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Guarding a precocious five-year-old who is half-human, half-god, and 100% destined to save the world is no easy feat.

Garrett Swopes was the ultimate skeptic until he met a certain hellion and her husband. They vanished after stopping a catastrophic event and left him, a mere mortal, in charge of protecting their gift to mankind. But when she disappears as well, he needs the help of another breed of hellion. One who can see past the veil of space and time. One who betrayed him.

She will get a truce in the deal, but she will never earn his forgiveness.

Marika Dubois’s son—a warrior in the coming war between heaven and hell—was foreseen long before his birth. But to create a child strong enough to endure the trials that lay ahead, she needed a descendant of powerful magics. She found that in Garrett Swopes and tricked him into fathering her son. A ploy he has never forgiven her for. But when he knocks on her door asking for her help, she sees the fierce attraction he tries to deny rise within him.

And Marika has to decide if she dares risk her heart a second time to help the only man she’s ever loved.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Graveyard Shift

Darynda Jones

Expected Release Date: 9 June 2020

Book Series: 

We are getting an all-new story in Darynda Jones’ phenomenal Charley Davidson series—out this week—and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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“Haven’t you ever loved someone from afar?” she asked him.


“Are you lying only to me, or to yourself as well?”

Irritation slid up his spine. “And just what is that supposed to mean?”

She released a frustrated sigh. “Nothing. Elwyn wished you could find Osh as easily as her bracelet.”

“Yes.” He relaxed his shoulders, still wondering what the hell she’d meant. If anyone was in love with someone else… Then again, Marika didn’t do love. Not monogamous love, anyway. She had too many men in her life to stoop to something so basic. “Osh.” He thought back again. “She wished I could find Osh, and then she twirled around as though looking for him.”

Marika’s brows slid together. “Okay. And then what?”

He lifted a shoulder. “Don’t quote me on this, but I think she said she’d find him.”

“Find who?”

He shrugged again. “Osh, I assume.”


“I know how it sounds. But I swear, we were talking about Osh, and she wished I could find him. I wished I could too, but we’ve searched everywhere, and we just don’t know where he is. Then she looked at me with those huge copper eyes, her expression thoughtful, and said, ‘That’s okay. I’ll find him.’ Next thing I knew, she was handing me her Osh doll and running off down the trail.”

“Where she disappeared,” Marika said.

“Where she disappeared.”

“Good heavens.”

“Actually, more likely bad hell. I don’t think a demon would be allowed in heaven, even a slave demon.”

Marika’s eyes rounded. “She wouldn’t… I mean, she can’t. Can she dematerialize like her parents could? Can she actually, you know, go to hell?”

“That’s just it.” Garrett sat up and put his elbows on his knees. “We don’t think she can. Once she found out her mom and dad could, she tried over and over. She has a lot of abilities thanks to her lineage, but she was never able to dematerialize. Then again, Charley didn’t learn that little trick until she was in her late twenties. It could be latent.”

Marika scooted closer to him. “Do you mean Elwyn could have dematerialized?”

He shook his head. “I really don’t think so.”

“But you don’t know for certain?”

“No, I do. It wasn’t like that. When Charley did it, it was instantaneous. She was just suddenly not there.”

“You just said that’s what happened!” Marika stood and paced, her agitation shining through.

“I know, but the more I think about it…this was gradual.”

Marika frowned in thought then sank back onto the divan. “Gradual. Okay. Wait, why were you watching her? I thought you had the graveyard shift since she rarely sleeps.”

“Normally, I do. But the girls’ club was out of town for a bike rally.”

She fought for a smile. “I bet they love being called that.”

Donovan and his cohorts, the last remnants of a fairly infamous biker club called The Bandits, were also part of Elwyn’s security team—which Garrett headed up. It had always surprised Marika that he took the graveyard shift until Donovan told her that Garrett hardly slept either. Said the two of them, Beep and Garrett, made the perfect nocturnal pair.

“The rain’s stopped,” he said, uncurling the towel from his neck and placing it on her heavy wooden coffee table. “I’m wasting time. Can you do your thing or not?”

Marika shot him a glower from beneath her lashes.

His expression changed instantly from irritation to remorse. “Sorry. But can you?”

After another quick glower, she thought about it. “I need to gather a few items. Do you have something of hers? Maybe her Osh doll?”

“It’s in the truck,” he said, rising to his feet. He stretched, raked a hand over his head, then shook it as though trying to stay awake.

He looked haggard, and Garrett never looked anything but magnificent with a side of dangerous, quiet confidence.

“It’ll take me a little while,” she said. “Why don’t you go back to the compound and get some sleep? I’ll call you—”

“I’m fine.” His tone convinced her not to argue. Men. “I’ll get the doll.”

“Thank you. I’m going to”—she looked down at her robe—“slip into something a little more comfortable.”

He raised a brow. Marika rolled her eyes and hurried to her bedroom.

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