Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Fear by Allie Harrison

by Allie Harrison

ImaJinn Books

ISBN: 978-1-933417-48-6

Paranormal Romance $14.00

Release date: May 9, 2009


Medusa’s Island, off the Carolina coast, isolated by an

approaching storm fall storm. Present day. When two

young women are found dead from no apparent

causes despite their expressions of terror, Chief of

Police James Winchester and Emma Gray fear a

monster from the past has returned to the island. Emma

narrowly escaped this killer five years before. James

had come to the island to stop this monster then, but

saving Emma had been his priority. Now they once

again have no choice but to face this killer, as well as

the terror he brings. They hope the love they share is

strong enough to save them…


“I can’t be out in the dark,” Emma admitted.

James watched her closely, taking in the way she

hugged her arms together despite the calm expression she

worked to maintain on her face. The way she held her arms

drew his attention to the soft pink of her sweater and her

creamy flesh above the scooped neck. James swallowed

hard and did his best to keep his gaze on her face.

“Why not? Do you turn into a werewolf?” he asked. He

knew her fear of the dark and her reason for it. Just as he knew he

shouldn’t bring up something as legendary as a werewolf, but he

had to know where he stood with her when it came to her trusting

him with her past. He couldn’t very well come out and say he knew

she’d been tied up in the dark with a vampire, or could he?

She looked at him, completely serious. “No, but there might

be one waiting out there for me just the same,” she replied. It was so

easy to look into his eyes. She found it nearly impossible to look

away from them. “Doc said I could trust you.”

“And do you agree with him?” James asked.

“I think so,” she admitted. “That’s why I came, to find out

for certain.”

“I have ice cream for dessert,” he told her. “Chocolate.”

She met his gaze as if she contemplated the fact he would

know chocolate was her favorite. Then she looked out the back door,

taking notice of the quickly sinking orange ball in the western sky.

“Perhaps I’ll have ice cream another time. Can you take me home

now please?” She fought to maintain her composure. How could

she convince him of her fear of the dark without sounding like a

two-year old afraid of the monster hiding in the closet?

She stared at him as he absently swirled the last bit of

wine in his glass. He watched her carefully with those strange

eyes of his, and yet his scrutinizing stare didn’t make her the

least bit uncomfortable. He had kissed her before. It had been

nothing more that a sweep of his lips, and yet Emma admitted

to herself as she now absently licked her lips that she wanted

more. The chance of a kiss from him didn’t shock her. She’d

felt a strange pull from him for a very long time. In fact, being

with him, being close to him, as well as being at his house and

eating dinner with him, felt more natural to her than working to

keep her distance from him.

It was the falling darkness that bothered her.

What did surprise her was his answer, however.

“No,” he said simply.

“No?” She looked again out the back door. She could

run the two miles home, but she’d never make it before dark.

She’d be out there, vulnerable, as the darkness swallowed her

like a monster with big teeth.

His next words surprised her even further. “I want you

to stay with me. We can look at the stars together.” His gaze

trapped in hers never faltered.

A shiver ran up her spine. Emma concentrated on her

next several breaths. Breathe in, let it out. Breathe in, let it out.

“I can’t be out in the dark,” she said simply. It probably wasn’t

much different from telling him she couldn’t walk a tight wire

stretched between two skyscrapers, either.

“I know,” James said simply.

She might have just told him the sky was blue and the

grass was green with the way he’d answered her.

“I know of your fear. I want to help you face it,” he said.

Slowly she shook her head. “There is no way I can be out

in the dark looking at stars,” she said.

“Yes, there is,” he said. “I’ll be with you.”


“You’ll be safe with me, I promise.”

“No,” she said again. The hair on the back of her neck was

standing up. Pain suddenly bit in her palms. And Emma realized

that despite the fact she held her arms across on her lap, she was

clenching her fists and her nails dug into her palms.

“I thought you said you trusted me.”

Emma noticed the way his gaze never left hers, never

wavered. He still swirled the wine in his glass. Then still looking

at her, he finished it off.

“It isn’t that I don’t trust you. And it isn’t you that scares

me about the dark,” she let out without thinking. Her own words

made her blink. Why the hell did she admit that to him? Now he’d

be asking what it was that scared her in the dark.

Much to her surprise, he didn’t ask. And from the casual

way he watched her, she thought he already knew what scared her

in the dark. “I’ll hold your hand,” he said.

Suddenly she was bothered by the fact that he didn’t ask

what frightened her. “You don’t understand,” she said. “There was a—”

A what? A vampire? Emma couldn’t bring herself to say the word, even

after all this time. That single word, despite how ridiculous it sounded,

how utterly childish and stupid, still sent her heart racing, her stomach

clenching painfully, and caused her legs to feel weak. “There was a man

in the dark,” she said instead. “He—”

“I won’t let him hurt you, Emma,” James said simply. “But you

have to stop him from hurting you again, too.”

“What?” His words made no sense. “He doesn’t.”

James took her in still, his eyes like thunderclouds. “He keeps

you from living your life to the fullest. Do you trust me?” he asked.

She very much wanted to trust him. For that moment, she

was glad the table separated him from her. If it hadn’t she thought

she’d be the one to now touch him. The need to be close to him

frightened her as much as the dark. She’d never before felt it.

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Then stay and take in the stars with me. We’ll have ice

cream and wait for the dark together.”

Again, she shook her head. “No ice cream,” she said. “I’m

already feeling like I might lose the supper you cooked for us.” She

took a long swallow of her wine. It burned going down, but didn’t

totally relieve her of the lump in her throat.

It was merely minutes later when he looked into her eyes.

His eyes were so smoky, they looked nearly silver.

Emma’s mouth was suddenly dry, her heart racing and

feeling as if it jumped in her chest. She didn’t feel herself move,

but she was suddenly holding his hand. He laced his fingers

through hers and held her tightly, letting her know he would

never let her go.

“How do you do that?” she asked.

“Do what?”

“Touch me without me knowing?”

His brows drew together in question. “I don’t understand.”

He still held her hand. He understood completely. He had watched

her for a long time and knew she didn’t allow anyone to touch her.

He knew she even jumped if Doc bumped against her unexpectedly.

“Never mind,” she said, not explaining it to him.

“Is it all right if I touch you, if I take your hand?” he had to ask.

The smile she offered him was small, hesitant, and uncertain.

Then she said, “Yes, yes, it is. I like the way your hand feels.” Then

she looked away from him, out the back door.

Her fear touched his hand and moved right up his arm to

his heart like a hot spark. Her fear, any pain, any negative

feeling at all, she felt was physical pain to him, and he wished

he could just kiss her and wipe away all her fear and all the

pain of her past. At least she was willing to let some of it go.

“All you have to do is step out on to the deck with me,” he said.

She tried to look brave, tried to not let him see the terror

that coursed through her like a burning river. “It’s so dark.

There’s no moon.”

“I know.”

She didn’t remember taking any steps, but they were

suddenly at the back door.

James pulled the door open. The cool air of the quickly

approaching night touched her like sharp claws raking across her

skin. Emma fought the urge to scream and jump away. She

couldn’t manage to keep out her sudden intake of breath.

James tightened his hold on her hand, yet still his grip

was gentle. “You can do this, Emma. You can do this with me.

Just hold on to my hand. I’m right here beside you. I won’t let

you go.”

His hand was so warm, so strong. She was probably

squeezing it hard enough to break his fingers, she thought.

But even the thought wasn’t enough to force her to loosen

her grip. Now, she felt every step. As if her feet were

suddenly each twenty pounds heavier, she had to concentrate

to move. Then they were out on the deck in the cool October night.

“Oh, I can’t breathe,” she said. “I can’t.” She really had

believed she was safe with James. She really thought that with

James holding her hand, she could become a part of the night, see

the stars and breathe in the night air. She couldn’t. He held her

hand tightly as she tried to pull away, tried to slide back into the

house. The coldness of the dark was like being under water and

knowing she couldn’t come up for air. Her chest was tight as if

something indefinable gripped her middle and wouldn’t allow her

chest to expand for a much-needed breath. Her mouth was dry, her

chest so tight, she couldn’t swallow.

James took her other hand, and held it just as tightly, forcing

her to face him. “Look at me. I’m right here with you. I won’t let

anything hurt you ever, I promise.”

She stopped pulling against him and looked up at him. His

eyes appeared to glow and sparkle in the shadows. Emma couldn’t

look away. She didn’t even want to look away. She wanted to

move closer to him. Her desire to touch him, to touch every inch

of him, was back, stronger than ever. And she wanted nothing

more than to touch him and let him touch her right out on the deck,

making them both part of the night.

“Take a deep breath.”

She did, following his lead. Her breasts touched his

chest with the movement. His closeness sent a shiver through

her and at the same time compelled her to be even closer to him.

She fought against the urge to lean into him.

“Now I want you to look around. Let yourself see that

there’s nothing out here,” he said. “Nothing but you and me

and things that belong out here.” He leaned close and whispered

in her ear. “Don’t be afraid.”

Emma concentrated on the sound of his voice, so sure,

so certain. It was so easy to listen to him.

“Listen to the night sounds,” he went on softly.

The night was filled with sounds, a distant owl and

leaves rustling in the breeze that gently blew Emma’s hair. The

chilly air became easier to work through her lungs.

“Now look up at the stars,” James said. He stepped

closer to her. Her warmth nearly burned him. He took a deep

breath, taking in the familiarity of her sweet scent. She smelled

like soft flowers in the woods, earthy, inviting and alluring. She

had no idea how intoxicating her smell was mixed with the night air.

And she looked up at the stars, exposing her throat to him…

The following review is by Barbara Scott of MoRWA for MoRWA’s

Newsletter Rumpled Sheets:

You know what it's like when you finish a good book and you immediately want to

call your best friend and tell her all about it? But you can't because you know she'll

like it too and you don't want to give away the best parts. That's the feeling I had

while reading No Fear by Allie Harrison.

Adept at creating a mood, Harrison gets the hair raising on the back of your neck

as she spins her tail of the creepy things happening on Medusa's Island. After the

mysterious deaths of two young women, Chief of Police James Winchester begins

to fear that the monster, possibly a vampire, that stalked the Island 5 years ago

has returned. This stirs his protective nature for the woman who had survived an

attack back then.

Emma Gray has never been the same since her brush with death. She lives a

sheltered life, afraid of the night, avoiding all but the closest of friends, haunted

by the voice of her attacker. Though she's knows James and should trust him,

she is wary of even him if it means venturing out after dark.

Can she trust James to protect her? Should she?

Like a trusted friend leading you into a dark place you're not sure you want to go,

Harrison takes you down unexpected pathways in this clever vampire tale. She

knows how to bring the goosebumps and when to make you squirm. Just like

Emma, you'll want to trust James when maybe you shouldn't.

No Fear is a chilling mix of mood and mystery. I'd tell you more but I don't want

to spoil it. You have to read it for yourself.

Barbara Scott

Books from the heart, from my heart to yours




From Coffee Time Romance & More

4 Coffee Cups

Emma Gray swears she will never be a victim again.

She came face to face with death and survived. Done hiding

from life; she decides to give her savior a chance.

James Winchester will never forget the night he saved Emma.

He has waited for 5 years to tell her how he feels and now he

may never get a chance.

Emma and James may never explore their blossoming feelings

because once again the monster of death has returned. This time

the vampire is determined that Emma will be his for all eternity.

No Fear is a wonderful book that is full of suspense, horror, and

romance. The ability of Emma to survive the first encounter is

amazing, but the author’s description of subsequent victims is

detailed and scary. Allie Harrison used an eloquent writing style

to throw the reader into the fight for life against corpses from a

cemetery. This is a thrilling read that provides a little bit of

everything to keep any reader turning the page.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Coming soon by Allie Harrison

Also ImaJinn Books: HIDE & SEEK

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