(Damaged Deities, Book 1)
by Kenna Reid
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 106k
Cover Artist: Najla Qambar
Morrie Brandon is the best horse trainer in Oklahoma, able to tame the wildest of beasts. She's also the Celtic goddess of War and Sex, The Morrigan, abandoning her supernatural life for a simpler, more human one.
When Morrie is hired by a secretive Scottish family to capture a killer horse ravaging their Highlands manor, the past she has spent thousands of years running from calls her back.
Will Morrie learn from her past mistakes and embrace the bold goddess she truly is, or is it too late?
She’d heard the whistle before she noticed the man. Without even looking up, Morrie knew Kade approached her on his way home from town, whistling a slow, sad tune as he hiked. She could feel his presence.
As soon as he noticed her, that tune changed, a grin creeping at his lips.
“Told ya the ol’ girl didna like tae be gripped so hard,” Kade smirked, stopping in front of her.
Arms crossed, Morrie expressed her lack of amusement with a dull glare. “That’s not what happened. This rusted bucket of junk lost a wheel.”
“Ack, don’t speak o’ her so,” he chided, pulling his hands free of his coat pocket, frowning with fake concern. He sidled around to the driver side, inspecting the damage. “Tis’ nothing, I can fix her right up.”
Morrie jumped off the back and stood behind him as he crouched down beside the truck. Leaning his shoulder into the side, he lifted the truck up, giving enough space beneath the tire to straighten the wheel. Morrie’s eyes widened with surprise.
“It’s a lot lighter than it looks,” she said, impressed.
With the wheel corrected, Kade stood up and faced her, dusting his hands off. “Looks can often be deceiving, Morrie. And I’ll be takin’ tha ride now, if ye doona mind.”
“Not if you’re driving,” she replied dryly, tossing him the keys.
Once inside and chugging down the road, the truck's cabin seemed much smaller than before. Kade’s body filled it like an occupying force.
Morrie kept her face free of expression as she watched the horizon, but still noted with an occasional glance the way Kade leaned back casually, his strong, tan hand hanging over the wheel while he rested his arm on the window. Out of the corner of her eye she could see him looking at her, watching her more often than the road.
“Are you determined to wreck us?” she asked.
“I know this road better than my own home,” he replied with a deep voice Morrie only then noticed had a way of vibrating her ribcage. “Doona worry yer bonnie head, lass. Ye’re safe wi’ me.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
He chuckled, but she kept her face turned away from him, watching the landscape slowly pass by.
“Ye know, the shore’s a bit past the house on this road. There’s a great restaurant there right on the water. It’s about lunchtime anyway, what do ye say for stopping for a bite?”
“No, thank you.”
“They serve Dr. Pepper.”
She looked at him at that, knowing her face was bright and hopeful despite herself. He had one dark eyebrow quirked, waiting.
Opening her mouth to speak, Morrie struggled a moment longer with her basic urges before saying, “Well, I guess I am hungry.”
“I’m no’ too ashamed tae admit that hurt, Morrie.” Kade had his eyes back on the road, a smile playing at his full, soft lips, though his tone had been serious. “That a soda is more appealing tae ye than me.”
With her stunned gaze on him, a grin crept its way on her lips before she could hold it back, lightening her words.
“Well, it’s been two days since I’ve had any.”
“Ye could’ve had plenty last night had ye stayed in bed,” he quipped, his voice dropping seductively.
“Is everything about sex with you?” she asked, eyes wide.
“Canna help myself,” he muttered, a tone of genuine disbelief entering his voice. “When I’m around ye, I seem tae lose my mind.”
In a way, his admission was a surprising compliment, and Morrie couldn’t help smiling at it.
He frowned. “My god, is that a smile I see?” He made a show of looking at her, inspecting her face, which only made it harder for her to squelch the silly expression back down. “Doona hide it, Morrie, my dear, that’s the first time I’ve seen ye smile. It's beautiful.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said, facing forward but her lips still upturned.
“Quite right, lass,” he adopted a playful serious tone. “Put that thing away, wouldna want the angels above tae cry with jealousy over its beauty.”
Morrie rolled her eyes and glanced at him.
Something odd happened inside of her, a weird sensation like she had been filled with warm, rich chocolate. Every time she looked at him, at that bright smile he flashed and the warmth in his eyes, it seemed to stir that molten feeling.
“Just speakin’ the truth.”
"You speak with too much familiarity." She rested her head in her hand, watching him. He locked eyes with hers and somehow their chocolate depths darkened, his voice husky when he spoke.
"I really canna help it," he answered. "I feel as though I know ye, as though I've known ye my whole life."
She felt it, too, an odd and inexplicable connection that seemed to justify her sudden lust. And though the feeling was brief and fleeting, it sent a shock through her body.
Unable to think straight, Morrie sat up and looked out, hoping if she focused on the storm clouds rolling in, it would help relieve the strange sensations at play within her. Lips parted, she took a breath.
“How much farther?”
Kade cleared his throat. “Not much.”
Thank the gods, Morrie thought. Another half mile and she might end up ordering Kade to pull over and take her there in the cow pastures.
About the Author:
Kennan Reid is an American writer from the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her husband in a house overrun with pets. Because she's always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories.
She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011.
Other Novels include Return to Arèthane and Prince of Arèthane.
For more information on Kennan who also writes as Kelly Riad visit: