Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black's been catching her z's in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there's more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can't very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she'd meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman-dead or alive. Rich, powerful, and drop-dead gorgeous, Victor's the perfect man for a novice neck-biter like Elvi. He's willing to teach her everything he knows, but he'll have to do it fast. Someone's out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe-and satisfied-for all eternity.
Previously published in the print anthology Wish List. All Lady Prudence wants for Christmas is to keep her family out of the poorhouse. Easily done if her father would stop gambling away what little is left of their fortune. But when Pru arrives at London's most notorious gaming hell to haul her father home, she marches right into its wickedly handsome and utterly infuriating proprietor, Lord Stockton-who has no intention of letting a lady into his establishment. With that wicked man in her way, Pru knows she's going to need nothing short of a miracle to make her Christmas wish come true.
Bastard daughter to the king, Rosamunde was raised in a convent and wholly prepared to take the veil . . . until good King Henry showed up with a reluctant husband in tow for her. Suddenly, she found herself promising to love, honor, and obey Aric. But Rosamunde's education had not covered a wedding night, and the stables were a poor example for an untried girl. Would Aric bite her neck like the animals did their mates? The virile warrior seemed capable of such animal passion, but his eyes promised something sweeter. And Rosamunde soon learned that while she may have trouble with obeying him, it would not be hard to lover her new husband forever.
This holiday season, join two of today's most popular paranormal authors for a special look into their worlds, where creatures are always stirring and no one sleeps through the night. . . . The Bite Before Christmas The Gift by Lynsay Sands Teddy Brunswick knows about the immortals among us. He's worked with them, called them friend-but he never counted on being snowed in with one over Christmas. Katricia Argeneau is a tasty little bundle and she seems to feel the same way about him. Problem is, he's not sure she feels quite the same way. After all, the snowstorm has derailed her blood delivery, which leaves him the only available meal on the menu. . . . Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost Cat and Bones are looking forward to a normal holiday-at least as "normal" as it gets for the combustible vampire couple and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a stranger shows up and reveals long-buried family secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer . . . and lives.
Once Bitten . . . One minute Leigh is walking home in the early hours of the morning, and the next a vampire is sinking his teeth into her neck. Turns out it was a rogue vampire marked for termination, but it does Leigh little good because the damage's already been done. She's become one of them. Lucian Argeneau, hunter of rogue vampires, has been alive for over two thousand years, and there's very little to excite him anymore. Food has become tasteless, sex is ordinary. Then Leigh drops into his life. Suddenly he finds himself craving coffee . . . and imagining the sassy brunette atop the black satin sheets on his nice big bed. It's Lucian's job now to enlighten Leigh on the inner workings of being immortal . . . and tutoring her is igniting a fire in him that hasn't burned in centuries. But until they stop a renegade bloodsucker from destroying the human race, passion will have to wait!
Sexy private eye Jackie Morrisey admits Vincent Argeneau is the hottest guy she's ever met, dead or alive, but she's supposed to protect him from a killer, not fall in love with him.
With their very lives at stake, love was the last thing on their minds. But then they were Bitten by Cupid . . . A daring vampire thinks she can conquer anything, but when she's paired with a mortal detective, she'll find her life--and her heart--in grave danger . . . An innocent woman falls into the arms of a mysterious man when she can't get a killer's terrifying thoughts out of her head . . . A stunning beauty should be thrilled when her lost love finally returns, but instead she fears for their immortal lives . . . On Valentine's Day, some women want roses. But some just want to make it through the day alive. In Bitten By Cupid, New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands and newcomers Pamela Palmer and Jaime Rush present three tales of dangerous desire, where giving in to temptation could turn deadly, and even immortality won't keep you safe from Cupid's bow.
Something had to be done. It had gone on too long, and if King Henry received one more letter from either of the feuding nobles, he'd go mad. What Lady Tiernay needed was...well, she was a beauty, but whoever married the nag would truly get a mixed blessing. And Lord Holden-could all the rumors regarding his cold heart be lies? The man certainly had sobered since the death of his first wife. If he were smart, Henry would force the two to wed, make them fatigue each other with their schemes and complaints. Yes, it was only fitting for them to share the bed they made-'til death did them part! Who could tell, perhaps they would even find each other suitable; perhaps Lord Holden would find in his bride the sweet breath of new life. Heaven alone knew what would happen when two foes were the last things between themselves and the passion they'd never known they wanted.
Legend has it that Armand Argeneau is a killer in the bedroom . . . But with all three of his late wives meeting unfortunate and untimely ends, is this sexy immortal a lover or a murderer? That's what Eshe d'Aureus intends to find out. As an enforcer, it's her job to bring rogue vampires to justice, even if the rogue in question makes her blood race red hot. Armand knew she was trouble the moment Eshe roared into town on her motorcycle, clad in tight black leather. She claims she's hiding from dangerous fiends, though he suspects something more. But after three wives who've all had trouble remaining, well, undead, Armand is reluctant to open his heart again. Then strange accidents start to happen, each deadlier than the last, and Armand realizes he may not have much time to prove he's a lover, not a slayer.
Rumor has it that Lady Murie, King Edward III's goddaughter, is stunningly beautiful, with bright blue eyes, golden hair, and a bewitching smile. Rumor also has it that the doting king has spoiled her rotten. When Sir Balan spies her wailing and sobbing in public, he decides that Lady Murie is the last person he would ever wish to have as a bride. But there is far more to Murie than meets the eye-and soon Balan discovers, to his great delight, that he'd be lucky indeed to deserve such a bride. Unfortunately, he's not the only one to discern this truth . . . and the other suitor is much less honorable. Now a plot is afoot and Balan must prove himself a chivalrous knight and win the love of Lady Murie . . .
Let the chase begin! Fleeing to an abbey isn't really Seonaid Dunbar's first choice. She'd been trained alongside her brother as a Scottish warrior at her father's knee. But running was preferable to wedding Blake Sherwell, a man the English court calls "the Angel." Seonaid knows there are no English angels, only English devils-and more than one way to elude a devilish suitor, even if King Henry himself has ordered her to marry him. Blake believed the next countess of Sherwell would be sitting at home-embroidering perhaps-as she eagerly awaited his arrival. Instead, she is hiding behind the walls of a new stronghold and readying her defenses. To win this battle of wills, Blake will need every weapon at his disposal: swords, sleeping drafts, claymores, sweet words, and passionate kisses. But he has to catch her first . . .
The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after . . . Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened . . . Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who had robbed him of his name and title . . . only to discover that he had died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited "wife"- certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new "husband" . . . and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!
She thought her date was out of this world. Actually, he was not of this world . . . We've all been on bad dates, nightmare dates, dreadful experiences that turned out to be uniquely memorable in the very worst way. But at least our partners for these detestable evenings were more or less . . . human! Now Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland -- four of the very best writers currently exploring the dangerous seduction of the supernatural -- offer up dating disasters (and unexpected delights) of a completely different sort: dark, wicked, paranormally sensual assignations with werewolves, demon lovers, and the romantically challenged undead. Sexy, witty, chilling, and altogether remarkable, here is proof positive that some love matches are made someplace other than heaven.
The deliciously witty first novel from Lynsay Sands. Lady Emmalene Eberhart wanted to do it. She'd even begged an audience with the King so that he would order her husband to do it- because she was determined to be a good wife. But then her husband died, and Emma remained a virgin. Now the innocent young beauty finds herself with an ample dowry and promised to Amaury de Aneford, a landless knight whose able sword helped defend the King's crown. Surely her new husband would want to do the deed, for his rugged good looks certainly make Emma's heart skip more than a beat. And Emma suspects there is more to a wedding night than just a sound sleep . . . and more to true love than she ever imagined.
They call him the Devil . . . He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly . . . and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can't help but be drawn to this warrior . . . for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known. They may call him whatever they wish, but Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh, cares only for the future of his clan. He must find a wife, a woman to bear him sons and heed his commands. He has no need for beauty or grace, but one taste of his lovely bride's sweet lips and the sultry feel of her skin arouse an untamed passion. Perhaps there's more to marriage than he thought . . .
She never expected to marryAnnabel was about to take the veil to become a nun, when her mother suddenly arrived at the abbey to take her home . . . so that she can marry the Scottish laird whois betrothed to her runaway sister She knows nothing aboutbeing a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed. He never expected to fall in loveFrom the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy, sweet bride . . . and the fact that shesblessed with lush curves only makes him utter hisown prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, hell move the Highlands themselves to save her. For thoughAnnabels not the bride he planned for, shes the only woman he desires . . .
Writing together for the first time, national bestselling authors Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands present the darkly passionate story of two men sworn to conquer the hunger that pounds in their blood--and the women who may be their only salvation. . . When Darkness Falls. . . Cathal MacNachton and Connall MacAdie are cousins bound by far more than blood ties and the rugged Highland landscape their clan calls home. The ancient curse of their ancestry has fated them to live by night with an unquenchable thirst that neither can tame. The only thing that can save their souls is marriage to Outsiders--mortals whose untainted blood will weaken the curse in their children, and break the chains of fear that have made their clan a breed apart. Bridget Callan and Eva Caxton are the women who will shape the clan's destiny. Marriage to these strange and mysterious men rescues each of them from desperate circumstances--and draws them into a web of danger, desire, and intrigue. But Eva and Bridget refuse to be pawns in the battle that erupts as the future of the cursed clan hangs in the balance--a war that must be fought after the sun sets over the deep, still lochs. Whatever the outcome, they'll stand strong by their brooding warrior lairds, willing and able to face down their enemies--and fulfill their desire for eternal love. . .
Previously published in the print anthology Mistletoe & Magic. When a fourteenth-century maiden named Odel loses her father, she learns from her aunt that she must marry-and that a handful of fairy dust can separate men from mice. Having sworn off love, Odel is reluctant to greet her many suitors, until one catches her eye. Kind and generous, Michelle shows Odel how good it can feel to fall in love-too bad Odel can't trust her heart. Will Michelle destroy what little hope Odel had for men, or will they be able to keep their love aflame? A classic novella from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands.
Desperately seeking a husband . . . Suzette is not like other heiresses; she wants a poor husband, a gentleman who will be so grateful for her dowry that he will allow her access to it so that she can pay off her father's gambling debts. When this alluring beauty encounters Daniel Woodrow-handsome, titled, single . . . and even more impoverished than she could have hoped for-it seems Suzette's wildest dreams have come true. But Daniel has not been truthful. Tired of being accosted by an endless stream of vapid coquettes and their fortune-hunting mothers, Daniel has decided to plead poverty to stop them in their tracks. Yet here is a most refreshing and delectable lady, who claims to be thrilled by his penury. Now all Daniel has to do to find true happiness is to keep a little white lie alive . . . while avoiding a villain who's determined to prevent this union by any means necessary.
Only one man could set her heart ablaze . . . Lady Averill Mortagne learned to control her fierce temper as a young girl. But if her father insists on parading her before one more English lord who looks askance at her flame-colored hair, she'll simply scream! Her only respite is the time she spends with Kade Stewart, the wounded Scot her brother brought home from the Crusades. Who could have imagined a Highland warrior would be the only gentleman around? Lady Averill helped save his life, and for that Kade is truly grateful. She is also almost unbearably beautiful, but he could never subject such a sweet and gentle lady to the rough life of a Stewart laird's bride . . . or could he? When she braves an unexpected danger by his side, Averill will prove to Kade that her heart is as fiery as her hair . . . and that submitting to their scorching passion would be heaven indeed.
New York Times bestselling authors Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands combine talents in their most thrilling book yet. Set in the rugged Scottish Highlands, here is the spellbinding tale of two men destined to live by night with a hunger only the blood of Outsiders can quench--and a passion only two extraordinary women can satisfy. . . Cousins Heming MacNachton and Tearlach MacAdie are bound by the same blood, the same ancient curse, and now the same quest: to search out the enemies of their clan--hunters who consider them soulless demons and intend to exterminate them. But no sooner have Heming and Tearlach begun than they are drugged, separated, and taken captive. One is brought deep into the borderlands of Scotland, the other, in the dreary depths of Northern England. Brona Kerr and Lady Lucy Blytheswood are irresistibly drawn to the mysterious prisoners. Together, the women resolve to save them. In doing so, they will safeguard the clans future and their own. Now Brona and Lucy must cross perilous terrain to fight for their lives--and for the men with whom they discover an eternal passion they never imagined. . .
His Immortal Embrace The Yearning, by Hannah Howell Tormented by an ancient curse, the young men of Clan MacCordy reach manhood only to walk forever in darkness, thirsting for blood--and Alpin MacCordy is no different. He must wed for coin and land, despite his betrothed's terror--and his own fascination for another woman, Lady Sophie Hay. . . Bitten, by Lynsay Sands After brooding Keeran MacKay saves Emily Wentworth Collins from a storm-tossed ship: he offers her shelter in his secluded castle. But when a savage kiss reveals Keeran's true nature, Emily realizes that yielding to Keeran's untamed desire may change her own life. . . forever. Stranger in the Night, by Sara Blayne Georgiana Thornberry hopes to unearth ancient treasure while exploring the moldering ruins of her ancestral home. Instead she encounters Julius Lathrop. Does the enigmatic--and disturbingly attractive--stranger hold the key to a family legend? Or something far more sinister? The Awakening, by Kate Huntington Orphaned Thalia Layton is stricken to hear that her beloved, eccentric Aunt Cordelia has taken ill. But upon her arrival at Cordelia's remote estate, Thalia discovers that her aunt has harbored dangerous secrets--and that Thalia's own attraction to Adrian Lucerne, Cordelia's mysterious--and oddly nocturnal--companion, may prove to be a sensual temptation that will cost her life. . .
This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones-living and dead . . . There's no place like home for the horrordays-unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here-and whether it's a solstice sÉance gone demonically wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!
This vampire has been alone for far too long . . . As one of the most ancient in the Argeneau clan, Cale Valens has given up on finding a life mate. His friends and family, however, have not. In fact, they believe they've finally found his perfect match. Getting them together, however, requires one little white lie . . . Alexandra Willan is in a panic. Her restaurant is due to open in two weeks, but her chef just walked out. Then a highly recommended replacement arrives, an impossibly handsome culinary genius who sends electric tingles racing through her body . . . Except he can't cook. In fact, Cale hasn't eaten real food in two thousand years. Yet he's determined to prove to Alex his prowess in the kitchen . . . and elsewhere. Because never has he hungered so for any mortal woman. And not just for a taste of her, but for the whole delicious feast!
Let the hunt begin ... Lisa Madison wants a husband, and she has just the candidate in mind: Robert Langley. Trouble is, the infuriating man insists on seeing her as the impish girl she once was--even as every other gentleman in London has taken notice of her womanly . . . charms. When her beauty lands her in danger, it's Robert who comes to the rescue, only to announce his affections are not of the romantic kind! Robert saw enough sorrow in his parents' union to know he wants nothing to do with marriage, which is exactly what he'll be trapped into if he acts on his desire for the irksome siren. And then Lisa does what Robert least expects: gives up on him! As feigned indifference gives way, blistering passion burns at last. But just before the pair can succumb to hard-won bliss, an enemy with unfinished business lurks, threatening to destroy them both.
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