Rogue The Talisman Series Book 6
by Tam DeRudder Jackson Genre: Paranormal Romance
Baz Cormac never intended to be a rogue, but fate had other ideas.
Being forced to pledge loyalty to the evil Morrigan is its own kind of hell. So when Baz discovers the lie she’s used to keep him and his band of rogues under her power, he concocts a plan to force the goddess’s hand, which drops him in the center of a cosmic tug-o-war. No matter which way he leans, someone is going to lose—and it looks like that someone may be Baz.
A talisman fights her fate…and her fatal attraction.
Delaney Ferrell has spent her life trying to live down her uncle’s choice to turn rogue. As a warrior-talisman hybrid, she’d done her best to serve the warrior community as a protector. But a cryptic letter sends her to an abandoned home where she encounters a lone rogue with fighting skills no rogue should possess. Instead of killing her, he kidnaps her and takes her to his lair. He presents a terrible danger to the community, one she must neutralize.
So why does he have to be so damn charming?
Discovering Delaney is his fated mate throws all of Baz’s plans into chaos. And when the goddesses come calling, Baz has to choose between a rogue’s freedom and a talisman’s love.
Will they have a chance at love, or will they be torn apart?
“You’re either the bravest woman I’ve ever met—or the stupidest,” Baz growled as he pulled his sword from its scabbard.
“Save your breath, Rogue. You’re going to need it.”
Delaney stepped to her left at the exact second Baz landed where he would have had the advantage of prodding the small of her back with the tip of his sword again. The man needs to work on his opening move, maybe vary it some, she thought with a smirk when she spun around to face him. As she pirouetted, she swung her claymore in a half arc, catching the tip of his on the upswing and knocking him off-balance. He staggered back a step then steadied himself. A feral gleam came into his golden-green eyes, turning them molten, and Delaney’s heart stuttered a beat in her chest.
“You’re definitely intelligent.” He thrust and she parried. “Still not too sure about smart.” He executed his own spin in the center of the floor where the three parts of the trinity met directly beneath the hub of the wheel of life in the ceiling. The execution of the move coupled with where he landed it intensified his roguish aura, making him appear larger than he already was.
“Impressive.” She feinted then thrust, nicking the back of his hand, drawing first blood. “But my brother has you by a couple inches and probably twenty pounds. I’m not afraid of you.”
His riposte had her backing up fast. When her ass encountered the edge of the bar, she ducked, tucked, and rolled to her left, coming back to her feet toward the middle of the room again. One raised brow was his only response before he feinted to his right and lunged. A series of thrusts and parries left both of them panting, but instead of wearing him out as she’d intended, he seemed to be enjoying himself.
“This is better than training with my boys,” he said, his tone conversational.
Narrowing her eyes, she waited on the balls of her feet.
“You’re giving me a workout like they do, but you’re much more fun to look at.”
Gritting her teeth, she lunged and thrust at the same second he stepped aside. As she flew past him, struggling to maintain her balance, he smacked the flat of his sword on her ass, and she sprawled flat on her belly on the floor. She had no time to fume at the indignity of his antics. Instead, she scrambled to her feet and faced her opponent with a two-handed grip on her claymore.
“This. Is. Not. A. Game,” she stated through clenched teeth.
She couldn’t believe he laughed. Judging from the way he tried to cover his outburst with a cough, he was as surprised at his laughter as she. The rich sound of amusement echoed through her, simultaneously arousing and irritating her.
Mimicking her stance, he faced her. “If you think about it, it’s all a game. You’re trying to wear me out so you can force me to give up the code to the door. I’m trying to wear you out so you won’t skewer me in my sleep.” He sheared the blade of his weapon along the blade of hers, a metallic whir ringing through the room. “Neither of us has any intention of killing the other.”
“What?” She blinked. “You don’t intend to kill me?”
“If I’d wanted to kill you, you’d be bleeding out on the driveway next door.”
Delaney started sidestepping, drawing Baz to follow her in a circle. “I might have been down then, but I was far from out, Rogue.”
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Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can find her driving around in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.