Embrace the Night: PHOENIX Files Book 2
©2011 by Alexandra Kane
Heat Level: Sensual/ Steamy (Love scenes are present but are NOT graphic)
Time Period: Contemporary America- Present Day, North Carolina
Paranormal Romance, African American
Books Like This: If you enjoy romance involving shape-shifters and other paranormal elements, such as those by Marcia Colette, you may enjoy this book.
Length: Embrace the Night is a paranormal romance novella, approximately 28,500 words long
~PHOENIX Files- Fierce fights beneath the southern city lights.~
From the city streets to City Hall, from the “All American City” of Fayetteville to the “City of Oaks”, (Raleigh), North Carolina is rife with crime and corruption. Law enforcement, understaffed and overextended, do their best to stem the growth of violence and vice. But when they find themselves unable to break the case, they turn to a shadowy enterprise that utilizes the unique talents of the most gifted citizens among us: PHOENIX. The organization was founded in 1972 by Lt. J.T. “Phoenix” Pierce, a veteran of the Vietnam war and a proponent of the use of powers such as telekinesis, shape-shifting, and sorcery for the good of the people.
*Please note: The PHOENIX Files series of books contain adult content, that may not be suitable for younger or less mature readers. This content includes sexual content, as well as some violence and coarse language. May not be appropriate for readers under the age of 17.
A Man of Knowledge
John Groves is a professor of World History in Raleigh by day. But outside the world of academia, he uses his special talents as a telekinetic to fight crime as a member of PHOENIX. He’s strong, steady, and accustomed to being in charge, in both his careers and his personal life. Having lived on his own since the age of 17, he’s never had to bow to anyone’s commands since childhood- especially not a woman.
A Woman of Skill
Tatiana Yates owns a beauty shop in downtown Durham. After leaving the hot curlers and shampoo bowl behind, she releases the tigress within, running free in the forests around RTP. And ripping the bad guys a new one as a seasoned PHOENIX operative. She worked hard to study cosmetology, gain experience in the field, and move from employee to businesswoman. She’s worked her way up the PHOENIX ranks to lieutenant, and won’t be disrespected by anyone.
The Sparks Fly
When the two are paired together to solve the mysterious disappearance of priceless artifacts from the North Carolina’s Museum of History, the disagreements begin right away… and so does the burning, undeniable desire they have for each other. John isn’t so thrilled with the idea of being on a team with a female lead. Tatiana could do without his chauvinistic attitude. With important relics of the state’s history on the line, can they fight their fiery attraction long enough to get the job done?
Embrace the Night is Book 2 of the PHOENIX Files paranormal romance series. Below is the series chronology:
Book 1: Darkness Rising- Lalah and Junjie’s story
Book 2: Embrace the Night- Tatiana and John’s story
Book 3: Midnight’s Serenade- Le’Kisha and Marcello’s story
What a day to be starting a mission.
Glancing out at the heavy pellets of rain falling from the gray afternoon skies outside his office window, John Groves powered down his computer. Pulling his long, black raincoat on over his broad shoulders and setting the matching fedora on his head, he grabbed his briefcase and made his way into the corridor of the Boyer Building, securing the door behind him.
He seriously considered using his telekinesis to pull his car up to the door of the building. But, as always, the campus was bustling with students and faculty, and it just wasn’t practical. The scene it would cause would be epic.
“Hi, Professor Groves,”a young female student called as she passed by him, bringing him back to reality. He nodded, walking toward the glass doors at the end of the hall. Cinching the coats belt around his waist, he stepped out into the pouring rain. Quickening his pace he jogged toward the faculty parking lot.
Fat droplets beat against his body through the raincoat until he arrived at his car. Once he’d shoved his briefcase and himself into the black mid size SUV, he brought the engine to life and got underway. Dr. Black would be expecting him at PHOENIX regional headquarters, and he hoped to get there on time.
With five o’clock traffic in Raleigh being what it was, getting from the campus of Saint Augustine’s College in the Oakwood area, all the way to the sparsely populated town of Holly Springs proved to be just as much of headache as he’d anticipated. Sitting in the long line of motorists virtually parked on US 64, John rubbed his forehead with his fingertips. If Dr. Black didn’t hold him up at headquarters all night, he had a stack of term papers from his World Civilizations class to grade.
That’s if I ever get out of this damn traffic. The rain had slacked off a bit, but drops of water still slid in rivulets down his windshield, only to be tossed aside by the swishing wipers.
Finally, the line of cars ahead of him began to move. As he inched along, gradually building speed with the flow of traffic, he realized he would probably get to headquarters on time. What to expect when he got there, he never knew.
Twenty minutes later he had pulled his truck into a space in the wooded area surrounding the unassuming white washed farmhouse. The two story structure occupied several acres of land between Raleigh and Holly Springs, in an area frequented mostly by squirrel, deer, and hunters. At the door, he completed the electronic retina and thumbprint scans, as he’d done so many times before. The lock released and he entered the house.
In the seven years he’d been in PHOENIX, the similarities between regional headquarters had always amused him. They were all built to look like farmhouses, abandoned factories, or other non-descript places, but the insides were nearly identical. The polished wood floors and expensive dust collectors gave no indication of the kind of missions the group handled on a regular basis. He supposed one of the higher ups must be determined to exude class, even while kicking ass.
Approaching Dr. Black’s office, he found the doors open. Just as he’d expected, the doctor faced a rear window, with only the back of his leather chair beyond that ridiculously large desk visible.
“Thank you for coming, Mr. Groves,” the deep, booming voice boomed from the chair. “Enjoying this lovely weather?”
John scoffed. “Sure.” He removed his fedora. “So, what’s the mission?”
“Hold on now, speedy. You’ll find that out when your partner gets here.”
After his cross county trek, he found himself a little annoyed that his partner hadn’t already arrived. “Well, where is he?”
A female voice answered from behind him. “I’m right here, and as I hope you can tell, I’m not a he.”
He spun around in the direction of the sound, and saw her standing there. She was statuesque, nearly matching his own six feet four inches in height. She wore some sort of spandex workout gear, shaded red, that clung to her lithe, shapely body like a second skin. Her dark hair, streaked with red, clung to the sides of her bronze face as is she’d been sweating. All in all, she looked flushed and inviting.
She raised an eyebrow, folded graceful arms across her chest. “Are you gonna just stand there gawking at me, or introduce yourself?”
Right away, John decided he did not care for her attitude or her mouth, regardless of her loveliness. Annoyed, he approached her, stuck out his big hand. “I’m John Groves.”
She shook his hand with a firm grip. “I’m Lieutenant Tatiana Yates. Nice to meet you, Mr. Groves.”
He could feel his eyes widening. Did she say lieutenant? They expect me to follow orders from a woman? Doing his level best to hid his surprise, he responded in kind. Then he and Tatiana both stood near Dr. Black’s desk.
She announced,”We’re ready to be briefed, sir.”
“Good, because there have been some strange happenings at the museum of history,” Dr. Black began. “Artifacts seem to be getting up and removing themselves from the premises.”
John snickered. “It’s more than likely a sublimer,” he said, shaking his head. sublimers, with their powers of invisibility, were often caught doing things they shouldn’t, simply because they thought they could get away with it.
Tatiana looked thoughtful. “If things are being taken, and it’s not an inside job…”
“It’s definitely not an inside job,” Dr. Black interjected. “It’s not even a human job. Whoever is doing this doesn’t always use doors or windows to enter the building. I’ve seen the security footage.”
She clapped her hands once, loudly. “This isn’t an ordinary sublimer. then. It’s got to be a sublimer, since they can pass through solid objects.”
So, she’s already figured out the case. Why does she need me along? John cleared his throat. “Do we have any leads, Doctor?”
“Not at the moment, but we’ve been watching the museum.”
“We don’t need leads,” Tatiana said, eyes lit up like the fourth of July. “I know exactly where to start.”
He watched as she produced a tiny cell phone from her armband and punched a number into the keypad. “Who are you calling? Don’t we need to get going?”
She didn’t answer, but held out her open palm, effectively dismissing him. “Marcelo, where are you? MmmHmm. I’ll meet you there in 45. I’ll be needing your help on a case. Okay. Bye.”
He rolled his eyes. God, she’s rude.
Ending the call, she turned to him again. “Alright, let’s go.”