Her Warriors’ Three Wishes
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Dante’s Circle Book 2
Humans aren’t as alone as they choose to believe. Every human possesses a trait of supernatural that lays dormant within their genetic make-up. Centuries of diluting and breeding have allowed humans to think they are alone and untouched by magic. But what happens when something changes?
Ambrose Griffin is older than most, if not all, civilizations. As each year passes, he submerses himself into his training, only relaxing around his protÈgÈe and friend, Shade. After losing his wife and children in the last Angelic Wars, he guards his heart and has no desire to share it with another.
Bookkeeper and romance novel enthusiast, Jamie Bennett dreams of being swept off her feet by a white knight. However, her life is no romance book. Since meeting Ambrose—a sexy, delicious angel—she’s been twisted inside out and doesn’t know why. Things are happening that she can’t control and now her life is in danger.
Balin Drake is stuck in hell, literally. His life of refusing to take souls, even though it’s part of his demon nature, has caught up with him. He’s dying and now must search for his true half, but even a mating may not save him. When he meets the two people who could fill that part, he’ll need to fight for something he hasn’t felt in over a century—hope.
Warning: Contains a rigid angel who needs a certain sexy woman to help him unwind, a book keeper who finds herself the creamy center of the best cookie ever, and a demon who has a certain taste for pressing them both against walls.
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“I was on the edge of my seat and holding my kindle tight trying to see what would happen next…Carrie is a very sneaky woman.”
ìIíll give Carrie Ann Ryan thisÖthis story took off running and really did not stop, that I enjoyed probably too muchÖI loved it!î
ìIt has so much going on I was frazzled, happy, sad, scared relieved and I had an entire myriad of emotions going onÖ I can’t wait for the next book!!î
ìHer Warriors Three Wishes is a thrill ride not to miss.î
ìWhat can I say about this book other than WOW!! I would recommend this book to anyone that likes Lauren Dane, Dana Marie Bell, or Stephanie Julian. If you haven’t read a Carrie Ann Ryan book, you definitely need to pick one up…NOW!!!î
ìIf you love smart heroines who kick butt, super hot angels and demons, unique lore, and a super fun story then this book is probably a perfect fit for you.î
ìDemon games, imprisonment and torture, fiery pits of Hell with a bit of magic and of course we canít forget the sex all wrapped up in this amazing sequel. She has me WISHING for the next book to come out soon!î
Itís odd how a strike of lightning can change a personís destiny, but it takes the decisions and strength of others to make it happen. The wind brushed against his wings and he brought them closer to his body, needing that ounce of control.
Ambrose Griffin looked out along the angelic enclave as he stood high on the cliffís edge and inhaled the fresh, open scent. This was his home, or at least it should have been. It was more of a resting place for him now. He didnít even know when the loss of home had come to him. Changes were coming, he felt them in every fiber of his being, yet he couldnít see their outcomes. To be honest, he really didnít want to. He might have been older than dirt, but he wasnít a seer. He didnít envy those who held that so-called gift.
Ambrose didnít want the world like it was. Heíd seen countless civilizations rise and fall, people live and die faster than the sand that drifted away with their ashes along the wind.
Frankly, he was tired, the aches in his bones not from old age, but from time itselfóhe was an angel, he didnít ageóbut from the weight of his past.
He was a warrior angel. One designed, trained, and delegated to hand out the justice of the angelic council. His blade was the final cut of judgment. His sword was that of law and order. He lived and breathed the duties set forth by the council, the same council that beckoned him to join their ranks each time he saw themóat their request, not his.
Each time they summoned him and begged him to take a place within them, heíd declined. Heíd seen the depravity of power and wanted nothing of it. The council had changed in the past year, a short time for an angel, but the change had been needed.
After the Angelic Warsóthe centuriesí long battles between two factions of angelsóhad ended, their council had been poisoned from within by Striker. The treasonous, brown-winged angel had started the Wars himself and had not stopped when the final blade had been lowered. No, heíd continued on in secret, almost killing Shade, Ambroseís brother-in-arms, and Shadeís true-half, Lily.
They had persevered, and now Striker was no moreókilled at the hands of Shade himself. Yet, with Strikerís death, the empty seat on the council beckoned him, or rather the other council members had. He wanted nothing to do with it. He had all the power he wanted and desired nothing more. He didnít want to sit idly by and make declarations and decisions for others. No, heíd rather feel a blade warm in his hand as he fought for all that was right.
It was all he had done for his five-thousand-year existence and all he could see in his future. He needed nothing else.
Not even her.
No, it wasnít the time to think of her. It was never the time to think of her.
Heíd seen the worst in man and angel alike far more often than not. Angels werenít the godly and holy beings people thought. Though those might existóhe wasnít so sureóthey did not enter this realm or any of the other supernatural realms.
Humans werenít exactly as human as others would like to think. No, they were diluted versions of all things inhuman. Centuries of breeding with other supernaturals had created a supernatural without magic. Though, at first, the humans had known of magic and all it entailed, over time their true beginnings had been lost to them. Science and religion had warred with each other, erasing the true keystone to their humanity.
Now it was just as well. Humans werenít ready for the existences of angels, shifters, brownies, demons, and so many others to become common knowledge. They feared what they did not understand, and a war to end all wars would be an inevitable outcome. Seerers had foretold it, and Ambrose knew it to be truth deep down in his bones.
The gods, or whatever others called them, had other things in store however. A year before theyíd struck seven women, seven close-knit friends, with a lightning strike that had unleashed the supernatural DNA within their genetic makeup. Each woman might or might not unleash the most prominent supernatural strain of DNA in their own code, though for their sakes, Ambrose hoped the latter. A change such as that would be a shockóno pun intended.
Lily, the first to change, had made it through and was now a brownie because of the lightning and the fact that she was stronger than she thought and had Shade by her side. Of course, it was also Shadeís fault that her powers had been unearthed to begin with. Even with the lightning, it had taken their bonding and making love for her powers to be fully unleashed. A simple meeting with Shade had brought her powers to the surface, even though they had not been fully realized. It took that mating of a true half for the change to be complete.
It would be like that for the other six of themóif they met their true halves.
Any one of the other girls could be going through that pain that unsettled feeling that came with finding their true half but not completing the mating.
Ambrose gave a long sigh, one filled with an eternal memory that seemed to bear down on him with each passing day. With a swift intake of breath, he leapt off the edge of the cliff, his wings spreading wide, catching a wind current. He flew down to the ravine, following the riverís path, the wind lashing through his hair. He never felt as alive as he did when he flew amongst the clouds and then again with nature. This was why he loved being an angel, even though the weight of the years felt heavier as time moved on.
He landed on the edge of a cliff that gave way to a marketplace. Heíd told Shade and Lily heíd meet them on the other side of it, and he didnít want to be late. We walked past a grouping of younger female angels, and they each gave tentative smiles in his direction.
Well, they were younger to him. By the taste of their powers as they seeped off them, he knew them to be at least a few hundred years old. Babies to an ancient like him.
And if they were considered babies, then sheó
No, he couldnít think about her. Not if he wanted to remain sane. Heíd spent the past year in the angelic realm dealing with the aftermath of Strikerís betrayalóaway from her.
The girlsóno, womenóflexed their wings, each a painting of beauty and fragile elegance. Cool in their portrayal, iced in their immortally.
Not for him. No one was. Not even her.
Ambrose knew what the others saw. White wings, not as plain as those in the drawings by humans, but almost crystalline in nature, gleaming in the sunlight. He had the body of a warrior, one strengthened over eons of war and dispensing justice. His white hair ran straight down to the middle of his back, slightly mussed from his flight. He usually wore it tied back with a leather band but had opted to let it go free to feel like a younger man, a freer one.
What had he been thinking?
From the womenís stares, he may have made a mistake. He didnít want their attention. Heíd had his angel a lifetime ago and didnít want another. He knew what could be his fate, and the angels fluttering their eyelashes and wings were not it. He gave a regal nod and a cool stare. Their smiles vanished, but their gazes didnít waver.
Apparently, they liked the challenge?
No thanks. He didnít desire their attention, didnít deserve it. He was just a warrior angel, not a man to be admired.
He left them where they stood, their discontent clear, but he let it wash over him. The market was filled with the hustle and bustle of activity. Mothers held their babies close because a child was a prized gift in their culture. Children played in the street as there were no cars needed in their lands. Merchants sold goods as though it were a long-ago time in the human realm. The angels moved at a slower pace, though they held the technology to do anything. They were a mismatch of cultures and times. Some wore robes, while others, like him, wore jeans and other items of the modern movement.
Heíd hated the robes anyway. The wind would always leave him feeling a bit breezy and exposed. He bit his lip to hold back a smile at the thought of what others would wear under those robes, didnít want to scare anyone today.
Ambrose walked past a group of young males play-fighting with wooden swords. Although a bullet could pierce a body, angelic or not, most angels preferred the more elegant weapon to fight, and for a warrior, it was a must. These young boys had their sights on the warrior class, one that would take much effort, but heíd help them when it came time for their mentoringóif they made it that far. Wordlessly, he walked up to one boy and adjusted the grip of his sword before moving on. He stopped abruptly when he noticed they were all frozen in place, their mouths open in shock.
ìYou need to be sure you handle your weapons with care,î he advised, his voice deep and rough with lack of use. He only spoke if needed; there was no use in wasting words when actions would prove just as useful, if not more so. ìYour opponent will be stronger than you in some cases, and you need to rely on your skill, as well as whatís ingrained in you. Be aware.î
With a nod, he left them in silence. Behind him, he heard murmurs of his name, whispers in reverence. Heíd done that boy a favor, something the boyís father should have done. Though Ambrose was a warrior, he was also a mentor and a weapons enthusiast. Weapons were his passion.
His only passion these days.
His collection rivaled those of the best museums, if not surpassed them. Scholars would envy it had they known it existed, but his life was shrouded in secret from the humans, as it should be.
ìScaring young children, are you?î Shade Griffin said as he walked toward him with his arm around his true half and wife, Lily. Shade was his brother-in-arms, his partner in justice, brother by choice and not blood.
He was also the brother of his late wife, though that had been long ago.
Lily laughed, a sweet trill that made Ambrose think of family. She was now his sister, someone heíd die to protect, and her beauty surpassed most: ivory skin, large green eyes, and chestnut hair. He could easily see why Shade had fallen in love the moment heíd seen her.
ìShade, stop making fun of Ambrose,î Lily scolded and elbowed him in the ribs.
ìYou still laughed, my dear,î Shade said and kissed her temple.
She blushed and ducked her head. Ambrose lifted a corner of his lip and rubbed her cheek with his knuckle. Shade raised a brow, and Ambrose moved back, not caring in the slightest that Shade was territorial. He didnít fault the other angel for his attitude, but Shade should know Ambrose had another on his mind and didnít want Lily that way. It was still fun to needle him, even though the world thought he wasnít the most humorous of men.
ìYouíre fine, Lily,î he soothed. ìI know you only laugh with him to humor him. He needs the help with his fragile ego.î
Shade threw his head back and laughed. ìAmbrose just told a joke and almost smiled.î He clutched his chest and staggered back, bringing Lily with him. ìI think I need to sit down.î
ìYouíre a riot, oh-wise-one,î Ambrose said dryly. ìWas there a reason you wanted to meet here?î
Lily looked around, her face radiant, glowing even. Was sheÖ? Perhaps, but heíd let her tell him the news. Women seemed to like that.
ìIíve never been here before, so I thought it would be a nice change,î Lily said, practically bouncing on her feet.
In the past year since their meeting, sheíd been to the angelic realm a few times, but only to Shadeís home or his own. She and Shade spent most of their time in the human realm, protecting her six friends in case the other supernaturals found out exactly what was going on and it turned dangerous. Ambrose had said he would help but had taken the cowardís way out and gone back to the angels to help deal with Strikerís betrayal.
He knew his break from the humans was almost at an end. The angels didnít need him anymore to oversee the change, and he knew the human women needed him more. Shade, and the girlsí dragon friend, Dante, were on watch, but Ambrose should have helped more.
He still had time though. Maybe he could make amends.
ìAmbrose?î Shade asked, worry in his features.
Ambrose shook away his thoughts and guilt and looked back to his two best friends. ìSorry, I was lost in thought. What is it you needed to tell me?î
Lily and Shade shared a worried glance that transformed to pure bliss, and a little stress on Shadeís side.
ìWeíre pregnant!î Lily explained, her cheeks rosy and her eyes bright.
Ambrose smiled, full out, a rarity, he knew. He pulled Lily into a tight hug and twirled her around. ìCongratulations, Lily, my dear, you will be a wonderful mother.î
Images of his own childrenís faces flashed in a fading memory, but he didnít feel any pain, only that hollowness of a long-lost future.
He put Lily down and gave her a chaste kiss on the mouth. ìI will be there for you if you need me.î
He clapped Shade on the back, and Shade gave him a look that said the other angel knew what Ambrose had been thinking about. Theyíd been friends and brothers too long to hide those things.
ìIím very happy for the both of you,î Ambrose said. He pulled back and held his arm across his chest. ìI will do all in my power to ensure your child, and your future children, are safe and happy,î he vowed.
Shade mirrored his movement, and they both bowed. Tears stained Lilyís cheeks, but she still held her smile.
ìYouíll be godfather, Ambrose, right?î she asked.
As if he could say no. He nodded, pleasure at the thought of their trust running through him.
ìOf course,î he said, his voice choked with emotion.
“Weíve already told the others in the human realm,î Lily continued. ìSorry we didnít tell you first, but it didnít make any sense to come here before telling them.î
ìI donít mind, Lily.î
ìJamie will be godmother; is that okay?î Lily asked. He knew sheíd sensed something off between him and her friend, but thankfully, she hadnít broached the subject.
The name heíd fought so hard to forget.
The woman who haunted his dreams, more so than his dead wife.
Jamie, the woman who could have been his true half if heíd let it happenówho was his true half.
ìOf course,î he said again, this time a new emotion threatening to choke him. ìLetís celebrate with a good meal, shall we?î He led them to a small eatery, his thoughts not on their conversation, but on the woman heíd avoided.
Jamie deserved more, a future. Not the broken shell of a man. He wasnít selfish enough to think he would make her happy, though he desperately wanted to be that man. Sometimes he thought he could beócould see their future.
No, he couldnít. She was too young for him. Too full of life. Sheíd be happier without him.
He closed his eyes while Shade and Lily talked to each other. He tugged on the cord that connected him and Jamie, the one she didnít know existed because she hadnít made the change to supernatural yet, even though he knew she was feeling the effects of the need to change. Luckily, it hadnít been as bad as Lilyís, so he could leave her. She might feel only slightly weak, but she hadnít had the seizures or other side effects that Lily had endured, thankfully.
Unlike Lily though, Jamie had been feeling the weakness for almost a year.
And, it was his fault.
Heíd left her, and they hadnít made love.
Hadnít even kissed.
He hadnít wanted to tie her to a man too old to be what she needed. In his heart, heíd known there was another for her. Heíd felt it. The world consisted of just one true half per person, and some triads, Ambrose felt for certain there was another for Jamie, one that would be her true half. He knew in his heart that she would be happy with that other man, whoever he may be.
He sighed. Now he was just kidding himself. There wasnít potentially several mates out there for any one person. If he could feel like something was missing, like there was another for her, then that meant there had to be someone for him, as well.
He shook his head. No, he couldnít think about that.
Jamie was not the one for him, despite the cord that tethered them. Despite the lightning that had caused it all to begin with.
Her body was weakening because sheíd met him and heíd started that changeóor, in his opinion, that curse. He couldnít let her go through it any longer. No, he wouldnít be with her. She deserved better, but he could find that other man. The one he knew existed as sure as he felt the cord that connected him and Jamie. He would do what he must to find that man for her. He couldnít bear to think of her in any more pain.
Or any pain at all to think of it.
Nevertheless, he knew more pain was coming. Sheíd been living too easily for too long, and fate was a bitch when she wanted to be. Their connection might have allowed him to heal her physically, just like the night of Strikerís death when heíd first felt the cord, but he couldnít heal this. He knew he would have to find this other man for her to be whole. That way she could find for her the one who could help her find her supernatural half and live in peace.
He would find him so Jaime could feel alive again.
Ambrose wasnít for her. No, he was for no one.
He wouldnít wallow, but he would live like he always had, hollow but with a purpose.