Date Published: 3/28/2017
Santino the Eternal has never craved the forbidden – until now. As a blood-thirsty serial killer hunts the glitzy streets of Las Vegas, Santino collides with a young college student – can she make it out alive?
Clara Denton’s life is flung into chaos when she discovers a drained corpse in a posh hotel room on the Strip. And as if her life wasn’t already spiraling out of control, her reclusive boss has taken a disconcerting interest in her. Unable to resist the dark pull, she is drawn further and further into the murky world of the undead – as well as just the dead, too. When the handsome Matthew Hunter arrives with his sights set on Clara, she is thrown into one final eternal struggle of good versus evil.
Can love truly be eternal?
“Be free, my darling,” he said to the languid corpse.
With the back of his hand, he wiped away the last drops of the precious nectar he’d drained from her fragile veins. “You have served me well.” He watched as the ghost of his young victim fled her empty body.
He felt crushing remorse that he’d killed her. Her death was kind, painless, and he needed her blood, he convinced himself as he glanced around the darkened hotel room. The warm fluid rushing through him caused the sensation of a post-orgasmic high—so similar was the feeling that he craved the cigarette he usually only smoked after sex.
“No, not here,” he said aloud to himself, his agile fingers placing the pack of cigarettes back into his designer suit coat.
The door to the hotel room opened—a swath of light from the hallway burned into his eyes and his hand instinctively reached up to shield himself from it.
A young housekeeper burst in, her eyes only glimpsing his form for seconds as he moved from the room with such preternatural swiftness that he was just a mere blur to her mortal eyes.
It was several more minutes before his perfected ears heard her scream in terror.
“C’mon, baby, don’t run out of gas on me now.”
Clara Denton reached over and turned off the air conditioning in her 1986 Ford Escort. The fuel needle, pointed at the letter E, seemed to mock her as she irrationally turned off the radio, as if those minor efforts would have any effect on the amount of gas her old car would burn on her way to work.
“One more mile,” she said aloud to the vehicle. “One more mile and I promise to feed you after work. I can’t be late again.”
In her worn Fossil hobo purse her last ten dollars sat crumpled. Clara hoped it would provide enough fuel to get her back and forth to school that week as well as to her job cleaning rooms at the newest and classiest hotel on the Las Vegas Strip—the Roman.
Her stomach growled as she flashed her employee badge and pulled into the dark parking structure at the rear of the sprawling resort hotel and casino. At the place she’d worked before the employee facilities, those parts the guests didn’t see, were austere. Here, however, even the employee parking garage was glamorous.
As she fled the car, terrified of punching in late again, she thought about how she’d never once seen the reclusive owner of the Roman—his name was Marchetti, she couldn’t recall if she knew his first name. She assumed he was Italian, and rumors floated around that he was handsome, in his thirties, but even though he lived in the sprawling penthouse suite, no one she knew had ever seen him.
Clara’s first three rooms were easy cleans, and in the second one she was able to nibble on an unopened bag of potato chips—she hadn’t eaten since the night before when her roommate, Landon Miller, brought home scavenged baked ziti from the pizzeria he waited tables at.
The fourth room of her shift, however, was the one that changed the course of her life forever. As she flipped on the lights and walked in with her cleaning basket—maids at the upscale Roman weren’t allowed to push carts into the rooms—she saw it. A foot poking out from the crisp white sheet of the king sized bed. “Oh, sorry ma’am, I thought the room was…” She felt a rush of cool air blast past her, maybe even the faint hint of smoke, and then she saw it.
The foot protruding from the Italian 800 thread count Frette linens was not an alive foot. It was ghastly white, the red painted toenails a grotesque contrast to the paleness of the skin. A prank, she thought as she approached it, waiting for something to jump out at her. The air in the room changed, became oddly stagnant, as she sheepishly tugged at the sheet. Clara heard herself scream, as if a bystander, as her body crumpled to the floor.
“The police,” she finally managed to mutter, as she reached for the phone on the mahogany desk. She stared at the phone, unable to remember how to get an outside line for several moments before deciding instead to press the button that was labeled Emergency.
Within minutes, several large men in dark suits blew into the room. One lifted her to her feet and asked if she was okay. As she nodded, he glanced at her nametag and said, “You may have the afternoon off, Clara. Thank you.” He turned to look at the body as the other men donned latex gloves.
“Uh, we should call the police. This is the serial killer. It’s got to be another of his victims—you know, the Blood Lust Killer.”
The dark suited man in charge flung his body toward hers, his hands braced on his hips. “I believe it’s time for you to go.”
“No. You can’t touch anything until Metro comes,” she argued, her voice fighting to sound strong. These men were tampering with a crime scene—her roommate, Landon, when not serving greasy pizza and pints of beer—was in the police academy. Clara had helped him study enough to know these men were breaking the law.
“Steven, please escort the former employee from the premises.” He turned to face her once more, and with a sneer said, “We’ll mail your final paycheck. Your services here at the Roman are no longer required.”
She stood in shock, unable to process the dramatic turn that afternoon had taken. “You’re firing me?” she finally choked out through her tears. The man never answered her, and she followed him to the central housekeeping department to return her uniform. The dark-suited stoic presence stood outside the changing room and walked her to her car, reminding her that security cameras would watch her exit the grounds of the casino.
In her hot car, with guards staring at her, she reached for her cell phone. Despite the glare of the suited Steven approaching her, she dialed 911 and switched it to speaker as she sped down the exit ramp. “Yes, at the Roman,” she clarified to the dispatcher. “Room 80231—she was bloodless! White as a ghost.” She paused as the dispatcher read back the information, then as Clara began to ask about the serial killer her phone went dead. Damnit! Out of minutes!
Moments later, she was fighting her way through traffic. “That jerk-off, how dare he fire me,” she hissed into her empty car as she battled the throng of cabs down the small section of Las Vegas Boulevard that was known as the Strip. In shock, fuming and terrified, she barely remembered to make her left on Flamingo when her car started to sputter. “Not the transmission again,” she groaned before her eyes set on the fuel gauge. “Shit!” She covered her mouth with her hand—Clara rarely swore, and when she did, she shocked even herself. “I forgot to get gas!”
Flamingo was his least favorite place to drive. Stop after stop, he could rarely pick up the kind of speed he craved. When finally he was able to swoop around yet another annoying billboard truck, his designer-shod foot mashed the accelerator down as hard as he could. The Maserati lurched, pressing him back into the buttery leather seats that had been custom made to fit his tall, lean body. And then he nearly ran over her.
She fell backward into her battered old car, smashing into the dented frame and falling face down onto the dirty black pavement of Flamingo Road. “Fuck,” he howled, the nimble car coming to a screeching stop as those behind him blew their horns and struggled to maneuver around him. He was able to stop his car at the side of the busy road, in front of the small frame of a young woman lying in the street.
“I didn’t hit you, Miss, did I?” He sprang from his car toward her. She’s moving, that’s good, he thought as she placed her palms on the pavement, pushing her lean frame up.
“Um, no, I just, I thought you were going to hit me, I jumped and tripped.”
“That is a relief,” he sighed. He reached for her hand and helped her to her feet.
“I-I’m fine now,” she said with a quick tug of her hand to remove it from his. But he couldn’t let go. He held onto her hand as a sensation so foreign, so odd, washed over him.
“Well, thank you for even stopping,” she said with a smile, tugging her hand from his once more. This time he let her soft hand fall from his, but he continued to look into her eyes. They were brown, chocolate brown, he thought. She was young, twenty-one was the number that popped into his head as he stared at her mutely.
She ran her hand through her hair as she turned to face her car. “Do you need me to call a car service for you?” he asked as she lifted the rear hatch and pulled out a red gas can. “No, thank you, I’m out of gas. It’s only a few blocks to the station.”
“I would never let you do that. Please, I’ll drive you.”
She stared at the car—clearly he was a rich businessman, a local, and, she had to admit, breathtakingly handsome. But still, she was no idiot. She wasn’t going to get into his car, or any stranger’s car, with a blood-sucking serial killer roaming Las Vegas murdering young women. “I’m fine, I’ll walk.” She took a few steps and heard him speak again.
“No, Miss, you will not. I cannot let you do that.”
“Let me?” She spun around and glared at him, empowered by the safety of the heavy traffic swirling around them like angry hornets.
He held up his hands in apology. “I didn’t mean it like that, I’m sorry. What I meant was it would be ungentlemanly of me. I can call road service, or perhaps go retrieve your gas for you while you wait in the air conditioning of my car?”
“I’m sorry to snap. I’ve had a terrible day. I was fired from my job and, well, it’s just been a rough one. I’d rather walk than wait, but thank you.” She set off again, with the man only steps behind her.
He caught up to her, his suit coat removed and tossed over one arm in the oppressive heat of summer in Las Vegas. “My name is Santino, by the way, and it is a pleasure to meet you, despite the circumstances of our introduction,” he said, positioning himself between the heavy street traffic and the young woman. “Miss…?”
“Clara Denton,” she answered with a smile. This drop-dead gorgeous rich guy is also a gentleman, she thought as he reached to carry the gas can.
At the gas station, his phone buzzed. With a quick glance at it, he looked to Clara. “I’m sorry, I have to take this. I apologize for my rudeness.” She nodded as he walked to the side of the gas station.
“Wait until I tell Landon about this guy,” she said under her breath as she walked into the building to prepay for the gas.
Walking out, can in hand, the man, Santino, had his back to her. He was talking into his phone. She could hear him as she walked by toward the pumps. “Yes, Don, you did the right thing to have it cleaned. A mess like that in my home I would never tolerate.”
Too bad he’s a neat freak, she thought as she pumped the gas into the can, not that it matters.
An hour later, Clara was back in her apartment digging through her empty refrigerator. “No one ever buys milk,” she said to the empty apartment. The foil pan of leftovers was the only palatable food she could find, so she finished it off while working on her paper for class the next morning. Her third year at UNLV was going well academically—she was a top student in the English Department, but financially she was in trouble. Student loans were piling up, and her passion was literature rather than a career field that would result in a lucrative job. Even if she taught, she knew her living conditions would be austere at best for the next decade.
As she looked at the research she’d done on a Word document on her MacBook, a spoonful of greasy baked ziti perched at her lips, there was a knocking at the thin door. “Landon, take your key once in a while,” she shouted toward the door.
But Landon was not at the door. As she opened it, four members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, or Metro as it was referred to locally, stood there. “Oh come on in,” she said. The police are finally here about the dead body, she thought.
“We had a report of a crime from a resident at this address—a Clara Denton. Is that you?”
She nodded in relief. “Yeah, that’s me. Is she related to the serial murders?”
“She?” The suited detective looked at his notes before making eye contact with Clara again. They followed her inside.
“The woman—the dead body I found at work today.”
“Miss Denton, there was no body at the Roman. Not at the room number you reported, or any other room. Have you been following news coverage of the killings?”
“Well yes, but—wait a minute, there was a body, drained looking, white. The head of security and a few other men saw it, too.”
“Miss Denton, I understand the stress you’ve been under. However, calling 911 with a made up story is a serious crime. If we chased every baseless tip we’d be—”
“Baseless? I saw her!”
“You were fired today, were you not?”
“Well, yeah, because I insisted they call the police.”
“According to management at the casino, you were fired for being late too many times. As you were leaving the resort premises, you called 911 from your prepaid cellphone and made up a story about finding a body in order to inconvenience the hotel.”
Clara shook her head, the blood draining from her face. Was this really happening?
Santino paced on the priceless rug that graced the polished marble floors of his penthouse suite high atop the Roman. His trusted head of security, Donovan Salerno, sat on the cognac leather wingback chair and glanced over the notes in his small notebook. The afternoon had been stressful, but Don thought he’d done well.
“And the maid? She won’t talk? Let’s make her happy,” Santino said as he rubbed his stubbly chin.
“Well, sir, we fired her, it was necessary that—”
“What the fuck did you just say? You fired her?”
Donovan took a deep breath and willed himself to stay calm. The boss was mad—deadly mad. He stood up and explained. “She demanded we call the police. That one, she was too smart. That young chick wasn’t like the Mexican maids that most—”
“I swear to God that if you say one ignorant bigoted thing you will regret it for the rest of your short life.” Santino had no tolerance for small-mindedness.
“Um, no, it’s just this housekeeper was not going to be deterred from alerting Metro to the mess in your house, sir.”
“So now she’s out there, with no loyalty whatsoever to us, no incentive to stay silent. That is a problem, Don.”
“Yes, sir. We’ll take care of her. I apologize for letting her go.”
“I don’t want her harmed, I merely want her silent. What is her name?”
Santino’s pale eyes focused on the man as he stopped his pacing. The words his head of security spoke caused him to grow cold, colder than his usual soulless body.
About the Author
Sam JD Hunt resides in Las Vegas with her husband, the inspiration for the young Thomas Hunt character, as well as her two children. Her debut trilogy, The Thomas Hunt Series, put a fun and unique spin on the popular BDSM genre. She followed up with the highly successful DEEP: A Captive Tale–a dark BDSM erotic captor/captive story about a pirate and his lady that spans time and space. Her fourth novel, the full-length standalone The Hunt for Eros is an erotic art adventure that combines spicy romance with a cultural adventure based on true life events. It has been described as being like The Da Vinci Code, but with lots of heat added.
Hunt’s next release was co-written with her husband. Dagger: American Fighter Pilot is a steamy contemporary romance, which follows a squadron of fighter pilots as part of the American Fighter Pilot read-in-any-order series. Following the release of Dagger, Hunt released the much-anticipated MMF/Bi/Ménage erotic adventure, Taken by Two and then its sequel, Torn from Two. Next, Hunt plans to release DEEPER: Capture of the Virgin Bride as a follow-up to DEEP. When not writing, Hunt enjoys travel, community involvement, spending time with friends and family, and hiking. She spends her days writing and trying to answer the age-old question: is it too late for coffee or too early for wine?
Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Date Published: November 2016
Publisher: Fantasy Rebel Limited
Blood Shackles is on sale March 13th – March 17th for $.99 – Normal Price is $2.99
What happens when SPARTACUS meets VAMPIRES?
In a divided paranormal London, Light is the bad boy vampire of the Blood Lifer world. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows. But not now. When he’s bought by his alluring Mistress, Light fights to escape. Even if he can’t escape their love. But if he doesn’t, he’ll never solve the conspiracy behind the Blood Club…
WELCOME TO THE BLOOD CLUB
Who are these ruthless humans? Who’s their brutal leader? And who betrayed the secret of the Blood Lifer world?
London, Primrose Hill. Grayse is the commanding slaver’s daughter. She buys Light, like he’s a pair of designer shoes. So why does Light feel so drawn to her? Especially when his family is still in chains. Will he risk everything – even his new love – to save them?
Does a chilling conspiracy lie behind it all? A stunning revelation leads Light to an inconceivable truth. To the dark heart of the Blood Club. If he can face his worst terrors, he can save his family and his whole species from slavery.
Maybe he can even save himself.
Other Books in the Rebel Vampires Series:
Publisher: Fantasy Rebel Limited
Escape into a supernatural world of love, revenge and redemption, where vampires are both predator and prey.
There are three people in this affair…and two of them aren’t human. In a divided paranormal London, Light is the rebel bad boy vampire of the Blood Lifer world, with a photographic memory. And a Triton motorbike. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows with Ruby – a savage Elizabethan Blood Lifer. She burns with destructive love for Light. But he’s keeping a secret from her, which breaks every rule in Blood Life. When she discovers the truth, things take a terrifying turn.
1960s London. Kathy is a seductive singer. But she’s also human. Light knows his passion for her is reckless but he’s enchanted. Yet such a romance is forbidden. When the two worlds collide, it could mean the end. For both species.
When Light discovers his ruthless family’s horrifying experiments, he questions whether he should be slaying or saving the humans he’s always feared. What dark revelations will Light reveal at the heart of the experiments? Will he be able to stop them in time? The consequences of failure are unimaginable. Unless Light plays the part of hero, he risks losing everything. Including the two women he loves.
A rebel, a red-haired devil and a Moon Girl battle to save the world – or tear it apart.
Blood Dragons is the explosive first installment of the new fantasy series Rebel Vampires from the critically acclaimed author Rosemary A Johns. Experience a thrilling new adventure with vampires, Rockers and dark romance.
You grabbed my hand, dragging me after you down the warren of side streets behind the shops.
It was pelting down now. Even though I was soaked, I was still buzzing from the barney.
At last you stopped, shoving me up against a brick wall at the back entrance to a butcher’s.
‘Look,’ I said hurriedly, ‘I’m sorry about–’
Questioningly, I tilted my nut. Your lips were close to mine. All I’d need to do was…
You pulled back (of course you bloody did), even if you were still clutching onto me, as if my body was yours.
Because no matter what other nasties you might do with it, you’d never kiss your slave, would you?
Then you suddenly hauled me closer, and we were snogging.
At that moment, none of it meant anything.
Slave or Mistress. First Lifer or Blood.
It never does when skin meets skin. It was just Light and Grayse.
So it was a good kiss. To me, it changed everything. But to you..?
‘If you would be so kind, some of us are trying to feed in peace.’ A nasal but polite Turkish Blood Lifer popped his nut up from further down the alley.
He licked down the neck of a twitching First Lifer bird, who was propped up against a skip.
When you shrieked and tried to jerk away, I held you still by the wrist.
I shrugged. ‘Yeah, my mistake.’
Your peepers were now flint.
I started edging you backwards out of the shadows. Now wasn’t the time to give you a crash course on Blood Lifer dinner etiquette.
It seems, however, that our Turkish friend was determined to educate me. ‘You know, young one, it is most inconsiderate to interrupt a fellow’s kill. I had no intention to do so with yours.’
‘London’s not yours.’
I stiffened. ‘The Lost have walked these streets as long as you humans,’ I whispered, low and intense, ‘which makes them ours, as much as yours.’
I might as well have clouted you. You drew back, with a shiver. ‘You hunt here – parasitically. But England? The world? It belongs to us. You’re just…’
‘Parasites?’ I offered. You didn’t even have the decency to look away.
‘These are my streets,’ you tapped the sticky table for emphasis, in a boozer, street, postcode you’d never have ventured into, if it hadn’t been for me.
I took a drag of my e-cig. ‘Over hundred and fifty years says different, sweetheart.’
You wore that narked expression, which I’d hoped we’d left behind for the night. ‘My home. Not yours.’
‘Any reason it can’t be both?’
‘On account of you’re…’ You stopped yourself, pushing your Guinness away with a jerky shove. Your shoulders slumped. You finished softly, ‘…not human.’
‘Right. Because I’d missed that.’ I took a mouthful of nuts, munching thoughtfully. You’d withdrawn hermit-crab like, your hair falling in two curtains over your mug. ‘There were humans once, who thought like you, the last time a Blood Lifer had the courage to reveal himself to a First Lifer. It was one of my ancestors. A man of reason, in an age of superstition. He reckoned our two species could live out in the open – side by side – so I was told. These First Lifers? They thought he was the devil.’ You’d raised your nut. I could see your peepers – dark grey now – through the veil of your hair.
‘They burnt him.’
About the Author
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is author of the bestselling Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles – the compelling Rebel Vampires series. Blood Renegades is released June 2017.
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is a music fanatic and a lover of the anti-hero. She wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of ten, when she discovered the weird worlds inside her head were more exciting than double swimming. Since then she’s studied history at Oxford University, run a theatre company (her critically acclaimed plays have been described as “uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasily true to life”), and worked with disability charities.
When Rosemary’s not falling in love with the rebels fighting their way onto the page, she heads the Oxford writing group Dreaming Spires.
Blood Shackles is on sale March 13th – March 17th for $.99 – Normal Price is $2.99
Date Published: December 15, 2016
One year ago, Sera Murano chose evil. She left her human world behind to transform into an Ensoul, a rare and powerful demon, all to fight the evil she was about to become. Working for her father Lorenzo, the leader of all demons, she secretly vowed to overturn his plot to destroy humankind.
That is, until demon hunters attack Sera and her beloved, Damon, and the truth about the human-demon war is revealed. Torn between the human life of her past and the supernatural one she lives now, Sera must decide who is the worse enemy: evil or humanity.
To win the battle of her life, Sera is forced to do the unthinkable, taking drastic measures and risking the lives of those she loves most. She must fight to the death against the only supernatural leader she’s ever known, all for a chance to break the cycle of evil.
Time was of the essence. Sera burst out of her room and into the hallway and raced down the long corridor. As she reached the winding stairs, she opened her mouth to scream that she was coming for Damon. But before she could say anything, a booming crack silenced her. It bellowed loudly.
The noise stopped her in her tracks. She had no idea where the sound had come from. Dazed, she froze in her steps and looked around, trying to identify its source. What was that? Her blood pumped fast through her system. When she took her next step, an excruciating and undeniable agony came over her. She had been attacked.
Stars swirled and danced in her vision. Everything dimmed. The back of her head throbbed. The pain pounded in her skull, making a ba-boom sound over and over again. Without further warning, her body gave way, and she dropped fast to the hard floor. As she fell and desperately tried to right herself, she spun on the perfect angle to see the reason for her unfortunate circumstance. He loomed over her, poised for a further assault.
Her attacker was a dark, blurry figure. He watched her collapse with his small beady eyes glaring at her from the holes in his black mask. While the hunter’s face was obscured, his smile gleamed brightly in the dimly lit house. Sera could have sworn she heard laughter. It was a note higher than she anticipated. She noticed the hunter’s right arm; he was positioned ready to strike. He wielded a giant baseball bat, which had just connected with her head.
“What the…?” Sera’s rage metamorphosed into energy, thrusting through her like a roaring and violent storm. It readied her body to respond to her attacker.
The hunter pulled his arm back slowly until it was raised high above his head. He paused, a cocky move, meant to intimidate her.
Unwilling to fall victim to the masked assailant, Sera summoned her supernatural strength once again and pushed herself off the floor to face him. In a flash, he twisted his body and swung the bat toward her. Sera hesitated a beat too long, just enough for the demon hunter to get his wish.
She had been mere inches away from an upright stance, when the bat, in full swing, connected with her cheekbone. The impact sent Sera careening backward until she slammed up against a wall.
For seconds she teetered on the edge of the top stair. Finally, she lost her battle with her balance and slid off the wall. To save herself, she took a leap, high into the air. But nonetheless, her body tumbled and crashed down the steps of the grand staircase.
The fall felt as if it lasted for minutes, but only seconds had passed. Conscious as she experienced her soar through the air, her body twisted and turned as it made its way to the bottom of the stairs. Without warning, her head smashed violently onto the marble foyer entrance. Everything faded to black.
About the Author
Kristina Rienzi is an American author who has been writing in some fashion for several decades. In 2014, she achieved traditional publication for her debut novel, Choosing Evil (Ensouled Trilogy, Book One), and has since independently published, Luring Shadows, Twisted, and Winter Road. Her latest novel, Breaking Evil (Ensouled Trilogy, Book Two) will be releasing soon.
Professionally, Kristina has been active in the writing community as a member of several organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers. She has also served as the New Jersey Romance Writers Literary Book Fair Chair and, most recently, the President of Sisters in Crime-New Jersey. Kristina holds a Masters Degree in Psychological Counseling and a Senior Professional Human Resources Certificate, working in both fields throughout her business career.
Personally, Kristina is married and doggie mommy to Pekingese and Shih-Tzu pups. Although a New Jersey resident, she dreams of one day moving to Hawaii and living the ‘Aloha’ way. When she is not writing, she spends her time reading, watching paranormal investigations, rooting for her West Virginia Mountaineers and relaxing with her loved ones, wine in hand.
Date Published: February 2016
On Sale $2.99, Normally $5.99
Doctor Abbigail Sutherland is used to being alone. Between twelve hour shifts at the hospital and looking after her eccentric father, she has very little time for much else. Until an unexpected call one night, sends her racing to the lab where she discovers a secret that could change the world forever.
Hauke awakens after an underwater explosion, strapped to a bed and on his way to a site known as Area 51. His only hope for survival lies in Abbie Sutherland, the beautiful doctor that saved his life. Amidst a deadly virus, seemingly impossible to stop, and a corrupt Government placing a price on their heads, Hauke and Abbie run for their lives, uncovering conspiracies, deceptions, and a love that won’t be denied…
Other books in the Enigma Series:
As a Bracadyte Princess, Naura is forbidden to visit the surface. Until an explosion near her home in Aukrabah, leaves her injured and in the arms of a land walker named Anthony Vaughn. Recognizing him as her mate, Naura will stop at nothing to be with Tony. Even if it means her life.
Anthony Vaughn doesn’t exist. Having his family tortured before his eyes, and his past erased by the CIA, he no longer has a soul. The last thing he wants or needs is the responsibility of protecting the beautifully naive Naura from a ruthless Government that wants her head. Danger and seduction become a constant companion in a world of intrigue, conspiracy and a deadly epidemic that threatens to destroy them all.
Published: September 2016
On a mission to save his people from being destroyed, Vaulcron must team up with a human reporter known as the Great White Shark. She’s beautiful, cunning, and definitely hiding something. Vaulcron will do anything for his family, even if it means breeding with the one woman who can destroy them all.
Mallory Cahill hasn’t become the lead reporter of Channel Eight News by being weak. Feared by some and hated by many, she’ll do anything to get the story, no matter whose toes she has to step on to achieve it. When Vaulcron, a Bracadyte prince, virtually falls into her lap, Mallory jumps at the chance to interview him. She doesn’t count on falling for the gorgeous alien any more than she expects to be running for her life from the very government who had promised to protect her.
A legendary healer fully devoted to his people, Zaureth is one of the most powerful Bracadytes in Aukrabah. But his gifts come with enormous responsibilities and a heavy price—a vow of peace and celibacy. From the moment he meets Amy, a tiny human female born without sight, those vows are threatened. She calls forth every protective instinct he possesses, along with a desire he is powerless to deny.
Amy Brighton may have been born blind, but she doesn’t need sight to know how she feels about the Bracadyte healer. Their first touch forges a connection between them too strong to resist. Now Amy must overcome a lifetime of dark uncertainty if she wants to live, and turn to the only light she will ever know. Zaureth…
Raised by the Cuban cartel, Nicho “Oz” Ozele learned early on that it was far better to be feared than loved. Now he’ll use everything in his formidable arsenal to stay alive. Even if it means abducting the incredibly enticing sister of his most hated enemy. Wanted by the mob and running from the deadly Incola virus, Oz turns to the only family he has left—the Bracadytes.
Taken hostage by her father’s killer, Maria wants nothing more than to see Oz dead for his crimes against her family. With all she has, she fights Oz at every turn. Until one night on the open water, he risks his life to save hers, forcing Maria to choose between the need for revenge and her heart’s strongest desire.
“You really should eat better, young lady. Your mother would have my ass if she were alive to see some of the dreadful things you consume.”
Abbie hid a smile at her father’s scolding. “I’m thirty-two years old, Henry. I doubt she would go all June Cleaver on me.”
“You shouldn’t call me Henry, you little brat. It makes me sound old and boring.”
“If the toupee fits.” They both laughed a moment before falling into a comfortable silence.
Abbie’s mother had died from cancer twenty-five years earlier, and Henry had never remarried. He hid his loneliness behind a mask of indifference and immersed himself wholly in his work.
Being the lead epidemiologist for Winchester Industries had become Henry’s proverbial crutch, and he spent entirely too much time alone at the lab.
Abbie worried about him constantly and planned evenings such as the one they had tonight to spend quality time together. It didn’t always work. She knew he saw her mother every time he looked into his daughter’s eyes. The exact replica of the only woman he’d ever loved.
The trill of a phone broke the silence, and her father excused himself to take the call.
Work, no doubt, Abbie thought, taking a bite of the burger she’d just made to her liking.
He reappeared a moment later with a guilty look in his eyes. “That was the lab, honey. They need me to come in.”
“What could be so important that it can’t wait until morning?”
He avoided her gaze. “I’m not sure, but I’ll call you later. Don’t wait up. It’s going to be a late night.”
Something in his voice kicked her curiosity up a notch. He never could hide things well, and the whole no eye contact? Yeah, he was definitely keeping something from her.
“I’ll come with you.” She pushed her plate aside and stood.
“Nonsense. Stay and eat your heart attack on a bun. You worked a twelve-hour shift at the hospital today.”
Abbie had worked at Winchester Industries with her father for several years and often assisted him in the lab before she’d been unceremoniously laid off due to supposed budget cuts.
She knew the higher ups had purposefully kept things from her during her time working in the lab, but whatever Henry hid from her now had to be awfully big for him to outright lie to his only daughter.
And she had no doubt he evaded the truth by the way his left eye twitched. That little trademark had always given him away. “What are you not telling me?”
He pursed his lips. “Okay, you got me. I didn’t want to have to say this, honey, but you are adopted.”
A chuckle bubbled up before she could stop it. She stood on tiptoes and gave him a quick peck on the chin. “That explains a whole hell of a lot.”
“You look so much like your mother, Abbigail. She had the same hazel eyes and dark hair. Her butt wasn’t quite as big though.”
Abbie playfully smacked him on the arm before stepping back. “I inherited the infamous booty from you, Henry.”
She knew he didn’t like her to call him Henry any more than she appreciated him referring to her as Abbigail. They were incorrigible teases, but it was their way.
“I really do have to run, sweetie.”
“At least let me pack up your food to take with you, or you won’t eat.”
He nodded and began gathering his work paraphernalia while she bagged up his dinner.
What are you up to, Henry?
Abbie followed him to the car and held the door open as he deposited his things on the passenger seat.
“You are welcome to stay here tonight, Abbie. Jax would love the company.”
“I probably will. If I leave, I’ll feed him before I go.”
He gave her a two-finger salute and slid behind the wheel.
Abbie stepped back as the door closed and the engine roared to life. He backed out of the drive without another glance in her direction.
She waited until his tail lights disappeared around the corner before going back inside to put food out for Jax. He followed her around with a rubber ball in his mouth, bumping into her legs. The big German shepherd had been with Henry for nearly ten years and had become part of the family.
“You know what’s going on, don’t you, boy?”
His tail wagged in response from the attention.
“Wanna give me a clue? No? I didn’t think so. You are a male after all.” She snagged the ball from his jaws and tossed it across the room, grinning as he bounded after it.
After a quick shower, Abbie brushed her teeth and strolled to her old bedroom in search of something to wear. Henry kept the room exactly as Abbie had left it before she’d gone off to college, right down to the blue pom-poms hanging from the bedpost.
She dressed in a pair of jeans and a black tank top, pulled her long dark hair back in a ponytail, and made haste cleaning up the mess from their earlier dinner.
Grabbing her keys, she switched off the lights and left the house.
Abbie marched to her car with determined steps. Something was up, and she’d be damned if she would remain behind to play the docile daughter while her father hid things from her.
You’re too overprotective, Henry. Just because I have breasts doesn’t mean I’m fragile. She had no doubt that if she’d been born a male the passenger seat of his car would have housed her ass when he’d left.
* * * *
Abbie pulled into the parking lot of Winchester Industries and switched off the engine.
Her father’s car sat in its reserved spot in front of a sign that read H. Sutherland. She grabbed the registration to her vehicle from the glove box, exited the car, and glanced up at the camera situated on the corner of the building.
Security would be a piece of cake. She did, however, need to figure out a believable reason for being here in the first place without alerting Henry to her presence.
The evening security guard waved from his perch behind a small, less than clean window. Smudges on the glass blurred his smile, but she couldn’t mistake the shiny gold tooth displayed so proudly from its position in the front of his mouth.
The door buzzed once, and a click told her the lock had released. She pulled it open and stepped inside.
“Hi, Willie. How are you this evening?”
Willie had been one of her favorite night watchmen. His uniform always appeared clean, neatly creased, and he smelled nice. The badge he wore shone perfectly to match the bald spot on top of his head. He had a toothy grin for everyone and a heart of gold.
“Doing good, Miss Abbie. What brings you out here?”
“Henry forgot an important piece of his work.” She held up the folded car registration before quickly tucking it into the pocket of her jeans.
“I hate it when that happens. My wife is always harping at me about how forgetful I’m getting. I reckon she’s right. It’s hell getting old.”
He glanced suspiciously at the pocket she’d tucked the paper into. “He must be working on something pretty big to bring you down here at this hour. It’s almost nine o’clock.”
Abbie inwardly groaned. She hated like hell lying to Willie, but left with little choice, lying was exactly what she did.
“He’s working on some antimicrobial susceptibility tests, and they called him in to straighten out a mix-up in results. It could be the fact that he used the gradient diffusion method instead of—”
Willie laughed, effectively cutting her off. “Okay, Miss Abbie. You lost me back at antimicro…something.” He waved her on. “Tell him not to work too hard.”
“Have a good night, Willie. Tell that beautiful wife of yours I’m ready for more of her fried chicken.”
“I sure will.” He beamed.
He touched her arm as she turned to go. “Wait. Dr. Sutherland left his dinner down here when he signed in. Do you want to take it up to him on your way through? If not, I can buzz him and let him know it’s here.”
Abbie ground her teeth. If he picked up the phone, Willie would spill the beans without realizing it. The man loved to talk.
“Yes, thank you. I’ll take it.” She caught sight of a keycard peeking out from under some papers on Willie’s desk and quickly snagged it when he bent to retrieve Henry’s dinner from under the counter. She stuffed the card into her back pocket.
He straightened and handed her the bag. “Here you go, Miss. Abbie.”
“See you, Willie.” She winked at him and hurried off down the hall.
The cameras strategically placed along the corners of the ceiling made her nervous. If anyone involved in whatever Henry worked on recognized her, they would surely sound the alarm.
Abbie knew Winchester Industries pushed the limits and sometimes experimented with drugs not previously approved by the FDA. But whatever her father had rushed to the lab for had nothing to do with illegal testing. He wouldn’t have been asked to come back in for that alone. No, this was definitely something bigger.
To increase her chances of staying under the radar, Abbie bypassed the elevator for the stairs. Taking them two at a time, she stopped at the door to the second floor. With a slight tug, it cracked open enough that she could see into the hallway. She stood there for several heartbeats, listening for any sound, and then slipped quietly into the corridor.
Male laughter rang out up ahead, and Abbie stilled. Damn. Are they guarding the lab?
She glanced up at a camera in the corner. Monitors were installed in every office throughout the building, along with the security hub. The longer she stood in the open, the higher her chances were of being seen.
After a moment, the voices grew faint, signaling the men had headed off in the opposite direction. She blew out a breath she’d been holding and crept silently forward.
Noticing the door to the lab was closed when she rounded the corner, she quickly fished out the keycard from her back pocket and slid it effortlessly through the vertical groove situated next to the doorjamb. The green light activated right on cue, and she cringed as a click sounded loud enough to startle a sloth.
The predictable sounds of a lab in use met her ears as she eased the door open and entered her father’s domain. He obviously hadn’t heard the lock disengage over the consistent beeps and humming of the equipment surrounding him.
Abbie took in the room with a quick glance, noticing a big pair of feet hanging off the end of a bed her father stood next to.
Her heart began to pound as she crept farther inside. The closer she got the more confused she became. It was definitely a man lying on the bed; only, she’d never seen one that size in her lifetime.
A sheet covered his lower body from waist to ankles, leaving his upper half bare. His chest appeared devoid of hair and stood off the bed about two feet. He was massive and had to be at least six foot ten by her estimation.
Warmth enveloped Abbie as her gaze slid to the stranger’s face. Beautiful would be a gross understatement.
He had a smooth, strong jaw that angled up to slightly pointed ears. Pointed ears? His dark hair lay haphazardly tousled on the pillow. Full lips and a faintly crooked nose made up the rest of his face. She wondered what color his eyes were.
Without conscious thought, she inched forward on shaky legs. Why would they have him here? Is he sick? Contagious? It didn’t matter as long as she could stand there and drink him in.
Her father must have sensed her approach. He stiffened a second before spinning around. “What are you doing here?” He seemed more nervous than angry.
“I could ask you the same thing. What’s going on, Henry?” She nodded toward the incapacitated stranger taking up far too much bed.
“You have to leave. Now.”
Anger surged. “What is that man doing here? This isn’t a hospital, so don’t bullshit me.”
“Honey, please. You’re not supposed to be here. You need to go home. Now. I’ll explain it all in the morning.” He glanced toward to door several times as he spoke.
“Not until you tell me the truth.”
He took a deep breath and pinned her with an impatient stare. “Fine. But then you must go.”
She raised an eyebrow.
About the Author
Bestselling Author Ditter Kellen has been in love with romance for over twenty years. To say she’s addicted to reading is an understatement. Her eBook reader is an extension of her and holds many of her fantasies and secrets. It’s filled with dragons, shifters, vampires, ghosts and many more jaw-dropping characters who keep her entertained on a daily basis.Ditter’s love of paranormal and outrageous imagination have conspired together to bring her where she is today…sitting in front of her computer allowing them free rein. Writing is her passion, what she was born to do. I hope you will enjoy reading her stories as much as she loves spinning them. Ditter resides in Florida with her husband and many unique farm animals. She adores French fries and her phone is permanently attached to her ear.