At seventeen years old, Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself–but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. Three men pay her a visit one day, claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings that imbue the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS,and her life is forever changed.
Gabriella is the steward of PRIDE. and she’s falling hard for fellow steward Grant Barnett, but he despises her. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”
“Then tell me.”
He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”
Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”
“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.
He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.
Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”
She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.
He raised an eyebrow.
Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.
“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”
He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”
“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.
“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.
What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.
Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.
“What is that?” She already knew the answer.
Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.
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Pride Book Blast Giveaway
Open internationally – Enter by April 13, 2015
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