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e-book THE LANCASTER RULE
A NOVEL OF THE YEAR NOMINEE
Here are some fresh and original excerpts from the Lancaster Trilogy. Check back on February 17th for another excerpt and on the 23rd for a wee interview with T. K. Toppin.
Excerpt from The Lancaster Rule: (John’s POV on Josie — removed a not-so-PG13 sentence…)
John had a hard time stamping down his anger.
That, that, woman!
She agitated him so. If she weren’t injured as she was, he wanted to grab her and shake her until her teeth fell out. Until those disturbing green eyes fell out like marbles and bounced onto the floor.
Before meeting her, he had never once questioned himself or his actions. But now, he found himself doing stupid things, behaving like a befuddled ass, and acting like a bull-headed elephant in the height of mating season. Especially, in front of her.
And what did she mean, he had no hold over her? That hurt him to the core. He felt foolish and gutted by her words. Did she mean that she wanted him to have a hold on her? Was that an invitation? He shook his head to clear it. Or was that the simple truth? She said she cared for him, or was that just a figure of speaking? And did this also mean that she did like him—before? But not anymore? He was confused. Women spoke in too many riddles! And his head was starting to ache with the beginnings of a blinding headache.
Excerpt from The Master Key: (From the POV of James, a Rogue, on Josie.)
She is just a woman, he reminded himself. Like any other, like so many others. An assignment—a contract. And when the job is complete, he’d move on to the next. So, why then did he feel that he had to warn her? To help her. Was it because of whom she was married to? And why did he feel so disgusted with Ho? Why was his conscience distracting him? Nagging him like a wife.
He found her studying him. She was attractive, not overly. It was more her uncaring manner regarding her beauty that made her more alluring. It triggered a spark within him—one he thought he’d managed, controlled. She distracted him. Her vibrant green eyes were the first thing you saw, then her mouth—soft, full, and delicate. What came out of it was another matter.
“They say you are very dangerous,” he asked conversationally.
“They say a lot of things about me. You’d have to be more specific.”
Whipcord response in the face of danger. He nearly groaned with appreciation. “You saved your husband by stepping before a flying disc. Took a full blast from an explosive and helped bring down Uron Koh.”
“Oh…that,” she shrugged. “All in a days work. Are you getting scared?”
“Is it true you jumped onto his back and rode him like a horse, and then led him straight into a wall?”
Josie rolled her eyes with an uncaring manner. “Somewhat true. I had no reins, so, it was a bit difficult to steer him.” She let out a stupid laugh. “Would you like me to demonstrate on you?”
He sat considering something, ignoring her remark. She would fight to protect those she cared about, the most honourable way to fight, to live. Somewhere along the line, he’d lost his honour. For some reason, she reawakened it. Why? Surely, not because of her husband…
Why should that matter? This is merely a job, an assignment, he reminded himself.
“Be wary of Ho,” he said quietly before he could stop himself. “He cares only for himself. Once he’s done with you, you’ll be discarded. He’ll go back for the girl—not yet, but eventually. He cares a great deal for her, yet he can hurt her without a second thought. He did not say so, but it shows in his manner, how he speaks to her. Do not trust her even though she is young. She has been…influenced. They are both evil.”
Josie’s brows flew up high. James saw her swallow, as if an unpleasant taste seeped into her mouth, bitter like bile.
“I thought you liked the girl?”
“Admiration for her courage is one thing. That does not mean she isn’t evil.”
“What do you mean?” she snapped. “Why are you telling me this?”
Obviously alarmed, she pushed back from the table.