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An Immortal Realms Novel
Red Sage
September 2010
On Sale: September 1, 2010
Featuring: Enrique Torres; Maria Guerrero
ISBN: 1603105239
EAN: 9781603105231
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After being plunged into a chaotic and deceitful society, Maria Guerrero finds comfort in the arms Enrique Torres, a man she believes is innocent of her world. She keeps him ignorant about her inner monster, and the blood oath she took to save her brother's life. Instead she prefers to use their sexual play as an escape from her supernatural world. When her secrets catch up with her however, Maria is forced to confess her sins. Will Enrique find it in his heart to forgive her deception? He must, before her vampire master demands her to pay him his due. With the help of a disillusioned fey warrior, she convinces Enrique that vampires are real, and danger lurks around every corner.

Enrique can't allow himself to fall for Maria charms, or he'll risk revealing secrets of his own -- secrets which would not only scare her, but put his mission in jeopardy. He hopes that by forming a physical connection with the young vampire, he'll lower her defenses and earn her trust, for she's the only one who could help him bring peace to the Immortal Realm. As they play out their sexual fantasies, her true identity is uncovered. On impulse gives her his trust, only to be repaid with her betrayal. Now he wants revenge... but what will be the cost? As the Immortal Realm descends into chaos, Enrique and Maria must choose whether to trust each other again, or fall victims to the dark deceptions that rule their world.

Excerpt

"Got ourselves in trouble again, I see." Maria froze. "Carlos." How did he get here? She was alone in the room and the door was locked. Her gaze tore away from the tall, lean vampire and settled on the open window. Damn, she knew not to be so careless. Knowing Carlos, he probably watched her whole exchange with Enrique. He would want a full report, but Maria was in no mood to give one.

The vampire crossed his arms in front of his chest. "So, you remember me. After not seeing you for two nights, I was beginning to wonder..."

She turned on her heel to face him. "I would never forget you -- or the kindness you’ve shown Frederick and me."

He frowned, his perfect dark brow arching over his amber eyes. "You need to work on your lies, Maria."

Her breath caught. Leave it to him to bring up her immaturity. She carefully schooled her face into a blank mask, as she was taught.

His features softened as he approached. "You're still a very young vampire and unable to hold you mask." He stopped, his face inches away from hers. Crooking his finger under her chin, he turned her head first to the right, then to the left. A frown creased his perfect angular features. "You look gaunt."

She jerked her head away from his grasp. "It is nothing."

"I've heard that you haven't been going to the feedings."

"They are innocent people."

"They’re food, nothing more." He sighed. "At this rate you are going to collapse before your second year." Reaching out, he trailed his finger down the side of her face. Maria forced herself not to flinch. "It would be a pity to lose such wonderful vampire flesh."

She bit back a retort. Arguing would accomplish nothing. Carlos was a master of words and would only use her arguments to manipulate her. An image of her brother appeared in the forefront of her mind and she strengthened her resolve.

At her darkest hour, Carlos rescued both her and Frederick from the brink of destruction. The vampire leader was now securing their future. Under Carlos' protection Frederick would remain safe. She would remain safe. Frederick's dealings with the underworld had put her in danger more than once before. Now that they had the protection of the vampires, they wouldn't be touched.

Carlos slipped his hand lower, catching the 'V' in her dress. "You can't keep denying our desire for flesh and blood, Maria." He leaned in close, his warm breath gliding against her cheek.

Maria shivered as his icy fingers danced over her skin. She was grateful for his protection, but would never...could never...

"One night with me and I can take you away from all this." His voice was soft and filled with promise. Maria resisted the stirring in her lower abdomen. "Think about it, no more accusing stares from the servants, no more chores..."

No more Enrique. She had always loved Enrique's handsome features, but now that she had spent more time with him her feelings ran much deeper than lust. He treated her like somebody -- somebody who mattered. He was so different from Carlos, who only wanted to use her body to further his agenda.

Maria stepped back from his touch. "Why do you have me stay here at all? I mean, you say you want to trap Enrique -- Señor Torres -- but wouldn't it just be easier to send in vampires to capture him?"

Carlos smiled, showing each of his perfectly white teeth. "Ah, my dear. It isn't enough just to capture him." He took a step forward. "I want to humiliate him." Golden flecks danced across his eyes. "Ruin him."

Maria's back hit the wall. She was trapped. "Why?"

He stepped closer, his chest even with her head. Her skin tingled at the power before her. She felt her fangs lower in response.

"Why?" He tipped his fingers under her chin and tilted her head up to his gaze. "Because I loathe him, Maria." He lowered his head until his mouth hovered inches above her own. "As every vampire should." His lips brushed against hers. Maria felt the cold press all the way to her toes. "The fool will destroy us all." He kissed one cheek. "If he knew your real identity..." He kissed the other cheek. "He wouldn't hesitate to put a stake in your heart."

"No." Enrique was kind and thoughtful. He loved her and...

And he only approached her after she became a vampire and used her charms on him. His caring words, his gentle touch, all of it prompted by the magik Carlos bestowed on her. Sure Enrique was always kind to her, but it wasn't until she became a vampire that his interest turned sexual.

Maria straightened and tried to pull away, but it was no use. The weight of her burden felt like an anvil on her shoulders. The only reason why she was even allowed at the Torres estate was because Carlos decreed it. At any moment the vampire lord could take the privilege away from her. Then what would she be left with?

Carlos' grip tightened. "You know it is true. Don't deny who you are -— or your destiny."

Hunger, pure and raw blossomed in her core. Only a select few were allowed to feed directly from the vampire leader. Maria had no illusions as to why she was bestowed such an honor. Vampire feedings were steeped in sexual energy and it was no secret that Carlos favored her.

Her master tilted his head to the side. His long dark hair fell away from his shoulders and exposed the smooth ivory skin of his neck. "Now feed."



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