A dark connection. A deadly responsibility.
Welcome to one of the many stops on the book blitz for A Blessed Darkness by Elexis Bell with XPresso Book Tours. Look for others participating in this blitz across social media and on your favourite bookish blog February 15-21, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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About the Book
A Blessed Darkness
by Elexis Bell
Publishing 22 February 2022
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 396
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A dark connection. A deadly responsibility.
Sparks fly when Elairie, a mixed-blood elf living on the edge of society and serving as a night guard, meets her latest prisoner. Strange auras surround them, and a magical gravity draws her to him, despite what her associates might say about his race. But the connection they share comes with a dark side.
When Beluroan learns that he and his guard are Blessed Ones, hand-crafted by the Gods to stop a madman from recreating the Blood Magic of old, his veins run cold. Threatened with a return to the magical slavery such magic commands, fear grips him, and memories of his childhood Master fill his mind.
But together, their potential power frightens even the Gods. Can they overcome the prejudices marring their land and master their new magic in time to stop the man trying to enslave their country? Or will they succumb to their own power?
Filled with grit and magic, this literary romantic fantasy will take you on a ride.
I spur my feet to action, dragging myself into the room. Again, my heart falters at the sight of him, at the strange familiarity of him. I barely keep my jaw from falling open.
Leaning back, propped up on one elbow, he sits with one foot drawn up to the edge of the cot. Oh so casually, he examines his nails. His vest gapes, falling open to the side, and his shirt clings to him.
But realization dawns on me.
He’s messing with me.
His chest rises with a deep breath, and he glances up, rewarding me with a coy smile and confirming my suspicions. I balance the tray in the only horizontal opening in the bars. Without a word, he gets up and slinks toward me with an almost feline grace.
He takes the tray gently and sits back down on his cot.
Settling in at the desk, I take a long drink of the cool water. We eat silently, and I’m thankful for the time it affords me to calm my nerves. But I glance at him too many times as I eat.
And more often than not, his eyes linger on me.
He eats slowly, controlling his pace. But it makes me wonder.
Does he not usually get this much food in one meal?
My heart clenches, though I’m sure he’d bristle at the pity.
Then, it hits me, as if all the stone and earth Luxitore ever created were falling down upon me, as if Jemarie were taking all the wind from my lungs…
Does he have a family?
No necklace of eternal bonds peeks out from the open neckline of his shirt, but given the scar on his chest, it may have broken when the magic hit him. My stomach plummets, and I tell myself it’s only out of concern for his possible family. With him here, they may not have food.
It isn’t because he’s attractive. It’s because his family might be starving.
But I know better. It’s both. The two concerns mix, curdling in my stomach.
I finish my food shortly after Beluroan. Gathering my tray and cup, I move to take his. “Would you like more food or water?”
The simple question surprises him. After a moment’s hesitation, he says, “Just some water, please.”
Has no one ever shown him simple kindness?
The lightning scar glares up at me in answer, making my own upbringing seem privileged. People turned their backs on me all the time, but no one turned their magic on me.
He hands me the tray, then drains the remainder of his water in one long pull. My eyes linger on his neck, but I force myself to look away. Reaching through the bars, he passes me the cup. Our fingers brush, and gentle warmth flows between us. His hand lingers, and my breath hitches. Swallowing, I pull away.
But I still feel his touch.
Heat rushes to my face, and he drops his gaze quickly.
I dart from the room, tripping over myself to get to the relative safety of the cold storage, or even just out of this room. I barely notice when I bump into the desk in the front lobby.
I rush down the stairs and drop everything on the table in the corner. My hands shake, sloshing a few drops of water over the rim of Beluroan’s cup as I refill it.
I need to get myself under control.
What is this?
His life has been… difficult. To say the least.
Born a slave to the Blood Magic, serving an especially brutal Master, he has a lot of scars, both physical and emotional. The worst of those scars come from the night that brought him freedom but stole his parents’ lives… and almost his.
As a Blood Elf (formerly known as Fox Elves), he’s tolerated in small doses in society. Blamed for the Blood Magic and the atrocities it wrought during its reign, mistrusted because maybe there’s still a Master out there controlling them all, he’s often denied the means of earning an honest living.
Even his Earth Magic, useful in construction and farming, only gets him so far. He earns less than Light Elves and often resorts to theft in order to provide for himself, his sister, and her two children.
Meeting someone, let alone having a family of his own, hasn’t really been possible. Scrounging a living, stealing food, and hiding from Guards doesn’t allow much time for dating, and anyway, how could he hope to help provide for them when feeding his nephews is already a struggle?
But when he gets thrown in jail for his thievery, he accidentally meets someone he could never dream of walking away from.
Elairie and Beluroan are inescapably linked, created as one entity then split into two for the mortal realm because their united powers are too much for any one mortal to control.
But the gift of their bond has a cost, a destiny written in blood.
Blood Magic, that is.
She’s unusual in her village. Of mixed blood, she has attributes of Light Elves and Fox (aka Blood) Elves.
All thanks to a Blood Elf rapist taking a liking to her Light Elf grandmother during what came to be known as the Blood War. Given all the prejudices that carried over from the war, her mixed blood means she lives on the edge of society.
She’s not completely ostracized. She even has a decent paying job, but it’s one that keeps her on the fringes of society. As the night guard at the local jail, most everything in her village happens while she’s asleep.
Not that she minds. Interacting with other people is often exhausting, also thanks to her mixed blood. From one conversation to another, she has to gauge whether to fade into the background or let herself be seen depending on who’s around, and she’s gotten good at reading a room.
Of course, her Aura Magic helps with that, too.
She lives with her mother, having lost her father to the Blood War and her grandmother to old age. Though she’s not opposed to the idea of finding a partner, especially now that she’s in her early twenties and most everyone else her age has partnered up, no one has ever drawn her in.
Until they meet, and sparks fly. Literally. In a strange, shared aura that burns and jolts around them.
But neither of them know the truth of their bond. Or the sacrifices it may require.
About the Author
Elexis Bell is a quiet nerd with too many hobbies, including everything from gaming to shower-singing and even archery, weather permitting. She specializes in sarcasm and writing stories that make people feel. She’s made a home for herself with her husband, their dog, and a small army of cats.
She writes dark, gritty stories, sprinkling gut-wrenching emotions over high fantasy romance, thrillers, post-apocalyptic romance, and science fiction.
For further information, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or check out her blog on her website.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
eBook copy of A Blessed Darkness + swag (bookmark, signature plate, and a sticker)
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