Tuesday, July 29, 2014



Warrior vampire Garrick Labar guards the secrets of the Guild. His comrade— vampire and sorcerer Ramon Travere—enforces the uneasy alliance between mortals and immortals. 

When Larissa Devine moves into town, both Garrick and Ramon are mesmerized and enraptured by her. They crave to claim her as their crimson swan and lover. But a new arrival is fair game and if they don’t claim her first, a band of renegades will.

Larissa finds a blistering-hot ménage with her protectors too intoxicating to resist. The immortals can’t deny their sexual attraction for her and sense her blood pulsing hot and furious whenever they are close. Erotic desires thrust her into a world of danger and seduction. 

When the renegade vampires attempt to destroy a hundred years of peace, Larissa is caught in the crossfire. Eternal love and carnal nights can be her future if she survives.



By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.


Copyright © KATHY KULIG, 2014

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

The silky French lingerie slid over her skin like creamy chocolate sorbet. It was naughty of her but how could she resist? Larissa Devine smoothed her hands over her breasts, waist and hips, feeling turned-on as she admired the new piece from the collection that just arrived from Paris. Even if she had the funds, no way would she ever purchase a three-hundred-dollar nightgown for herself. For such a price, it should hide all her figure flaws—hips a bit too wide and thighs a little too heavy. The markdown she got as owner of the shop still wasn’t tempting enough. The guys she’d dated in the past wouldn’t be caught dead in a lingerie store buying her a gift like this, never mind one so pricy.

Admiring the other items she’d selected from the French designer, she felt that twirl of excitement in her belly. She knew the exquisite collection would tempt wealthier tourists visiting New Hope during the Christmas rush. The bulk of her sales would come from the average person visiting the historic Pennsylvania town. Silk Fantasies also carried lingerie and fragrances for the more budget minded.

One last glance in the full-length mirror, then off with the pricy garment of seduction and back to setting up shop for opening day. Gently, she lifted the gown to her waist and was about to pull it over her head when she heard the bell from the front door.

“I think you should wear that in your shop. Good advertising. Especially the gentlemen customers,” a man’s voice said from the entrance of her store.

Dropping the hem to fall like a chocolate river of silk at her feet, Larissa gasped and spun around, her arms crossed over her breasts. Her shop wasn’t due to open until tomorrow. The blinds in the shop were down. No one should have seen her inside. “We’re not open, sir. How did you get in? The door was locked.” Her face flushed as she stared at the stranger, young and well-dressed. Black pants and a deep-burgundy shirt, perfectly tailored to show off a body that spent hours in the gym lifting weights, heavy ones by the size of him. He didn’t apologize for walking in on her wearing a nightgown but then again, this was a lingerie shop. He was still smiling at her as his gaze raked over every inch, which irritated her. He was probably shopping for his wife or girlfriend. “I’m sorry. I won’t be open to customers until tomorrow at ten. I’m getting everything ready for opening day.” She smiled, hoping she wouldn’t lose a potential customer.

“Do you always try on all the merchandise?” His eyes held a teasing glint.

She stammered for a moment. “No, no, of course not. I was trying on this one for myself. If you like it, I have others in many sizes. I’d be happy to show you tomorrow if you’d like to pick out something for your wife or girlfriend. I’ll have everything on display then.” She tried to emphasize tomorrow . The guy wasn’t getting the hint and her body was heating up from standing in front of him in an outfit that clung to her every curve like liquid silk.

“I don’t have a wife or a girlfriend, Ms. Devine.”

She frowned. Had she told him her name? No, she was sure she hadn’t. Ignoring the ultra-sexy material caressing her body, she straightened and tilted her head at him. “How did you get in? I know I locked that door. And how do you know my name?”

He laughed in a friendly manner. “I’m sorry, Ms. Devine. I’m not a customer, I’m your landlord.”

“Oh. Mr. Labar, I wasn’t expecting you. Nice to meet you.” She walked up and shook his hand then covered her arms over her breasts. She knew her nipples protruded from the sheer fabric.

“My pleasure. Garrick, please. I stopped in to see how you were doing and if you needed anything.” The side of his mouth twitched. At least he was polite enough to keep his gaze above chest level, now, after he already looked his fill.

Heat rushed to her face. When she had heard his voice on the phone, she had no idea he’d be so young or good-looking. He had to be about her age, early thirties with a slight accent she couldn’t place. His long leather coat reached mid-calf. Stylish and casual, expensive and European was her first impression. Maybe he had just gotten out of work. He hadn’t stopped staring at her since she noticed him. Staring wasn’t the word, piercing her soul was more like it. The air in the shop thickened, time ticked slower and her pulse quickened. The temperature was near freezing outside but she wanted to open the door. “I think I have everything I need, thank you. The apartment upstairs is lovely and spacious. I’m almost settled in.”

“I’m surprised you waited to open your store in the middle of the Christmas shopping season.”

Was he worried she wouldn’t make her rent? “I know. I had to help my mother move the rest of her things to Florida. She moved into a retirement home.”

“I see. I hope she’s well.”

“She’s fine.” Larissa hoped he didn’t hear the snippy tone in her voice. Larissa, her mother and her brother didn’t get along very well.

“I have a helper for you,” he said. “I’ll send her by tomorrow. Her name is Jordan Howell.”

Larissa frowned. “Helper? I don’t need a helper and it’s not in my budget right now to employ someone.”

“She’s a college student needing part-time work.”

“What’s she going to school for?” Larissa remembered her days in college, the long hours and struggle to find employment. While her friends partied, she worked at her parents’ pastry shop every weekend and waitressed during the week. Social and love lives didn’t exist.

He shrugged. “Every semester it’s something new.”

Perpetual student. “I’m sure I can find something for her to do. But I can’t give her many hours.”

“Don’t worry about her salary. It’s taken care of.”

She studied him. “I appreciate the offer but—”

“You’ll like Jordan. She’s a hard worker and trustworthy. Her salary is my responsibility.”

That seemed odd but she wasn’t going to argue. Maybe she could give Jordan some big-sister career advice. Not knowing what your dream job was must be stressful. “I’m sure we’ll get along fine.”

Garrick smiled. “She’ll keep you entertained.”

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing. A colleague of mine, Ramon, will stop in to check on building maintenance. He’s also been instructed to help you if you need any work or repairs done around the shop. He can be trusted as well. I’ll take care of paying him.”

“Very generous of you, Mr. Labar. I love old buildings. How old is it?”

“Garrick. It was built in 1832 and used to be an apothecary.”

She smiled but felt uneasy and restless at the same time. It had nothing to do with standing half naked in front of her landlord. The man had a natural charisma that made her breathy and achy inside. Most women probably succumbed to his good looks and he probably had a harem. She wouldn’t be one of them.

Putting her arms at her sides, she refused to appear uncomfortable in her current state of undress. “I heard you own a number of the buildings in New Hope and lease them out.” She wondered how someone so young got to own so many buildings? Just her luck that this hunky guy happened to be her landlord and off limits. No way she was going to risk her dream on a hot affair. If it went south so would her lease.

“That’s right. And I ensure my tenants will have successful businesses.”

She laughed. “How can you guarantee that? There’s always risk in a new business.”

He frowned at her without answering.

“It’s a nice town,” she added, changing the subject. “A pleasant change from cow country in upstate New York.”

“Didn’t you like New York State?”

She sighed. “It’s a great place to grow up. Beautiful, peaceful, but nothing ever happens. Here I’m a bus ride from New York City, a short drive to Philadelphia and the shore. And now I have my own shop. Owning my own business is my dream. I have everything I could want.”

“Do you, Larissa? Maybe it’s time to look beyond your dreams. Expect the unexpected. You may be pleasantly surprised. Keep an open mind.”

“I like to keep things simple,” she said. “Now if you don’t mind, I need to change back into my regular clothes and close up.”

“Go change, but let me show you a few places you might not find on your own.”

Garrick never expected his new tenant would be such a beauty. His mouth tightened as his gaze dropped to her small breasts and round hips. The garment showed every curve. She fascinated him. The intensity of her life force and sexuality would be hard to resist. She was perfect for their needs. Once the others sensed her presence, they’d all want to claim her. It was the renegades who worried him. They would take her as a slave. Garrick had to move quickly. Jordan and Ramon could help fend off the others for a time. Larissa was in danger unless she became his crimson swan, and later, marked and bound permanently to him. The problem was, unlike many of his kind, he believed mortals shouldn’t be forced into the Guild. The sensual pleasures of a willing crimson swan rivaled any violent or coerced offering.

“I’m ready.” Back in regular clothes, jeans and a sweater, Larissa buttoned into a gray wool coat that reached below her knees. “Where are we going?”

“An outdoor café and bar for something warm to drink.”

“In this weather?” She laughed as she locked her store.

“They have gas heaters. I want to show you places to avoid at night.” He didn’t want to alarm her but he knew where his kind frequented after dark.

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