Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
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VAMPIRE ASCENDING by Lorelei Bell
Sabrina is not thrilled about the aspect of working for vampires, but she needs the money, and she wants to find the gorgeous and mysterious vampire who has been turning up in her dreams. Is he the one who bit her when she was ten, marked her for his own, and turned her mother so long ago?
Now that she is grown up, a powerful vampire magnate in Chicago hires her to reveal the identity of who is ruthlessly murdering vampires in his ultra-modern stronghold of a hotel.
Little does Sabrina know that her whole life is about to change as her best friend becomes a victim, too and Sabrina is the only one who can find her. Her friend’s fate intensifies the desperate need to find the murderer and, consequently, brings her into contact with a rogue vampire, Vasyl—who looks very much like her dream-vampire.
Sabrina is quickly immersed in romantic trysts and dangerous situations involving scheming vampires, shift changers, and werewolves.
My savior was a blood-drinking vampire, and that’s what he’d probably been busy with when I’d called. I stifled my desire to bring this to his attention. Usually blood on the collar of a man might mean that he’d cut himself shaving. A vampire, on the other hand, blood on the collar would carry a whole different meaning all together.
“I’m sorry to be such a pest,” I apologized, sliding my chilled feet beneath the covers and pulled my knees up to my chest, hugging them to myself.
“You are not a pest,” he said around a small chuckle. He settled on the edge of the bed beside me. Grasping the covers, he pulled them up to my neck. I realized I was shivering as I gazed at him, letting out little nervous gasps. The erotic overtones of having him in my room were not lost on me. I wondered what might happen, since I had invited him in—and he wasn’t leaving.
“You are cold,” he said, his face partially in shadow, the other half glowing in the light slanting in through my window. His pale skin was stark against his neatly-cut black hair, eyes, and brows.
I reached to turn on the light. He stopped me with his voice. “No. Leave it off . . . for now.”
I retracted my hand and settled it on top of the covers as I stared up at him.
“You are a temptation to me, Sabrina.” His voice was low, vibrating in my ears in a way that perhaps a cello might. Calm, sedate, and yet with the promise of something wonderfully exciting, and something wicked hidden beneath the beauty of this other worldly creature here in my room. I could hardly believe it was happening. But it was.
His chilly fingers feathered over my brow, moving strands of my hair away from my cheeks. Those same fingers slid down my cheek to the side of my neck, and paused at the pulse there at the jugular. My eyes slipped shut. Was he using his vampire charms on me to seduce me?
He released a breath.
Opening my eyes, I found he studied me in the dark, his hands slipping across the edge of my nightgown at the ties of the neck. I felt him loosen it, and spread the material open, availing my neck and the upper portion of my chest to him. My breath caught in me.
“Are you going to kiss me?”
“Yes.” He leaned in. “Do not move,” he whispered. His breath slipped over my skin as his head dipped down and I somehow not only held still but held my breath.
The face hovered over me . . . long, wavy black hair cascading down . . . I saw his face, stark against the black of his hair as he bit me on the arm . . . I thought he was the most elegant-looking man I had ever seen.
VAMPIRE’S TRILL by Lorelei Bell
Sabrina meets Vasyl face to face (after he has saved her):
I knew I wasn’t asleep but in a fog—or rather deep in a vampire’s thrall. I recognized that when I opened my eyes as the thrall lifted. The aroma of straw and horses caught in my nose. I realized that I lay in a bed of straw in the second floor of a barn. Most importantly, my Knowing also told me that I wasn’t alone. He was here with me.
My movements set in motion the male form across from me. Vasyl slowly turned around. His dark silhouette bisected silver moonlight framed in the open haymow door in the upper section of the barn. His white silk shirt almost glowed against the ebony of his long, wavy hair. The wings were gone, now. Invisible, or whatever it was master vampires could do with them.
Vasyl slowly, sinuously stepped toward me, cutting the distance in half. Unable to avoid my fear — because he had lifted his thrall — I sat up and scooted further back into the pile of straw. As I did, I felt tightness and pain over my right shoulder. I grimaced, trying to stifle a groan, but it gushed out. My mind replayed vague, swirling scenes of being in a car, going way too fast, and someone shooting at me.
Oh. Right. Shot in the back – I had been with Leif. The moments of the car chase and wreck replayed in my mind’s eye in a quick flash, stunning me briefly. How had this happened? It was all like a blurry half-remembered dream.“Where am I?” Now there’s an original question to ask your abductor.
“Where you are safe, Cherie,” he answered in a chilly, quiet voice, almost as though he were in a church, or monastery. Still, his voice seemed magnified, although he did not use it to full volume.
“Why did you—” I stopped myself when the blanket fell away, and I realized I was nude from the waist up. “Hey! What’s the idea?” I said, frantically pulling the blanket up to hide behind—as if he hadn’t already seen everything he’d wanted to.
“Sabrina, you were shot,” he said slightly louder this time, his accent not quite as heavy as I remembered it the last time we’d met. “I had to find the bullet. You were bleeding heavily, and I had to remove the bullet from your shoulder. You’ve lost a lot of blood,” he added.
“Uh—okay…” I fumbled with the horse blanket. It was wool and itched.
“I gave you some of my blood to replace yours that you’d lost. And it helps with the healing. The wound — it was very deep — to the bone. I feared that had I done nothing, you would have died.” He made the universal shrug sign, hands out. I couldn’t see it, but I imagined his luscious lower lip had pushed out.
“Maybe I was meant to die,” I squeezed from my lungs, surprised at my sudden depressed feelings, tears sliding out of my eyes.
“Absoluement non!” he barked so sharply that I jumped. “Sabrina, I am not your enemy. I am your sworn protector. Forever. Tonight you would have died had I not pulled you from that car. You are the sibyl. You must live. The whole world depends upon it.”
Heart hammering against my chest, I took him in. “The whole world?” I said and made a little scoff. “Let’s stick with maybe a radius of a few miles, okay?”
In her teens and adult years, Lorelei has always rooted for Dracula to be the dark romantic hero, but was often disappointed. She was considered odd because of her interests in the macabre, horror/vampire movies–way before it was cool.
Links to Lorelei Bell’s website, blog, books, etc.
Lorelei’s Muse: http://loreleismuse-lorelei.blogspot.com
Fans of Vampire Ascending: