Everlasting (Descendants of Ra #2) by Tmonique Stephens
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Tmonique Stephens
Content Rating: Heat level: heat level 4, 4 Not PG-13
Word and Page Counts: 114,576 words 470 print length
Kill the beast.
Save your brother.
Win your freedom.
Falling in love with the cop trying arrest you?
To save his twin from death, Reign Nicolis will have to bargain with Goddess of the Dead, and once more become what he despises, El Mortem, The Scourge, a killer trained to show mercy to none. But he is haunted by those who have fallen beneath his blade. Their ghostly shapes dog his footsteps, relentless in their torture to make him suffer for what he was put on this earth to do two thousand years ago. Saving his twin ensures Reign’s enslavement to the Goddess. She may own his body, but never his heart.
Detective Alexis Lever’s career is in shambles. Her only chance at redemption is to discover what happened to the body of Daniel Nicolis. To do that she’ll have to thwart two men: Reign Nicolis and Roman Nicolis. Both belong in jail. But one has stolen her heart.
When I read the first book in this series, Eternity, I compared it to riding a roller coaster blindfolded because of its intensity, and Everlasting is just the same. Immediately I was immersed back into this creative, imaginative realm of vengeful ancient Egyptian gods wreaking havoc in the human world. I actually went back and reviewed Eternity because there are so many characters and story threads that have been introduced, I wanted to make sure I remembered the crux of the overall plot. However, I found that I really didn’t need to do this because Stephens takes readers back to the relevant scenes that set up the storyline for this next installment focusing on Reign Nicolis, the twin brother of Roman, whose story was featured in Eternity.
Based on the events in Eternity, I knew this book was going to be about Reign and Detective Alexis Lever who has become involved in the case to find a serial killer connected to the Nicolis family. This book opens with the two relevant scenes from book one that bring Reign and Alexis together and are described in much greater detail. Reign has been enslaved by Nephythys, goddess of the Egyptian underworld of the dead. Unhappy in her marriage to SET, the evil and malicious god of Duat, she has kept Reign imprisoned as her lover and companion for centuries, until circumstances force her to temporarily release Reign back on Earth to help save his brother, Roman, from the beast, Alamut, who has been stalking him. In order to be released, Reign must vow that once he has killed Alamut, he will return to Nephythys and love her as he once did.
However, once Reign arrives to help his brother and gets a taste of freedom, he is determined to never return to the goddess he now loathes. Ironically, after Reign intervenes to save Alexis from the beast, a connection is formed between them that tethers him to her so that he can never be more than 100 feet away. Neither he nor Alexis is happy with this situation, and throughout much of the story, they fight the mutual attraction and emotional connection that only strengthens, leading to an intimacy that neither could ever have imagined possible. Their love story is beautifully written, and the intense passion and love they have for each other bleeds through pages, and it is both touching and heartbreaking because of the sacrifices they are willing to make for the other. So, you can expect steamy love scenes in the second half of the book.
What I like most about the series is that it is packed full of action and narrated from multiple characters’ POVs, and Stephens successfully ties all of the multiple conflicts together and weaves them into a complex plot full of startling revelations as secrets are exposed despite the veil of deception each character must face head on and tear apart. I was so excited about Roman and Reign finally reuniting again, but their first encounter is nothing like I expected, and instead of becoming a family once again, Reign’s personal demons and limited choices keep driving them apart.
There is so much drama and conflict, this book just consumed my attention, yet at the same time, I had to force myself to take breaks just to process what was happening and the ramifications of each character’s decisions. The conclusion doesn’t have the traditional HEA for Reign and Alexis; they will face greater danger in the days to come. After all they have gone through, I have no doubts they will stand together stronger than ever. These two characters experience life-altering events that enable them to move beyond the emotional pain of their pasts, and watching these characters grow was both a nail-biting but inspiring experience. My only complaint is that the book needs one more proofreading. Despite the errors, though, this series is fantastic!
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
4.5 shining suns
“I have been with you for many days and could have killed you a dozen times, but I did not.” Reign crowded Alexis until her back was against a wall and her gun was pressed into the center of his chest. His face was the only thing she saw. Her breath caught. Her insides fluttered.
“Do you wish me harm, Alexis? If you do, your weapon will achieve nothing. I do not know if my sword will achieve anything, but I dare say you would have better luck with my blade than with your gun.” The word rolled off his tongue like a sensual sigh. She lowered her weapon and shoved it back into the holster.
Hilt first, he handed the sword to her and waited until she had a strong grip before releasing his hold. It pulled her down and thunked into the carpet. She tried to lift it, but couldn’t. Reign smirked and sat on the sofa while she dragged the blade—cutting a slice in the faded carpet—to the chair. Well-polished and honed to a sharp edge, the sword glinted as she traced a finger over the intricate design. The cold metal tantalized as she imagined him wielding above his head while he charged onto a battlefield. The image was terrifying…and erotic.
Braided leather wrapped around the handle and scroll characters traveled down the blade. No, not characters, hieroglyphics. “Do you know what this says?” She stroked the metal. Puzzlement crossed his featured, then a dawning awareness. She thought he was about to lie and say no. Instead, he nodded.
He stumbled over the pronunciations a few times before speaking. “‘I am the bringer. Face me and be judged’. I have never read Egyptian before.”
“How’d you end up cursed in Egypt?” Instead of answering, he looked away. Okay. Next question. “Why does the tether hold you here?”
His gaze swung back to her. “The Vanquished. When they come and I can no longer function.”
“Who’s the Vanquished?”
“Conquered warriors haunting my soul. They are my penance, my tormentors. The only peace I find is when I’m within one hundred feet of the one who balances my soul. You are that person.”
She was about to say she didn’t want to be that person when his gaze turned sultry, swept across her face, down the column of her throat and rested on her breasts. An internal switch flipped and she flushed. Her fingers stroked down the blade as images of him—of them—entwined and doing things she dreamed about flickered in her head. The positions, the thrusts, the licks, and touches. Orgasms after orgasms. She, crying out his name.
His gaze roasted her. Those oceany eyes kissed her lips, caressed her breasts, slid down her body and settled between her thighs where she ached. Her finger slipped on the metal and blood ran freely. The sharp sting seared all lustful thoughts away. Instantly, he kneeled in front of her and grabbed her wrist. She tried to jerk away, but he held her firmly, his thumb pressed hard on the wound.
“Apologies, your injury is my responsibility. I never should have let you—”
“It’s okay. It’s not that bad.”
“It is. My nearness keeps causing you injury. That, I cannot allow.” His eyes blazed full of anguish.
Strands of his long hair swept across his face, partially hiding his expression. Alexis brushed the wayward locks away. She skimmed her palm down his sculpted cheek and through his short beard. His eyes widened and…he stopped breathing. Amazed that she had actually caused a man to stop breathing at her mere touch, Alexis leaned in for a taste, that’s all she promised. One kiss to settle the heat stirring in her blood.
Centimeters away from his lips, she paused, then drew away.
There’s a reason you’re celibate, Alexis. Too many relationships had soured quick and left her swearing off men for the past year. But if there was ever a reason to end her diet, Reign was it.
He waited. Not a muscle betrayed his emotions, yet a vein pulsed wildly at the base of his neck.
But he lied.
What if you approach this logically? You want him. Your panties are sticking to you, you want him so bad. So have him. Leave your heart out of it. Hell, men do it. You can do it too. Screw him, let him work all your kinks out. Just don’t fall in love with him so when the shit hits the fan—
I won’t be the one cut by the blades.
She pressed her lips to his.
Holy hell! Nothing had ever tasted so delicious, felt as delightful as his firm lips slanted across her mouth. His whiskers gently brushed her skin, heightening her senses. His scent, woodsy with a hint of musk, filled her lungs. She leaned into him, parted her lips, and licked the seam of his closed mouth. He shuddered and his lips parted. His tongue darted inside her mouth and ignited her blood.
He wanted her. She didn’t just feel in it in his touch, but knew it as if she were peeking into his soul.
They yanked apart, she panting while Reign inhaled sharply and exhaled deliberately. His pecs heaved as his gaze devoured her. Nothing made sense, not the heat surfing through her body or the hunger gnawing at her soul. Kissing Reign erased the presence of every man who had ever touched her. Flustered, she glanced down and saw her finger still pressed between his.
He released her. She wiped away the smear of blood and found perfect new skin. “Okay, so how did you do that?” She held up the healed digit to his puzzled stare.
“I do not know.” His gaze shifted away.
He’s lying. Disappointment dissolved the lingering taste of him. Wow, that didn’t take long.
I wrote my first novel about a reporter and a hockey player after the U.S. hockey team won gold in the 1980 Olympics. I love writing flawed characters who reflect the emotional baggage we all carry. I write complicated stories for complicated people. Paranormal romances and fantasy novels are my favorite genre. I’ll read anything about fairies, demons, or angels, but I also enjoy Stephen King and Preston and Childs.
I’m hooked on ‘Yes to the Dress’, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Arrow. I can’t get enough of these show!
I was born in St. Thomas USVI, but grew up in The Bronx, New York one mile from Yankee Stadium. I love SyFy, the History channels, and Asian cuisine, but my heart and stomach longs for anything from the Caribbean.
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