Every author has a book of her heart. One that she knew was the very best she could do. I’ve had two of those books of the heart. Seduced is one of them. Everything I love about paranormal stories is in there—the thrill, the goosebump awe, even a touch of horror. And I had so much fun writing this book. It took only 5 weeks to slam down 85,000 words, because I was “living” the story every day of that five weeks. Today’s Snippet theme is fireworks. I could have chosen a kiss, but this is so much more fun. Anyone love zombies?
“…The electrifying follow-up to INTO THE DARKNESS is a breathless read. Devlin’s intricate vampire society is filled with compelling personalities. The chemistry between the characters is explosive, and the horrific villain will give you goosebumps…the ending will leave you begging for more.”
4 ½ Stars and TOP PICK!, RT BOOKreviews
“…This is a deliciously edgy series with mind-blowing sex scenes that sizzle…Ms. Devlin’s DARK REALM series is devastatingly erotic and pushes the boundaries in both premise and sexual explicitness. Ms. Devlin pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…”
For eight hundred years Nicolas Montfaucon has dedicated his life to preventing the rebirth of an immortal evil. But now a terrible storm has assaulted unsuspecting New Orleans—and the beast walks the earth once more. “The Devourer” has been awakened, and there is only one in the besieged city who can help Nicolas defeat the foul creature—a mysterious and beautiful enigma who haunts the handsome Revenant’s erotic waking dreams and enflames his passionate obsessions.
Chessa Tomas is not an ordinary policewoman. A vampire, she works only at night, patrolling a seamy and unseen underworld of roiling chaos. Though Nicolas is sensuality incarnate, Chessa wants no part of him or his kind—but she cannot close her eyes to the unholy malevolence that would consume their world. And Nicolas has uncovered the secret lust that rules her—a steaming, uncontrollable desire he intends to unleash, bending Chessa to his will by making her most forbidden fantasies real.
The bodies they’d come to inspect lay on a tarp floor in black bags. The young man knelt and unzipped the first one. A woman in her mid-forties, gray roots showing beneath auburn colored hair, stared sightlessly upward. Her smocked denim dress with its embroidered flowers was marred by the large dark hole that sank in the center of her soft upper abdomen and the blood-spatter spotting the crisply ironed fabric.
“Looks like he used a post-hole digger to rip through her,” the young man said, pushing his glasses up his nose. “What kind of person would do a thing like that?”
The next three bodies had similar injuries.
Working silently, they finished making notes, Alex holding his breath over each corpse.
“You have to sign out,” their escort said. “I’ll escort you to the checkpoint.”
Lit as bright as any high school football field on Friday night, they made their way between the tents, passing people rolling gurneys with more bodies in FEMA black bags.
Alex was signing the checkout roster when screams ripped through the night, coming from the direction of the row of refrigerator cars.
Chessa sprinted back through the grounds, reaching for her weapon as medical personnel scrambled past, horror twisting their features. Chessa tried to halt one woman to ask what had happened, but she twisted away and kept on running.
At the corner of one trailer, she glanced over her shoulder to find Alex standing close by, his weapon drawn. He nodded to her, and she ducked around the corner, the stock of her Glock 40 gripped between both hands as she scanned the area.
Deep in the shadows she detected movement. The figure beyond the end of one truck ramp moved oddly, jerking, twitching, then stomping rapidly, almost too fast for the eye to follow.
Not human, that was for damn sure. She tightened her grip and took a stealthy step forward. When another twitching figure stepped suddenly in front of her, her mouth gaped.
The man was a walking corpse, his features bloated like a body too long in the water, the skin of his face peeling away to reveal underlying muscle and scraped bone. The odor that emanated from him had her stomach lurching.
Before she could do more than blink, his hand shot up so quickly she didn’t have time to dodge.
“Shit!” she cried out, as he grabbed her throat and dragged her closer. His gaping maw of a mouth opened wide to reveal a row of jagged teeth.
Choking, she shoved the barrel of her weapon into his belly and fired off three rounds.
The shots passed through him, dinging against the trailer behind him, but he didn’t loosen his grip.
Something large and solid barreled into her and the monster from the side, sending them both flying. Alex didn’t stop, rolling quickly to his feet.
Chessa leapt to hers, but not as quickly as the ghoul who rose straight from his back to a standing position, his arms outstretched toward her. “What the fuck?” she cried out, this time ducking beneath his grasp, only to have his hand grab at the back of her jacket and jerk her off her feet.
She swung her foot forward and slammed it backward against his knee, but he seemed as immovable as a tree trunk.
Suddenly, a shot rang out from beside her and the monster’s head exploded, splattering her with gray gelatin and coagulating blood. The hand gripping her tight, opened, dropping her to the ground. The corpse crumpled beside her.
Chessa kicked it, cursing, and scrambled away.
“Zombies, Cheech,” Alex shouted, already searching the shadows for the next one. “Aim for their heads. Move it!”
Together, they raced down the row of tractor trailers while Chessa stretched her senses, scenting the air for the smell of rotting corpses, listening for the heartbeats of the living and finding wildly beating hearts as workers huddled beneath wheel wells.
Scent proved an elusive clue as the breeze changed direction, but she found more of the creatures by their tell-tale jerking movements and eerily rapid advances.
With Alex’s back sliding close to hers to watch for anything coming up behind them, she paused to pop off rounds when she spotted one, then moved forward again.
She fired until she ran out of bullets and dropped her clip, quickly reached for another from her pocket and rammed it up, filling the chamber with another round.
Knowing she had only one clip left, she crept forward, scanning left to right and back again, her Glock following the direction of her gaze.
More strange stomps sounded behind her. Alex squeezed off shots, another zombie, then another stomped into view, their features twisted in frightening leers. She aimed, fired, missing as they rushed forward in their halting gait that looked like a film in fast forward. Her mouth dry, she drew a deep breath to steady her aim and dropped them.
They moved trailer to trailer, peeking inside, finding bodies writhing in body bags, finding more roaming the grounds. Only when the minutes dragged on without finding new targets did she draw a deep breath.
Chessa straightened and lowered her weapon, glancing behind her to find Alex sliding his gun into his holster.
“How many rounds do you have left?” she asked, dropping an empty clip and ramming her last one home.
“I have a box in my trunk.”
“I have to reload.”
Alex lifted his hand to glide his fingers over her cheek, drawing something sticky from her skin. “You know, we’ll have to hit all the bodies left in the trailers. Can’t take any chances.”
Chessa nodded toward the people cautiously emerging from their hiding places. “What will we tell them?”
Alex smirked. “That a demon called The Devourer paid them a visit and sprinkled a voodoo priestess’s powder over the bodies to make them rise from the dead?”
She rolled her eyes. “Uh…no. Think of something less absurd.”
A grin broke across his face. “Good thing it was us here, huh?”
Realizing she’d missed a few clues while they’d battled zombies, she gave him a searching glance. “Yeah, who else would have known how to kill them?”
When she’d streaked toward the tractor trailers, he’d kept pace. He’d also managed better than she to sight their rapid movement and drop them before they’d crept too close.
Not something any human should have managed.
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