Would you defy God, for love?
In Bonds of the Earth is the new paranormal erotic romance by Janine Ashbless, and is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy.
“Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. You’d be wrong.”
Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her Book of the Watchers trilogy, In Bonds of the Earth.
Milja Patek’s bloodline were sworn to guard the fallen angel imprisoned beneath their family church, until Milja fell in love and set him free. Now she has to learn to navigate her new life as wife and plaything to Azazel.
Angel or demon, protector or tyrant, right or wrong, Everything Milja once knew has been flipped upside down and all she can do is follow her heart, even if that means waging war against Heaven and releasing the rest of the fallen.
Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews.
In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is out now!
“I will free them all.”
When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven.
As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity.
Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.
In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.
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Excerpt from In Bonds of the Earth:
I sucked in my cheeks. That was the big question, wasn’t it? Was I really going to offer to go to war against the Heavenly Host? I’d been brought up in the Church, my father had been a priest, and until this year I’d had no quarrel with it. Until it all went pear-shaped, that is, thanks to my freeing Azazel, and I’d spent days chained in a monastery cellar, been staked out as bait, and finally suffered Father Velimir’s attempt to murder me. That hostility felt pretty personal, even if I’d only been a pawn in the bigger game.
Whether I was ready to declare war on God Almighty was another matter entirely.
“What you’re up to—it’s really dangerous,” I said, swallowing my tangle of fears and doubt. “What am I supposed to do if you just don’t come back to me one day? What if they catch you again?”
That gave him pause. We came to a halt where the path emerged onto a small road lined with shops. He studied my face. “I’ve no desire to endanger you,” he said at last.
“Too late for that!”
He nodded, abashed. Sometimes he could be almost human. “Yes. But would you help me save Batraal, if you could?”
My shoulders drooped. How could I say no? I’d lived my entire twenty-three years with the horror and the guilt of Azazel’s incarceration. Did the others deserve my sympathy less?
“I guess,” I admitted.
He smiled, brushing his fingertips to my cheek. “I have one ally then.”
“For what that’s worth,” I muttered.
“More than the Hosts of Heaven.” He stooped to kiss me, sweet and dark and hot as burning sugar, and as we broke for breath I could tell from the glow in his eyes that desire was on the verge of distracting him again. His hand on my waist could so easily pull me against him if he chose, and then… “This way,” he murmured, regretfully.
I was so surprised that I let him tow me across the road without even looking at the traffic.
We stopped outside a bank. “Here.”
He waved a hand at the ATM in the wall. “This is where you get money from, yes?”
He put one hand on the screen, one on my shoulder. “Tell it how much you want.”
“I haven’t got my bank cards with me!” After all I’d been through I’d vowed never to leave the house without plastic and a toothbrush—but Azazel’s visit had taken me by surprise.
“We’re going for supper. Just tell it.”
I shook my head and tapped 100 onto the keypad, having no idea how much food cost in Greece. The machine whirred and spat out multicolored euro notes, while Azazel took advantage of the moment and pressed up against my ass.
“Okay,” I said doubtfully, taking the small wad and wriggling out of his embrace. “Whose account did this come out of?”
“Account? No one’s. I told it you are a friend. It will tell the others.”
“But the cash comes from somewhere.”
“Yes. Inside this wall.”
Yeah, but…? “Uh…that’s theft, Azazel,” I said, before belatedly reminding myself that this was someone who didn’t balk at murder.
“You don’t need your job now, do you? Take as much as you want, whenever you like.”
My mouth fell open. I had no idea how to answer that. I should have gone with: My job was more than a paycheck, Azazel. It was my career. Validation. Human interaction. My place in society. And I was so insanely lucky to get it after my screw-up in Boston! What do you think I should do with your free money—lie around all day in my perfumed boudoir, eating chocolate and waiting for you to come and pork me?
Except that his answer to that would almost certainly be an unselfconscious Yes.
“Thank you,” I mumbled, my numb lips fumbling the words. Because money. Free money. Not losing my apartment. Not starving.
He smiled, wholly satisfied.
Oh God. How do I…? It’s like being in a relationship with a genius level caveman.
“Now you want to eat?”
“I…uh…yeah.” My stomach was still doing flips, but I’d unwisely missed breakfast that morning and I did need lunch. Even if it looked like supper, thanks to the time difference. “Coffee would also be good.”
Author picture credit to David Woolfall.
Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.
Buyer beware! If you like dark romance and a hard-won Happily Ever After, try "Cover Him with Darkness," "Heart of Flame," or "The King's Viper." If you prefer challenging erotica, go for "Red Grow the Roses" or "Named and Shamed" instead. All her other books lie somewhere on the spectrum between.
Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She's also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora's Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology 'Geek Love'.
Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and - for five years of muddy feet and shouting - as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.
Her work has been described as:
"Hardcore and literate" (Madeline Moore) and "Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love." (Portia Da Costa
Janine Ashbless website:
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