Cover & Excerpt
Vampire Territory Book Four
Wess Gage started the CRU, or Cooperative Response Unit, as a way to bring humans and vampires together to hunt evil bloodsuckers like Taspar Tong. He has the backing of his sister and brother-in-law—both master vampires—and he grows to like the vampires who serve them. That includes Natalia, a vampiress with a head for science who agrees to help the CRU develop new weaponry.
What Wess doesn’t know is that Natalia is on the hunt for a traitor. Someone is leaking information to both Taspar Tong and the Human Rebellion—a group determined to exterminate all vampires. Wess and his friends are former Rebels; could one of them be the culprit she’s after?
As attraction flares and turns more serious, Natalia risks her heart to draw Wess deeper into the vampire world. Violence shatters the tense and fragile calm, but they'll need to pull together to survive. Especially when the traitor is finally revealed.
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase link(s): LooseId Amazon ARe Google iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Loose Id
Excerpt & More
The scientist was dressed in dark-gray slacks and a blue collared shirt with sleeves that ended right below her elbows. She had her mousy brown hair pulled back into a tight bun—not a strand out of place or a single bang to get in her eyes. That couldn’t be an easy trick since he could see her hair was naturally curly. While her eyebrows were on the fuller side, her lips were a tad thin, at least when she compressed them into a serious line like she was doing now. All that was missing to complete her image was a white lab coat. He wondered what it would take to ruffle a woman like her.
“Thanks for coming,” he said. “I’d like to discuss some things in private with you, but first let me get everyone settled.”
Wess turned to look for Angel and Gunnar and discovered Faust had already made his way over to the pair. The vampire said something that made Angel laugh.
“Is he flirting on the job?”
“It would appear so,” Natalia said, straight-faced. “Faust can be a smooth talker when he wants to be, and given his nickname, he probably thinks it’s funny to make a deal with an Angel. Do you have rules against fraternizing within the unit?”
“Not yet. Do you think that would do any good?”
“Not likely,” Istvan answered. “The vampires in our house do not refrain, but it has not become a problem. Those who pair up gain the advantage of having a drinking partner.”
For a vampire, a drinking partner was either a human he made his permanent lover and donor or another vampire with whom he regularly exchanged blood. Since the Human Rebellion had started tainting the blood supply, Wess could see why such a relationship would be an advantage. The only alternative was for a vampire to drink bagged blood, since it went through a rigorous screening process. Those vampires who shared blood occasionally had to augment their diet with the bagged stuff, but at least the arrangement cut down on their trips to the fridge.
“I’ll leave it alone for now, but only if no one complains.” Wess called Gunnar over to him. “Istvan, you go with Gunnar to the gym. We’ve only had time to throw down a few mats, so the space is crude, but it will do the trick. I want the two of you to work out a training program—a way to integrate human and vampire tactics and fighting styles. We need to operate as a cohesive unit instead of winging it every time we face a threat. Think you can do that?”
“Of course.” Istvan sounded confident.
Although Gunnar looked a little wary of the vampire, he voiced his agreement. “Come with me. I’ll show you around.”
The two walked off, leaving Wess alone with Natalia.
“I have a private office,” he told her. “This way.”
He led her into what had once been the old mill office and offered her a seat across from his desk. The furniture was beat-up but durable and made him feel like he was starring in an old private-eye movie.
“I wasn’t sure if Lucas would be willing to spare you,” he admitted. “I guess you’re not in the middle of some big project right now.”
“I’m always working,” she informed him. “As a vampiress, I just happen to have more time than some.”
Wess blinked at her for a moment. He never would have guessed that Natalia had a sense of humor, not even the droll one her last sentence implied.
“Well, I’m glad you can spare some of that time. While I wasn’t involved with the Rebel scientists, I got used to being a part of an organization that had them at its disposal. They were constantly researching new weapons and means of defense. You seem to do the same for Lucas.”
“When necessary.” Her tone let him know she wasn’t about to share the details of what she did for her master.
Her discretion only bolstered his conviction that she was the one he needed.
He met her gaze, taking note for the first time of how richly brown her irises were. “I’m hoping you’ll give the CRU a hand with research and development. For starters, I’d like to know more about whatever acid you tossed at Taspar’s soldier during the battle in Charlotte.”
The bloodsucker had been rushing right at him and Natalia when the vampiress had thrown something in the man’s face. Whatever she’d used on the guy, he’d hit the ground screaming and had clutched at his eyes until blood stained his fingers.
“Vitriol attacks are hardly new,” she informed him, “and even medieval alchemists played around with acid.”
He refused to be derailed by the history lesson. “That might be true, but I remember you saying that whatever you used was experimental. You said you wanted to see how it worked.”
Her lips parted—a subtle show of surprise that drew his attention to her mouth. He didn’t know why he’d thought her lips were thin. They plumped into a dainty bow when she relaxed them.
“You have a good memory.” Her opinion of him obviously improved. “To answer your question, I used sulfuric acid as the primary ingredient. It is hygroscopic and has strong dehydrating properties in addition to its corrosiveness. The acid destroys living tissue on contact through hydrolysis in a manner not dissimilar from the human digestion of food. Then dehydration causes secondary burns to add to the damage. It’s what you might call a one-two punch. The resulting thermal burns can—” She stopped and cocked her head. “Why are you smiling at me?”
“Maybe I like the way you talk,” he teased her.
Those lips of hers curved up at the corners. “Are you referring to my vocabulary or the way I describe flesh-eating chemicals?”
“Mostly your vocabulary,” he said with a chuckle. “Although I get the feeling you have a macabre sense of humor.”
“Many vampires do.”
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Be on the lookout for Allie Ritch's future release(s): Alien Sex Ed coming Dec 2015, Vampire Territory book 5 coming Spring 2016 and Vampire Territory book 6 coming Summer 2016
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