RELENTLESS is here! The latest Raphael & Cyn novella released today, October 30th! I’m so excited for my readers to share the first steps as my North American Vampire Lords decide it’s time to stop waiting for the next invasion, and take the war to the Europeans instead. Here’s a look at RELENTLESS, plus a taste of the story to make you hungry for more.
TREACHERY . . . Something the powerful Vampire Lord Raphael has seen far too much of lately.
RAGE . . . An emotion that, left unchecked, can burn like the fires of hell.
REVENGE . . . A dish that philosophers claim is best served cold.
It’s been months since the powerful French vampire Mathilde used Raphael’s arrogance against him and nearly succeeded in taking his life. His fury has grown stronger with every day since, fed by new bloody incursions onto North American soil by the Europeans, while vampire politicking has forced him to wait. But no longer. Someone has attacked his home, killing vampires, threatening Cyn. They’ve taken it one step too far, and Raphael’s tired of waiting. His enemies are about to discover that revenge can taste damn good when it’s hot, too.
And an excerpt!
Malibu, CA—present day
LENNY PULLED the silicon plugs from his ears as he started down the back hallway. It was fucking noisy out in the blood house’s huge main room. Between the thumping music, the dull roar of conversation, and the screams and grunts of couples having sex on the dark dance floor and in even darker corners . . .
Was it a bad sign that it bothered him? Was he getting old? Sure, vampires didn’t age physically, but the thoughts and feelings of an intelligent man . . . those had to change over time, didn’t they? Maybe it was time for him to ask Raphael for a new job assignment. He pursed his lips in thought, contemplating the kind of job he might like as he walked his usual round of the private rooms. It was still busy, despite the late hour, every room occupied behind sound-proofed walls and doors that muted all but the most fervent screams of ecstasy. He passed one of his managers, who gave him a respectful nod.
“Full up tonight, Len,” the vampire said. “Upstairs, too.”
Lenny nodded. “Winter tourists,” he commented. “We get them every year.”
His manager grinned. “Nobody likes frozen blood.”
Lenny chuckled and kept going, taking the back stairs to avoid the noise out front. He’d just reached the top floor, one foot still on the last stair, when the first shots rang out.
Santa Monica, CA
ZOYA HELD HER young man’s hand as they walked through the parking garage after the movie. He was not really her young man. It was only their second date. But he was handsome and vital, and he didn’t care that she was a vampire. She was beginning to suspect that it was her vampire nature which had attracted him to her. She was young enough to believe in true love, young enough to still hope to find it for herself. She would have preferred to be wanted for something other than her bite, but all great love stories started somewhere.
“Did you like the movie?” he asked, dropping her hand and pulling her close with an arm over her shoulders.
She wrinkled her nose. “It was violent, but the love story was nice.”
He laughed. Such an appealing sound. He really was a handsome man.
“They do that on purpose, you know. Throw a love story in there for the women, to increase the take at the box office.”
Zoya tilted her head curiously. She’d only been in this country two years, and American colloquialisms still confused her sometimes. Box office? She pondered asking him what it meant but decided to look it up for herself later. She didn’t want him to think she was stupid. She was a vampire, after all. A better version of humanity, according to the older vamps on Raphael’s estate.
She looked up at him. “Shall we—?”
The first shot pierced her heart, the second a centimeter from the first. She was already dead when the third shot hit, already sliding from under her young man’s arm. Too young to dust upon death, she fell to the cold concrete floor, while her young man hid behind a pillar and dialed 911.
Beverly Hills, CA
“CAN WE GO home now?” Maleko Turner—Mal to his friends and the beautiful woman walking next to him—struggled to keep his voice even, to sound like the homicide cop he’d been and the tough-as-nails security specialist he currently was, instead of the footsore lover who just wanted to go home, fuck his woman, and sleep for eight hours.
“In a hurry, big guy?” Elke gazed up at him with deceptively innocent blue eyes, her lashes fluttering.
He didn’t fall for it. She was a century-old vampire and member of Raphael’s inner security team. What spoke even more to her toughness was that Raphael trusted Elke to safeguard his mate, Cynthia. That vampire loved his woman. If anything happened to her on Elke’s watch, Elke’d better die right alongside her, because Raphael would kill her.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am,” he said bluntly, answering Elke’s teasing question with the truth.
“This is my day off. I want to spend it with you, not with you and a few hundred other shoppers.”
Elke stared up at him, seeming startled by his announcement. She still had trouble sometimes, seeing herself as a desirable and sexy woman. She was a female vampire in a world of males, and she’d chosen to compete on their terms, becoming a warrior instead of an accountant, or a lawyer, or any number of socially acceptable roles. The males she worked with acknowledged her skills and strength, but the corollary was that they treated her as one of the guys, so to speak. They saw her as an asset, not a woman. And she’d been with Raphael’s security team a very long time.
“Babe,” he said, pulling her into his arms. “Let me be clear. I want to go home, strip you naked, and fuck you ‘til you scream.”
Her pale cheeks pinked with embarrassment, making her eyes seem even bluer. “Don’t be shy, Mal,” she murmured, striving for cool. “Tell me what you really want.”
He grinned and bent his head to kiss her, but saw someone move in the shadows. If the shooter had waited ten seconds more, he could have killed them both.
For more RELENTLESS …