Friday 24 October 2014

A Fallen Angel’s Forbidden Love: COVER HIM WITH DARKNESS

The Book

Cover Him With Darkness by Janine Ashbless
Genre: paranormal romance

About Cover Him With Darkness:
In a remote and mountainous part of Europe, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel—a prisoner. His lovely young daughter Milja, whose innocence and devotion to God he prizes over all else, trails her father into the cavern and catches a glimpse of the captive, an ethereal being clearly more than the human man he seems to be at first glance. Discovering the identity of the prisoner becomes an obsession for Milja, and she wonders if the eerily beautiful man beneath her father’s church could be Loki or Prometheus, or perhaps something else entirely.

Milja is forced to leave Montenegro for America, but never forgets the haunting secret she left behind. Janine Ashbless’s Cover Him with Darkness: A Romance is the tale of Milja’s secret love that defies not only the wishes of her father, but flouts the eternal law of heaven itself.
Source: Info in the About Cover Him With Darkness was from the press kit from the publicity team.

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Then one day I received a phone call.

“Hello, Nana Vera.” I said, cradling the flat plastic slip awkwardly between jaw and shoulder as I tried to wrestle papers back into a folder, and hearing the shutter sound effect that told me I’d accidentally taken a photo of my ear again. “What’s up?”

I was desperately hoping she wasn’t in one of her chatty moods. My boss could see me across the open-plan office and we weren’t supposed to take personal calls during work time. I’d told Vera that, several times, but she was under the impression that the rules didn’t apply to her.

“Milja. I’m so sorry, honey. I’ve got bad news.”

“What?” I dumped the files on my desk and took a proper grip on the phone. “What’s happened?”

“It’s your father. He’s been taken ill. You have to go home straightaway.”

Home. For a moment the shiny modern office around me flooded with shadows, and I smelled damp stone and church incense. On my tongue was the greasy taste of mutton, and under my feet was the bounce of wild thyme.

“Milja? Did you hear me? Are you still there?”

“Father is ill?” I repeated, faintly. Far away, I heard the screech of the mountain eagle, high and cold and cruel.

We flew out of Logan International together. Vera was old enough to be my mother, and I had no one else to take that role. It was a comfort to have her with me, though at the same time we seemed to be driving each other crazy. My cousin worried and tutted the whole way from my apartment to the airport—about the taxi being late, about the way everyone else was driving, about the cost of the last-minute tickets, about the clothes I’d chosen to travel in and the airline luggage allowance and the rudeness of people nowadays, all pushing and grousing at the terminal entrance. We elbowed our way through the press with the best of them, and trundled our wheeled suitcases down the interminable ranks of desks to our designated check-in.

That was where I discovered that I didn’t have my passport on me anymore.

The gush of panic made me feel sick. I knew I’d had it with me in the taxi, because I’d checked for the fourth or fifth time, at Vera’s insistence. I’d slipped it into my jacket pocket, I’d thought—but the pockets weren’t very deep. Now they were inarguably empty.

“What were you thinking of, you silly girl?” Vera asked, her voice rising. “One thing I ask you to do, and look what happens! We’ll miss the flight now!”

I could see the people in the queue behind us starting to stare. “Ring the cab company and ask them to get the driver to check, Nana,” I suggested desperately. “And I’ll go back and look. It might have fallen on the floor.” I wanted to get away from Vera for a moment, just so my ears could stop ringing. My cousin was five-foot-nothing when she took her spike heels off, but she had the voice projection of an opera singer.

I left my suitcase with her, waiting resentfully to one side of the desk while the next customer checked in, and I headed back down the long, long hall of the terminal, scanning the scuffed floor for my passport. The thought that we might miss our plane, that we might not be able to fly, that we might not reach my father for another day or perhaps at all—it made my throat swell and my eyes burn. Hundreds of feet passed back and forth under my frantic gaze. Knots of people clustered everywhere, waiting for their desk announcements—could they have parked their overstuffed baggage on my fallen passport without realizing? I wanted to shout at them all to get out of the way. I wanted to beg them for help.

I was nearly back at the entrance door when a man stepped in front of me, blocking my path. I sidestepped; he stepped too. I went left, but he moved to bar my way with his leather shoes and his chinos and his casual suit jacket. I lifted my gaze to glare at him, feeling unwise words burn upon my tongue.

“Milja Petak?” He looked down at the open passport in his hand, and then into my face again, and smiled. “It’s really not such a good likeness. You look like a kid in this.”

Hope slammed me in the breastbone. “Where did you get that?” I blurted, snatching it out of his hand.

“Sure, you’re welcome. It was on the floor just over there.” He gestured toward the doors. He had a square face and square shoulders: sandy-blondish hair, sandy-blondish eyebrows, pale eyes.

Cute, said my hindbrain.

“You should have handed it in!” I snapped, which wasn’t fair at all because I hadn’t gone to the information counter myself. But I was too wound up and my mouth was running well ahead of my brain. I double-checked that it really, truly was my passport photo there on the back page, relief making my temples pound.

“Sorry,” he said mildly. He had a slightly non-American accent.

“Right,” I huffed.

“You okay, then?”

I glowered at him, too addled to think straight. His mouth twisted at one side, suggesting concern. “Okay,” I said, since nothing else came to mind except a feeling I should thank him, and I didn’t want to thank him or anyone because I was mad as hell. “Okay, then.”

Then I turned on my heel and stalked back to Vera, my head held high.

The Buzz
“Calling Cover Him with Darkness a romance is like calling a Lamborghini a cute little car. Janine Ashbless has broken every unwritten rule of writing romance and makes it work most spectacularly—it’s dark and gritty and so beautifully written that the words are pure poetry.”
—Kate Douglas, author of the Wolf Tales series

“Janine Ashbless showed me that erotica can be literature.”
—Violet Blue, editor of Sweet Love and Lips Like Sugar

Meet The Author

About Janine Ashbless:
Janine Ashbless is a British author of erotica and hot romantic adventure. Janine likes best to write paranormal- and dark-fantasy-themed fiction and has a lifelong interest in mythology, folklore and history.

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