Dec 4 2016 3:00pm
Sylvain Reynard Excerpt: The Roman
Raven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.
Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.
In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects…
Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.
This stunning conclusion to the Florentine series will take readers across Italy and beyond as the lovers fight to remain together. Forever.
Get a sneak peek at Sylvain Reynard's The Roman (available December 6, 2016) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.
The Prince of Florence strode through the serpentine passage, his heavy boots thumping against the stone floor, his black cape billowing behind him.
He stopped in front of the door that was guarded by two of his soldiers.
“We are departing for Rome. Assemble the men.” He addressed the senior officer, who bowed and marched away, taking the other Florentine with him.
William watched their departing backs with relief.
He opened the door to the chamber and hastily closed it behind him. Raven’s scent assaulted him.
She was reclined on an elegant, armless couch, her black hair cascading over the fine fabric like a dark waterfall.
He moved to her side, passing his hand over the waves of her hair.
She started, her large green eyes snapping open.
“William?” She sat up sleepily on the couch, passing a hand over her face. “What time is it?”
He touched the crown of her head with a sad smile and pressed his lips to her forehead.
She grabbed his hand. “What’s happening?”
“We need to reach Rome before sunrise.” He surveyed the dimly lit room. “Can you be ready to leave in a few minutes?”
“I think so.” She stood on unsteady feet before burying her face in his chest. “You were gone a long time.”
He tensed in her arms. “Protocol is never swift.”
She lifted her face.
William’s fine features were inscrutable.
Without words, she pressed her lips to his.
He reciprocated, albeit briefly. “We don’t have much time. I am sorry.”
“I need you.”
If William felt surprise at her declaration, he hid it. His gaze flickered to the door.
“After so much death, you still desire me?”
She pressed her body to him. Her voice grew throaty. “I need you.”
William didn’t hesitate. He lifted her in his arms and carried her to the bedroom, kicking the door closed behind them.
“We aren’t safe, but we will be. I swear it.” His gray eyes burned into hers. “We don’t have time for words, if coupling is what you truly want.”
She stroked his jaw. “Yes.”
He placed her on the large, four-poster bed, taking a moment to light a candelabra on one of the side tables. Then he reclined on his back and pulled her atop him.
She rested her palms against his chest, shifting her weight.
Her eyes closed and she winced, adjusting her right leg. “I can’t,” she whimpered.
William’s face was stricken. “But I thought—”
She cut him off. “It’s the position.” She gestured to her disabled leg. “It’s aching tonight. I can’t be on top.”
Understanding washed over his face.
A high-backed, armless chair stood nearby. William gestured to it. “Would that be all right?”
She followed the path of his arm. “We can try.”
He moved carefully, trying not to jostle her. He carried her to the chair and sat, adjusting her on his lap so her legs were suspended on either side of his. His hand went to her injured leg. “And now?”
She traced his brows and the planes of his cheeks. “Whatever you do,” she breathed, “don’t let go.”
His hands gripped her hips. “Give me my name.”
“William,” she breathed.
“My lover, my Cassita.” His grip on her tightened. “I shall never let you go.”
She brought her lips to his, her fingers combing through his short, blond hair.
It was easy enough to shift forward on his lap, feeling him rise between her legs. Raven’s movements grew impatient, teasing the inside of his mouth with her tongue as she slid against him.
William’s cool palm smoothed over her hip, across her thigh, and down to her calf. “Does it hurt?”
His eyes glittered in the candlelight. He traced her still-swollen lip with his thumb. “And here?”
“I only feel you,” she whispered, nipping at his thumb.
“Look at you, your eyes, your breasts, your skin.” He wrapped a hand around her neck. “You are magnificent.”
She closed her eyes. “After seeing her in all her glory?”
William pulled her toward him, and his lips found her ear. “Not even she in all her glory can compare to you,” he whispered. “I have no desire for her.”
He kissed across her collarbone, paying homage to the hollow at the base of her throat. His fingers stroked up and down her back before divesting her of her shirt and bra. He lifted her in order to remove her jeans and underwear.
When she was naked, a hungry sound rose from his chest. He gazed at her full breasts, wetting his lower lip in anticipation.
“Please,” she whispered, rocking against him urgently.
He peppered her round flesh with kisses, supporting her with cool hands. “Your skin smells of rain. It reminds me of home.”
She took his mouth reverently, leaning her breasts into his touch.
His cool lips dropped to her nipple, drawing a moan from her mouth as he licked and sucked. He feasted on her for some time before drawing back and passing his thumbs over the sensitive tips.
“I want to feed from you.” His lips fluttered to her throat and slid up the arch of her neck. His nose pressed the sensitive place behind her ear.
“Set me free.” His tongue found a patch of skin over her artery and gave her a sensuous lick.
She reached down to his trousers, shifting back so she could work the zipper. She reached in and took him into her hand. He was already hard.
She moaned as he lifted her hips and pulled her down on top of him.
Her heart beat frantically, the sound like a drum to his ears.
For a moment, she was still, focusing on the fullness of him inside her. Her skin burned against the coolness of his touch, a bead of perspiration sliding between her breasts.
William caught it with the tip of his tongue.
She couldn’t keep her eyes open. With a gasp, she began to move up and down, his fingers digging into her hips.
Perhaps it was the position. Perhaps it was the urgency or the darkness. Raven was tense, too much in need to prolong the seductive culmination of so much want.
She angled her neck, presenting the artery to his mouth, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. Her breasts rubbed against his chest, the friction tantalizing.
She moved more quickly, his strong hands pushing and pulling.
Her hair billowed around her shoulders as her orgasm rocketed through her.
“Look at my lark fly,” William whispered, his voice tinged with admiration. “Fly, Cassita.”
He kissed her neck as she vibrated around him, tasting the skin before sinking his teeth into her artery.
Raven’s orgasm crested, and William continued to move, thrusting into her while drinking.
She kept expecting the orgasm to wane, but it didn’t, like a long, sustained note played in concert by an orchestra.
“I can’t,” she rasped. “It’s too much.” She slumped forward, mindless with pleasure.
William emptied himself into her before swallowing her blood. He licked the imprint of his teeth and kissed it.
“Je t’aim.” He buried his face in her mane of black hair. “You are part of me, now and forever.”
Raven crashed against his chest.
Copyright © 2016 by Sylvain Reynard.
Learn more about or order a copy of The Roman by Sylvain Reynard, available December 6, 2016:
Sylvain Reynard is the New York Times bestselling author of the Florentine series, which includes The Prince, The Raven, and The Shadow, as well as the Gabriel trilogy, including Gabriel’s Inferno, Gabriel’s Rapture, and Gabriel’s Redemption.