Today we have author Laurie London sharing an exclusive excerpt of her newest book, Embraced by Blood with us. It’s part of her Sweetblood Series. (Hint – her books are paranormals about vampires, in case you couldn’t tell ;).) Without further ado, the purpose of this post!
Is she a deadly temptation…or the one woman who can quench his eternal thirst?
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed…then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together…and into an assassin’s snare.
Out on the main drag, they slowed their clip to a fast walk. As they passed a sandwich board advertising late night psychic readings and a second-hand clothing store with barred windows, Alfonso grabbed her arm and yanked her inside.
“What are you doing?” Lily said, as the door bell jangled loudly over their heads. The smell of stale clothes and old furniture reminded her of all the times she and her mother went antique hunting.
“Since you wouldn’t stay inside the car, we need to disguise your scent in case they recognize it. Muddle it up. With their all-blood diet, a Darkblood’s sense of smell isn’t all that acute, but I don’t want to take chances.” He sifted through the rack by the door, the wire hangers clicking together with purpose, like he was on the hunt for something in particular.
“But we don’t have time for—” She eyed the long fake fur vest he held up in front of her. “That’s hideous. With all the bare spots, it looks like it’s got mange. Who knows where it’s been?”
“That’s the point.”
He took it to the counter where he grabbed a bent straw cowboy hat.
“Just do as I say.”
When she didn’t, he spun her around anyway and started to loosen her ponytail.
His fingers in her hair sent shock waves echoing through her system. “What the heck are you doing?”
“Just finishing the job.”
Before she could stop him, he pulled out her hair band and plunked the hat on her head. He turned her to face him again, smoothing her hair behind her shoulders with what seemed to be a little more care than was necessary, an odd, unreadable expression creasing his face. She caught his eye and, in an instant, the look was gone, replaced by icy determination.
“You’re going to make me wear this get-up while you get to waltz in looking normal?”
“Fine.” He grabbed a blonde afro wig still sporting a price tag and pulled it over his head. “Happy?”
She laughed, holding her cowboy hat in place to keep it from falling off. “You can’t be serious. You’re going to attract attention looking that way, not deflect it.”
He shrugged. “You’ll see.”
“Well, you look ridiculous.”
“Thank you,” he said as he tucked his hair inside.
He paid the shopkeeper and within minutes, they were standing outside the club a few blocks away. Its giant neon sign, a flashing arrow and caricature of a bikini-clad woman, lit up Alfonso’s wig as if it were rainbow-colored.
“You’d better be right about this.” She flicked the length of the vest behind her hips to have easy access to her weapons, and tucked her fingers into the front pockets of her field ops fatigues to avoid touching the matted fur too much. “Halloween is over,” she grumbled, feeling like a weird version of a cowboy with the hat and duster. Either that, or a female pimp minus the gaudy jewelry.
“Trust me. We’ll fit right in.”
You’ve gotta love some great hero/heroine interaction, yes? Especially in fraught situations, or when they’re going “undercover” – like the episode of Bones where Booth and Brennan go to the circus… What’s your favorite thing about the hero and heroine in romances?
I love snarky interaction. Gotta have the sparks! I think that’s why so many tv series have the couples sniping at each other all the time. We never get tired of it.