Thursday, July 30, 2009
No Fear by Allie Harrison
by Allie Harrison
ImaJinn Books www.imajinnbooks.com
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
“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.
“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.”
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
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.
Books from the heart, from my heart to yours
HAUNTS OF THE HEART, now!
LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART, now!
CAST A PALE SHADOW, now!
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
OF A DIFFERENT BREED