Excerpt: Bond of Passion - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

He was an assassin. She was his lover.
And his victim.
Now, years later, she’s back from the dead and looking for vengeance.

Thanks to an unexpected and fortuitous disaster, Tavin’s contract with the underworld’s Assassin Guild was broken decades early. But instead of freedom, he’s suffocated by guilt and regret. In many ways, he’s more trapped than he was before. In an attempt to numb his pain, he works at Underworld General Hospital, saving people instead of killing them. But nothing can diminish the memory of assassinating the female he loved…not even the knowledge that he’d done it to spare her an even worse fate.

Deja remembers all of her dozens of former lives, and she knows that she only found love in one of them…until her lover murdered her. As a soul locked inside the nightmarish boundaries of demon hell, she stewed in hatred until a single, fateful event gave her one more shot at life.
And at revenge.

Now another specter from the past is threatening them both. Can two damaged people overcome their history to save not only themselves, but a second chance at love?

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Excerpt: Bond of Passion
By Larissa Ione

Excerpt: Bond of Passion

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Larissa Ione returns with a new story in her Demonica series. BOND OF PASSION is out this week and you can read an excerpt below!

Deja wasn’t sure how long she lay there getting poked and prodded by multiple staff members, including the Seminus demon Gem had called Shade. He was the one who’d pronounced her free of major injuries and finally let her sit up.

Gem helped her to her feet, and she groaned as she took her first steps. The impact on the floor had been harder than she’d thought, and her back and hips were killing her.

“Hold on.” Gem pulled her aside, next to a commercial-fridge-sized iron cage that was out of the way of the mayhem. She reached out, her hands stopping short of Deja’s face. “May I?”

Confused but not willing to risk another infraction on her first day of work, Deja nodded, and the doctor probed her cheekbones, jaw, and neck with her gloved fingers. “Looks like you escaped relatively unscathed.”

Thanks to Tavin. Not that she would admit that out loud.

Why had he done that? He might be a paramedic, faking caring about people, but she knew the truth about him. He was a cold-blooded killer.

“But,” Gem said softly, “you have a lot of old scars.”

Jolted out of her thoughts about Tavin, Deja stared at the black-and-purple-haired female in front of her, seeing more than a senior physician at Underworld General. For the first time, she noticed the tattoos encircling Gem’s neck and wrists. She went cold.

Those were spells.

Containment spells.

What was the doctor keeping imprisoned inside her? And what did she see when she looked at Deja? Deja’s body was flawless, another trick of the enchanted necklace. It hid the dozens of scars she’d gotten over the course of a violent life among the Neethul people. Scars Tavin had mapped with his fingers and mouth during their relationship. Scars she’d given him the bloody details about, one by one.

Mouth inexplicably dry, Deja croaked, “I don’t know what you mean.”

Gem gave her a don’t-bullshit-me look. “I’m half Soulshredder. I can see scars others can’t. Physical and emotional ones.”

Soulshredder? Deja’s pulse fluttered, and her mouth might as well have been full of sand. Few demon species matched let alone exceeded sadistic Neethul cruelty, but Soulshredders were one of those species. “I’m still…” She sucked in an unsteady breath. “I’m still not sure what you mean.”

“I mean that I can see a painful past. You’ve been hurt.” Gem lowered her voice as a couple of staff members rushed by. “And I can see beyond your glamour. I don’t know why you would conceal your natural features, but you’re beautiful either way.”

Oh, shit. Deja froze, her heart thumping painfully hard against her ribs. When she’d been plopped into a physical body after Sheoul-gra’s destruction, she’d been shocked to find that she looked like her old self. Except instead of pale skin and platinum hair, she had gray skin and silver hair. Her features and eye color were the same as they’d been when she was alive, and she’d known she’d never fool Tavin like that. It was easy enough, though, to engage the services of a sorceress who could infuse a necklace with a glamour spell. And now, as long as she wore the enchanted jewelry, her nose was broader, her cheeks fuller, and the scars were hidden behind an illusion.

And this chick could see through it all.

“Please don’t tell anyone,” she finally managed.

“Never.” Gem looked shocked that Deja had even suggested it. “It’s not my place. A glamour is nothing more than plastic surgery without the pain and permanence. Everyone does it for a different reason, and if it makes you feel confident, who am I to judge?”

Relief that Gem wasn’t busting her didn’t last long. The doc’s acceptance and kindness was, in a way, even worse.

Deja hadn’t expected the people at Underworld General to be so…not horrible. Her entire existence as a Neethul princess had been limited to terror, pain, and sadness. And things had only been slightly better when she’d been dead, a soul living among the billions of souls in Sheoul-gra.

So, she’d truly expected the demons employed at the hospital to be bastards. And to be fair, some were. But they did their jobs, and they did them well. And between Eidolon and his brothers and sister, they kept things running smoothly. Heck, in her first hour on the job, she’d seen Wraith put a smartass doctor against the wall as he read him the riot act about harassing nurses.

Dude had one strike against him now, and Wraith promised that the next one would hurt. Of course, Wraith would have to drag the guy into the parking lot for that since the inside of the hospital was protected by a spell that prevented violence—though, apparently, not bombs.

Who would have ever believed that demons could be decent?

You once thought Tavin was.

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