The Beast . . . Rumor said the powerful Nicolai DeMarco could command the heavens, that the beasts below did his bidding . . . and that he was doomed to destroy the woman he took as wife. It was whispered he was not wholly humanas untamed as his tawny mane and slashing amber eyes. The Beauty . . . Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci would defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. Shed even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lionthe menacing palace of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco. The Bargain . . . Then Isabella met a man whose growl was velvet, purring heat, whose eyes held dark, all-consuming desire. And when the don commanded her to become his bride, she went willingly into his muscled arms, praying shed save his tortured soul . . . not sacrifice her life.