Title: Midnight Divine
Author: Valerie Roeseler
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Leaving her broken home and shady past behind, Ivy Harris is determined to make something of herself. Her new acquaintance, Jack Roe, is irritating and arrogant with a womanizing reputation. Despite his secretive behavior and constant pursuit of her, Ivy finds herself falling for him. When Jack’s secrets are revealed, Ivy discovers her life isn’t her own as she’s trapped within a conflict between beings of light and darkness.
After a series of dangerous encounters threaten her existence, she finds comfort from a mysterious stranger and gains the loyalty of unexpected forces. The walls Ivy has secured around her crumble in the wake of tragedy, and the devotion of her friends provide her with the family she’s longed for. With their safety and her survival contingent on her actions, Ivy has no choice but to become the force of nature she’s destined to be.
Valerie Roeseler is a devoted mother, author, and workaholic with a degree in Advertising, Graphic Design, and Print Production. She lives in Texas with her compassionate husband, chatty toddler, and water-loving English Pointer. She devours coffee and protein shakes, as they are her life’s essence, and is an enthusiast of art, music, literature, adrenaline, and hair dye. When she is left to her own devices, she tends to forget that sleep is a necessity.
Trey catches up with me and pushes me against the wall with his body. “What the fuck, Trey! Get off me!” I struggle against his grip and the weight of his body.
“Come on, Ivy. I know you want me. I got your message loud and clear when you kissed me at the race yesterday.” His lips kiss me from my jaw down my neck as he uses his knee to spread my legs, leaning in closer. I smell the alcohol rolling off him, and it has a mixture of burned charcoal that reminds me of Beleth’s goons who tried to rape me. An urgency pours over me to get out of the situation by any means necessary.
Shit. This is gonna hurt.
“Trey,” I leer with seduction, demanding his attention. He leans back to look me in the eyes, and I give him a coy smile. He loosens his grip on me, and I run my hands through his hair above his ears. He motions to kiss me again and hesitates as I speak, “I’m really sorry, Trey.” He raises an eyebrow in question. He has no idea what I’m apologizing for. I rear my head back and bring my forehead to his nose as hard as I can, using it as a battering ram. He stumbles back, and I take my chance to leave.
Jack marches toward me with a pissed off expression and stops at the front of the hallway. His fists are clenched at his sides, and his eyes glare with a faint white illumination while the lighting from the room behind him give him a glowing aura. “Ivy? Are you ok?” his voice grates through his clenched teeth.
“Yeah. Just take me home,” I brood with my head down, avoiding his gaze as I storm toward him.
“You bitch!” Trey curses with hostility, and I look over my shoulder as he charges towards me. Jack stomps down the hall a few steps and freezes as I bring up my elbow, swing back, and bust Trey in the face. I twist and push his head down to knee him in the stomach, and he falls to the ground coughing.
“Stay down,” Jack warns from beside me and grabs my hand to lead me out of the house. His body’s radiating heat so hot I start sweating again.
We jump in the car and peal out. Jack glances over to me with concern, his anger boiling under the surface. “What happened?”
“Nothing.” My head throbs, and I reach up to touch my right eye. There’s blood on my fingers when I pull them away.
Jack reaches over and pulls my chin to face him. “You’re bleeding again.”
“Yeah,” I wince.
Jack shifts into fifth gear as we pull onto the highway, then maneuvers his shirt off as he steers. He hands it to me, “Here. Put this on your eye. It’ll help stop the bleeding.”
I take the shirt from him and hold it to my eyebrow while I try to avoid gawking at his body. “Sorry. I’m not trying to bleed all over your car.”
“I’m not worried about the fucking car, Ivy! What the hell happened?” he raises his voice in anger.
“Nothing. Don’t worry about it. I can take care of myself,” I repeat in monotone.
His face falls, then he grins at me. “I can see that, but I should have been there. Yet again! I told you I would look out for you. You shouldn’t have had to do that.”
Quickly sobering up, I question, “Where the hell were you all night anyways? I went to go do some shots, and turned around to give you one, and you were gone!”
“I got caught up talking to some guys from out of town,” he admits. I’m silent against his excuses. “Where did you learn to fight like that? That’s the second time I’ve seen you kick someone’s ass.” Jack smiles with pride.
I smirk at him and quip, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”