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Centuries after the fallen angels left heaven to live among humans, their Nephilim descendants dwell in secret, hidden from the modern world. Once, a charismatic leader known as the Phoenix led their people, but he vanished centuries ago. The few surviving Great Houses are in decline, bickering over petty rivalries while a handful of faithful warriors battle to keep the forces of evil at bay.
Eighteen-year-old Aiden McLachlan devotes her life to her studies and pursues her lifelong goal to become a full-fledged Watcher. But everything she knows of her life is a lie and everyone a liar. Through a strange twist of fate, she finds herself caught up in an ancient prophecy.
The stars predict the rebirth of the Nephilim leader, but the mystery must be unraveled or the Phoenix cannot rise. With a soul-eating demon, a coven of ancient vampires, and a hardheaded Celtic warrior competing to subvert the Phoenix, Aiden doesn’t know where to turn or who she can trust.
Magnus loomed over her, attempting to inspect her injuries. His fingers were hot and alien against her skin, and she flinched from his touch.
“Stay put while I retrieve the crucifix,” Magnus ordered. He moved away from her. A moment later, he returned carrying the crucifix.
Aiden shook her head but stayed still. She automatically tried to place his accent and failed. There were too many layers. “Where are you from? I can’t quite place your nationality.”
“I’m Averni.” He sank to the ground beside her, and those six-fingered hands touched her again, causing her flesh to crawl.
“The Averni were a Celtic tribe,” Aiden said. Her foggy mind recalled little else other than the Averni had been from the region of Gaul before it became France.
“That’d be correct.” The Celt reached out with his strange, strong fingers and pushed Aiden’s head to the side to expose the wound. He removed her hand and examined the bite. His glittering gold eyes were intelligent and inhuman. Up close he smelled earthy and sensual, a suggestive scent which caused Aiden to flush and look away.
“Why is your name Latin?” she asked.
“My mother was Roman. Stay still,” he replied.
“How bad is it?” Matthew asked.
“Not too bad.” Magnus threaded the crucifix’s chain through his fingers so the holy symbol rested in his palm. He opened the silver flask and poured holy water over the crucifix.
Aiden felt excited and afraid and so tense she wanted to crawl out of her skin. “Are you really immortal?”
“Yes,” Magnus said. “This is going to hurt. I’m going to have to hold you down.”
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Melissa Thomas breathes life into her dreams, bringing imaginary characters and fantasy worlds into our reality. She loves her characters so much they become her alter-egos, enacting the exciting adventures she envisions for them. She is a resident of San Francisco, California and adores the picturesque city by the bay. Her hobbies include surfing and scuba diving.
Phoenix Contract is her debut novel.
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