Happy Sunday everyone! Thank you for taking a moment and joining me here for today's A Paranormal Sunday.
I'm in the mood for some vampires!How about you? :)
Today I have one of my favorite vampire paranormal romance authors for our snippet today. Felicity Heaton's Heart Of Darkness topped as one of my favorites for 2011 and when you can still remember the thrill of emotions the story stirred long after reading it you know it was a good book and a fabulous author. Seems like a good idea to share this gold nugget with all my fellow book lovers always looking for a good book.
Let's get started!
Heart Of Darkness
Back of the Book
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister...Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves...Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?
Aleksandr’s plan was flawless. Capture a vampire hunter and get information on the rest. The trouble was, so far they hadn’t found one. There wasn’t even a sign of activity tonight. Elise wished there was. It would take her mind off her latest irritation. Aleksandr had chosen female guards.
Walking into his private reception room on the first floor to discover five women from the guard there hadn’t shocked or angered her in the least. What had annoyed her was the sight of him reclining on the couch, eyeing them as though he was planning to sleep his way through them.
That and the fact he had chosen the prettiest women.
Well, he could sleep with them for all she cared but he wasn’t getting into her bed and she wasn’t going anywhere near his.
Elise shifted her focus to her surroundings, taking in the narrow alleyways between the old painted buildings. The niggling feeling in the pit of her stomach didn’t go away. Whenever she looked at the two blonde female guards with them, she wanted to grind her teeth and growl.
Aleksandr looked across at her and Elise schooled her features, hiding the jealousy that was riding her and not giving her a moment’s rest. She was a danger to Aleksandr when she was so preoccupied and she knew better than to lose her focus when out on the hunt.
It was shameful of her to behave such a way.
That thought alone sharpened her focus and pushed out any jealous thoughts. She was a guard and one of the best, and she wasn’t going to ruin her reputation because of something as petty as envy.
“Remain close.” Aleksandr fell into step beside her, as near as he had been during their tour of Prague. Elise ignored him and the dark anger that bubbled within her. He had been condescending all evening. Remain close. It was the tenth time he’d said that and whenever she heard it, she wanted to remind him that she was a soldier and could handle a vampire hunter.
“If there is an attack, stay near to me and I will protect you.” The Russian clip to those words annoyed her tonight, adding to her frustration and her desire to tell him where to go.
She bit her tongue and moved on ahead of him, striding to lead the pack and give herself some space.
She hadn’t needed a man to protect her since joining the guard at seventeen, over two hundred years ago, and she certainly wasn’t about to start needing one now. She could take care of herself.
Aleksandr came up beside her. He evidently couldn’t read subliminal messages and she couldn’t tell him outright to leave her alone. She had been wrong to speak to him in such a disrespectful way the other night. She humoured him, allowing him to feel as though he was protecting her only because he was their prince.
Elise reminded herself that he wasn’t a prince. It didn’t stick. He might have renounced his title and broken ties with his family to avoid tarnishing their peaceful name, but the blood that flowed in his veins was still Nemov. He could forsake his family to protect them, but he couldn’t surrender his name so easily, and he couldn’t change the hearts and minds of every vampire in Europe. They all thought of him as royalty.
And all would protect him given the chance.
Elise focused on that, clinging to the thought of doing her duty and protecting him, rather than his closeness and the way he spoke to her so intimately. Her life was nothing compared with his. She would gladly give it in order to ensure his survival during an attack. It would be an honourable death.
She walked on ahead, towards an intersection, scanning the area. It was still quiet.
“Wait.” Aleksandr caught her upper arm, drawing her back and close to him. “We are not alone.”
Elise focused harder but couldn’t sense anything. Was Aleksandr able to sense farther afield than her? He was four times her age and from a stronger bloodline, and had spent half of his years hunting. His senses would be more attuned than hers were.
He signalled to the two female guards. They moved closer, forming a tight group with her and Aleksandr.
Elise’s heartbeat quickened. She kept scouring the area but nothing came back. Finally, two human signatures registered on her senses and her instincts whispered of danger.
A very Russian sounding curse rolled off Aleksandr’s tongue and his grip on her arm increased. He pulled her closer to him and she yanked her arm free. It didn’t matter whether two hunters were coming their way and she was a little afraid, she wasn’t going to let him coddle her. She had fought vampire hunters before, although she had never killed one. Perhaps tonight she would change that and claim the life of one of the hunters coming towards her. Or both.
Your Turn! What do you think of the author's writing style? I've always found Felicity's writing to carry a lot of emotion. The sensual level is ever present and the author always shows us the inner most growth of the characters throughout each story no matter the book. She writes with grit while allowing the characters to fall in love....with bite. It's why we read paranormal romance, right? We like grit, blood and love making!