FIRE AND ICE by Sara York
How can an angel win the woman of his heart when he’s trapped in a demon’s body?
With Raphael’s soul ripped from his angelic body, he’s forced to inhabit the demon Lash’s ugly form until he can help Alexandria overcome her anger and forgive. Raphael’s been in love with Alexandria for decades and wants her, but he’s Lash now and despises his new body. How could anyone fall in love with him, much less the beautiful Alexandria?
Alexandria doesn’t know what’s gotten into her. Rafe is the man of her dreams but when she touches Lash a firestorm of desire is unleashed... She has to have him. Confusion about her desires leaves her vulnerable to the evil fate Rafe has planned for her.
Can the angel in demon form, Lash, fight off Rafe and save Alexandria from hell and himself from eternal punishment of living as a demon?
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Copyright © Sara York, 2012
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Excerpt From: Fire and Ice
Raphael had known he'd made a mistake the minute he'd reached down and touched Alexandria, bringing her back to life, but he hadn't thought the punishment would be this harsh. He loved the woman and hadn't been able to stop himself from interfering. All he'd needed was more time to get to know her, but if she'd died she would have been lost to him in the human afterlife.
Now he lay prostrate in the Court of Angels, his wings vibrating with fear and anger at himself. How could God have let this happen? He hadn't done anything that bad, just saved one girl.
"The sentence shall be read," Michael's voice boomed over the assembly.
Jophiel, the Angel of Judgment, banged the gavel and spoke. "The all—knowing, all—seeing God has decided, based on the crime described in the notes, that Raphael knowingly and willingly interfered in God's divine and perfect will. Thus his soul shall be taken from his body, denying him his angelic powers and form, and placed in the earthly body of Lahash, the Deceiver."
Raphael groaned, his wings collapsed over his outstretched arms, hiding his body from the court. He wasn't deceiving any of them, but he needed the comfort and security the thick wings provided. He hadn't been without his wings in forever, but now he would be stripped of his position and his rights. Why had he interfered?
The image of Alexandria filled his mind, the most perfect woman he'd ever seen. He hadn't been able to resist rescuing her.
Jophiel continued reading. "Raphael will be sent to Earth to redeem himself."
Raphael looked up, his eyes bright. He could redeem himself—at least he had hope, and he would do whatever it took to win back his wings.
"Raphael shall be known as Lash. Any reference to his true form as his own, the name Raphael as his own, or any part of his works as his own will result in Puriel's wrath striking against him, inflicting pain that will force Raphael to his knees."
Shit, Puriel loved to inflict pain and he would judge harshly. No way could Raphael trick him. He was stuck with the new body, but how bad could it be? Raphael closed his eyes and thought of the bodies he'd seen demons inhabit on Earth, and he cringed.
Jophiel's voice droned on, leaving Raphael depressed. "Henceforth, Raphael shall be known as Lash, the angel in the demon's body, until such time that he redeems himself. Lahash the Deceiver and Interferer in Divine Will shall take the form of Raphael on Earth. He shall be given the name Rafe. Both Raphael and Lahash will have the opportunity to redeem their souls. Whosoever completes the task first shall have the right to choose in whichever form they wish to live out the rest of eternity. Time is limited. After first contact with Alexandria, you will have seven days to accomplish your task. So be it."
The gavel crashed down, and Raphael's soul was ripped from his body and tossed through nothingness, before being stuffed into a scrawny form that felt cramped and smelt funny. He crawled to his knees and stood on wobbly legs. The gravitational forces of Earth felt strange to him, and he stumbled as he made his way across the room. He reached up and felt his face before he looked down and saw his pasty, white limbs. He pushed the door to the bathroom open, revealing a mirror.
He caught his reflection and horror filled him. Gone were the good looks, the great tan and the awesome body that had been his earthly host when he chose to walk among mortals. In its place was a plainness that was pitiful, bordering on ugly.
The name Lash was burned into his brain, giving him no choice but to call himself by the disgusting moniker. He tried to think of himself as Raphael, but dropped to his knees as pain slashed across his chest. Damn Puriel—he was tuned in not only to Lash's words, but also to his thoughts.
His soul shrank and his body ached from the switch. God had plans that Lash didn't understand fully, that much was evident. That he'd saved Alexandria didn't matter—instead, it had upset the Big Guy. The punishment might have been fitting, but the harshness of it sucked. He'd switched lives, tasks and holy appointments with Lahash, the Interferer in Divine Will, and Lahash had been given a chance to redeem himself as Raphael, the Shining One Who Heals.
He would win this challenge and have the right to his own body. Nothing could stop him. He had to win.
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