CAPA Nominated, EPPIE Finalist BLIND DEVOTION is the story of a woman living in jeopardy and a man chosen to protect her. Can a fighting priest save a woman once she's wakened, not one, but two mythical monsters?
A beautifully written tale of love, magic and faith, Ms. Storey has created a rich fantasy world that appeals to all of her reader's senses and tugs at the heartstrings. The conflict between Azari and Tor's feelings and the restrictions placed on them by society creates a gripping story that is sure to please anyone who loves a little magic mixed with their romance. Jennie, Enchanted Ramblings
Azari is a great character. She is confident and unwilling to sacrifice her strong will just to have a man. She would rather just remain a virgin until she finds a man who accepts her as she is. Tor is a strong man but he is unwilling to open himself to love since that would be sacrilegious towards his Goddess. Plus he has seen the suffering love can cause. When they first meet they are like oil and vinegar but Azari piques Tor’s interest because she doesn’t bow down and kiss his feet. Julie Esparza, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
Ms. Lucynda Storey has written an exciting story with all the romance, danger, and suspense you could ask for. I admired Azari for her hard-headed determination to stand by her man against impossible odds. Tor’s inner struggles between his growing love for Azari and his vows as a priest will keep every reader second guessing the ending. Kathy, Coffeetime Romance
'Blind Devotion,' is appropriately named because of Tor's love of the goddess. The setting is a world where magic exists…. The story tells how people can misinterpret ideas, changing the original beliefs. Tor is dedicated and willing to sacrifice what he desires for his beliefs. Azari understands Tor and although she would like to be with him, loves him enough to let go. The romance is passionate and beautifully expressed. Anita, The Romance Studio
When Azari runs from a wild animal, she has no idea her life is about to change irrevocably. Unwittingly, she has awakened two mythical beings intent on possessing her. Escaping to an isolated cabin, Azari meets an unlikely protector, Tor, the High Priest of Eiliki. Together, Azari and Tor face the greatest challenges of their lives – survival. Will Tor’s blind devotion to the Goddess prevent him from accepting the greatest gift he’s ever been given, or will the dogma of his religion and his own past keep him from making the right decision?
Dear Goddess, when had his needs ever overtaken his senses before? Anger with himself propelled him through the trees along the rough trail he chose. Long ago, he’d made a vow that he would not develop an attachment to any woman yet here he was lusting after Azari like some sort of proprietary animal. A beast led by carnal desire.
He’d have her to her home soon. They’d warn the village of the impending danger and then he’d be done with her. Despite the visions he’d seen in the globe, Tor would walk away from her. Before his emotions followed his rod. Before he buried himself in her sweet, hot wetness again. And again. And again.
Dear Goddess. No. This was not happening. Abruptly he stopped and leaned against a siasma tree. The stringy bark peeled easily beneath his fingers. How could he serve the Goddess when his thoughts continually returned to making love to Azari?
“Are you alright?”
Her voice blanketed him with softness. He stared at the hand that touched his arm. The longing he’d been trying to bank leapt to full flame again. He snapped, “How can I be when you touch me?”
At that, she dropped her hand and resumed her trek through the woods. It was only when Tor saw her run that he realized the wound he’d dealt.
Tor gave chase. Pain lanced his heart when he caught her and saw the tears on her face. “Azari. I’m not worthy of your tears. I cannot give you what you desire.”
Defiantly, she lifted her gaze to meet his eyes. “What do I desire?”
Wiping away a tear with the pad of his thumb, he answered. “I know what you think. A home, family, love. I can give you none of those.”
“Don’t you want them?”
“I cannot want them.”
“Tor, the man, or Tor, the High Priest?”
“It’s not that simple, Azari. To want you for more than a vessel to spill my seed is sacrilege.”
“It didn’t stop you earlier.”
Around them, the sounds of the forest diminished, as if the animals prepared for a coming storm. “You used me, Azari. I willingly allowed it. Even after I told you the loss of your virginity would not alter, for reasons I don’t comprehend, the course of the dragon and cevere. Even after you saw for yourself the truth in the crystal.”
“And what if I want more?”
The truth tore through him. She did, indeed, want more. She wanted his love, something he’d given no other human since Salmond’s death. Her innocence and trust in him called to him, but he couldn’t allow himself to fall into dream she created. “It changes nothing.”
“I don’t care about the High Priest.”
“You must,” he replied, agony in his simple words.
She stroked her hand down his chest, down to his inner thigh. “I want Tor the man.”
If she fell in love with him, it would make it too easy to love her back, and that he would not do to either of them. He grabbed her wrist and wrenched her hand away. He had to stop this madness. “You have Tor, the High Priest. It’s time you remembered that.”
“You don’t think that way, I know it.”
Through lips held tight, he ground out, “You know nothing, Azari. The Goddess is my companion, not you.” He had to make her see that a relationship with him was not possible. He belonged to another, and his burgeoning feelings for the spitfire had to be dampened. He had to drive her emotionally away from him if either of them would live. “You are nothing but a vessel to be used for the conception of my child.”
The ramifications of their relationship were agonizingly simple. He had to make her see what loving him would do to her.
With deliberate coldness in his voice he continued, “A child that will be taken from you at birth and raised by another. An infant you will not be allowed to see once you’ve given birth. This is what you will receive for your union with me.”
He grabbed her shoulder and forced himself to look her directly in the eyes. He enunciated each word. “Nothing more.”
He watched her face. The confidence of a moment ago disappeared, replaced by a fresh injury.
“I do not believe this,” she whispered.
Neither do I, his heart ached to confess. In one short day, Azari had shown him the possibility of life with a real flesh and blood woman.
Tears glistened in her green eyes. His heart twisted, but he had to be as hard as the rocks that weakened the bottom of the canoe they’d left behind. The pain she’d endure now would be nothing compared to what she’d suffer if she persisted in the delusion of a mutual love they’d never share.
“It matters not what you believe. My life is what it is, given in service to Eiliki.” He delivered his final blow. “Don’t touch me, Azari, ever again, without my leave.”
BLIND DEVOTION available TODAY
Rose Light is one of those stories that goes unexpected places. The sexual content includes a foot fetish scene which was surpisingly erotic as I'd never read something like that before. The historic feel to the story was well researched and the author, a resident of Great Britain spent time in the location, studying the homes of the era.
In this excerpt, Rose has recently returned from her mother’s grave and has made dinner for her step-mother and step-sisters.
Take one wicked stepmother and two older, conniving sisters, and you may think you’ve heard this tale before. You haven’t -- not this way. Let Rose Light tell you her story.
The little ones sat in silence, their eyes shifting from one adult to another. Hatred and amusement as well as weariness lit their collective gaze. Charlotte and Regina were from Margaret’s first marriage. The others were her siblings, or so Margaret said. Rose supposed they meant her to disregard that they looked nothing like either her or her father. They were girls all: Elise, Jane, Emily and Georgina.
“Finish serving,” Margaret ordered.
Rose had only placed the main course on the table. She had not even taken her seat and already the great sow feasted. Rose brought the vegetables to the table and served the others. The only sound in the room was the great smacking of two rubbery lips as the pig masticated.
A sudden knock at the door froze them all. Surprised glances met each other and passed over. Rose would have wiped her hands on her apron and answered it, but to her amazement, Regina, possibly overcome by the sight of pork on her plate, did it for her. No doubt, Regina thought it was her benefactor. A wealthy man came to call on her and a promise of marriage hung in the air. Rose suspected he had already wed, but his gifts helped to keep the roof over their heads.
Much to Rose’s personal surprise, a young man she certainly recognized entered the house. Regina, no doubt taken aback, brought him into the kitchen with her. John Bennett removed his top hat and glanced around the occupants of the room. Rose hovered behind Charlotte who had risen, and so remained hidden.
“Forgive me,” he said. “I regret disturbing you. I am looking for a woman by the name of Rose Light.”
In shock, Charlotte looked over her shoulder directly at Rose and moved to the side, revealing her. At the same time, Regina turned her head and smirked at her. As was so often the case, her eyes looked lazy and evil. Rose stared at John Bennett as he inclined his head a little at the sight of her. Returning to her senses, Margaret must have realized that gravy and spittle adorned her chin. She mopped at her face with a napkin, and then stood.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she began.
John Bennett regarded her. “Sorry for what, madam?”
“For whatever it is that my ungrateful stepdaughter has done, sir.” She waved a hand in the air as though illustrating her explanation. The gesture seemed to encompass all things as though the hovel they lived in was Rose’s fault and no other.
John Bennett moved further into the room. He gripped his hat as though it were the only thing separating him from the inhabitants. Rose lifted an eyebrow at the way he nervously clung to it. Lifting her gaze to his face, a peculiar notion overcame her that he had seen her speculation. He turned to her stepmother. “I assure you, Madam Light, she has done nothing other than speaking unexpectedly and forcing me to face a truth I did not wish to hear. In that, she has done a stranger an act of kindness. I wished to see if there was some form of benevolence I could repay in like manner.”
His declaration seemed to stun everyone and they exchanged the same wandering glances of confusion before staring inanely at the table. Everyone, including John Bennett, shifted awkwardly – everyone except Rose.
Now available at: