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Dark Moon (Nightcreature Series #3)

Dark Moon (Nightcreature Series #3)

4.3 29
by Lori Handeland

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When dusk falls, nightmares become reality-

Dr. Elise Hanover quite literally lives for her job-since quitting would mean meeting a silver bullet with her name on it. She works alone, struggling to unlock the mysteries of an affliction that should only exist in nightmares. But Elise knows from personal experience just how real it is. Because the


When dusk falls, nightmares become reality-

Dr. Elise Hanover quite literally lives for her job-since quitting would mean meeting a silver bullet with her name on it. She works alone, struggling to unlock the mysteries of an affliction that should only exist in nightmares. But Elise knows from personal experience just how real it is. Because the first time its deadly power pulsed through her veins was the last time she saw the love of her life. Until now...

and forbidden passion is unleashed...

The surprise visit from FBI agent Nic Franklin is merely the first in a series of shocks. After her lab is firebombed and her most bloodthirsty test subject escapes, Elise and Nic have no choice but to join forces. Unfortunately, the situation in remote Fairhaven, Wisconsin is far from safe: Nic has too many questions about Elise's work and why she deserted him years ago; townsfolk are disappearing, and Elise feels her own condition intensifying in ways as terrifying and exhilarating as her rekindled attraction to Nic. Now, as a shadowy evil closes in, it's becoming all too clear that Elise is the only one who can stop it-if it doesn't stop her first...

"Guaranteed to please readers of paranormal, suspense, and romance...a winner on all counts!"

-Romance Reviews Today on BLUE MOON

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for BLUE MOON

"Chilling and sizzling by turns! Lori Handeland has the kind of talent that comes along only once in a blue moon. Her sophisticated, edgy voice sets her apart from the crowd, making her an author to watch, and BLUE MOON is a novel not to be missed."-Maggie Shayne, author of Edge of Twilight

"Presenting an interesting and modern twist on the werewolf legend, Lori Handeland's Blue Moon is an intriguing mixture of suspense, clever humor, and sensual tension that never lets up. Vivid secondary characters in a rural, small-town setting create an effective backdrop for paranormal events. Will Cadotte is a tender and sexy hero who might literally be worth dying for. But the real revelation in the book is Handeland's protagonist, police officer Jessie McQuade, a less-than-perfect heroine who is at once self-deprecating, tough, witty, pragmatic and vulnerable. She draws you into the story and holds you there until the very end."-Susan Krinard, author of To Catch a Wolf

"Fantastic-one of the best books I've read in a long, long time. Anyone who reads paranormal will love this book and anyone who loves suspense should love it as well. It's an edge-of-the-seat read."

-Christine Feehan, author of Dark Melody on Blue Moon

"Scary sexy fun. A book this clever only comes along once in a Blue Moon."-Rachel Gibson, author of Daisy's Back in Town

"Handeland sets a feverish pace, thrusting Jesse into one dangerous situation after another, and she keeps readers in delicious suspense...What makes this books so compulsively readable, however, is Jessie's spunky narration, acerbic wit, and combustible chemistry with Will. Handeland has the potential to become as big as, if not bigger than, Christine Feehan and Maggie Shayne."-Publishers Weekly

"Hold on to your seats! Handeland delivers a kick-butt heroine ready to take on the world of the paranormal. BLUE MOON is an awesome launch to what promises to be a funny, sexy, and scary series."-Romantic Time, 4 ½ stars, "Top Pick"


"A fast paced and thought provoking story. Dynamic characters in BLUE MOON will leave you with no doubt that you are reading something special...the beginning of an exciting new series."-Enchanted in Romance

"This book has everything-excellent writing, fascinating characters, suspense, comical one-liners, and best of all, a super-good romance."-The Best Reviews

"An incredible werewolf story with a twist...full of sass and with a delightful, sarcastic sense of humor."-Paranormal Romances

"The action is fast-paced, the plot is gripping, the characters are realistic, and I absolutely positively cannot wait for the next book in this series."-Fallen Angel Reviews

"A dry wit that shines...Everything about this book is wonderful: the sizzling sexiness, the three-dimensional characters, and the sense of danger."-Romance Junkies

"Great intensity, danger, drama, captivation, and stellar writing."-The Road to Romance, Reviewer's Choice Award

"Lori Handeland makes a superlative debut in the world of paranormal romance with Blue Moon, first in an enticing new Moon trilogy. Blue Moon is simply not to be missed."-BookLoon Reviews

"If you enjoy werewolves that are linked to folklore with characters that seem to be in every town, whether it is small or big, then pick up a copy of Blue Moon. You will not be disappointed."

-A Romance Review

"A captivating novel that draws readers in from the first page...for a story that will entertain, delight, and have you glancing askance at the full moon, run, do not walk, to the nearest bookstore and grab Blue Moon...A book guaranteed to please readers of paranormal, suspense, and romance...a winner on all counts!"-Romance Reviews Today

Publishers Weekly
Werewolves, witchie wolves, gypsies and trigger-happy werewolf hunters roam the landscape of Handeland's snappily written paranormal romance, the third in her Moon series (Blue Moon; Hunter's Moon). Dr. Elise Hanover is smart, cheeky and determined to protect humankind from the bloodthirsty werewolf population-even though she's a werewolf herself. Elise has concocted a serum to quell her blood lust, but she still turns furry when the moon is full, a fact that led her to walk away from a promising relationship years earlier. She gets a second chance, however, when her old beau, FBI agent Nic Franklin, arrives at the compound where she's been researching cures for werewolfism. In a breakneck sequence of events, the compound explodes; Elise and Nic flee to Fairhaven, Wis., where a handful of her co-workers are hunting werewolves; and they get caught up in solving the mystery of why so many people have gone missing in Fairhaven. In the process, Elise-Handeland's most appealing heroine yet-learns to embrace her inner canine. Though some of the plot twists will be old hat to those who have read the previous books, and Elise's co-workers have an annoying habit of wanting to shoot everyone (including Elise), this tense, banter-filled tale provides a few hours of solid entertainment. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Nightcreature Series , #3
Product dimensions:
4.21(w) x 6.67(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt


I have always loved the dark of the moon, when the night is still and serene, when all that can be seen are the stars.

There are those who term the dark moon a new moon, but there is nothing new about the moon. It has been here from time forgotten and will be here long after we are dead.

I spend my days, and most of my nights, inside a stone fortress in the wilds of Montana. I’m a doctor by trade, though not the kind who gives out lollipops after dispensing vaccines and pills. Instead I mix a little of this and a little of that, over and over again.

My degree reads “virologist.” In English, that means I have a Ph.D. in the study of viruses. Don’t worry, I won’t let the excitement kill me. The boredom might, though, if the loneliness doesn’t do it first.

Of course, I’m not completely alone. There’s a guard at the door and my test subjects, but none of them are great conversationalists. Lately I’ve started to feel watched, which is pretty funny considering I’m the one in charge of the surveillance cameras.

Paranoia is one of the first signs of dementia; except I don’t feel crazy. Does anyone? I’ve come to the conclusion I need to get out more. But where would I go?

Most days I don’t mind being locked tight inside the safest place in the West. The world is pretty scary. Scarier than most people realize.

You think the monsters aren’t real? That they’re merely the figment of childish imaginations or delusional psychosis? You’re wrong.

There are things walking the earth worse than anything in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Unsolved Mysteries would have a stroke if they got a look at my X-files. But since lycanthropy is a virus, werewolves are my specialty. I’ve devoted my life to finding a cure.

I have a personal interest. You see, I’m one of them.

The powers that be say a life is formed by changes—decisions made, roads not taken, people we’ve left behind. I’m inclined to agree.

On the day my whole world changed—again—a single decision, that fork in the road and the one I left behind walked into my office without warning.

I was at my desk updating files, when the scuff of a shoe against concrete made me glance up. The man in the doorway made my heart go ba-boom. He always had.

“Nic,” I murmured, and in my voice I heard more than I wanted to.

The strong nose, full lips, wide forehead were as I remembered. But the lines around his mouth and eyes, the darker shade of his skin, hinted at a life spent exposed to the elements. The flicker of silver in his short hair was as shocking as him being here in first place.

He didn’t smile, didn’t return my greeting. I couldn’t blame him. I’d professed love, then disappeared. I hadn’t spoken to him since.

Seven years. How had he found me? And why?

Concern replaced curiosity, and my hand inched toward the drawer where I kept my gun. The guard hadn’t called to clear a visitor, so I should shoot first, ask questions later. In my world, an enemy could lurk behind every face. But I’d always had a tough time shooting people. One of the many reasons the boss kept me isolated in the forest.

I’d learned long ago how to gauge a suit for a shoulder holster. Nic had one. A disturbing change in a man who’d once been both studious and dreamy, in love with the law and me, not necessarily in that order. Why was he carrying a gun?

Since he hadn’t drawn his, I drew mine, then pointed the weapon at Nic’s chest. Loaded with silver, I was ready for anything. Except the punch of his deep blue eyes and the familiar timbre of his voice. “Hey, sweetheart.”

In college that endearment had made me all warm and stupid. I’d promised things I had no right to promise. Now the same word, uttered with cool sarcasm, annoyed me.

I’d left for his own good. However, he didn’t know that.

I got to my feet, stepped around the desk, came a little too close. “What are you doing here?”

“I didn’t think you’d be thrilled to see me, but this isn’t exactly the welcome I expected.”

His gaze lowered to the gun, and I was distracted by the scent of him. Fresh snow, mountain air, my past.

He grabbed the weapon, twisted it away, then tucked me against his body with an elbow across my throat. I was no good with firearms. Never had been.

I choked, and Nic released the stranglehold on my windpipe, though he didn’t release me. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of metal on the desk. He’d put my gun aside. One less thing to worry about.

“What do you want?” I managed.

Instead of answering, he nuzzled my hair and his breath brushed my ear. My knees quivered; my eyes burned. Having Nic so close was making me remember things I’d spent years trying to forget. And the memories hurt. Hell, I still loved him.

An uncommon rush of emotion caused my muscles to clench, my stomach to roil. I wasn’t used to feeling anything. I prided myself on being cool, patrician, in charge: Dr. Elise Hanover, ice queen. When I let my anger loose, bad things happened.

But no one had ever affected me like Nic. No one had ever made me as happy or as sad. No one could make me more furious.

I slammed my spike heel onto his shiny black shoe and ground down with all my weight. Nic flinched, and I jabbed my elbow into his stomach. I forgot to pull my punch, and he flew into the wall. Spinning around, I watched him slide to the floor, eyes closed.


I resisted the urge to run to him, touch his face, kiss his brow. For both our sakes, we couldn’t go back to the way things had been.

Nic’s eyelids fluttered, and he mumbled something foul. I let out the breath I’d been holding. He’d be all right.

I doubted he was often on the losing end of a fight. Since I’d seen him last he’d bulked up—the combination of age and a few thousand hours with a weight machine.

What else had he been doing in the years we’d been apart? He’d planned to become a lawyer, except he didn’t resemble any lawyer I’d ever seen. The suit, yes, but beneath the crisp charcoal material he was something more than a paper-pushing fast talker. Perhaps a soldier decked out in his Sunday best.

My gaze wandered over him, catching on the dark sunglasses hooked into his pocket.

Suit. Muscles. Men in Black glasses.

“FBI,” I muttered.

Now I was really ticked off.

Nic’s eyes snapped open, crossing once before focusing on my face. “You always were smarter than you looked.”

I’d been the victim of enough dumb-blonde jokes to last me several lifetimes. The moronic jabs and riddles had bothered me, until I realized I could use the speaker’s attitude to my advantage. If people thought I was stupid, they weren’t expecting anything else.

So I didn’t rise to Nic’s bait. He’d been sent here by the big boys, without warning, and that meant trouble.

“I suppose you want me to hand over my gun?” he grumbled.

I shrugged. “Keep it.”

A weapon filled with lead was the least of my worries.

He struggled to his feet, and I experienced an instant of concern when he wobbled. I’d hit him way too hard.

“Let me give you some advice,” he said. “I’ve always found that the people we least expect to shoot us usually do.”

Funny, I’d found that, too.

“What are you doing here?” I demanded.

His brows lifted. “No hugs, no kisses? You aren’t glad to see me? If I remember correctly I should be the one who’s angry.”

He sat on a chair without being invited.

“Oh, wait.” His eyes met mine. “I am.”

Nic had every reason to be furious. I’d snuck out in the night as if I had something to hide.

Oh, wait. I did.

Nevertheless, being near him hurt. I couldn’t tell Nic why I’d left. I couldn’t apologize, because I wasn’t really sorry. I couldn’t touch him the way I wanted to. I couldn’t ever touch anyone that way.

“You didn’t come here to talk about our past,” I snapped. “What does the FBI want with the Jager-Suchers?”

I wasn’t the only one fighting monsters. I was merely the geeky member of a select group—“hunter-searchers” for those a little rusty on their German.

Though financed by the government, the Jager-Suchers were a secret from all but those who needed to know. If it got out that there were monsters running all over the place, people would panic.

Not only that, but heads would roll. Unlimited cash for a Special Forces monster-hunting unit? Someone would definitely lose their job, and we’d lose our funding. So we pretended to be things we weren’t.

For instance, I was a research scientist investigating a new form of rabies in the animal population. Most of our field agents carried documentation identifying them as wardens for various natural resource departments.

Until today, the precautions had worked. No one had ever come snooping before.

The question was: Why now?

And why him?

Meet the Author

Lori Handeland is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Nightcreature Novels, The Phoenix Chronicles and Shakespeare Undead. She is the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA awards, a Romantic Times Award for Best Harlequin Superromance, and the Prism Award from Romance Writers of America. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and a yellow lab named Ellwood.

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Dark Moon (Nightcreature Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this one better than #2. These books are fun, but they seem to be missing a pull to read more.
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