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The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood #16)
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0349409218 (ISBN13: 9780349409214)
New enemies rise from the shadows in the next novel of the New York Times bestselling paranormal romance series the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Having allied themselves with the Band of Bastards, the Brotherhood is committed now more than ever to eradicating the Lessening Society. Recovering from their most recent battle against the last of the lessers, the Brotherhood comes to realize that the fight against their enemies is far from over.
Throe, Xcor’s former second in command, is using an ancient tome to summon a new army engineered by a force more dangerous and evil than the Omega.
And now the brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will be tested both at home and on the battlefield.
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Sola Morte, a.k.a. Marisol Maria Rafaela Carvalho, opened the sliding door, pulling the glass panel out of the way. Even though it was past midnight and into January, the ocean air that greeted her was seventy degrees and humid, a sweet kiss as opposed to a frigid slap. After a year of living in Miami, however, she was no longer pleasantly surprised. The kinder climate had become, like the slow pace, the palm trees, the beaches and the tides, simply part of life.
Exotic was a function of rarity, and so, as with beauty, was in the eye of the beholder.
Now, the snow-covered pines of Caldwell, New York, would be captivating and unusual.
Shaking her head, she tried to stick to the present. The “terrace” for this fifth-floor condo she shared with her grandmother was nothing more than a shelf with a railing, the sort of outdoor space added not for the functional utility and enjoyment of the owners, but so “ocean terrace” could be included in the sales description of the building’s thirty units. And come to think of it, the “ocean” part was also a fudge, as it was Biscayne Bay, not the Atlantic, she was overlooking. Still, water was water, and when you couldn’t sleep, it was more interesting than staring at your ceiling.
She’d kitted out the two-bedroom, two-bath place about three years ago, buying setups from Rooms To Go because they were priced right and someone else had done the thinking about throw pillows and color combinations. And then for her “luxury” “ocean” terrace, she’d hit Target and scored two yellow-and-white lawn chairs and a coffee table. The former worked fine. The latter had a translucent plastic top with what had turned out to be annoying waves in its surface. Nothing sat flush on it.
On that note, she parked herself in the chair on the left. “Full moon tonight.”
As her voice drifted off, she stared across the nocturnal vista. Directly in front of her, there were a number of short houses, old ones built in the forties, and then a series of crappy T-shirt shops, bodegas, and cantinas between her and the beach. To say that she and her vovó lived in Miami was similar to the terrace-false-advertising thing. They were actually on the northern knife-edge of the city limits, well away from the mansions and nightlife, although she was willing to bet that in about ten years, this down-market neighborhood was going to get a glitzy overhaul.
Fine with her. She’d have a great return on her cash investment and—
Oh, who was she kidding. They weren’t going to be here for more than another year.
She had another bolt-hole in California and one in Toronto. After they cycled through those, it was going to be somewhere else.
For her, there were few requirements for establishing a home base: cash purchase, Catholic church within blocks, and a good Latino market close by.
As a breeze rolled up and played through her newly blonded hair, she sat forward because it was hard to stay still. The repositioning didn’t last, and not just because the top railing now blocked the view of the bay. Easing back, she tapped the heel of her flip-flop, the metronome of restless energy only bearable because it was her own foot doing the up and down, and, at least theoretically, she could stop it.
To say that memory was a lane you could walk along, a path to follow, a linear progression you embarked on from start to finish, was way off base. After this past year, she had decided it was more like a piano keyboard, and the musical notes her mind played in the form of moving-picture images were a pick-and-choose determined more by the sheet music of her mourning than the well-founded logic of her decision to leave Caldwell.
For example, if she were rational about things, she would be focusing on what it had been like to come home one night and have those attackers abduct her as her grandmother roused and started to come down the stairs. Then she would recall her trip up north in the trunk of a car. Yup…if she were smart, her brain would be projecting a slide show about her taking a lit flare and stabbing it into the eye socket of the man who yanked her out of the back of that sedan. She would picture herself getting shot in the leg as she had tried to run away through the forest, and then remember the cell with the bars in the underground level of that torture camp.
She would visualize with precise detail the thug with the two-toned face who had stripped her and tried to rape her—until she had twisted his nuts and beat his head in with a heavy chain.
And finally, she would see herself dragging a dead man across the floor to try to use his fingerprint to open the way out. And when that didn’t work, she would retrace her steps as she returned to the basement and pulled that two-toned attempted rapist’s arm through the bars of a cell so she could take a kitchen knife and cut the hand off at the wrist.