn’t recognise me. It must have been four, maybe five years ago? Before I’d moved to Mother Dover’s, I had done more private parties, whereupon I had first seen this exquisite creature, with his head pinned to the ground by his hair by the man thrusting into his raised rear. I’d then witnessed the man invite others to do the same.

So this was why Byrne hadn’t required my presence in quite a while. He had finally bored of me and found something new. Someone younger. This man couldn’t have been older than a quarter century.

More like twenty. A year younger than I claimed to be.

The man narrowed his eyes, watching me like a hawk. Oh, so he had caught that slight inference? Good for him. Otherwise, Byrne would discard him just as quickly as a snagged stocking.

Pardon me, I said, but I do have an urgent meeting with Mister Byrne.

The man sniffed. Oh, I’m sure you do.

I stiffened, then flung out my other hand, as if to brush off the man and the man’s innuendo. Playtime is over. Hurry along now.

Playtime for that man has long been over, the French dove said. But he does like to pretend, doesn’t he? Enjoy your time.

The man strode past me.

The servant’s stairs are that way. I pointed to the other end of the corridor.

He scowled, but before he could retort, I slipped into Byrne’s room, the claret red silk damask wall-covering and dark wood furniture as comforting and familiar as a full bottle of gin. The hearth, piled high with coal, was even more welcome after a long walk in the chill.

Byrne looked up, sallow features pinched in irritation. When he caught sight of me, he yanked the blankets up to his chest. I froze where I stood, Byrne’s appearance washing over me like a cold wave.

Ridiculous, I told myself. He looked no different than the last time I’d seen him.

Someone had propped Byrne up against a stack of pillows and the headboard. Sweat had started to stain his nightshirt around the collar, the only part of the linen I could see. Perhaps the sweat was from his illness, but more likely, his previous exertions.

Byrne relaxed his face, the yellow-tinged skin around his eyes and mouth drooping. He looked so tired. I had forgotten how tired he looked. The man I had known before…

Well, we had both gotten older.

Byrne opened his mouth. Da—

I dropped the book next to him on the bed. It’s finished.

Byrne looked between the book and me.

The next instalment, I clarified. Ready for your perusal.

And then we’d see just which molly got discarded.

Very well, he said, not at all as pleased as he should be. But that would change in a matter of moments. Byrne lifted the journal into his lap and opened to the first page.

It had taken me days to devise it, even more days to write it to perfection. A story Byrne would truly love as much as he loved the Price and Kendall story.

A gentleman, not too much unlike Byrne. A kind and caring street brat. An accidental meeting transforming into a storm of passion ending with that declaration of love.

Utter hogwash. But I’d seen it in a popular romance novel making the rounds in a book shop, so it must be good. I added some flair, changed a few genders, but Byrne would adore it.

I moved to sit at the edge of the bed, but Byrne motioned me away. I stood, wrapping my arms around me to resist tapping my impatience. You’re supposed to read it out loud.

I can read perfectly fine quietly, Byrne said, eyes glued to the pages.

You didn’t last time, I complained, then snapped to attention at the sound of my whingeing. Urgh, that was not the way to persuade Byrne. I looked away. Afraid your guest will hear?

Byrne’s fingers trembled, tearing the page they grasped. He released it, but didn’t look up. Not at all.

He wasn’t even going to inform me of the molly’s true nature? Always before, Byrne had been perfectly straight with me. When he wished to bugger other men, he told me in plain language. Sometimes, he even did the act in front of me. I was his hired prostitute. There was no need to hide it from me.

Unless he truly thought to string me along. Or ignore me until it suited him. Or until his silly, infatuated whore got the message of what I actually was to him.

I opened and closed my hand, the feeling of my fist the only thing keeping my body in check. There was still one chance. One last thing that could endear me to Byrne…

Byrne closed the book and pushed it to the side. He leaned back against the pillows, like all the world I wasn’t there.

I stared at him, then opened my mouth to give him a piece of my mind. Nothing emerged.

He glanced at me, and shook himself, like he was startled to find me there

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3.5
2 ratings / 1 Reviews
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  • (3/5)
    Very little plot progression or character development. Byrne remains an enigmatic non-character, and Damon just doesn't he same things in every episode. In this one he went insane, but it wasn't much of a change as his thought processes aren't so rational anyway.

    Way too much of Damon whingeing about how nobody loves him. I get that part of his character, but after 4 books full of it and his learning lessons only to forget them in the next installment, it's getting old.