Title: A Tempest of Discovery
Series: Midnight Dynasty #1
Author: Sarah M. Cradit
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 22, 2018
The Deschanels are back, in this first installment of the new paranormal romance series, Midnight Dynasty…
Nicolas Deschanel spent thirty-two years holding court as the princeling of New Orleans and heir to his family’s dynasty, with no obligations beyond his own pleasures. Following a storm of events, his rock bottom leads him back to his family, where he finds redemption in contrite service. Paired with the pragmatic Lauren—who is deeply skeptical of his reformation—the two spend their days in seclusion, cultivating the lofty research goals of the Deschanel Magi Collective.
Charlotte Fontenot is calculated and driven in her approach to her mission in Paris. With help from her cousin Julian, they follow Gabrielle and Lawrence Henry, siblings whose unusual behavior has caught the attention of witches in Paris. The cousins quickly realize neither sibling is what they seem, and Charlotte’s fearlessness leads her closer and closer to mysterious philanthropist Lawrence.
With Charlotte and Julian settled in Paris, Nicolas and Lauren shift their focus to a special, secret project: quietly and carefully investigating the women of the powerful LaViolette family, distant cousins of the Deschanels. This assignment quickly leads them down a dangerous path, one where turning back is no longer an option. Events in both New Orleans and Paris begin to spin wildly beyond the control of all involved, and when the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same.
“First, I need you to breathe.” Nicolas pulled Lauren from the floor and ushered her to the chair. She let him lead her around like a limp doll.
“I can’t! Oh God, I can’t, I can’t breathe.”
Nicolas knelt on the ground in front of her. He pulled her hands into his and pressed his thumbs into her palms. “Breathe, Lauren.”
She pulled and released a series of desperate gasps, eyes wilder than ever. He pushed harder into her palm. “Breathe,” he repeated. He struggled to believe what he was seeing. That anyone could reduce collected Lauren to this state was incredible.
Her gasps faded to short, jagged breaths. “This isn’t real. It’s not real. It’s not happening. It’s not real.”
“You know it’s real,” he said gently. “But I can help you.”
“How?” she asked again. Clipped, desperate gulps escaped from her parted mouth, like a child eager for succor.
“I’m going to teach you to block.”
“Block? Block what?”
“Him. Adrien. Everyone who isn’t you.”
She laughed. Snot bubbled from her nose and she buried her face in her sleeve. “I’m not like you. I’m not like any of you. I can’t do anything like that, and you know it.”
“I need you to trust me.”
“Trust you?” she snorted.
Nicolas kept his voice even, calm. He sounded nothing like he felt inside, where a fiery rage boiled through his veins. Adrien LaViolette was a dead man. “Do you trust me?”
Lauren looked away.
“Do you trust me?”
Tears poured down her cheeks. She looked at the window, at the escalating storm beyond the thick panes. She nodded.
Nicolas laced his fingers through hers and lifted their hands up like a gate between them, the way he did when he would help bring Anasofiya down from one of her panic attacks. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. It’s only you, and it’s only me. Anyone else isn’t welcome, and we’re going to make them leave. Do you understand?”
“Why what, Lauren?”
“Why is he doing this? What does he want?”
“I don’t know,” Nicolas said. “And it doesn’t matter, because he isn’t getting it.” He squeezed her fingers. “Are you ready?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know if I can do this.”
“You are ready. You’re the bravest woman I know.”
“I don’t want you to save me, Nicolas.”
“That’s good, because I’m not going to,” Nicolas said. “I’m going to show you how to save yourself.”