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Title: 1301 – The Marquis
Title: 1301 – The Marquis
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: December 13th, 2012
Life after Hell isn't more exciting than watching football and fixing a busted pipe. Once a powerful demon, Marc enjoys his quiet existence and a good cup of coffee. With big ambitions to gain his master's favor, a trickster demon named Vetis shatters Marc's peace and vows to deliver Marc's head to the fires of Hell. Not before he destroys everything Marc cares about, of course.
Marc's power has diminished over the years. Heaven will never grant him absolution, and he refuses to return to Hell. Running isn't an option. The city of Carmine is his territory. It's also home to his favorite cafe owner, Mae Hopkins. The dame has a lovely smile, but it's her heart and soul that shine bright.
While his city burns and his love is captured, Marc must decide to surrender or let hate and anger fuel him to become the fearsome beast he so loathes: The Marquis. If the Marquis rises, Vetis can be defeated and Mae saved, but Marc would be lost to his demon forever.
1301 – The Marquis on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16148143-1301---the-marquis
“I've had days like that too.”
Marc startled at the voice, tensing and ready to fight. How could he let someone sneak up on him in broad daylight? He was making Vetis' job much easier for him.
He sucked in a breath when he saw Mae. He shook his head and let loose the air in his lungs. His hands unclenched and his shoulders dropped. A different feeling kept his stomach tight. “Days like that?”
“Days where so much is on my mind, I'm walking blind.” Mae smiled as if determined to drive his worries away. Another day, he might've let it.
“Is it that obvious?” His pace slowed to match hers without thinking. She was dressed in some sort of stretchy pants that hugged her hips and rear. Her ponytail bobbed with her steps as if tempting him to touch it. Beautiful, sweet, and playful.
“I've been walking beside you for nearly a block.” Mae chuckled. “I'd suggest you come running with me, but I don't think you're a runner. You seem to me more the type to work out your troubles lifting some weights or hitting a bag. You've got big hands.” She tapped the back of his closest hand with a finger. “Did you box?”
“I did some fighting in my younger years.” Not the sort she was thinking. Marc's punch once carried the force of a wrecking ball.
“You have that look.” Mae nodded and nudged him with her elbow. “I'll have you figured out sooner or later.”
He couldn't stop a grin. “I actually think you might.”
They shared a look for a few steps. She crinkled her nose cutely and looked away first to dodge a post. Marc wanted to hold her hand. She didn't have pampered hands, but he knew they were softer than his. Warm and accepting.
Stopping at a corner to wait for a light, he turned his head away from her to glance across the street. Vetis grinned and wiggled his fingers at Marc. He waggled his eyebrows, pointed at Mae, and made a lewd gesture.
A growl rumbled in Marc's chest. No. This wasn't happening. He couldn't let it happen.
A truck rattled by, blocking his view, and when it was gone, so was Vetis.
“Marc?” Mae's hand rested on his elbow. “Is everything all right?”
No, he was damned. He shook his head. He wouldn't let her become a part of this. The world needed Mae Hopkins. He needed her to live.
“I just remembered something. I have to get some stuff done at the building before I leave town for a while.” Forever. Even if he managed to beat Vetis, he couldn't stay in Carmine. Others would come after him. Vetis probably bragged to half the demons in Hell about what he was going to do. Marc wanted to smash the bastard into the ground, make him less than a pile of dust.
“You're leaving town?” There was sadness in her voice. His chest tightened. “For how long?”
“I'm not sure. I don't know.” Marc scratched at his beard and tugged on it. “It's complicated.”
The light changed and they walked across the street. Mae was silent for another minute before speaking. “Well, you know where I am. I'll always listen.” She hesitated and then took his hand into hers. “Come see me before you leave? Just for one cup?”
The way she was looking at him, Marc couldn't do anything but nod. He was an idiot. “One cup.”
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Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She also has two novellas and sixteen short stories published.