Release Date: October 6, 2009
The Demon Princess Chronicles#2
Intimately bonded to both a Monère warrior and a black creature from Hell, demon princess Lucinda has gained powers no demon dead has ever possessed. Now returned to the world of the living with her two bondmates, her lover, Stefan, and his ward, Jonnie, she hopes to carve out a new life for herself and her small mixed family.
But soon after returning to her territory, Lucinda is kidnapped and imprisoned by her demon enemy, Derek. He takes her to a hidden outland in Hell, a bleak and desolate landscape riddled with disfigured rejects. At first enraged by Lucinda’s new abilities, Derek soon realizes that he may have stumbled upon a way to regain his power—and Lucinda’s new life is the sacrifice…
“Lucinda, Dangerously was everything I thought it would be and plenty MORE!! Sunny has written a story that her fans will be sure to devour. It is both dark and refreshing. A flight of the imagination that captured my attention and kept me spellbound long after I finished the last page…Sunny’s fantastic mix of the sensual (Warning, Lucinda has more than one partner.), dark fantasy and unbelievably delicious storytelling is a delight for the senses. Her stories are filled with unexpected and thrilling surprises which change Lucinda physically and emotionally. The ending was very gratifying…What strikes me as singular about Sunny’s stories is how fascinating her characters are. They are not the usual cookies cutter heroes or heroines. But what attracts me to them are their core of decency and unwavering will power to overcome the unusual obstacles that come their way…Lucinda, Dangerously will blow your mind! I never knew what to expect and I was awed by Sunny’s vivid imagination and masterful storytelling skills. As soon as I read it I had to have a moment of silence to let it soak in, I could not believe how good it was!”
— Steph, Bookaholics Romance Book Club, 5 stars
“LUCINDA, DANGEROUSLY is the second book in THE DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES and in my opinion, it is the best. Sunny brings to mind talented authors like Gena Showalter and Jeanine Frost with her ability to capture the otherworldliness in her characters. A lot of paranormal and urban fantasy authors complicate stories by creating so many different characters and you feel like you need a guide just to read the book. Sunny drew me right in with the ease of learning each character and what their purpose is. You can read more of Lucinda’s story in the first book in THE DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES, LUCINDA, DARKLY. I highly recommend reading them in order, but LUCINDA, DANGEROUSLY is also a great stand alone.”
— Pamela Lynne, Romance Junkies, 4 Blue Ribbons
“The complex second Demon Princess erotic fantasy is an exhilarating thriller…a super support cast (including Derek) who enhance understanding of the lead protagonist…romance, sex and danger stalk the donkey-kicking heroine and her cohorts with Derek lurking. Sunny, as usual brightens up the day with her latest romantic urban fantasy.”
— Harriet Klausner
“It kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next…Lucinda, Dangerously is a great story with a kick-ass heroine. The writing is lovely, the characters are endearing and sexy and the plot fleshed out and wonderful. I absolutely enjoyed myself reading this story and I eagerly await the next installment in this series.”
—Wendy, Night Owl Romance, 4.5 Hearts, Top Pick
“This erotic fantasy series just gets better with each new installment–a must-read!”
—Mandy Burns, Fresh Fiction
They say you get wiser as you get older. I don’t know about that. In my opinion, sometimes you just get dumber.
A Queen saw us and screamed. A Monère Queen garbed in the usual long black gown denoting her status. As if you couldn’t tell by the feel of her presence alone. She took one look at the seven of us and let loose a wail of terror as if the Wild Hunt had spit itself out of Hell and come to hunt her.
It wasn’t really her fault. But she was old enough to know better; close to three-quarters of a century, as far as I could tell. Then again, you could argue that I should know better also. I was over six hundred years old. Over seven hundred if you counted my other life before this, my Monère life—what I had been before I died and became demon dead. I lived in Hell now. Or at least I had before I was booted out due to circumstances entirely of my own making.
Those circumstances stood beside me now, cringing as the young Queen screamed her silly head off—the two I had bonded with. One was a demon creature as black as night. No, I take that back, he was even darker. The entirety of him was a charcoal shimmer of hair, skin, and eyes. No whites in those eyes, just darkness against darkness. Talon. My FloradÃ«ur, which literally meant flower of darkness. A poetic name that aptly described his tall, willow-wand slenderness, and the delicate features that edged over into feminine prettiness.
On the other side of me stood my other bondmate, Nico, the Monère warrior who had been intimately sheathed inside my body when Talon had forged the bond between us. The supernatural tie had accidentally linked all three of us together. It had been like, Oops, didn’t know that could happen. Not just the three-way bonding, but that something dead could be tied to something living. We were bound together now, the three of us, two creatures from Hell and a living Monère. And not just a living Monère, but a former Monère rogue—former because Nico was mine now. Officially recognized as such by High Court, where we presently were. Bringing us back to the screaming ninny at hand.
It wasn’t so much Nico and I who upset her. Demon dead that I was, I was a petite woman. Not too threatening in appearance, unless I wanted to be, which, trust me, I wasn’t trying to be at present. Nor was it Stefan—beautiful Stefan, the Monère warrior who I loved—or his human/Monère Mixed Blood ward, Jonnie, a young man of eighteen. Nope. It was the last two of our group that struck unholy terror into the Queen’s heart and made her raise up such a ruckus—Ruric and Hari. My royal demon bodyguards.
Yup, royal. I was a princess, daughter of the High Lord of Hell, and sister of its current ruler, Prince Halcyon. I was Princess Lucinda. But it was an empty title really. The only thing I ruled over was the occasional wayward demon I had caught over the last few centuries while roaming this earthly realm. As a guardian, it had been my job to find them and drag them back to Hell before they wrecked more havoc.
Another problem—a big one—had been that my paternity had been called into question. But no longer. I had proven that I was the High Lord’s daughter in a most indisputable way. And Daddy dearest had in turn sicced his two oldest demon guards on me. They were supposed to watch over me and keep me out of trouble. Hah!
Whatever my father’s intentions may have been, they seemed to have backfired. One look at Ruric, and your instant gut reaction was to scream in terror.
Ruric meant rock in the old language, and that was exactly what he happened to look like—one great big pile of hardness. Massive not so much in height—he stood only an inch or two over six feet—but more in width and depth. A great hulking mass of muscles. His impressive physique alone would have made him intimidating, but it was the startling ugliness of his face that took your breath away—and not in a good way. His coarse, heavyset features were rough and brutal, his eyes deep-set and slightly uneven. He was ugly as none of the Monère were. Even the plainest child of the moon caught a human’s eyes, and we had all been that once—Monère, supernatural creatures descended from the moon, blessed with her gifts. Ergo, those lucky enough to become demon dead afterward were usually blessed with pleasing looks. Not so, Ruric. He was exquisitely, revoltingly uncomely. He was also one of the last two existing demons, outside of my family, who carried the blood of the drakon. The dragon clan.
The other last existing demon of that almost extinct line stood next to him. Hari, who was handsome in a bad-boy, slithering-snake kind of way. Lean-and-mean, arrogant and abrasive, as dangerously mesmerizing as Ruric was ugly. The color of their skin was a lightly shadowed bronze, darker than even my golden hue because they had existed longer than I had in Hell. The only one cooked darker was my father, Blaec, whose skin shone a darkly burnished bronze after existing for over a millennium in our realm. Which put Ruric and Hari’s age at greater than my six hundred years, and less than the High Lord’s one thousand years of being.
Hari literally meant clever like a monkey. But if that was so, it was in a spoiled, infantile manner. He stood as tall as his clan mate, his sharp-bladed features curled into a snarling sneer. Not too handsome at the moment with that look of distaste distorting his face and casting it, well, more demonically.
We were an odd, assorted lot. But of everyone there, it was probably Hari, Ruric, and Talon who inspired such pure gut panic in the Queen. Hari and Ruric because they were exactly what they looked like—big, bad, demon predators. Talon because he was something she had never seen before—a creature of absolute darkness, as if he had been distilled from the very bowels of Hell. Of course, only someone who didn’t know Hell very well would think that. There were much worse things than the lovely flowers of darkness.
“Shut up,” I snapped. My instant gut reaction. Because the loud noise was not only embarrassing me but hurting my ears. She shut up. Not because she wanted to but because she had no choice. My verbal command, for the benefit of her guards who had all drawn their swords, and my even stronger mental one, had left her unable to do anything but obey me—one of the reasons why we demons were so feared. Not only for our greater physical strength but for the frightening psychic power we wielded. But, hey, you had to have some compensation for dying.
“Leave us,” I told her, waving my hand. “Go away.” It wasn’t so much my shooing motions but the unheard mental command I issued again that had her and her men leaving us in great haste.
Running toward us, in their place, was a whole slew of other guards—official ones belonging to High Court.
We hadn’t poofed out of thin air to appear in front of everyone, although their extreme reaction made it seem so. Nope. We’d arrived the usual way via the portal in the woods behind Halcyon’s little cottage here at High Queen’s Court. We had stopped at Halcyon’s quarters, happily reunited with Stefan and Jonnie, and then all of us had walked like calm, civilized beings onto the walkway where our paths had crossed with that dim-witted Queen, who acted as if she had never seen a demon before.
To give her the benefit of the doubt, she probably hadn’t. Most Monère didn’t unless they came to the bi-monthly Council sessions and caught a glimpse of my brother, Halcyon. He was like me, not that intimidating to look at. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be said of Ruric and Hari, who were intimidating even to other demons. And add to that the startlement factor of a midnight-black FloradÃ«ur.
But, come on. Most of the guards knew me. Or at least knew of me. I’d walked here quite tamely among them only a few days ago, and they had seen Talon then. But—memory kicking in belatedly—he had been a short, stunted thing at that time. Now he was as tall as Ruric and strikingly lovely, with his head in proportion to his body. I guess the change in him was rather startling. And one look at my two new demon bodyguards, with the Queen’s terrified screams on top of that, which had to have really harried their nerves…and you had guards approaching us with drawn swords.
Exactly what I had wanted to prevent. A situation.