Hi Kristen and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Evernight!
EVERNIGHT marks my fifth book in the Darkest London series. At this point, I’ve written enough of these books to know that each book as a certain feeling attached to them for me. EVERNIGHT represents me having fun. I had fun writing this book because the characters were having fun.
There are so many scenes that I love in EVERNIGHT, and I am terrible at making lists of my favorites. So I’m going to share one of them. The reason I picked this scene is because it represents a dramatic turn in Will and Holly’s relationship.
Until this point, Will has been the protector, using his physical strength to keep Holly safe. While Holly as been the brains of the operation. Now, it is up to Holly to get them information they need by using her physical prowess. And Will must use his wits to go forward with what they learn.
Also? I love Will’s helpless, irate rant, and Holly’s cool, calm demeanor –which only addles Will that much more.
In which Holly Evernight must win a boxing match…of sorts. 😉
Helplessness was an emotion Will detested. He’d only felt it a few times, and each had been during the worst moments of his life. Now it gripped him again. His teeth snapped together, his fangs growing so long they pressed over his bottom lip.
Harlon led them into a back room. “Pick two weapons on the table. Two only. You’ve twenty minutes ‘afore the next bout.” He stopped as if remembering some pertinent information. “You’ll be fighting a raptor.”
Will innards pitched. A sodding raptor? Oh, fuck no.
Evernight, so very small before the hulking guard, nodded briskly, then moved to a quiet corner as if seeking some privacy.
Will followed. “You cannot do this,” he growled, his words garbled by fangs and fear. How many times must he repeat this before she heeded, the blasted woman.
Evernight did not look up from her task. “Your lack of confidence in me is certainly not helping with morale.” She reached under her voluminous skirts and began to wriggle about, distracting him with the amount of shapely leg she revealed.
His attention stayed on her searching hand. What on this dark, hateful earth? Gritting his teeth, he tried not to shout. “You are human.” It was a shout anyway, and it came out far too fearful.
The cage of her bustle rattled to the floor, deflating her skirts. “I am aware.”
“And yet you intend to fight a raptor!” Had she lost all sense? A raptor would tear her open in a heartbeat.
Evernight drew a switchblade from her reticule and flicked it open. The blade was shockingly large and lethal. “Must we go over this yet again? It is becoming tedious.”
“When you insist on ignoring common sense, then yes,” he said, torn between wanting to strangle her and watching as she proceeded to hack away at her skirts, cutting them off at her knees.
Red satin pooled at her feet. Hells bells but her legs were lovely. He wanted to memorize the exact shape of them with his tongue.
“I am not merely a human, Thorne. I am an elemental. Do not underestimate me.”
“An elemental who cannot heal as a demon can. Satan’s balls, woman, one good slice of a raptor’s claws and you’ll be dead!” Bile rushed up his throat as he said the words, and he swallowed with difficulty.
Dainty as a society miss, she stepped out of the remnants of her ruined gown. Only then did she deign to look his way. “You know as well as I that we cannot back out now. So cease berating me and give me your waistcoat.”
His mouth hung open for a moment. Insufferable woman. He hated that she was in the right. Hated that this might very well be the last moment he saw her whole and unharmed. Since he could not give into that particular fear, he addressed the next most pressing question. “My waistcoat? Why?” He was already shrugging off his jacket and going at his buttons.
Evernight pulled a few hairpins out of her coiffure and re-secured them, tucking in wayward inky strands until every hair was severely secured. At least she’d taken note of what a good target free-hanging hair made.
“I do not want to worry about my bosom popping free on top of everything else.”
In the act of handing her his waistcoat, he nearly dropped it. His fist clenched. “Good point,” was all he got out, for now he had that image in his head to contend with as well, thank you, Miss Evernight.
She took it from him and finished dressing with brusque efficiency.
Hell, she ought to look ridiculous, with her hacked-off skirts hanging limply around her knees, exposing her black-striped silk stockings and little boots, and wearing a man’s waistcoat. The garment did not fit her perfectly. It hung too loose at her waist and strained over her breasts, but it covered the sweet swells of them admirably.
Yes, she ought to look a fright. Instead she stirred his blood. With the determined tilt of her head, her steeled spine, she was a warrior. And she was a human.
“Right then,” she said crisply. “Weapons.”
Weary, Will leaned against the wall and simply watched her. His heart was a leaden weight against his ribs as she marched over to the table that held a selection of gruesome weaponry.
Lips pursed as if she were shopping at Harrods, Evernight scanned the selection. She picked up a pair of metal gauntlets first. They were huge, meant for a large man, and crafted of steel. He was about to protest the inane choice when she slipped them on.
As if alive, the metal suddenly undulated, gliding over her hands and forearms, shrinking and stretching, fitting itself to her shape. When the gauntlets had reached her upper arms, they suddenly shimmered and then hardened once more. A perfect fit.
Evernight peered at him from over her slim shoulder, and a quiet smile danced around her lips. Then she made a fist. Instantly four blades shot out from her knuckles. Claws.
Will thought he might be in love.
“And your next choice?” His voice was dry, rough as sand. She only had one more. Two weapons. Two bloody weapons to defend herself against an immortal. The room seemed to sway.
Evernight’s thin, pale hand hovered over the rows of battle axes, maces, swords, and blades. She stopped above a Scottish broadsword that had to be over four feet long and weigh at least five pounds. She hefted it high, her slim arms straining against the weight. Then glanced at him.
Will raised one brow. Truly?
Her black brow lifted in turn. Truly.
And then, still watching him, she took hold of the sword and snapped it in half as if it was nothing more than a dry twig. Like the gauntlets, the halves appeared to come alive. Writhing like snakes, they coiled around her arms and settled in. With that done, she turned and faced the thug looming at the door. “I’m ready.”
She was going. Leaving him. Will stirred out of his self-imposed pout and leapt forward, catching her by the shoulders. She gaped up at him as he spun her around.
“What now?” Her tone was short.
He couldn’t speak. Emotion, a strange mix of panic and something odd that squeezed his chest with icy hands, rooted him to the spot. He could only grip her fragile shoulders far too tightly and stare. Even in the dank light, her skin was luminous, the bones beneath it delicately wrought and fine. Wide eyes of the deepest blue gazed up at him expectantly. And he could not say a bloody thing.
His chest heaved, his fingers turning cold. Now was not the time to lose his sanity. But he could not stave off the dark tendrils of dread that bled into his sight.
“Thorne.” Her voice came at him as though through thick cotton. “I have to go now.”
Go. She had to go.
He took a shuddering breath. Calm. Be calm. Don’t show fear. Slowly the buzzing in his ears quieted, and his vision cleared. Evernight was still before him. So lovely. Her lips were petal pink. She smelled of mechanical things and fresh blood and the essence of her. A scent that would never be replicated. Were it gone, it would stay gone.
“This fight has to end before it begins,” he barked out. “Make every hit count.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Raptors love blood almost as much as sanguis do. Expect her to make you bleed.” Hell. Fucking Hell. “She’ll want to draw the fight out. You,” he gave her an abortive shake, “don’t.”
“I know, Thorne.” Her exasperation was clear.
His mouth worked, words caught in his throat. She was in danger because of him, and he had to let her go. So he said the only thing he could think of.
To find out what happens next, you’ll have to read EVERNIGHT!
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Once the night comes . . .
Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him-until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.
…love must cast aside the shadows
Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable-and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.
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About Kristen Callihan
Kristen Callihan is a child of the eighties, which means she’s worn neon skirts, black lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A lifelong daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog – the fish can fend for themselves.