Claire Ashgrove has been writing since her early teens and maintained the hobby for twenty years before deciding to leap into the professional world. Her first contemporary novel, Seduction's Stakes, sold to The Wild Rose Press in 2008, where she continues to write steamy, sexy stories for the Champagne and Black Rose lines. Adding to these critically acclaimed romances, Claire's paranormal romance series, The Curse of the Templars, debuted with Tor in January 2012. For those who prefer the more erotic side of romance, she also
writes for Berkley Heat under the pen name Tori St. Claire.
Claire lives on a small farm in Missouri with her two toddler sons, fifteen horses, five cats, and five dogs. In her "free" time, she enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending quiet moments with her family, including the critters. She credits her success to her family's constant support and endless patience.
A book of unique, holiday stories from the authors at The Roses of Prose.
When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover the Veil of Veronica. When she does, she discovers a danger far greater than the demonic presence stalking her at night. Azazel wants her, as well as the Veronica, and his chosen minion is her brother. Her hope lies with immortal Templar Knight Lucan. Her life depends on oaths she knows nothing about.
For countless centuries, Lucan of Seacourt has lived with the knowledge that his brother killed their family. Now, as Azazel’s darkness eats away at his soul, old betrayal stirs suspicion. He trusts no one. Not even the seraph who can heal his dying spirit.
With the fate of the Almighty hanging in the balance, Lucan must find faith in something more terrifying than the dark lord’s creations. He must learn to believe his heart.
Cursed by her incubus father centuries ago, the last thing Rhiannon McLaine wants is to fall in love.
The night she delivers flowers to detective Mick Farrell, however, everything changes. Deep-seated attraction flares into untamed passion. In the morning, Rhiannon awakens to find she's lost her heart. Now, unless she can convince Mick of her secret past, she's destined to take his life.
When Rhiannon asks Mick to go camping with her, instinct warns him to refuse. Though he hungers for her love and the goodness she represents, he'll do anything to keep her from discovering the darkness within his soul. Yet a weekend in the woods is the perfect place to indulge in temporary desire.until he finds himself bound against his will.
Surrounded by ancient Celtic rites and magic, can Mick see beyond Rhiannon's duplicity and recognize her love? Or will the revelation of her true demonic nature doom Rhiannon to a mortal life alone?
Isolde McLaine left Hatherly Hall and its darkly handsome owner Angus Shaw to escape her incubus father's curse. But when word reaches her that Angus is selling the piece of British history, she returns to talk sense into him. Little does she realized that returning to England will throw her into her sire's vile world and leave her fighting not just her heart and the danger of falling in love but battling to save Angus's son's life.
For three and a half months, Angus has done his best to put Isolde and the one unforgettable kiss they shared behind him. Yet when she returns, scolding him for selling his deceased wife's estate, he's sharply reminded of the passion she awakens inside him. Yet as Isolde pushes for him to leave his son's legacy intact, their battle of wills provokes far more than just desire. His son's nightmares have returned. And Isolde triggered the hellish dreams.
Torn between protecting his child and the love he feels for Isolde, Angus must find the strength to trust in Isolde before her demonic sire claims his son.
For standing against her brother, Brigid McLaine is imprisoned within her home. All she wants is freedom and the ability to follow her dark nature. But captivity poses a greater threat in the form of her handsome guard, Micah Nelson. Day after day of confinement leads her down a treacherous path of desire she can no longer ignore.
When Micah befriended Brigid six years ago, he never imagined the woman who haunted his every fantasy would end up being the very same demon he's employed to guard. During the forced confinement, he comes to learn the softer, gentler side of the woman who is despised by her family--and he recognizes the fear that keeps her chained to her sire. As their bond strengthens and passion ignites, Micah struggles to convince Brigid to confront her fears and escape her incubus father's dark designs.
Yet with the sabot of Litha so near, one of them must make a choice. Will Brigid find the ability to confront her sire once and for all and embrace the lightness in her heart--or will Micah find the courage to let go of the one thing he wants most? Brigid.
Taran McLaine knows the agony of his incubus father's curse more intimately than his siblings. A century ago he murdered the only woman he ever loved. When he finds her alive, he's faced with the ultimate heartbreak. They have no chance at a future--he's done all he can to insure that on his day of judgment the ancestors will deny him a mortal life.
Years ago, Solene Larouche embraced Taran and the dark curse that cloaked him. She knew the risk she faced, but when Drandar pulls her back to life, she agrees to aid the demon and damn Taran to eternal suffering. One look at the man who held her heart so long ago, however, changes her mind. She must find a way to free him, even if it means condemning herself to eternity as Drandar's slave.
As Samhain approaches, Solene and Taran conspire to destroy Drandar. But will their combined effort enable them to kill the incubus or will they be cast into Drandar's own special Hell and all hope of their renewed love marked for death?
Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.
Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.
As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.
When Reese Hamilton is abandoned in the snow-laden woods, she must find her way to Daire McLaine's cabin--a friend she's known for years, and the man who makes her pulse triple. Little does she know that a cozy night in the woods will lead to passion they both have been longing to explore. But with the change in their relationship comes something darker and more terrifying, and Reese must confront danger, even death, before she is free to love.
Daire McLaine will do anything to escape his demonic blood and attain mortality, even if that means defying nature's laws and manipulating Reese's thoughts for his own means. But when he delves into her hidden secrets, the staggering emotion he encounters makes it impossible to deny the forbidden longings of his own heart. Yet to love Reese will demand the ultimate sacrifice--his life. Page Count: 163
Beth Whitley has finally put her life back together after her husband’s betrayal and is determined to piece together the clues to her past. But she never imagines an ancient scroll bearing the name of a Celtic ancestor will plunge her into a world of demonic ritual. Nor does she suspect that a kiss shared with genealogist Fintan McClaine will unveil the secrets of her dreams and a burning desire.
Fintan McClaine wants freedom from the dark curse he’s suffered for centuries. When Beth arrives with evidence that she shares ancestral ties with his Selgovae Celt tribe, he must confront the truth of his inherited damnation. As he struggles to convince Beth the truth within her dreams, she awakens a dangerous and forbidden yearning in his heart.
To save them both, Fintan must convince Beth to believe in herself and her ability to overpower his unholy sire. If he fails, he will remain an eternal slave to his tainted blood and lose Beth forever.
Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation - the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin's soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she's fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he's sworn to uphold.
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs-and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
Haunted by his mother's betrayal, Belen McLaine surrendered to his demonic half long ago. For centuries, he's roamed, doing all he can to corrupt those he encounters. But Belen's life changes when a little Yuletide fun goes wrong, and the one woman he can't stay away from is suddenly in need of his protection. Unable to cast her aside, he finds himself on a deadly path to love.
The one date Faith Winters shared with Belen was laden with fireworks, but he stayed away until the night of her brutal attack. As danger escalates, he becomes her only safety and shared passion gives way to something deeper, hotter, than she's ever known before. Yet Faith has no idea her greatest threat is the very man who holds her heart.
For Belen, even if it means hurting Faith, he must not succumb to love. If he fails, his father's curse promises he'll take Faith's life.
Delta Force operative Kyle Garland divorced his wife to protect her. His top-secret missions expose him to constant danger, and his world is full of lies and deceit. But the threat to Aimee doesn't come in the form of insurgents or bombs. Rather, his soul-deep love and the dreams he silently nurtures are her greatest hazard. When a career-ending injury brings him home for Christmas, to keep her safe he must bury his feelings and hide the monster he's become.
Fourteen months ago, Aimee had the perfect marriage. then Kyle blindsided her with a divorce. Now, he's coming home, and she intends to get her answers. Yet the crippled man she confronts bears scars her years of nursing cannot heal. The secret he's hiding is tearing him apart. No matter how she tries, he keeps her at a distance, despite the love that's still evident in his kiss. What Aimee doesn't know is her own damaged past terrifies Kyle more than any wartime horror.
As she forces him to confront his demons, will the holiday shred the fragile bonds they share, or will Christmas complete all their broken parts?
One of eight children born to an ancient Celtic priestess and sired by a demonic incubus, Cian McLaine suffers from a centuries-old curse. Though his immortality allows him to enjoy the pleasures of mortal life, he is plagued by the desire to kill. As long as he doesn't fall in love he can keep the compulsion at bay.
When Cian walked into her rare bookstore months ago, Miranda Phillips never imagined she'd lose her heart to the handsome playboy. Her reward for doing so was abandonment. Cian left as mysteriously as he appeared, in the middle of the night with no explanation, no goodbye. Now he's back, and passion flares just as hot. But Cian has secrets. If Miranda is to survive, she must uncover the truth and free his darkened soul.
Gabrielle Warrenton gave up everything to pursue her dream of a first-class Egyptian Arabian breeding farm. Her future lies in her new stallion's success. Though she possesses an exceptional eye for horseflesh, she lacks the training knowledge, and Bahadur Mamoon has a date with the nation's most affluent show in three weeks. Nothing that would present a problem given his previous credentials. Only, the sellers disguised one critical fact-he's crazy.
Jake Lindsey-Sullivan was once part of an exceptional Arabian training team. Under his mother's guidance, he developed an instinctual talent, but she was the star, the cornerstone of his life. Until she met a premature death. Grief-stricken and plagued by guilt, Jake abandoned the world of horses. Now an over-the-road truck driver, he evades the memories.
When a snowstorm throws two Arabian professionals into close-quarters, they discover an engulfing passion. But will Mamoon rip open emotional scars, or forever seal them shut?
Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in five years. Like his brothers, Alex and Heath, life has kept him away. Clint’s farm is barely hanging on. His prize mare's due to foal any day, and in the wake of his father’s death, Clint can’t stand the idea of returning. The memories are too much, let alone his father’s imposing shadow. Except, Alex is getting married on Christmas Eve, and their mother’s put her foot down. She’ll have her boys at home. With his mare in tow behind him, Clint prepares to meet a sister he’s never known and Alex’s unexpected triplets. The one salvation he looks forward to is childhood companion, tomboy Jesse Saurs. Yet when he reunites with Jesse, he uncomfortably discovers she’s become all woman.
Jesse Saurs has everything she needs – financial security, a home, and a foster child who’s about to become her son. She’s spent two years breaking down Ethan’s emotional barriers, and with the final hearing scheduled just before Christmas, this year promises to make his dreams come true. When she learns Clint and his brothers are returning, she anticipates a holiday reunion that’s sure to entertain Ethan. But on the night of Clint’s return, the ‘brother’ she expected leaves her trembling after just a single hug. Even worse, Ethan makes it clear Clint's not welcome.
Will this Christmas destroy what's left of hopes and dreams, or will it give the three the gift they've all been longing for?
When Lucas Benning relocated to Kansas City, he agreed to allow his best friend's sister to remain under his roof. Problem is, they've despised each other since he cut off her hair when she was fifteen. They drive each other crazy - he disrupts her work; she always has to have the last word. But as Valentine's Day approaches, his sentimental side can't accept Olivia's jaded perspective that the holiday's for fools. He vows to prove romance is real and it doesn't go hand-in-hand with sex. Except the game he starts to prove a point awakens a frightening passion he can't escape.
Eccentric artist Olivia McDaniels finds Lucas' proposal laughable. A man can't woo a woman he's not attracted to, let alone one he can't stand. Yet when her brother commissions a portrait of Lucas, she begins to see a different side of the man. He's tender, selfless and, to her horror, his thoughtfulness chips away at the walls she's erected around her heart. Only, Lucas belongs to another woman, and the feelings he stirs inside Olivia can only lead to pain.
Will Cupid forge a timeless bridge between their differences? Or will his arrows eternally miss the mark?
Some dreams were never meant to be...
Renowned architect Josh McDaniels spent ten years avoiding his hometown and the unforgettable memories of his youth. But when a former classmate phones him before Christmas with a proposal he can’t refuse, he finds himself back in the small town, surrounded by holiday festivities and engulfed in memories of a blue-eyed girl.
Amanda Masterson knows three things about Josh. She loves him, he loves her, and he’ll walk out when those feelings terrify him, as he always does. Ten years ago, he abandoned their dreams. Eight years ago, he returned to break her heart again. Now, he’s back once more, and this time he’s jeopardizing not only her heart but her daughter’s as well.
Can the spirit of Christmas overcome a past riddled with mistakes? Or will fears and doubts destroy the greatest gift of all?
McCleery Racing didn't become a Thoroughbred racing powerhouse by betting on longshots. Maddie McCleery made it a multi-million dollar player through hard work, logical decisions, and a commitment to never involve herself with men who lived on the sport of kings. But when she sets her sights on a two-year-old colt her rival owns, she never imagines the lengths she'll go to, to bring the future champion home.
Riley Jennings wants unobtainable Maddie almost more than the Triple Crown. After his Kentucky Derby win, however, he sees a way to sure-fire victory. His proposed wager stacks the odds in his favor - if her horse wins the Preakness, he'll accept her terms. If his horse comes in first, they'll negotiate his way.
When the dust settles on the wire, will love claim final victory, or will unexpected tragedy stop them in the gates?