Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones Series #2)

Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones Series #2)

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by Katie MacAlister
     
 

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Dark One n. [Origin Czech, also known as vampires.] A Moravian Dark One is doomed to spend his lifetime cruising the singles' scene in search of the one woman who can redeem his soul. You think dating is hard? Try it when you're nine hundred years old and you've used every pick-up line in the book. Forming a lasting relationship is even more difficult when the woman…  See more details below

Overview

Dark One n. [Origin Czech, also known as vampires.] A Moravian Dark One is doomed to spend his lifetime cruising the singles' scene in search of the one woman who can redeem his soul. You think dating is hard? Try it when you're nine hundred years old and you've used every pick-up line in the book. Forming a lasting relationship is even more difficult when the woman who makes your heart sing sees dead people and likes to play with demons.

Summoner n. [Origin English.] Someone who summons ghosts, poltergeists, and demon lords. Summoners tend to hang around cities like London that are filled with portals to Hell, haunted inns, and other locations dishy vampires might be found lurking. Most Summoners are female, which makes for difficulties when it comes to explaining to the man who haunts your dreams and fills your soul with love why your pet ghosts can be found hovering around even in the most romantic of circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780505525543
Publisher:
Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/02/2004
Series:
Dark Ones Series, #2
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 6.58(h) x 1.07(d)

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Sex and the Single Vampire


By Katie MacAlister

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2004 Marthe Arends
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8439-6299-4


Chapter One

The message waiting for me at the hotel desk was short and concise: Either you come back from England with bona fide proof of a spiritual entity, or you needn't bother returning to the office. There's no room in UPRA for crackpots and never-beens.

It was signed by my boss, and the head of the western U.S. division of the United Psychical Research Association, Anton Melrose II.

"Well, isn't that just Jim Dandy fine," I muttered to the message as I crumpled it up and tossed it into the appropriate receptacle, situated at the end of the reception desk, wishing as I did that I could Summon up a demon or two, minor ones, just bad enough to scare the bejeepers out of my employer. "I'd pay good money to see him eat his words."

The woman at the desk smiled as she passed me the key to my room. "I'm sorry, Miss Telford; we're not responsible for the quality of the messages. We have to deliver them no matter what they say."

I smiled back, secure behind the sunglasses I wore everywhere. "That's okay; it's just my life falling apart, nothing to worry about. Is there a computer free now, do you know? I'll only need fifteen minutes."

Tina, the receptionist at the St. Aloysius Hotel in jolly old London, checked the log for the twocomputers kept in a small, dark room for the use of those businesspeople who couldn't live without an Internet connection. "It's all yours."

I gathered up my bag, ignoring the clinking that came from within, and mumbled my thanks as I limped down the short hallway that led to the computer room. One of the two computers was taken up by a skanky-haired young man of about twenty, who raised one pierced eyebrow as I carefully set my bag down next to the chair of the second computer. The clink of glass bottles was loudly evident.

"It's holy water," I told him when his pierced eyebrow rose even higher. "For the ghosts. Nothing drinkable. That is, you could drink it, but I've had it on the best authority that holy water tastes like tap water that's oxidized for a couple of days."

He blinked at me.

"Bland," I explained, then turned my attention to the computer. I waited until he was busy with his own screen before pushing my sunglasses up so I could better see the computer screen, logging quickly into the e-mail account I'd set up for those rare times UPRA had seen fit to send me outside of the Sacramento area (which is to say, twice), just as quickly scanning the six messages collected. "Spam about an herbal product guaranteeing to make my penis grow larger, spam about low mortgage rates, e-mail from Mom, spam about something to do with furry barnyard friends that I'm not even going to open, e-mail from Corrine, and spam asking me if I'm single. Well, it's nice to know I'm missed."

The young man snickered and logged off his computer, pulling up a briefcase that had the name of a major software company embossed on the side. "Do you see lots of ghosts, then?" he asked as he stood and shoved in the chair.

I pushed my sunglasses into their normal position and gave him a little moue of regret. "So many I hardly have a moment to myself. They're very simpleminded, you know. Really no different from a puppy. Just a kind word or two, a little pat on the head, and they follow you around forever."

He stood staring at me for a moment, as if he couldn't decide whether I was serious or not.

I held up both hands to show him there was nothing up my sleeves. "I'm joking. No ghosts to date."

He looked relieved, then managed to twist his relief into a familiar sneer common to all young twenty-somethings. I ignored him as he left, pulling my glasses off as I scanned my mother's e-mail, filing it to be answered later before I clicked on Corrine's.

Allie: This is just a reminder in case you've forgotten-the Dante book signing is at the new Hartwell's store in Covent Garden tomorrow night, 7 p.m. London time. Be there or I'll do something so horrible to you, I legally cannot put it into writing.

Hope you're having fun! I don't suppose you took my advice and left the shades at home?

Corrine

P.S.: Don't forget to give Dante the key chain I made him. Be sure to tell him how long it took me to embroider his name into the warding pattern. And don't forget to ward it! I doubt if I will ever live down the embarrassment of the time you handed over an unwarded key chain to Russell Crowe!

"Mmm. What a shame. The C. J. Dante key chain was mysteriously left at home," I told the computer as I logged off and popped my sunglasses back on just in case I ran into anyone in the hallway. For a moment I just sat, exhausted, listening to the sounds of the hotel and the noise outside the window of London on a busy winter afternoon. Anton's message did nothing but add to my exhaustion. I had seen the handwriting on the wall for the last six months-"Produce or else" was his motto, and I was lamentably lacking in the proof department.

"This is it, Allie," I said aloud to the empty room. "Put up or shut up time, and I have to tell you, the job openings for an unproven Summoner are pretty slim."

My voice echoed in the room as I continued to sit and dwell on my grim future. It almost seemed like too much trouble to push myself out of the chair and haul my bag of tricks upstairs to the small corner room that had been allotted to me, but a glance at my watch got me up and heading to the bed that promised a few hours of much-needed blissful nothingness before I had to go off to a haunted inn and hunt ghosts.

The dream started even before I felt myself relax fully into sleep. It was dark, nighttime, the air damp and musty-smelling. I walked through an empty house, its walls stained with mold and age and unsavory things that my mind shied away from identifying, my footsteps echoing loudly as I moved from room to room, searching for something, a place, somewhere I was supposed to be. Small black shapes skittered just beyond my range of vision in every room I entered, faint, soft phantom noises trailing behind me like a wake. Mice, or something more disturbing? I wondered as I let my fingers trail over a dusty banister that led me downstairs into a dark pool of inky blackness. Fearless as I never was in real life, I pushed opened the door at the foot of the stairs and saw a man stretched out on a table.

A man? Even in my dream I modified that word. He was no mortal man; he was a god, a perfect specimen of masculinity created just for my plea sure. Long black hair spilled onto the table, a halo of ebony against the light wood. His eyes were open, dark, but not as dark as his hair, almost mahogany in color, rich with browns and reds and even a bit of gold flaring around the edges of his irises. The long, chiseled lines of his jaw and squared chin were still, as if he were sleeping, but his eyes followed me as I moved into the room. He was naked but for a piece of cloth covering his groin, his body striped with what looked to be hundreds of small cuts, blood dripping slowly from the wounds onto the floor beneath the table.

I approached him, wanting to touch his wounds, wanting to heal them, but his voice caught and held me in a net of immobility when he spoke my name.

"Allegra," he said, his eyes dark with torment. "Help me. You are my only hope."

I reached out to touch him, to push a lock of his hair off his forehead, to reassure him that what ever it was he needed, I would do, that I wouldn't let him suffer any longer. I would send him on to eternal rest. As my fingers touched his heated skin, I woke up, gasping for air, sitting bolt upright in the bed in my hotel room, shivering despite the fact that I had cranked up the heat just before I settled down for my nap.

"What the ... Oh, no, now I'm dreaming in the daytime?" I reached for the carafe of water that I keep at my bedside. I've found that while water can't wash away the foul taste night terrors invariably leave in my mouth, keeping hydrated is an important part of limiting the length of my nightly trial.

Faint whispers of the dream stayed with me as I showered, brushed my teeth, and dressed in a pair of black wool pants and white silk blouse. I frowned at myself as I pinned my ordinary brown hair out of my eyes, and applied the minimal makeup needed to appear in public without frightening small children or the el der ly. There were dark smudges under my eyes, making my skin look bruised.

"It's going to get a lot worse if I start dreaming during the day, too," I told my reflection. The Allie in the mirror didn't look any too happy at that thought. I knew how she felt-sleep was precious enough; if the only time I had to catch up on what I missed each night was taken from me, I'd be a walking zombie in just a couple of days.

I poked around the hotel room for a bit, tidying up my bag of tricks (the digital voice-activated recorder needed new batteries, a bottle of holy water had come loose from its cocoon of cotton and was banging up against the thermal-imaging video recorder, and the EMF (electromagnetic force) counter was almost out of its leather case, which would have scratched the front of the ion analyzer). I strapped the motion detectors down firmly, double-checked that the infrared nightscope was secure, and replaced the damaged ultrasonic emission detector with the updated version I'd bought that afternoon.

"Too bad none of this stuff seems to really work," I told the bag sadly. It declined to answer me. I plopped down on the floor beside it, glancing at the clock. There was still an hour to go before I had to head out.

"No time like the present, I suppose," I said as I plucked a thick piece of chalk from the bag. "It can't hurt to give it another shot. What's the sense in being put in a haunted hotel room if you don't get to see the ghost?"

Clearing my mind of everything but the vision of an open door, I traced a circle before me using the chalk. The circle would hold the ghost after I Summoned it, until I either Released it to its next existence, or grounded it into the here and now.

That was the theory, anyhow. I hadn't actually ever successfully Summoned a real ghost, although I did have a nasty run-in with a chill wind in a mansion on the Oregon coast that was supposed to be haunted by a timber baron. Still, as Anton was the first to tell me, a draft does not a ghost make, which left me more than a little desperate. My job with UPRA was at stake, and although I knew En gland was just teeming with spiritual activity, thus far the ghosties had chosen to stay away from me.

A bit jadedly I intoned the words traditionally used to Summon ghosts.

"It's not going to work," I told my toes as I finished the invocation. "It never works. I'm going to have to go home without one single successful Summoning under my belt, and that'll be the end of my short and less than brilliant career as a regional Summoner. Stupid En glish ghosts. You'd think the least they could do is to show up for an out-of-town visitor!"

I fingered the vial of dead man's ash that I brought with me just in case. Dead man's ash, for those of you who don't dabble in Summoning, is created by burning tree limbs that have fallen over a grave-there's no actual dead man in it, although I like the colorful name. A witch once told me she'd had great luck using dead man's ash, so I opened the bottle and sprinkled a little of the gray ash out onto my palm, repeated the words of the Summoning as I held it over the circle, then released it with the mental image of a door slowly opening to allow all of the possibilities.

The air within the circle shimmered a little. I squinted at it, waving away bits of ash that were wafting out of the circle and straight toward my nose. Was it just the ash, or was there something forming in the circle?

The air was definitely shimmering, although ever so faintly. I batted at a few more bits of ash that were drifting toward my face and wondered if I should sprinkle more dead man's ash. The air within the circle pearlized, gathering itself as if it wanted to form into something, but couldn't make up its mind just what that was.

I took in a deep breath preparatory to repeating the words of the Summoning, and ended up sneezing out a bit of ash that had made its way into my sensitive nose.

A small, disgruntled-looking three-legged gray-and-white cat stood in the circle, glaring at me with yellow eyes. My jaw hit the floor as I realized I could see right through the cat's hazy body to the bed behind it.

The skin along my arms and back tightened, the hair on my neck standing on end as I realized what I was looking at-a ghost! "I did it! I've Summoned a ghost! Oh, my God, I can't wait to tell them back at the office. You, little kitty, have just saved my job!"

I bounced up and down as I beamed at the cat. "My first ghost, my first real live ghost."

The cat twitched an ear at my voice, and sat down to lick its hindquarters.

"Well, okay, you're not alive, but you're a ghost! A ghost cat! Who'd have thought this room was haunted by a cat? This is so cool!"

I reached into the circle to see if I could feel any sensation around the cat, but it wavered and broke up like a bad TV picture.

"Oh, right, I can't break the circle unless I ground you first." I crawled over to my bag, rooting around in it until I found my notebook. "This is just so amazing! I can't believe I did it! A ghost! Anton is going to be pea green with jealousy. Okay, pussycat, just sit tight there and I'll ground you so you can leave the circle. Let's see ... um ... grounding, grounding ... ah. Here we go."

The procedure to ground a Summoned spirit was pretty straightforward: Summoned beings were, by the very nature of Summoning, bound to the person who called them. Grounding them simply meant that they could not slip off to any other plane of existence without the Summoner first Releasing them.

"The forces of life shine strong within me," I told the cat. It looked unimpressed at my prose and continued to lick its rear end. "The power of death binds you to me. Until death overtakes life, you will heed my command. By my words, you are thus bound."

It was short and simple, not much to it at all, but as I spoke the words and traced protective symbols on my left hand and over my right eye, the figure of the cat slowly solidified until it looked like a translucent gray-scale picture of a cat licking its butt. I reached my hand into the circle, and was delighted to note that the cat's image didn't shimmer in the least. "At least I know the grounding works," I told it as my hand scooped through the cat's middle. Other than a slight tingling of my fingertips, the ghost cat felt like ... well, air. Slightly tingly air.

"Pictures!" I shouted, scrabbling in the bag. I pulled out my digital camera and snapped my fingers a few times until the cat looked at me. Its ears flattened back at the flash, but I got a few shots before it stood up and hobbled off to investigate my shoes. "They are just not going to believe this back home," I mumbled as I looked at the back of the camera at the images I'd just taken. The cat was faint and a bit fuzzy, but clearly visible. I could have hugged it, I was so happy.

I was busy with the ion analyzer when the alarm on the clock went off. "Drat it all! Carlos will be waiting for me." I chewed my lip and looked back at the cat. It had limped over to a chair and curled up on a pillow, turning its back to me as I used every machine I had to record its presence. I wanted to stay and continue recording it, but it had taken me three months' worth of begging and pleading e-mails to arrange for a local representative of the Society for the Investigation of the Paranormal to show me one of the most haunted spots in London. I couldn't cancel.

I got to my feet and collected the lighter version of the dark glasses I wear during the day. A quick look in the mirror confirmed what I had known-my eyes hadn't changed during the miracle of the Summoning. I glanced one more time at the cat, but it was apparently sleeping. According to the rules of Summoning, it shouldn't be able to leave without my Releasing it, but maybe there was an expiration date or something that meant I had only a little time with it.

"Just stay put, kitty, and I'll be back as soon as I possibly can," I told it as I shoved my glasses on and grabbed my purse. The Do Not Disturb sign swung from the door handle as I closed the door and headed downstairs.

The guy slouched over a magazine at the reception desk was the evening clerk; I recognized him from the last couple of nights when I had slunk out of the hotel on my ghost-hunting missions.

"Hi. I'm in room one-fourteen. I'm going out for a bit; will you take any messages for me? Oh, and I left some equipment out, very fragile and expensive equipment, so I don't want anyone going into my room."

"Not a problem," the clerk said without even lifting his eyes from his magazine.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister Copyright © 2004 by Marthe Arends. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Despite her love for novels, Katie MacAlister didn’t think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. MacAlister resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes. More than thirty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.

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Sex and the Single Vampire 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 186 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book from my boyfriend, ironically enough, and at first I didn't want to read it because of the title...just the word 'sex' jumping out at you doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. However, I'm addicted to books in any shape or form so I picked it up a couple weeks later and (metaphorically) couldn't put it down! It was hilarious, had all the nice romantic stuff, and I thought the main character was great. Naturally I promptly went out and bought another book by the same author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book cause i saw it was an add on to A girls guide to vampires and so win i bought it i coundnt stop readin it! This book was funny, dramtac, and very romantic! JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one is a big improvement over the first one, 'A Girls Guide to Vampires.' The characters are definitively more likable and believable. You sympathize with Allie; you can understand where she is coming from as an ex-victim of domestic violence. The plot is easier to follow. The dialogues are more believable. (This time the author proved to be witty and funny!) Oh! And the title finally matches the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say, this is either the second or tied for the first favorite series of mine. Which is saying a lot. I have to admit, I'm super jealous of Allegra. And though Jem is my favorite, ya gotta love all the ghosts, even Antonio. And I can't help but have a sneaking suspicion about Sebastion and Allegra. Just finished this one, and I'm buying the next one right now!!! Can't wait! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the book that opened my eyes to reading and years later its still one of my favs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! Absolutely adored Christian and Allie was a hoot. She was definitely his match.
kassy4300 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most funniest books out there. It keeps your mind thinking what next? It is very pleasant and very entertaining to read and visualize. Thanks Katie MacAlister for this very astonishing book !!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it really keeps you reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read Katie MacAlister's Dark Ones Series a couple of times, and recently I purchased them all for my Nook. I loved the story of Christian and Allegra. Christian had bugged me in the last book but he really shined in Sex and the Single Vamp! A must read for the series although I would recommend all of them!
LisserMG More than 1 year ago
I read this book recently and was very satisifed w/ it. I wasnt in love w/ the first one, but this one surely made up for that. This book constantly had something exciting going on. It kept me glued to it, wondering what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed this book, and I am excited to start the next books since this one left me w/ such high hopes.
Lisa Demetrius More than 1 year ago
If you read the first book in the Dark Ones Series 'Girl's guide to vampires' then you must read the second book to see what happens to Christian and his Beloved. Katie Macalister is a fantastic vampire romance writer. She always has you wanting to read more and more. Simply must read this and be ready for the enjoyment of it all!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Anton Melrose II, chief of the western division of the United Psychical Research Association, informs employee Summoner Alegra Telford that if fails again, she will return from London for the states unemployed. Alegra feels like a charlatan as she is in England because that is where many ghosts haunt and as a Summoner, she should be able to make contact. Nine centuries old Moravian Dark One Christian Dante detests swinging London though he swings the scene in an attempt that seems futile to find his cherished one; only she can save his soul with her love. His nightmare wait suddenly turns to a blissful dream when he meets Alegra who thinks she has summoned him through the portals of the netherworld. He persuades her that he has never even visited the place, but as a vampire, he hopes that she will insure that he never does. When Alegra finally succeeds in summoning ghosts, she comes to the attention of worshippers of the dark and their malevolent evil spirit. Only with Christian's help can she hope to remain safe even as she finds herself reciprocating the love he feels for her. A reprint of a 2004 book, Sex and the Single Vampire is an amusing paranormal romance starring two delightful protagonists, a horde of supernatural creatures that make the beyond seem real plus the return of Alegra's pals from A Girl's Guide to Vampires (also Dante's first appearance). The story line hooks the audience from the moment that Christian and Alegra meet because the reader feels the attraction that sets in motion the dangerous gathering of a deadly entity and his followers. Urban romantic fantasy readers will enjoy this one-bite sitting teeth in cheek (and neck) tale. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Dark Ones Series are wonderfully written and a must read. I have read the whole series in a week.
scovel More than 1 year ago
I was very nervous that this story wasn't going to hold much for me. It started off a bit slow and was hard to get into. But, once you figure out the back-story (in that our main character is a Summoner of ghosts and is in England to try and save her job with a company that investigates paranormal) the story flies. Allegra is a strong willed woman who has a messed up leg and two different eyes. She got out of a terribly abusive relationship and is now trying to make it on her own. She meets a strange and alluring vampire named Christian, who happens to be a vampire novelist. This story takes you down a wild path of romance, demons and true beloveds. I really hope that this story continues in future book. I really loved the super natural paranormal world that Christina and Allegra live in!
Macksmom More than 1 year ago
That was a surprise to me anyway. I am new to the Katie fan club. Since this purchase, I have read the entire "Dark Ones" Series and Katie MacAlister has a fan for life.
o2bnvanow More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book. I guess, I was expecting it to be as good as some of my other favorite writers. Maybe her other books are better but....for now
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is myra sue. My boyfriend iis a vampire. But nt the human bloodthirsty kind. Hes vegitarian. He is cong to spend the night. We will see how it goees. "Hi babe. How are you.? I jump up to hug him. Hes smells like lilac and lavender. "Where is the tequila love?" "3rd shelf. Why?" "I need to get drunk." Oh boy. Now i can have sex with him. He drinks the whole thing. Hes drunk. "Hey baby take off your clothes. You dont want to vomit on those clean clothes do ya?" He takes off his clothes. "Your turn myra. Here i will do it for ya." He takes off my clothrs. I say "close your eyes." I lead him to my bed. "Lay down." I lay down on top of him. He grabs me and gets on top. Then we have a lot off fin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks at summer. Yea why?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can baby sit im qualified
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eli u left me again why
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boobs are cool for guys am i right?