Dark Desire [a vampire romance--book one] [NOOK Book]

Overview

The year is 1795: Kirsten's father is anxious to marry off the last of his seven daughters. The man he wants her to marry has everything: he's handsome, wealthy, influential. But rumors surround Valdemar, the prospective bridegroom. Servants whisper he is cursed. Local folklore tells of a string of women who perish under strange circumstances. The kitchen staff lay wagers that the bride will be dead within a week, like his last wife. The wedding takes place on schedule. And to Kirsten's mounting horror, she finds...
See more details below
Dark Desire [a vampire romance--book one]

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$3.99
BN.com price

Overview

The year is 1795: Kirsten's father is anxious to marry off the last of his seven daughters. The man he wants her to marry has everything: he's handsome, wealthy, influential. But rumors surround Valdemar, the prospective bridegroom. Servants whisper he is cursed. Local folklore tells of a string of women who perish under strange circumstances. The kitchen staff lay wagers that the bride will be dead within a week, like his last wife. The wedding takes place on schedule. And to Kirsten's mounting horror, she finds out that not only are the rumors true, but they are only the beginning of Valdemar's many, dark secrets.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000171912
  • Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/20/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 341,283
  • File size: 69 KB

Read an Excerpt

PART ONE

Europe, 1795

Empty champagne glasses were all that remained of the wedding celebration. The guests had long ago faded into the mist that rose up around the castle walls. Ghosts of drunken best wishes echoed through the great hall, blending with the thunder that rumbled through the mountains outside. A gust of wind spiraled down the chimney, causing even the roaring fire in the mammoth hearth to pause and take heed. Wind and rain battered the tiny bedroom upstairs, howling between the turrets, and hammering at the stone exterior. Lightning sizzled the skies, far overpowering the solitary candle.

"Of all the nights to have a storm," Kirsten muttered grimly, setting aside the beaded gown of ivory silk, and searching for her cloak, "why did it have to be my wedding night?"

Inga, her governess, told her wedding rain promised good luck. But it seemed instead that the skies cried with her, as she made preparations to leave her father's home forever.

"Kirsten!" Her father's fist shook the door. "Valdemar is waiting."

"I'm coming," she shouted over the storm. She'd dawdled as long as possible. Checking her reflection in the mirror, she saw only pale hair and gray haunted eyes. She didn't look like a woman, more like a frightened child.

Her father hustled her down the sweeping staircase. And, with a perfunctory kiss, she was bundled into the waiting carriage.

Traded like a horse, from one man to another.

The carriage leapt into motion, throwing her against the dark figure beside her. With strong arms, he caught her and settled her back against the velvet cushions. A bolt of lightning cast him in silhouette against the brilliantsky.

Swallowing nervously, she studied the stranger beside her. They'd met only once before the wedding. With her father standing guard, he'd presented her with an intricately carved gold cross with a flaming ruby at its center to mark their betrothal. Eyes black as onyx had lingered on her every move, making her feel both desirable and vulnerable. At twenty-nine, he seemed terribly serious, and impossibly ancient.

Rumors clung to the young aristocrat. Servants whispered he was cursed. Local folklore spoke of a string of fiancées who perished under mysterious circumstances. The kitchen staff lay wagers she'd be dead within a week like his last wife.

Her father dismissed her fears as superstitious nonsense. He was anxious to marry off the last of his seven daughters. With her mother long dead, Kirsten had no choice but to obey his wishes.

Through the carriage's black curtains she could see only drifting columns of mist. The teaming rain absorbed all sound except for the rattle of the carriage's wheels. Now and then, shrubby trees thrust their glistening, leafless branches through the fog like questing hands.

A meager few feet beyond the narrow wheels of the carriage, the ground fell sharply away. Mercifully, the view was obscured by mist and rain. Kirsten crossed herself, praying the driver was sure of his grip on the reins.

After what seemed an eternity of bouncing and jostling, they rounded a corner and she gazed at last upon the crumbling battlements of Castle Berthold. Fog clung to the upper storeys like ghosts of past occupants. The stone was gray, rough from the wear of countless years. Yet, the stately oak door was richly lacquered and its brass hinges polished to a dull gleam.

The carriage clattered to a halt before the stone steps. Kirsten swallowed hard and uttered another prayer as Valdemar stepped down and offered her his hand. She was now mistress of that crumbling castle.

It was only six days since her seventeenth birthday.

Valdemar slipped a proprietary arm about her waist to guide her up the slick, stone stairs, past gargoyles whose vacant eyes seemed to follow her every move.

The pressure of Valdemar's palm against her back urged her forward. As they approached, the door swung open, dwarfing the thin figure whose lantern cast swaying shadows out over the steps. The gaunt, gray-haired man bowed deeply as she passed, then hurried off to oversee the unloading of her luggage.

Above the grand entranceway an iron chandelier blazed with a multitude of candles. The sheer size of the hall made her feel insignificant. Yet, Valdemar strode across the cavernous room with the confidence of a man well accustomed to wealth and vast rooms. He was at home, she realized of a sudden.

And so, God help me, am I.

"Let me show to your rooms," Valdemar said, ushering her forward. "I trust everything will be to your satisfaction."

"I'm certain it will be, My Lord," she whispered, with another glance at the high, vaulted ceiling that disappeared into shadow above the chandelier. His hand touched her shoulder, turning her back to him.

"Now that we are wed, Kirsten, you must call me by my given name."

"As you wish, Valdemar," she said, trying it out. It felt odd to address a virtual stranger with familiarity.

Valdemar smiled, and she caught a glimpse of the handsomeness which attracted so many women. He stroked her cheek lightly. "My name has never sounded so sweet as it does upon your lips."

His compliment embarrassed her, and she looked away. This was the first of many rites of courtship to come.

Merciful God, guide me through this night.

Seeming to sense her discomfort, Valdemar motioned to the sweeping, stone staircase leading to the balconies of the upper floors. "You will no doubt want a few moments to settle in and refresh yourself after your journey."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)