"I dare you not to love a Cynthia Eden book!" --Larissa Ione
Sandra "Dee" Daniels is a vampire's worst nightmare. Sure, she couldn't get up to five-six in the highest heels money can buy--not that she ever wears heels. But the monsters in her past and the stake in her boot are enough to keep most bloodsuckers interested in staying undead out of Baton Rouge.
But there are changes afoot on her turf. Rumors are a Born Master is in town--a vampire so powerful he can make the streets run with blood. And a new face in Dee's dive bars and alleyways--Simon Chase, a strong, sexy shadow with a haunted past of his own. Simon knows a lot about the dark side of Dee's work. He knows even more about how to make her body spark with desire. But the hot lust shimmering between them is only the beginning. Because Simon also knows a secret that will change Dee's life--if she can live long enough to uncover it.
"Dee and her vampire lover are hot enough to burn readers' fingers in this enthralling story." --RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
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I'll Be Slaying You
By Cynthia Eden
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2010 Cindy Roussos
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAs far as Dee Daniels was concerned, too many idiots with death wishes filled the world.
She stared into the darkness of the night, caught the whispers on the wind, and saw the shadow of the two lovers as they ducked behind the side of the beat-up building. Shaking her head, she reached for her weapon and followed.
They didn't see her when she rounded the corner. The guy had the woman pinned up against the wall, his hands shoved under her skirt, and his face buried between her very, very ample breasts. He groaned and grunted and she moaned and twisted against him.
Dee blew out a hard breath as she waited. Not for them to finish, but for the monster to show itself.
Probably in about ten more seconds, maybe less, cause they were getting pretty hot over there and-
The woman, a long-legged redhead, opened her mouth wide. Thanks to the spill of lights from the building's second story windows, Dee got a great view of that mouth.
And of the woman's two-inch long fangs.
Fangs that were currently heading right for the idiot's neck as the vamp prepared to rip open his throat and guzzle his blood like a frat boy enjoying the cheapest beer in town.
Death wishes. Would people never learn?
Dee cleared her throat. "Ah, excuse me?"
The shiny white fangs froze over the guy's neck.
"What the fuck?" From the idiot. The man still didn't know how close death was to him. Judging from what Dee could see, it looked like death was about, oh, an inch away.
He swung around to face her. Early twenties, preppy, with a face that she judged as handsome, if kind of bland.
Dee smiled at him. "Hi, there."
His gaze raked her and the vamp hissed.
Vamps always got pissy when their food was taken away.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave," Dee murmured. The fangs were too close to his carotid artery. The vamp might get twitchy and decide to take a bite, and, well, Dee's shirt was white and when she snatched the dude free, she'd ruin her shirt with that dark red splash. Not that it was anything fancy, but ...
She really hated doing laundry.
"Get. The. Fuck. Away." Bland/handsome snarled at her.
Ah, now some people could almost deserve a bite from a vamp, but-no, she was being paid for this gig.
The vamp smiled at her. "You heard him. Leave, bitch."
Dee lifted her weapon. Not her gun, that was still holstered at her side, but the wooden stake was an easy and familiar weight in her hand. "Just how long do you think it's gonna take me to shove this into your heart? A minute? Less?"
"Jesus Christ!" The guy's eyes bulged. "You're crazy!"
"Come on, Karen, let's get the hell out of-"
The vamp grabbed him and twisted the man around. Using him as a shield. Why did the vampires always do that with their prey? Like a human shield was ever going to stop her. Dee just shook her head.
"You take so much as a step, and I break his neck."
She could do it. Vampire strength. She'd snap him in half a second, but ... "I'll be on you before his body hits the ground."
The man whimpered.
The vamp's eyes flashed to black. "Who are you?"
"Just a woman who was hired to do a job." This wasn't a kill mission, but if there was no choice, she'd bring her prey down any way she could.
Besides, vamps were already dead, so it wasn't like she was really breaking the old bring-'em-in-alive rule, anyway. Not that the Night Watch Agency really followed that rule. Not when the bounty hunters were after dangerous supernaturals.
"I'm getting bored," Dee said, "let him go and come with me."
The guy was crying now. Sobbing. Hell.
The vamp's gaze darted from Dee back to the edge of the street. Desperation there. Fear.
Time for the takedown. "Let him go," she repeated, voice lashing out, and then, Dee heard the faintest sound.
A soft rustle. A footstep? Behind her.
The fear faded from the vamp's eyes and a smile tilted her lips.
"Take the bitch out!" The vampire screamed and Dee knew that the person behind her wasn't just some innocent bystander drawn in by morbid curiosity. Not innocent at all. Shit.
She spun around, ready to face another vampire, ready to-
He lunged at her, hitting her hard and fast and slamming her ass right down to the ground. At that same instant, she heard the shot. A crack of fire that would have taken her out.
Had her ass not been on the ground.
A hard cry broke the night. Pain. Fear. Not her cry, because she'd learned long ago not to cry out.
Dee stared up at the man before her. Darkness.
Black hair, hair much longer than her own. Sharp-edged, hard features. Cold, gray eyes, thin lips. Cheekbones that jutted too sharply.
And his body ... his weight pinned her to the ground. His body was tight with muscle, heavy with strength.
He felt hot against her. His flesh so warm and-
Ah, fuck it.
Dee rammed up with her elbow, catching him hard and fast in the chin, sending his head snapping back as she scrambled beneath him, twisting, jerking, and punching.
"Stop it! Shit-I just saved your ass!" He clamped down harder on her, freezing her movements. "Woman, someone just tried to shoot you!"
And some big and thick asshole had tackled her.
But the crack she'd heard had registered in her mind now and the cry of pain-
If it hadn't been hers, then it had been ...
Damn. Her neck craned and she glanced back. The idiot lay on the ground, moaning. Not with passion anymore. Pain. Blood soaked his shirt and pooled around him.
The vamp was gone.
But was the shooter? Only one way to find out. "Get off," she gritted.
His jaw clenched but he rolled to the side. "Your funeral, babe."
She'd lost her stake. Whatever. She had plenty more in the car. Dee jerked her gun free of the holster. She scanned the buildings, the darkness.
It was at times like these when being a human was a real vulnerability for her. The shifter hunters who worked for Night Watch would never have been caught off guard like this. They would have caught the shooter's scent on the wind, heard him creeping up for the shot.
Even the demons would have gotten more warning than she had.
But when you played with the big boys, you didn't get to piss and moan about the extra senses you didn't possess.
So she scanned every building. Every shadow. Then, staying as low and keeping as much cover as she could, she went to the idiot.
"Help me! I'm dying! You've got to-"
Her gaze darted over him. A lot of blood. Huh. And the vamp had run away from that? Who ran when the buffet was free?
"Help me! I can't die like this, I can't-"
"You're not dying." Jeez. She yanked out her phone, then pressed the button that would send an SOS to the surveillance team at Night Watch. "It's a flesh wound, moron." She'd sure had her share of them.
"Dispatch." A soft, modulated voice flowed over the line.
"Need an ambulance." She didn't identify herself. Why bother? Stella would recognize her voice. "Four fifteen Brantley.
Human down and-"
Sirens wailed in the night. Of damn course. The shot would have attracted attention.
Her fingers tightened around the phone. "Never mind."
Time for explanations.
Or, okay, lies.
"What do we say?"
The deep, rumbling voice came from the left. From Mr. Tall, Dark, and, yeah, Sexy, who'd tailed her over to the victim. She spared him a glance. "You can get out of here. I'll handle the cops." She'd had lots of experience with the Baton Rouge PD. Most of the uniforms owed her, anyway.
One black brow shot up. "It's okay, you don't have to thank me." A grin flashed, one that showed a lot of strong, white teeth. "I was happy to save your life. Really. Think nothing of it. Yeah, I nearly got shot, but I'm okay. No need for concern." His right hand lifted and gingerly rubbed his chin.
A patrol car rounded the corner, screeched to a stop, and Dee clenched her teeth. "Thank you," she managed.
"Not very gracious, are you?" he murmured, and he knelt, his hands going toward the moaning guy's wounds. "You should work on that."
Her eyes slit. "I didn't need saving." Cops were approaching. She could see them from the corner of her eye. Their guns were up, their steps slow.
"Yeah, you did."
She almost growled at him. Any minute now, the cops would be saying-
"Put your hands up! Nice and slow and-"
Ah, good. She recognized that voice. "Harry, we've got a gunshot vic here. He needs to be routed to Mercy General."
"Dee?" Not real surprise. More like horror.
"Yeah. Be careful, the shooter could still be around."
Harry and his partner immediately crouched. Harry jerked out his radio and barked some commands.
"Why am I not surprised that the cops know you?" Dark and Sexy murmured.
She spared him a withering glance. Then she leaned in close to the victim and whispered, "If you want to stay out of the psych ward, don't say a word about the vampire."
He blinked once, then gave a quick, jerky nod.
Good. Because the cops on scene didn't understand the paranormal score in this town, and if the vic started rambling about Dee trying to take down an undead bloodsucker, things could get tricky.
She eased back into her crouch. So much for an easy bag. The guys at Night Watch would be giving her hell about this one for days.
And who'd been out there with the gun? Why had the shooter been aiming for her?
She'd find out. As soon as damn possible.
Because no one took a free shot at her and got away. No one.
Sandra "Dee" Daniels was small, grubby, and she really, really shouldn't have been attractive.
Her blond hair barely skimmed her chin and it looked like the woman had taken scissors to it herself-leaving the hair in short, twisted layers. Her nose was a little off center, her bottom lip a little too big, her chin a little too pointed.
No, she shouldn't have been attractive.
The jeans she wore were ripped and faded. Her white T-shirt clung too tightly to her small breasts, and her black boots were scuffed pretty much to hell and back.
But she was damn sexy. Maybe it was the eyes. So big and dark. Chocolate. Once upon a time, he'd loved the stuff.
And that mouth. The lips were lush, soft, so red. Okay, so maybe he liked her mouth.
She had her hands balled into fists on her hips. Cops were everywhere, running like ants as they searched the scene. He'd already been questioned three times, and both he and Dee had been given the all clear to leave.
But the woman wasn't moving, and if she wasn't moving, neither was he.
After five minutes of silence from her, she finally deigned to glance his way. "Harry said you could leave, buddy."
"Simon. Simon Chase." She knew his name. She'd been right there when he spelled it for the uniforms. Each time.
He almost smiled. Almost. "Ah, I can't help but notice, Sandra-"
"Dee." Her voice snapped like a whip.
He'd been there when she had to spell her name, too. He'd rather enjoyed her gruff, "Harry, you know this shit, S-A-ND-R-A ... oh, fuck off."
"Dee," he allowed. But he'd be calling her Sandra again soon. He liked that. Liked the way her cheeks flushed so red when she heard the name. "You don't seem too upset that someone tried to kill you tonight."
The victim had been hauled away in an ambulance. Blood still soaked the ground, but Simon didn't glance at it. His nostrils twitched, just a bit, but the scent was starting to fade.
She rolled her shoulders in a little shrug. "Not like it's the first time."
He let his eyes widen. "Really."
A grunt from her. She seemed to like that sound.
"And you have no idea why folks want you dead?"
A furrow peaked between her golden brows. "No clue."
Her hands lifted, then fell in a vague little gesture. "Well, it's been fun, Chase, but I've got work to do."
He pulled the wooden stake from his back pocket. "Just what kind of work is it that you do, Sandra?"
Red flush. She lunged for him and locked her fingers around the stake, but he didn't let go. She was close now, close enough that he could see light flecks of gold in her dark gaze. Close enough that he could see the pulse pounding at the base of her throat. Close enough that he could almost taste those lips.
He tightened his hold on the stake. The wood was smooth and hard. The woman had obviously spent some time honing her weapon.
"Give it to me." She glanced back over her shoulder. "I don't want to have to explain this shit to all of them right now, not with the last silver shooting still hanging over me."
Silver shooting? Sounded like an interesting story.
Slowly, he released his hold and she jerked the weapon from him. Kneeling, she shoved the weapon into some kind of custom holster near her ankle.
When she lifted the ragged hem of her jeans, he caught sight of her leg. Nice. Smooth and pale and-
She shot back up, nearly clipping him in the chin. Again.
Simon shook his head. She was so not what he'd been expecting. "You didn't answer me," he said and tried to ignore her scent. A heady scent, rich and dark. A woman's sensual flavor.
She licked her lips. A quick swipe of her tongue that had his cock jerking.
Definitely not what he'd been expecting, but he wasn't going to complain. No way.
"Trust me on this, you don't want to know." She shuffled back a few steps and tossed him a careless smile. "Thanks for watching my ass tonight, Chase."
Then she was gone. Turning away and marching through the cops still on scene, and he kept watching that ass. Nice and firm, round enough to hold tight.
Yeah, he kept watching that ass, right until the moment she disappeared around the corner.
He waited a beat. Two.
Then he stalked after her because he wasn't about to let his prey escape that quickly. There'd be no fun in such an easy exit.
He followed her, giving brief, polite nods to the cops as he made his way past their vehicles.
It only took a moment to realize that Dee wasn't headed back to the main street. His eyes tracked her. No, the woman wasn't retreating to the safety of her car. She was snaking through the back alleys, going even deeper into the underbelly of the city.
And she wasn't even glancing back.
Because she was hunting, too.
What the hell? The woman had almost been shot, shouldn't she be hesitating a bit? His hands fisted as he followed her. The night closed around him, her, and they both hunted.
The minutes ticked past. Another tight corner. Another alley. He kept her in his sights. His nostrils stung because these streets reeked. Garbage. Shit. Who knew what the hell he was stepping in as he trailed her?
The woman had better be worth this effort. She'd better-
He rounded another turn, one that led him between two thick buildings.
Dee had vanished.
He froze and stared straight ahead.
A soft footfall sounded behind him. Could have been a whisper, could have been-
Simon spun around and came face to face with Dee. She was armed, not with a stake this time, but with her gun, and the lady had it pointed dead center between his eyes.
He probably should have acted scared. Should have mumbled some kind of half-assed apology for following her.
Instead, he just stared at her.
"There a particular reason why you're tailing me?" The gun didn't waver. Those sexy-as-sin lips pressed into a thick line.
"Yeah." He allowed himself a glance down her body. He'd have to be careful with her. He kept forgetting how small and fragile she was.
Maybe because of the gun. Maybe that was making him forgetful.
She acted tough. But that body-soft curves and sweet, tender flesh.
"Eyes up, asshole."
Apparently the lady didn't like him ogling her breasts. Fair enough. "You left before I could get your number."
Her jaw dropped. "What?"
He shrugged. "Your number. I mean, I saved your life. Shouldn't I at least be able to get your number for that?"
She growled and finally lowered the gun. "Look, buddy-"
"Whatever. I don't have time for this shit. I'm not going to screw you because you shoved me into the pavement. And, just so you know, I didn't need you to save me. Not like it's my first ball game, okay?"
I'm not going to screw you. Hmmm. "Don't remember asking for a screw." Though he wouldn't refuse one with her. "Just your number."
She barred her teeth. Pretty teeth. White and straight. Not too sharp, though, but then, she was human.
His tongue scraped across his own teeth. A bit sharper than hers.
"I'm working now, I don't have time for this-"
"Yeah, you never did answer my question." Simon cocked his head to the side. "Just what kind of work do you do?"
She holstered the gun. "The kind you wouldn't understand."
Doubtful. "Let's see ... you had a wooden stake and you were about ten feet away from a vampire the first time I saw you." He paused. "I'd say that makes you a hunter."
Excerpted from I'll Be Slaying You by Cynthia Eden Copyright © 2010 by Cindy Roussos. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sandra “Dee” Daniels is a vampire’s worst nightmare. Sure, she couldn’t get up to five-six in the highest heels money can buy—not that she ever wears heels. But the monsters in her past and the stake in her boot are enough to keep most bloodsuckers interested in staying undead out of Baton Rouge. But there are changes afoot on her turf. Rumors of a Born Master in town—a vampire so powerful he can make the streets run with blood. And a new face in Dee’s dive bars and alleyways—Simon Chase, a strong, sexy shadow with a haunted past of his own. Simon knows a lot about the dark side of Dee’s work. He knows even more about how to make her body spark with desire. But the hot lust shimmering between them is only the beginning. Because Simon also knows a secret that will change Dee’s life—if she can live long enough to uncover it. Dee Daniels has a kick-ass job, she works on supernatural missions for Night Watch to track & take out vampires. Because of a dark past that haunts her daily, Dee becomes determined to destroy all evil vamps from her city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Yet, one night she runs into a dark stranger, Simon, who ends up being her back-up more than once. Things (ie. romance & danger) quickly get a little heated, in more ways than one, between them. When the darkness that Night Watch fights gets frighteningly personal, Dee must know face some harsh truths and a new mission that is a gruesome surprise to all. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book: the concept was intriguing, the characters sparked with chemistry, and the location was easy to enjoy as a fellow Louisiana resident! On the other hand, I really did not enjoy the ending since the story line dragged after half-way through the tale, the characters got a little flat, and the overall narrative became easily predicable. My main problem was that most of the character development was weak throughout and that always leaves me wishing for more in a book. I understand Dee, as the main female protagonist, went through a big transition, but all her side-characters were just so-so for me and none really stood out as memorable figures. Lastly, as much as I enjoy romance, the sex scenes in here became a little overkill for me by the end. Likes: The intense appeal between Dee and Simon was very tempting and kept me eagerly reading . . . at first! Dislikes: I got a little bored near the end and that's never a good thing while reading!
The Night Watch books picked me. I didn't pick them. I won this book in a raffle and got the first book because I can't read books out of order. I'm very glad I won this book. The Setting - is a world in which things exist just below the surface. Normal humans don't realize that surrounding them are Others, people who aren't really people. They're demons, charmers, shifters, vampires - and the list goes on. At times people don't realize what's right in front of them and others they're very willing to believe. It's not an original idea, but it's one that the mind accepts - because what better place for something strange to hide than right in front of us? The story takes place in the swamps of Louisiana, all that lovely humidity and heat! The Characters - are very well done. I like the character conflicts going on. Dee was introduced in the first book, and she is one bad mamma-jamma. She's also a deeply scarred person. Through the book you see her character grow from the person she's forced herself to be, into someone who chooses to live. I have to confess, I wasn't just in love with Simon in this book. I liked him, I liked the character chemistry, but I didn't quite love him like I loved the other characters in the first book and the consistent ones in the world. Jude and Erin make an appearance from the first book, and so does the demon, Zane. I think Zane is my favorite character in the world so far; really looking forward to the third book out in November which features his story. The Plot - is lots of action. Simon is working to defeat something. Dee wants revenge. People want them dead. And they want each other. It's a steamy, exciting book - which I completely expected after reading Eternal Hunter. I like how there are layers to the story; different things come out slowly, stripping away the layers of what's going on and at the same time the characters lose a little more control of themselves, getting closer to each other. I am a big fan of the way Cynthia Eden has wrapped up this book, and the last one. You don't close the book after the big fight scene, accepting that the characters of course got together, the story's not done. She goes into the painful details of the characters admitting what they want and facing their issues together. It's very satisfying to read real reactions like that and it makes for a satisfying read. Cynthia Eden, you are like a dark chocolate crack addiction.
Love this book awesome story love the whole Zane and Jana story idea these books are fun loved to see the Night Watch company develop
After reading several of the other paranormals Eden has written, I was really disappointed in Dee's book. I never really got the connection with her and Simon. I really like Jude's story, so I hope Zane's will be better.