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Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer Series #5)

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Overview

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the ...

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Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer Series #5)

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Overview

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Cassandra Palmer is one busy foxy lady in her latest vampire adventure. She's still trying to learn more about her power; not to mention, how to sort out her relationship with enigmatic master vampire Mircea; but something more pressing is on her agenda: She has just been named the world's chief clairvoyant and someone is determined to prevent her coronation. An action-packed mass market paperback and NOOKbook original.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451413079
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Series: Cassie Palmer Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 396,205
  • Product dimensions: 4.54 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Chance has lived in France, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, but always comes back to America. She currently lives in Central Florida, the home of make-believe, which may explain a lot.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I hit the ground running . . . or stumbling or falling—it was kind of hard to tell when it felt like the earth was crumbling under my feet.

And then I realized that was because the earth was crumbling under my feet.

“Craaaap!”

I plummeted straight over a cliff and into thin air, arms waving and feet still moving uselessly, screaming bloody murder. For a long moment, there was nothing but me and crystal blue sky and acre upon acre of sparkling, snow-covered land way the hell too far below. I knew I was supposed to be doing something, but the wind was roaring in my ears and my eyes were watering from the cold and the ground was rushing up to meet me at a pace that promised one very mushed clairvoyant in the very near future—

And then I was jerked back up, fast enough to cut off my breath, to leave me dizzy. Or maybe that was the feel of the hard arms around me or the harder body behind me. Or possibly the abject, stunning relief of Not dead, not dead yet

Because that never gets old.

My name is Cassie Palmer, and I’ve cheated death more times than anyone has a right to expect to. In the past two months, I’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten and blown up a few dozen times, and that doesn’t count all the magical ways I’ve almost been killed. I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.

I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first.

My nose was running, I couldn’t see worth shit and my brain was still frozen in abject terror. So for a moment I just hung there, gulping ice-cold air and waiting for my heart to stop trying to slam through my chest. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a small piece of what was holding us up, and it wasn’t reassuring.

It was almost transparent, except for a faint bluish tinge that was largely invisible against the brilliant sky. It had a dome-shaped top and a few filmy tentacles streaming downward to wrap around us, making it look vaguely like a jellyfish—if they were as big as a bus and had a habit of drifting around over the Colorado Rockies. What it was was almost as strange: an expression of one man’s magic, formed into a parachute that I didn’t trust at all.

On the other hand, I did trust the man. Although I really wished he’d caught me from the front instead of from behind. That way I could have kneed him in the nuts.

“You did that on purpose!” I gasped when I was able to breathe.

“Of course.”

Of course?” I looked up, but had to crane my head back, leaving the features above me wrong-side up. The clear green eyes were the same, and, unfortunately, so was the spiky blond hair.

It didn’t look any better from this angle, I decided.

“You have yet to learn to react reliably under pressure,” I was told. “Until you do, you are vulnerable.”

I tried swiveling my head around, because glaring at someone upside down doesn’t work. But all I saw was part of a muscular shoulder in an army green sweatshirt. My sometimes friend, sometimes enemy, all the time pain in the ass John Pritkin wasn’t wearing a coat.

Of course he wasn’t.

It had to be subzero out here, and if it hadn’t been for all the adrenaline pumping through my system, I’d have been freezing to death—but a coat wasn’t macho. And if I’d learned one thing about war mages, the closest thing the supernatural community had to a police force, it was that they were always macho. Even the women. It was kind of scary.

Sort of like dangling about a mile above a lot of very pointy mountains.

“Your abilities will do you little good if you cannot learn to function under stress,” he continued calmly, as we slowly drifted closer to the pointy bits.

“Stress?” I asked, my voice cracking slightly. “Pritkin, stress is a bad hair day. Stress is gaining five pounds right before swimsuit season. This is not stress!

“Call it what you will; the point is the same. Remember what we discussed.Assess—determine what is happening; address—decide which of your abilities can best deal with the problem at hand; and then act—quickly and decisively. You must learn to do this automatically, without freezing up, and regardless of the circumstances. Or you will suffer the consequences.”

“I’m trying!” I said resentfully. It was barely two months since I’d been pushed off another cliff, and the fact that it had been a metaphorical one hadn’t helped at all. I’d been declared—over my loud and sustained protests—Pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world.

It was a job that some people were willing to kill for, as I’d discovered the hard way. For my part, I’d spent a good deal of those two months trying to give back the power that came with the office, only to find that the power didn’t want to leave. After a number of very hard lessons, I’d finally accepted that I was going to have to make the best of it.

As a result, I’d been working my metaphysical butt off trying to make up for the lifetime of training the other candidates had received. It would have helped if Rambo up there hadn’t also demanded that I learn self-defense, too. I agreed that I needed it, but one thing I didn’t know how to do at a time was enough.

“Try harder,” Mr. Complete Lack of Sympathy told me.

“Look,” I said, trying to reason with him despite extensive experience that this rarely worked. “This isn’t a great time. I have my inauguration—”

“Coronation.”

“—coming up, and I’m trying to raise my abilities from pathetic to just sad before then so I don’t totally embarrass myself in front of the people I’m supposed to be leading. And then there’re fittings for the dress they want me to wear, and about a ton of names to learn, and if I get a title wrong it could cause some kind of international incident—”

“I will make you a deal,” he said, cutting me off.

“What kind of deal?” I asked warily. Wheeling and dealing was a vampire trait, something the other man in my life was much more likely to try. War mages ordered, threatened and bitched, depending on the circumstance. They didn’t deal.

Except for today, apparently.

“We’re directly over an area used by the Corps as a training ground,” he told me, referring to the formal name of the war mages. “Stay ahead of me for fifteen minutes, using any abilities you like other than time shifting, and I won’t bother you again for a week.”

I didn’t say anything for a moment. Because there were several types of shifting that came standard with my office—through space and through time. They might look the same to Pritkin, except that I moved from place to place instead of from era to era. But they weren’t. His boss at the Corps, Jonas Marsden, was the one training me in my newly acquired abilities and he’d told me so himself.

So if Pritkin didn’t specifically forbid me from spatially shifting, I could easily stay ahead of him—and buy myself a free week in the process. After the way things had been going lately, a little time off would be heaven. But it would be a bad mistake to sound like it.

“We’ve been out here half the day already,” I complained. “I’m tired, I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I can’t feel my toes any—”

“I’ll throw in a picnic.”

My head came up. “What?”

“I hid a basket this morning. After the test, I’ll take you to it.”

“It’ll be cold by now.”

“I left it with a warmer,” he said drily. Because war mages ate their fried chicken frozen to the ground and they liked it.

God. Fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, maybe some apple pie or cookies for dessert—yeah. I could so use a picnic right about now.

“All right,” I agreed, faster than I should have. But I really was hungry. “No time travel.”

“You’re sure? Because when I win—”

If you win.”

“—you’ll stay until you’ve run the entire course. And you won’t whine about it.”

“I don’t whine!”

“Then we have a deal?”

“I guess so,” I said, trying to sound reluctant.

“Good,” he told me pleasantly.

And then he let go.

A couple of hours later, I staggered into the Vegas hotel suite I currently called home and face-planted onto the sofa. There was already someone sitting there, but I didn’t care. I was too tired to even open my eyelids and find out who it was.

Until someone pried one open for me with a finger the size of a hot dog. “Rough day?”

I rotated my eyeball—and, goddamnit, even that hurt—to see the leader of my bodyguards peering at me.

“No. I like being dropped from airplane height without a parachute.”

Marco patted me on the ass, which I guess was fair, since I was draped over his lap. “You seem all right to me.”

Marco, I reflected sourly, was getting awfully blasé where my health was concerned. He’d started out assuming that I was as squishy as most humans, and practically had a heart attack every time I got a hangnail. But after seeing me survive a few dozen attacks, he’d started to relax. These days, if I didn’t come in with a gaping wound or spewing blood, I didn’t get much sympathy.

“Because I managed to shift to the ground before I splattered on it!” I told him testily.

“Then what’s the problem?”

I turned over so I could scowl at him. “The problem is that I just ran a marathon in freezing weather with a maniac chasing me.”

“Why didn’t you just”—he waved the ham-sized hand that went with his bear-sized body—“you know. Poof.”

“You mean shift?”

“Yeah. Why didn’t you shift?”

“I did! But Pritkin expected that, and he borrowed Jonas’s necklace.”

“What necklace?”

I sighed and sat up. “It’s some sort of charm that allows him to recall the Pythia in times of emergency. As soon as I try to shift, wherever I am, whenever I am, it pulls me back.” As Pritkin had known when he made that bet, damn him.

God, I wished I kneed him in the nuts.

Marco seemed to think that was funny, which didn’t improve my mood. I got up and limped into the next room, still freezing cold and starving to death. Because Pritkin’s idea of a picnic left a lot to be desired.

But my bathroom didn’t. I knew it was stupid, but my bathroom made me happy. Maybe it was the size—which was huge bordering on sinful—or the soothing white and blue color scheme, or the rain forest showerhead over the Godzilla-sized tub. Or maybe it was because it was the one place in the whole damn suite where I could actually be alone.

Marco wasn’t the problem. Over the last month, he’d gone from treating me like a burdensome pest to treating me like a slightly bratty younger sister, and most of the time, I found myself actually enjoying his company. But Marco was the tip of the iceberg where my bodyguards were concerned. And they’d only been growing in number since the date of the inauguration had been announced.

Everyone assumed there would be an attack. I even assumed it. The supernatural world was at war, and killing off the opposite side’s leadership was SOP. And whether I liked it or not, the Pythia was seen as one of our side’s more important assets. Which explained Pritkin’s stepped-up attempts to make me suck slightly less at self-defense, and the dozen or so golden-eyed master vamps constantly patrolling the suite.

They were there for my protection; I knew that. But it didn’t make them any less creepy. They watched me eat. They watched me drink. They watched me watch goddamned TV. They even watched me sleep. I’d woken up more than once to find one of them just standing in the doorway of my bedroom, staring at me, like it was a perfectly normal thing to do.

If it hadn’t been for my bathroom, I really might have lost it.

Too bad I couldn’t sleep in there.

Marco stuck his head in the door as I was running hot water into my lovely big tub. “You need anything? ’Cause I go off duty in a couple.”

“Food,” I said, shrugging out of my coat.

“What kind?”

“Anything. As long as it isn’t good for me.”

He nodded and ducked out when I started to pull off my T-shirt. It was far too flimsy for where I’d been, but the saying on the front fit my mood perfectly: “I keep hitting escape, but I’m still here.” I tossed it on a pile with the coat, my stiff-with-cold jeans and the expensive scrap of silk that had been wedged up my ass for the past half hour. Then I slowly climbed into the tub.

Oh, God.

Bliss.

It was actually a little too hot, but I figured the amount of ice clinging to me ought to even things out. I added a generous amount of bath salts, found my pillow under some towels and let my head sag back against the tub. After a few moments, my muscles began to unclench and my spine sagged in relief, and I seriously began to wonder if sleeping here was such a bad idea after all.

I think maybe I did drift off for a while. Because the next thing I knew, I was at the pink and pruney stage, the mirrors were all fogged up and the water was no longer hot. And a ghost was sitting by the tub, staring at me.

I’d have been more concerned, but this was a ghost I knew. I grabbed a towel and shot him a look; I don’t know why. Billy didn’t worry about his numerous vices. He’d cheated death like he’d cheated at cards in life, and he intended to keep it up. That made his morality a bit of a mixed bag, since he never intended to answer for any of it, anyway.

With an insubstantial finger, he pushed up the Stetson he’d been wearing for the past century and a half. “I’ve seen it before,” he told me with an exaggerated leer.

“Then why are you looking?”

“’Cause I’m dead, not senile?”

I threw the sponge at him, which did no good, because it passed right through and hit the wall. “I can’t feed you yet,” I said. “Not until I eat.”

Billy and I had a long-standing arrangement, dating from the time I’d picked up the necklace he haunted in a junk shop at the age of seventeen. I donated the living energy it took to keep him feeling frisky, and he did little errands for me in return. At least, he did if I complained enough.

He stretched denim-covered legs out in front of him, as if on an invisible sofa. “Can’t a guy drop by without you immediately assuming—” He caught my expression and gave it up. “Okay, I’ll wait.”

I was trying to decide between getting out and running some more hot water when there was a knock at the door. “You decent?”

I pulled the towel up a little higher. “Yes, if my wrinkled toes don’t offend.”

Marco’s swarthy head popped around the doorjamb. “Naw, they’re cute.”

I wiggled them at him since I could actually feel them now.

“Anyway, grub’s outside and I gotta go.” He grinned at me. “Big date tonight.”

“Date?” I blinked in surprise, because master vampires don’t date. Not unless forced, anyway.

“Witch,” he said succinctly.

“Isn’t that a little . . . unusual?”

“I’m like the master. I like to walk on the wild side.”

It took me a moment to realize what he meant. “I am not the wild side,” I told him flatly. “I’m about as far from the wild side as it’s possible to get.”

He raised a bushy black eyebrow. “If you say so.”

I opened my mouth, then decided I was too beat to argue. “Well, have fun.”

“Oh, I will.” He paused. “And just FYI, there’s a bunch of new guys on tonight. Well, not new new, but new to you.”

I didn’t know why he was bothering to tell me. The bodyguards were changed on a regular basis. Round-the-clock security meant that some of them got stuck on the day shift, which was hard on vampires. At least I assumed that was why, after a week or two, they started looking a little peaked.

I nodded, but Marco just stood there, as if he expected some kind of answer. “Okay.”

“It’s just . . .” he hesitated. “Try not to freak them out too much, all right?”

“I freak them out?”

“You know what I mean. It’s those things you do.”

“What things?”

His eyes darted around the bathroom. “Talking-to-invisible-people kind of things.”

“They’re ghosts, Marco.”

“Yeah, only most of the guys don’t believe in ghosts, and they’ve started to think you’re a bit . . . strange.”

“They’re vampires and they think I’m strange?”

“And no popping out of nowhere in front of a guy. That takes some getting used to. I don’t think Sanchez has recovered yet.”

“The only place I’m popping is to bed.”

“Good plan.” Marco looked satisfied. “See you on the flip side.”

I rolled my eyes at the slang, which as usual for the older vamps, was decades out of date, and let my head sag back against the tub. I really didn’t want to move now that I was warm and relaxed and actually starting to feel my extremities again. But the smells drifting in from the next room were making my stomach growl plaintively.

I couldn’t immediately identify the source, but it didn’t matter. If Marco had done the ordering, it had to be good. Unlike Pritkin, Marco didn’t worry about things like trans fats and cholesterol. When Marco ate, he ate big: pasta dripping in cream sauce, huge peppery steaks, mashed potatoes with gravy, and cannoli sweet enough to crack teeth. Often at the same meal.

The fact that vampires didn’t technically need to eat didn’t appear to worry Marco. He’d told me that one of the best things about finally reaching master status had been the return of working taste buds. And he’d spent the time since making up for all those flavorless years.

I decided that maybe I was clean enough. “Turn around,” I told Billy. “I’m getting out.”

He made a pouty face but he didn’t argue. Maybe he was hungry, too. I wrapped the towel around myself and started to get out of the tub.

But instead my hands slid off the porcelain, my knees bent and I slipped back into the rapidly cooling water.

For a second, I just lay there, more confused than worried. Until I kept on sinking. Then I snapped out of it and began to struggle.

And found that it made absolutely no difference.

The best I could do was keep my face above the bubbles for a few seconds while I struggled to move, to cry out, to do something. But my body was as frozen as the shout trapped behind my teeth, which my lips stubbornly refused to let out. The most I managed was a muffled grunt as my head slowly went under.

Immediately, all sound vanished. The whoosh of the air-conditioning, the almost silent footsteps of the guards, the soft clink-clink of someone dropping ice cubes in a glass in the dining room, all faded into a watery roar. Silence constricted around me, a heavy, cold hand that robbed me of breath as effectively as the water over my face.

The bubbles had half dissolved by now, with pockets of suds floating here and there, like the sky on a cloudy day. In between I could see the ceiling of the bathroom, rippling with my barely discernible struggles. But they weren’t enough, weren’t nearly enough, and my lungs were already crying out for air.

After what felt like an hour but was probably no more than a few seconds, the scene above me was obscured by Billy’s indistinct shape. He was saying something, but I couldn’t hear, and then his face passed through the water and he gazed at me curiously. “Time to get out.”

No shit, I thought hysterically, trying to flail limbs that suddenly felt like they belonged to someone else. A frown appeared between Billy’s eyes. But it was the impatient Billy look, not the panicked Billy look. He still didn’t get it.

“Seriously, Cass. Your dinner’s gonna get cold.”

I just stared at him, my eyes burning from the soap, willing him to understand. Nothing happened, except that a chain of bubbles slipped out from between my lips, heading for the air a few inches away. It might as well have been a few thousand, for all the good it was doing me.

My toes were floating near the surface of the water, right beside the switch that controlled the drain. It was mounted just below the faucet, within easy reach—if I’d been able to move. As it was, I could only stare at it, stark terror creeping over my body, chilling my skin and threatening to paralyze whatever brain function I had left. I couldn’t move and Billy was useless and I couldn’t even take a deep breath to calm down because—

Because I was about to drown in the goddamn bathtub.

of my c8 ¢ “What kind?”

“Anything. As long as it isn’t good for me.”

He nodded and ducked out when I started to pull off my T-shirt. It was far too flimsy for where I’d been, but the saying on the front fit my mood perfectly: “I keep hitting escape, but I’m still here.” I tossed it on a pile with the coat, my stiff-with-cold jeans and the expensive scrap of silk that had been wedged up my ass for the past half hour. Then I slowly climbed into the tub.

Oh, God.

Bliss.

It was actually a little too hot, but I figured the amount of ice clinging to me ought to even things out. I added a generous amount of bath salts, found my pillow under some towels and let my head sag back against the tub. After a few moments, my muscles began to unclench and my spine sagged in relief, and I seriously began to wonder if sleeping here was such a bad idea after all.

I think maybe I did drift off for a while. Because the next thing I knew, I was at the pink and pruney stage, the mirrors were all fogged up and the water was no longer hot. And a ghost was sitting by the tub, staring at me.

I’d have been more concerned, but this was a ghost I knew. I grabbed a towel and shot him a look; I don’t know why. Billy didn’t worry about his numerous vices. He’d cheated death like he’d cheated at cards in life, and he intended to keep it up. That made his morality a bit of a mixed bag, since he never intended to answer for any of it, anyway.

With an insubstantial finger, he pushed up the Stetson he’d been wearing for the past century and a half. “I’ve seen it before,” he told me with an exaggerated leer.

“Then why are you looking?”

“’Cause I’m dead, not senile?”

I threw the sponge at him, which did no good, because it passed right through and hit the wall. “I can’t feed you yet,” I said. “Not until I eat.”

Billy and I had a long-standing arrangement, dating from the time I’d picked up the necklace he haunted in a junk shop at the age of seventeen. I donated the living energy it took to keep him feeling frisky, and he did little errands for me in return. At least, he did if I complained enough.

He stretched denim-covered legs out in front of him, as if on an invisible sofa. “Can’t a guy drop by without you immediately assuming—” He caught my expression and gave it up. “Okay, I’ll wait.”

I was trying to decide between getting out and running some more hot water when there was a knock at the door. “You decent?”

I pulled the towel up a little higher. “Yes, if my wrinkled toes don’t offend.”

Marco’s swarthy head popped around the doorjamb. “Naw, they’re cute.”

I wiggled them at him since I could actually feel them now.

“Anyway, grub’s outside and I gotta go.” He grinned at me. “Big date tonight.”

“Date?” I blinked in surprise, because master vampires don’t date. Not unless forced, anyway.

“Witch,” he said succinctly.

“Isn’t that a little . . . unusual?”

“I’m like the master. I like to walk on the wild side.”

It took me a moment to realize what he meant. “I am not the wild side,” I told him flatly. “I’m about as far from the wild side as it’s possible to get.”

He raised a bushy black eyebrow. “If you say so.”

I opened my mouth, then decided I was too beat to argue. “Well, have fun.”

“Oh, I will.” He paused. “And just FYI, there’s a bunch of new guys on tonight. Well, not new new, but new to you.”

I didn’t know why he was bothering to tell me. The bodyguards were changed on a regular basis. Round-the-clock security meant that some of them got stuck on the day shift, which was hard on vampires. At least I assumed that was why, after a week or two, they started looking a little peaked.

I nodded, but Marco just stood there, as if he expected some kind of answer. “Okay.”

“It’s just . . .” he hesitated. “Try not to freak them out too much, all right?”

“I freak them out?”

“You know what I mean. It’s those things you do.”

“What things?”

His eyes darted around the bathroom. “Talking-to-invisible-people kind of things.”

“They’re ghosts, Marco.”

“Yeah, only most of the guys don’t believe in ghosts, and they’ve started to think you’re a bit . . . strange.”

“They’re vampires and they think I’m strange?”

“And no popping out of nowhere in front of a guy. That takes some getting used to. I don’t think Sanchez has recovered yet.”

“The only place I’m popping is to bed.”

“Good plan.” Marco looked satisfied. “See you on the flip side.”

I rolled my eyes at the slang, which as usual for the older vamps, was decades out of date, and let my head sag back against the tub. I really didn’t want to move now that I was warm and relaxed and actually starting to feel my extremities again. But the smells drifting in from the next room were making my stomach growl plaintively.

I couldn’t immediately identify the source, but it didn’t matter. If Marco had done the ordering, it had to be good. Unlike Pritkin, Marco didn’t worry about things like trans fats and cholesterol. When Marco ate, he ate big: pasta dripping in cream sauce, huge peppery steaks, mashed potatoes with gravy, and cannoli sweet enough to crack teeth. Often at the same meal.

The fact that vampires didn’t technically need to eat didn’t appear to worry Marco. He’d told me that one of the best things about finally reaching master status had been the return of working taste buds. And he’d spent the time since making up for all those flavorless years.

I decided that maybe I was clean enough. “Turn around,” I told Billy. “I’m getting out.”

He made a pouty face but he didn’t argue. Maybe he was hungry, too. I wrapped the towel around myself and started to get out of the tub.

But instead my hands slid off the porcelain, my knees bent and I slipped back into the rapidly cooling water.

For a second, I just lay there, more confused than worried. Until I kept on sinking. Then I snapped out of it and began to struggle.

And found that it made absolutely no difference.

The best I could do was keep my face above the bubbles for a few seconds while I struggled to move, to cry out, to do something. But my body was as frozen as the shout trapped behind my teeth, which my lips stubbornly refused to let out. The most I managed was a muffled grunt as my head slowly went under.

Immediately, all sound vanished. The whoosh of the air-conditioning, the almost silent footsteps of the guards, the soft clink-clink of someone dropping ice cubes in a glass in the dining room, all faded into a watery roar. Silence constricted around me, a heavy, cold hand that robbed me of breath as effectively as the water over my face.

The bubbles had half dissolved by now, with pockets of suds floating here and there, like the sky on a cloudy day. In between I could see the ceiling of the bathroom, rippling with my barely discernible struggles. But they weren’t enough, weren’t nearly enough, and my lungs were already crying out for air.

After what felt like an hour but was probably no more than a few seconds, the scene above me was obscured by Billy’s indistinct shape. He was saying something, but I couldn’t hear, and then his face passed through the water and he gazed at me curiously. “Time to get out.”

No shit, I thought hysterically, trying to flail limbs that suddenly felt like they belonged to someone else. A frown appeared between Billy’s eyes. But it was the impatient Billy look, not the panicked Billy look. He still didn’t get it.

“Seriously, Cass. Your dinner’s gonna get cold.”

I just stared at him, my eyes burning from the soap, willing him to understand. Nothing happened, except that a chain of bubbles slipped out from between my lips, heading for the air a few inches away. It might as well have been a few thousand, for all the good it was doing me.

My toes were floating near the surface of the water, right beside the switch that controlled the drain. It was mounted just below the faucet, within easy reach—if I’d been able to move. As it was, I could only stare at it, stark terror creeping over my body, chilling my skin and threatening to paralyze whatever brain function I had left. I couldn’t move and Billy was useless and I couldn’t even take a deep breath to calm down because—

Because I was about to drown in the goddamn bathtub.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 240 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(152)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 241 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Wow!!!

    Took the story line to new heights!!!! Love the love triangle and all the back stories. MUST READ!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    author still going strong..

    wow. damn, book five answered lots questions brilliantly, with usual humor, wit, action, in depth story line, and sex, finally ;).. of course author leaves book hanging for next in series, but you feel satisfied with ending, which was a great climax in itself and did not see coming, left smile on my face, in a way, without giving story away [it never really is a happy ever after ending, and little too much action detail as norm]. even so, cannot wait for the next one, um, please hurry!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Exciting Action Featuring An Engaging Heroine

    I had a hard time rating this book because of the way the story-line jumped around. The book revolves around Cassie, the time traveling Pythia, being attacked by mysterious others who are more than human but unidentified until the latter portion of the story. But, that frantic story-line was sometimes abandoned in favor of past historical events, romance and explanations concerning the various back-histories of Cassie, Mircea (Cassie's master vampire love interest) and Pritkin (the half-demon war mage and Cassie's' protector). Sometimes the transitions were too abrupt for me, but, as a whole, this book worked. It deepened the main characters, delivered excellent action scenes and resolved in a wrenching/action-packed climax with a clever twist.
    As always I enjoyed Cassie's spontaneity, snappy comebacks and humility. She grows up a bit in this book. Instead of whining and complaining, she seems to be sincerely dedicated to discovering and exercising her powers.
    Note, the chase/action scenes are excellent and seem a bit more cohesive than past action sequences in the earlier books. The love triangle is a little too cliché for me but at least the two male characters, (Mircea and Pritkin), are more filled out in this book. Part of the mystery surrounding Cassie's mother is predictable from the first historical scene featuring her. Furthermore, the full identity of Cassie's mother becomes apparent when the enemies' identities are revealed within the text. Nonetheless, it's a clever twist that unites the past and present and explains Cassie's' succession to Pythia.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Cassie Palmer is Taking on the World and Winning

    Hunt the Moon
    By Karen Chance
    Copyright June 2011
    Publisher Signet Select

    Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

    But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.

    Cassie just can't catch a break. No sooner has she killed, maimed, destroyed, or ticked off her last nemesis, she's back in the middle of more action and fighting for her life; all this while preparing for her Coronation. Of course Cassie is trying to take all of this in stride, even with no dress, and Mircea conveniently out of town.

    Cassie (powers aside) is every woman I've ever known. Just trying to get through life in one piece while doing her job, having a love life, and just trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collector. For Cassie it means being the Pythia, a job she has not received proper training it. Her kick ass, and take names style makes reading the series a fast paced, don't turn your head or you'll miss something kind of book.

    I have been a Cassie fan right from the beginning in "Curse the Dark". I hope this book has a long and healthy run. I think Ms. Chance's writing style and characters have a depth and life to them that parallel our own world and lives.

    FTC Full Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Public Library fully intending to enjoy it and write a review and sharing it with the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I love this series

    The Cassandra Palmer series is a unique and I highly recommend it for Urban Paranormal Fans. This fast pace series is filled with a variety of interesting other worldly beings and is unique with Cassandra having the ability to travel through space and time to make sure that all is right and stays right with the world. Its action packed with a splash of romance and a steamy love triangle. I've read all of Karen Chances novels and even her shorts. Her writing style draws you in and keeps you hooked. My only suggestion is that you read the Palmer series first before you attack the Midnight Daughter series. Karen enjoys mixing these two worlds and characters since they all are occuring at the same time. The Palmer series introduces the main guns. Great summer and rainy day read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    HIghly Recommended!!!!

    This book is by far my favorite in the series. Amazing when a book can be this fresh and exciting at installment #5! I love Cassie! I love Pritkin. I love this series. The ending was amazing...I just wish I didn't finish it so fast...because I cannot wait for the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Loved It!

    I love Cassie, she's funny, clever, and courageous. This is my favorite book so far. because she is starting to get her feet as the Pythia. I can't wait until the next one comes out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    One of the best books in the series.  Karen Chance is a fantasti

    One of the best books in the series.  Karen Chance is a fantastic writer and really knows how to tell a story.  I can't get enough of her writing. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    You are the BEST!!

    Love this writers work. Every single book is awesome!! I reread EACH one several times & I keep them handy always!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Love this series!

    Waiting for more is torture... give me more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    A homerun of a book for sure!

    Great spin on the Vampire genre and myths, etc. The twist & other supernatural characters and elements make this book amd series a refreshingly addictive read!! Get book #1 & get started!! Kudos to Karen Chance!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Knightie night.

    Love Knight. Writing is captivating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Entertaining

    Good book. I like the fact that the characters arent perfect. The fight scenes were a little long amd hard to follow but this series is a great read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Cassie palmer series fan

    Awesome series!!!!!!!!! I love karen chance her stories keep me hooked

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Very good

    I love this series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Good

    Well a lot happens in this. Well all the books so far really. Pretty good series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2012

    Very good!

    I found it a great read. Very Fast pace and exciting. Kinda dislike the cliff hanger at the end, but that is with any cliff hanger. I can't wait for her to come out with the next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Excellent

    I hope there are more to come. The cliff hanger is killing me. TEAM PRITKIN!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    More like 4.5 stars

    You've gotta love Cassie. Read this series because misery loves company and I need some friends out their who are just as frustrated as me waiting for another installment of Cassie's adventurous, disasterous, melee into Hell.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2012

    Ridiculously entertaining!

    The entire series is funny, and the latest is not an exception. In fact, I may have chuckled out loud at this one than any previous

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 241 Customer Reviews

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