Dark secrets abound in the town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, from blackmail to fetish clubs to murder, and when blood-and-love starved vampire Ophelia Beliveau calls in the police to scare away whoever is desecrating her garden, Detective Gideon O'Toole unearths more than he ever dreamed...
Gideon left the headlights on and the engine running, got out, and held the door open for his dog. “Put the gun away, Ophelia.” He walked calmly toward her. “It’s only me."
“I know who it is.” Ophelia’s voice broke, and a tear spilled treacherously down her cheek. “Go away!”
“Don’t call me that! I am not sweet.”
She watched Gideon control himself and start again. “I brought Gretchen to stay with you. She’ll warn you if there’s any danger.”
How had he come up with such a blessed idea? “I don’t need her. Take your dog and go home.” Ophelia bit down hard, piercing her lip, ignoring the blood, fighting tears, wanting the dog like crazy. She felt so alone.
Anguish in his voice, Gideon said, “Ophelia, don’t cry. Honey, you can’t think I’d harass you after what you’ve been through tonight.”
“You are harassing me,” she choked out. “I am not honey. I am poison. Get the hell away.” Gretchen trotted up and stuck a cool nose under her hand. Ophelia’s fingers moved by instinct toward the dog’s curls, but she yanked her hand away, clenching and unclenching her fist, needing and wanting the animal so much it hurt. “Gretchen doesn’t want to stay with me. She’s yours. Take her and go away.”
“I discussed it with her on the ride over, and she agreed to stay with you.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” Ophelia cocked the shotgun. “Get off my property and don’t come back.”
Gideon swore under his breath. “Stupid or not, Gretchen is staying with you.” As if on cue, the dog planted her butt on the drive.
“Damn it, Gideon!” Ophelia let out a scream of rage and fired, kicking up gravel far too close to Gideon’s feet. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t move a goddamn hair. “Don’t you get it?” she yelled. “I’m trying to protect you from yourself. I am not safe!”
“‘That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life,’” Gideon echoed in bitter mockery. “You could at least come up with an intelligent lie.”
Ophelia opened her mouth and shut it again. Pissing him off was what she wanted. Still, the disgust in his voice tore into her.
“I’m out of here,” he said. “I won’t come back unless you need me.” He turned to the dog. “Stay, Gretchen. Stay with Ophelia.” He got in his car and backed into the turnaround, flinging his last words through the window. “What makes you think I give a damn about being safe?”
Reviewer: Valkyrie's Lady
I love books about the South. I love books about vampires, too! Conveniently, this book has both. Plus a great plot, bad guys, sexy guys, a splendid heroine and more. Ophelia Beliveau ended up back in Bayou Gavotte after several years away. Her sister, Violet, runs a vamp/bondage/night club and is impatiently waiting for her 13-yr old daughter to grow her own set of fangs. That's the calmest thing going on.
Ophelia is a landscaper per excellence. Someone has totally trashed her home gardens, plus nailed a stray cat to her front door. The cat is a nuisance—the garden is a whole other thing. This is how she makes her living. The police are called and Gideon O'Toole the local homeboy arrives to take her statement. The attraction is instant but, as usual, life interferes. Trying to remain professional, Gideon knows there is something he's missing and something that Ophelia isn't telling. Ophelia isn't telling a lot. And that lot is apt to cause trouble for all involved and for some who don't want to be.
Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil is a great story! I loved the plot and didn't figure out the why until the end. The characters were wonderful and I especially liked the stories of Zelda, the 13-yr old niece who doesn't know if she wants to end up a vampire or not and her issues. Well done!
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