paranormal vampire romance book
genre: paranormal vampire romance book
length: 116000 words / long novel
released: May 2007
Book 3 in the series
Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising [book 3]
An enemy with unimaginable power and vampire houses locked in an ancient blood feud threaten to tear Prophecy and Valentine apart as they fight for their lives and their future.
With the gathering storm on the horizon and a dark evil on the rise, Prophecy and Valentine try to join their vampire bloodlines, but their attempts to form an army leave them more vulnerable than ever. As the tension between the families and, more dangerously, between Valentine, Prophecy and Venturi escalates, defeat seems inevitable.
In one decisive move, the enemy seizes power over Prophecy and she fears her terrifying visions are coming true and she will lose everyone she loves. Death, destruction and danger surround her, and only a miracle can save the world now.
As the dark moon rises, will Prophecy find the power to avert an apocalypse and fulfil her extraordinary destiny, seizing her forever after with Valentine?
The dramatic conclusion to the Prophecy story, Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising is a gripping tale of love and war that will take hold of you, set your heart racing and not let you go until the very last page.
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“I take it back. You were right.”
Prophecy threw herself flat on her back to avoid the swipe the demon took at her. She sucked her stomach in when it attacked again. Its claws cut through her shirt and her eyes widened at how close it had been to gutting her. Quickly rolling out of the way before it could take another swing at her, she got to her feet and stared at her ruined shirt. Valentine caught hold of the demon that had attacked her and flung it against the nearest wall as though it was a rag doll.
He gave her that slight smile of his, evidently satisfied by the fact she’d admitted she was wrong.
“We should have run,” she said and his smile disappeared. It wasn’t what he’d wanted to hear but she hadn’t been able to resist wiping the smug look off his face.
She shoved him in the chest, pushing him out of the path of danger as the other demon lunged at him. Its claws dug into her arm, scraping through her flesh and leaving deep gashes in their wake. She bit back the pain and her hand flew to her arm in an attempt to stem the bleeding. In the split second it took for her to use her magic to heal herself, Valentine had caught hold of the demon by its head and smashed it into the flagstones.
She grimaced when the force of his blow crushed the demon’s skull, smashing it into pieces and killing it instantly. Valentine straightened up and flicked the blood and bits of brain off his hand, leaving little splatters across the hay that littered the floor.
“What in Hell’s name are these things?” A swift kick to the head caused the second one to stumble backwards before it had time to reach Valentine. She kicked it again, this time following it through with a barrage of punches while the beast was still dazed. It changed shape on her, taking on the guise of a human and sprouting leathery wings that reminded her of a dragon. She swiftly evaded the lunge it made at her and came around behind it. Kicking it in the back, she growled when she brought her hand up. She called the magic and it came in an instant when she saw that the demon was heading for Valentine.
The power of it surged through her, making her senses go into overdrive and her body buzz. She unleashed the glowing ball of magic and it went straight to its target, burning through its wings. The demon unleashed an ear-splitting cry and Prophecy flinched away from the sound as it echoed and rung in her head. She pressed her hands to her ears as though that would make any difference. All she could do was watch as Valentine got the demon in a headlock, his forearm against the front of its throat and his other hand forcing its head forwards, throttling it until its eyes rolled back and it slumped in his arms.
He released the body, letting it drop unceremoniously to the floor.
She uncovered her ears and looked at Valentine. He looked terrible. There were little gashes marring his cheeks and forehead, and she could see a dark patch on the side of his head. He’d probably got that when one of the demons had bashed his head against the stone wall. He ran a hand through his hair, pushing the black tendrils out of his eyes, and then frowned at her. She gave him a sheepish smile and averted her gaze. Her eyes dropped to his ruined clothes. Thankfully, he wasn’t wearing his red jacket. She didn’t want to think about how much angrier with her he would have been had he been wearing it rather than the black stand up collar one he’d chosen. It had long slashes in the material and she could see his chest through them.
“Okay…maybe you were right and we shouldn’t have come here at all, but I had to see if she was here.” She looked at their surroundings. They had been barely a few feet inside Elena’s magically cloaked world when the two demons had attacked them. The whole place was crumbling and she could feel that the only thing holding it together was residual magic. Elena had moved, leaving her once beloved home to go to ruin.
Prophecy’s gaze strayed to the two demons that were lying dead on the floor.
She wished Valentine would speak. This was starting to feel like Romania all over again. She had been wrong about going there, and she was wrong about coming here. It was stupid of her to actually believe that Elena would stay somewhere so obvious.
“We should have remained with our houses at a time like this. The balance of power is delicate and we have not done enough to show our command of our bloodlines. They could easily be turned against us. We do not need a mutiny on our hands, not when danger lurks so close and we need every warrior we can get.”
She wished he hadn’t spoken after all. She could see the hardness in his eyes and hear it in his voice. In fact, his whole body spoke of anger and irritation. He was standing a few feet from her, keeping his distance, and giving her the kind of look that he used to wear shortly before calling her a child.
She was worse than a child.
That’s what he used to tell her.
She growled and threw her hands up into the air, frustration getting the better of her.
“You heard what Venturi said. The part of the scroll he’s deciphered says that when the long night begins, Elena’s power will increase. We had to see if we could end this now. I don’t want to lead an army into a war I know they won’t return from,” she shouted and then took a deep breath, struggling to regain control of her temper. Valentine’s eyes had darkened at the mention of the Tenebrae. She sighed. Venturi hadn’t been the wisest person to mention when Valentine was already angry with her. She wished he would come closer to her so she didn’t feel so cold. The distance between them was making her worry. “We have been in control of our families for over three days now, Valentine. Tiberius will be able to maintain control of my family.”
“It is not your family I am concerned with. They would follow you to the ends of the Earth.” His tone was one of dejection and she sighed again.
Venturing a step towards him, she furrowed her brows into a sorry look and tried to think of a way to reassure him that his bloodline would still be at his family’s mansion when he got back. Over the past few days, she’d watched his struggle with them and it had made her realise that she’d had it easy with her own family. Only a few had left her when she’d given them the opportunity to. Nearly half had left the house of Aurorea and Valentine hadn’t offered to let them go.
“They won’t leave you, Valentine. I know they won’t. I recognise some of their faces from my visions. The high guard you left in command was there in the last one I had, along with others, and those of my own family.” She held her hand out to him but he didn’t make a move to take it. He gave her a sceptical look, as though he hadn’t believed a word she’d said.
She couldn’t blame him for being on edge about his family. Ever since he’d killed Kalinor and taken control of his bloodline, he’d been in a foul mood. She knew that it was partly because of who they were up against as well. He knew Elena better than anyone else she knew did, and something told her that the fear she saw in his eyes each time Elena’s name was mentioned was there for a good reason. She’d never seen him so frightened.
She rubbed her arm and his gaze dropped there.
“Are you all right?” He immediately closed the gap between them and pushed up the ruined sleeve of her shirt. His fingers ran over the dried blood on her arm, the only evidence of the wound she had healed. She watched his thumb brushing lightly against her skin and savoured the feeling of his touch. It calmed her, soothing her worries and easing her cares. She smiled when she looked up into his eyes and found that all of his anger was gone, leaving only concern behind.
“I’m okay,” she said and placed her hand over his. “I know in my heart that they’ll be there, Valentine. I wish you would believe me. I didn’t want to make you angry by coming here. I didn’t want this.”
He frowned and then gathered her up into his arms, holding her head against his chest and resting his chin on top of it.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered and sighed heavily. “I should not take it out on you. You have done nothing to deserve this.”
He caught hold of her shoulders and pulled away from her, his eyes meeting hers and searching them for a brief moment before he brushed the backs of his fingers against her cheek. She felt him wipe the blood from her jaw with his thumb and smiled when he licked it clean.
“You were right,” he said.
Her eyes widened in utter shock. “I was?”
“We did need to come here in case Elena was still here. You could have easily defeated her with my help and it would have spared many lives. But it was not meant to be. The visions you have had of the battle will come to pass. We shall lead our families into this war and we shall bring them out the other side.”
She smiled into his green eyes, thanking him for trying to reassure her even when it was hopeless. As soon as the long night began, Elena’s power would increase, making her stronger than herself. Defeating Elena then would be almost impossible. Prophecy didn’t want to think about whether or not she would be able to save Valentine in that crucial moment.
She watched him nudge one of the dead demons with the toe of his boot. Sometimes when she closed her eyes, she saw the vision again. She saw him about to get his head cut off and saw herself as the one doing it. After discovering that the robed person in her visions was Elena, she realised that it wasn’t her killing Valentine. It was Elena. When Valentine had brought her here to meet Elena and ask for her assistance, the witch had altered her appearance several times.
She couldn’t believe they’d asked for assistance from their enemy.
“Elena must have killed the curator,” she said while staring distantly at the two dead demons. They looked different now.
Valentine sighed. “And it was she who took me from the battle in the castle.”
“It was her who sent us there to kill the lord of Tenebrae, so she would have one less powerful enemy to defeat.” Everything was starting to become painfully clear and she felt so stupid for ever believing a word that Elena had said. “It was the zombie dogs wasn’t it? They ripped the curator and his friends to shreds. It wasn’t werewolves. She made us come to see her so she could send us to do her dirty work. Now she’s disappeared and the eclipse is getting closer. I can feel it.”
“These two will not be the only ones she will have left here,” he said and crouched to inspect the demons.
“What are they?” she asked again.
He looked at her. He was on one knee, his arm resting across his other thigh and his left hand against his hip.
“Aleaeries,” he said without any emotion. “Mercenaries. The best there are.”
She swallowed and stared at them. They’d changed shape on her at least three times during the fight, starting out in the guise of a human that had fooled her and Valentine into believing that everything was still all right. It had only been when she’d sensed that the magic holding the place together was weaker now that they’d realised Elena was gone. A split second after that the two demons had attacked. They had been strong. It was easy to see why their species were bounty hunters. With the ability to shape-shift and the skills they had, they were perfect for the job. They had reverted to their original shape after death had taken them. Their scaly skin and horns made them look like children of the Devil. They looked like something straight out of Hell.
Valentine stood up and brushed off his knee. She smiled at what he was doing. His trousers were ruined, so why was he bothering to rid them of dust? It was so like him to still want to be as presentable as possible even when he was wearing clothes with long tears in them.
“We should have a look around. Keep your eyes and ears open. There will be other Aleaeries waiting for us.” He held his hand out to her.
She was surprised to hear what he’d said. When the Aleaeries had attacked them, he’d wanted to run in order to protect her from danger. Now he was telling her there may be more but they should take a look around the place anyway. She frowned and narrowed her eyes on his face, trying to search out the reason behind his change of mind. Was it because they had defeated these two? Did he feel confident now that they could take on any more that might be lurking in the buildings around them and win?
Maybe it was just curiosity getting the better of him now that he knew Elena wasn’t here. The Aleaeries were no match for them.
“We’ll look in the house. If we don’t find anything there, then we’re leaving,” she said and walked towards it.
He fell into step beside her and she couldn’t stop her eyes from roaming to his face. She studied his profile, her gaze tracing the line of his slim nose and the curve of his lips, down to his chin. Moving along the line of it, she smiled when she reached his neck and saw the marks on it. The scar was still there, dashing down the right side of his throat and reminding her of Dmitri. They would have to contact Mia and Dmitri soon. They hadn’t left on good terms and even though they had spoken to each other in the mean time, she could still sense the bad blood between them. Hopefully Dmitri would have had time to calm down by now and would be feeling suitably guilty for not helping her find Valentine when he’d been kidnapped.
Her eyes lingered on the bite marks that were visible just above the collar of Valentine’s black jacket. Her stomach growled and hunger made her teeth itch. She wanted to taste the rich sweetness of his blood again. Something about biting him and sharing his blood was addictive. She didn’t know whether it was the taste of it, or the closeness and intimacy it placed between them.
She just loved it.
She craved it like she’d never craved anything before.
Following him up the steps to the house, she hung back a little, calling the magic to the amulet. It idly wound itself around her fingers. She waited for him to push the heavy door open. It was hanging off its hinges and when he pushed it, it fell, slamming down onto the marble floor inside the house and making a loud boom echo around the interior. He stepped inside, walking over the fallen door. She looked up at the balcony at the top of the twin staircases when she entered. The cracks in the marble that she had seen the last time she was here were worse now. Patches of it had fallen away from the walls and some of the spindles in the banisters were missing. They were strewn across the floor, littering it along with the chandelier that used to hang above the symbol that was inlaid into the floor.
The whole place was falling apart. The paint was coming off the doors to her left and right, peeling away even as she looked at them.
“Elena isn’t here,” she said to Valentine and he nodded in agreement. “This place is deteriorating. Her magic no longer protects it.”
She walked up the stairs to the balcony and went into the room where Elena had been the past two times she’d been here. The furniture was scattered across the room, broken and tattered. The curtains had been torn to shreds.
Her eyes widened when she saw a pile of bones in the corner. She moved across the room to them and bent down, picking up a fragment of black cloth. She brought it up to her nose and sniffed it.
What had Elena done to her?
A low growl made her freeze to the spot and she looked out of the corner of her eye. She could sense the animal behind her. She swallowed and stared at the piece of cloth. Elena hadn’t done anything to the maid.
She slowly stood and turned to face the owner of the growl. It snarled at her, baring its fangs as the tattered grey fur on its back bristled. She dropped the cloth and kept her eyes locked with the milky white ones of the dog. It growled again. Blood and saliva oozed from between its teeth and she curled her lip up in disgust at the stench of it.
Reaching out with her senses, she frowned when she felt the presence of more creatures like the one in front of her. She listened hard and could hear the scratching of their claws in the rooms all around the house. Her stomach dropped. The bones of her face shifted, distorting to allow her canines to extend, and her eyes switched to their emerald green state.
“I think we are not alone,” Valentine hollered up to her from the entrance hall.
“I would have to agree,” she whispered. The second the dog looked over its shoulder in the direction of Valentine, she ran at it. She kicked it hard in the face when it turned back to look at her. It slumped to the ground and she ran as fast as she could when she heard more of the zombie dogs coming towards her.
She vaulted over the banisters, landing soundly on the floor of the main entrance hall. Valentine moved at the same time as her, his hand gripping hers tightly as they bolted back out into the street. She could feel the dogs closing in. There had to be at least two dozen of them. Far too many to fight without getting hurt.
“Maybe it’s time to shut the door on this place permanently.” She glanced across at Valentine.
“I agree,” he said and tightened his grip on her hand.
She called the magic and looked over her shoulder for a split second, enough for her to make out whereabouts the dogs were. She could see their white eyes shining in the dim light, could smell them and sense them close by. Casting a glowing ball of magic over her shoulder, she listened to the pained yelps of those she’d hit and then focused on getting to the portal.
The stars on her body began to hum, burning with pain and magic while she called it to her hand. She would need a lot of energy to counteract the portal that Elena had created to her own little world, possibly more than she had.
The portal shimmered into life in front of them, its silvery blue swirling reminding her painfully of when Valentine had been taken from her. She held onto his hand even tighter, not caring if she was hurting him. She had to feel he was there, had to know in her heart that he was safe, so when she landed on the other side she could immediately unleash her magic on the portal.
She leapt into it and turned the second she was through. Raising her hand, she let go of Valentine’s and brought her other hand up to steady her wrist as she released the magic. She growled and gritted her teeth, steeling herself against the pain that tore through her as the two spells collided. She could feel how close she was to destroying the portal but it wasn’t close enough. She redoubled her effort, splaying her fingers and on the verge of screaming when the magic began to drain the last of her energy. She had to hold on. She only needed a little more strength.
Her other hand dropped to her side and she furrowed her brows, fighting against the power of the portal as it resisted succumbing to her magic. Even without Elena inside, it was still too powerful for her to destroy.
She needed a little more strength. She could feel the dogs pushing at the other side, trying to get through and get to them.
She tensed when Valentine’s hand slid in hers and she looked at him with bleary eyes and a heavy head. She blinked to keep herself awake and pushed herself past the limit, drawing strength from the way he was tightly holding her hand, supporting her in the only way he could.
The portal flickered and twisted, the colour of it changing from a light blue through to black. It glowed red around the edges and then began to shrink, shooting threads of red magic in all directions.
When it disappeared with a pop, she collapsed against Valentine. His strong arms encircled her, holding her tight while sleep beckoned her. She didn’t resist. Closing her eyes, she slipped into the comforting darkness.
"Okay I knew it was coming to an end but I didn't want it to end so quickly. My only hope is maybe just maybe F.E. Heaton can create an epilogue kind of story like a happily ever after. This book was like a final light into this series answering all the questions I had in the beginning and then making me wonder what will happen after the war, just a hint. Valentine and Prophecy have seen many things and it's up to Prophecy herself to see that the war is over without losing more of the houses army. The magic has grown more in Prophecy and I loved that we got to know more about the woman behind the story and her feelings towards the man who has sworn to be her protector. This is truly a romance, and I loved the whole vampire, demons and hunters in this book so much that I have to honestly say move over Christine Feehan. F.E. Heaton has it all from the romance, magic, vampires and, oh yes, the sex is there that will make you cheer for Prophecy and Valentine to know love even though itís forbidden between them. This is a series that I have fallen in love with and greatly applaud F.E. Heaton for introducing readers to a new world of paranormal. Great job."
-- Lena C, Fallen Angel Reviews -- 5 Angel Recommended Read (read the whole review)
"Dark Moon Rising is the final book in the exciting Prophecy trilogy by F.E. Heaton...This fast paced emotionally stirring story is filled with the nervous tension of the battle that is about to take place involving vampires, werewolves and zombies. This somewhat violent action filled story will enthrall the readers early as characters come together in love to face a terrible evil and save the world. Spellbinding this commanding story emotionally involves the readers in a battle between good and evil...Readers will enjoy the romantic triangle Prophecy has found herself in with Valentine and Venturi. The chemistry between Venturi and Prophecy is electric but her whole heart belongs to Valentine...Readers will find themselves totally absorbed in the thrilling action and emotionally stirring plot of this highly imaginative story, Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising by F. E. Heaton. It is a wonderful story for those that enjoy the world of vampires."
-- Anita, The Romance Studio -- 4.5 Hearts (read the whole review)
"A gripping tale of love, a prophecy determined to be fulfilled and a final battle between good and evil will leave the reader breathless. This reviewer was left breathless from all the twists, turns and roller coaster of emotions FE Heaton delivers with DARK MOON RISING. With press of a button, the reader is drawn into the world of vampires, magic and an epic battle looming. Run donít walk to grab this enigmatic authorís wonderful series and be swept away to a world where vampires, magic and a war to end all wars reaches its exciting conclusion...Grab this series and find yourself lost amid the struggle to keep an ancient war away and find a love that will defy all reason! PROPHECY: DARK MOON RISING is one of those rare books that have a strong story, exciting, multidimensional characters and a love that is timeless. Capture FE Heatonís Vampire Realm and be drawn into a world that will keep you on the edge of your seat!"
-- Dawn, Love Romances -- 5 hearts (read the whole review)
"F. E. Heaton once again delivers a story that captivates. The characters continue to grow and even change, easily ensuring you won't want to put Dark Moon Rising down until you've finally finished this tale. Prophecy's powers are stronger than ever but because of the confusion and conflict she has with her feelings for both Valentine and Venturi, she is vulnerable. I really liked the fact that she struggled with those feelings, which were not easily compartmentalized or pushed aside. She had to deal with them! Of course the storyline was wonderful, a fight between powerful beings culminating in one awesome battle. This trilogy is one of the most engaging, fulfilling stories I've read in a long time. Anyone who wants a story filled with danger, suspense, conflict, and of course love, you must pick up the Vampire Realm series."
-- Trang, ecataromance -- 5 stars (read the whole review)