His Ruthless Bite
Scandals With Bite: Book 4
The Lord Vampire of Rochester doesn’t do a favor without a price. And now it’s time to collect.
Gavin Drake, Baron of Darkwood is being pestered by nosy neighbors and matchmaking mothers of the mortal nobility. To escape their scrutiny, he concludes that it’s time to take a wife. After witnessing the young vampire Lenore’s loyalty to the Lord of London, he decides she is sufficient for the role.
After surviving abuse from rogue vampires, Lenore Graves wants to help other women recover from their inner wounds. She befriends mesmerist John Elliotson and uses her vampire powers to aid him with his patients. When the Lord of London declares that Lenore is the price the Lord of Rochester demands for aiding him in battle, she is terrified. Will all of her hard work be destroyed by Ruthless Rochester? Yet she can’t suppress stirrings of desire at the memory of their potent encounter.
After Gavin assures her that the marriage will be in name only, Lenore reluctantly accepts Gavin’s proposal. Determined to continue her work, she invites John Elliotson to Rochester. As they help women recover from traumas, Lenore explores her own inner turmoil and examines her attraction to her husband.
Gavin realizes his marriage is a mistake. His new baroness’s involvement with the mesmerist is dangerous. He knows he should put a stop to Lenore’s antics— yet her tender heart is warming his own and tempting him to make her his bride in truth.
As Lenore and Gavin’s relationship blossoms, the leader of a gang of rogue vampires embarks on a quest for vengeance against Gavin… using Lenore as his key.
The vellum note shook in Lenore’s trembling fingers, blurring the letters.
Not that it mattered, as she’d read the missive twice. Rafael Villar, the interim Lord Vampire of London, requested her presence.
When his carriage arrived to fetch her, it took every vestige of her will to leave the comfortable townhouse Lord Villar had leased for her, and accept his driver’s aid into the ornate conveyance.
Her shivering increased as the carriage rolled down the cobblestone street, despite the warmth of her fur-lined cloak. She tried to remind herself that Lord Villar had always been kind to her, even more so since she’d saved his reign— and likely his life— by reporting his former second in command’s treachery to the Elders.
Yet the prospect of facing the stern, surly Spaniard whose authority held supreme power over her fate turned her blood to ice.READ MORE
The shivers turned to full-fledged tremors when the carriage drew to a stop in front of the gargantuan Elizabethan manor.
“It will be all right,” the driver said as he opened the door and beheld her pallor. “You’ve done His Lordship a great service. His summons can only mean he wishes to reward you further.”
She ran a nervous tongue across her fangs and nodded as he helped her alight.
The last time she’d been to Burnrath House was when Lord Villar had held a party in her honor for aiding him. He’d presented her with a deed to a cozy townhouse so she no longer had to spend her days sleeping in the crypts.
She suspected this visit would be less festive. Villar was not a man given to social niceties or casual meetings. Since he’d already expressed his gratitude, he’d only call her to him to issue a command or a reprimand.
Her breath constricted in her lungs as her heart began to pound. The tremble in her hands spread throughout her limbs. Another attack threatened. Lenore closed her eyes and focused on breathing slow and deep while she focused on things that made her happy. Hot tea… a warm fireplace… a kitten’s purr. By the time the butler took her cloak, Lenore had a tenuous grasp of control.
The interim Lord Vampire of London awaited her in his study, his scarred face grave. His newly Changed wife leaned against the desk beside him, offering Lenore a reassuring smile.
“Thank you for answering my summons so promptly, Lenore.” Lord Villar’s voice was rife with forced gentleness. “How are you this evening?”
“Uneasy,” she answered honestly.
His scars pulled taut as he smiled, though his amber eyes remained dark with… pity? “I understand.” Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew his cigar case.
Lenore watched with rapt awe as he lit the cigar with a hand that had once been so crippled from burns that his entire left arm had been paralyzed. But then Cassandra, formerly his mortal prisoner and now his bride, had performed a miracle and repaired it. She was now the first vampire physician in London.
“I’ve received a letter from the Lord of Rochester.” Rafael gave her an expectant look, as if she should know what this had to do with her.
Lenore’s attention snapped from Rafael’s hand, her eyes darting up to meet his face, though her mind conjured the image of another, more potent, visage.
Only last autumn, Rochester had found her stumbling within the boundaries of his territory, broken from multiple assaults, starved, and so weak she had collapsed before him. He’d revived her with his own blood and aided her in making the most important journey of her life.
She’d thanked Rochester profusely for his kindness.
He’d laughed coldly.
“Oh, I would not say I am helping you out of kindness. You will owe me a favor for this, Lenore, as will Lord Villar. And I always collect my debts.”
Lenore’s breath left her body as those past words slammed her back into the present.
“He has called in the debt I owe him,” she whispered.
Rafael blinked in surprise. “Actually, he is asking for what I owe him for his aid in my battle against Clayton. I hadn’t known that you owed him a price as well.” Blowing out a cloud of blue smoke, he shrugged. “Though now the price he is asking of me makes more sense.”
“What does he want?” Lenore asked through numb lips.
Villar’s low answer was like a thunderclap. “You.”COLLAPSE