THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.
She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.
As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
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Casey leaned back in her chair and narrowed her gaze, trying to look at him objectively and not as the sex symbol she’d been fantasizing about earlier. “You know, I’m starting to think something about you just isn’t right. What did happen to you? Someone attacked you in that parking lot, didn’t they? You weren’t hit by a car. No matter how many times I’ve tried to tell myself that’s all that happened, I know it’s not. I think it’s about time you were honest with me.”
Theron clasped her arm on the table before she even saw him move, turned her palm up, slid his fingers down the center of her hand and hooked his pinky around her thumb, pinning her hand with ease. Slowly, he circled his index finger over the center of her palm, down to the heel of her hand, lower, until electricity burned along her wrist. Sparks shot straight to her spine and a warm, almost liquid sensation rushed through her entire body.
Her breathing slowed. The pupils of his eyes grew until she found herself staring into pools of obsidian dark as night. And suddenly she had trouble remembering just what it was she’d gotten so worked up over only a moment before. Though she knew there was something. Some reason. Hanging on the edge of her subconscious. Why couldn’t she reach it?
But the thought was overridden by the way he was touching her. So . . . sinfully delicious and . . . oddly peaceful.
“Listen carefully,” he said slowly. “I was walking across the parking lot when you turned the corner in your car. It was dark. You were tired. You didn’t see me until it was too late. Your car hit me. You brought me here because you were worried about me and felt guilty. I’m not familiar with American hospitals and didn’t want to go to one if I didn’t have to. You helped me heal. You did a good thing.”
Yeah, that had to be the way it happened. Casey’s heart rate slowed as she relaxed further into his gentle caress. He had the softest fingers. His hands were warm and
tantalizing. She couldn’t help but imagine those strokes running over her shoulders, down to her abdomen and finally up to her breasts.
“You want to continue to help me,” he said in an even softer voice. One that sounded like velvet and sandpaper all at the same time and ignited a rush of hormones deep
in her body. “Anything I need.”
Of course she needed to help him. His injuries had been her fault. But . . . anything? Her cheeks warmed. Visions of his naked body laid out like an offering on her white comforter rushed through her mind again.
And that’s when she saw the wicked smile curling one side of his mouth, almost as if he could read her thoughts.
“Yes, meli,” he whispered. “Anything I want, you will do for me.”
Heat snaked through her abdomen, dripped lower until she felt the unmistakable wetness of her arousal. And then he broke the contact with her hand as quickly as he’d grasped it.
She blinked several times. Felt oddly lightheaded.
Though he went back to his meal, her skin tingled as if he were still caressing her wrist. And something unfurled inside her then, some hidden part of her that had been waiting. Waiting for . . . this moment her whole life.
“Your soup is getting cold, meli.”
Casey tore her gaze from his rugged good looks and glanced down at her bowl. Riiiiight. Dinner. That’s what she was supposed to be focusing on. Not on him and some strange feeling that didn’t make a lick of sense.
Slowly, because her hand was trembling, she lifted her spoon and took a small bite. But didn’t taste a thing. Because what she suddenly wanted on her tongue wouldn’t come close to fitting on a spoon.
At a glance
Eternal Guardians, Book 1
April 27, 2010
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#1 Kindle Romance Bestseller – 2010
“Gripping, dangerous, and sinfully sexy, MARKED is a top-notch read! Elisabeth Naughton combines dynamic dialogue and sizzling romance with a wicked cool world. Do NOT miss this series!”
—NY Times Bestselling Author Larissa Ione
“The sensuality of Sherrilyn Kenyon and the intensity of Patricia Briggs. Naughton’s foray into paranormals is deep, dark and sexy as hell.”
—NY Times Bestselling Author Angie Fox
“Naughton has a tremendous skill with steamy passion, dynamic characterization—especially of strong, multifaceted women whose friendships and family relationships play a crucial part in the story—and thrilling action.”
“Elisabeth Naughton’s MARKED gives an incredibly fresh spin on Greek Mythology that is full of humor, action, passion and a storyline that keeps you from putting down the book.”
“Elisabeth Naughton’s created a fascinating, action-packed and romantic world filled with heroes (and not just the obvious ones) and villains … A story that’s guaranteed to capture your attention makes MARKED a can’t-miss read.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“Elisabeth Naughton’s latest release, Marked—the first installment in her Eternal Guardians saga—is bound to strike paranormal fantasy gold. …Naughton adeptly intertwined the Greek mythology-fueled storyline with virtually nonstop action, fantastical adventure and humorous pop culture references to create a read that I not only devoured but almost instantly found myself wanting more. …As far as literary guilty pleasures go, Marked ranks right up there with some of the best paranormal romance I’ve ever read.”
—Paul Goat Allen, The BN Community Blog
“Naughton’s pantheon is an interesting and inventive take of Greek and Roman mythology intermeshed with paranormal elements of her own devising. Her forte appears to be wrangling every drop of romance possible and laying it out for the reader to consume voraciously. Thrillingly romantic, heart-rending and satisfying…all in one breath.”
“Heavily flavored with Greek mythology characters, this story is a wild ride on the darker side. Elisabeth Naughton’s writing style lets the tale flow smoothly and never insults the intelligence of the reader. This author has definitely caught my attention.”
About the series
The Eternal Guardians Series is centered around seven warriors who protect their realm from threats of
The Eternal Guardians Series is centered around seven warriors who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
Book one, MARKED, is Theron’s story. Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
Book two, ENTWINED, is Zander’s story. The most feared of all the Eternal Guardians. It’s rumored he can’t be killed, and he always fights like he has nothing to lose. But as a descendant of the famed hero Achilles, he’s got to have a vulnerability… somewhere.
Book three, TEMPTED, is Demetrius’s story. He’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.
Book four, ENRAPTURED, is Orpheus’s story. To most he’s an enigma, a devil-may-care rogue who does whatever he pleases whenever he wants. Now this loose cannon is part of the Eternal Guardians—elite warriors assigned to protect the human realm—whether he likes it or not.
Book five, ENSLAVED, is Gryphon’s story. Honorable, loyal, dependable…tainted. He was the ultimate warrior before imprisonment in the Underworld changed him in ways he can’t ignore.
Book six, BOUND, is Titus’s story. To most his gift seems like a blessing, but for him it’s a curse the other Eternal Guardian seek to exploit. One he would gladly trade for the chance to be free…even to the detriment of the world he’s bound to protect.
Book seven, TWISTED, is Nick’s story. Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.
Book eight, RAVAGED, and a 1001 Dark Nights novella, is Ari’s story. Once an Eternal Guardian, now he’s nothing but a rogue mercenary with one singular focus: revenge.
Book nine, AWAKENED is Damon’s story. For twenty-five years he’s served as a plaything for the gods. With no memory of his past, he has no way of knowing if this is his ultimate fate, but he senses there has to be more to life.
Book ten, UNCHAINED, and a 1001 Dark Nights novella, is Prometheus’s story. One of the keenest Titans to ever walk the earth. Until, that is, his weakness for the human race resulted in his imprisonment.
If you love mythology, action, adventure, suspense and romance, this is the series for you.