Embrace the Night Chapter One
A Mastyr Vampire. A human female. Two hearts on fire. But will the killing gift in the palms of her hands destroy them? And the story begins…
Welcome to EMBRACE THE NIGHT Chapter One. EMBRACE THE NIGHT is the fifth book in the Blood Rose Series. Each Blood Rose book is a standalone. You’ll find a complete romance in each story… ***Note: EMBRACE THE NIGHT is currently in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription program.
He ignored his deepest needs for a hundred years…
Mastyr Vampire Jude has kept his distance from all women because he lost his wife and daughter to an enemy attack a hundred years ago. He won’t go through that kind of loss again. And he won’t jeopardize another woman’s life while the deadly Invictus wraith-pairs still pose a threat in the Nine Realms. But when Hannah saves his life by creating unexpected fire from the palms of her hands, he knows that something ‘very realm’ is going on with her and he can no longer ignore his long-suppressed desire for the beautiful owner of the Gold Rush bar. When his cravings for her blood and her body drive him to take her to bed and tap into her vein, his world shifts forever. But can Hannah make the adjustment to a life lived on the frontlines of an ongoing war? And if anything should happen to her, how could he ever live with himself?
And now, here’s the entire first chapter of EMBRACE THE NIGHT!
Hannah Osborne had become a stupid cliché: Hot man, cold shower.
She refused to turn away from the communications monitor, even though Mastyr Jude had just arrived and now stood behind her in the doorway. All his gorgeousness had become a lot to manage in recent weeks and she was working hard to restrain her waywardness where the powerful Mastyr of Kellcasse was concerned.
She’d asked Jude to set up the new communication center inside her bar, the Gold Rush, since so many of his kind spent hours at her establishment.
Jude had always come to the Gold Rush, but his visits had increased by a lot over the past few months. She wanted to tell him not to come around so much because she currently lusted after the man. Amazingly, the words would never leave her throat.
“So, what’s the latest on the loop?” His deep voice sent shivers down her spine.
Hannah belonged to a small, select email loop that included only women. All the women who worked the U.S. access city centers were on the loop as well as the four women currently bonded to mastyrs of the Nine Realms. Hannah had learned so much about the blood rose phenomenon that was sweeping through each realm that she often wondered when Jude’s blood rose would show up.
But each time she had that thought, for some reason her fingers would curl until she made tight little fists with both hands and her jaw clenched. She wanted the best for Jude, of course, but another woman climbing all over him made her skin grow hot in the worst way.
Even now, she had to take a moment to calm herself. So, yeah, in the past few months, she’d kind of gotten out of control where the Kellcasse mastyr was concerned.
“Hannah, are you ignoring me?”
“No … that is, what was your question?”
“What’s the word on the loop?”
Oh, that. “Everyone’s talking about what happened in Kellcasse, on North Island.”
“You mean the massacre.”
“Yes.” Hannah hadn’t wanted to use that word because it made it horribly real. Two families of trolls had been slaughtered by the Invictus, which in itself wasn’t unusual, unfortunately. But what remained a mystery was that it appeared not one member of either family tried to hide, run away, or even fight back. All realm-folk fought when the terrifying wraith-pairs attacked. “Has your forensics team come up with anything yet?”
He shook his head. “We still don’t have a clear answer about what happened out there. Invictus got to them, of course, but no one knows why there were no signs of defensive wounds. And trolls always have places to hide.”
The lack of an answer made Hannah’s skin crawl, though she didn’t know why. Her palms started tingling as well, something that had been happening a lot lately. She rubbed them together, trying to get rid of the sensation. Probably just nerves. “I really hope one day you’ll be able to bring the ancient fae down and end the Invictus threat once and for all.”
“With everything I hold sacred, I do, too.”
She almost turned to look at Jude because he’d spoken his heart. But she forced herself to remain fixed on her Internet tabs, moving between her email account and her favorite realm-based email loop, then back. She kept typing a response to the Tennessee communications center, fearing if she turned to face Jude she’d get lost all over again.
Jude only had to show up at her bar and her whole body heated up like she had a fever. And for reasons she believed had mostly to do with the sheer breadth of his massive shoulders, her overall rise in body temperature wouldn’t dissipate until the damn man left her sight.
She’d even resorted to using the bunkroom shower and a lot of cold water to cool down. And that water was cold! Again, so cliché.
She’d installed the large bunkroom a few years ago to house overnight, sun-sensitive realm-folk. Sometimes, members of Jude’s Vampire Guard would come in for a pint at the end of a long night battling and stay for a few more rounds. As soon as the sun showed the first rays of its blistering heat, they headed to the bunkroom and at certain times of the year this far north that hour came early.
But Hannah was happy to offer shelter to any of them, especially the Guardsmen, because they laid down their lives every night for their fellow realm-folk.
“Are you ever going to turn around and talk to me? Or are you just going to keep typing?”
The smart thing would be to keep typing. “Hold on. I’m almost done.”
“I think you’re avoiding me.”
And more heat because that voice of his, dipping into the lowest timbres, slid all the way down her chest and abdomen, making her feel things she really shouldn’t. Perspiration popped on her forehead.
She’d known Jude since she was a child, so it seemed strange to have feelings for someone who had given her piggy-back rides.
She paused in her typing to massage her hands once more. They were tingling again, which also happened anytime Jude showed up. Tingling hands, flushed skin, sweating. Even her heart felt laden when he was near.
She had it bad.
If every once in a while she suspected something more realm-ish might be at work with her fairly recent interest in the Mastyr of Kellcasse, she ignored the thought. She was one-hundred-percent human and had no interest in hooking-up with a vampire.
So, she kept typing.
Despite her love of realm-folk generally, and that the Gold Rush had been a gathering place for their kind for three decades, she’d never seen herself as having any kind of future away from Port Townsend. She loved her bar, her cliff-side home, her Puget Sound lifestyle. She’d never even dated a realm man, just humans, which was another reason that her sudden profound lust for Jude had come as such a surprise.
The whole thing had started about four months ago. She’d been re-stocking cleaning supplies when he’d come into the small space. She’d intended to greet him, maybe even give him a hug which she offered to all the Guardsmen for the hard work they performed every night of their lives.
But as she turned and met his smoky gray eyes, some kind of switch got thrown deep inside her feminine soul. He’d been almost family to her and just like that, she wanted to see his broad shoulders without his shirt on. Even her nipples had puckered with sudden profound interest, something he’d noticed because she’d been wearing a t-shirt. Hard to disguise aroused nipples through a silk bra and a thin layer of cotton.
He hadn’t said anything for a long moment, just stared at her breasts. He’d blinked a couple of times, and the closet, barely big enough for both of them, soon filled with a very peppery-spicy, masculine scent that clipped her at the back of her knees.
She tottered and would have fallen, but he caught her arm and held her up. “You okay, Hannah?”
He’d searched her eyes, and she nodded but very slowly like she was moving underwater.
She’d made up some excuse about not having eaten all day, but ever since that closet incident, she’d been lit up like a Neon sign, despite the fact that she ignored him as much as she could.
Of course it was hard to pretend Jude didn’t exist in a room about twelve-feet square since Jude was built like a tank. Muscles on muscles.
His deep voice, resonating with a number of delicious layers, rolled over her. “So how are you, Hannah?”
Just keep typing.
Her breathing faltered. “I’m fine. Heard you came in earlier with a couple of your Guardsmen just to wrap up the night.”
“I did, but I sent them off a bit ago. Wanted to have a word with you before I left. I’ve got about twenty minutes to get my ass back to my house in central Kellcasse.”
“You can always stay in the bunkroom.” She kept her fingers moving, but her cheeks flamed. Would he misinterpret the suggestion as a come-on?
“I know, but I’m a fast flyer. I’ll make it.”
Jude was a fast everything, the most powerful vampire in his realm.
“What’s up?” Just trying to keep things friendly and even.
“I haven’t seen you in a few days. Everything okay in here?”
“The center is humming, as usual. Your techs did a brilliant job setting everything up. But you know that.” Clack, clack, clack.
The communications room was a recent addition to the back of her bar, part of a Nine Realms plan to keep messages flowing outside the realms. The enemy, known as Margetta the ancient fae, had ways of blocking realm-to-realm communications. Centers in access point cities, like Port Townsend, kept information moving swift and sure among all nine mastyr vampires.
This time, Jude drew close and once more she struggled to breathe, his peppery scent hitting her hard. He smelled like something you’d rub on meat and cook for a long time. Allspice maybe.
She took a slow drag through both nostrils, and her body heated up a little more.
He leaned close, ostensibly to look at the monitor, but she knew he struggled as she did, feeling things he didn’t want to feel either. She often caught him staring at her with a hungry look, or checking her out when she moved through a room.
She’d been no different.
“So you’ve been emailing back and forth with Lebanon.”
“Yes, they wanted to know about North Island, and of course I’ve had little info. But I just updated them with what you told me.”
“I’m liking all the back and forth.”
“Me, too. I mean, it makes total sense.” Why did he have to smell so good?
“You are ignoring me.”
At that, Hannah clicked ‘send’, then swiveled in her chair to face him. He was so close though, that she had to push her chair sideways or they would have collided. “No, I haven’t. Really. Why would you say that?”
His gray eyes, surrounded as they were with thick lashes, always hit her stomach like a hard punch these days. He had thick, straight brows that made him look ferocious when he frowned. His nose had a slight hawkish appearance and his cheekbones looked sculpted. But it was his thick, curly, black hair that made him look wild, dangerous and unbelievably handsome. How many times had she thought about removing his Guardsman clasp so that she could spend a half hour or so getting her fingers all tangled up.
He was a man’s man at a muscular six-five. Built on massive lines, he was eye-candy of the most savory. Several of her girlfriends had ordered her to call them the moment he showed up at the Gold Rush. They’d arrive ten minutes later, a flock of seagulls descending on a seashore feast.
Did he want two kids? Three? Maybe a dozen?
He flashed a set of brilliant white teeth and her stomach squeezed up. One smile and he could bring down an entire room full of women.
His voice once more filled the room. “Why do I think you were ignoring me? Because you kept typing when you knew I was standing in the doorway. Or do I just annoy you like a cranky forest gremlin these days? Or maybe I bore you.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle. She’d never seen a forest gremlin, but she’d heard plenty of stories so she could imagine what he meant. “You could never bore me. Your life is too interesting and way too dangerous to be boring. So what would you like to know? Although, I’m sure your Kellcasse center has kept you informed?”
He smiled. “Yes, and you were right to recommend Longeness for the job. He’s detail-oriented and keeps everything moving. So, thank you for that.”
“Well, you’re welcome. I just had a feeling he’d work out for you.” Jude had built a communication center in Kellcasse about the same time he’d set up this center in her bar. She’d known Longeness and his wife, both fae, for years since they’d made her bar a second home on their date-nights.
Jude glanced around. The room didn’t have windows, one of the requirements for the access point centers, that way a vampire or a fae would never have to worry about light-and-sun issues. “I wanted to give you a heads up as well. We had a rough encounter about an hour ago. Really strange, though, because we chased a wraith-pair out over the Sound, if you can believe that.”
“You’re kidding.” Hannah was surprised. The deadly wraith-pairs rarely if ever crossed the access point lines. “What were they doing out here?”
Jude shrugged. “Hell if I know.” But something in his expression concerned Hannah.
He eased back against the long, steel-reinforced counter, crossing his arms over his chest. At least he’d left his way-too-sexy Guardsman coat in the bar area of the building, but still looked amazing in his loose woven, maroon shirt, snug battle leathers, and hip boots that had several small intricate silver medallions running up and down the side seams. Lately she’d felt an impulse to touch the medallions, one more sign she was out-of-control when it came to the man.
Jude shifted his gaze away from her and frowned. He dragged air through his nostrils and his jaw ground a couple of times. She knew something was troubling him; he’d been uneasy since he’d helped Mastyr Seth battle the ancient fae a few months ago.
She admired the hell out of Jude. He cared about his men and took his duties as mastyr of his realm seriously. No one loved the beautiful, forested island realm of Kellcasse more than Jude. And he saved lives every night of his life by battling wraith-pairs.
She reached out and clasped him on the shoulder. “What’s going on?”
He met her gaze and grimaced, but nodded.
His smile reappeared as he turned to look at her. “You want me to spill my guts?”
She tilted her head. She wouldn’t stand for bullshit, not from him or anyone. “Yes, I want to know why, for a moment there, you looked like the world was about to crash down on your head.”
~ ~ ~
Jude stared into eyes the color of a beautiful sunset, the kind when the sky goes all violet just before it drifts to gray. No one had eyes like Hannah Osborne, not even some of the more exotic fae in his Realm. She ran the Port Townsend Realm Communication Center that connected every earth access point city with all the other cities. Hannah basically managed this center and kept it working like a well-oiled machine with several employees rotating shifts during the day and night. Some were Realm, others were humans who enjoyed the company of realm-folk, the latter quality one of Hannah’s prerequisites for the job when she did the interviewing.
So, yeah, the center hummed.
She was tall, almost six feet, and he liked that about her. Though she was very fair and almost delicate in her features, she had a strength about her that pleased him and which was the main reason he’d agreed to let her be in charge of the center.
She wore her light brown hair loose about her shoulders. It had a slight curl and golden highlights. With arched brows, thick lashes and full lips, she was a damn beautiful woman.
He’d known her for years and could even remember a time when as a kid she sat on the bar, throwing darts at the dart board clear across the room. This misuse of the darts had brought her father in from the backroom, his face red with rage.
‘You could hurt someone, girl.’ He always called his daughter ‘girl’ when she was in trouble. Hannah had gotten in big trouble and because Jude had encouraged her to misbehave, he’d gone after her.
Finding her sitting on the back step and crying her eyes out, he’d slid an arm around her young, boney shoulders until she hiccupped through a couple of sobs and finally let go of her girlish pain. He’d then given her a piggy-back ride until she was laughing again.
He’d always liked her spirit.
He still did.
But he needed to keep thinking of Hannah like that, young and innocent. However, it was really hard when her shirt had just enough of a v-cut to reveal a line of cleavage he’d been lusting after for several months now.
The whole messed up situation had begun in that stupid supply closet. He’d gone there to ask her something about one of the access centers and had somehow gotten lost in her beautiful breasts that grew puckered then and there. And from that point, his cravings for Hannah had all but taken over.
He’d tried to keep his distance, but every time he promised himself to skip a visit to the Gold Rush, he’d head there anyway.
Something had erupted between them in that moment, something new, vital, and damn sexual.
And he absolutely loved the new perfume she’d taken to wearing. She smelled like roses and seashells, which didn’t make a lot of sense, but she did, like if he walked through a rose garden right by the water’s edge, that’s what she would smell like. The trouble was, when he caught the scent of her perfume, his body lit up and he wanted nothing more than to pick her up in his arms and fly her to his home in Kellcasse. Maybe keep her there for a decade.
He’d had several ‘moments’ with her in recent weeks, when her gaze caught and held or she accidentally brushed up against him in the bar and he couldn’t seem to catch his breath.
He also knew whatever was going on was mutual to the point that lately he’d started thinking about actually asking for a date. He held back, though. She was little Hannah, the one called ‘girl’, the human, for Goddess’s sake.
And he wasn’t into long-term anything. He’d made that decision a century ago when his wife and daughter had died. He didn’t ever want to feel that kind pain again, not until the ancient fae was dead and the last of the Invictus burned on a funeral pyre.
But right now, she wanted him to talk about what was troubling him.
He debated the matter in his head for a full minute and to her credit, she let him be, let him live with his own thoughts and sort this one out.
Finally, he drew a deep breath and decided to open up. “I never talked much, to anyone, about what happened in Walvashorr with the shifter packs.”
Her arched brows rose, but she made no comment, which once more encouraged him to continue. “I saw the ancient fae. She was surrounded by a strange powerful golden light, but she smelled evil, like something rotting behind a dumpster.”
Hannah grunted softly. Glancing at her, he saw that she’d wrinkled her nose. “Was the imagery too strong?” he asked.
“If it was accurate, then you couldn’t have said it better. We all know that smell.”
“Yeah, we do.” He nodded several times. “Mastyr Seth has a woman now, his blood rose, and I’m sure Lorelei has shared things on your loop.” He waved a hand to encompass her computer monitor. “You know, the one with all you women.”
“Yeah, all us women.” She smiled. She had lovely teeth, white, perfectly straight, nicely shaped incisors. Shit, he even liked the woman’s teeth.
He frowned at Hannah for a moment, searching those violet eyes again. She’d struck up a serious friendship with several of the women bonded to mastyr vampires and the email loop seemed to be blazing or at least simmering all the time.
He knew she’d switched tabs the moment he’d arrived on the threshold to the room. She’d done that before, protecting everyone’s privacy, so he wasn’t surprised. He’d once asked her about it, teasing her, but she’d lifted her chin. “What we women say in confidence, especially about you men, you don’t need to know. It’s a sacred, womanish thing.”
‘A womanish thing’. Another reminder that the child had grown up. And she really wasn’t a child. She was twenty-eight, but against his two-hundred-years she was considerably younger in life-experience.
He forced his thoughts back to what it was he wanted to say to Hannah. “Here’s the thing. Margetta planned this attack on Walvashorr Realm, really planned it. And when Seth and I went to rescue Lorelei, I saw the ancient fae’s army encampment. The level of military organization astounded me because wraith-pairs, aren’t by definitions, soldiers. They don’t group together and form joint goals.”
Hannah nodded. “Which means, Margetta has somehow taken charge of the wraith-pairs and can control them.”
“She’s being very deliberate and I’m worried for Kellcasse, and concerned that Margetta will come after us and we won’t be ready. It’s been months now and everything’s been quiet in all the realms.”
Even as he spoke the words aloud, he wasn’t sure what was prompting him to share this with Hannah. But because of her association with the communications center and with the other powerful women bonded to a few of his fellow mastyrs, she knew a lot about the current war with Margetta. “The problem is, I don’t know what kind of strategy she would devise against Kellcasse, what her goal would be. With Seth’s Realm, she’d intended to invade and conquer the shifter lands, thinking the packs volatile and unable to work together as a unit. With a foothold in the northern part of the realm and the packs decimated, she would have headed south and taken over the rest of Walvashorr.”
“But Lorelei and Seth worked together to change that.”
Jude scowled now, his arms tight to his chest. “Yes, that’s exactly what they did.” Lorelei had become Seth’s blood rose during the time Jude had helped out. Stunned at how the packs had worked together to destroy so many wraith-pairs, he’d fought in the battle against Margetta until she’d called a retreat.
Hannah reached over and touched his arm. “Hey, if you frown any harder, you’ll break your face in half.”
He laughed and his arms eased apart.
Suddenly, a soft alarm sounded within the room.
Hannah slid her chair close to the central computer once more and started moving her mouse, then tapping on the keyboard. Her eyes went wide. “Jude, it’s from Longeness. He’s been trying to reach you.”
He’d already removed his coat, which had both the com attached at the shoulder that connected him to the Kellcasse center and his phone. “Shit. Even my phone’s in my coat.”
“It’s okay. I’ve got your center online. You can video-chat now.” She rose from her chair and gestured for him to sit down.
Jude was grateful that when Hannah originally ordered office furniture, she’d planned on accommodating the Vampire Guardsmen. The three chairs in the room were each built on big lines and could handle his two-eighty and then some.
He sat down and saw his center’s com specialist. Longeness rubbed the tip of his right fae ear, pulling all the way to the elongated point, a sure sign of his distress.
Jude knew better than to react. Remaining calm for his people was a constant part of his strategy. “Apologies, Longeness. My phone was elsewhere. What’s cookin’?”
“Mastyr, we’ve had word that another wraith-pair attacked the access checkpoint. The guards survived but only because the pair was intent on getting to the Sound before dawn.”
For a long moment, Jude could hardly think. Another wraith-pair was headed toward Port Townsend? They rarely, if ever, crossed the earth access-point lines.
“But that’s the second wraith-pair tonight. They never leave Kellcasse.” He felt uneasy. He didn’t say as much to Longeness, but his first thought went to the ancient fae. Something was on the wind. “Was there anything unusual about this pair? Was a vampire part of the bond and if so, was he a mastyr?”
“Vampire, yes. But to my knowledge, he wasn’t a mastyr.”
Jude scrubbed a hand through his thick hair, dislodging the clasp. “Well, thank the Goddess for that.” Wraith-pairs with mastyr vampires as a mate were nearly impossible to defeat alone. “I’ll head out into the Sound and meet these bastards.”
“Do you want me to send Guardsmen to back you up?”
“No. I’m good.” He’d like to see a regular wraith-pair move against him. “And Longeness, how’s the wife?”
“Complaining all the time now.” His woman was expecting twins and only had a month to go.
“Completely understandable. Take her some flowers when your shift ends.”
“Plan to. I’m not a complete gremlin’s ass.”
“No, that you’re not.”
He signed off and grabbed the clasp that now hung at the back of his head, tugging it out in stages. He had an impossible mane of hair, kept long as was the Guardsman’s tradition. Thank the elf lords for the invention of crème rinse.
He rose from the chair, lifting his arms to re-clasp his hair, then turned toward Hannah.
She looked odd, though, pressing a hand to her throat. Her gaze tracked the lines of his raised arms and his chest, gradually moving over his hips and down his heavily muscled thighs.
This was one of those moments when he was glad he worked out as much as he did. He knew what he looked like, the raw physical power he exuded because of his size.
And the room suddenly smelled of roses and seashells.
His body heated up something fierce in response because of her perfume. In another minute, if things went on this way, the snug fit of his battle leathers wouldn’t be hiding his desire for her.
Securing the woven clasp at the back of his head, he moved toward her. She leaned against the doorjamb, her hands at her sides. “What’s going on, Hannah? Why the sudden interest in me?”
“It’s not sudden,” she whispered, meeting his gaze in that steady way of hers.
“You know this would never work.” He drifted his fingers through her hair, still not understanding what had changed that he now wanted Hannah as much as he did.
“I know. You don’t do long-term.”
“I don’t. And your bar is everything to you.”
She smiled faintly. “I don’t date vampires anyway, you know that. Just humans.”
Jude sighed. “Gotta go. I’ve got a wraith-pair to take down and dawn’s about fifteen minutes away.”
~ ~ ~
Hannah didn’t want to be so completely hooked into Jude right now, but the way he’d talked to Longeness had done something to her. Jude wasn’t a simple man by any stretch. She might have been able to shove her interest in him aside if he showed indifference to those around him. Instead, he’d asked about Longeness’s very pregnant wife.
She also knew that a long time ago, over a hundred years now, Jude had been married. He’d even had a daughter, but both had died in an Invictus attack. Her email loop had given her a lot of information she wouldn’t have had otherwise. She knew they’d perished in his peach orchard on Castle Island, next to the house the couple had built together. Her throat grew tight every time she thought about his loss.
But Jude had never remarried and from that time, he’d kept his relationships on a love-em-and-leave-em basis, yet one more reason she needed to keep her distance and ignore what had become a fairly relentless drive toward him.
Jude made a move to slip past her into the hall, but she caught his arm. “Jude?”
He smiled. “I always am.”
Was she imagining things, or had he leaned toward her as if to kiss her.
And she would have let him.
Yep, she had it bad.
But he huffed a quick sigh, and turned up the hall, heading toward the bar. The daytime communication staff would arrive in about three hours, and her staff had already cleaned up and gone home for the night.
She signed off on the loop and added an auto-responder to her email that any emergency communication could be routed through her cell phone. Usually, Sandy came in at this hour to take over, but she had a dentist’s appointment so Hannah would be on call until about ten. But like hell she wasn’t going to walk down to the nearby dock and watch Jude launch into the air. She was worried now because something didn’t feel right.
Moving up the hall toward the bar, she pressed a hand to her chest. She was more anxious about things than she realized because right now her heart felt squeezed tight. She hurried past the horse-shoe shaped bar and a couple dozen tables and chairs toward the entrance. Once there, she stared through the large, stained glass, front door but couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
Jude hadn’t reached the Sound at all, but fought a wraith-pair not fifty feet from the Gold Rush near the dock.
And the strangest thing of all was that she suddenly felt an overwhelming need to help him. Yet, Jude was one of the most powerful men in all of the Nine Realms, so in what possible situation would he ever need her help?
I hope you enjoyed reading EMBRACE THE NIGHT Chapter one! Let the Blood Rose Series become a new journey for you!!!
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(After Ascension, Burning Skies, Wings of Fire, Born of Ashes, Obsidian Flame and Gates of Rapture)
Includes Sub-Series: Dawn of Ascension and the Rapture’s Edge Saga
Warrior Gideon swore he would never see Elise Jordan again even though they’d been passionate lovers for two years. Her human nature couldn’t survive in his ascended vampire world; she would be vulnerable to attack on every front if he tried to continue a relationship with her.
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Fearing that his newly emerged grayle power will kill innocent ascenders, Samuel Daman struggles to keep his distance from beautiful Vela Stillwell. But the breh-hedden has struck and her light floral scent tears at his restraint.
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For the last few weeks, since Warrior Duncan professed his intention ‘to try’ to make his relationship with Rachel work, he’s failed on all fronts. But how can he explain that a serpent lives in his gut, poisoning him against her?
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For decades, Warrior Duncan has had an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman opposed to his warrior lifestyle. When Rachel shows up in his life again, he wants to keep his distance, but the infamous breh-hedden, the myth-that-isn’t-a myth, bears down on him keeping him in a perpetual caveman-like state.
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THE BLOOD ROSE SERIES – SHORT WORKS
The Blood Rose Tales, are much shorter stories than the “Embrace” books of the Blood Rose Series. Each ‘tale’ highlights one particular aspect of the world of the Nine Realms as well as a mastyr vampire in pursuit of his Blood Rose.
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Zephyr can’t keep away from Alesia and feels obligated to keep her safe. They’d broken up, unable to reconcile painfully opposing views on what should be done to the evil Invictus pairs. But when several wraith-pairs attack her diner, he flies her to safety, taking her home where they’re trapped together for the entire day.
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Yolen keeps his love life and his work life separate with one goal in mind – to protect Brianna. After seeing his best friend slaughtered by the enemy, he will do whatever it takes to ensure Brianna’s safety even if it means holding her at a distance.
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For weeks, Mastyr Willem, agent for the Realm Investigative Unit, has been tracking Charlotte Vail, a human college student at the local Grochaire University. He’s had a thing for Charlotte that he doesn’t quite understand.
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THE BLOOD ROSE SERIES – THE BOOKS
Enter a world of blood-starved mastyr vampires and the rare women who can satisfy their deepest needs…
How can he resist his blood rose…
Gerrod, mastyr vampire of the Merhaine Realm, never thought to have his blood-needs satisfied by a mere human. But Abigail is no ordinary woman.
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Ethan, mastyr vampire of the Bergisson Realm, never thought to find his blood rose, the one woman who could ease the blood-starvation he’s endured for decades. But Samantha carries a surprising level of power as her newly discovered fae heritage emerges..
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Quinlan must keep Grochaire Realm safe from the enemy at all costs. As ruler of his realm, a woman has no permanent place in his day-to-day existence. But when his lust takes him to Batya’s bedroom, he soon discovers he’s deep into a powerful experience that threatens to blow his life apart.
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Seth, Mastyr Vampire of Walvashorr Realm, craves Lorelei, his new bodyguard, but he has a hands-off policy with those under his command. However, the sexy glint in her eye, as well as her wolf-shifter ways, keeps him in a fevered state.
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Mastyr Vampire Jude has kept his distance from all women because he lost his wife and daughter to an enemy attack a hundred years ago. He won’t go through that kind of loss again. And he won’t jeopardize another woman’s life while the deadly Invictus wraith-pairs still pose a threat in the Nine Realms.
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Mastyr Vampire Malik has only one goal: to serve the realm he loves. Battling both the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs and an element in Ashleaf Realm that wants all innocent wraiths dead, Malik can’t afford to get distracted. But Willow has already become an obsession as he lusts for the powerful fae whose blood he craves.
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Mastyr Vampire Zane didn’t want another woman in his life not after the dreaded Invictus killed his wife five years ago. He serves Swanicott Realm, the land he rules, and doesn’t want anything to interfere with his war against the enemy.
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Mastyr Vampire Ian never wanted to see Regan again. He blamed her for the massacre at Raven’s Overlook, an attack that killed his sister and her children. He’s convinced Regan enthralled him, using her extensive fae powers to keep him by her side. If he’d been in his realm that night, he could have saved 200 people.
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Mastyr Vampire Griffin hates his enslavement in Margetta’s fortress. He sought death a thousand times because of it, but was denied when the Ancient Fae brought him back repeatedly, forcing him to train her evil army. When a beautiful fae-slave, Sandra, tells him to live, he begins to believe his life could have more meaning…
Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-seven paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but encourages the scorpions to inhabit elsewhere! Her motto: Live the Fang!
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