Novice (Dark Kingdom) by Isabella Jordan Cover art: Reneé George BIN: 07026-02263 Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance Theme(s): Vampires Series: Dark Kingdom (#1) http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2263 When Gail Kimball lost her lying, cheating bastard of an ex boyfriend she thought she’d lose everything. On her own and working as a waitress, she can’t seem to make ends meet, let alone get ahead. Drew offers Gail a simple arrangement. He’ll pay her rent for the use of her apartment and an occasional taste of her blood. That’s all he’s asking. But the ancient vampire is all kinds of sexy, claiming her with such finesse, she’s left a needy mess. Gail wants more every time. But Drew’s enemies are coming for him. Will Drew see Gail as a liability, or is his little novice lover too precious to let go? Excerpt: “There have been other ladies I’ve spent time with, Gail, over the years,” he explained. “Like I plan to spend time with you. But no one else. Not right now.” Gail was melting into his touch. She was also trembling from the weirdest combination of fear — and attraction. “So when you were with these other ladies…” It was easier putting all of it in terms of someone else. “You just showed up from time to time, bit them, stayed the night. T-that’s it?” He leaned imperceptibly closer, and she realized he was smelling her hair. “If they were up for more pleasurable activities, we also did those.” “So you gave them money, paid for things and they gave you blood and… sex. Isn’t that being like… a whore?” she asked. His other hand sank into her hair as he paused to consider that. He didn’t seem very concerned about the line of questioning. “That’s a rather blunt way to put it.” His fingers felt so good massaging her scalp. “Back in my day, gentlemen kept mistresses. It was acceptable, like this will be, often a mutually satisfying arrangement.” Gail was really shaking under those hands, under that gaze. It wasn’t completely in fear. “Why me?” One of his large hands skimmed down her back, giving her the gentlest nudge against him and she let him pull her into his arms. Laying her cheek against the muscled wall of his chest, she barely reached his shoulder, she immediately noticed that his heart wasn’t beating. Aside from the whisper of his breath, his body was silent. “You’re lovely, Gail. I particularly like your eyes, so deep and blue. I like your manner. You’re kind, you’re intelligent. You’re brave.” “I’m not brave,” she managed at that. “You’re not? You had an idea of what I was when I showed up this evening and yet you didn’t run screaming in terror.” “Would it have done me any good?” Drew chuckled, a warm, pleasant sound against her ear. “No. Not that I would have harmed you.” “And you eventually want me to… sleep with you?” It was easier to ask now that he wasn’t staring at her. His arms tightened around her at that, she could feel the warm length of him pressing against her stomach. At first, she thought he meant that as her answer. “Pleasure makes the blood taste so much better.” He pressed his lips into her hair. “True pleasure. Not lust. I accept that it may take some time before you’ll let me have all of you. But the best things are usually more than worth the wait.” Gail let him hold her, her mind whirling with the complete craziness of the situation she found herself in.