Must Love Dragons (Immortally Sexy Series #2)by Stephanie Rowe
Featuring characters from "Date Me, Baby, One More Time," this new, fun, and witty paranormal romance is set in a world where Satan is the world's greatest lover and dragons can find love through online dating. Original.
Read an Excerpt
Must Love Dragons
By Stephanie Rowe
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Theresa Nichols was going to starve to death and no one cared.
She didn't know which was ticking her off more, the fact that she
hadn't had her no-carb pretzel fix in a week, or the fact that
Quincy LaValle had apparently forgotten her yet again, like everyone
else in her life.
Her stomach growled and a sharp pain ground through her gut.
Who needs to eat?
Certainly not an eleven-foot winged dragon under house arrest,
hidden away because people in New York City would freak out at the
sight of a real dragon. No need to be spotted by someone who could
start the next world war with shrieks of invasions, Martians, and
other such panic-inducing nonsense.
Because of the close-mindedness of humans, she'd been stuck behind
closed doors for two hundred years, and quite frankly, it was
getting old. Especially when she was withering away, alone and
forgotten and starving to death.
Since she'd been put under Quincy's neglectful care, she'd lost 161
pounds. Completely unacceptable! She was a dragon, dammit, and
dragons had needs! Food, violence, destruction, incineration. None
of which she was allowed to indulge in Quincy's house. Heaven forbid
she burn anything up or turn his neighbors into crispy critters.
Being deprived of food was making it that much harder to resist all
her otherdragon desires. She groaned and leaned her head against
the fridge, willing away her insatiable craving to blow up his
kitchen. Keep it together, Theresa. You can handle this.
She let out a deep breath that was a little too smoky for comfort,
then marched over to the phone and punched the speed dial. Again.
And again, his answering machine came on. "Quincy! It's Theresa. I
haven't eaten in two days and I'm starving. I know you don't care
about me or the Goblet, but your brother's now the Assistant
Guardian, in case you forgot. He'll kick your butt if he comes home
from his honeymoon to find that Mona has been stolen because you let
the Interim Guardian die of starvation while you were obsessing
about some stupid math equation that no one but you cares about. And
the Council will skewer you if you screw up Guardianship.
Literally." She paused to take a breath, forcing herself not to
shudder at the thought of the Council, the ruthless governing body
in charge of the Guardians and the Goblet. Guardians who screwed up
were seriously toast, even Interim Guardians. "And if you don't get
home with food in thirty minutes, I'm burning down your house and
moving in with Becca." She slammed down the phone and glared at the
Goblet of Eternal Youth, which was currently masquerading as an
espresso machine. "Mona! This is all your fault."
The espresso machine said nothing.
Of course it wouldn't. In two hundred years, Mona had never so much
as hinted at being sorry for turning Theresa permanently into dragon
form. Yeah, yeah, so Theresa was the one who'd actually drunk from
the Goblet of Eternal Youth, but wasn't it the Goblet's duty to warn
her that a sip while in dragon form would keep her that way forever?
Theresa yanked open the freezer and stared at the contents. Empty.
She supposed she could eat some more ice cubes. She'd at least be
hydrated when she died of starvation. Bonus.
Or maybe she could eat some chairs. Nothing wrong with fiber, right?
Now that Justine, her best friend, roomie, and personal servant for
the last two hundred years, was off on her honeymoon, it was all too
apparent what kind of a life Theresa had: none.
No social life.
And most important, no way to get food.
She slammed the door shut as her stomach rumbled again and a burning
sensation clawed at her belly. She'd bet a box of Vic's Pretzels
that her body was beginning to eat itself. Wouldn't that be a fun
way to die?
No! A dragon should die a violent and fiery death! Dying of
starvation was completely unacceptable.
Dammit! She slammed her tail against the fridge, too hungry to
bother checking to see if she'd left a dent. She wasn't even allowed
to order delivery because she was guarding Mona, and it was a big
no-no to have strangers parading up to the door when the Goblet of
Eternal Youth was hiding out. You never knew if the skinny little
delivery boy might be packing a sword in his stay-hot pizza bag.
Plus, how was she supposed to explain her appearance when she
answered the door? No, you're not really seeing an emaciated
eleven-foot dragon with gold eyes. It's the scent from the pizza
causing your hallucinations.
She stalked over to the window of Quincy's house and stared at the
darkened suburb. If she were in her own condo, she could probably
get Xavier the doorman to get her some food, but no, their condo was
still a shambles after Justine and Derek had gotten a little trigger
happy with Becca's machine guns.
For a moment, she considered calling Becca, Satan's favorite Rivka
and right-hand badass, but finally dismissed it. The Rivka had more
important things to do than bring carryout to a dragon, and Theresa
had too much pride to beg.
She closed her eyes and dug her claws into the windowsill. You are
not hungry. You are not lonely. You are a goddess. The shattering of
the wood jerked her back to the present, and she jerked her claws
away from the window. Even the house wasn't built for helping a
dragon through the throes of misery.
There was only one thing that would help her now. One man. If Zeke
wasn't online, heaven help her and the neighborhood she was hiding
She grabbed her computer and IM'd Zeke, the only man she'd had
cybersex with in the last six months. Six months of monogamy for
Theresa Nichols, former Queen of the Sluts. Astounding, wasn't it?
Just proved how good a cyberlover Zeke was. For him to satisfy a
dragon who was completely deprived of all other outlets was quite
the feat. Thank God for Zeke.
"Zeke? You there?" she typed.
His reply was instant. "Yep. You?"
Tension eased from her body at his immediate response and she
smiled, imagining what his voice must sound like. Deep. Manly. He
probably had thick whiskers that would make a woman tremble with
longing. Zeke was definitely a badass. She could sense the
undercurrent of violence in him. She loved bad boys. What dragon
wouldn't? Whoever she dated had to be able to deal with a girl who
liked to burn things up and ate six pizzas for an afternoon snack.
"I bought a new piece of lingerie off the Internet yesterday. Want
me to describe it?"
She frowned at his hesitation, and an anxiety spark shot out of her
nose and sizzled on the keyboard. "Zeke? Don't leave me hanging. Not
He finally typed an answer. "Listen, I think we should meet."
She jerked upright in Quincy's microfiber recliner, slamming the
footrest back to the floor with an ominous thud. "I can't meet you!"
She scowled as a wave of longing washed over her, smashing her claws
onto the keyboard as she typed her response. "I'm still in isolation
at the FBI containment center, remember? They haven't figured out
how to keep my contagious disease from infecting everyone who comes
within ten feet of me." She felt a little guilty about the lie, but
it wasn't as if she could tell him she was a dragon. Besides, being
locked up in an FBI containment facility was sort of dramatic and
cool, and way better than her real life.
"I think you're avoiding me."
She grinned at his perceptiveness, imagining his brows furrowed in
aggravation as he typed. "Tell that to the dude with the machine gun
guarding my door."
"Give me his number and I'll call him up."
Some of her amusement trickled away at his continued pressure. "He
won't get close enough to talk to me. Afraid I'll infect him."
"Isn't that convenient?"
Her tail switched at his thinly veiled sarcasm and she accidentally
dropped a puff of ash onto Quincy's hand-woven carpet from India.
She'd been fending off Zeke's requests to meet for months, but
something felt different tonight. Or maybe her perception of reality
was being distorted by the fact that her stomach was beginning to
eat her brain. "No, it's not convenient. I'd love to meet you in
person and engage in some real flesh-to-flesh activities."
Understatement of the year. Cybersex was better than nothing, but it
was no substitute for having a man wrapped around her. She'd even
had Justine buy her some of the aftershave Zeke said he wore, and
she sprayed it around whenever they had cybersex. The woodsy,
masculine scent was nearly enough to give her an orgasm on its own,
let alone when Zeke was working his magic with the keyboard.
And when she couldn't sleep, she sprayed it on her pillow and
pretended he was there, hugging her pillow to her chest. Not that
she'd admit that to anyone. Dragons didn't need nighttime comfort,
and she was no exception. She was just sexually deprived and she
loved to bask in the scent of the man of her fantasies. And if she
liked it when he talked about his favorite movies and places he'd
like to take her on their first date, it was only because she was so
desperately lonely for any kind of a real life, even if it was
vicariously through Zeke. Not because she liked him or anything.
Because that would be incredibly stupid, given her permanently scaly
"Seriously, T, I don't care about your infectious disease. I can buy
a biohazard suit anywhere. We need to meet."
Theresa's heart started to pound and her hind claws curled into the
floor. Zeke was her one contact with the outside world. He was the
one person who would notice if she died. Their wild and daring
cybersex and late-night gossip sessions were the only outlet that
kept her sane, since violence, gorging on food, and incineration
weren't options. She took a deep breath and tried to focus. She had
to reel him in before he ruined everything, before he demanded what
she couldn't give. "What's the point in meeting if you're wearing a
biohazard suit? We wouldn't be able to have sex."
His reply was quick, as if he'd anticipated her answer. "I want to
know what you look like."
She scowled. She was an eleven-foot winged dragon with bluish-green
scales and golden eyes. Would that do it for him? Doubted it.
"Sorry. No pictures, remember?" It had been so long since she'd been
in human form, she wasn't sure she'd even recognize herself.
At his hesitation, Theresa shoved the computer off her lap and
jumped to her feet, pacing past the beautiful ash color coffee table
that Quincy had specifically forbidden her to burn up. Heat roiled
through her, struggled to escape. A spark slipped out of her nose
and landed on the hardwood floor. Crap! She stomped it out, then
spun back to face her computer when she heard it beep. She was
afraid to read Zeke's reply.
After a moment she lifted her chin, straightened her tail, and
marched back over to read what he'd written.
"I think maybe it's time to change the rules."
She growled at the screen. There could be no rule-changing!
Face-to-face meetings were not happening!
"T? You still there? I'm serious. Things need to change. I can't
keep this up."
How dare he ruin the only decent thing in her life by demanding
something she couldn't give, no matter how much she might want to?
She wouldn't let him. Not tonight. "The scientists are here to run
more tests on me. Gotta run." She hesitated, then added her usual
sign-off. "Love your body."
Then she disconnected before he could reply.
She slammed the lid closed on her laptop and stomped across the
room, ignoring the pictures rattling on the walls. Well, wouldn't
that be fine and dandy? Not only was she starving to death, but she
would die alone and sexually frustrated because Zeke was about to
bail on her.
Forget it. Things had gone too far. A girl had her limits.
She smashed her hip into the kitchen door and shoved it open,
ignoring the trickle of sparks that dropped on the tile. Quincy
would just have to get over a few burn marks. He'd be lucky if she
didn't burn down his house by accident. She narrowed her eyes at the
espresso machine. "I have to eat, which means it's time for a highly
illegal field trip. And you're coming with me, since I can't leave
you behind unprotected." She picked up the espresso machine and
tried to tuck it under her arm. Not comfortable, especially for a
dragon who wasn't exactly in top flying shape. "I don't suppose you
could turn into something smaller and easier to carry?"
The espresso machine didn't so much as flicker.
"What if I take you on a flying tour of the New York City skyline so
you can see this city that you've been living in for the last five
Mona immediately changed into an ankle bracelet.
Theresa grinned, all too familiar with the desperation Mona would be
feeling at being locked in her inanimate cell for so long. "That's
my girl. Maybe we can be friends after all." At least there was
something in this world that was more desperate than she was.
Forty-five minutes later, Theresa was perched on the roof of the
Vic's Pretzels that was down the street from the condo she used to
live in. She was wearing her favorite come-hither outfit: a leather
miniskirt, a black lace bra under a transparent white top, the topaz
earrings she'd bought during their brief stay in the Amazon (so what
if dragons don't have ears? The scales located on the side of her
head worked just fine), a new diamond stud in the piercing at the
end of her tail, and, of course, her new ankle bracelet.
She might not have any breasts or even a waist to do the outfit
justice, and her blue scales weren't exactly sexy, but one should
never underestimate the effect that sexy clothes can have on a
woman's mood. Or a dragon's.
She took a deep breath and inhaled the amazing scent of fresh dough
rising, letting it soak into her lungs. Vic's No-Carb Pretzels were
her reason for living, definitely worth taking a forbidden trip out
into the night air.
The sounds of the humans working the ovens drifted up to her, and
she took a moment to sort out their scents. There were at least
three of them, two male and one female. Probably one person manning
the kitchens and two customers getting their late-night pretzel fix.
Unfortunately, incinerating all of them was out. Someone would
notice three piles of human ash.
She growled, realizing that food would have to suffice to appease
her needs. If she could get the people outside for a few minutes ...
She eyed the roof and found what she was looking for. Didn't anyone
have the foresight to protect their vents from dragons anymore? She
glided over to the vent (yes, she might weigh several tons, but that
didn't mean she had to stop practicing the double-jointed-hips walk
that had brought men to their knees two hundred years ago) and
pressed her face up to it. "Hope you all are wearing your gas
Wasn't this going to be fun? She hadn't tortured humans in forever.
She grinned, rolled some smoke around in her chest for a moment,
then expelled a huge black cloud into the vent.
Then, for kicks, she did it again.
The sound of coughing and the scent of human alarm drifted up to
her, and Theresa flopped down on her belly and let the sensations
wash over her. It wasn't actual destruction, but it soaked into her
pores and eased the desperation off her needs.
It took less than three minutes for the humans to vacate the
premises. Once they were hacking away out front, she sat up, shook
off the soothing effects of the assault, and coasted down to the
back door. She tugged on it, found it locked, then grinned with
delight and yanked it free, along with the doorframe. She tossed the
still-locked unit into the alley and scooted inside the kitchen of
Three feet inside the door, she was hit by the intense aroma of
baking dough and melted butter and fell flat on her face. Holy
mother of pearl. She groaned and rolled onto her back, drinking in
the heavenly odors. Cinnamon. Fresh bread. Melted frosting for the
dessert pretzels. Her claws curved against her chest and she closed
her eyes, inhaling deeply as euphoria slackened her muscles, slowed
her heart rate. She would never move again. Just lie here forever.
A distant clang caught her attention, and she shook her head, trying
to clear it. This wasn't a safe environment. She shouldn't be
sprawled on the floor. She tried to uncurl her claws, but she was
too relaxed, too overcome by lassitude.
Excerpted from Must Love Dragons
by Stephanie Rowe
Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Rowe .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Over two hundred years ago, sexually permissive Theresa Nichols took a drink from the Goblet of Eternal Youth. That swivel changed her from a human to a dragon. Her only consolation over the two centuries has been her friendship with the Goblet¿s guardian Justine. However, even that is changing as Justine has fallen in love with Vic of Vic¿s pretzel (see DATE ME, BABY, ONE MORE TIME). Theresa is happy for her friend, but lonely except for Vic's Pretzels and her cyber affair with Zeke Sicardi. With Justine on her honeymoon, Vic¿s brother Quincy keeps forgetting to bring her food making her look emaciated. She also wants real time with Zeke and some nights enjoying Manhattan, but dragons do not have too many clubs they can visit. Zeke wants to meet her too which could prove a damper to their relationship. Still she agrees so she cuts a Faustian deal with Satan to give her back her human form and in exchange she will help the devil make it with Justine¿s mother Iris. However, being human proves even more heart wrenching when she learns Zeke is a three plus century old dragon slayer, her eighteenth century lover wants her dead, and NYPD believes she killed a TV evangelist. --- This is a fun romantic fantasy that shows that a sequel does not have to be a pale imitation of the original. Theresa is a fabulous unique damsel in distress and males line up to help her, even Satan. However, though good intentions their help seems to be the road to hell as she is soon in deeper trouble than not having a supply of Vic¿s pretzels as someone wants to kill her. Stephanie Rowe writes perhaps the ultimate star-crossed romance as the dragon and the dragon-slayer fall in love. --- Harriet Klausner
Love this book, this series is amazing!
Had me laughing all the time but maybe just a little less making out at random moments
Loved the second addition to Date me Baby one more time!!!!! Great story!!! Love the characters...the plot is so fun and original, I couldn't put it down. Such a fun series...you must read all of the others!!! Wont regret this book!!!
In this universe mythology and fantastical creatures are as real as Mom and apple pie. Satan is a flawed character in love with a Goody Two Shoes but very, very sly and conniving. Theresa Nichols may look human, but she is very much a dragon. When she meets a modern dragonslayer, Zeke Siccardi, determined to overcome his heritage and live a peaceful life, she makes a bargain with Satan to become human in order to have sex. Unfortunately, she forgets to add ¿with the ability to change back into a dragon at will.¿ This is a humorous romp, but the inevitable attraction between the dragon and the dragonslayer somehow seems possible when the novel takes a turn and becomes about how two Romeo and Juliet lovers embrace their natures and themselves and in doing so, make it possible for the two to be together. The logical twists and turns add spice not reality to this fantastically fun read.