The Warrior’s Progeny by @jenyheckman is a Binge-Worthy Festival pick #fantasyromance #pnr #giveaway
Title: The Warrior’s Progeny
Author: Jeny Heckman
Genre: Fantasy-Paranormal Romance
Colton Stone is a newly traded tight end whose reputation is as battered as his football helmet. When he receives a vacation invitation from his new teammates, he accepts. There he collides with Dr. Lillian Morgan, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, and doesn't know what to think.
A widow with two children, Lilly is looking forward to her friends' wedding. When she meets Colton Stone, his arrogant attitude only makes her long for the love she took for granted. Lilly struggles between letting go of her perfect past for an uncertain future.
Strange events occur, out of the realm of normal consciousness. When black energy touches their world, Colt and Lilly become the pawns of the immortal Greek gods. Is the love developing between them natural, or part of a larger prophecy?
“Oh my God, Que! Are you okay?”
She examined Que’s head and neck checking for injuries, with rapid authority. A small goose egg already formed just above her right temple. A tiny cut opened in her eyebrow, from her broken sunglasses now laying in the sand, causing a small bead of blood to well up.
Used to the recklessness of her son and his friends regarding the sport, Lilly turned, gearing up for an impressive tongue lashing to teenagers.
“What in the hell...” she bellowed, turning around and smacking her face into the sweaty muscular chest of a massive redhead. Refusing to let the fourteen-inch height difference and the hundred and sixty pounds of additional weight intimidate her, Lilly balled her small fists on her hips, shifted her gaze up, and narrowed her eyes.
“What in the hell is the matter with you? You’re on a crowded beach with a bunch of young children and families. You’re a grown-ass man. Can’t you catch a football?” When he stared down at her in fascinated disbelief, she continued. “There is a wide-open park just over there,” she said, stabbing her finger in the general vicinity. “Maybe you and your little friends”— she looked over at all the massive men in his group, but continued undaunted—“should go over there and pull your heads out of your asses.”
Not saying another word, she turned to re-examine Que, but noticed the man didn’t move or speak, just displayed a broad patronizing grin at her. Lilly recognized she must sound like a tiny teacup Chihuahua yipping at a Saint Bernard. The redhead glanced over to a large Samoan man trying his best to sprint over to her friend. The man seemed to have thrown the off pass, if his flood of apologies were any indication. Another huge man ran to join the fray calling out even more apologies, but Lilly turned to test her friend’s vision before they arrived. By the time they did, she felt satisfied that Que didn’t seem to have a concussion or other injuries, barring slight embarrassment.
“Oh wow, Doc M.?”
Lilly, who turned to continue her diatribe, swallowed the words at the sound of her nickname. She shifted her gaze to the smaller of the giant men and tried to place him into context, when it rolled and clicked into her consciousness.
“Derek?” She hesitated, then looked over at the Samoan man and recognized him too. “Aulelei?”
“Yeah.” Derek laughed. “What’re you doing here?”
Wyatt, Finn, and Raven ended their meeting when they saw Que get hit, and ran over to check on her. By the time they arrived, Tua had all but plucked her up off the sand, still murmuring profound apologies and asking for forgiveness.
“Ah,” Lilly started, at a momentary loss. “My friends are getting married, so we came over for a few days.”
“Oh wow, that’s fantastic.” he nodded at Finn and Raven, then looked at Que. “She gonna be okay?”
“Holy shit.” Wyatt laughed and gaped at the three men. Finn noticed the celebrities too, and aped his brother-in-law’s expression.
“Wow, Derek Watson, how you doing, man?” Finn raised a hand, and the player clasped it with warmth, before extending it to Wyatt.
During the entire exchange Lilly noticed Colt kept his eyes, and amused smile fixed on her. She narrowed her own eyes, which only looked to amuse him more.
“Colton Stone, I heard Seattle got lucky,” Finn blurted, extending a hand.
At this proclamation, the giant ginger shifted his gaze and shook hands with the would-be groom. He looked back at Lilly with a smile, perhaps expecting an impressed gasp at his celebrity status. He’ll be waiting until somewhere beyond the twelfth of never.
Aulelei looked like he died of embarrassment at the botched throw and horrified that it connected with the stunning African queen. He became clumsy and started to babble.
“That was all my fault, I-I’m so sorry, we were just fu...er...screwing around and it got away from me.”
Que laughed, looking embarrassed herself. “It’s okay, baby, I’m fine. Really.” She glanced around at everyone watching her, and waved them off. “Seriously, I’m good.”
Tua gave her a skeptical look, then smiled sheepishly.
“Well, maybe I should make it up to you and buy you a drink?”
“Sure,” Wyatt and Finn said in unison.
Lilly rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest with frustration. She sucked in her cheeks while pursing her lips, and cocked her head to the side. Raven giggled at Que’s blush and urged them all to get drinks.
“Why don’t you all go over to the Tahiti Blue,” the singer suggested. “And I’ll meet up with you in about fifteen minutes.”
Lilly could tell Raven didn’t want to stand in the way of anyone’s fun, but also needed to finish her tasks. Finn turned, as if remembering the reason for being there.
“Oh, babe. Sure, let’s go get the rest of the...”
“No.” She laughed, seeming to understand where her man wanted to be. “It won’t take me long. We’ve already done your part, so go have fun. Really.”
Colt turned to Lilly and raised his eyebrows in challenge.
“I’ll go with you, Rave,” she said with cool detachment. Something interesting passed over the large man’s features, but she couldn’t discern what.
“I’ll come too.” Que hesitated, then took a step closer to the girls.
“No!” both women responded in unison.
Lilly wanted her to take a moment to rest, and it was clear Raven wanted her to continue her conversation with the large man looking at her like a lost, little puppy. Raven’s eyes shifted from Que to Lilly and at last, to Colt’s.
“Football player,” Lilly heard her murmur. “That’s a kind of modern-day gladiator.” Her eyes widened. “A warrior.”
Lilly drew her brows together, puzzled at the statement, then looked at Finn. The couple began an entire conversation without speaking. The whole thing looked bizarre.
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
The Outlander series. That first book hit my hands almost twenty years ago and I read it through. Afterward, I couldn’t wait for Diana Gabaldon to write and release each new novel. The fact we’re down to the last two is hard to accept! The author penned an epic adventure, that crosses several genres, and brings you into the scenes. She is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read with this ability. Not only does she paint the various settings with a detailed yet non-boorish brush, she also blends historical, romance, paranormal, epic sweeping and action/intrigue to perfection. So, wonderful!
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
Though I’m not Diana Gabaldon, my series is binge worthy because I do try to insert some of that realism too. I wanted to do a series that was different from all the werewolves and vampire books being written. I loved Greek mythology when I was young, so liked the idea of placing the all-powerful beings in jeopardy. The Greek gods are kind of cocky, arrogant, and selfish. So, the idea of relying on mere mortals to save them was also intriguing to me. They are fallible, romantic and interesting.
On the field, Colton Stone is a sensational, yet ruthless football tight end. Off the field, he’s reckless and has a way of creating animosity in the locker room. Though highly talented, he’s traded to the Seattle Warriors, and determined to change his life around. However, some habits and reputations are hard to move on from. Upon his arrival, some of his new team mates invite him on a vacation to Hawaii, before their pre-season begins. To me, Colt’s story is as old as time. He is someone desperately trying to change their life for the better, only to have all kinds of circumstances and history thrown up in his face. Overcoming those is where true growth happens.
Lillian Morgan, lost her husband, David, four years prior to pancreatic cancer. She has two young children to raise and cardiothoracic practice to run. As a doctor, she feels she should have caught his illness sooner, and has tremendous guilt about moving on. I feel like survivors of a loved ones passing often have this major obstacle to overcome and it isn’t as simple as someone saying, “Get over it.”
Book two of the Heaven & Earth series is about, “strength in family.” And has a lot of fun blending these two characters, their families and their careers together. Colton Stone, is the descendant of Ares, god of violent war. Lilly Morgan, is the descendant of Hera, goddess of marriage and childbirth. The second book is catapulted into the prophecy world as tentacles of the Greek world, reach their icy fingers into modern-day. I think you will enjoy to direction the series takes in book two!
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