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Lusting for blood ...
Lusting for blood and starving for Ash’s embrace, Candace is pulled deeper and deeper into his world. She no longer trusts his promise that she will not have to remain a vampire forever. And as the hunger threatens to overwhelm her, it may be too late for her to leave the darkness behind.
It was a stormy night.
I live in Vegas, so I can’t exactly claim that it was dark, too. I can, however, say this much.
There’s better weather in Hell.
The rain came down in solid sheets, the drops just short of hail but still hard enough to sting with cold. The wind was straight out of a late-night horror film, an unseen force that should not be sentient but still manages to have a mind of its own; pushing against me with invisible hands, tearing at my clothing, howling through the city like a long-lost soul. It was the sort of night when anyone with half a brain cranks up the knob on the gas fireplace, slips their favorite DVD into the machine, and curls up on the couch.
So what was I doing? I was pounding the streets of Vegas, soaked to the skin, tracking someone who probably thought the weather was nice.
My name is Candace Steele and I hunt vampires.
Usually I do this indoors. I work undercover security at one of the newest casinos in town, the Scheherazade. I look like a thousand other females in Vegas, serving drinks and flashing some skin. But in fact I’m one of a kind. Because while I’m making my rounds, I’m also doing something else: spotting vampires. Getting them tossed out on their undead asses if they try to cheat the casino by manipulating the minds of the humans around them, a technique vampires call “establishing rapport.” This happens to be something they enjoy. A lot. Trying to get the better of humans, I mean. Which pretty much means my job is never dull.
It doesn’t make my days off uninteresting, either. And it definitely explains what I was doing out in the weather on this awful night.
The original plan was to go to a movie. I almost got there, too, actually ducking under the cover of the theater awning. Then I felt it: a surge of cold straight down my back—one I knew damn well had nothing to do with the storm.
There was a vampire nearby.
I concentrated, trying to zero in on my own sensations. The cold felt odd, somehow. Usually when I sense a vampire is near, once the cold kicks in, it’s a constant presence. The intensity of the cold tells me the strength of the vampire. But this time the cold faded in and out in a strange sort of ebb and flow. Each time it returned, it got a little stronger, almost as if it were being reinforced.
Oh, God, I thought. Oh, no. There is just one way for a vampire to reinforce its power: by consuming the blood of something alive. Unless I very much missed my guess, the something alive in this case was a human being. And it wouldn’t be alive for very much longer.
In spite of human fears and assumptions to the contrary, not all vampires feed on human beings. Only those in the upper echelons, the big guns. Or, on occasion, lower-level vampires with special permission from the higher-ups. I didn’t think the vampire whose trail I was attempting to pick up at the moment was one of those. The cold was too intense, too strong. I left the movie theater, following the cold beyond it to the corner, then took an involuntary step back as the wind shoved me. A sudden splatter of raindrops pelted across my face like a handful of thrown pebbles. They stung.
By now my adrenaline was starting to kick in as my vampire-hunting instincts took over. I didn’t know yet whether I’d be in time to save tonight’s human victim, but I could at least promise one thing by way of consolation: I’d make sure the vampire didn’t make it, either. There would be one less bloodsucker before the night was done.
As if on cue, there was a flash of lightning, a clap of thunder almost directly overhead, and then the rain came down even harder. I flipped up the collar on my jacket in a feeble attempt to keep the rain from streaming down the back of my neck, slid one of the silver wands I always use to help control my wayward hair into my jacket pocket, and kept on going, hot on the trail of the cold.
Vampire Hunter Rule #1: Never, under any circumstances, go out into the world unarmed. Rule #2: When in doubt, make silver your weapon of choice. Silver is a purifier. A little goes a long way when it comes to vampires.
By the time I reached the far end of the block, I was completely soaked. The wind was so strong I had to lean into it, as if walking up an incline. But the internal cold I felt still pulled me forward, steady as a lodestone. I crossed the street, stepped up onto the curb, and saw the vampire.
He was young—not more than early twenties—and wearing a muscle T-shirt and skintight jeans that had probably been plastered to his body even before the rain got to them and finished the job. As he stepped out from under the cover of a parking garage not twenty paces away, oblivious to the weather, he looked entirely too pleased with himself, with his own power. New kid on the block, I thought. On a feeding high. His eyes slid over me, barely registering my presence. I felt my adrenaline kick up a notch. My biggest weapon in my fight against vampires isn’t anything I carry with me, anything external. It’s me. The fact that, unaccustomed to humans being able to detect what they are, most vampires literally never see me coming.
As if to prove he was no different from the rest, the vampire in question pivoted on one black-booted heel and began to walk away; his arrogance and enjoyment of his own power showing in every step. It might have been a balmy summer night for all the notice he took of the weather. I waited until he was half a block away, then sprinted for the entrance to the parking garage.
The interior was dark as a tomb, appropriate considering the fact that it was now the temporary resting place of something no longer alive. I moved past the entrance, stopped, turned back, swore viciously as the wind blew against me and the rain came down. Every instinct I had was screaming at me to follow the vampire. Don’t lose sight of the quarry. Don’t let the enemy get away. But if I did that, I would do precisely the same thing the vampire had: I’d put him first, and the human being second. That was a choice I simply could not make and still face myself in the morning. Before I could run the vampire to ground, I had to make absolutely certain I knew the fate of the human being he had left behind.
Well, shit, I thought. “Shit, shit, shit,” I muttered under my breath as I ducked into the parking garage. At least I was out of the rain. I gave the lapels of my jacket a quick shake to lose as much water as I could, then fished my keys out of my pocket, activating the mini-flashlight that hangs on the end of the chain. It didn’t exactly illuminate a lot of area, but even a little was better than nothing.
It was the cards that helped me find her. You see them all over Vegas, littering the sidewalks like X-rated confetti. Experience the Best of Vegas. Full service 24/7. I found a whole pile of them at the end of the first row of cars, all with the same picture on them. A slim, young blonde with a phone number covering her naked, upthrust breasts. Her eyes were on the camera, but her head was thrown back, exposing a long, white neck. A choice that had probably seemed sexy at the time. Nichole, the card read. Blond. Sweet. Very Petite.
Also, very, very dead.
She was sprawled across the hood of the last car in the row, spread-eagled on her back, skirt hiked up to expose her thighs. A position that left little doubt as to how vampire guy had talked her into ducking in here in the first place. Her big blue eyes were wide open and sightless. Her face was still beautiful, but her long white neck was a mess. I could say it was a bloody mess, but that would be a lie. There wasn’t a drop of blood, not anywhere. A circumstance that would no doubt convince the cops, when they finally arrived, that sweet, petite Nichole had been killed somewhere else, then dumped in the parking garage. But I knew better. I knew the truth. She had been killed precisely where she lay, by a killer who had taken every single drop of blood he could get his fangs on.
Posted August 18, 2010
This story is totally breath-taking. I was held captive by the strength this story has. There is so much emotion in this book, it is extremely hard to put it down. I finished it in 2 days. Candace is a lovely young lady who is a vampire hunter. One day she gets brutally attacked from a vampire she is hunting; but is not totally killed. Ash (a former friend who is a vampire)comes in the nick of time to save Candace. She has to choose either Life (become a vampire) or Death. Of course Candace does not want to die so Ash makes her partial vampire. The love and romance that Ash and Candace share is unbelieveable...so much raw emotion; Body, Mind and Soul. Truely Amazing! The Board is after Ash, and Candace holds the last piece of the puzzle. It is an ancient Egyptian Scroll. It will held the board fulfill their destiny. Ash is taken by the board; They know that Candace will do anything to save Ash's life, so she must make a journey and track down Ash and try to save both her Life and his.....What will happen? You must read this book to find out. This is a definate must read!
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Posted October 26, 2013
I enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy, but this final book was a great disappointment. It began with great promise; I thought this is great, these two characters whom I'd come to enjoy reading about and rooting for would finally have a satisfying resolution. NOT!!! I wish the first book had had a warning sign on it. Something like "Purchase at your own risk because in the end you may be really disappointed. The ending was in no way gratifying, and after reading it I felt cheated for having paid to reading ANY of them. Dean held the carrot under my nose for the first two books, and in the third, just tossed it away. for those of us hoping for one more book, one more chance at a satisfying conclusion, don't hold your breath. This was published back in 2006, so I sincerely doubt that the author will revisit the world of Candace Steele and Ash Donahue the third.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2013
Posted June 26, 2013
I loved this series!! Dean expresses the emotions so well and you can't help but feel for Candace in her situation. We all must learn to not judge someone until we have walked in their shoes. This series truly shows both sides of the issue. Must read for more reasons than one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Ash is my favorite Vampire. I was hoping that she would go further with this series. This is a disappointing book and I can't believe it ends this way. Candace is brutally attacked by a vampire forcing Ash to save her by turning her part way. Ash and Candace finally rekindled their passionate love and no one can stand in their way except for the Board. Candace hold the last piece of the puzzle that they need to do an accient egyptian ritual so they can become immortal and receive the power of the God of Dealth, but to save man kind Candace will lose the love of her life Ash and become human again. It is a very sad book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2008
Cameron Dean¿s vampire series is seductive on the deepest of levels. She captures the raw passion and emotion that lies inside all of us. Most importantly, Dean exploits the struggle between the heart and the mind. The main character, Candace Steele, struggles between her strong feelings for the vampire Ash and her overwhelming hatred for all vampires alike. At first glance Candace works for security in a Las Vegas casino, but in covert she lures and kills vampires with her seductive physical assets. The author plays well to Steele¿s physique. Steele is strong of mind, but weak of heart. Some might argue that her heart is stronger than her mind because her confliction causes her to doubt her abilities as a vampire killer. It isn¿t until the third installment of the series that Candace finally accepts her love for Ash that has been clawing at her heart, yearning to be acknowledged, accepted, and nourished. Whether it be lustful entanglements or vengeful encounters, the series is filled with action from start to finish.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2007
Cameron dean is not only a captivating writer but her characters become more real and loveable with each of her novels. THis final installment in her trilogy touched me on some of the deepest levels, and i felt all the emotion of the story. While it could have a bit more action, the romance and characters in this story are almost unparalled. LOVED IT.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2007
This series is pretty good. The story is interesting, even if the main character can't make up her mind. She's in love with a vampire, but she hates all vampires because of an incident of her own doing?? She takes no blame and is very close minded. The third book is very disappointing. The ending does NOT fit with the story. I hope that she does write a fourth book to redeem herself and this story. She couln't mess it up anymore. The ending was such an emotional let down that I was actually mad. If you liked movies like 'City of Angels' and 'Message In a Bottle' then you might like this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 2, 2007
I didn't love the first two books in this series because I though Candace was too wishy washy about her feelings for vampires and Ash. She loves Ash but she condemns the whole race because of an incident she willingly participated in??? However, I stuck with it, hoping that the author would redeem her character and there would be a resolution to the story. But she doesn't. She leaves the reader on an emotional down so severe that they are driven to write reviews like this one. All I can say to other readers is, if you are looking for and HEA this series is NOT for you. And if there is a book 4, I'll be reading the ending in the store before I decide to put my money down and buy the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2007
I do hope the next one has a really happy ending for Candace and Ash! I was really taken aback when I came to the end of this book...my guts just wrenched!! I was expecting something much more permanent for the two characters!! Please hurry up and write a 4th novel and make it a happy one for the two of them!! Perhaps they could have kids? But hurry and write it...I felt really sad when I came to the end of this one...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 2, 2007
I loved all three books-until the ending. Not a very thrilling ending for such thrilling stories! I do hope she comes out with book four and that the ending is as it should be.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 1, 2007
I really liked this series until the ending of this book. I thought Candace was finally going to accept her love for Ash and embrace what life had to offer her. The ending was terrible. It left me feeling empty and like I had wasted my time reading this series. I thought this was a trilogy and if so, this was the 'end'. I really hope she comes out with a 4th book and put wrong to right !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2007
I did not like this book. Candace gripes about being a vampire yet, loves a vampire. Claims to be a 'deadly' killer with using two steel spikes in her hair. Give me a break. Those spikes do not stay in your hair while you are jumping around! I did not care for the promiscuity of both characters, either. The ending is horrible and I won't bother with book 4.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2007
I loved the first two books of this series and I was really looking forward to this one, but I was very unhappy with the ending! I don't want to give anything away, but I'll just say that it took an unexpected and disappointing turn in the end. Hopefully there will be a fourth book to rectify the ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2007
I loved the first two books in this series but was a little disappointed by the ending in this one. I hope that she comes out with a 4th title and this wasn't the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
In Las Vegas Candace Steel works for securityin the Scheherazade Casino killing vampires who drink human blood and keeping them out of the casino so they don¿t tip the odds in their favor by using their powers on the humans who work there. Candice is imminently suited for the job because she can sense when a vampire is nearby and has the strength to complete the task. She also loves powerful vampire Ash though she can never see him because she doesn¿t want to be turned and spend eternity with him.-------------------- When a strange vampire attacks her and leaves her for dead, Ash appears and gives her a chance to become a vampire otherwise she will die from her wounds. She chooses to become a vampire, moves in with Ash and learns how to be a vampire, but she drinks no blood other than his. Still she knows that soon she will have to make a choice because she can drink from him for only so long before she will need other blood. In the meantime, they are both in danger from the Board who seeks immortality through the three objects of the Egyptian god Thoth and are willing to use the couple in a blood sacrifice. Ash and Candace devise a trap which they hope could save the world from the rule of evil gods.---------------------- Candace and Ash¿s love story spread out over three books culminates in ETERNAL HUNGER, a beautiful tale as the reluctant heroine realizes that she loves Ash with all her heart as he does her. This is one of the best poignant vampire romantic thrillers of the year and readers will become thoroughly ensorcelled by the magic of the storyline. Fans will have a craving for more Vegas vampiric romantic suspense thrillers by this talented author..-------------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2009
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Posted January 3, 2011
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Posted January 19, 2010
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Posted March 1, 2009
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