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The Succubus Gift (Telepathic Clans #1) by B.R. Kingsolver
The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.
Brenna Morgan was orphaned at eight when her parents were killed in a plane crash. Through one foster home after another, she carried the ornate, carved wooden box her mother had left with her, keeping it always a secret. Then one night she stumbles over a man who claims her as family.
Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.
That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?
About the Author:
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I write books combining Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Science Fiction. I believe in fiction as an escape, with devastatingly beautiful women and incredibly sexy men.
In my books, you will find characters with psychic abilities, such as telekinesis and telepathy, and a completely different view of a succubus than you've ever encountered before.
I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master's in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.
I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I've skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I've hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven't done enough of it. I've seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I'd like to see Banff.
I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I'm currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.
We have been burned at the stake, locked up in asylums, drugged into a stupor. We are secretive for our own protection. - Seamus O’Donnell
She noticed the young man immediately when he walked past her, head down and in a hurry, but not only because he was so good looking. He had no thoughts, no mental activity, and that grabbed her attention in a way nothing else could have.
Following him, she stepped into a shop doorway when he stopped and looked around. She didn’t need to keep him in sight. She could feel his emotions, so strange coming from someone with no thoughts she could read, different than all the other people on the streets. Checking her mental shields to make sure they were as tight as she could make them, she followed him around a corner. He didn’t look back, seemingly not aware she was there.
Moving closer as he turned another corner into an alley, she stopped when he hesitated at the other end. He looked about before stepping out onto the street, but he never looked back. Realizing he couldn’t feel her, she closed the distance between them.
Scanning the area with her mind, she discovered two other men, farther away, who also were mentally shielded. Their emotions were completely different than his, and she shivered at the malice radiating from them. Every time the first man changed direction, the others soon followed. Although they couldn’t see each other, it was almost as though they could feel each other, just as she could feel them. Through the maze of streets in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, they danced across the city in the summer twilight.
He walked into a bar just a block off the water. She knew it had entrances on two different streets, and rather than follow him, she walked to the corner, out into the street, and stood in front of one of the unusual old triangular houses in this part of town. From her vantage point she could see both entrances.
Coming out the other side, he walked in the opposite direction, away from the harbor. He was doubling back, hoping to lose his pursuers, but they weren’t tracking him by sight or sound. She watched a man hesitate in front of the door the young man had used to enter the bar, stop, and then turn around.
He was walking faster now and she was forced to break into a run to keep up with him. He stopped in a small park, in a dark area near a building, turning and waiting for her.
“Why are you following me?” he asked as she approached him. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes in his early twenties.
“Those men are following you. Do they want to hurt you?” she asked, looking up at him. “They don’t feel the same as you do.” His blue eyes widened. “They’re coming. They can feel you.”
“I can’t feel you, and I doubt they can either,” he answered with a puzzled tone in his voice. “You’re an O’Neill.” He took a step toward her. “Who the hell are you?”
She felt the other men at the edge of the park. “Why are you afraid? Are they going to hurt you?”
“I don’t know. They might try,” he answered, smiling nervously.
She covered him in her shield and saw his fists clench as the other men approached. The sense of menace radiating from them increased as they drew closer, moving stealthily. In the darkness, she couldn’t see them clearly. Large men, even bigger than the young man she was following, they had a rough look. One passed within only a few feet. He turned and looked directly at them, but continued on. She could see he held a pistol close to his body.
“Holy Mary,” the young man breathed when they were well gone.
She stepped close to him, out of the shadow, and looked up at his face. It was the first time he could see her clearly. His eyes widened in shocked surprise.
“Who are you?” she asked. “What are you? Do you know what I am?”
He stared at her pale face wreathed in black hair. His mouth opened, then closed. He swallowed and shook his head.
“Please,” she said, her voice cracking, “can you help me? I’ve been alone for so long. Are there more people like us? Do you know where to find them?”
Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward and in a low voice said, “Come with me. I’ll take you to someone who can answer your questions.”
He started off, then turned back when she just stood watching him. “I know what you did to make those men miss us. Thank you. I promise no one will hurt you if you come with me.”
They set off across the city together. After several blocks he turned up a street, similar to many in the area, where all the row houses looked exactly the same. They walked to a house halfway down the street and rang the doorbell. When the door opened, he entered, pulling her after him.
“Jared, what the hell?” the man inside stepped back frowning, his eyes scanning over her, lingering on her chest. “Who’s this?”
“I’ve been playing hide-and-seek with two thugs half the afternoon,” Jared answered. “Their shields and strength were pretty much a match for mine, and I just couldn’t shake them. Then I ran across this lovely lady who graciously extended her shields to hide me from them. Where are Seamus and my mom?”
“Shielded you?” She felt him attempt to read her mind. Her blue eyes flashed and she pushed back, feeling his shields bend under the pressure she exerted. His eyes widened. “I see. Seamus is probably in his office.”
Jared took her by the arm and led her down a corridor. They took a turn, then turned again into another corridor. Bewildered, she let him guide her. She had been in dozens of Baltimore row houses and they were small, open structures. She felt like she’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
They stopped in front of a door and Jared knocked, then entered when a deep voice said, “Come in.”
Inside a spacious office, a very large man with shoulder-length gray hair and a bushy beard was seated behind a desk. A tall, thin woman with sandy colored hair in her late thirties or early forties stood just inside the other door to the room. She took a tentative step forward, the blood draining from her face, and the man sat up in his chair, eyes riveted on the face of the young woman with Jared.The young woman wore a white tank top and hip-hugger blue jeans that outlined her wasp-waisted hourglass figure. Thick, wavy black hair cascaded to her waist, contrasting with her pale complexion and sapphire blue eyes.
This was an easy and fun read. I hadn't read anything about succubi before, though I had been eyeing some books about them, so it was very refreshing to read this story. I'm a huge fan of vampires and witches, but sometimes you just need a break from them. :)
I liked the way the author showed the succubi (and all the Telepaths), with their history going far back before the rise of Christianity, with roots in Celtic mythology/tradition. The succubi in this book weren't seen as some evil demons preying on men or as whores. They were seen as sensual women who were strong and proud of what they were. Well, at least among the Telepath community.
Brenna, the main character, lost her parents when she was only eight, then she grew up in different foster families, some of them a bit fanatic. She felt abandoned and had a quite low self-esteem, yet she still managed to take care of herself and become a respected scientist. I liked to follow her path from the point in her life when she rediscovered the rest of her family and the Telepath community. Brenna was a real mess and had a hard time accepting all the changes, but most of all she had a hard time accepting who she really was.
On the background there was also the "war" between different Clans of Telepaths. It was entertaining and engrossing, but Brenna's story and her change from a girl into a woman was more interesting for me.
All the relationships there (not just the romantic ones) were built slowly and so they were believable.
All in all this was an entertaining urban fantasy/paranormal romance with a bit of mythology. I also appreciated descriptions of all the Gifts at the end of the book. :)
The author is giving away one e-copy of The Succubus Gift. The giveaway is international and it ends on November 5. Good luck. :)