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Destined for Shadows (Dark Destiny #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Susan Illene

Language:
English
Book Information:

When you’re human in a supernatural world, life can have unexpected twists.

Cori has spent the last few years trying to get herself back on track after tragedy struck in the worst possible way. She’s opened a business, made new friends, and even helped save lives. Sure, she doesn’t tell anyone about the dark deeds haunting her, but she does her best to make up for them whenever she can. That includes helping her new neighbor, a half-angel who has just spent a hundred years in Purgatory, adjust to modern life.

Bartol is damaged inside and out. The torture he has suffered left him with no desire to interact with the outside world, and so far he’s pushed everyone he knows away. Cori can’t help wanting to do what she can for the traumatized immortal—even if it requires being a little pushy—because she’s drawn to him for reasons she can’t explain. And, anyway, a little crankiness has never been enough to scare her off.

But her plans are about to come crashing down when a man from her past returns with vengeance on his mind. He’s not human anymore, and he wants Cori dead. In the end, it might not be her saving Bartol, but the other way around.

Books in Series:

Dark Destiny Series by Susan Illene

Books by Author:

Susan Illene Books

Chapter 1

Cori

Cori used to have a cranky old lady for a neighbor who nagged her incessantly about her numerous faults, but Ms. Callahan had recently been replaced by a cranky immortal with a lack of social skills who rarely made an appearance outside of his cabin. She should have appreciated the change. Truly, she should have been happy that her one and only neighbor for miles in the Alaskan wilderness kept to himself. Except the immortal was half angel—also known as a nephilim—who’d just come from a hundred-year prison sentence in Purgatory. And yeah, it was the same Purgatory from religious texts that most people thought was only a myth. A place on some other plane of existence where souls were tortured for their crimes on Earth.

Bartol, the nephilim, needed someone to bring him out of his shell and show him how to live again. Cori believed she was the right woman for the job. Not that she was looking to get into a relationship or anything. Neither of them was in a place where they were ready for that, but it didn’t mean she couldn’t give Bartol the kick-start he needed to get going again, and they could have a little fun along the way. She liked focusing on other people’s problems, rather than her own. Especially since her problems were in the past and not exactly fixable.

Cori headed for the kitchen, entering the only part of her two-bedroom cabin she’d remodeled since moving into the place a few years ago. It had black marble counters, dark wood cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. A window was set over the sink so she could view the forest behind her place and a bit of the blue sky above. She loved cooking in the kitchen even if she had to eat alone most of the time. Her regular customers at the tattoo studio would have never guessed she enjoyed preparing meals as much as permanently marking people’s skin with artwork.

The lasagna she’d baked sat cooling on the stovetop. The aroma wafted from the dish, overwhelming her senses and making her stomach growl. She grabbed a spatula, cut through the pasta, and scooped out a large chunk to put in a plastic container. Then she took a few slices of the garlic bread she’d also made and put them into a plastic baggy. Bartol would eat at least a couple of decent meals a week if she had anything to say about it. Left to his own devices, he only ate baked potatoes or canned soup. As a man who was born when the Roman Empire was still around, and who’d missed out on the biggest technological changes in modern history, he had a lot of catching up to do if he wanted to survive in this era.

After grabbing a pre-made bowl of salad from the fridge as the final piece of the meal, Cori put everything into a plastic bag and left the house. Cool air touched her face as she stepped outside. Though it was mid-September and the days were still long, autumn had already arrived to the Alaskan interior. She had lived in the state her whole life and was used to the weather being colder than most other places. Forty degrees might seem a bit cool to southern folks, but she had no problem wearing jeans and a tank top until it hit below freezing.

She carried the food bag as she walked down a narrow dirt road lined with evergreen trees. The rutted path ran for about half a mile until it reached the highway. Bartol’s cabin—a smaller one-bedroom place—wasn’t quite as deep in the woods as hers, but it only took a few minutes to reach. She caught the smoke from the chimney before she saw the actual home. Only during the warmest days of summer had she not seen it going.

According to Cori’s friend, Melena, the bowels of Purgatory where Bartol had been imprisoned were freezing cold. The ice set into the bones of whoever stayed there, so that the inhabitants could never truly feel warm. Melena had gotten over her stay fairly quickly, but she’d only been confined there a few months. Bartol, whose stay was longer than most people’s life spans, acted as if anything below seventy degrees was too cold for him and kept his fireplace blazing day and night. The poor guy probably should have moved to Florida, but his friends had talked him into living in Alaska instead. He had a lot of catching up to do in the modern world, and at least here he could ease into it a little slower.

Cori skipped up the wooden steps to his front porch and knocked on the door.

No answer.

“Bartol!” she yelled. “I’ve got dinner for you.”

Curses and grunts came from inside. A minute later, the door flew open and an annoyed man with golden eyes filled the opening. Cori couldn’t help dropping her gaze to his bare chest where he’d filled out over the past few months—mostly thanks to her cooking. A healthy nephilim tended to be large and strong due to the angelic half of their DNA, but years of wasting away in Purgatory had left Bartol unnaturally lean. He’d grown to a healthier weight recently, and his muscles were more defined now. Black sweatpants covered his long legs, and he had a pair of thick socks on his feet. For all that he complained about the cold, he didn’t like wearing shirts for some reason. Cori didn’t mind that little quirk at all.


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