East Of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye
East of Ecstasy: The Final Book in the Hearts of the Anemoi Series is Here!
I’m excited to share an excerpt from East of Ecstasy, the last book in my Greek-mythology-inspired Hearts of the Anemoi series. The Anemoi were wind gods the Greek associated with controlling the winds, weather, and seasons. Their mythology isn’t well known but is filled with all the wonderful drama, supernatural powers, betrayals, backstabbing, and power struggles that so deliciously fill the stories of Greek mythology—and these struggles lay the groundwork for a fraternal feud that erupts into outright warfare as the series progresses. The Hearts of the Anemoi series features one story around each of the cardinal points on the compass—north, west, south, and east, and deals with the fundamental themes of grief, trust, acceptance, and belonging.
East of Ecstasy tells the story of Devlin Eston, heir to the East Wind and outcast among his own divine family. A survivor of abuse, Devlin feels unworthy of the most basic kinds of care and affection and blames himself for the harm his father did to others. He literally has nowhere to belong…until he meets heroine Annalise Fallston. Their relationship was one of the sweetest and most heart-wrenching I’ve written, because at the start they seem so different and yet they really have so many unexpected things in common.
To understand this excerpt, all you need to know is that Anna gets visions she feels compelled to paint and this is the first time she sees hero Devlin. Enjoy!
Forcing the chaos in her mind away, Anna dipped her brush into the gray paint and stepped to the canvas. Motion captured her attention from the corner of her eye.
The Dark Man, the subject of her recent paintings, stood in the doorway and leaned against the jamb.
Anna jumped and her pulse raced, but this time, anger flooded in instead of fear. “I will deal with you on my own damn terms,” she said, taking a perverse amount of pleasure from putting a figment of her imagination in its place. Because that’s all he was.
He didn’t move or speak. Not that he could, since, you know. Figment. Of. Imagination.
Anna rolled her eyes, done with being scared and so pissed to have to do this again that she was nearly out of her mind. “I’m doing your damn painting already. So just leave me alone.” She cut her gaze back to the expanse of white, but the desire to see if his image would still be there if she looked again drove her to distraction.
Finally, she gave in and…he was still there.
Completely still. Blatantly scowling. Totally unfathomable.
Was this a vision? Another image she’d have to paint?
Her heart tripped into a sprint, and she couldn’t look away from him. Like the compulsion that forced her to paint these images, Anna couldn’t help but return his stare and memorize his masculine features. The sharp angles of his face, the harsh set of his mouth, the dark shadows around his even darker eyes. Black eyes. Blades of black hair hung low over his forehead and just touched the hooded shirt he wore under his short, scuffed leather jacket. He’d crossed his arms over his chest, and the position caused his biceps to bunch up under the worn leather. In fact, everything about him appeared worn—the coat, the threadbare jeans, the scuffed boots. None of it struck her as the kind of shabby chic you could buy in some upscale store for a small fortune, either. The whole effect was rough. Dangerous. Deprived.
Deprived? What a strange way of describing him. But as Anna’s gaze swept over him again, the thought stuck. For his height, he seemed thin, with his lean hips, clad in old black jeans, a trim waist, and pronounced cheekbones. Her fingers twitched around the nearly forgotten paintbrush. What would it feel like to cup that harsh face in her hand?
Anna gasped and tore her gaze away. She had to blink to pull herself out of the haze of thoughts. Frustration surged through her and tensed the muscles of her shoulders and neck. She didn’t want to be working on another of these paintings as it was, so the last thing she needed was to lose a bunch of time daydreaming. Or would it be daynightmaring?
As she stared at the blank canvas, the image of the shackled man behind the prison bars filled her mind’s eye.
Definitely the latter.
Curiosity pulled her eyes to the left again. The doorway was empty.
Books in the Hearts of the Anemoi Series:
North of Need
West of Want
South of Surrender
East of Ecstasy
Praise and Awards for the Hearts of the Anemoi Series:
North of Need named GraveTells 2011 Book of the Year
North of Need won the FF&P PRISM Award for Best Light Paranormal of 2012
North of Need voted Sizzling Hot Read of the Year for 2011 at Sizzling Hot Books
West of Want named RT Book Reviews “Favorite Returning Paranormal Series”
“Laura Kaye's captivating writing and vibrant world-building will have readers hooked on the gods of the Anemoi. WEST OF WANT is steamy, spellbinding, and a must-read for all romance fantasy fans.” ~Elisabeth Naughton, author of the Eternal Guardians series
“Sexy, emotional stories, powerful, evocative writing, a vivid and unique vision, and enough magic and mysticism to keep the most demanding reader satisfied, Laura Kaye delivers it all. I love this series!” ~Maggie Shayne, NY Times Bestselling Author
About East of Ecstasy:
She’s the only one who can give him the strength to save them all…
Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she's been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don't speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.
Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father's plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he's been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.
But Devlin's love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever…or lost.
($0.99 limited introductory offer!)
Catch up on the whole series with the Hearts of the Anemoi box set featuring the first three books: North of Need, West of Want, South of Surrender!
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.