Publisher: XoXo Publishing
Blurb: When Detective Faith Prentice is assigned as a liaison to the police force in Montreal, intent on helping the detectives there capture a killer who's MO matches one she's hunted at home in Los Angeles, she is ill-prepared for what awaits her in the beautiful jewel city of Canada's French province. Mysteriously drawn to her temporary partner, Adrian Blackthorne, she rebels against his allure, only to be drawn into an even deeper darkness when Adrian's past snares her - and she becomes a pawn in the deadly battle between the vampire Blackthorne and the powerful master he has long denied?
Julianna was seated at the bar again, her rage telegraphing itself to everyone within her orbit. She could feel the wide circles made to avoid her, and felt perverse satisfaction at the awareness that many of those present were decidedly afraid of her just now. She was almost spitting with indignation, and the wine in her hand no longer appeased her mood in any fashion.
"Damn you!" she hissed in an undertone.
"I hope you don't mean me," a new voice observed with mild amusement.
Startled much more than she should have been, Julianna swiveled the bar stool and smiled.
"Of course not, Adrian."
Adrian surveyed her with a critical eye, and perched on the stool next to her. "Then who is in danger of damnation?" he asked with more curiosity than genuine interest. He had other concerns at the moment. But, winning Julianna's help usually meant having to ease into the need for it, so, he played the friendly game of banter.
"No one you need worry over, I assure you, mon amour." She looked back at him, quickly and accurately reading his mood. "You didn't come here for conversation, Adrian. What is it you are trying to ask of me this time?"
"Have you seen anybody new here tonight?"
Suspicion flared within her, but it never reached her outer composure. "Many people drift in and out, Adrian. Am I expected to keep a record of them for you?"
"This one's a cop," Blackthorne told her, his voice hard. "An out of town cop named Faith Prentice. Shiller told her she might like this place."
"Perhaps she would?" Julianna suggested with a tilt of her head.
"Was she here, Julianna?" Adrian demanded, quickly losing patience with the verbal fencing.
Something in the flat reply sparked suspicion in Adrian, and he turned her eyes back to meet his when she looked away.
"When was she here?"
She glared at him, but offered no answer.
"Julianna!" He grabbed her arm, not bothering to be gentle, nor to masque his considerable irritation. "Where is she?"
She jerked her arm free of his grasp and considered her answer. She quickly decided it would be much easier to get the young woman out of her club than risk Adrian?s wrath. There was a certain amount of enjoyment in the knowledge that this would deny Cartier of his prize, too. And, she added mentally, he would blame Adrian for that loss, not her.
"She is with Cartier." She dropped the news with a toss of her head, and laughed as he rushed toward the back room?
* * *
Cartier recovered quickly from the blow that had sent him reeling away from Faith, and he turned glowing eyes to the one who'd dared to strike him. Adrian! He should have known. Even through the lust-enhanced hunger, Cartier was aware of Faith inching across the floor in an effort to escape. The scent of her fear was as tempting as her passion of minutes earlier. He'd find this one again, he promised himself, if she were fortunate enough to escape him after all this night.
"You are going to push me too far one day, Adrian," Cartier warned, his eyes still blazing fury at the younger vampire.
"Maybe," Adrian agreed, one eye watching Faith's progress as he tried to fight down the urge to kill. "Tonight I intend to see that a friend remains safe."
"This lovely creature is a friend of yours?" Cartier asked, once more taking firm control of both himself and the situation. "Your taste improves, Adrian."
The mantle of ice had returned. Adrian knew there would be no further need to fight -- not tonight, at any rate. Cartier was considering another time and another venue for their next meeting. Adrian had no illusions about it being a pleasant encounter. If anything, he sensed death in the other's mind. True and lasting death. It was not the first time since Cartier's return that Adrian wondered when the master vampire would demand his retribution - in full. So far, despite frequent confrontations, Cartier had not seriously attempted to destroy him. Yet, Adrian felt the time was nearing.
"Take her, Adrian. You've risked more than you know for her," Cartier whispered softly. He watched the wariness grow within the former knight's deep blue eyes then filter into Adrian's expressive features. The ancient vampire laughed quietly as Blackthorne grabbed Faith's arm and helped her to her feet. They were out of the room without another word being uttered?
(previously published with Forbidden Publications)
Revised and expanded for this release
Genre: Paranormal/vampires/sensual erotic romance
Publisher: XoXo Publishing