He had to kill her. Yet one look at Alexandra Barret and Marius Drakon was a man possessed by a hunger he'd never known. Keeping his family curse a secret from the woman whose death would end it would take all of his stone-cold strength, and protecting his family's enemy might be the death of him. But protect her he must.Alexandra's charismatic new neighbor intrigued her as no man had. What secrets was he keeping, and what did he know of the mysterious winged creature rumored to be haunting the night skies? The truth would be her undoing—or her destiny…
Heiress To A Curse
(Hearts of Stone, Book One)
by Zandria Munson
Publisher: Harlequin (Nocturne)
Release Date: August 1, 2010
The curse begins: In 16th century Romania, Lord Victor Drakon falls in love with a commoner named Amelia. In spite of the fact that he is betrothed to Lady Vivian Dancescu, he secretly marries his beloved Amelia. On hearing of the marriage, a distraught Vivian takes her own life. Vivian's cousin Necesar, a powerful witch, puts a curse on the Drakon family to avenge her death. They are forced to live eternally as gargoyles, trapped as stone statues during the day that transform into winged, demon-like creatures at night. The curse can be broken if all descendants of Necesar die, and after 500 years of searching, they find the last descendant.
"For months he'd envisioned killing her, a faceless descendant of the witch Necesar who'd cursed his family so many years ago. He'd never expected her to be so lovely...she was young, too. It was a pity she had to die."
In present day New York City, Alexandra Barret is unaware that the blood of a powerful witch runs through her veins. She knows there is something special about her; she posses a unique gift - the ability to see visions of both the past and future, which is helpful at her job as a newspaper reporter. Her life takes an interesting turn when a sexy, mysterious Romanian man moves into the apartment across the hall. At the same time, a great winged beast begins stalking her at night, even protecting her at times. What is this creature, and could it be connected to her curious new neighbor?
Marius Drakon was sent to New York for one reason: to find Alexandra and kill her. Every 100 years during the Spring Equinox, instead of turning to stone during the day, Marius is able to live as a man. It is in this limited time that he must get close to Alexandra to complete the steps of the ritual that will finally free his family of the curse. What he does not expect is to find is Necesar's descendant as a compassionate, strong and smart woman. As the passion between them grows, Marius realizes he cannot cause her harm. Marius soon finds himself torn between protecting Alexandra and betraying his own family. With time running out, he must find another way to break the curse before his family takes matters into their own hands.
Heiress to a Curse is a suspenseful dark paranormal tale that pulls you in from the opening scene. The author's choice of a gargoyle (shifter) as the hero was original. The story is fast-paced and flowed smoothly leading up to a very exciting ending. Marius was a very intriguing character - sexy, mysterious, tortured, protective - everything a fan of paranormal romance is looking for in a hero. I really liked Alexandra and her gift of visions, which she used in a subplot trying to save a young girl from a serial killer. The subplot blended nicely into the overall story. The sensual chemistry between Marius and Alexandra builds quickly, and their erotic encounters are very hot! How is it that Marius can be sexy even in beast form? Fans of dark paranormal romances will enjoy this story. If you've never read a book from the Harlequin Nocture line, Heiress to a Curse would be an excellent choice to read first. I'm looking forward to reading future books in the Hearts of Stone series.