War of Hearts

War of Hearts

New York Times Bestselling author Samantha Young writing as S. Young.Thea Quinn has no idea what she is. All she knows is that her abilities have been a plague upon her life since she was a child. After years of suffering at the hands of a megalomaniac, Thea escaped and has been on the run ever since.The leadership and protection of his pack are of...

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Title:War of Hearts
Author:S. Young
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Edition Language:English

War of Hearts Reviews

  • Christie«SHBBblogger»

    War of Hearts

    S. Young

    October 1, 2019

    No

    paranormal romance

    I've been a reader of Samantha Young's for many years, but I'd never read any of her paranormal books. When I saw the announcement for

    , I was so eager to check it out. I haven't been able to find a ton of new books in the genre to catch my eye, so this was a more than welcome treat! You get a little bit of everything with this one: action, suspense, forbidden love, and mysteryromance“ANo2019YoungReleaseHearts

    War of Hearts

    S. Young

    October 1, 2019

    No

    paranormal romance

    I've been a reader of Samantha Young's for many years, but I'd never read any of her paranormal books. When I saw the announcement for

    , I was so eager to check it out. I haven't been able to find a ton of new books in the genre to catch my eye, so this was a more than welcome treat! You get a little bit of everything with this one: action, suspense, forbidden love, and mystery regarding Thea's identity. It's all firmly packed together in one heart-pounding package. I read this book in a 24 hour period, completely drawn in from page one. Which is quite remarkable considering the detailed paranormal world that was introduced here. Typically you have some dry spells in the plot where you're just taking in information, but for me it felt so natural and seamless. There wasn't a moment of boredom or difficulty in holding my attention.

    Thea Quinn is on the run from a monster. After miraculously surviving the plane crash that her parents perished in, she was taken in by a man who became her worst nightmare. Horrifically abused, and used for her rare supernatural talents, she barely escaped the prison she escaped from. She'd rather die fighting than give up her freedom, so she travels from city to city, always looking behind her shoulder. Thea is a proud woman, very strong mentally and physically, and she has a soft heart despite the tragedy and mistreatment she's been through. This heroine is one of the most badass I've read in quite a while. Her power is almost limitless, yet untapped. Without full knowledge of what type of supernatural being she is, she lacks the awareness of her capabilities. They're used only when necessary-for others' protection as well as her own.

    Conall is the alpha of the last wolf pack in Scotland, Clan MacLennan. Though they can't compare in size to many other packs, their strength is undeniable. His parents were both alphas and head of the pack before they died, and he's continuing their legacy. His home and family at Loch Torridon are everything to him. He's protective, fierce, confident, trustworthy and honorable. Someone you could trust with your life if the situation arose. But what if he were the one working with your enemy to deliver you to the devil? He's the last person you want tracking you because once he has your scent there's no escaping him. Out of desperation to help his fatally ill sister, he agrees to deliver Thea in exchange for a miracle cure. What should have been a fairly simple job for him gets complicated fast.

    Conall is expecting a cold blooded killer, but after his first run-in he immediately starts to question everything he's been told about her. Nothing is quite adding up and his intuition is pricking him at the most inconvenient time. He grew attracted pretty quickly but fights it hard, knowing that his sister's life must come first. Of course, she wasn't about to roll over and accept defeat easily so it became a battle of wills between the two of them. There were a lot of adrenaline fueled fight scenes, narrow escapes, and betrayal as they made their way back to Scotland. Thea has become a target from another unknown source that puts everyone's lives in danger even further.

    I

    the revelations about Thea and the history regarding her identity. I was absolutely riveted after the truth came out and couldn't put it down. Even though the romance had limited time to develop in between the main conflicts, it never felt rushed. Thea and Connall had the kind of tension and chemistry that make you just a little bit giddy as you wait for their resistance to snap. There were a million reasons why they shouldn't be together, but one very big reason why none of them mattered.

    This couple was incredible and easily one of my favorites from the author. Even though this is listed as a standalone, the epilogue leads you to believe that there is still more to be told in this world. You're definitely going to want to get in on this addictive book now, as soon as it's out! I cannot recommend this one enough.

  • Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads

    Five stars!!! Five stars!!!!!!! FIVE. FREAKING. STARS!!!!!! This was the best PNR I’ve read in FOREVER! The drama, the feels, the characters, the romance, it was all so vivid, so addicting, so perfect! I’m in love with every word. I can feel one hell of a book hangover coming on! Just wow!

  • MELISSA *Mel Reader*

    4.5 Stars!

    (ARC provided by author)

    Thea Quinn is a 25 yr. old woman who looked like a perfectly normal human, but knew she was different. She’d had otherworldly abilities for as long as she could remember, but still had no clue what she was. She’d long ago given up the dream of having anything more, and for the last six years she’d been alone hiding in the shadows. Ot

    4.5 Stars!

    (ARC provided by author)

    Thea Quinn is a 25 yr. old woman who looked like a perfectly normal human, but knew she was different. She’d had otherworldly abilities for as long as she could remember, but still had no clue what she was. She’d long ago given up the dream of having anything more, and for the last six years she’d been alone hiding in the shadows. Others seeking power wanted to harm her, so her life was about running, surviving, and trying not to draw attention to herself. She relied on her supernatural instincts, almost like a sixth sense to warn her of danger. Even though she was almost indestructible, she had to hide her gifts from the world and trusted no one.

    Conall MacLennan is the loyal, honorable alpha of the last werewolf pack in Scotland. Clan MacLennan were his family and as their leader it was his responsibility to protect and command the people and land. In the Scottish Highlands, there was no place more beautiful than the majestic landscape of Loch Torridon. It had always been his haven.

    Conall’s sister is ill, and means everything to him. When a businessman approaches him with a cure in exchange for his unique tracking ability, he makes a deal he can’t break. He must find and retrieve a dangerous woman named Thea Quinn. Heading to her last known whereabouts, he soon learns this feisty woman is not going to be a willing captive.

    Thea comes face to face with a massive Scottish wolf named Conall who is ruthless, intimidating, and one of the biggest men she’s ever seen. Everything about him screamed warrior and danger. She has no plans on letting him deliver her to her enemy, and clashes repeatedly with the belligerent, controlling wolf. As she attempts to evade him, outside forces intervene, and they have no choice but to rely on one another for survival. On their journey, things gradually begin to change between them as a connection forms. They try to ignore their growing attraction because it’s a complication neither needs. The thick tension between them soon becomes unbearable. Feelings are overwhelming, and they can no longer resist the fire between them. When they are suddenly in too deep, will they choose love, or to walk away?

    -Everything about Thea Quinn was a weapon, even her beauty.

    -She left a man feeling as though he’d never looked upon anything so lovely.

    -Why did he have to make her feel like she was the only one in the room when he looked at her?

    -He was magnificent.

    -He was like one of those Roman statues of male perfection. That feeling of primal female want and need that was becoming too familiar flooded deep in her belly.

    War of Hearts (A True Immortality Novel) by Samantha Young is a standalone paranormal romance written under her pen name S. Young. It’s the authors debut into adult paranormal and it’s fantastic! It’s a steamy enemies to lovers story set in the supernatural world. It has vampires, werewolves, secrets, lies, mystery, drama, action, excitement, and suspense. I love PNR books, and this is one of my favorites. I fell hard for this sexy, alpha wolf with a heart of gold. I hope we also get a book for Callie & James!

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

  • Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog

    {ARC Generously Provided by Author}

    I have always been a huge fan of Samantha Young and have read a bunch of her traditional adult contemporary romances, but, WOW, she hasclass="gr-hostedUserImg">Author}Conall

    {ARC Generously Provided by Author}

    I have always been a huge fan of Samantha Young and have read a bunch of her traditional adult contemporary romances, but, WOW, she has proven she can also write a spellbinding and all-consuming paranormal romance as well. I was completely hooked from the start. It’s been a while since I’ve read this genre and I’m realizing it’s time to dive back in.

    is an epic story filled with intrigue and incredible main characters whose romance will steal readers’ hearts and souls!

    Conall is the Alpha of Clan MacLennan, the most powerful wolfpack in all of Scotland, if not the world. He is a man of honor who loves his family fiercely and will do whatever he can to protect them and his pack. Conall’s younger sister is slowly dying from an incurable illness. It is for this reason alone that he agrees to track a woman on the run for a wealthy American businessman. Normally humans avoid trespassing on his compound and Ashforth’s arrogance rubs Conall the wrong way, but when Ashforth tells him that the woman’s blood can cure his sister Callie, he proves that he has a bargaining chip that Conall can’t resist. Ashforth seeks his assistance because it is a well-known fact amongst werewolves and vampires, that Conall has a gift for tracking anything and anyone.

    Thea Quinn is the woman Ashforth is desperate to find. He describes her as being a thief and a ruthless killer to bias Conall’s opinion of her, but in reality, Thea is the victim of Ashforth’s diabolical desires. She lived with Ashforth and his family for years after her parents died in a tragic plane crash. It wasn’t until that crash that Ashforth found out that Thea wasn't human. He physically tortured her for many years in order to learn what she was. She may be living on the run and in squalor, but she would rather be homeless than end up back on Ashforth’s compound. Thea could use her powers to live the life of luxury and yet she never abuses them because her parents always told her to use her powers for good and not for self-gain.

    When Conall tracks down Thea, they play a game of cat and mouse. Conall learns quickly that Thea is not a weak damsel in distress. She has no problem taking him down with ease. They both feel an intense connection to each other and their passion will consume them. When Conall learns the truth about Thea’s past with Ashforth, his heart will be deeply conflicted. Can he sacrifice the life of the woman he is falling for to save the life of his sister? Or can Conall and Thea work together to solve the mystery of what type of immortal being she is, which may end up being the one solution to all of their problems?

    I am so excited to find out what Samantha Young has in store for us next!! I’m hoping for a bunch of installments because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet!!

    Here are my overall ratings:

    Hero:

    Heroine:

    Plot:

    Angst:

    Steam:

    Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine:

    is available now!! Make sure to one-click!!

    Amazon:

    Amazon Worldwide:

    AppleBooks:

    Nook:

    Kobo:

  • arini

    fans of

    out there, let's

    in the fact that

    to quench our thirst for the

    , those

    bcs they've got more interesting stories to tell that our minds would gladly indulge in!!

    this book was so good. i loved it. i cant believe it's only a standalone!! it was a solid one for sure. i couldnt help but marvel at thin!!noises*

    fans of

    out there, let's

    in the fact that

    to quench our thirst for the

    , those

    bcs they've got more interesting stories to tell that our minds would gladly indulge in!!

    this book was so good. i loved it. i cant believe it's only a standalone!! it was a solid one for sure. i couldnt help but marvel at the thought of what a series it could potentially grow to be had it been set as such since the beginning. thankfully, there's still hope i can cling to bcs the epilogue had definitely hinted at the possibility of a sequel. i'll keep my fingers crossed.

    the story was very gripping. there was never a dull moment where i wished i wanted to stop reading. the beginning of the book held such a strong premise for the rest of the story bcs it already had an interesting start. and honestly it stayed true until the end bcs our author did not disappoint.

    i revelled in every single part of this book from the moment we met our protagonists, the hunt our hero was sent on to chase our heroine for the prize of saving his sister and the pack, the dilemma of choosing between love and duty, to the part where they teamed up to defeat the bad guy and ultimately the happily ever after.

    the romance in this book was something to be devoured. it had that enemies to lovers dynamic. it was all consuming seeing how both of our characters’ emotions gradually shift from hostile to having mutual attraction and understanding until eventually feeling immense and intense love for one another.

    i loved that despite having everything happened between them in the span of a little over a month, the pacing of this book was steady and it didnt make the relationship feel too insta love-y. the heat from their passionate love making was practically blazing!! it was wild, and it happened for the first time only a little after passing halfway through the book.

    this is

    a default flaw. i fully accept that these characters do not exist beyond their purpose as a plot device to further help the development in our main characters’ story arcs. they are not badly written. there were just no element of surprise to them bcs they behave exactly the way we expected them to.

    i would admit that there came a point where a couple issues were resolved a little too conveniently and effectively, but let's cut this book some slacks. afterall it

    a full length standalone. while the plot couldve expanded into a marvelous series-worthy saga with thorough development in all aspects, this book had still presented a spellbinding read.

    reading this book had been like coming home to a world of supernaturals. i love paranormal romance, and this book delivered just how much i overjoyed reading about werewolves, mating bonds, and other wolf-

    pack business. it really made for a highly addictive read. it felt like i was in my element. i believe this is something we can all admit to when reading from one of our favorite genres.

    while this book only focuses on two characters, it has a well constructed and engaging plotline with lots of badass action sequences and the electric whirlwind of a romance. not to mention, the story is set in scotland and its neighboring countries that bound to captivate you with their natural beauty. for a first timer paranormal writer, this author has undeniably shown a staggering feat with this impressive werewolves tale.

  • Jemima jamir aka Sentranced Jem

    On Dublin Street is one of my favourite OG contemporary romance book series. So when I heard that Samantha Young was writing a paranormal romance, I wanted the book…no-no… I needed the book ASAP!

    War of Hearts reignited my love for paranormal fantasy. What a thrilling and exhilarating read this book was!

    On Dublin Street is one of my favourite OG contemporary romance book series. So when I heard that Samantha Young was writing a paranormal romance, I wanted the book…no-no… I needed the book ASAP!

    War of Hearts reignited my love for paranormal fantasy. What a thrilling and exhilarating read this book was!

    
Everything about this book was intoxicating addictive! 
Thea Quinn is such a badass heroine! I love female leads that exude power and beauty. 
Conall MacLennan is DIVINE!! Male perfection at it’s finest. He’s a little bit possessive yet fair-minded. He is protective of Theo but he doesn’t bulldoze over her.

    

Samantha Young’s War of Hearts is action packed, filled with angst, steamy senses and suspenseful to the T. 
I couldn’t put this book down and I guarantee that you won’t be able to stop reading it until the early hours of the morning.

  • KAT ♕ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books ♕

    Is a full length standalone paranormal romance novel by Samantha Young. (This is her first time writing a paranormal novel). Spoken in 'Dual POV's' This is Thea Quinn and Conall MacLennan's story. Whilst this was a standalone, it made me believe that there may be more books in the future.

    I’ve not read many paranormal novels, I can count them on one hand so I was nervous about reading this one, but took that leap of faith knowing who the author was!! And I am soooo

    Is a full length standalone paranormal romance novel by Samantha Young. (This is her first time writing a paranormal novel). Spoken in 'Dual POV's' This is Thea Quinn and Conall MacLennan's story. Whilst this was a standalone, it made me believe that there may be more books in the future.

    I’ve not read many paranormal novels, I can count them on one hand so I was nervous about reading this one, but took that leap of faith knowing who the author was!! And I am soooo glad I did!! This was so unexpectedly easy to get into, from the storyline to the characters themselves made for an exhilarating read! Before I knew it I’d inhaled it! If this book is anything to go by I definitely need to dip my toes into this genre more!

    Twenty five year old Thea is on the run, moving from city to city never staying anywhere for too long, trying to outrun a pure evil man named Ashforth who insists Thea Quinn is a supernatural creature of unknown origin and he's out to cause her harm. Thea really has no idea what she really is, but definitely knows that she is not 100% human.

    If being hunted by one man wasn't enough now she has another one on her tail, and that is Conall MacLennan he's the alpha king belonging to one of the last werewolf packs in Scotland. If he can apprehend Thea, Ashworth has promised that her blood will cure his sister. Conall is good at his job, he can track like no other by scent alone. Ashworth has informed Conall that Thea is a dangerous killer and is not to be trusted.

    Thea has no chance in hell when it comes to evading him.

    The banter and interaction between these two characters was nothing other than perfection, their sexual chemistry simmered away in the background which I loved.

  • Lana ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾

    Holy...WOW. I am HOOKED. Line and sinker on all of the words. On this amazing world. On what I'm desperately now hoping will be a series. Because this book seriously blew me away.

    I'm a HUGE PNR fan, and so it goes without saying I'm also ridiculously picky when it comes to the genre. But considering how much I adore Samantha Young's contemporaries, I knew without even reading the blurb to this book that I had to have it. And when I finally read the blurb? I was frothing at the mouth to get my hands on it.

    If

    Holy...WOW. I am HOOKED. Line and sinker on all of the words. On this amazing world. On what I'm desperately now hoping will be a series. Because this book seriously blew me away.

    I'm a HUGE PNR fan, and so it goes without saying I'm also ridiculously picky when it comes to the genre. But considering how much I adore Samantha Young's contemporaries, I knew without even reading the blurb to this book that I had to have it. And when I finally read the blurb? I was frothing at the mouth to get my hands on it.

    If there's one thing that is especially hard for PNR books to do, is the world building. All too often I'll read a PNR story that ends up being a data dump of epic proportions or there's just not enough world building to truly grasp or understand. This was none of those things. This felt like a movie reel unraveling behind my eyes as I was turning the pages. A magic, fantastical world that I couldn't get enough of.

    Thea Quinn is on the run but she's no weakling. As a matter of fact, she's frightfully strong. But the most frightening thing is she has no idea what she is or where her strength comes from. She's been on the run for years from something that threatens everything for her.

    Conall MacLennan, is the Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, and one of the most fearsome and strong werewolves there is. When a man comes to him and offers him a deal to save his terminally ill sister in exchange for him hunting down a dangerous fugitive, it doesn't take him long to make up his mind. Being one of the best trackers, it doesn't take him long to track down Thea. Unfortunately it also doesn't take him long to figure out that neither Thea or everything else surrounding their situation is what it seems.

    The story was an action packed page turner. There's nothing I love more than a strong heroine, and boy did Thea check that box for me. The woman is fierce. At times, her power overshadows even that of Conall. But what I loved the most is that it never diminished Conall's intensity. If anything, watching the way he handles it just added to his appeal.

    The romance is a slow burn, and while it's a little tamer that what I'm used to from this author, it was no less satisfying. I loved these two together, but I especially loved the unraveling of their unique world and learning more about many of the mysterious secondary characters. There's enough of a hook at the end to make me think that there will be more to come in this world and I can't wait! If you're looking for an addicting and unique PNR, look no further. This will check all of your boxes!

  • Lien

    This is what I felt most of the time

    And I can tell you the exact moment when all my excitement faded away. Tension ran high until the "enemies" part turned to "lovers". The transition was logical but kinda 'sudden' and therefore fell totally flat for me. People will probably disagree but this is just how I felt.

    I found myself doing other stuff and felt absolutely no desire tofelt.And

    This is what I felt most of the time

    And I can tell you the exact moment when all my excitement faded away. Tension ran high until the "enemies" part turned to "lovers". The transition was logical but kinda 'sudden' and therefore fell totally flat for me. People will probably disagree but this is just how I felt.

    I found myself doing other stuff and felt absolutely no desire to pick up the book again (for ex., I had 3% left. 3%! And even then I was dragging my ass.). Things were happening on page but my feelings remained numb and my face expressionless. Sad but true.

    I mean, 3 stars is not bad and if I could, I'd give

    , it was that good. The

    , gosh, I freaking loved it! The Hero was fed with false information about the heroine and now he's bound to bring her in or else his sister will die. Uhm

    There was

    , so exactly how I like it when reading paranormal. A kickass heroine is also a must for me and let me tell you,

    ! Plus a sexy

    as the Hero? What's not to love, right?

    This book is a standalone but the ending does hint on a sequel with new protagonists, and even though

    wasn't a huge hit for me I will definitely anticipate S. Young's next releases.

    This book was a lot more gruesome than I anticipated. I didn't mind but squeamish people should probably stay away from it.

    PS: I found the wordplay with "wolf" absolutely charming btw. I couldn't help but grin every time I came across one of them (there weren't that many but still). Big compliment to the author for that lol. It just made the big, grumpy werewolf so much more adorable.

  • Samantha Young

    There is a possibility of more books in this world, but WAR OF HEARTS is a standalone paranormal romance. :)

    UPDATE: The 1st two chapters are on my website :)

    My current WIP under my pen name S. Young. I'm so excited!

    Another Teaser!

    She looked him directly in the eyes. “I don’t have any plans to kill you tonight, Wolf Boy, so catch some z’s too.”

    Despite the flare of irritation he felt at the ridiculous nickname, C

    There is a possibility of more books in this world, but WAR OF HEARTS is a standalone paranormal romance. :)

    UPDATE: The 1st two chapters are on my website :)

    My current WIP under my pen name S. Young. I'm so excited!

    Another Teaser!

    She looked him directly in the eyes. “I don’t have any plans to kill you tonight, Wolf Boy, so catch some z’s too.”

    Despite the flare of irritation he felt at the ridiculous nickname, Conall also felt more than a flicker of amusement. “But you plan to kill me eventually?”

    She was silent a moment and then she answered, and his instincts told him she was being honest. “I don’t know. What I do know is that there’s someone else after me and you’ve saved my ass twice. I can’t get rid of you so I may as well make use of you.”

    Her words caused a stirring somewhere they shouldn’t. Poor word choice on her part. “Make use of me?” his voice was gruff.

    She flicked him a casual look as she kicked off her shoes and got into the bed, fully clothed. “Bodyguard.” She reached up and switched off the lamp at her bedside.

    Surprised, Conall snorted. “And here I thought you didnae need a bodyguard.”

    “Me too. Until a vamp punched a hole in my chest.” Although she tried to hide behind levity, he heard the slight tremble of uncertainty in her words.

    “Is that the closest you’ve come to death, lass?”

    “No,” she whispered, the duvet rustling as she turned her back to him. “Death and I are old friends.”

    Here's an excerpt (it's unedited!)

    Marching away from the reception and prying eyes, Conall bounded up the stairs to the next floor, feeling Thea’s presence grow stronger. Anticipation flooded him, making his heart pound, and his hands flex. Glancing down through the drop between the railings, Conall realized he could take this back staircase to the exit without having to go through reception.

    Perfect.

    Thankfully, the hallway on the next floor was empty as Conall tried to move his hulking figure as quietly down it as possible. He stopped outside the door of the room at the farthest end of the hallway and rested his palm against it.

    Thea was behind the door.

    Brat.

    Grabbing the door handle he gave it a jarring tug, hearing the lock break with satisfaction. Conall strode inside, coming to an abrupt halt at the sight of Thea in fighting stance, facing him.

    She had her fists held up to her face like a practiced boxer, her knees bent.

    Exasperated at the thought of delaying their journey with a fight, Conall swung the door shut behind him and crossed his arms over his chest.

    Her olive skin was a little pale, her features strained from the obvious painful toll the mysterious drug had taken on her body. Dark circles were still visible beneath her wide tip-tilted eyes. She was still weak.

    Good.

    “I have no wish to fight you.”

    Thea grunted. “You’re trying to kidnap me, and you don’t expect me to fight you?”

    “Are you capable of fighting in this state?”

    She narrowed her eyes. “I could kick your ass any day of the week, Wolf Boy.”

    A growl erupted from him before he could stop it. “Call me that again and see where it gets you.”

    “I’m not afraid of you.”

    Conall tested the air and realized he couldn’t smell any hint of fear from her. Huh. Maybe that should give him pause.

    It didn’t.

    “Listen and listen carefully.” He took a step toward her and her lush lips pressed tightly together. “I’m no ordinary werewolf. You can run from me, Thea, but I’ll always be able to find you. So let’s give into the inevitable and not make a big deal out of this.”

    Thea let out an incredulous laugh and Conall tensed at the musical sound. “You’re delusional, Wolf Boy, if you think I’m going anywhere without a fight.”

    If she called him that one more time, Conall was afraid he’d change right in front of her. He tried not to curl his hands into fists, giving away his mounting anger. “I’m not kidding. How do you think I found you when others have failed? How do you think I found you here? I hear you have talents, abilities… well you’re not the only one. I have your scent, Thea Quinn. You’ll never be able to run from me again.”

    She studied him a moment, perhaps trying to deduce if he was lying or not. She wrinkled her nose. “Well, that’s not creepy.”

    Ignoring her sarcasm, he gestured to the door. “Let’s go.”

    Conall waited, studying her impatiently as she considered him in return. As her soulful eyes wandered over his body, an electric awareness shivered through him, reminding him of the call of the full moon.

    Ashforth was right. She was a dangerous creature in more ways than one.

    She relaxed her fighting stance, exhaling wearily. “Fine.”

    Relieved but still alert Conall nodded. He’d barely turned a millimetre toward the door when he felt the blast of a forceful wind against his back. A dark blur shot past him but his reflexes were fast and he reached out for what he hoped was the scruff of her neck.

    Making purchase he shoved her against the door and slammed his body into hers.

    She gasped, her cheek pressed hard to the door along with the front of her body. With a grunt she pushed against him but Conall leaned his entire weight into her. “How?” she panted, looking up at him in shock.

    Conall tightened his grip on her neck and bent his head to her ear. “You may be fast, lass, but I’m faster.”

    Her upper lip curled. “I’m not at full strength.”

    “Aye, well, I suppose we’ll see how we get on when you are.” He took hold of her wrists and brought them down behind her back.

    Thea squirmed, and he tightened his hold, knowing it must be painful, but she never showed it. “Let’s go.”

    “You really think I’ll believe you’re the world’s best bloodhound without testing that theory?” he heard the warning in her voice.

    In the name of expedience, he transferred his hold on her to one hand and quickly pulled the syringe out of his back pocket. Just like that the coppery, blood-like tang of her terror filled his nostrils and Conall forced down a prickle of guilt. He couldn’t imagine she felt guilty about all the people she’d murdered. He didn’t want to use the drug now he knew it messed with his ability to track her, but she didn’t know that. “Easy way… or hard way?”

    “I… I can pay you more than Ashforth.”

    “By stealing from people. No thanks.” Conall kept the syringe in one hand, while he yanked open the door and quickly grabbed her arm. His huge hand wrapped easily around her small bicep. For a fairly tall woman with generous assets, she felt fragile and small beneath his touch. Most human females did.

    But she wasn’t human, he reminded himself, as he yanked her out into the hallway.

    “I would think someone who is mercenary enough to hunt a woman he knows nothing about for money wouldn’t care where the money comes from.”

    Conall stopped and hauled her close, bending to enunciate the words in her face so she could make no mistake about his determination to finish this job. “Ashforth isn’t paying me. Someone important to me is dying and I hear you’re the cure. I bring you to Ashforth to answer for murdering his wife and he’ll give me some of your blood.”

    If she felt anything about this information, she did a wonderful job of not showing it. Instead, she tilted her chin in defiance. “I’ll give you some of my blood, if you’ll just let me go.”

    “No can do.” He shook his head and continued to pull her down the hall with him. “I struck a bargain with this man and my word is my honor.”

    “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” she sneered, trying to yank free of his hold and failing.

    Conall gritted his teeth and held on tighter. If she kept fighting him, he’d inadvertently hurt her. Stupid lass. “Keep moving.”

    She stopped as they entered the stairwell. “Seriously. My life is more important than your goddamn honor.”

    “There’s a trail of bodies from the east coast of the US through mainland Europe that makes the latter questionable.”

    “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    Exasperated, wishing he could drug her without causing her pain or him to lose his connection to her, Conall let the growl show in his voice. “Let’s cease talking entirely.”

    To his surprise and relief, she did.

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