« Readers on Deadline (ROD #36)


February 10, 2012 | Author Dame Jenna

spacer Today is my scheduled day to post on Deadline Dames. However, I find myself distracted by the Sekrit Project I just started working on this week. So distracted that I can’t seem to come up with the creative energy to come up with a good blog idea. (My creative energy is going into the Sekrit Project.) So I thought I’d take the easy way out and post a snippet from my most recent release, Prince of Air and Darkness (which, by the way, is on sale for $3.99 for the month of February).

My hero, Hunter Teague, is the son of the queen of the Unseelie Court, and he’s been sent to the mortal world on a mission to seduce Kiera Malone, who, unbeknownst to her, is the half-mortal daughter of the Seelie king. His pretext for getting close to her is that he’s a massage therapist in need of her website design services. He isn’t happy with his mission, but he has no choice but to obey the Queen of Air and Darkness.


Hunter’s nostrils flared the instant he stepped into his apartment. He recognized that stink, like poorly tanned leather. With a flick of his wrist, he unsheathed the knife he kept hidden up his sleeve. Cautiously, he moved farther into the apartment, his nose twitching as he followed the stench of goblin until he found the uninvited guest in the room that would one day be his massage studio. Already, the room sported a massage table, CD player, and a stack of CD’s with soothing, tuneless music on them.

Bane didn’t hear Hunter’s silent footsteps—he was too busy uncapping and sniffing the collection of massage oils and lotions Hunter had purchased. In fact, the goblin had no hint of his presence until the silver blade of Hunter’s knife was pressed into the flesh of his throat.

The goblin’s natural appearance was hidden behind a mortal glamour, and to top it off, he was disguised as a stinking, filth-encrusted street person. The stench made Hunter’s eyes water, and he hoped it wasn’t rubbing off on his own clothing.

“I don’t remember inviting you in,” Hunter growled in the goblin’s ear, increasing the pressure on the knife so that the blade broke through just the first layer of skin.

Bane didn’t move, but Hunter sensed no hint of fear from him: no tensing of his muscles, no quickening of his heartbeat. “Her Majesty would be displeased with you if you killed me,” he said calmly.

Hunter’s hand itched to draw the knife across the evil creature’s throat, but he didn’t want to imagine how the Queen would punish him for killing the most vicious of her courtiers. “It might almost be worth it.”

“You don’t have the balls for it, half-breed.”

With effort, Hunter reined in his temper. Bane had goaded him into more foolish acts in his lifetime than he could bear to admit. Just this once, he would refrain from taking the bait.

With a grunt of disgust, Hunter released the goblin and slid the knife back into its sheath. Bane put a little distance between them, then reached up to finger his throat. A thin line of blood beaded where Hunter’s knife had bitten. Bane examined the blood on his fingers, lips twisted into a snarl that showed a flash of fangs behind the glamour.

“If you were going to stick me, Prince, you should’ve done a better job than this.” He licked the blood from his fingers. “Barely enough to annoy me.”

“What do you want?”

Bane chuckled. “What do you think I want, Boy-o? I want to snap your bones, one by one, and hear you scream.”

Hunter met the goblin’s eyes. “Yes, well, I wanted to slit your throat, but I refrained.”

Bane’s chuckle turned into an all-out laugh. “The Queen will be highly pleased with both of us for our self-control.” He looked genuinely amused by their mutual desire to kill each other, and Hunter could do nothing but shake his head.

Neither a lifetime in the Unseelie Court, nor the Unseelie blood that ran through him, was enough to make him understand how these creatures could so greatly enjoy killing. It wasn’t that Hunter had never killed before. Most of the unfortunates he’d hunted for the Queen’s pleasure had been highly reluctant to be taken alive. Usually, he’d been able to subdue them, but there were times he’d “accidentally” killed his mother’s intended victim. There’d been a certain sense of satisfaction with those minor acts of rebellion—despite the inevitable consequences. But he’d never actually enjoyed the killing, not like these goblins did, not like his mother did. Of course, with Bane, he might be able to make an exception.

“Why are you here?” he asked with exaggerated patience.

“A little reminder from Mama,” Bane sneered. “Just because you’re on your own doesn’t mean she isn’t watching you. And she can always get to you if you displease her.”

Hunter had never doubted that for a moment, but he wasn’t particularly surprised she’d felt compelled to send him the message. Nor was he surprised she’d chosen Bane, whom he hated above all others—excepting his mother herself—as the messenger.

“Well, now that your message is delivered, you can get the hell out of my apartment. I’ll have to fumigate just to get the stench out.”

Bane gave him another of his toothy, vicious smiles. “Sorry for the . . . inconvenience. But, since I’ve already inconvenienced you, perhaps I should stain the carpet with your blood while I’m at it.”

“If you thought you could get away with it, you would have gone for my throat already. Now, are you planning to leave peacefully, or will I have to throw you out?”

“I wouldn’t want you to get your hands dirty, Prince,” Bane said, starting toward the door.

Hunter tried to step aside, knowing that Bane would shoulder him out of the way if he didn’t. But it seemed that only a handful of days in the mortal world had already dulled his instincts, for he didn’t read the intention in Bane’s eyes until too late.

As Bane brushed by, he made a fist and poked a lightning-quick jab at Hunter’s groin. The pain drove Hunter to his knees, and for a moment he could barely breathe as his body clenched in agony.

“That’s for the little nick you gave me. Unfortunately, I can’t hit you any harder or you might have trouble performing your stud duties. But if the Queen ever takes the muzzles off of us, I’ll show you what I really wanted to do.”

Hunter had to fight too hard for air to manage a comeback.


Buy Prince of Air & Darkness for Kindle.

Buy Prince of Air & Darkness for Nook.

Posted in excerpts, Jenna Black

2 Responses to “A Snippet from PRINCE OF AIR & DARKNESS”

  • spacer Viki S.:
    February 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks for the excellent excerpt and the heads up on the price. Headed to Amazon later today spacer .

  • spacer Jennifer Fusco:
    February 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

    This looks like a great read! I’m so excited! I’m going to give it a try just as soon as I finish A Perilous Journey by Gail Eastwood, another page-turner!

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