by Vanessa Gravenstein
war/SONG Book One
War has come to Thunder Bay.
With magi encroaching upon the vampire stronghold, Luca cel Rau must fulfill his duty to protect the younger vampires who are reliant upon his ancient strength.
When he finds a bruised but defiant human woman outside their lair, however, it is more than duty driving him to protect her — and she might very well be a liability and distraction he can’t afford.
Warning: Themes of domestic violence and self-harm.
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon Smashwords iTunes Kobo
Content/Theme(s): Vampires, Magi, Seer, Dark Fantasy
Release Date: February 14, 2016
Excerpt & More
It was all so dicey. Luca didn’t know if it was better to attempt to confide the secret of his being — immortal demigod — or go straight to the bite. If either went wrong she wouldn’t go with him. He might even need to kill her if either failed. Luca had decided he needed more time to feel her out, and as he approached the doors of BOSS, his instincts told him the decision was correct.
He scanned the humans outside, sheep for the slaughter, trapped by their red velvet ropes. People leaned against the side of the building, smoking cigarettes. The females wore the same style clothes Scarlett O’Hara had. Some even aimed to be more provocative, and the summer night permitted it. He had difficulty imagining her among their ranks. She simply did not belong.
The man at the door checking IDs gave Luca a bored look as he approached. Why did all these humans look bored?
“Let me through.”
“Go on inside,” the bouncer parroted, unhooking the rope for him, much to the chagrin of the waiting sheep. Luca paid them no mind as he advanced into the mouth of the nightclub and was swallowed by the lights.
The walls reverberated with the loud music, some non-melodic wailing set to a beat. Humans were on every side of him. Their dancing was an orgy with clothes still on. He hadn’t been privy to such a scene in decades. They rubbed their bodies over one another without regard. Hands grasped at whatever flesh they could find. Their heartbeats were thundering hooves. Their breathing was beating wings.
He made his way to the bar, certain if anyone were to know of his human it would be the staff. Those who were obligated to come to this place daily. Luca took a vacant seat, and almost immediately a blonde woman had her hand on his forearm. She leaned into him and the smell of her perfume was stifling to his honed senses.
“You are the classiest man in this joint,” she commented. Her eyes roved him up and down, drinking in the gray dress pants and blood-red button up he wore. “What does a man like you drink?”
If he had been on the hunt he would’ve given her a musing smile and put his arm around her shoulders. He would’ve whispered something in her ear and this pathetic blood bag would have led him outside without any hypnosis at all. He might’ve even drunk too much, if only to ensure no one else had to suffer her company. Except he wasn’t on the hunt, he was on the prowl, and she was wasting his time — the one commodity he had plenty of. Fancy that.
Luca stared at her, letting his eyes show his contempt. Mostly contempt for how little of a challenge she was. If he’d found her before Scarlett, he wouldn’t have cared so much. Now it irked him to be approached by someone so weak. She flinched under his glare and moved away. His distaste grew. She fled easily as well. He had been given a taste of sweet rebellion and it was the flavor he desired now.
“I don’t like her either,” the bartender said from behind his keep. “What’ll it be?”
“I’m looking for someone,” Luca answered. “A woman.”
“Safe to assume not the one you ran off? Go ahead, man, shoot. I see hundreds of them in a weekend so I can’t guarantee you anything. Give me your best shot. What’s her name?”
“Her name’s irrelevant,” he said, annoyed because he didn’t know it to give, pushed lightly to convince the bartender it was of no consequence. “She has long dark hair and green eyes. There’s a tattoo on her neck, it says Foxhole Prayers.”
“Oh. You mean her,” the bartender said, pointing.
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Be on the lookout for Vanessa Gravenstein's future release(s): Hymnal II coming late Spring 2016 and Iroquois Nation coming in 2017
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