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Finola White smoothed back her stylish chignon, then looked away from the mirror toward her head editor.
Tristan's brows crowded together in a full grimace, his lips in a hard line—not a good look at all. The expression distracted from his polished grooming and designer suit.
One's looks should never be marred by unattractive emotions. Tristan needed to learn to school his features to show his feelings in a more appealing manner. Like she did.
His lack of control irritated her. Both with his features and with his words.
"You forget who you are," she said, her voice soft, melodious, but leaving no doubt what would happen if he didn't remember who was the boss. "You also forget this problem actually originated with you."
Tristan didn't speak. Wise boy.
She returned her attention to her own reflection. Yes, he should learn to be more like her. She was upset, but she didn't let that show on her face. She certainly wouldn't let some silly, and nosy, human employee, who worked in ...
"Where did that wretched woman work again?"
Tristan released a slow breath before answering, "The mailroom."
Finola dropped her Guerlain KissKiss Gold and Diamond's Lipstick onto her desk. She supposed at $62,000 a tube, she should be more careful with the cosmetic, but really? Tristan could be so wearing. He was actually upset about an employee from—the mailroom?
"You cannot be serious. You are getting worked up about this"—she shuddered—"human for what reason?"
She tilted her head, not bothering to hide her confusion. Although she could make confusion look quite endearing, so why would she hide it?
"This is the twelfth employee since February."
Finola couldn't manage to keep the frown from creasing her brow. Just briefly.
"Well, it's October now." Surely, that wasn't such a horrible track record.
"We're not in Hell, Finola," Tristan said, his voice beseeching. "Humans notice when other humans just disappear."
She considered that, then shrugged. "Fine."
She smoothed a smoky grey shadow over her lid. She didn't have time to argue with Tristan tonight. She had to get ready for her romantic dinner at Jean Georges with ... now what was his name?
Oh well, that didn't matter. She knew he would be stunningly handsome and would photograph well beside her. Men were as important an accessory as jewelry and shoes.
And one must always consider what the paparazzi might catch.
A romantic dinner with the Finola White. That was a photo op no savvy member of the paparazzi would consider missing.
She couldn't let silly stress over an unimportant human taint her enjoyment of the evening—or affect her perfect smile.
She stood, smoothing down her form-fitting Halston gown, in her signature color, white.
She reached for her white cashmere wrap and her Swarovski crystal-encrusted clutch. She paused in the doorway of her glass-walled office. "But you do understand why this one had to go?"
Tristan hesitated, then nodded.
She offered him a small sympathetic smile that didn't quite reach her pale, pale grey eyes. She didn't feel sympathy, but she knew she wore it well. It gave her features an ethereal quality like some altruistic soul pleading for monies for starving children or something.
"This disappearance is your fault." No sympathy laced her voice.
"Yes." He nodded again, having the good sense to look contrite. After all, he was her right-hand man for a reason.
"Send a memo to the mailroom to hire a person to replace ..." She fumbled to think of the human's name, then shrugged. She waved her clutch dismissively. "Have them hire someone new."
She started out the door, then paused again. "And tell them a male this time. An attractive one. My magazine is about beauty; I shouldn't have to look at ugly staff."
"Of course, Finola."
She strode through the maze of her inner offices toward the elevators, pleased her new Jimmy Choo sandals were exceedingly comfortable. Then she sighed about her head editor's concerns.
Tristan might be upset with her, but she was right. The human woman needed to go. The woman had not only seen that Tristan wasn't exactly human, but she'd had dreadful fashion sense too.
"He's the one?"
"Yes, I knew as soon as I saw him."
Charlie's gaze shifted back and forth between the two men, who peered at him like he was a creature from another universe. And even though Charlie wanted to shift—nervously, he wouldn't lie—in his chair, he resisted the urge. Instead he remained perfectly still, the metal of the folding chair cold against his rigid spine.
The chair was the only piece of furniture in the small room. A nondescript cube with gray painted cinderblock walls and a concrete floor. All that was missing was a bare light bulb swinging overhead, and he'd believe he was in some interrogation chamber.
Okay, this was truly the weirdest job interview he'd ever experienced, and if he wasn't so desperate to work for HOT! magazine in any capacity, he'd walk out. But he couldn't. He'd tried every other way of breaking into the industry's most successful magazine. Now, he was willing to take this route. The mailroom. Far, far from where he wanted to work as a staff photographer for HOT!, but it was a foot in the door.
The man with the name Eugene emblazoned on his blue work smock moved away from the other one. Slowly he walked around Charlie, rubbing his chin and nodding. His blue eyes were intense as he studied Charlie.
Eerie eyes, Charlie realized. So blue, the color appeared almost fake. But he didn't seem like the type of guy to wear colored contacts. Maybe the lack of light from working in the basement made them all a little strange.
The guy disappeared behind him, and Charlie suppressed the cold shiver that snaked down his spine.
Yeah, this was weird. Very weird.
Finally the man reappeared and stopped in front of him. Then he nodded for the other man, the one innocuously named Dave, who'd been conducting the interview before it took this odd twist.
Both men stepped to the side, several feet away from Charlie. But not far enough that he couldn't make out a few of the things they were saying. Things like "Are you sure?" "Even if he is the one, would his looks pass?" and "What about the red hair?"
Would his looks pass? How good looking did you need to be to work in a mailroom? Not that he considered himself ugly. He raised an eyebrow as he regarded the other two men. They were hardly hunks themselves. And his red hair ... well, he'd heard about that his whole life, but it wasn't a valid reason not to hire him.
Charlie paused, frowning. What the hell was he doing? This was nuts. The one? Needing the right look? His red hair? Yeah, this wasn't a good idea.
He'd started to get up when the two men noticed and returned to stand in front of them.
Charlie told himself he wasn't feeling intimidated as he settled back down, waiting.
Eugene regarded him, narrowing his eyes as if he was trying to see something beyond Charlie's features, something deep inside.
Charlie shifted, deciding it was time to gracefully tell them maybe this job wasn't exactly what he'd anticipated.
Before Charlie could find the right words, Eugene's intense expression dissolved into a wide smile, revealing white teeth—almost perfect except for a slight gap between the front two. And just like that, the strange vibe in the room disappeared.
"Charlie Bowen, I think you could be perfect for the job. Just the guy we've been looking for." Eugene held out a hand to him.
Charlie blinked, a little dazed at how quickly the atmosphere had changed. But after a moment, he accepted Eugene's handshake, noting that the man's grip was perfectly normal. No cold, clammy skin. No death grip. Just a customary welcome.
"I will let Dave show you around," Eugene said, offering Charlie another warm smile. He nodded to Dave, his blue eyes intense again, and for a moment, Charlie got that feeling something was still not quite right here. As if the two men were having some silent exchange. But then Eugene was gone, opening the door to step out into the bustling workroom beyond.
"Ready?" Dave asked.
Charlie wasn't sure, but he nodded. "Yes."
As soon as he stepped out into the busy mailroom, his concerns faded. The room buzzed, people busily doing their jobs like diligent bees in a hive. The most prestigious hive in all the New York fashion industry. Maybe even the world.
This was a good thing. One step closer to his dream job. Maybe he was going in through the backdoor, but he wouldn't be the first to get creative to land the job of his dreams.
Weird job interview or not, he was where he'd always wanted to be—working for Finola White Enterprises, and more specifically HOT! magazine. And soon, he would get his portfolio in front of the queen bee herself. The powerful, notorious and insanely successful Finola White.
Once Ms. White saw Charlie's photographs, she would realize she had her next star photographer right here under her very nose.
The cart he was loading would go to the fifteenth floor. The main offices of HOT! magazine. A place that had become his version of the end of the rainbow. He could see the end, he knew the pot of gold was out there somewhere, but he couldn't seem to reach it.
The fact was he'd been working in the mailroom for a month now and all he saw was this workroom and this sorting station.
In his hand was a parcel labeled clearly with the great Finola White's name. He stared at that name in black, serif font, imagining what it would be like to work directly with her and her art department instead of here—he glanced around and couldn't contain the slight grimace that curled his lips—here, in strangeland.
He hadn't mistaken the oddness he'd felt when he'd been interviewed. Over the past few weeks, he'd realized the staff of the mailroom was strange. He couldn't place his finger on what was odd down here. It was just an intensity, a vibe in the air like the work went beyond mere mail delivery. Even though that was exactly what they did. Deliver mail.
He dropped another stack onto the cart. He knew that all too well.
And he didn't even get to deliver it. He just sorted the mail and processed the mail, and subsequently never left the mailroom. Not how he'd envisioned his plan.
When he'd come up with this scheme, he'd actually imagined that he'd at least be in the vicinity of Finola White—or members of her artistic and design staff. In the offices where he could slip his portfolio into the mail and thus in front of some important person who would be wowed by his work and hire him on the spot.
Genius in a blue mailroom smock.
But so far, he hadn't even seen any of those people. And he was losing hope. A month down here and he was starting to believe his brilliant plan was utterly stupid. He was closer to his dream job when he was doing wedding photography. And while brides, mothers of the brides and, well, anyone involved with weddings could be high-strung and demanding, they had nothing on this mailroom staff.
He looked around, watching his coworkers bustle around like they were doing some sort of clandestine service that was keeping the free world safe from imminent danger.
It's just mail, Charlie wanted to shout, but instead he took his frustration out on the rubber band he used to secure another bundle of missives.
He really shouldn't get mad at his fellow coworkers. It wasn't their fault that the closest he'd come to photographing high fashion was when he happened upon a HOT! photo shoot in Bryant Park, and stopped to snap a few pictures like some inquisitive tourist. Not quite what he'd imagined when he'd started here.
He looked up from his work to see two men watching him and whispering. Clearly about him. Another older woman at her computer watched him too.
Okay, even if he didn't have a plan and just wanted to work in a mailroom, this place would still strike him as strange. Everyone just exuded weirdness. Apparently it was a prerequisite for working here.
"And what does that say about me?" he muttered to himself.
Charlie sighed. He might as well be in the deepest, darkest circle of Hell rather than the lowest level of 66 West 46th Street in the heart of the garment district.
He looked around again. A woman who looked like a Russian fitness instructor circa 1960 was typing furiously on her computer as if she was inserting top secret data rather than logging in received packages. Another man, wearing a bow tie with his royal blue work smock talked to Eugene, the mailroom manager, their heads tucked close together, again like they were sharing some cloak and dagger plot.
Let's face it, Charlie, old boy. Even if you did manage to get your portfolio in front of some bigwig, as soon as they discovered you worked in the mailroom, they'd probably cast your photos aside. No matter how good they were.
He should just quit.
Charlie fought back a groan. Great, Innocuous Dave. Man, when he'd considered this guy average and dull, he'd been right on the mark, and that was what made him so awful. He was a boring, long-winded pain in the ass, following Charlie around like a shadow, watching Charlie's every move, repeating and repeating the importance of the mailroom and the way to perform even the simplest of tasks.
Pride in your work was one thing, but this went beyond that toward obsession. Creepy obsession.
"Charlie," Dave repeated, his voice clipped and emphatic. He stopped on the other side of Charlie's sorting area, his dark eyes serious, but also snapping with another emotion. Excitement? Anticipation? Worry? Charlie couldn't really tell.
Charlie waited, sure this was going to be another lengthy diatribe on the importance of mail sorting. He needed to quit. This place was sucking away his soul. And if he was wise, he'd do it before Dave started talking—otherwise he'd be stuck listening to something that made no sense and would likely go on for what felt like hours.
Charlie set down the envelopes on the metal sorting table and opened his mouth to do that very thing, but Dave spoke first.
"You are being promoted."
Charlie's mouth snapped closed; then he said, "Promoted?"
"Yes, you will now be delivering and collecting the mail for the fifteenth floor," David announced, leaning forward as he said the floor number, as if he was revealing a secret assignment.
His mission—should he choose to accept it.
Despite his thoughts just seconds earlier, Charlie found himself smiling. "Great."
Instead of looking pleased at Charlie's acceptance, David pursed his lips, regarding him critically. "You need to realize this is a significant advancement. A very important part of the mailroom's operation. You are expected to pay great attention while up there."
Charlie nodded, even though he found it hard to believe his new job was that significant. It was just pushing a cart around, handing out mail and picking up mail. But he would pay a lot of attention while up there. To who might really advance his career.
Charlie forced an earnest expression. "I will take it very seriously."
Dave still looked unimpressed. But he didn't say anything more, because Eugene had joined them.
Eugene was a bit less intense and strange than Dave, even with his eerie blue eyes and cryptic advice.
"I've been impressed with you, Charlie."
Charlie nodded, trying to look pleased by his boss's words.
"I've been watching you and I think Dave was right; you are going to be a great asset to our team. Just remember, you are our eyes and ears in this company. You have to be aware of what is happening around you and be ready to report back to us."
Charlie frowned. Okay, he had considered Eugene less odd—until now. What could they possibly expect him to report?
But he simply nodded. The sooner he got his portfolio out there, the better.
About half an hour later, Charlie had his cart loaded and he boarded the elevator. Elton, a small, elderly black man with a gravelly voice and gnarled hands, stood beside him.
Excerpted from So I Married a Demon Slayer by Kathy Love Angie Fox Lexi George Copyright © 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corp.. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. 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.
Posted August 3, 2011
A half-human, half-succubus, all Shiloh really wanted was a new assignment in Lust. Even though she was half-succubus, it was the only way she could eat, by feeding off men's desires, and she was starving. Bribing her superior with a case of Fitz's, Shiloh practically runs to her newest assignment.
Damien has lived his life by the slayer rules. On a mission to stop the most powerful demon in Vegas before he opens a portal and unleashes hell on earth, Damien plans to use a succubus to achieve his gains. After all, demons were all the same, right? And then Shiloh saunters into his life.
After a night of combustible passion, Shiloh and Damien awaken to find themselves hitched, but neither of them can remember the wedding. For a succubus, marrying a human was a death sentence and caused the total loss of her powers. Damien is supposed to slay demons, not fall in love with them. Yet as they work together to stop her boss they discover there's more to love than the battle between good and evil, and that sometimes what happens in Vegas shouldn't stay in Vegas.
Angie Fox has done it again! What Slays In Vegas is a fantastic addition to her Demon Slayer Series. Ms. Fox dishes up the laughs with her delightful premise and shows us that even a demon can fall in love. Readers will love the interplay between Shiloh and Damien. From the moment I began reading I was hooked and didn't stop until the last page. I heartily enjoyed this quick read from start to finish!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2013
Posted October 26, 2011
Posted October 18, 2011
So I Married a Demon Slayer By: Kathy Love, Angie Fox, Lexi George Copyright: September 2011 Publisher: Brava (Paranormal Romance) Hot! By Kathy Love At Hot! Magazine, the devil really does wear Prada. When the CEO is an actual demon and the mail room guys are undercover demon slayers, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for an up-and-coming photographer and a model possessed by much more than a sweet tooth to fall in love. What Slays In Vegas by Angie Fox When a sexy succubus comes up against a fearless demon slayer intent on killing her boss, a truly wild Vegas night turns into a quickie wedding. But in a city where anything goes, a demon slayer wedding a succubus is strictly forbidden. Which doesn't mean either is rushing to jump out of the marriage bed. The Bride Wore Demon Dust by Lexi George He's perfection in a tuxedo-more so out of it-and on a mission to protect his Alabama gal from the mysterious mayhem intent on her destruction. But the bride is a spunky steel magnolia with special powers of her own, determined to drop-kick evil forces across the state line and give her slayer a run for his money. So I Married a Demon Slayer is a trio of novellas based on a common theme. Hot! By Kathy Love Finola White the CEO of Hot! Magazine is a real demon. She is also a Micro Manager of everyone who works for her. She also insists that everyone who works for her is physically handsome or beautiful. Finola fires or disappears people who displease her and is now faced with having to replace a worker in the mail room. What that poor person did is never quite explained. Now enter Charlie, a young man who feels his future is in fashion photography (he is actually quite good). He applies for the mail room position to get a foot in the door, and hopes that he will have the opportunity to show his portfolio to someone who can help him with his dream. Charlie finds the people in the mailroom rather strange, but figures it won't matter if he just does his job and moves up the ladder to his dream. Along the way he will meet the beautiful Ava Wells, a Super Model who he dreams of doing a photo shoot with one day. Ava and Charlie will meet under strange circumstances one evening and their lives will take new directions. This story is hot and steamy, and full of surprises. What Slays in Vegas What do you get when you cross a half human succubus with a demon slayer? You get a formula guaranteeing a great story. Shiloh is on the bottom of the pile (succubus wise), she is only given enough work to keep her barely fed. She begs a job with more teeth and ends up in the bed of Damien. One drunken evening later, the two wake up and find themselves married. Oh the shame of it. HE, married to a succubus. SHE, married to a demon slayer. Damien and Shiloh both want the same thing. She wants free from her boss, and he just wants to get rid of the demons. It's gonna be a bumpy, sexy ride. You just have to read this. The Bride Wore Demon Dust The bride (Bunny Nicole Reines) is gorgeous in her white gown. The Groom (Rafe Dahlvani) is the reason tuxedos were invented. Bunny is (or was) human, Rafe if a time and dimension hopping demon hunter. He saved Bunny's life, and shared his own life force with her to keep her alive. Dahlvani don't have feelings. Dahlvani don't fall in love. Somehow Bunny's charms and his very new feelings are going to lead them into a very long and interesting marriage. That's all I'm goiWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 11, 2011
Posted August 19, 2011
"Hot!" by Kathy Love. Wannabe photographer Charlie Brown joins the mailroom of At Hot! Magazine with hope to show his work to the professional staff. However, he is unprepared for the dynamics of a demon CEO, a mailroom of undercover demon slaying Feds, and supermodel Ava Wells whose soul belongs to the devil and whose heart belongs to Charlie.----------------------- spellbimding antho
"What Slays In Vegas" by Angie Fox. In Vegas Damien the demon slayer targets the employer of hybrid succubus Shiloh. Instead the slayer and the succubus break a prime taboo when they end up married. ---------------
"The Bride Wore Demon Dust" by Lexi George. Sweet Home Alabama native Bunny the librarian is irate when demons controlling guests wreck havoc on her wedding. Her new husband is a slayer, but she is not one to sit idly by while he throws out the unwanted gatecrashers.-----------
These three lighthearted paranormal romances star male demon slayers and the females who possess their hearts. The storylines are emaciated even considering these are novellas, but the lead characters in each entry brings marital bliss to the tales.----------
Posted February 28, 2013
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Posted July 11, 2013
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Posted April 16, 2013
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