Broken Souls by Laurie Olerich Series: Primani, #4 Publication Date: September 5, 2014 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Haunted by guilt… Primani Declan Manning is a ruthless killer and a renowned healer. Demons fear him. Humans love him. Life is good. The last thing he needs is a human woman. After saving Rori’s life, he walks away but can’t forget the fear in her exotic eyes. They haunt him, dredging up memories better left buried deep. Intrigued by her secrets, he uncovers the horrifying truth. She’s been marked for Hell, and her time is up. He’ll risk his own immortality to save her so ul…if they can find the demon in time.
Glancing at her watch, Rori picked up her pace. She never had enough time. In her universe, it ran in fast-forward. It didn’t matter how much time she gave herself to get ready, she was always late. And of course, she was out of bus money so she was walking - no, make that running - the ten blocks to the flower shop where she worked. The owner, Angela Donatucci, was a total bi-otch about time. She was opening, so technically Angela wouldn’t know if she was on time or not… but she had a pissy habit of showing up out of the blue. “Spot checks”, she called it. She’d been busted three times in the last month. One more time, and she was jobless. And jobless meant homeless soooo… Crap! Dodging around a kid on a scooter, she hung a fast right and cut through the alley behind the Downward Dog Chinese slop shop. A couple of delivery trucks were pulled up to the back door. No problem. She’d just squeeze through. With her mind on the time, she didn’t see the backup lights until it was too late. A starburst exploded and then... nothing but darkness. Excited voices babbled nearby, but they drifted on the wind. Sirens warbled in the distance, the sound fuzzy and faint. “Hey! Are you all right?” a man’s voice snapped next to her ear. Yes, yes, I’m fine! She tried to speak, but her mouth wasn’t working. No sounds came out. This was so not good. “Holy shit, Ramirez, you killed her!” What? No way! I can’t be dead! She struggled to move, to show them she wasn’t dead, to sit up, something, anything, but she was frozen inside her uncooperative body. A wave of dizziness rolled in slow motion through her brain, spreading from head to toe. She was too weak to twitch. She strained to lift her hand, but vicious pain stabbed into her belly. Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? Didn’t she moan? She could’ve sworn she’d moaned out loud. If ever there was a time to moan, this was definitely it. No one responded, so maybe she hadn’t. Darkness pressed in, her inner vision tunneling to a single spear of bright light. Seriously? Damn... I am dying. Well, this sucks. I should’ve seen this coming.
Please welcome Rori Austin from Laurie Olerich's Broken Souls to Diane's Book Blog.
Character Bio: Rori Austin lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother died when she was three, and she was raised in foster homes until she moved out on her own at age 17. With no known family, she’s found love and friendship in a kind elderly man named Arthur and a sexy street vendor called Raine. Life hasn’t been sweet for Rori, but she’s scratching out an existence the best way she can. A bit of a bookworm, she can be found in the New York public library every Thursday. Although she’s a city girl, she longs for the fresh air of the mountains and a chance for the peace it brings.
Describe yourself. What is your worst and best quality?
“Let’s see... My best quality is I’m resilient. Nothing much gets me down for long. I mean, really. I have rats in my apartment, a freaky peeper in my window, and barely enough food to live on. But somehow I know this isn’t my life... it’s a speed bump, a hiccup. My real life is somewhere out there waiting for me. It’s only a matter of time. Worst quality? Hmm. I’m pretty cynical. You could even say I have trust issues. Yeah. Definitely. Trust issues.”
What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
“I hate that I can’t save the people in my visions. It tears me apart inside. But I can’t tell anyone this. I can’t tell anyone about my visions. They wouldn’t understand. Back to those trust issues again.”
What is your biggest secret?
“Most of my secrets would make your skin crawl. You don’t really want the details. Let’s just say Father Joseph is the least of my worries.”
What are you most afraid of?
“Other than being buried alive? Being possessed by a demon; losing control of my free will. Once upon a time, I lived in a bubble of denial where demons didn’t exist. I was safe. Now? Not so much. The truth nearly killed me.”
Do you want to elaborate on that?
Okay, so on a lighter note. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
“Vanilla! No, wait. Vanilla with caramel swirl. Maybe with some banana slices on top. Dec’s crazy about caramel too. There’s always a jar in his fridge.”
Really? Does the jar stay in the kitchen?
Do you want to elaborate on that?
“Let’s just say Dec’s taught me a thing or two about sex. Before I met him, my ideas were...limited. He’s very creative. You wouldn’t believe the things he can do with his mind. Telekinesis is so hot.”
How are things going with him? Any plans you’d like to share?
“Dec is wonderful. He’s everything you think he is. Warm, funny, protective and sexy. He keeps me laughing. I’m learning to trust again.”
Speaking of trust. Are you learning to trust your psychic powers? It’s a lot to handle, isn’t it?
“Yes! There are days when I want to hide in the dark and cry. I used to be completely overwhelmed by the dreams, but now I understand where they came from. Now I understand what my powers really are about. Thanks to Mica and Killian, I’m finally able to control them. Things are definitely getting better. Dec and I are working some new cold cases too. Knowing I can help people find closure is a big relief for me. It helps me make sense of things.”
It sounds like things in your life are calming down. Do you have any regrets?
“My mom’s death. She died before I could know her. Since I never knew my father and my grandparents were dead, growing up was pretty lonely. Living in foster homes was bad enough, but when my nightmares started, my childhood went to Hell. I mean, really, who wants to raise a kid who wakes up screaming every night? I can’t help feeling my mother would’ve had answers to my questions. She would’ve been able to help me deal. I wish I would’ve known her.”
One last question for you. Where do you see yourself in another year?
“Well, I’m helping Sean and Dec with their hit list. But I need a real job too. I don’t want to live off of them. So I’m going to school to become a private investigator. Yeah, I know, it’s not as exciting as killing demons for a living, but I’m not really comfortable with violence. I’m good at research though so this might be a great way to use all of my skills. We’re living in the penthouse now. I’m not sure if we’ll stay there or get a place of our own. Sean has an annoying habit of popping in every few days. It’s not very private.”
Since you brought up Sean, I have to ask one more question. How hot is he really?
“Steaming! The man moves like sex. I don’t know how Aisling blows him off. He’s got a vibe that just sucks you into his space, you know what I mean? It’s those eyes. Wow. Honestly, it kind of scares the hell out of me! Yeah, he’s that hot. And yes, Dec absolutely hates it.”
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