Random House / Oct. 30, 2012 / $7.99 print & digital
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.
In her new spinoff series, Jacquelyn Frank builds us a new World of Nightwalkers. These new Nightwalkers include Gargoyles, Djynn, Night Angels, and in this first story, she gives us Bodywalkers. When the ancient Egyptians were worshiping their Gods and practicing their art of preparing the dead for life eternal in the afterworld, they did not realize that this grab for eternal life would anger the God, Ra, and as a punishment, they would be eternally barred from heaven and their mummified bodies would tether them to the mortal world. Every time they die, they are returned to the Ether, a type of limbo, where they would wait until they were strong enough to Bodywalk again.
At that moment between life and death, the Bodywalkers could intercept a soul and offer that person a chance to live but in return they would need to share their body with the soul of a Bodywalker. Once taking a Bodywalker into their body, their lives would change dramatically including an ability to heal and an almost immortal existence. But the Sun God has not only denied them heaven, he has denied them the ability to walk in the sun, making them forever Nightwalkers.
“Today you have become a Bodywalker. You came to the brink of death, weakening the protective walls of your Ka…your soul…enough to allow the Ka of another to Blend with yours. Think. You met her briefly, in that moment of death and life, where they balanced together. She asked you if you were willing to share your mortal body with her, and you agreed. You cannot feel her at present, except perhaps in bursts and hints. She will become stronger, as will you, and you will eventually Blend together. One of the benefits of that Blending will be that you will not age in the normal way of a mortal. Enjoy that benefit, because I promise you, there are just as many detriments that will make things very difficult for you.”
It is easy to find a newly returned Bodywalker. All you need to do is watch the news and wait for a story of a miraculous tale of survival. This is usually a person, “an original,” who has cheated death and is now Blended with a Bodywalker.
Ram, more commonly known as Ramses the Second, Blended with his original, Vincent, about 30 years ago. Since then he has been waiting. He knows that the time for the return of the Queen is soon upon them and he has been sent to the small town of Saugerties, NY to await her arrival. He knows at once when he hears the tale of survival of The Bridge Girl who was pushed from the bridge into the freezing Hudson River, declared dead and miraculously resuscitated. He know that this Docia Waverly is now the original for the Queen, Hatshepsut, and it is Ram’s job to protect her until the King Menes returns from the Ether. For the first time in all the centuries Ram has protected the Queen, he now finds his attraction to her original too much to resist but he can’t determine which is worse—denying this attraction or betraying his King.
This new series not only contains some interesting new characters, but one of the most outrageous scenes in a paranormal series has to be when Vincent (the original) is jealous of Docia’s feelings for Ram and he wants to be the one to seduce her.
“You’re supposed to be protecting me, not manhandling me!” she whispered fiercely.
“Oh, but you’ll let Ram manhandle you until the cows come home,” he growled as he closed in on her.
“Do you even hear what you’re saying? You’re the same person, you space cadet!”
Jacquelyn Frank has taken the opportunity to branch off from her very popular Nightwalker series, giving us the chance to enjoy a surprising new group of supernaturals, and the sky’s the limit where she will take us now in the new World of the Nightwalkers.
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.