Centuries ago, guardian angel Lucien committed a terrible sin. He gave into his own desires and revealed himself to the mortal woman he’d been charged to protect. By kissing her, he condemned himself. Torn of his wings and his angelic powers, thrown down into the City Below, Lucien now serves Satan as an incubus who claims souls for his master from the City Above, and who feeds on the energy stolen from his mortal lovers. Dark, sexy and charming, he’s been top of his league for decades uncounted.
Until His Infernal Highness decides to send Lucien looking for a lost angel. Lucien has no idea what he did to deserve such a punishment, and the touch of an angel could destroy him. Yet the challenge and the potential kudos of seducing one of his former heavenly kin leads him on.
But when he finds the angel, he learns he still has more to lose than his already forsaken soul.
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Extract from No Angel
But where to find an angel? Just as his kind haunted bars and restaurants, where the old sins of lust and gluttony rose strongest in humans, so angels would be drawn to places where hope burned brightest. Hospitals. Aid centers. Churches were a rare commodity as the twenty-second century progressed, preserved more for their architectural value than any religious use. Sometimes people would marry there, strong traditionalists still clinging to the past. The only church in Lucien’s territory—which was larger than most—was St. Bartholomew’s. It was as good a place as any to start.
The ever present buzz of aerial traffic and the unceasing sounds of sheer humanity were muted here. The church was an anachronism left over from an earlier age. True gothic architecture compared to the neo-gothic and faux Art Deco style of the modern city. No holographic advertising was permitted here, a blasphemy to the charity of the church. No black marble and chrome. Once built of sandy colored carved stone, the years and pollution had stained the majority of the masonry dark, like the inside of a coffee machine that had never been cleaned. The toxins in the atmosphere had eaten away at the detailed carvings, gargoyles and grotesques with blind, blurred faces distorted beyond their original ugliness. The turrets and spires had lost their fine edge until they looked more like sandcastles left exposed too long to the elements. And yet still it stood, radiating an ancient power, of faith, prayer and hope now dwindling, but still refusing to relinquish its hold in the old stone. Too many people in years past had imbued the building with their blind faith for it to ever die completely.
Lucien glared at the offending building, repelled by more than its appearance. Hallowed ground. Despite its fading power, Lucien wasn’t immune. Although it couldn’t destroy him, it would cost him. The farther into the shadow of the church he ventured, the more the weight of his sins bowed his shoulders. A huge burden after so many centuries in his master’s service. But as a demon, he also had the greater strength to bear them. His steps slowing, he trudged up the steps, each harder than the one before, until he reached the massive arched wooden doors. So much wood cost more than any mortal could now ever afford, and only the severe penalties for defacing such a monument had stopped them from being plundered. Lucien paused, placing one hand on the twisted metal ring that would unlock the door. His forehead ached already, and his wing stumps prickled. He sucked in a long, deep breath and tried to straighten his back. Then he turned the handle and pushed the door open.
About the Author
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), a scifi romance novella—Tethered—published by Breathless Press, a YA paranormal romance—Restless In Peaceville—published by Lycaon Press, four self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, Reboot and Hallow’s Eve), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Wattpad.