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Book one in Tales of the Underlight
Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope...and then he sees her.
Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.
Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?
The trilogy continues in How Beauty Saved the Beast.
Reader Rating: (2 Ratings)
Hauk's steambike raced down the dark highway, seven of those damn mercenaries from The Hands of Atropos in pursuit and gaining. "Come on...come on..." he urged his little steam-engine that couldn't.
"If you break your bike, Tally will kill us!" Brayden yelled over the wind as he desperately clutched onto Hauk.
"Tally needs to speed it up! I can outmaneuver, but I can't outrace a real motorcycle," Hauk shouted back.
"This is a real motorcycle."
"Ninety percent of the time I'd agree with you."Usually he appreciated the genius it took to build a bike that used no gasoline and emitted no CO2. But right now the Hands were nigh on top of them and his accelerator was maxed out. Practicality was about to all-too-literally beat the shit out of idealism. "Just keep hold of that backpack and let me drive."
But there was no point. They were caught on the highway, where Hauk and his inferior speed were at the disadvantage. Even swerving between cars he couldn't pull ahead. The damn Hands would take the shoulder and press on, police lights blaring.
Oh yeah, this time they had the law on their side. Political bastards.
"Godsdammit, Hauk, why are you slowing down?"
"So you can make a run for it with the stash. I'll hold 'em off as long as I can."
For once Brayden was silent as the blaring sirens crescendoed.
His silence didn't last. "Even you aren't bulletproof." He drummed Hauk's arm in sudden excitement. "Exit here! Here!"
Hauk would question later. For now he veered a hard right that snaked them across two lanes of traffic and onto the feeder. Their tails didn't make the cut in time. Hauk exhaled in relief, but he knew their spot of luck wouldn't last. The Hands of Atropos would roll from the shadows like rats in pursuit of raw meat and continue the chase.
"Under the highway. Head for downtown."
"We're not leading them home." But Hauk took the turn anyway. They'd have a better shot at losing them in the streets of downtown Austin--as well as a better chance of wrecking his new bike or driving amok through unsuspecting pedestrians. Like the Hands of Atropos and their bosses at the Order of Ananke, Hauk and the other Citizens of the Underlight didn't like drawing attention to themselves. It might be the only thing the warring groups agreed on.
"Catrina's got her holiday show tonight at the abandoned electric station by the lake. She'll hide us until it's clear."
Fear, irrational and more gut-deep than what any armed enemy could inspire, clenched Hauk's stomach. Reflexively his hand released the accelerator and the bike stalled out beneath the overpass. He bit out, "I'm not going to Catrina's.""You'll be fine. Just keep moving."
"Come up with a new plan."
"Fine. Keep your helmet on when you walk inside. That's the new plan."
Hauk glared at his friend through the face shield. "Yeah,'cause that won't get us noticed."
Brayden huffed. "Then take it off. It's a flippin' maze in there. No one will see you. And she doesn't care about your face anyway. Now, for the love of the gods, let's get our asses and our ill-gotten goods somewhere safe." He slapped the backpack of evidence they'd risked their necks tonight to acquire. "What's in here is more important than your pride."
Hauk clenched his jaw."Did you forget the part where I'm a wanted man and can't just go gallivanting around in public?"
A bullet slammed against the pilings.
Brayden screeched,"Get us out of here!"
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: ksbruce on Jan 30, 2013I really loved the characters Jax Garren has created and the storyline was pretty good. i liked it so much i preordered How beauty saved the beast!
How Beauty Met the BeastBy: Jax Garren