What’s a girl to do when she finds out the man of her dreams is a 340-year-old vampire? Run like hell or offer her heart.
Being a vampire hasn’t been easy for Storm Richardson. He’s not programmed to kill or harm, unless he needs to feed. When he meets Stephanie 'Stevie' Persing, he knows he’s found his mate. But if he crosses the line between work and play, he risks losing the only person who matters—her.
Stevie’s been in love with Storm since the moment she laid eyes on him. He’s brooding, intense, and her one weakness. But is her heart too steep a price to pay for his love, especially when she discovers his deepest secrets?
Reader Advisory: This book contains minimal scenes of rape in a flashback as well as smokin’ hot sex in a hot tub, a pickup truck, and the shower.
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Copyright © Wendi Zwaduk 2010
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.
Excerpt From: My Immortal
“Just pretend we like each other. That shouldn’t be too difficult.”
Storm Richardson stared at his partner, Stephanie ‘Stevie’ Persing, across the bench seat of her beloved jet black 1978 T-top Chevy Camaro. She ran her fingers through her dark hair and gave the curls a fluff as her other hand slid across the steering wheel with a lover’s touch. Hell yes, he wanted those hands all over his body.
Stevie checked the mirror and bit her bottom lip. “If we act more like a couple, then people won’t think we’re spying on them.”
If he had his way, he’d force Stevie to stop the car so he could scoop her into his arms.
I already like you. Hell maybe I even love you, Stevie.
Pretending to be her boyfriend wouldn’t require an act on his part. He’d liked her from the moment he saw her five years ago, except she’d made it clear she didn’t mirror the feeling. He assumed she liked him as a friend, but he wasn’t sure. Hell, every moment he spent around her, he smelled her arousal. The problem was she didn’t know his true identity. How could you love someone you hardly know?
He liked her endearing tendency to chatter in excess in almost every situation. Stevie insisted on talking when all he wanted to do was stare at her.
She gripped the steering wheel and her knuckles turned white. Was she nervous? Excited?
“Storm, we’re working the Chatty Catty Club tonight to catch Bruce Tripp in the act. Edie’s ready to rip me apart because we haven’t produced any damning pictures. Doesn’t your friend Falco bounce there?”
Storm frowned and glared out the window at the illuminated main drag of New Haven, Ohio. The neon highlighted the front row of stores and the silvery sidewalk stretching into the distance, but he didn’t need the enhanced lighting.
Being a vampire hyper charged his senses. He could see things at great distances, feel the tiniest pinprick on his supersensitive skin, and hear every conversation in a crowded bar. He didn’t need the work as a private investigator—being immortal gave him a lot of time to save up his resources. Then again, to stay under the radar, he didn’t stick to one profession for more than a few years. Blending in worked just fine, until he met Stevie.
Stevie managed to whip his sense of smell and taste into warp drive. The sweet scent of her fear knotted his insides. He didn’t want her to be afraid when they were on the cusp of catching yet another cheating spouse. What was the true reason for her apprehension? He yearned to climb into her mind and help ease her fears.
For the night to go smoothly, he needed to pull his thoughts away from Stevie and continue mentally prepping. Their current client, the ever-exciting Edie Tripp, was just that—a trip and a pain in the ass. She made his brain ache. She suspected her husband of cheating with his secretary and wanted Storm and Stevie to catch him in the act, or as close to ripping the sheets as possible.
He needed something to get his mind off the pesky woman and the lousy way he was about to spend a perfectly beautiful Friday night.
“So, will Todd be there?” Stevie asked, her voice tinged with annoyance. “You didn’t answer me.”
“Yes, sweetheart. Todd’s the bouncer, and yes, he’ll be there.” Storm smirked. His friend and fellow vampire, Todd Falco, could crush iron with his bare hands.
At the traffic signal, Stevie screeched to a halt. She turned to him and rolled her eyes. “You know what I meant, Storm. Do you think he could get us through the line faster? I hate to wait in heels. Then again, you know how much I hate working in heels to begin with.”
Storm rubbed his jaw, blotting out a smile. She hated anything but comfy sneakers or good old socks. Unfortunately, clubbing required sexy clothing and footwear. Whether she was comfy or not, she looked darn cute jacked up four inches in knee-high boots.
“If we cut in line, honey, then we’ll give ourselves away. The point is to blend in. Don’t worry about the heels. You’ll be able to sit at the bar. Allan’s waiting on you to give you the scoop about our clients.”
Though it was nearly impossible for him to disappear in the crowd; he was a freaking vampire. A bloodsucker and damned sex fiend.
He couldn’t blend in if he tried.
For some strange reason, the entire time I was reading this book, I had the theme song from the old movie, High Noon, bouncing around in my brain. The words go something like, "Do not forsake me, oh my darling, on this our wedding day...I do not know what fate awaits me, I only know I must be strong...and I must face a man who hates me, or lie a coward in my grave..."
The story is of a sheriff, played by Gary Cooper, who marries Grace Kelly, but then has to go out to fight an outlaw the same day. Grace implores him not to fight, and says she will leave him if he does. In My Immortal, Storm is a vampire who must fight another vamp who is challenging him. Stevie has already left him because of his undead state, even though they have been formally mated. While a modern vampire tale doesn't immediately bring an old Western to mind, the circumstances are at least somewhat the same.
Stevie can't come to terms with what Storm is, and he can't make her understand that his love for her is not an unnatural thing, as she seems to think. He also needs to show his supremacy to his sire and rival, O'Toole, so that Stevie will be safe.
Three hundred odd years of life experience have given Storm the wherewithal to seduce Stevie and make her his own. She is madly in love with him, but can she live with his vamp quirks? Their lovemaking is electrifying, and it is that very passion that makes Storm reluctant to tell Stevie what he is, until he is forced to acknowledge that his arch rival O'Toole has already communicated that fact to her. All he can hope for is that she will somehow allow her love to overcome her revulsion toward him.
At the showdown between Storm and O'Toole, as Stevie is faced with the very real possibility that either Storm or she or both might well die at O'Toole's hands, she has to make a split second decision on how she wants to spend the rest of her life. Will she and Storm choose immortality? Life? Or will O'Toole choose death for them? Will Storm die a coward, or victoriously face the man who hates him?
High Noon is a classic story, and so is My Immortal in a different way. The plot is straightforward and somewhat predictable, but it moves along well and has a satisfying HEA ending.
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