Our song: Lady by Kenny Rogers
To Take Up The Sword
Digital ISBN: 9781616501907
Digital Publication Date: September 6, 2010
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Formats: .epub, .lit, .pdf, .prc, .html
Series: Elemental Magic #2
Missing diamonds and a killer on the loose…will a schoolteacher and FBI agent escape with their lives and hearts intact?
After the acquittal of Gueraldi’s right hand and favored killer for hire, Ashton Smythe, Special Agent Gabriel Spiller takes time away from his work with the FBI. Having failed in his mission to avenge his lost would be lover, Serena Roarke, Gabe returns to Alabama in search of the missing diamonds needed to reopen the investigation and to lay low from the death threats he’s received since Smythe went free.
Almost two years after her sister’s death, Leannan O’Neal feels the loss of Serena more now than ever. A secret meeting between them before she died left Lea with an ugly figurine and nothing but questions. Hang-up calls at work and a trashed house reminds her of the card Serena gave her. “If you find yourself in trouble, go to him and only him” were the last words her sister spoke to her.
With Smthye out for revenge and hot on her heels, Lea goes on the run in search of Serena’s ‘Angel’, but how long can Gabe keep her alive, and is the cost worth more than her life?
Content warning; sensual love scenes, graphic violence, adult language.
Excerpt: Gabriel shoved her under the table and covered her with his body as a hailstorm of bullets pounded into the side of the cabin. Her head hit the floor with a thunk. She shuddered. The solid weight of him pressed her into the hardwood, covering her with his heat and leaving no room for the imagination. No doubt about it, Gabe Spiller was a walking fantasy.
“What the hell?”
“Those goons must have found me. I don’t know how. I cut through the woods after they ran me off the road. They’ve been after me since yesterday at lunch. I got away from them at a truck stop in Birmingham by hitching a ride with a truck driver.”
“Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?” A slug burrowed into the table above them.
“She was a little old lady with pictures of her grandkids taped to the dashboard. I figured she was safe. She dropped me off at Wendy’s in Jasper, then I rented a car and drove the rest of the way.” Another shot whizzed over her head.
“I bet I can guess. You paid with plastic. You may as well have left a trail of bread crumbs. Crawl now.”
Lea jerked when Gabriel bellowed the command at her, shoved the diamonds in his pocket and snatched his keys off the overturned chair.
“I’m sorry. Are you going to help me?” she mumbled as she crawled across broken glass and hardwood floors, reached the door, and opened it a crack. Gabriel’s gilt hair eased into her peripheral vision.
“I don’t see them.”
“Me either. Run like hell and keep your head down. Maybe you won’t get killed.”
Out the door like a shot, Lea ran for the bright yellow target and heard the sound of heavy footsteps in the grass running behind them. She climbed in through the driver’s side and Gabriel shoved her over. She tried to peer out the window at her attackers.
* * * *
“Get down. Are you trying to get your head blown off?” He put the Jeep in reverse and peeled out of the drive, spitting dirt and gravel in every direction. A wave of heat, light and noise exploded into chaos behind them. The cabin had burst apart in a massive fireball. “Must have hit the gas line in the kitchen,” he noted.
“What do you mean? You say that like you were reporting the weather!” Lea growled from beside him, her bobbing red head an easy target. He put his hand on top of her head and shoved her back in the floorboard, not too gently either.
“Down, O’Neil.” Gabriel hit the main road going ninety, and then alternated by checking the rearview for locals and glaring at Lea. He took a hard right onto Highway 253 from 241 in Bear Creek and headed toward Phil Campbell the back way. She’d brought trouble to his doorstep. He’d wanted a vacation where he could wallow and grieve in peace, then make a new plan. What he didn’t want was to be tossed back into a cyclone of greed, danger and death. Okay, so it was dramatic and selfish, but he was burned-out. He’d been an agent for eight years, and in that time he’d lost four partners. Maybe he’d had enough of the whole game. Little Miss Quiet Mouse had already proven she’d be hard to ignore. Every time he looked at her, Gabe saw Serena and what might have been if circumstances had been different.
“I was having a nice quiet life, Leannan, before you came barreling into it. Care to give me a reason why I shouldn’t dump you on the locals and take off with the diamonds?”
“Serena trusted you with her life, and whatever you two had going got her killed.”
Gabriel’s heart clenched.
“You cared for her, obviously. Now she’s trusting you with me. Are you going to let her down again?”
5 Ravens“To Take Up the Sword is excellent. There are paranormal elements and sexual elements but neither overpowers the plot. This is a good read with enough twists and turns that you’ll be rereading it just to be sure you caught everything.” Lea – Black Ravens Reviews http://theblackravensreviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/author-review-to-take-up-sword-by.html
5 Diamonds “I loved this book. It has everything: well-developed characters, strong emotions, obstacles galore, villains, and a complicated plot…and all in a novella-length story. “ Starla Kaye – Got Romance Reviews
You Gotta Read “In 52 pages Ms. Curry spun a tale that encompassed love, lust, intrigue, betrayal and suspense, all the while making it a believable tale.” Jennifer – You Gotta Read Reviews http://yougottareadreviews.blogspot.com/2010/09/review-to-take-up-sword-by-brynna-curry.html
4 Tombstones “This short story had everything – theft, a kidnapping, plenty of intrigue, some romance… I liked the way Lea was able to defend her and Gabe, and applauded her courage and strength.” – Mary – Bitten by Books http://www.bittenbybooks.com/51366/to-take-up-the-sword-by-brynna-curry/
4 Nymphs “To Take Up The Sword is a quickie. It’s an intriguing and enjoyable tale that kept me reading all the way through to find out how this story would end.” Goddess Minx – Literary Nymphs Reviews
4 Hearts “To Take Up The Sword is a quick action backed novella with two strong characters running from explosions and dodging bullets.” Roni – Romance Book Scene http://romancebookscene.blogspot.com/2010/09/romance-book-review-to-take-up-sword.html
4 Hearts“I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens to these characters, especially Devin who is beginning to feel like family.” Melissa – Sizzling Hot Book Reviews