Maximilian Sterling has spent his life doing what he wants, when he wants, until he receives a summons home. His uncle has been murdered, found drained of blood in a London alleyway, and the papers are speaking of vampires. But it won’t hurt to have one last night to himself with a charming Parisienne…who unfortunately turns out to be the stuff of fiction herself, and is looking forward to having Max for supper.
American vampire hunter Ada Burgess just wanted to take a much-needed holiday. But she can’t ignore the vampires leaving a trail of destruction across Europe long enough to sightsee, including one trying to lure a delectable Englishman to a gory demise. But saving Max Sterling means having yet more problems to solve. Why was Max’s uncle murdered by a vampire? And does a devoted vampire hunter have a chance with a wealthy bon vivant?
Be Warned: bondage
“The least I can do is find out why he died.” His gaze turned flinty, determined.
“I’m happy to help you with that. Staking vampires is what I do best. Well, one of the things I do best.”
Damn! She hadn’t meant to let that innuendo slip out. The man was pouring his heart out to her, and now he was going to think that all she wanted was something carnal from him.
She did, but so far she just liked him. She cared about his opinions and feelings, which wasn’t something she usually expected to do with her lovers, nor did she expect it in return.
Max’s eyes darkened at her words, and she thought she might not have misstepped, after all. “What else do you do best?” he asked. An undercurrent, thick and darkly exciting, laced his voice.
Awareness rippled through Ada, and all thoughts of her aborted trip to Dresden and vampires flew from her mind. She was remembering the Max who had kissed her so thoroughly outside the Langham Hotel last night—was it only last night?—and she uttered a quick, silent prayer that his mind might be on the same page as hers right now.
“That information is need-to-know,” she said, her voice light.
“What if I told you I needed to know?” His mouth hovered inches from her ear, breath tickling her skin, and a shudder wracked through her at the teasing sensation.
Rational thought fled her mind. “I’d probably—oh, God!—agree.” His tongue had found the sensitive spot just under her ear, where her pulse beat in an increasing tattoo. She turned her head, her lips finding his, and let him pick her up and carry her back to the bed dominating the room. He kneeled over her, leaving a trail of kisses over her neck where her stupid high-necked dress didn’t cover her skin.
He had flicked open her dress’s buttons and peeled it away from her body before a sobering thought derailed her ardor. “Max, stop.”
Immediately his fingers stilled, and he sat up, balanced on his knees on either side of her. “Are you all right?” he asked, alarm lacing his words.
“I am,” she said. “It’s you I’m worried about.”
What was it about this man that made her care about him? She’d rescued other men from vampires before and sent them back to their lives without another thought about them. She’d done the same with other lovers, as well.
Ada didn’t like caring about other people. It made things so much more complicated.
Still, she forced herself to explain. “I just—I want you to want this,” she said softly. She swallowed, trying to dislodge the lump in her throat and failing. “You’re grieving, and I don’t want you to do something you might regret later on.”
He touched his thumb to her lips. “I don’t think that will happen, Ada.”
“I don’t want to be a distraction, Max,” she said.
He shook his head. “You aren’t. Ada, I don’t know what it is, except that it’s not all because you saved me last night, but I think the world of you. I want you no matter the circumstances.”
The words warmed her, not just in body but in soul. It wasn’t a feeling she was accustomed to, but she liked it. “All right,” she said.
“All right, I can stay the night with you?”
Anticipation sent tingles down her spine that radiated through her body. Somehow, she had the notion that spending one night together might not be enough. “Yes,” she said, not bothering to try to hide the breathiness of her reply.