Unchained, the Dark Forgotten (2010)

BOOK: Unchained, the Dark Forgotten (2010)
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Table of Contents
“I urge anyone who is a fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance to put Sharon Ashwood at the top of their list!”

Night Owl Romance
Praise for the Novels of Sharon Ashwood
Scorched

Scorched: The Dark Forgotten
is a fast-paced urban fantasy that will keep you up long into the night. Hanging with the supernatural never felt so good!”
—Romance Junkies (Blue Ribbon Favorite)
“Ms. Ashwood’s stories are multidimensional, and it is hard to second-guess this author. I can’t wait for a third adventure in Ms. Ashwood’s unique and twisted version of the world!”
—The Romance Studio
“With the darkness and danger lurking on every page, it will keep readers engaged until the very end.”
—Darque Reviews
“Sexual romps, fight scenes, shopping expeditions, and magic . . .
Scorched
has it all.”

The Romance Reader
“The second Dark Forgotten urban fantasy is a terrific thriller.”
—The Best Reviews
“Sharp and stylish writing, plenty of action, a well-conceived and intriguing mythology, and a great sense of dark atmosphere.”
—BookLoons
“Sharon Ashwood has convinced me to put the Dark Forgotten on my must-buy list. This tale is dark and sexy, romantic, full of action, and filled with all kinds of fascinating creatures and people. If you love paranormal romance, you simply have to get a copy of
Scorched
.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“Sharon Ashwood has become a must-buy author for me.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews (5 Angel Review)
Ravenous
“Sexy, suspenseful fun.”

New York Times
bestselling author Kelley Armstrong
“A multilayered plot, a fascinating take on the paranormal creatures living among us, plus a sexy vampire, a sassy witch, and a mystery for them to solve . . .
Ravenous
leaves me hungry for more!”
—Jessica Andersen, author of
Demonkeepers
“Strong world building. . . . Readers will look forward to the sequel.”

Publishers Weekly
“The world building is complex and absolutely terrific. But most of all, it’s the powerful attraction between the spunky witch heroine and her sexy vampire partner as they battle evil that makes this story a real page-turner!”
—Alexis Morgan
“The world is interesting (I look forward to seeing more of it!), the romance gorgeous, the sex sizzling. There’s plenty of action as well.”
—Errant Dreams Reviews
“This tongue-in-cheek, action-packed urban fantasy hooks the reader from the opening moment . . . and never slows down.”

Midwest Book Review
“A fast-paced urban fantasy . . . nonstop action that will keep the reader turning pages long into the night. Ashwood has created a wonderful fantasy romp that’s tough to put down until the end. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.”
—Romance Junkies
“I think I have found a new favorite series. . . . I guess I have to wait for the next story, hopefully not for too long!”
—The Romance Studio

Ravenous
is a fantastic read, filled with action, suspense, lush details, sizzling romance, and very memorable characters. Ms. Ashwood has created a very compelling world and left us with enough questions about the fate of certain characters to have us hoping that this is the start of a very promising new series.”
“Ms. Ashwood has created an intriguing world where both good and evil dwell in the shadows and things are rarely what they seem.
Ravenous
is a well-written and sexy read that makes for a great escape from the norm. I look forward to the next visit with the Dark Forgotten.”
—Darque Reviews
“Ravenous
is packed with action, humor, and a drool-worthy vampire. The demons and the hellhounds and the evil house with a killer mind (oh my!) are what set it apart from the fold. A whole new mythology surrounding the supernatural and how humans police [it] is introduced, and I can’t wait to see where Ashwood takes it. This book earns 5 tombstones for creativity, sex appeal, and one kick-ass house.”
—Bitten by Books
“Sharon Ashwood hooked me from the first page!
Ravenous
gets off to a roaring start and the fast pace never relents.
Ravenous
has all the elements of a top-notch urban fantasy tale. . . . It will be hard to surpass this book! I can’t recommend this one highly enough!”
—CK
2
S Kwips and Kritiques
Also by Sharon Ashwood
Ravenous
Scorched
SIGNET ECLIPSE
Published by New American Library, a division of
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First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, July 2010
Copyright © Naomi Lester, 2010
eISBN : 978-1-101-18840-8
SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
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For Dad.
I wonder what you would have thought of all this.
“A
good night to you girls, ghouls, and fangsters out there, and happy April Fools’ Day. You’re hearing the velvet tones of Errata Jones on 101.5 FM, coming to you from the beautiful University of Fairview campus. I’m your hostess on this nighttime ride on CSUP, where we put the
super
in supernatural.
“On tonight’s show, our guest will be my own good pal and computer-savvy werewolf, Professor Perry Baker. Perry’s going to tell us about the new UnWeb for the Undead, how you can log in, and what it can do for you. So listen up and get your bytes on.
“But first, for those of us who’ve never met a conspiracy theory we didn’t like, we’re going to spend some time talking about a portal into another world—a dark and dangerous world—that has appeared in our very own downtown core. That portal leads to a prison called the Castle. This is no April Fools’ joke, but the biggest news for the nonhuman community since vampires and shifters came out of the crypt and hit the talk-show circuit in Y2K.
“There’s a lot about this Castle we don’t know. Those of us in the news biz thought the secrecy would end last fall, when Fairview locals took over management of the prison and immediately released hundreds of inmates they felt had been unjustly incarcerated. However, the new administration reluctantly admitted that this was only a small percentage of the total prison population. Apparently there are demons in there who’d eat us up faster than a high school ball team would a meat lover’s pizza.
“What exactly is the prison administration doing to make sure these demons don’t get an unscheduled day pass?”
Chapter 1
Wednesday, April 1, 10:30 p.m.
Fairview Botanical Gardens
E
vil lurked in public bathrooms.
It wasn’t just the bad lights and weird green soap. Predators loved hidey-holes where folks could disappear from view and no one thought anything about it. Any slayer worth her salt—and Ashe Carver was a pro—knew to look for monsters in those boring, ordinary, deadly places.
Ashe hugged the outside wall of the brick building, her boots sinking into the carefully tended tulip beds. It was dark, damp, and cold. She could smell the green tang of the crushed plants mixing with an antiseptic stink leaking from the vents. The washroom had been recently cleaned, probably just after the Fairview Botanical Gardens had closed for the night.
Thankfully, lurking evil had waited until late to pay a visit. On any day of the week, thousands of tourists came through the Gardens’ rose-decked gates, swilled overpriced soft drinks, and headed straight to the rest-rooms. Tonight, timing alone saved them from an encounter with worse problems than an empty towel dispenser.
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