Friday, October 22, 2010

TORMENT by Michele Zurlo


The Daughters of Circe series

The story behind the series:

The Daughters of Circe series focuses on a group of powerful witches who must find the soul mates from which they have been cruelly separated. Only when her daughters achieve the impossible can Circe recover her memories and her powers--and save her lover from an eternal hell.

Look for future novels in this series to include clues as to Circe's whereabouts, who caused this centuries-long sorrow, and how she'll overcome the odds to ensure she and her daughters are never again separated from the wolves they love.


Magic has always been part of Torrey’s life, but without a mentor, her mastery of nature is decidedly inept. When a werewolf kidnaps her sister and demands payment for mystical medications, Torrey’s life takes a turn for the worse. She doesn’t have the money, and the medication did more harm than good.


“Which car is yours?”

Hesitantly, she pointed to a white ’89 Tempo with a Semper Fi decal on the back window. He parked next to it and hopped out of his truck.

Torrey came around from the passenger side. He meant for her to follow him back to his house. Relief flowed through her. While he was off finding Riley, she wouldn’t be trapped in the middle of nowhere. She would have her own car. “If you give me general directions, I can follow you back.”

Shade studied the car. The amused expression on his face looked out of place. “This car is more than twenty years old. It looks like shit, Torrey. Who the hell is letting you drive this death trap?”

She squared her shoulders and narrowed her eyes. Being as tall as she was, Torrey wasn’t used to being treated as small and helpless. She didn’t like it. “I’m an adult, Shade. Nobody gets a say in what kind of car I drive.”

That car was the only thing she owned outright. Maybe it sometimes didn’t start, especially in the winter, and maybe it overheated occasionally, especially in the summer, but it was hers, damn it.

“I get a say,” Shade said. His tone implied she had no right to argue with him.

He was in for a rude awakening. “No, you don’t. I hired you to find my sister. Just because I’m also sleeping with you doesn’t mean I’m going to put up with your high-handed, old-fashioned notion that you’re the boss just because you have a penis.”

Those luscious lips pressed together. “Fine. Follow me. Stay close. It’s easy to get lost.”

Immediately, Torrey missed the comfortable upholstery of Shade’s brand-new F-150. The cushioning in her seats had been squashed before she bought it. Springs poked through, and they would skewer her bottom if she wasn’t careful. The pillow she kept on the seat helped a little bit, but it was also old and thin.

She popped a cassette tape in the player and hummed along to the ’80s mix that had belonged to her mother. Within three miles, smoke began to billow from under her hood. Torrey stared in disbelief. It was too damn cold out for it to overheat!

Easing to the side of the road, she pulled the lever to release the hood. Shade beat her to the front of the car. He must have been watching from his rearview mirror. The smoke wouldn’t have been clearly visible in the glare of her headlights.

When he lifted the hood with his bare hands, Torrey was reminded that wolves had mastered fire. She stared at him, realization dawning. “You did this.”

Shade shook his head, but not in denial. “It’s a piece of crap, Torrey. I’m amazed it started.”

She didn’t believe him. “You used a charm. You caused it to overheat. It only overheats in the summer when it’s really freaking hot out.”

His neutral expression didn’t change. “Fine. I used a charm to make your car overheat because I think it’s not safe for you to drive around in it. If you want to fix your car, you need to reverse the charm.”

When Caiden told her that Shade would train her, Torrey pictured a much earthier setting, like the woods or a meadow. She didn’t expect romance, but he had shown such patience and understanding in the hospital. Standing before a smoking engine on a moonless night and being completely pissed off at him was a scenario that never entered her thoughts.

She glared at him. “You’re a jerk. You know that, right?”

“I’m a cunning opportunist,” he said unapologetically. “Get used to it.”

She wondered if she had enough strength to punch him in the stomach and make it hurt. Likely, he would use those preternatural reflexes to stop her before her fist made contact. As she glared at him and fantasized, he doubled over, coughing and struggling for breath.

Her eyes widened. For a second, she thought she had done that to him, but she shook the thought away. When she used her powers before, she felt a tingling in her whole body, and it left her noticeably tired afterward. This time, she had felt nothing but an insanely strong urge to hit him.

She put a hand on his shoulder and studied him with wide eyes. “Shade? What’s wrong?”

Straightening, he took a moment to recover and gazed at her in disbelief. “You’re not serious.”

Her brows drew together. “Just because you’re being an imperious jerk doesn’t mean I want to see you hurt.” Not really hurt. Fantasizing about it was something else entirely, or it should have been.

His brows drew together, too, but his expression was cynical, not confused. “Then maybe you shouldn’t sucker-punch me like that.” Then he shrugged. “Though, you are progressing much faster than I thought you would. I didn’t even feel you building up for an attack.”


She woke to a warm hand kneading her breast. Sometime after sunrise, Shade had shifted back to his human form and slipped beneath the covers with her. His naked body was twined with hers.

Seeing her awake, he grinned and kissed her. Before he blocked her field of vision, she glimpsed his eyes. Though his body was human, the wolf was still in control. Silver eyes glittered in the early morning light streaming in through the curtainless windows.

He didn’t give her a chance to speak or to ask questions. The pressure of his hand at the base of her jaw opened her mouth to his plundering tongue. Given the hardness resting against her leg and the wildness in him, Torrey knew there would be no speaking for quite a while.

Her body responded to his roughness and insistence. She kissed him back, but it was nothing like it had been on the edge of that stream. Then, he had let her explore him. He had let her do as she pleased. Now, he tolerated her foray for a short time, and then his mouth was gone, trailing hot kisses across her jaw and down her neck.

The hand on her breast moved to her waist, scooting her to the center of the bed. His mouth closed around one nipple. She had no idea what happened to the T-shirt she wore to bed, and she didn’t care. Arching, she urged him to take more of her breast into his mouth. He did, greedily sucking that soft globe.

Torrey tangled her hands in his silky black hair, moaning at the inferno racing along her neural pathways, originating from where his mouth touched her. That mouth moved lower and lower. He wrenched her legs apart and feasted on her pussy.

He licked long strokes from her hole to her clit. As he lapped at her, each pass of his tongue explored more and more until he lifted her to lick at the tight muscle surrounding her back entrance. It brought an unexpectedly gentle sort of pleasure. She felt exposed and secure at the same time. He made his way back to her clit and sucked it in a slow rhythm.

She grabbed the pillows, fisting them in her hands as she screamed her first orgasm. She came in his mouth, but he just sucked harder. His long tongue filled her opening and his teeth scraped against her clit.

He was hot, so hot everywhere. She burned inside where he licked her. The flames fed her climax, pushing her even higher. Her hips lifted from the mattress, ripping his face from her pussy.

She didn’t have time to mourn the loss. With amazing quickness, he flipped her over and positioned her on hands and knees. One tremendous roar, and he buried himself deep inside her. His hips thrust, slamming into her with such force that his balls slapped against her clit. The effect was stunning. Her vagina contracted around him and he only pumped faster.

She screamed. Her muscles went weak, and her elbows gave out. Her face slammed into the pillow. If he hadn’t been holding her hips in place, her legs would have given way as well.

Finally, he came, calling her name, parsing it on ragged breaths.

He collapsed on top of her.

“Christ, you’re heavy.” Muffled words forced themselves from her mouth directly into her pillow.

His acute hearing picked them up without difficulty. He shifted his weight, rolling them both to their sides. His body cradled hers. She enjoyed the feel of his chest against her back.

Torrey breathed deeply to restore her oxygen-starved cells.

Shade’s hand lazily caressed her bare flesh. “We’ll work on your pillow talk after we work on controlling your powers.”

“Later,” she said as she closed her eyes. “I’m going back to sleep.”

“Not yet,” he said, trailing his hand from her knee to her shoulder. “I haven’t had enough.”

Torment is available at Bookstrand:

Visit Michele at The Steam Room:

Available Now from Siren:
Letting Go, Hanging On, Irrepressible Force and Torment

Coming Soon from Siren:
Two Masters for Samantha (December)

Writing as Debora Ryan for BookStrand:
Tomorrow Cries (October)
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