Hi everyone!  We're back this week, with the conclusion of the opening chapter in Doomed to Torment, my October 17th release.

Miss the first part?  Read it Here

Doomed to Torment
Inherited Damnation, Book VI

Isolde McLaine left Hatherly Hall and its darkly handsome owner Angus Shaw to escape her incubus father's curse. But when word reaches her that Angus is selling the piece of British history, she returns to talk sense into him. Little does she realized that returning to England will throw her into her sire's vile world and leave her fighting not just her heart and the danger of falling in love but battling to save Angus's son's life.

For three and a half months, Angus has done his best to put Isolde and the one unforgettable kiss they shared behind him. Yet when she returns, scolding him for selling his deceased wife's estate, he's sharply reminded of the passion she awakens inside him. Yet as Isolde pushes for him to leave his son's legacy intact, their battle of wills provokes far more than just desire. His son's nightmares have returned. And Isolde triggered the hellish dreams.

Torn between protecting his child and the love he feels for Isolde, Angus must find the strength to trust in Isolde before her demonic sire claims his son.


At the sound of the voice he couldn’t forget, Angus snapped his head up. His gaze locked on the doorway, and for a moment, his lungs refused to function.


With the heavy thump of his heart, every particle of his being honed in on her presence. Long platinum hair hung from a loose ponytail that she somehow managed to make elegant, down past her waist, to peek out beneath her elbow and brush the middle of a toned thigh. Contrary to the usual dark blue uniform dress she nearly always wore, she was dressed in a pair of white riding trousers that accentuated the muscling of her lithe legs even more. He dragged his gaze up to her face, taking her in bit by breathtaking bit, until her pale silver eyes locked with his.

At the glimmer of anger in those unusual depths, he pursed his lips and dipped his hand back into the crate in front of him. “Isolde. I believe you quit. It’s none of your concern.”

“Don’t give me that tripe, Angus. You know very well why I quit.” She pushed off the wall and approached. The toes of her stylish knee-high boots crept into his peripheral vision. “Why are you doing this?”

The better question was why did she care? She’d quit. What he did with the old relics and antiquities shouldn’t concern her. But too many years of friendship refused to let him fall back on the defensive response. He rocked into his heels and sighed as he shot her an annoyed look. “In case it escapes you, I wouldn’t be sorting through these things if I still had a House Manager. I don’t have the time to manage Hatherly, Isolde. You know this.”

She scoffed, and her penetrating gaze narrowed a sliver more. “That’s an excuse. You could make the time. Instead, you’re signing over Thomas’s heritage to the preservation society.”

He reached into the crate and pulled out a brass vase, then set it aside, before reaching in once again. “He’s my son. I know what’s in his best interests.”

“And you think this is?”

“Thomas is going to Aysgarth in the fall, Isolde.” Unable to meet her accusatory glare, he focused on straightening a stack of old photographs. “He needs stability and discipline.” Not to mention that sending him off to school would keep him safe. There’d be someone constantly present to watch over him—a job Isolde had assumed instinctually. Without her…

An unexpected hollowness opened behind his ribs. Nothing had been the same without her, much as he hated to admit it. Hatherly was cold and empty. He no longer enjoyed the monotonous days spent in his office with the accounts while he waited for her to interrupt his concentration. And Thomas didn’t laugh like he used to. They all missed Isolde.

If he hadn’t kissed her, she’d still be here.

“Boarding school? You really have lost all the sense God gave you, Angus Shaw.” She blew out a breath that stirred the loose tendrils of hair framing her face. Kneeling at his side, she set a dainty hand on his shoulder. “Thomas has all that right here. He loves day school at Greystones, and he loves Hatherly. This is all he has left of his mother. You don’t have the right to take it away from him.”

Oh he had the right. Protecting Thomas fell under the general umbrella of fatherhood. Even if that meant burying the memory of Camille so far Thomas would never stumble across her again. The nightmares after her death were more than enough motivation.

He shook his head, returning to the task of sifting through the oversized crate that had been packed away shortly after Camille’s death. Fighting would accomplish nothing. He’d made up his mind, knew what was best for Thomas, and he wasn’t about to stay in this gloomy place any longer than he absolutely must.

“You are the most stubborn man, I swear.” Isolde muttered as she dipped a hand into the wooden crate.

“Instead of chastising me, why don’t you help me cart all this to the incinerator? It’s all trash.” He picked up the crate and urged it into her hands.

To his consternation, as she accepted the wooden box, her gaze dipped inside, and her delicate mouth pursed. Shooting him a scowl, she set it down in front of her. “This isn’t trash—these are photographs.” Reaching in, she pulled out a faded picture and cocked her head thoughtfully. “Is this Thomas?”

As Angus leaned over Isolde’s shoulder, the scent of wild heather filled his nose. His gaze dipped to the elegant line of her neck, locking on the silken skin her pulled-back hair revealed. Temptation rose like a swift fist to the gut. How many nights had he lain in bed, aroused to the point of painful, reliving the brief moment when his lips had grazed that tender flesh? She had been so sweet. So soft and pliant.

Just one more kiss. One more touch of her lips before she realized her flight across an ocean had been pointless and she left again. One more chance to become lost in feeling that he couldn’t cast aside.

Against his will, his head dipped closer. His breath stirred the wisps of platinum that refused to be constrained by her ponytail.

Choking down a groan, he jerked his attention to the photograph she held in her hand. As he steered his mind away from the treacherous path and focused on the toddler in the photo, a smile pulled at the corner of his mouth. “Yes. He just turned three. We were celebrating at the park.”

“And that’s Camille?” She tapped a woman wearing sunglasses in the background.

“Yes,” he answered tightly.

“Oh, Angus.” She twisted to look up at him. “You should keep these things. I don’t think I’ve seen a single photograph of Camille since I’ve been here. Do you know how much I would give for a picture of my mother?”

Indeed he did. Isolde’s own loss at an early age had helped her to bond with Thomas. But she wasn’t Thomas, and she hadn’t been here for the nightmares. Hadn’t suffered through night after night of his being too terrified to sleep. Unlike her, Thomas couldn’t cope with the memory of his mother.

And Angus couldn’t cope with reliving the helplessness that came with his son’s terror all over again.

He abruptly stood. “I have an appointment with the chairman of the preservation society. Take that to the incinerator, please. If you care to join us for dinner, Isolde, your company would be welcome.”

Without giving her time to respond, he strode from the room. He had promised to keep Camille safe and failed. No matter how badly Isolde drove him to distraction, he would not fail to protect his son.


Available Tomorrow at The Wild Rose Press!


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