Exclusive Excerpt: Ensnared - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton comes a new story in her Eternal Guardians series…

RYDER–Mysterious, powerful, every woman’s fantasy come true.

For thousands of years, Ryder has reveled in his role as an immortal messenger—a dream weaver sent to seduce and manipulate. Until he’s ordered to deceive a fantasy of his own.

Zakara, the daughter of one of the mightiest Eternal Guardians, is his perfect woman. But she’s impervious to Ryder’s advances. Each attempt to sway her to his will pushes him deeper into a dreamscape she seems to be controlling. To survive, Ryder will need to find a way to master his sexy new prey. Because if he can’t, he risks forever condemning himself and the woman he’s grown to love to a never-ending nightmare drawn straight from the twisted depths of hell.

Book Type:

Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

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Exclusive Excerpt: Ensnared
By Elisabeth Naughton

Exclusive Excerpt: Ensnared

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton comes a new standalone story in her Eternal Guardians series, out this week! I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from ENSNARED.

She stared up at Zeus, knowing she was nothing to him. Nothing but a pawn in whatever game he wanted to play. But she was tired of being nothing. Tired of doing nothing. Out of nowhere, a strength Kara hadn’t known she possessed gathered deep in her core, causing her back to straighten. “Go ahead and crush me then. Throw me back in that pit. Neither will get you the answer you want because I don’t know how I did it. And all your ranting and raving is not going to change that fact now or anytime soon.”

A low growl echoed from the king of the gods, and then he slapped his hands on the bench on both sides of her, making her gasp and lurch back.

Eyes like soulless black orbs locked on hers as he stared down at her. “You’re a fool, little mortal. Are you willing to throw your life away for this?”

Was she? She swallowed hard as she stared at him. She didn’t have any other answer besides, “Yes. Because it’s the truth.”

“Your friend Morpheus was willing to throw his life away just like this. Did he tell you about that? Did he tell you about the thousand years of misery he spent in my pit because he was unwilling to give me what I want?”

Kara’s mouth fell open. “A thousand years?” she whispered.

“A thousand torturous years. Very few can last that long, but he did. I realized then the god of dreams knew how to play hardball. So I devised a way to break him.”

Kara swallowed hard, almost afraid to hear more.

“If you don’t care about yourself,” Zeus sneered, “so be it. But you are not as strong as Morpheus, and I can be a patient god. I can wait for your loved ones to cross into the human realm. It will be satisfying torturing them in front of you until you do give in.”

Kara gasped.

A victorious smile spread across Zeus’s face as he leaned back. “Now you understand. I lured each and every one of Morpheus’s family members out of their hiding places. I tortured and maimed his father Hypnos. His brothers Phobotor, Phantasus, and Ikelos. His mother Pasithea. I thought for sure he’d break when he heard his mother’s screams, but he didn’t. He is a tough one, our Morpheus. He never gave me what I wanted. And now look at him. He is the last dream weaver in the cosmos. And he works for me.”

Kara’s chest squeezed so tight, it was hard to get air. “Wh-what did you want from him?”

“Originally?” Zeus gazed down at his hand. “I ordered him to infiltrate Lachesis’s dreams.”

“The Fate?”

“The one and only.”

Kara could barely believe what she was hearing. The Fates controlled all life in the cosmos. They determined births and deaths and destinies. They were more powerful than Zeus and all the gods combined.

“Morpheus refused,” Zeus went on. “I’m still bitter about that. But it all worked out in my favor in the end. The dream weaver may refuse to infiltrate the dreams of immortals for me, but he does of any mortal I request. A thousand years of misery and the murder of his whole family taught him not to cross me.” He dropped his hand and pinned Kara with a menacing look. “And you, little one, would be wise not to cross me as well. If you don’t want your family to wind up like Morpheus’s, I suggest you tell me exactly what I want to know right this very minute.”

Kara’s gaze dropped to the stone floor of the courtyard, but she barely saw it. All she could see was Ryder in that pit of darkness, isolated and alone for a thousand years. Being forced to watch the people he loved tortured and killed, unable to do anything to help them because he knew if he gave in to Zeus, the alternative would be a million times worse. If Zeus could infiltrate the dreams of the Fates, he could see any person’s destiny—mortal or immortal. He could alter those destinies. A power like that…it would destroy the world.

Her heart felt as if it shattered into a million pieces. He’d sacrificed himself, his family, for the good of mankind. He’d done it even knowing no one would hail him as a hero or thank him down the line. How many others would do that? How many others would put the needs of many before their own wants and desires? Before the people they loved?

She didn’t know anyone who could survive something like that. Who wouldn’t be hardened and twisted with the need for revenge after an event so horrific. But Ryder wasn’t cold and heartless. He wasn’t the monster he could so easily have turned into after a history like that. He was passionate. He was gentle. When he’d come back after his walk that morning, he’d wanted nothing but to take her somewhere so she could be safe.

Safe…

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