The Belle Jar
Darkholm book #2
by Aria Adams
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And an excerpt from the good guys:
She decided, in the midst of this mystery, that she would like to spend some time getting to know these two. So far, they had given her no reason to fear them, aside from their resemblance to the men in the castle.
“You cannot eat or drink, here, but come and relax.” Brendan led Marea to the riverside and she sat down in the grass. Coal maneuvered her between his legs and soon her ass pressed against his groin. The closeness made her blush furiously once more. These men were certainly attractive; well-groomed, with perfectly-defined muscles beneath the leather pants they both wore.
Birds gently twittered in the trees above them, and on the other side of the stream, little rabbits snuffled the grass, gently nibbling on it as they explored. It was a world apart from the dark, gloomy castle where the only thing that grew was mold.
“You’re carrying a lot of tension. Fear. Sorrow. Uncertainty. Let me take some of it for you,” Coal’s voice was warm and immediately put her at her ease.
“He is a genius with massage,” Brendan told her. “Would you like him to help?”
Wait, they wanted her consent? To a massage? That was new. She couldn’t decide if it was refreshing or over-the-top, so she just nodded silently.
Coal put his hands either side of her neck, and his thumbs pressed firmly into the muscles he found there. He drew little circles in her shoulders, and she moaned in delight as he eased a strain she hadn’t realized she carried. Gradually, he worked his way up to the base of her skull, then back down to her shoulders. He repeated this a few times, the small circular motions soothing her body, and lower down her spine, Marea felt deep stress, her now-constant companion, being lifted from its resting place, as though the tension were being siphoned out of her. Coal’s hands felt amazing on her body, and she leaned into his touch, sighing as aches and worries were replaced with a warm glow and a sense of wellbeing.
As she relaxed, Marea found her eyelids becoming heavy. She was dimly aware that she had fallen backwards against Coal’s hard, toned body, and it was a warm, reassuring place to be. Before she knew what was happening, he was gently massaging the front of her neck.
The slight pressure aroused her, as she drifted in and out of sleep and half-wondered what it would feel like if he squeezed harder, if he choked her, until her life ebbed away and she was utterly dependent on him to allow her to breathe again.
Wait, why would she want that?
She startled at the thought, and fully awakened. The thought lingered for a moment, then Coal’s gentle, skillful fingers moved further down, massaging her décolletage. The strange choking idea passed, and she lost herself once more as he filled her breasts with tingles, gradually working on both of them with all his fingers, taking his time to circle every area diligently.
When he reached her nipples, he took each one between his fingertips and expertly rolled them. The sensation was unlike anything Marea had felt in her life, and an urgent heat shot down to between her legs, where her clit swelled and throbbed. The last time it had done that, she realized with a frown, was when castle-Coal had touched her with the wand of sparks. How could two things, so different, one kind and one terrifying, have the same effect on her body? It made no sense.
Before she stopped herself, a moan came out of her mouth, and she arched her back to press her breasts more firmly against Coal’s hands, inadvertently thrusting her bottom against his…
Very hard cock. Her breath came in short gasps as she realized this was turning him on, too. If only she wasn’t wearing a chastity belt, she knew she would willingly give herself to him. But if she had to return to her own plane, didn’t that mean she needed to remain a virgin, to protect herself from the men in the castle?
The beasts want to destroy her. The mirror-world won’t let her stay. The castle hides too many secrets. What’s a girl to do? And when Marea finds out how to break the curse, is she willing to do whatever it takes to save two creatures of pure evil, to whom she is nothing?
Marea Belle was doomed at birth. In Darkholm, having red hair means only one thing: Witch.
After her parents are executed in a witch hunt, the only thing that saves Marea is the chastity device that proves her purity. Spared the flames, Marea is dumped in a sack at the doors of a cursed castle; a sacrifice to appease the monsters within.
The denizens of the castle want nothing more than to devour Marea’s soul. The huge, terrifying beasts within take her to an underground experiment room and make her their plaything. Somehow, she survives and escapes the monsters, hiding deep within the castle, where she finds a magic mirror which becomes her sanctuary.
Inside the looking glass, she falls in love with two men. But she can only remain there for a few hours at a time before she has to return to the castle and the inevitable horrors within. No-one can escape the castle, and no-one can survive the beasts within. When Marea is forced to give herself to the beasts, she risks losing herself forever, but will her sacrifice be enough to break the ancient curse?
This full-length story is grim and a little complicated. This is a dark fairytale that tiptoes on the boundary between horror and romance. It is disturbing, bleak, and certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Aria is an author of dark erotic romance that dances on the boundary between horror and romance. Her heroes are not always immediately obvious, and neither are the villains. Her books often have elements of horror, and the characters at the end of a story are forever changed by the events that befell them. But she always makes sure there’s a happy ending, even if the characters have to work for it.
Aria also writes the warm fuzzy romance stuff as Katie Douglas, and writing as Katie, she has had USA Today and multiple number 1 bestselling books in the US and worldwide.
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