Nights honor, p.1
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       Night's Honor, p.1

         Part #7 of Elder Races series by Thea Harrison
 
Night's Honor


  PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF THE ELDER RACES

  Kinked

  “Sexy and romantic and refreshingly different.”

  —Dear Author

  “Harrison really brings the heat and the spice in this one.”

  —Vampire Book Club

  “If you enjoy an action-packed, suspenseful, humorous and sizzling paranormal romance about addictive couples who literally argue their way into love, then look no further than Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series and prepare for the ride of your life.”

  —Smexy Books

  “One of my favorites in the Elder Races series. The plot was fantastic, so imaginative and heartbreaking and wonderful. Harrison continues to impress me more and more with every book. I can’t wait until the next one!”

  —BookPushers

  Lord’s Fall

  “Harrison proves that chemistry can get even hotter in life after Happily Ever After. The Elder Races series is so much more than your average paranormal romance . . . Lord’s Fall is another example of interwoven mythology, relationship challenges and friendships that create a wonderfully rich and satisfying story.”

  —All Things Urban Fantasy

  “Overall I was very pleased with my return to the Pia and Dragos story line. They will forever be my favorite couple in the Elder Races. This series offers its readers magic, awesome action scenes [and] wonderfully fleshed-out characters while still focusing [on] a beautifully told ongoing love story.”

  —Fiction Vixen

  “Truly, this is one of Harrison’s most delicious and addictive books to date. The Elder Races series just keeps getting better and better.”

  —Dark Faerie Tales

  “Lord’s Fall is what happens after the happily ever after, and what Pia and Dragos experience only makes their characters come to life. Thea Harrison delivers an epic story of myth, mayhem and love that is sure to keep readers satisfied and breathing fire!”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “Let the rejoicing begin! Pia and Dragos are back . . . In no time at all Harrison has vaulted to the top of the paranormal romance genre by showcasing her stunning storytelling ability.”

  —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

  Oracle’s Moon

  “Grace’s human limitations are pushed to the edge as she learns to wield her new powers. Series fans and new readers alike will cheer her on.”

  —Publishers Weekly

  “Harrison’s flair for developing rich and well-rounded characters anchors the thrilling action and intense emotions found within her books. Harrison provides proof positive she is fast becoming a major star of paranormal romance!”

  —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

  “A delightful romantic urban fantasy . . . The key to this excellent entry and the fabulous predecessors is [that] the Harrison mythos of humans living alongside seven otherworldly species comes across as real.”

  —Alternative Worlds

  Serpent’s Kiss

  “It’s a huge boon to readers that Harrison’s first three Elder Races novels are being released in quick succession, ensuring the action and world-building never slow down . . . With a perfect blend of romance, action and drama, Harrison continues to prove she is fast becoming a name synonymous with excellence!”

  —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

  “A story charged with deep emotion and anchored by characters I do not want to forget . . . I am hooked on the amazing world of the Elder Races.”

  —Romance Novel News

  “Thea Harrison’s Elder Races novels are my current addiction . . . Serpent’s Kiss is a bright spot in an already wonderful series . . . I am continually impressed with the attention Harrison lavishes on her characters’ relationships, going beyond destiny or chemistry to write pairings that complement and strengthen one another.”

  —All Things Urban Fantasy

  “The author deftly weaves a fantastical romance that spans generations . . . A delightful read with intriguing potential for many more highly anticipated tales.”

  —Night Owl Reviews

  Storm’s Heart

  “Vividly sensual love scenes and fast-moving action sequences are the main reason I love this paranormal series. Each and every character brings Storm’s Heart to life . . . Ms. Harrison takes us once again into an intriguing tale of love and suspense.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “[Harrison’s] world-building has simply grown, become richer, more dynamic, more unique and altogether fantastic.”

  —Romance Books Forum

  “Thea Harrison is a masterful new voice in paranormal romance. Her world-building skills are phenomenal. And Storm’s Heart is proof . . . It is a very sexy tale with a hint of action and adventure and highly memorable characters.”

  —Romance Novel News

  Dragon Bound

  “Black Dagger Brotherhood readers will love [this]! Dragon Bound has it all: a smart heroine, a sexy alpha hero and a dark, compelling world. I’m hooked!”

  —J. R. Ward, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  “I absolutely loved Dragon Bound! Once I started reading, I was mesmerized to the very last page. Thea Harrison is a master storyteller, and she transported me to a fascinating world I want to visit again and again. It’s a fabulous, exciting read that paranormal romance readers will love.”

  —Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  “I loved this book so much, I didn’t want it to end. Smoldering sensuality, fascinating characters and an intriguing world—Dragon Bound kept me glued to the pages. Thea Harrison has a new fan in me!”

  —Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author

  “Thea Harrison has created a truly original urban fantasy romance . . . When the shape-shifting dragon locks horns with his very special heroine, sparks fly that any reader will enjoy. Buy yourself an extra-large cappuccino, sit back and enjoy the decadent fun!”

  —Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author

  “Thea Harrison is definitely an author to watch. Sexy and action-packed, Dragon Bound features a strong, likable heroine, a white-hot luscious hero and an original and intriguing world that swallowed me whole. This novel held me transfixed from beginning to end!”

  —Anya Bast, New York Times bestselling author

  “Full of tense action, toe-curling love scenes and intriguing characters that will stay with you long after the story is over. All that is wrapped inside a colorful, compelling world with magic so real, the reader can feel it. Thea Harrison is a fantastic new talent who will soon be taking the world of paranormal romance by storm.”

  —Shannon K. Butcher, national bestselling author

  “Fun, feral and fiercely exciting—I can’t get enough! Thea Harrison supplies deliciously addictive paranormal romance, and I’m already jonesing for the next hit.”

  —Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author

  “This is an outstanding blend of romantic suspense and urban fantasy with great storytelling and world-building, extremely sensuous scenes that move the story arc along and characters readers will be reluctant to leave.”

  —Booklist (starred review)

  “Utilizing vivid characterization, edge-of-your-seat danger and an intriguing alternate reality, Harrison crafts a novel that grabs you from the first sentence and makes you bitterly regret that the book must end.”

  —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

  “This is unquestionably (to me) one of the best books of 2011. It is superbly crafted with an amazing story, intriguing and unforgettable characters and flaming-hot sexual chemistry.”

&n
bsp; —Romance Novel News

  Berkley Sensation titles by Thea Harrison

  Novels of the Elder Races

  DRAGON BOUND

  STORM’S HEART

  SERPENT’S KISS

  ORACLE’S MOON

  LORD’S FALL

  KINKED

  NIGHT’S HONOR

  Game of Shadows Novels

  RISING DARKNESS

  FALLING LIGHT

  THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) LLC

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

  USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

  penguin.com

  A Penguin Random House Company

  NIGHT’S HONOR

  A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author

  Copyright © 2014 by Teddy Harrison.

  Excerpt from Midnight’s Kiss by Thea Harrison copyright © 2014 by Teddy Harrison.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

  BERKLEY SENSATION® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

  The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-15663-0

  PUBLISHING HISTORY

  Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / September 2014

  Cover art by Tony Mauro.

  Cover design by George Long.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Version_1

  Contents

  Praise for the Novels of the Elder Races

  Berkley Sensation titles by Thea Harrison

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Epigraph

  CHAPTER ONE

  CHAPTER TWO

  CHAPTER THREE

  CHAPTER FOUR

  CHAPTER FIVE

  CHAPTER SIX

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  CHAPTER NINE

  CHAPTER TEN

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  CHAPTER TWELVE

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  CHAPTER TWENTY

  EPILOGUE

  Sneak Peek at Midnight’s Kiss

  “Hell is empty

  And all the devils are here.”

  —WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE,

  THE TEMPEST

  ONE

  Vampyre’s Ball, New Year’s Eve

  Cautiously, Tess peered at the crowd through a side stage door. She might be able to control her behavior, but her body told a different story. Her mouth had dried out, her heart pounded and her palms had turned clammy.

  All the monsters were beautiful. Vampyres loved beauty, and they were some of the most celebrated in all of the Elder Races.

  Charismatic and elegantly dressed in black tie and couture gowns, Vampyres filled the banquet-style great hall. Some sat at large round tables in the middle of the floor, but many stood and mingled. Human attendants wove through the clusters of glittering creatures, doing the bidding of their patrons.

  Most of the attendants were dressed in subdued, discreet clothing, but there were a few standouts, such as the dark haired woman wearing a diamond collar that flashed with brilliant fire. Barefoot, she wore a silk, champagne-colored sheath dress. The paper-thin material of the dress was short, barely covering the woman’s ass. Sapphires studded her leash, the end of which hung negligently on the slim wrist of her Vampyre patroness.

  The redheaded Vampyre wore a black velvet evening gown and a haughty expression. She never glanced at her collared attendant, who shifted and turned to keep flawless pace with her patroness, rather like a well-trained dog. As the pair faced Tess, she saw that the collared woman wore a small, private smile. She didn’t look abused, and her creamy skin appeared flawless. If anything, she looked like she enjoyed being on display.

  To the sides of the great hall and up on a mezzanine level were more private areas where the most powerful of the elite could lounge in comfort. Any Vampyre who was anybody of note in the Nightkind demesne attended the annual Vampyre’s Ball, even the Nightkind King himself, Julian Regillus.

  Tess checked the number on her ticket. When she had joined the candidates, the line had gone out the back of the building and down the alley, but she’d finally made it inside. Now there were only three people ahead of her.

  A new candidate took the stage. She had a California-girl style of beauty, tall and leggy with long, blonde tresses—yes, tresses—that had been styled to fall in thick waves around her perfect heart-shaped face and slender shoulders. Green eyes sparkled with a coquettish vivacity as she slipped off a short, red dressing gown. Totally naked, she spun in a circle on five-inch, nude-colored stiletto heels. Taking the microphone from the human, middle-aged emcee, she began a catwalk strut across the stage while she talked.

  “Hi everybody, I hope you’re all having a wonderful evening! My name is Haley, and I’m so excited to be here with you tonight! I’m twenty-one years old, and I’m working on my bachelor’s in sociology at Berkeley. . . .”

  This was like an X-rated version of America’s Got Talent, except with Vampyres.

  A tension headache began to throb behind Tess’s right eye. She hadn’t thought she was a prude, but the other woman had just disrobed as casually as if she were about to step into a bathtub in her own home. Haley was the same smooth honey tan all over. Nothing jiggled or dimpled anywhere. Her breasts looked like perfect, gravity-defying circles glued to her slender torso.

  Now, those couldn’t be natural.

  Tess glanced down at herself. Not that she was going to strip down for anybody when it was her turn to take the stage, but even with her clothes on, it was perfectly clear that everything about her was horrendously average.

  The best thing anybody could say about her body was that she was fit, and even then, she did jiggle in a few places. Her straight, dark hair was cut into a sensible bob, but she was two weeks overdue for a trim. She wore faded jeans, black shoes with flat heels and a black sweater, mainly because it was the only outfit she had left with her that was still clean.

  The Vampyres continued with their conversations. Not a single one in the crowded hall looked at Haley. No one lifted a bidding paddle.

  Tess turned her attention to the mezzanine level. She could just see the Nightkind King’s strong, rough profile as he talked with the monster sitting opposite him. The Vampyre with him appeared to be a young man, with nut brown hair pulled back in a simple ponytail and a pleasantly nondescript, mild-mannered face.

  His appearance couldn’t be more of a lie. Xavier del Torro was one of the most notorious of all the Vampyres, a feared hunter famous in all of the Elder Races—and famous among humans as well—and Julian’s right-hand man.
Neither del Torro nor the King glanced at the stage.

  Haley worked hard for her allotted two minutes. Her routine was polished, professional and raunchy, and it left the onlookers in no doubt. Clearly she was ready and willing to do anything to become a Vampyre’s attendant. When the buzzer sounded, she swept up her discarded robe and exited stage left with a bright smile and a cheerful, Miss Universe pageant-style wave.

  The next candidate walked onto the stage with quick, jerky movements. This one was a man in his forties dressed in a department store suit. He looked tense and so uncomfortable, Tess’s muscles clenched with empathy. She could relate.

  When the emcee handed the candidate the microphone, he cleared his throat, pulled out a photo and held it in the air. It wavered visibly in his unsteady hand. In the photo, a girl grinned at the camera, her head tilted to one side.

  “My name is Roberto Sanchez, and I am here on behalf of my beautiful daughter Cara. Cara is fourteen years old, and she is in the hospital. She has childhood leukemia. She was in remission for three years, but now the cancer has returned. Please, I am begging you—someone have mercy on her. If you would only agree to be her patron, you could help to heal her. She’s a good girl. She can work hard for you, if only she felt better. . . .”

  Tess winced. Sanchez was breaking several of the rules that had been handed out on cards to those candidates who had been lucky enough to get a ticket and now stood in line, waiting for their turn on the stage. All medically based petitions must go through the visa application process at the Bureau of Nightkind Immigration.

  The annual Vampyre’s Ball on New Year’s Eve was an occasion to make a different kind of petition altogether, a kind of massive job screening process where Vampyres of standing might choose to take on human attendants to add to their households.

  Supposedly the relationship between a Vampyre patron and his human attendants was a mutually beneficial arrangement. The attendants assured the Vampyre a steady blood supply in addition to working to support the household as a whole. In return the Vampyre offered his protection and assured that the attendant would have a safe, secure place in which to live, and a long, healthy life. There was even an outside chance that a candidate might become a Vampyre himself one day.

 
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