The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire
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The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire

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by Abigail Gibbs
     
 

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The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire, the debut novel from Abigail Gibbs, is a thrilling paranormal novel set in London with unforgettable characters and haunting romance.

When party girl Violet Lee stumbles upon the charming and wicked vampire Kaspar Varn, she embarks on a dangerous adventure through London’s darkest streets and poshest

Overview

The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire, the debut novel from Abigail Gibbs, is a thrilling paranormal novel set in London with unforgettable characters and haunting romance.

When party girl Violet Lee stumbles upon the charming and wicked vampire Kaspar Varn, she embarks on a dangerous adventure through London’s darkest streets and poshest neighborhoods. As their attraction isundeniable, the pair succumb to their desires, but at what cost?

Fans of A Discovery of Witches and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books won’t be able to resist this tale from Wattpadd-sensation Abigail Gibbs. The Dark Heroine is an edgy and wild fantasy; an impossibly sexy read.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times BOOKclub
“The freshest voice in this genre... a treasure...”
Meg Cabot
Abigail Gibbs will make you fall in love with vampires all over again....but look out: these vampires will bite.
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"The freshest voice in this genre... a treasure..."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062248749
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Series:
Dark Heroine Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
94,886
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

The Dark Heroine


By Abigail Gibbs

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2013 Abigail Gibbs
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-224873-2


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Violet


Trafalgar Square is probably not the best place to stand at one o'clock in the morning. In fact, it is probably not the best place to be if you are alone at any time of the night.

The shadow of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square loomed above as I shivered, the cool air of the July night rushing between the buildings. I shuddered again, pulling my coat tightly around myself, seriously beginning to regret wearing a skimpy black dress — my choice of wardrobe for the evening. The sacrifices I make for a good night out.

Jumping as a pigeon fluttered down beside my feet, I scanned the empty streets for any sign of my friends. So much for getting a "late-night snack." The sushi bar was only a two minute walk away; twenty minutes had passed. I rolled my eyes, in no doubt that some guys were in their knickers by now. Good for them. Why would they have to worry about little old Violet Lee?

I walked toward the benches, sheltered by the sparse and gloomy canopy of trees. I sighed as I rubbed my hands across my knees to try and get the blood flowing, bitterly regretting the decision to wait behind.

Taking one last glance around the square, I pulled out my mobile, hitting speed dial. It continued to ring until, eventually, the voice mail cut in.

"Hi, this is Ruby. I can't answer right now, so leave a message after the tone. Lovage!"

I groaned in frustration as the tone beeped. "Ruby, where the hell are you? If you're with that guy, I swear I'll kill you! It's bloody freezing out here! As soon as you get this, call back." I ended the call, slipping the phone back into the inside pocket of my coat, knowing that my efforts were likely to be in vain as she probably wouldn't listen to the message for days. Rubbing my hands together and drawing my knees up to my chest in a bid to keep warm, I debated whether I should just get a cab home. But if Ruby did turn up, I'd be in trouble. Resigning myself to a long wait, I laid my head on my knees in the quiet, watching the orange haze that coated the city of London.

Opposite, late night drinkers disappeared into a side alley, stumbling along until their raucous laughter was lost in the darkness. A few minutes later, a red double-decker bus with the words Visit the National Gallery splashed across its side appeared from behind the very attraction it was advertising. It followed the road around the square before disappearing in the maze of Victorian buildings that dominated the city center. As it left, the dull hum of faraway London traffic seemed to fade away into silence with it. I wondered which of the two boys we had met tonight had struck lucky with Ruby. I felt a pang of regret, wishing I could be as carefree and, well, loose as she was. But I couldn't. Not after Joel. More minutes passed and I began to feel uneasy. Nobody had drunkenly stumbled through for a while, and the cold night air was descending like a blanket around my exposed legs. I glanced about for a taxi but the roads were empty and the square deserted, save for the light skimming over the surface of the water in the two fountains to either side of the central column. I was pulling my phone back out, thinking I could call my father and ask him to pick me up, when something flickered in the corner of my eye. Almost dropping the phone, I jerked up, heart in my mouth, scanning the square for any sign of movement. Nothing. I shook my head, the panic waning. It was probably just a pigeon, I assured myself. I began to dial my home number, the cold numbing my fingers, though I glanced up every few seconds, willing my breathing to slow.

But no, something had moved.

A shadow had flitted across one of the huge fountains, too quick for my eyes to discern a shape. The square, on the other hand, was deserted, save for a few panicked pigeons taking flight. I shook my head, pressing my phone to my ear. The line crackled, ringing feebly and breaking every few seconds.

I tapped my foot impatiently. "C'mon ..." I muttered, glancing at the screen. Full signal.

My eyes wandered as the number rang and rang, lingering on Nelson's Column, towering hundreds of feet in the air. The blazing floodlights that lit up the statue at the very top flickered, like a flame in the breeze. They stilled again, as intense and bright as before.

I shivered, but not from the cold. I prayed someone would answer the phone, but the line crackled and, with one last pitiful ring, went dead. I stared at it, wide-eyed, before adrenaline began to rush into my veins and instinct cut in. I slipped off one of my heels as my eyes glued themselves to the column, watching in disbelief as the shadow I had seen just moments before swept across the statue, vanishing from view as quickly as it had come. Fumbling with the last strap, I wrenched the other shoe from my foot and snatched both up in my hands. I started forward. But no sooner had I taken a few steps forward than I froze, rooted to the spot.

A gang of men, clothed in brown coats and carrying long, sharpened canes, were descending the steps. Their grim, weather beaten faces were dark and heavily scarred, every brow set in an unwavering, determined line. Their heavy footfalls rang in my ears, pounding out an uneven march on the pavement as they moved ever closer.

Stunned, I shrank back into the shadows, silently crouching behind the bench. Hardly daring to breathe, I tried to make myself as small as possible while inching toward the edge of the square.

The man at the head of the group barked something and the men spread out, creating a line as wide as the square, stretching from one fountain to the other. There were easily thirty of them. As one, they came to a halt just in front of the column, only their coats moving as the wind billowed in the fabric behind them. Not even the trees made a sound. Every one of the men looked straight ahead with unwavering concentration, watching and waiting. I glanced toward the top of the column, but the statue was bathed in light as usual, the only shadows being those cast by the men and the trees that I sheltered under. A few leaves drifted languidly to the ground, settling on the bench beside me. Then it happened.

The square came alive in a frenzy of movement and out of nowhere something sprang from behind the trees, soaring high above my head and landing without so much as a stumble on the hard stone, about ten feet away. I blinked, not believing that my eyes had seen a person, but before I could take a second look, whatever it was had disappeared.

Taken as much by surprise as I was, the line of men staggered back a few paces in panic. Those at the very end of the line edged inward, order restored only when the man I presumed to be the leader raised a hand. From his coat he pulled a silvery baton, one end sharpened to a lethal point. With a flick of his wrist, it became twice as long. He spun the baton a few times, as though admiring the way it glinted when it caught the light. His lips curled into a satisfied smile, and he stilled, waiting once more. The leader, tall and lean, was quite young — twenty at the most. His face was free of scars, unlike those around him. His hair, cut short, was bleached so it was almost white, a stark contrast to his leathery coat and tanned skin. His smile widened as his eyes darted toward the figure who had landed so close to me. I drew in a sharp breath, expecting him to spot me, but his attention was whipped away as a man stepped out from around the fountains.

No, not a man, but a boy, not much older than I was. His eyes were sunken, skin ashen pale and almost translucent, pulled taut over hollow cheeks. He too was tall, but beneath his tight shirt I could see the rippling trace of muscles. His arms were just as pale but covered in red blotches, as though he had been badly sunburned. His lips were stained a bright, bloody red, as was his hair, which was spiked and unkempt.

I blinked, and he was gone. I searched the square as others appeared, all with the same pale skin and haggard gaze. They circled the group in the middle, their faces twisted into a mixture of amusement and disgust. They appeared from nowhere, darting from one side to the other at inhuman speed, vanishing and emerging within a second. I rubbed my eyes, convinced that I was just too tired to focus. They couldn't be moving that fast. The boy with the flaming hair appeared again, leaning against the fountain as though standing at the bar. Near him stood a young man with sandy-blond hair who I thought I recognized as the one who had sprung from behind me.

In total there were five of them, casually herding the group of brown-coats into the center like animals. The tanned men's faces were contorted into a picture of fear and loathing as they broke their ranks, stumbling back a few steps with their stakes lowered. Only the leader remained unmoved, his smile becoming a smirk as he clasped his baton to his side and jerked his head upward.

Suddenly, a man dropped from the column — all one hundred and sixty-nine feet of it. He plummeted faster and faster toward the ground, surely to his death. But I watched, amazed, as he landed nimbly on the stone, dropping to a crouch in front of the gang's leader.

The square stilled, and the leader, for the first time, stirred. "Kaspar Varn, such a pleasure to see you again," he said, his voice tinged with an accent I couldn't place.

The man, Kaspar, straightened up, his face blank and unreadable. He was as tall as the leader, but his bearing and well-built, muscled stature made the other man seem a lot smaller. "The pleasure's all mine, Claude," he answered coolly, his gaze sweeping right to left. He gave a curt nod to the sandy-haired boy and I managed to steal a look at him.

He, like the others, had pallid, slightly sallow skin, devoid of any color or blush. His dark, almost black hair was streaked with shades of brown and was windswept, falling across his forehead. If anything, his features were gaunter than any of the others', his face shadowy as though he had not slept for days.

Perhaps he doesn't sleep, a voice in my head muttered. As the thought crossed my mind, he seemed to look past the sandy-haired boy, his brow creasing a fraction. I held my breath, realizing he was looking directly at me. But if he saw me, he chose to pay no attention as he turned back to the leader, his face clearing and becoming impassive again.

"What do you want, Claude? I have no time to waste on you and the Pierre clan," the darker-haired man said, addressing the other. Claude's smile widened as he ran a single finger down the sharp edge of his stake. "Yet you came."

Kaspar waved his hand dismissively. "We were hunting anyway; it was no great distance."

I shuddered. What is there to hunt in a city?

Claude chuckled darkly. "As are we."

In a flash, he brought the stake up to the other man's chest, thrusting forward. But it never found its mark; Kaspar reached up and brushed it away. It seemed to take no effort; he hardly blinked, but Claude lurched backward as though a truck had hit him. The stake clattered to the ground, the metallic ring echoing in the silence.

Claude staggered, tripped, then clumsily regained his balance and straightened himself up. His narrow eyes darted toward the stake and then back to the man who stood in front of him. His lips curled back into a smile.

"Tell me, Kaspar, how is your mother?"

Out of nowhere, the pale man's hand snatched forward, seizing Claude's throat. Horrified, I watched as Claude's eyes bulged and his feet left the ground, the color draining from his face. He coughed and spluttered, his feet kicking in midair. His hands grappled with Kaspar's wrists, but he soon began to give up as slowly, agonizingly slowly, he turned purple.

Without warning, the pale man let go. Claude crumpled to the ground, gasping for breath, feverishly rubbing his neck. I breathed a sigh of relief, but the man collapsed on the pavement didn't. His whimpers became pleas and his face seemed to show some sort of recognition as he stared up at the maddened face of Kaspar. He shuffled back, squirming and grabbing the hem of a coat one of his men was wearing. The man did not move.

Kaspar's chest was heaving, and a deranged, sick expression was twisted onto his face. He lowered his hand, clenching it into a tight fist.

"Do you have any last words, Claude Pierre?" he growled, the menace in his voice barely restrained.

The leader drew in several long, shaky breaths. He wiped away the sweat and tears on his sleeve, bracing himself. "I hope you and your bloody kingdom burn in hell."

Kaspar's lips widened into a smirk. "Wishful thinking." With that, he pounced forward, his head ducking behind Claude's neck. There was a sickening crack.

I gagged. My hands instinctively clapped to my mouth as bile rose in my throat. With it came fear. Tears leaked from my eyes, but I knew that if I made any noise I would be next.

Self-preservation kicked in as Claude's lifeless body dropped to the stone. I was witness to a murder, and I had watched enough of the six o'clock news to know what happened to witnesses who stuck around. I have to get out of here. I have to tell someone.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs. Copyright © 2013 by Abigail Gibbs. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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.

What People are saying about this

Meg Cabot

Abigail Gibbs will make you fall in love with vampires all over again....but look out: these vampires will bite.

Meet the Author

Abigail Gibbs was born and raised in deepest, darkest Devon, England. She is studying for a B.A. in English at the University of Oxford and considers herself a professional student, as the real world has yet to catch up with her. Her greatest fear is blood and she is a great advocate of vegetarianism, which logically led to the writing of her first novel, The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. She splits her time between her studies, stories, and family, and uses coffee to survive all three.

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The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I must give credit to anyone brave enough to write and publish a book. But, even so, I cannot happily recommend this book to anyone picking it up thinking it will rank up there with Twilight, Vampire Academy or The House of Night novels. Sadly, Abigail's first book misses the mark in all of the things I enjoy most in novels.  The character development in this story is very poor. While trying to write complicated, conflicted protagonists, all the author manages to do is create wishy-washy, confusing characters whose minds and dialogue all start to sound the same. I found the story line itself to be at times confusing, conflicting and then painfully slow. I spent a good 300 pages wondering when the story was going to come to a point and finally be over. I only kept reading in hopes that the novel would redeem itself, but sadly, I was disappointed. If you are looking for another good vampire book, do yourself a favor and pick up a different novel. I can respect Gibbs for trying, but it seems to me she needs another few years of school before her writing may truly interest me. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read on wattpad. Amazing story by an amazing writer! So glad that this was published! Way better then Twilight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This woman should stick to doing something, anything, besides writing. Laughably terrible. I want a refund. Who are all these people claiming "dark heroine" is good? Family? Friends? I read like a fiend and I have not often encounteted such childish and well, clumsy, writing, except when looking over old writing samples from 9th grade English I have stored as childhood momentos. I only got through half a chapter of this "novel" and it's far too painful to finish..... and I finish everything usually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this story on Wattpad, and unless the author altered the story fully, it was nothing more than a story of some girl who thinks she's normal and then gets sucked into a world of fantasy and finds out shes supper important. The boom started out great; my attention was fully there. But, as the main character became a broken down girl who cried constantly, i lost interest. Also, it seemed the orignal story line had not been what is found out later. It felt like it was an abrut change in directions of the story. The characters started to lag and become way less than what the were at the start; in all honesty, i found the hatred all the characters but Kasper had for Violet was far to extreme, especially the guy that had been obsessed with her until she pickwd Kasper. Then, he just violently hates her? Summary: it started off good with good characters then turned into something with a poorly constructed depressed teen girl who cried about everything and thought everything was her fault and a bunch of overkh hateful other characters. The plot also tooj a violent twist that did not play well with the start in my own opinion. There is a difference in a twist and what happened in this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved iy on wattpad and love it now still. Congrats Abs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a whole, I loved this book and anticipate any that may follow, but there were some points were I was a bit uncomfortable and I don't really consider myself a prude. Some of the scenes between the main characters were very intense. I read a review on Amazon that said it normalized rape culture and while I dont necessarily agree completely with the reviewer, I understood where they were coming from. I also think this is ultimately a YA novel (main character is 17/18), I would definitely lean more towards the "adult". Also, I read that the author is 17 and I'm not sure what to make of that in terms of content as well. All that said, I really did enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this book; one of my all time favorites. I remember reading it when she first started it on Wattpad and she still doesn't disappoint. I can't honestly wait til the second one comes out ;) By the way, all those hating; they obviously are envious of an eighteen year old who had her dreams come true by publishing a book. Abigail's writing is quite advanced for her age, and she was mostly self taught so stop hating and enjoy, why don't ya? 
readsway2much More than 1 year ago
I have LOVED this book ever since i found it while browsing around on Wattpad a few years back. though she  took a long break I never stopped waiting for more. I can't wait for the sequel!!
read_all_genres More than 1 year ago
I was not impressed. I felt like the storyline just kept repeating itself and it never really hit the climax that I had hoped it was building toward. I felt like the author took too much time explaining things in excruiting detail as far as actions, but when it came to character development, she didn't spend enough time. I kept waiting for this book to excite me...is it sexy, no. Is it underdeveloped, yes. And yet, it's over 500 pages! I was bothered from the start, when the main character was talking about how cold it was in July...maybe I don't know what the weather is like in London, in July...but I kept thinking we were aiming for a much colder month! Guess I should have known, that when I question a book at the very first page, I should probably stop reading.
goike More than 1 year ago
loved this book...kept me interested all the way until the end...amazing Abigail is so young to have written this...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book on Wattpad, and love it even more now! I can't wait for the second book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read most of it when it was posted on Wattpad. It was good then, but even better now. There are a few intense scenes, but it only adds to the story. The author is 18, in case you've read the other reviews. It's nothing like any other vampire stories I've read. It mixes politics with peasure and adds a bit of suspense and horror. It's definitely one of the best novels I've ever had the pleasure to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read on wattpad and loved! As soon as I saw it was published I purchased. This is is definetly a really good read. It was a tingling breath of fresh air on the vampire genre. Although I was bit lost with the king hating her, I feel like it was all of a sudden.. but other than that awesome!! So glad you got published "girly" (lol) you certainly deserve it. <3 ONE OF YOUR MANY WATTPAD FANS
crazycowlover More than 1 year ago
thank you for a great read!! and i cant wait for more from you!! i first read this on wattpad well as much as i could, i fell in love with this book and im very happy with it!! if your looking for a book that will keep you up till 3 am then this is it!! Abigail spins a story so well it will leave you wanting more!! but still satisfied :) all i can say is that you have to read this!! its good stuff! and money well spent!! so what are you waiting for get it!! lol ~Erica~ a.k.a ~crazycowlover~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it while it was on wattpad! Great story hun, Keep up the good work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished Autum Rose and I must say I could not help but keep wishing to be reading about Kaspar and Violet! I did love Fallon and Autum together but my heart is still all about Kaspar and Violet! Ever since I first found this book on wattpad I've been engrossed in their relationship but I did enjoy hearing more back story into the whole Dark Heroin and how Autum came to be the first heroin! Can't wait for more from miss Gibbs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is very interesting and is definitely a page turner. I read this book in 2 days and I was really sad to find that it ended and then I couldn't get the second book fast enough! I really liked this book and I hope you guys do too! Oh, and to whoever said that the people who gave good reviews were probably friends and family are really mean and rude
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The purpose of a sample is to see if the author's writing style and tone are pleasant enough to be worth buying, am I right? So what is the point in cutting off the sample in the middle of the first sentence of the dedication page? This was extremely disappointing and frustrating. Please fix this, B&N!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago