Hi Donna and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Torched!
Please share your favorite scene from Torched
My favorite scene from TORCHED is in chapter 27
The scene is my favorite because it shows the connection Eilish and Ulrik had before either of then realized it. It showed the depth of their growing emotion and just what they would do to get back to the other.
Something was very, very wrong. Eilish looked around in confusion. She was no longer in the bedroom, nor were Mikkel or the two women with her.
In fact, Eilish had no idea where she was. Everything was hazy, as if she’d stepped into the remnants of a fire. Or mist.
It clung to her, wrapping around her as if it were alive. She was able to breathe freely without choking, so maybe it wasn’t smoke. But she’d never seen mist move like this. It made nary a sound, but it was so dense, she couldn’t see through it. Which meant that anything could be out there waiting for her.
She slowly turned in a circle. The last thing she remembered was letting her anger rise up. Always before, she’d kept her rage in check because she could feel how it changed her magic. Ulrik had said he could sense the darkness around her edges. It was that darkness she let in.
Perhaps she should be worried about what she’d done to Mikkel and those women, but she couldn’t drudge up even the tiniest thread of concern. They’d wanted to hurt her. Of that, she was certain.
She looked down, but the mist was wrapped around her legs, preventing her from seeing her feet, much less the ground. Unease began to grow, and soon, it festered into fear.
Her thoughts focused on Ulrik. No doubt he’d stalk through the mist, demanding that whatever was out there show itself. Then Ulrik would shift into his dragon.
What a glorious sight he’d been in his true form. When she followed Nikolai and Esther from the village, she’d never expected to see Ulrik as a dragon. But she hadn’t been able to look away.
He’d swooped down from the night sky with a ferocity that had made her take a step back. Moonlight had reflected off his silver scales that were darker on the back of his neck. His sheer size had made her heart skip a beat. It didn’t matter that Nikolai was just as large because she only had eyes for Ulrik.
He’d moved with such speed and grace that she forgot he was in the air. But his massive wings were never a hindrance. He used them as weapons, just as he did his body and long tail.
She couldn’t remember what Nikolai looked like, but she could describe Ulrik down to the last detail. His large dragon head held big, obsidian eyes that saw everything. He had long, muscular limbs with four closely mounted digits on each foot that ended in extremely long talons. His body was elegant and powerful. There was a row of dark silver spikes that ran from the base of his skull down his back to the tip of his tail.
All in all, he was breathtaking. Utterly spectacular.
And she wished he were with her. How silly she was to have fallen for Ulrik. Not just because he was broken or that he couldn’t trust. But because he’d never be able to care about anything, which meant he could never return her love.
She heard her name like a whisper, as if the mist tried to prevent the sound from reaching her. Yet there was no denying the voice. It was Ulrik.
Most likely, it was a figment of her imagination. Ulrik had other things to worry about than her. She was just a pawn he wanted to use in his bid to take down Constantine.
That train of thought brought a rush of anger that she tried to squash. But she was unsuccessful. It was Mikkel’s fault. He’d made her lose control. And for what? Who were those women? What had they wanted with her?
Whatever they sought, it wasn’t good. All she had to do was look in their eyes to know that. That had prompted her to defend herself. If only she knew what she’d done. Or was it Mikkel that had put her here?
She shook her head as she tried to look through the mist. Mikkel was giving her to the women. If he’d put her here, he would be her taunting her before handing her over. The fact that no one else was around meant either she was dreaming, or she’d done this to herself.
“Eilish . . . come back to me.”
She stilled when she heard Ulrik’s voice again. Her first thought was that it was some kind of trick. But what if it weren’t? What if it really was Ulrik trying to find her?
Even if it wasn’t, she didn’t want to be in this place anymore. She was ready to return to her world, find Mikkel and those two women, and make sure none of them came after her again.
The darkness within her seemed to purr at her thoughts. It urged her to kill them, to remove anyone who dared to stand in her way.
The power that darkness gave her was captivating. It enticed, it seduced. And she wanted to give in to it.
Then she recalled what Ulrik had said about her being strong enough to withstand the darkness. How she needed to cling to the pure Druid magic that was within her. Somehow, remembering those words was all she needed to resist the lure of the darkness.
But it wasn’t finished with her yet. The mist began to move faster. It tightened its grip around her ankles and legs. She batted at it when it tried to wrap around her arms, but it did little good.
All too soon, it had her ensnared in its sturdy grip. No matter how hard she fought, she couldn’t break free. Almost instantly, she began to get irate. There was so much for her to be angry about. Patrick lying to her, not being able to find her mother, Mikkel using her, and the women trying to take her.
Instead of letting her rage loose, she channeled her frustration into something else—Ulrik. Specifically, how she felt when she was with him.
The darkness was gradually pushed back to the fringes where it belonged, and her magic was able to rise. It filled every bone and muscle, every pore and fiber. Her body hummed with it.
And that’s when she unleashed it.
She threw back her head and screamed. The mist’s hold evaporated, and it shrank back from her as if in fear. But Eilish wasn’t going to wait around to find out what its next move might be. She was leaving.
Her thoughts centered on Graves, but her mind kept conjuring Ulrik. All the while, she could feel the mist coming back for her.
She pulled up more magic. If she were going to get out, it was now or never.
Ulrik teleported back to his cottage with the new information on Eilish’s family. If he were going to locate her, he had to plan out his next moves. It meant putting things on hold with Con, but once Ulrik found Eilish, he’d most likely find his uncle, as well.
And it was time to pull that particular spike in his side out once and for all.
Ulrik had played his part with Mikkel for too long. Since his uncle didn’t know when to give up, Ulrik would have to show him.
He was walking toward his desk when he heard a crash from within his bedroom. Quickly changing course, Ulrik made his way to the closed door. He listened, his enhanced hearing picking up the sounds of ragged breathing.
With his magic at the ready, he threw open the door and spotted someone squatting on the floor. When wild green-gold eyes met his, he took a step toward Eilish, only to have her hurl magic at him.
He raised his arm to block it, but her magic fell short before even reaching him. She used her hands to help her turn in a circle, her eyes darting about in a crazed fashion. Blood ran from her nose, and he could feel her magic fading.
In two strides, he was before her, going down on his knees to come to eye level with her. He gently grasped her shoulders. “Eilish.”
Her gaze jerked to him. She searched his face before the wildness faded and a frown formed. “Ulrik?”
“Aye, lass. It’s me. I’m here.”
“Am I back?” she asked, her voice cracking.
He pulled her against him, holding her tightly. “You’re back. You’re safe.”
She sagged against him. When he looked down, he saw that she’d fallen unconscious. She needed her magic recharged. He didn’t know why she’d come to him instead of a place that could give her strength, but he knew what he had to do.
Ulrik gathered her in his arms, shifting her so that he could touch his cuff as he thought of the Dooncarton standing stones. They were filled with magic and would help to recharge her.
Once inside the stone circle, he laid Eilish on the grass so that her palms were touching the ground. He knew he should leave, but he couldn’t. He smoothed her hair away from her face that was turned toward him.
“What happened to you? Where did you go? And how did you get back?” he whispered before cleaning the blood off her face with the hem of his shirt.
He stayed sitting beside her as the minutes turned to hours while the magic pulsed around them before moving into Eilish. Her magic recharged, and she grew stronger, but she remained unconscious.
It wasn’t until he felt how cold her skin was that he realized the temperatures had dropped. He lifted her, setting her on his lap to give her his warmth. He wasn’t keen on leaving until she’d woken in case she needed more magic.
The quiet of the area soothed him, but it was the magic that eased his soul. It calmed him. Or perhaps it was knowing Eilish was safe.
Not that he wanted to go down that particular road and discover why he’d been so upset by her disappearance. That was a rocky path that would open old wounds he’d just as soon leave untouched.
The dark skies gradually turned gray. While sitting amidst the stones with Eilish in his arms, Ulrik watched the sun rise. The clouds were a magnificent pink and red as the big, orange ball ascended into the sky, chasing away the night.
He pulled his gaze away from the sunrise and looked down to find Eilish’s eyes open. Her green-gold orbs were softened by sleep. She reached up and touched his face, a grin lifting her lips.
“Ready to return home?” he asked.
She gave a nod.
Ulrik touched his cuff. In the next second, they were sitting on the floor of his cottage.
Though he longed to keep holding her, Ulrik knew he had to get her into clean clothes and get some food inside her. Still, he held her for a few more minutes.
“Hungry?” he asked.
He kissed her forehead and climbed to his feet with her in his arms. “How about a soak in the tub while I get food?”
As he walked toward the bathroom, he used his magic so that the tub was already filled with hot water. Once inside, he set her down, not fully releasing her until she was steady on her feet.
“Take your time,” he told her.
A flash of concern appeared on her face. Ulrik put a finger beneath her chin and turned her head to him. “No one can harm you here.”
“Mikkel got past my defenses.”
Rage burned within Ulrik. It was just as he’d guessed. Mikkel had gotten to Eilish. He should’ve never left her. If he hadn’t, he’d have been there to face his uncle.
“No one is getting through mine,” Ulrik promised.
She nodded. “Thank you.”
He released her and turned to give her privacy. At the door, he looked back after she’d removed her shirt and saw deep, red welts on her arms and back.
Whoever had hurt her was going to pay.
Copyright © 2018 by Donna Grant in Torched and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Print copy of TORCHED: A Dragon Romance (Dark Kings) by Donna Grant
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you love redemption stories?
The King of Silvers. Cunning, perceptive, resourceful. Determined. Banished from Dreagan eons ago because of a betrayal that shattered his entire existence, his sole focus in life is to exact revenge against the Dragon Kings. A formidable fighter with centuries of rage on his side, Ulrik will stop at nothing to take down those who exiled him.
He has been alone, trusting no one for thousands of years. Until she walks into his life. He should not yearn for her, but there is no stopping the fiercely burning attraction. When he’s with her, he isn’t thinking of war or revenge. He only thinks of her, craves her. Burns for her. But soon he will be forced to choose: Will he continue on his course of destruction or will he be able to set aside his vengeance to save the woman who risked everything for him.
Meet the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She has written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas. Visit donnagrant.com