by Alexis Morgan
Release Date: December, 2006
As a Paladin warrior, Blake Trahern fights and dies again and again to keep mankind safe from the Others. Sensing his humanity slipping away with eachbattle, he retreasts from the world . . . until the one person with a hold on his soul needs his help. It's been twelve years since Blake vanished from Brenna Nichol's life, years that have turned her from a love-struck teen into a headstrong, sensual woman. He'll fearlessly give his life to protect her--yet he dare not risk his heart.
Brenna is stunned by Blake's reappearnace, and by a shocking discover about her father. Everything she has ever believed is thrown into question--everything except the desire that Blake still ignites. But as they search together for a traitor among the Paladins, danger looms: the next battle could tip Blake into madness, destroying his life, his soul . . . and the only woman he has ever loved.
Murmurs and whispers danced just out of reach. Brenna remained alone in the darkness, content for the moment to stay where she was. The fury and fire of pain waited for her each time she mustered the strength to open her eyes. No, it was far better to huddle down in the black chill than to let the monsters in. The hushed voices could chat among themselves. She had no need for them.
But at some point she realized that a new voice had entered the discussion, a masculine one that wouldn't be ignored. A woman answered his demands, sounding a bit defensive and not a little afraid as she pushed the button that summoned help.
A few seconds later, footsteps approached, another man by the heavy sound of them. He immediately started to speak, trying without success to placate the newcomer. She wished she knew why the stranger made the others nervous, but not her. On the contrary, the deep resonance of his voice comforted her on some level, making her wish that she dared open her eyes to see why that was.
Maybe if she concentrated, she could make out what they were saying. But no, shock waves of agony immediately sent her diving back down into the darkness. For now, it was enough to know he was there, watching over her. She floated under the edge of pain, content to listen for him to speak again.
Trahern inched closer, pausing with each step to make sure that she was still asleep. She didn't need to know that he'd finally come, too late to do more than bury her father and say he was sorry for . . . for so damn much. His presence would only serve to upset her, and she had enough on her plate right now without him adding to the mess.
The need to touch her screamed along his nerve endings, demanding satisfaction. He itched to reach out, just to verify for themselves that she was alive, if not yet well. But he forced his hands to remain where they were, firmly at his side.
Instead, he hovered outside the circle of light surrounding her bed.
"This is so hot!"
-- USA Today bestselling author Susan Sizemore
5 Klovers - "...Alexis Morgan has done an excellent job at creating this alternate world and populating it with strong, well-developed characters who are both likeable and memorable. DARK DEFENDER skyrockets the Paladins of Darkness series to the top as this is one of the best paranormal series out there! Keep them coming, Ms. Morgan! We want to know more! -- Reviewed by Debbie - Kwips & Kritiques