Beast of Blackbirch Manor, The
Cursed by a witch as a boy, Tadeusz suffers the torment of being a 'beast' man. Unless he finds a woman who will love him, he will become a wolf on his thirty-third birthday. When he meets the woman he has married by proxy, he knows he is doomed. Victoria is beautiful--and horrified to discover she has married a monster..
First Published: 05/2007
Length: Long Category
Word Count: 46,231
Genre: Paranormal/Historical/Fantasy Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Alex DeShanks, May 2007
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
The Beast boldly entered the room.
“Y-you should wait until I answer your knock,” she stammered. She watched his gaze slide to the edge of the folded papers, which had caused an untidy lump beneath her housedress. She felt the blood drain from her face as she swallowed back her fear, straightened, lifted her chin, and narrowed her eyes. She intended to pierce him with a sharp look, but instead she felt a strange tug inside her at the sight of him while the memory of last night’s passionate encounter played in her mind. She fought to ignore the flicker of heat that ignited deep within her.
“I thought you would still be asleep and I hoped not to wake you.” He gave an unexpectedly polite nod of his head, but his presence—at once imposing and intense—had her stomach fluttering. She recalled the way she had touched him last night and the fire in his kiss. The manner in which he aroused such strong feelings in her seemed effortless on his part and the power of it had not dimmed with the passing hours. She found her pulse beginning to race again.
She clutched her hands tightly together. She must fight against the feelings his presence engendered. She must seek a dissolution of her marriage.
“You look well,” he said. Along with the hint of fatigue in his tone, she noticed the shades in his aura had a dull cast. In addition, he appeared somewhat rumpled, his mane tousled and unkempt. The lines around his mouth had a grim set to them, as if he were in pain.
A twinge of concern weakened her resolve. She wondered what was the matter, but she dared not ask him. She could barely think with him so close. She needed to get him out of the room.
“I do not feel well.” She put a hand to her head. “My head injury plagues me. I probably should lie down again before the dressmaker arrives. Please, leave me.”
“No.” He took in a great breath and let it out slowly. Her nerves tightened as she watched him run his hand through his abundant dark mane. “There is one thing we should discuss … something about my condition … which … might ….”
In obvious discomfort, he whirled around so that he faced the secretary desk on which the letter lay. Victoria smothered a gasp with her hand.
The Beast headed straight for the letter and picked it up.
Victoria jumped up and rushed toward him. “Give that back to me!”
He held it up out of her reach and read it. His mouth twisted downward. “So this is the thanks I get. Annulment? Do you know how much money it took to pay off your dead husband’s debts?”
“I was tricked into this marriage!” she spat out. “Paul never said a word about … about … y-your disfigurement.”
“Yes. I could tell it was quite a surprise to you.” With but a few quick motions, he ripped the letter into shreds. “Our marriage was legal. I made sure of that.”
“I was the bet in a poker game! I was hood-winked by my own cousin into this marriage. That cannot be legal!”
She watched his lips thin with irritation—lips she knew to be most generous. Her pulse raced as she remembered the warmth of his mouth on hers—and the way her blood turned into a river of molten lava as his tongue probed insistently, teasing her, tempting her until she responded with her own tongue. When she realized where her thoughts had wandered, she swallowed hard.