Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors by Marie Treanor

Smoke and Mirrors
The Gifted, Book 1
Marie Treanor
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

ISBN: 978-0-9573016-4-1

Number of pages: 241 
Word Count: 87,000

Cover Artist: Kimberly Killion (Hot Damn Designs)

Book Description:

Deceit and desire, and a treasure beyond price...

When struggling Scottish writer Nell Black accepts a one-off job with the police, translating for an arson suspect from the isolated ex-Soviet republic of Zavrekestan, she stumbles into a terrifying world of organized crime and paranormal abilities that turns her whole belief system upside down. Faced with an incomparable thief, hit men who spontaneously combust, gangsters, drug dealers, British Intelligence and a fiery goddess, Nell no longer knows who to trust. The man who saves her life is a criminal to whom deceit is second nature. He has more smoke screens and more plans in motion than anyone else can keep track of. He is, moreover, probably insane. Even his fellow gangsters are afraid of him. So why is he the one man Nell wants to touch her?

Rodion Kosar is in trouble. His convoluted plans all lead to one goal - the retrieval of his treasure - and to achieve that, he needs Nell to believe he isn't the bad guy. He has many reasons beyond his own desires to make love to her. Especially when a plan goes wrong and he has to play dead before someone really kills him - either the police, the menacing Russian crime lord known as the Bear, or the powerful Guardian of the Gifted whom he's defied once too often. Nell's burgeoning gift of second sight could be his best route to the treasure, and yet keeping her with him spells danger. For Nell has her own agenda, her own mission, and she could just as easily cause his final downfall.


“Come on, I’ll walk you to your car by way of thank-you. Where are you parked?”

“Just across there in MacDonald Road.” Her voice said she hardly needed an escort for so short a journey. Or for any other journey, come to that. But since she didn’t forbid him, he stood and waited politely for her to pick up her coat and bag and then held the café door open for her. That drew a surprised flicker from her eyes too. Either the men in her life weren’t courteous enough or it wasn’t the behaviour she expected from criminals.

Two minutes, three at the most, and he’d be alone. It was necessary. He needed to think, to plan. And yet all he really wanted to do was collapse and forget. Just for a little while. Crossing Leith Walk by her side, he recognised he was clinging to the last moments of her company just to stave off the excruciating loneliness he’d have to deal with sooner or later. And still he was pathetically grateful to her.

She stopped beside a slightly battered-looking mini and turned to face him, rather like a soldier awaiting orders for a suicidal mission. “Do you want a lift?” she blurted.

A lift. Did she mean that? Was she being polite now, or did he still have the possibility of that oblivion fuck he so craved? 

A blink of early morning sunlight glinted off her soft, brown eyes. He lifted one hand, and she flinched before forcing herself to be still. Interesting. He touched her cheek anyway, a strictly one-time-only caress of regret. Smooth, soft, and warm, even in the damp cold of the morning, her skin tempted him with possibilities. But…

“No.” He couldn’t do it to her.

She shivered under his touch. Her breath caught, sounding almost panicked. As she spun away from him with a quick, nervous smile, the sun sparked red against the brown of her hair. And when she stilled, fitting her key to the car lock, the red remained—a round, red, definite dot.


He hurled himself into her, knocking her flat on the ground with his body over hers. Even through the thud and her involuntary cry, he heard the snap of the bullet hitting the tenement wall only feet away. Her eyes, huge, stunned, frightened, stared into his.

She jerked under him in obvious panic, kicking and pushing against his shoulders with the hand she had free.

 “Keep down,” he said urgently. A quick glance confirmed what he already knew: a long street of tenements without a turnoff. “Our only cover is the parked cars. First doorway we can get into, take it.”


He moved off her, dragging her to her knees and then her feet, still crouched behind the car. A glance over his shoulder caught the figure balanced on the tenement roof on the other side of Leith Walk, rifle raised for another shot.

He didn’t wait for it but bolted along MacDonald Road, dragging the girl with him. He crashed his shoulder into the first door, shattering the security lock, and almost fell into the common entrance, pulling the girl with him. Something whizzed into the door as it fell closed again behind them, but he didn’t pause to look. 

He bolted past the stairs, past the curious old lady in a dressing gown at the front door of the first flat, and straight to the door at the back of the building that led out to the communal yard.

“What’s going on?” Nell gasped out.

“A hit,” he answered, swiftly scanning the yard before he pulled her on toward the opening into what looked like a car park beyond. “Silenced but just as deadly.”

“Someone’s trying to kill you?” she squeaked.

“And you, I’m afraid.”

“But why?”

He paused behind a large wheelie bin to check out the car park. Two likely candidates for stealing; no obvious witnesses. Or assassins. “Revenge, I imagine,” he answered the girl. “Though I never expected them to be quite this fast off the mark.”

“Oh Jesus Christ, am I in the middle of a gang war?” She jerked her hand free of his. “You did torch that fucking warehouse last night, and now the owners are really pissed off.”

He paused to look her in the eye. “You knew I torched it. It’s been scaring the pants off you since before you walked into the interview room. You should have followed your instincts and kept away from me. But since you didn’t, I’m afraid I’m all that can keep you alive for the next few hours, so let’s go.”

Author Bio:

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie Treanor has published more than twenty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing JoeBlood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL.

Website: www.MarieTreanor.com  

Blog: Marie Treanor's Romantic Theme Party: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kw mccabe said...

That's an awesome cover!