Excerpt: Vampire - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Dr. Mariana Lopez has finally stopped bailing friends out of difficult situations. Well, except for substituting as the leader for another anger management group, pitching in as a campaign strategist for a prospective sheriff, and babysitting three dogs. Even with such a full life, she can feel the danger around her—a sense that something isn’t right. Nightmares harass her, until the real thing comes to life, and only the dark and sexy male sitting in her group can save her. However, with safety comes a price she might not be willing to pay.

Raine Maxwell is one of the Maxwells out of Montana, which means he’s not only one of the most deadly vampires alive, but his path is set and his mate has been chosen for him. To save him—to continue his line. Unfortunately, his mate is an enhanced human female who has no idea of her abilities, of his species, or of her future. He’d like to lead her gently into this new world, but his people aren’t the only ones who’ve found her, which puts her into more danger than she can imagine. Plus, in order to follow his laws, he only has one week to convince her that immortality with him is what she wants—and needs.

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.

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Paranormal Romance

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Excerpt: Vampire
By Rebecca Zanetti

Excerpt: Vampire

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti comes a new story in her Dark Protectors/Rebels series. VAMPIRE is out tomorrow, but I’m thrilled to share a sneak peek today!

Raine Maxwell was going to kill somebody. At the moment, with a hood over his head, he wasn’t sure who. Even though he was just regaining consciousness, he already had an idea, though. “Whoever darted me is going to pay. Take the hood off. Now,” he growled. His hands were tied behind his back, and he sat on a cold dirt floor. As the sedative coursed through his system, his strength began to return. The wind whispered her secrets through slats of wood at his shoulders, and if he pushed hard enough, he could go right through to the rainy night outside. Yet he remained still. “Last chance.”

Then he paused and listened. Nothing but wind.

He sniffed. Dirt, rain, and hay. He was alone? Somebody had gone to the trouble to knock him out, bring him to some barn, and then leave his ass? Oh, he didn’t think so. His left hand trembled—a condition he was becoming accustomed to.

What had awoken him? An engine, still running outside, caught his attention.

Then a door opened, and heavy footsteps pounded across the dirt. Something was hefted to the floor and then the footsteps rapidly escaped. An engine revved up outside and then a vehicle with a loud engine sped away.

What was happening? Raine reared up and paused as a scent hit him. A powerful one of female, honey, and pears. Everything inside him settled and then supercharged. “Mariana?” he whispered.

She screamed, high and loud.

He jumped to his feet and lowered his head, shaking wildly until the hood flew off. His hands remained bound, and he pivoted to take in the entire barn. It was empty except for the female sitting across from him, her hands bound in back of her and a hood covering her head. A lit lantern perched on a bale of hay to her right. “You’re okay.” He took a deep breath and jerked on his restraints, ripping them open as he regained his strength. He strode to her and crouched down, taking off her hood.

She shrank away and knocked her head against the worn siding. “Get away from me.”

He remained in place, his gaze searching. Power and strength flowed through him just from being near her for a few minutes. “Did they hurt you?”

She stared at him and then recognition lightened her stunning brown eyes. “Raine?” she croaked.

His lungs compressed and then heated with lava. “Yeah.” Whoever had done this to her would cry in pain. “Talk to me. Are you hurt?” He tried to keep his voice gentle, but the tenor lowered to gritty and hoarse.

She just stared. Her dark hair was wild around her heart-shaped face, but he couldn’t see any bruises on her.

“Let’s get these off you.” He angled to the side and gently pulled her forward so he could see her restraints. Simple ties. He broke them with one finger. Yeah. Her nearness already brought some of his strength back to him. The legends about his family were true.

The second her hands were free, she twirled away from him and leaped to her feet, backing away. “I can’t believe it’s you. All of this time.” Her voice shook as she reached in her waistband and came away empty.

He scratched his whiskered chin. “What’s me?”

She gulped in air, and her gaze caught on one of the silver restraints still hanging from his wrist. Then she swung her focus to where his hood lay near where he’d sat. “Oh, God. This is my fault. He got you, too?”

Raine paused and lowered his chin to better see her eyes. Was she concussed? How the hell was he going to explain this to her? “I was knocked out and just came to as you were brought in. I—”

“I’m so sorry.” She rushed for him and grabbed his hands. “This is my fault. But why you? Were you coming to my place? I don’t understand.” She released him and looked around. “We have to get out of here. How did you break your cuffs? They look solid. Even more than my ties had.”

The woman’s thoughts bounced around faster than his fury. He had to make her understand that he hadn’t asked for this clusterfuck. “Mariana—”

“Oh.” She slapped her hand over her mouth and then removed it. “You were bringing back that dish you borrowed right before you disappeared from town.” She shook her head. “Right? That’s the only way he could’ve seen you.” She swallowed rapidly. “Where did you go, anyway?”

Away from her. As far away from her as he could get—and he’d kept the dish like a moron just so he could remember her. It was plain and slightly pink, and she’d brought cookies on it to the first fundraiser for Evan Holden, who was running for sheriff. Raine had promised to return it to her, and then he’d split town. Fast. “I went home to Montana and had just gotten back to town this morning. I was on my way to your place when I was hit with a bunch of darts.” He hadn’t been able to stay away any longer, and look what that had gotten him. Yet it felt damn good to regain some of his strength. Because of her.

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