Dawn woke up drowning, inside a tank in a laboratory straight out of a science fiction movie. Blinded by amnesia, she has no choice but to trust in the alluring stranger who pulls her out of the tank, but Jake Maxwell knows more than he cares to admit. Now Redeo Biotech, the company responsible for Dawn’s resurrection, is hunting them both.
As their passion for each other blossoms, Jake and Dawn must outwit their enemies and rediscover their past lives. But when their greatest foe rises from the ashes of ancient Egypt bent on vengeance, only Jake and Dawn’s eternal connection has the power to save them.
This collection includes the novellas Reborn to Die, Reborn to Burn, Reborn to Avenge, and Reborn to Conquer.
As Dawn Maxwell surveyed the Nevada desert around her, she let her mind untether from her body, floating up into the clear blue sky, soaring over the landscape for a bird’s-eye view. Though she’d first accomplished this feat while dead, her mummified body rotting in a tomb, the ability still felt strange. Her body seemed to fade away, no longer tying her down, and she flew weightless above the desert, able to scan the surroundings better than even a satellite could.
Watch out, freaky resurrected mummy girl on the loose.
“Are you soul-journeying again?” The voice of her husband, Jake, penetrated the surreal haze around her mind, but she did not want to come down yet.
“Yes,” she said, her own voice distant and oddly flat. “Looking for the bunker.”
“It’s not here. We’ll have to check Vahl’s other properties.”
Circling around their physical location, where their Jeep Cherokee sat parked in front of a metal shed, she gazed down on her husband and her father. Unease prickled her incorporeal skin. Father. Though she’d tried really, really hard to think of Ralph Westenra as her dad, she had trouble accepting the idea. Until a couple months ago, she’d had no one except Jake. Now she had a reincarnated father to go along with her reincarnated husband—except they hadn’t been married back in ancient Egypt. Anton Vahl—known as Setka in those days—had murdered her before they had a chance.
Despite being detached from her body, her head throbbed anyway. Keeping everyone’s names straight, when each of them had at least two, always gave her a headache.
Maybe she should refer to Westenra as His Majesty, since he’d been a pharaoh in his past life. But that seemed even weirder than Dad.
Her attention wandered to the horizon, where the first smudges of storm clouds clung to the tops of the distant mountains. She couldn’t hear thunder, but somehow its faint vibrations rumbled through her.
“Come back,” Jake urged, a note of distress in his voice. “Please, Dawn.”
She swooped down toward the ground, toward her body, and sank into it with a tingly rush of energy. Her vision switched back to the real world, her gaze swinging to Jake. His chestnut hair glistened in the sunshine and his cinnamon eyes were fixed on her. Lips parted, forehead crinkled, he let his shoulders sag. “You’re back.”
Dawn moved to him, sliding her fingers into his hair. “I’m fine. It’s perfectly safe, really.”
Not exactly a lie. She didn’t know if it was safe or not.
He turned his head, nuzzling his cheek into her palm. “I wish you wouldn’t do that. We can find other ways to search.”
Jake still didn’t like her soul-journeying. He’d told her several times she might get stuck like that one day, but she kept laughing it off as paranoia. Truth was, she didn’t know if she could get stuck in her out-of-body state. Never would she admit that to him, though, because he’d forbid her to do it. And right now, they needed all the help they could get.
“Relax.” She took her face in his hands and pressed her lips to his. “See? I’m one hundred percent in-body again.”
Behind her, Ralph Westenra cleared his throat.
Dawn glanced back at her long-lost father. Really long-lost. Until two months ago, they hadn’t seen each other in over three thousand years ago. Well, he’d seen her ten months ago—or at least, her mummified remains, displayed in a glass tank inside a laboratory at Redeo Biotech. Her last memory of him was much, much older, and the thought of those days rippled a chill through her. “You have something to say?”
“Perhaps we should give up the search,” Westenra said, scratching his scalp as the wind ruffled his gray hair. His blue eyes focused on her. “If we can’t find Vahl’s hidden repository, the odds are no one else can either.”
“Can’t take the risk. If anyone finds out about me, about us…” Another chill, harder and more frigid, shivered through her. “Bad things would happen. Again.”
Jake settled his hands on her shoulders, squeezing lightly. “Vahl’s gone, forever this time. No more reincarnation for that bastard, which means he can never hurt you again.”
She leaned back into him, a bit of the tension unraveling. He always knew what she was worrying about, even when she didn’t recognize it. “I know, but the data he collected, the files he amassed on me, are still out there somewhere.”
Jake slipped his arms around her waist to tug her close. “No one is ever taking you away from me again. You can count on that.”
And she knew she could, with unfailing conviction. But the mere thought of becoming a lab rat again had her swallowing against a tightness in her throat. Vahl had vowed to mine the secrets of her rebirth from her body. Would another scientist stumble onto his research and set out to do the same? Once a lab rat, always a lab rat, eh?
Jake bent to murmur in her ear. “You’re safe.”
She shut her eyes and let herself revel in the feel of him, warm and solid, his arms encircling her with his strength, his breaths teasing the sensitive skin just below her ear. Delicious heat burgeoned inside her, the familiar desire that ever simmered beneath the surface. No other man, in any time, held the power to affect her this way. It was…wonderful.
The glow of the sun, bright behind her eyelids, gave way to a gloom that swept over them. Thunder growled. A strange awareness prickled her skin, raising the hairs, and she opened her eyes.
Thunderclouds loomed overhead, swiftly consuming the sky. They hung dark and heavy, purple and blue and gray, like a great bruise in the heavens. A wind whipped up around them, swirling dust and bits of detritus. Jake stiffened against her.
“Do you feel it?” she whispered.
“Yes. I don’t understand…”
“Neither do I. But something is coming.”