Time For Eternity [NOOK Book]

Overview

Once, Frankie Suchet loved Henri Foucault—and it cost her everything. For two centuries, she has cursed the French duke who gave her his blood and then disappeared forever. Today, this sexy vampire is a bartender living in San Francisco. Now Frankie has been granted a chance to go back in time…and kill the man who made her what she is. But becoming “Francoise” again means losing all memory of the risk Henri poses to her future…and her heart.

France, 1794. The Reign of Terror is ...

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Time For Eternity

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Overview

Once, Frankie Suchet loved Henri Foucault—and it cost her everything. For two centuries, she has cursed the French duke who gave her his blood and then disappeared forever. Today, this sexy vampire is a bartender living in San Francisco. Now Frankie has been granted a chance to go back in time…and kill the man who made her what she is. But becoming “Francoise” again means losing all memory of the risk Henri poses to her future…and her heart.

France, 1794. The Reign of Terror is in full swing. From the first, Henri is an enigma, saving Francoise from an angry Parisian mob. Drawn to his seductive vitality, Francoise discovers there is much more to him than she once knew. Henri’s devotion to rescuing innocents from the guillotine is his sole passion—until he encounters Francoise’s intoxicating blend of innocence and warmth. And as their attraction explodes to dangerous desire, the only way to save each other may be to sacrifice their timeless love…


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Squires (One with the Darkness) brings her flair for historical vampire romance to revolution-era France. Henri Foucault, the charismatic, wicked duc of Avignon, accidentally turned young Françoise Suchet into a vampire. A few centuries later, Francoise, now jaded San Francisco bartender Frankie, gets the chance to travel back in time and kill Henri. When modern Frankie merges with her 18th-century self, the resulting mix of innocence and experience makes her even more fascinating to immortal Henri than the first time around, while the wise future voice in Francoise's head allows her to discover more of Henri's complexity and secrets. The heroine's dual nature is exquisitely executed, and Squires's lush writing skillfully entwines the dramatic story of an aristocratic smuggler's resistance to corrupt revolution with the romantic tale of lovers drawn together across time. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“Few writers combine a sensual romance within a supernatural thriller as well as Susan Squires.”— Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429929394
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 551,978
  • File size: 351 KB

Meet the Author



SUSAN SQUIRES is a third-generation Northern Californian whose father almost disowned her for moving south of the Tehachapi Mountains to get her Master’s Degree in English Literature from UCLA. Now she lives a short walk from the Southern California beach with her husband, Harry, a writer of paranormal mysteries and her biggest supporter. Belgium figures largely in her life. She owns two Belgian sheepdogs and an Anglo-Belgian warmblood mare. She has traveled extensively in England doing research for her historical novels.

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Read an Excerpt


One

Bartending wasn’t a bad gig for a vampire. Night work. You could get a job anywhere. Especially if you looked not a day over twenty-five and exuded that vampire electric energy that made you seem more alive than anyone else around you.

Ozone was one of the trendiest gin joints in San Francisco. Frankie’s shift had been attracting lots of tourists lately. See above, vampire attraction. That and the French accent she couldn’t seem to quite shake. Americans loved accents. It might be time to move on. This city was too damned foggy anyway. She wiped down the brushed stainless steel bar. The bottles behind her on glass shelves were backlit by a huge glass panel that gradually changed colors, sliding along the rainbow. The stools were lighted blue disks that seemed to float in midair like the bottles. The neon sign O2 outside in the murk cast a pale blue glow over the front tables.

The last of a birthday party was breaking up just before closing. The crowd milled around, collecting coats and umbrellas.

"See ya, Frankie." That one was a regular—Jason? Josh? He left a hundred on the bar. She’d been giving generous pours all night, no matter what kind of shit-ass drink they’d ordered. Chocolate schnapps and vodka was in no way a martini just because you put it in a martini glass.

She nodded to him and wiped her glass. Suzie, the waitress, saluted, letting Frankie know she was leaving half an hour early. She had a boyfriend waiting at home. Drove Frankie crazy sometimes, imagining what they’d be doing by the time she could close up and trudge back to her third-floor walk-up over on Holt. One (but only one) of the curses of having this thing in her blood was that it drove her crazy with wanting sex.

Great. She could blow outta here right at closing. Like she had somewhere to go or someone waiting for her. The weight that settled in her chest seemed natural after a couple of centuries. Eternity stretched ahead, empty of any real relationships. Couldn’t let people close when you had something to hide. She couldn’t even escape her fate. The thing in her blood loved life. A lot. It regenerated cells to keep its host body young, and once it got hold of you, you just couldn’t bring yourself to commit suicide, no matter how hard you tried. And she had. Maybe sex was an expression of its urge to life too. Maybe that’s why she was so horny.

No escape and no solace. No friends, no lovers, not even God. She’d lost any interest in a God that let someone be made into a monster through no fault of her own.

For the millionth time she thought about the moment she’d been infected. A stupid little scrape. How could she know he was a vampire? Or that even one molecule of his blood could infect her? He knew what he was. He should have been more careful. But Henri didn’t care about anything. Or anybody. It made her blood boil just to think about it.

Damn you to hell, Henri Foucault. . . .

She slid glasses into the racks over the sink at the end of the bar, hanging them by their stems. If someone granted me one wish, I’d go back and do it over. I’d stop myself from touching Henri’s bleeding hand. It was a kind of game she played. How could you make one wish turn out the way you wanted when the universe was out to trick you? Wish to lose weight and you might lose a leg. Want money? What if people thought you stole it and locked you up? No, you had to wish for something in just the right way, with plenty of codicils. So not touching Henri’s cut wouldn’t be good enough. He might infect her some other time with the same result. She’d been living in his house and imagined herself in love with the "wicked duc." A young girl’s foolish crush. The girl she’d been would never leave him. Henri was not only a gorgeous guy but he had that irresistible vampire vitality. Sooner or later, it would be vampire time for her.

She followed the twisted path she’d daydreamed about so many times before. The horrific conclusion didn’t seem so horrific after you’d repeated it a million times.

The only way to prevent herself from being made vampire for certain was to kill Henri.

It had taken a while to accept that, rat though he was. She wasn’t a killer by nature even now. Those people she’d killed before she knew how to take blood without damaging them still haunted her. For decades she tried to work out various ways of ensuring that her naïve former self wouldn’t fall in love with Henri. But there was only one way to be sure. And what would it matter if he died? It wasn’t as if Henri made any positive difference to the world. He didn’t care about anything or anyone. He was a monster in the truest sense.

Glasses clinked as she dunked them two by two in soapy water, then in hot water laced with sanitizer, then set them out to dry on a wooden rack. The question was, how could a girl of twenty-one decapitate a vampire with more than human strength? They healed anything less drastic. She knew that personally. And she knew decapitation was the way to kill a vampire because that’s the way two vampires had tried to kill her when they found she’d been made by another vampire, not born to the blood.

She’d found the answer to her problem during her addict phase in fin desiècle Paris. With enough fruit of the poppy, vampires could be drugged. It took a lot. Enough to kill a human. So if she could drug Henri, then . . .

The door opened. Merde. She glanced to the glowing blue clock at the rear. Twenty minutes to closing. Why couldn’t these idiots stay home on such a raunchy night?

And then she felt the electric vibrations so powerful they existed just at the edge of consciousness and caught the scent of cinnamon and ambergris. Double merde.

The woman looked like she was about to walk a red carpet somewhere. Black hair done up in complicated, intertwining loops, eyes so dark they might be black, creamy shoulders wrapped in swathes of translucent coppery fabric shot through with gold threads. Her dress was copper satin, full-skirted. She might have been any age.

Literally.

Frankie’s breath caught in her chest. Vampire. And that meant big trouble.

"I felt your vibrations on the street," the woman said. Her accent was vaguely . . . Italian. She slid onto a blue barstool.

"What do you want?" Frankie asked, her voice flat.

"I’ll have a Bombay Sapphire martini, straight up, two olives."

Like that was what Frankie meant.

The woman raised her brows. "And do use vermouth. So many bartenders these days don’t. That makes it a shot of gin with an olive, not a martini."

The vampire might be preparing to kill her, but at least she knew how to drink. Frankie filled a martini glass with ice to buy time. Could she get past her to the door? The vibrations said this one was old and strong. Did Frankie even want to escape? Maybe death would be a relief, but the thing in her blood shuddered in revulsion. She grabbed the blue, square bottle and the Noilly Prat and scooped more ice into a stainless steel shaker.

"I can’t place you. So you must be made."

Frankie stopped shaking the drink. "Look, if you’re going to kill me just get on with it."

"Kill you because you’re made?" The woman’s chuckle was deep and throaty. "I’m the last to point fingers. I made my husband."

"You made him vampire?" Whoa. Probably some horrible divorce revenge.

The woman’s smile could only be described as fond. "In A.D. 41. I hope he can get here before closing. He’s hosting the afterparty for the opera. I find crowds diffi-cult these days."

Frankie was shocked on so many levels. At how old the woman was. That she had been with one man for that long. That she still spoke of him fondly. "Didn’t he hate you for making him . . . what he is?" How could he not?

She shook her head, still smiling. "It gave us forever. You were not made by a lover?"

Frankie snorted. "I thought I loved him." She set the martini on the bar. "But I was just a nuisance. He probably did it to punish me." She wanted to shock this woman who believed in love enough to stay with one man for almost two millennia.

The woman frowned. "You . . . you are French?"

Frankie nodded.

"How long ago were you made?"

Frankie shrugged. "Couple centuries and change."

"French, around the Revolution." The woman tapped her chin. "Not Henri Foucault?"

"The very one." Frankie’s voice was light, as if she didn’t care.

"He was a fine man," the woman murmured. "He would not have broken the Rules of our kind for petty revenge. It is the Cardinal Sin to make another vampire. One is outcast from vampire society if the Elders ever find out, never allowed the solace of others who understand one. It is a commitment to the one you make like no other. He must have loved you very much."

A fine man? Frankie snorted. "He loved no one. It might have been an accident. That’s the best face I could put on it."

"Making a vampire is never accidental. The human needs repeated infusions of a vampire’s blood to acquire immunity to the Companion and survive the infection."

The Companion. That’s what Henri called the parasite too. "Oh, he made me drink his damned blood, all right. Then he abandoned me without a word."

The beautiful vampire thought about that for a moment. "You hate him."

"Bingo. And I hate what I am and I’d give anything to take back that instant when his blood got into that stupid little scrape on my palm." Frankie stared at her. "Anything"

"Ahhhh." The woman sighed. "Centuries of regret and anger can poison your soul."

"I try not to think about it." Frankie started putting the trays of limes, lemons, olives, and cherries into the refrigerator.

"But you think about it all the time." The woman’s voice held pity.

Like she should be strong enough not to think about it? "Oh, only when I have to drink somebody’s blood to stop the craving. Or when I have to hide my strength. When a wound heals instantaneously. Or when I can see in the dark, or hear the drip in the men’s room sink from here, or smell that a woman wearing perfume walked by three days ago, that sort of thing." She sounded bitter, even to herself. "So, yeah. I think about it."

"I’m sorry." The woman took a long sip of her drink. "I know what regret is like."

Frankie shut the fridge door. "I just want to be normal. With normal relationships and a normal life span . . . You know . . . normal?" Frankie tried on a shrug. "Probably not. Anyway, I don’t want to spend eternity serving the needs of this thing in my blood."

"Henri . . ." The woman’s voice was hesitant. "Henri was guillotined. Did you know?"

Frankie jerked around. Henri, dead? Her parasite’s reaction to the thought of decapitation sent another shudder through her. Or maybe it was something else. She’d thought he was out there somewhere, alive, callous, bored with the world but doing exactly as he wanted, always. She’d dreamed of confronting him, even looked for him a couple of times in Paris over the years. The thought that he had been dead all along just seemed . . . wrong. Then she started to chuckle. The damned, cruel good-for-nothing had escaped even being held accountable for his misdeeds.

She managed to suck in a breath and stop the laughing. It had gotten a little hysterical. The woman watched her, curious. It took a moment for Frankie to gather herself for another shrug. "The devil . . . the devil got his due."

The woman raised her brows as Frankie pointedly put the gin bottle away and wiped down the bar. Merde. Her hand was shaking. Then she started to think. How could a vampire be guillotined? Why not just disappear as she had seen Henri do? She glanced to the woman.

Who seemed to read her mind. "Too badly damaged to transport, perhaps. Or weakened by the sun . . ."

Frankie stood immobile, thinking about that. Henri so wounded he couldn’t escape, or blistered until he was almost unrecognizable by the sun . . . Did anyone deserve that?

"I am Donna Poliziano," the woman said quietly. "If ever my husband or I can do anything for you, you can find us at 430 Pine, up on Nob Hill."

Frankie stopped in mid-wipe. "Right. Like you’d do anything for me."

"But we would," the vampire insisted. "San Francisco is our city. We watch over it. We would know if you were killing for what you need. But the police have found no bodies drained of blood. So you have a soul. You haven’t gone mad in spite of your difficulties. So it is a strong soul. Those are rare."

"Just leave me alone. That’s what I want." Frankie wiped the same spot on the bar again.

"Ahhhh, but is it?" The woman twirled her glass, apparently thinking. Good thing she didn’t expect an answer, because Frankie wasn’t biting. Finally she reached into her evening bag and pulled out a tiny cell phone. Her face softened as she said, "Jergan, it’s Donna. Change in plans. Meet me at home?" She smiled as she listened. "You too." She snapped it shut and stood. "Ciao, my vampire friend."

And with that she left.

Leaving Frankie feeling . . . angry. What right had Donna-whoever-she-was, vampire, to come waltzing in here flaunting the fact that she liked being a monster so much she had made a monster of a man she obviously loved? And Henri had been dead for two hundred years and there was nothing Frankie could do about it. She’d never be able to tell him how much she hated him. She felt cheated about that. And . . . and he might have died, not quickly as the guillotine was meant to execute people, horrible as that death was, but slowly and painfully, damaged by sun, or terribly wounded. Maybe she was angry at herself for the twinge of sympathy that evoked in her.

Frankie shook her head as though to banish all those thoughts. Time did not heal all wounds. But there was no way she was going to give up the callus she had grown to protect herself. It was the only thing keeping her sane.

She flipped up the portion of the bar that let her out and strode to the back room. To hell with cleaning up. Let Steve fire her.

The next night Frankie pulled off her parka and tossed it onto the coat rack for employees at the back of the small kitchen that served Ozone. She hadn’t slept all day, thinking about Henri and the vampire woman who loved her vampire husband and looked . . . wise and . . . happy. Bitch. And that brought her back to Henri. That the Donna person thought he was a fine man was puzzling. Maybe she was as twisted and evil as Henri. After all, she was a monster too.

Frankie was dressed as usual, in black leather pants and heeled boots. To night she wore a sparkly silver sleeveless sweater, knit so loosely she had to wear an ivory-colored tank beneath it. To work at a trendy bar you had to look the part. Pale was good and who more pale than a vampire? Her blond hair curled softly so she spiked it out with some gel and streaked the spikes black. She was sleekly built and good-looking and her ice-blue eyes could stare down anyone. De rigueur for a bartender in a place like Ozone.

"Frankie. Someone left a package for you." Steve, manager-guy, dressed the part too. Expensive little suit covering his bony ass and a narrow black tie so unfashionable it was fashionable.

"Great." She pushed past him through the chaos of the kitchen. People parted for her as they always did—aura of vampires. That part came in handy.

Steve came up behind her. "Might want to let your friends know there’s mail service in San Francisco these days."

"Yeah, yeah." Who could be leaving her a package at Ozone? Or at all? She never got any mail other than catalogues and offers of free credit scores or low-cost prescription drugs.

She pushed into the din of the main room. The after-office-hours body exchange was already in full swing at six. The two guys who worked till eleven were really moving, in that economical way experienced bartenders acquired.

"Hey, Frankie. You got a package. It’s under the bar." Ricardo had a body to die for. Too bad she didn’t indulge at work. Or at all these days.

"I heard." She began to set out her station, making sure her preps were just where she wanted them.

"You don’t want to know what it is?"

"Not especially."

"Shit, Frankie, curiosity has been killing me. It was delivered by messenger."

"Learn to live with it." Suzie brought up an order for a big table. The night was off and running. Cripes. Didn’t people know how to order anything but Apple-tinis and Cosmos?

Excerpted from Time for Eternity by Susan Squires.
Copyright 2009 by Susan Squires.
Published in September 2009 by St. Martin’s Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fans will relish this exciting vampiric romance

    In San Francisco, vampiric bartender Frankie Suchet was made during the French Revolution by Henri Foucault who deserted her soon afterward. Donna Poliziano enters the bar because she sensed a vamp inside. They discuss Henri but disagree as Donna thought he was good while Frankie believes he was evil. Donna sends her a book written by Leonardo Da Vince who built a time machine that needed the power of a vampire to work. It is under the Baphistery in Florence. Donna suggests she go back and correct the wrong as she did it to save her beloved Jergen (see ONE WITH THE DARKNESS). Frankie travels to Italy with plans to kill Henri before he changed her.

    Frankie arrives in 1794 and sees naïve Francoise. Unable to stop Frankie ends up inside a bewildered Francoise. However, the young woman has no time to worry as her elderly companion Madam LaFleur was arrested and their house is on fire. She pleads with Duc Henri D'Avignon to save her life. He does by claiming her as his ward. Robespierre accepts Henri's lie, but his companion Madame Croute is irate. Henri takes his new ward home and tells her he will place her on his ship going to England next week. Henri thinks of making love to Francois as she seems a weird mix of innocence and experience. He knows he cannot save LaFleur but foolishly tries; however, her heart gives out. Meanwhile as naive Francois sees Henri's kindness; Frankie inside her head keeps telling her he is cruel and needs to die while Croute wants to execute both of them.

    The intriguing premise of two Francoise essences sharing one body comes across as plausible while Henri is a sort of vampiric Scarlet Pimpernel although Frankie takes a long time to overcome her bitterness; in fairness she had over two centuries to build it up. Still fans will relish this exciting vampiric romance that mostly brings alive the deadly dangerous French Reign of Terror.

    Harriet Klausner

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