Midnight’s Serenade: PHOENIX Files Book 3
©2013 by Kianna Alexander
Heat Level: Sensual/ Steamy (Love scenes are present but are NOT graphic)
Time Period: Contemporary America- Present Day, North Carolina
Paranormal Romance, Interracial (African American heroine, White/Italian hero)
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: Midnight’s Serenade is a paranormal romance novella, approximately 36,600 words long
The Headstrong Lady Scientist
Dr. Le’Kisha Byrd, is a modern-day succubus and brilliant scientist, who just created something that will have a lasting effect on world affairs. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and research- but now that’s she’s completed it, everyone wants to get their hands on it- including those who would use it for evil. Protecting her work, as well as her own life, is getting to be too much for even her sharp mind. So she confides in an old family friend. Little does she know, he intends to arrange protection for her, whether she likes it or not.
The Businessman and Consummate Agent
Marcelo Spirelli’s day job is landscaping for his own business. When he puts away his equipment, he serves the greater good as a PHOENIX operative, where his skills at sorcery are always a valuable asset. He takes his PHOENIX work very seriously, and doesn’t play games when he’s on the job. When he’s assigned his first solo mission- protecting Dr. Byrd from her many enemies, he’s not exactly thrilled. A past experience has shaded his opinion of her, based on what she is. To his mind, succubi can’t be trusted, and it will take a hell of a lot for him to alter his belief.
Desire Rages… Two Wills Clash
When the two meet, the attraction is instant, and intense, but neither of them is willing to give in. Whose magic will prevail in this battle of wills? Can the sorcerer and the succubus see past their differences long enough to survive this ordeal, and perhaps find true happiness?
Midnight’s Serenade is Book 3 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
It was after nine o’clock when he pulled into the driveway of the impressive two-story home in the Hope Valley Farms neighborhood. The modern brick home, lit with strategically placed spotlights along the walkway, boasted immaculate landscaping and a white columned entryway. Whatever the doctor’s line of work was, she was obviously making a good living at it.
He pulled a small glass vial from the pocket of his sweatshirt. The blue, phosphorescent glow of the Elixir of Reason filled the cabin of his pickup truck. He removed the silver cap and downed the liquid, the cool, minty thickness washing down his throat. Tossing the empty vial into the console, he thought back on his encounter with the succubus madame Reva Peters, and wished he’d had such a tool at his disposal then. The past couldn’t be altered, he knew that, but he would make sure this succubus didn’t get the best of him.
Leaving his bags in the back of the truck, he cautiously approached the door. Lights shone through a few of the first-floor windows, so he assumed she was still awake. Raising his fist, he hesitated a moment, then gave the door a few solid knocks.
Le’Kisha looked up from her book, wondering who in the world would be knocking on her door at this time of night. She stood, tightening the yellow terry cloth robe she wore over her ankle length cotton nightgown, and walked from the parlor to the front door. Standing on tiptoe, she looked through the peep hole. All she could see was a man in a thick sweatshirt, his face shrouded by the hood. Her brows knit into a frown. “Who’s there?”
“I’m Agent Spirelli, ma’am.”
Having no idea just what agency this Spirelli was from, she folded her arms across her chest. “And just who sent you to my house this time of night?”
There was a momentary silence. “As I understand, you’re in need of protection. I’ve been assigned to provide it.”
That gave her pause. Who was this man, and how much did he know? “How do I know that?”
The man groaned. “Dr. Brown sent me.”
She smiled. So, the old man was looking after her. “Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” Disarming the security system and undoing the two deadbolts, she opened the front door. The man standing on her porch wore a gray Carolina Panthers hooded sweatshirt, dark denim jeans, and tan hiking boots. He pulled back the hood to reveal a handsome, olive complexioned face. He had piercing green eyes, a thick mustache covering his upper lip, and the most gorgeous black hair she’d ever seen. The lustrous locks hung just long enough to brush his collarbone. Floored by his good looks, she stammered a greeting. “… I… I’m Le’Kisha.”
He extended a large, muscular hand. “I’m Agent Spirelli. Call me Marcelo.” He smiled, showing off an immaculate set of teeth.
The way he rolled his “r” and emphasized the “l” sound was downright sensual.
Wow. Even his name is sexy. She stepped back. “Please, come in.”
He entered, and she closed the door. Rather than waiting, as most first time guests to her home would, he stalked the length and breadth of the downstairs of the house. She stood there, a bit surprised, listening to the sound of his footsteps on her hardwood floors. When he returned, their eyes met, and she noted that he was watching her.
“What is it?” The intensity of his gaze made her curious.
“It’s just… How do you know Dr. Brown?”
She shrugged. “He’s an old friend of my father’s. When my Dad passed away, he helped pay my way through undergrad.”
He nodded, but a confused look remained on his face. “So, what does he look like?”
Now it was her turn to be confused. “If he sent you here, shouldn’t you know that?”
He chuckled. “How much do you know about PHOENIX?”
She’d heard her father talk about that organization, but didn’t know much about it. “Pretty much nothing.” Her parents had seemed so secretive about it, and she’d only ever heard them mention it in passing. Being a teen, caught up in her own cocktail of angst and hormones, had made her even less inclined to care.
“Well, let me give you your first insight into the way things work over there. Dr. Brown is my supervisor, and I’m not allowed to see his face.”
She found that interesting, and somewhat strange. “I guess he’s pretty average. Black guy, salt-and-pepper hair, average height. I haven’t seen him in a few months.”
Her dark haired visitor looked intrigued. “I could get in trouble for asking this, but I gotta know. What’s his real name?”
“Dr. Brown is the only name I’ve ever known him by.”
Seemingly satisfied, he walked toward her tan leather couch. She watched the way the denim gripped his behind, and sighed. He had a butt like a perfect peach- she could just about imagining sinking her teeth into it.
“I’m going to sit, if you don’t mind.”
She gestured in that direction. “Be my guest.”
He sat, then extracted a small device that appeared to be a fancy cell phone from his pocket. “This is Agent Spirelli. I’ve arrived at Dr. Byrd’s residence.”
A voice responded, “Arrival confirmed.” The response was followed by a series of beeping sounds.
“So, what exactly are you a doctor of?”
She blinked. It wasn’t the question she’d expected. “ Physics, but I have my bachelor’s in mathematics, and my masters in biology.” Inside, she groaned. No matter how many times she answered that question, she always felt like a huge nerd.
He seemed impressed. “Wow. And they say girls aren’t taking an interest in math and science these days. Obviously, you’re gifted at both.” He rested his hands behind his head, as if he were getting comfortable.
The compliment pleased her. Not many men who looked like him had professed admiration for her mind, and she had to admit she found his words refreshing. If she had to have a bodyguard, having one who was this all-out sexy, and complimented her intelligence sounded pretty good.
“So, where do I bunk?” He grabbed his device and slid it back into his pocket, his brilliant eyes on her.
She felt her brow wrinkling with confusion. “Well, there are a few hotels on Chapel Hill Boulevard.”
A smirk spread across his face; he shook his head. “Doctor, my orders are to protect you. In order to do that, I need to be with you at all times. So, again, where do I bunk?”
She stared at him, open mouthed. This man was so handsome her made her eyes hurt. She doubted she would be able to think straight, let alone form a complete, coherent sentence with him in the house. “Umm…” As soon as the sound left her lips she groaned. She never said ‘um.’ The stupefaction was already beginning. “You can use one of the downstairs guest rooms.”
He sank back into the cushions of her couch, as if making himself more comfortable, and folded his arms across his broad chest. “If you sleep upstairs, then that’s where I need to be. I’m not crazy about rooming with a succubus, but I have a job to do.”
She could feel her blood heating. So he knew about her power—that was beside the point. “Oh, so do you have some kind of problem with succubi? Some kind of prejudice, or personal distaste?” She stood over where he sat, glaring at him.
He rolled his eyes. “Let’s just say the last time I met one things didn’t go well for me. But my opinion doesn’t matter, because I’m assigned to protect you.”
Something about the look in his eyes and his tone told her she didn’t really have a choice.