It all began nearly 600 years ago…
A dangerous vampire, mated to a woman his heart no longer beats for.
A mistake that would change his entire life.
A mistake so horrific it would lead Grayson Blackmoore back to one woman.
A woman who holds the power to shatter him completely—Arabella Donahue.
Vengeance, bloodshed. The hunt is on and Grayson won’t stop until they’re all dead.
She smiled and held his hand a little tighter where their hands joined, energy swirled. He couldn’t see it but he could feel the presence of something special in her. Maybe she really was his bruid. A flicker of hope sprung. That could explain why she made him feel so strange…so good.
“My mother’s not around. My father’s always traveling so I go with him. He’s really good at finding people.”
“My father is Argonzo Blackmoore, president of the were and vampire council.”
Her fingers flexed at the name. Everyone knew the name of his father. He was one of the most powerful people in the world. “That’s if you’re really that awful Grayson.”
“Awful?” Surprise got the better of him.
A playful look crossed her face. “I hear Grayson is a stalwart hero who’s as impenetrable as rock in a fight.”
That almost made him laugh. “No one says anything so poetic about me.”
“True. I believe what they really said was that you were a quiet vampire with a temper.” She threw her head back and laughed, revealing the smooth length of her neck, and the thumping pulse beating beneath the skin. Gray had to force his gaze away from her vein.
He saw the throbbing vein. The muscles in his neck locked tight in a painful knot as he straightened his spine. His fangs distended. Only weak, or young, vampires couldn’t control their compulsion to feed at the sight of a vein. Panic grabbed at him. How shameful to reveal his fangs to her, to show weakness to this woman. No! Grayson’s heart beat frantically, sweat slicked the back of his neck, he wouldn’t do it. Even if he had to kiss her to keep her from seeing those vile teeth. Wait. His mind slowed. Kiss her? Grayson froze, his wayward thought garnering far too much consideration.
“Are you feeling well?” Concern pulled the girl’s eyebrows into a furrow that still made her look impossibly sweet.
His eyes locked on her mouth. All he could manage in answer was a brisk shake of his head—no.
“Is there anything I can do?” she asked.
Again, he shook his head. How was it he knew he needed to open his mouth and speak to her, yet he couldn’t think of a single thing to say?
He was nearly hugging her. They’d long stopped dancing. They merely stood there touching each other. Suddenly words he hadn’t known he wanted to say burst from him. “Please tell me if you are her!” He shook her with the question. “I must know.”
The smile on her face faded. Sadness transformed her face into something beautifully bad. The look made his own heart break into pieces at the sight. “Are you truly Grayson Blackmoore or are you funning me, my lord?”
Just then the sound of rocks being removed began. They’d been found. People on the other side of the rubble started clearing it out. The crashing of stone made it difficult to answer her without yelling. Grayson grabbed the girl’s hand and pulled her further back into the room as dust and small rocks trickled down from the pile.
When he had her attention he told her, “I am.”
She blinked as if she’d forgotten what he was talking about. Then she remembered.
Grayson must admit he wasn’t prepared for the impact her stricken face had on him. He nearly took back his words—however stupid that’d be. He nearly denied truly being Grayson, he’d do anything, to remove that expression from her face. Anything.
The rocks were being pulled away faster. They didn’t have much time. Grayson felt like he
held a delicate kite in his hands on a thin string and the wind was whipping by trying to tear the kite from him.
Leaning close he asked, “Are you her?”
Her lips parted before she fixed her expression into an unreadable mask. He hated the look; she was hiding something. That secret look made his stomach plummet. But her next move caught him completely by surprise. The beautiful blonde were, not the dark-haired vampire who he’d be mating with tonight, stepped up on the tips of her toes and pressed her lips to his.
It was Grayson Blackmoore’s first real kiss.
Grayson jerked in surprise, but didn’t sever their tentative connection. Their breaths stirred, mingled. Eyes stayed locked in a warm embrace. Gently, he pressed his lips more firmly against hers. Their lips touched completely now. He yearned to close his eyes and kiss her properly how he’d really like to, but he could hear voices now. The wall was nearly torn down.
Grayson stepped back from temptation, feeling as dazed as the girl looked. The stones were removed moments later and a flood of faces swept into the small room. His father was before him, angry. Not that anyone but close family could see that the president of the were and vampire community was anything more than mildly annoyed. No, Grayson had been around his father long enough to recognize the stiff upper lip and quickened steps.
He was dragged to a room the size of an area. It was packed full of unfamiliar faces, both were and vampire. The room smelled of expensive cologne, blood that filled glasses, and sweetness from poppy flowers used to decorate the occasion.
“We do not have time to idle, son. The Redenver father has it in his head this is a poor sign of tidings to come. Hurry, we must begin the ceremony before he reneges on his deal.” Argonzo Blackmoore was a tall, slender figure with the nose of a hawk, and the complexion of an Italian.
His father cast him a spared glance, watchful. “Yes, now. Are you ready?”
It was time. He would meet and mate with his one and only now. How strange that a cool stillness crept over him, bracing him, in that moment. Those unfamiliar faces turned to watch him and his father as they made their way to the center of the room to the dais on which stood the awaiting Blackmoore and Redenver family.
It wasn’t her.
Tongue dry as parchment, Grayson licked his lips. It couldn’t be her. The possibility of it was next to nothing. Yet, as his father released him and Grayson marched up the dais to meet his bruid, he yearned for that familiar face to stare up at him from beneath the veil. One that could dazzle him with a smile.
His father announced the families to the quieting crowd. Grayson stood tall next to a girl wearing a loose white gown with a veil obscuring her face from view. Grayson would soon pull that veil up to reveal her. And so it began.
He and the quiet girl who had yet to speak a word were positioned to face one another. Grayson swore everyone could see the sweat dripping down his temples. He was sure of it. Everyone knew he didn’t want to be here right now. They had to see it in the strain on his face. His hands managed not to tremble as he took his bruid’s slender hands in his own. For a second he found himself trying to learn if this girl’s hands were the same as the girl he’d danced with. The girl had been wearing gloves so he didn’t have any clue how her hands looked. Were they slender fingered with long nails like the girl next to him had?
The moment came crashing over Grayson with staggering finality. A priest spoke vows before them, his words sounding as if they came from far away. On a final word, the bruid before him slowly pulled back the veil.
It felt like someone was skinning him alive, such was the agony of waiting to see.
Was it her?
He didn’t think he’d ever wanted anything so badly in his life as he wanted this. The first strands of hair came into view. The very world rolled before him making the room spin in a whirlwind of motion. Grayson rocked on the heel of his boots nearly losing his balance before he caught himself. Did anyone see him losing control right now? Did anyone even care that his world was completely upside down?
Across the room stood a girl. In front of him, a lovely girl with eyes the color of coal and hair dark as night looked up at him with calm acceptance. Across the room, his eyes stayed locked on a girl with the wildest blonde hair he’d ever seen. She stared at him with an expression
Grayson knew he’d never be able to forget. For her look showed exactly how he felt right now—ravaged. Like he’d found something precious and perfect for a few minutes but now had to put the gift down and walk away from it. She shook her head as if to clear her head from what she was seeing. His body nearly surged towards her, wanting, no, needing to go to her and comfort her.
Then Anita of Redenver spoke, and in a strong voice vowed to stay beside Grayson for eternity.
It was his turn. His role had already been cast. His mother, his family, were more important than him.
Grayson Blackmoore delivered his vows as succinctly as Anita had. Applause broke out as Argonzo presented Grayson and Anita to the crowd. Shiny teeth flashed in forced, over-bright smiles from the faces below. But across the room, the face he sought to look upon one final time was gone. And he realized, it would never be there again.
I love to write the kind of stories that will keep you up late at night and make your heart pound. It’s my goal in writing to make each new book better, more exciting, more action-packed, not only to test myself as a writer but to keep thrilling you. I’m always trying to push the boundaries with my imagination, and yours, to create something new and different.
If you’re a fan of paranormal romance novels then you’ll love my Bellum Sisters Trilogy. This isn’t your typical romance story, so be prepared for a kick of heat and tons of action. The Bellum Sisters Trilogy has received excellent reviews from paranormal bloggers and two of the three books are Top Picks from Night Owl Reviews.
Now, if you like shorter books with quite a bit of heat, humor, and action then I’d recommend the Kategan Alphas series. This erotic series features the sexy Kategan family and all the lucky men and women who get to meet them and complete their lives.