by Morgan Hawke



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758215475
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/01/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.66(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.74(d)

First Chapter


By Morgan Hawke


Copyright © 2010 Morgan Hawke
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-1547-5

Chapter One

The Orient Express-en route to Prague from Vienna One hour after sunset

"Might I have your company for the night?"

"Huh?" Elaine glanced up from her belly-down sprawl across the private compartment's plush banquette sofa. The art deco lamp directly over her was on, but the polished cherry-wood walls made the rest of the antique Pullman car very dark. She blinked. Where did he come from?

A tall man, in a nearly floor-length black leather coat, stood just inside the deep shadow of her compartment's door. His hands hung loose at his sides. "Pardon the intrusion." His voice was soft, low, and velvety, with a touch of an exotic Eastern European lilt. He tilted his head toward the closed door. "I did knock, and your door was unlocked."

Elaine bit her lip. She hadn't heard the knock. Hell, she hadn't heard the door to her train compartment open, either. Damn it, she had to start remembering to lock that door. She sighed. Too late now. "I'm sorry, my best friend says a bomb could go off when I'm drawing and I'd miss it."

"An artist's concentration, I understand." He stepped into her pool of light. Blue highlights gleamed in the unrelieved blackness of his hair. He wore it combed straight back from the deep peak of his brow, hinting that his hair was long and tied back. Midnight-dark eyes peered at her from under straight black brows. Sharp cheekbones and a strong jawline defined his aggressively masculine face, but the lush fullness of his mouth and the pale ivory color of his skin belonged in a neoclassical painting.

Wow, GQ magazine must be missing a model. She had to close her mouth. The man's face was that freaking gorgeous. "I'm sorry, what was it you wanted?"

One corner of his mouth lifted, hinting at amusement. He clasped his hands before him. "Your company, for the night."

"My company?" She blinked. That couldn't be what it sounded like. "For what, exactly?"

"Sex." His slightly amused expression didn't change.

"Sex." Her heart slammed in her chest. Danger, danger, danger ... She swallowed. "I see." Good God in Heaven, this guy wanted sex? With her? Was he out of his mind? She wasn't unattractive; she'd never had a problem getting dates. Her generous bustline, more than generous butt, and small waist drew the guys out of the woodwork, but this guy was just too pretty to even consider someone who didn't come straight from Hollywood.

"I'm flattered, really, but ..." She pushed up from the bench and her coiled hair teetered precariously on top of her head. She made a quick grab for the chopsticks jammed in the twisted knot of her long dark-blond mane. Several of her charcoals rolled from her sketchbook to land on the floor with the tiniest sound of breaking glass.

"Oh, damn ..." She abandoned her hair and leaned over the side of the banquette sofa, reaching for the fallen charcoals. Her bare foot struck the wall under the night-black window, and three of the vampire paperbacks by her knee were knocked to the floor.

She groaned in annoyance. It figures.... A cute guy, and I am an instant klutz. Lifting her feet carefully over the backpack that hogged the far end of the sofa, she turned on her belly to get her feet on the floor. Not the sexiest move in the world. Just call me "Grace". She hunched down to gather the fallen books and broken charcoals.

The man crouched at her side and collected one of her fallen vampire books. He scanned the back cover, and a black brow rose. "What interesting reading material."

Elaine stood and her cheeks warmed. "Yes, I read trashy romances." She leaned over the sofa to stuff her charcoals and her other two books into her backpack. "It's a girl thing."

"This is a romance?"

"A trashy romance-it has sex in it." Elaine glanced over her shoulder and froze.

He was still crouched, but the book was forgotten in his hand. He was focused entirely on the curve of her jean-clad butt less than a foot from his nose. His midnight stare lifted from her butt to capture her gaze. "Then you like sex?"

Elaine swallowed the lump in her throat. Oh boy, I really stepped in that one. She stood upright slowly, struggling to gather what dignity she could, then turned around to face him. "Yes, I like sex." It was too late to deny it now. She tugged the hem of her thick white cable-knit sweater down over her hips and butt. She held out her hand. "My book, please?"

He rose to his feet in one smooth effortless motion and held the book slightly out of reach. He was a full head taller, and the bulk of his leather coat crowded the small compartment with his presence. "May I have you for the night?"

Elaine was forced to look up to see his face. The back of her knees were against the seat, and her nose was less than six inches from his broad chest. She took a deep breath. The warm masculine scent of leather caught her attention. He smelled good. He smelled ... sexy. Her libido awoke with a lazy curl of warm interest.

She turned her head slightly away and shivered. Down, girl. "Look, I don't have sex with people I don't know." No matter how devastatingly cute they are. She set her hands on her hips. "You haven't even told me your name."

His black brows lifted along with the corner of his mouth. "Pardon me." He stepped back and held out his empty hand, palm up. "I am Aramis."

Elaine wiped her damp palms down her hips and frowned a little. Where had she heard that name before? Oh yes ... A small smile inched its way across her lips. "Aramis, as in The Three Musketeers?"

He lowered his hand and his gaze, then let out a soft sigh. "Surrounded by books, I should have guessed you would know."

"Well, Aramis, any friend of Alexandre Dumas is a friend of mine." She grinned and held out her hand. "I'm Elaine."

His head lifted and a smile flashed briefly across his lips. His slightly cool fingers and smooth palm closed around her smaller hand. "Elaine." He turned her hand palm down and gracefully bowed over her knuckles. "I am charmed." He remained bowed but lifted his gaze. A breathtaking smile bloomed across his full mouth, and his eyes narrowed slightly with sudden intent. "Such eyes-the color of new leaves. Do you have any idea how lovely you are?"

Yikes! Elaine sucked in a sharp breath. They should bottle that smile and label it "raw sex." They'd make a mint. "Thank you." She swallowed. "You're very handsome yourself."

Aramis straightened, but held on to her hand. "Now that we have been introduced ..." He tossed the paperback onto the sofa behind her and reached out to collect her other hand. He focused his gaze on hers, and his smile disappeared. "I should very much like to have your company for the night."

Elaine rolled her eyes. He was certainly persistent.

Aramis lifted her hands and pulled slightly, forcing her to take a step closer. "Am I not agreeable to you?"

She lowered her gaze and twisted her hands slightly. He couldn't be serious?

His fingers tightened. "Elaine?"

She looked up at him.

His dark eyes were dilated wide and his mouth tight. "Please." His voice was barely a whisper. "Let me have you for this night?"

Elaine felt her heart slam in her chest. He was serious-really, really serious. A bead of sweat trickled down her back. Is it getting warm in here, or is it just me? She licked her dry lips. "Aramis, I don't just sleep with anybody who wants me."

"That is ... reassuring." A smile flashed across his lips. "However, I should like it if you made an exception."

"This is all very sudden...." Elaine felt a tiny shiver of nervous amusement. Hello? Can you say, "heroine in a Gothic romance"? "May I think about it for a little bit?" Can I have a little breathing space while we're at it?

"Of course." Aramis lowered his gaze, released her hands, and stepped back with a sigh. "May I stay while you ... think about it?"

Elaine smiled. "I wasn't going to throw you out, I just wanted to get ... used to the idea."

"I see." His head lifted and he smiled, just a little. "May I remove my coat?"

Elaine shook her head. Aramis and his politeness ... "Sure." She turned to collect the paperback lying on the seat and stuffed it in her backpack. "Remove whatever you like." She set her backpack on the floor and picked up her abandoned sketchbook.

A warm chuckle came from behind her. "With pleasure."

Elaine flinched. Maybe that wasn't such a good thing to say? She turned back, with the sketchbook clutched before her.

With his back to her, Aramis let the heavy black leather slide from his broad shoulders. He wore a creamy white sweater similar to hers, only his was obviously real cable-knit Irish wool. The long tail of his night-dark hair fell straight and sleek toward a waist that was obscenely narrow. He took two steps toward the door and set his coat on the hook. The slight motion showed quite plainly that his pants were tailored closely, and that he had an ass to die for.

Elaine's nipples tightened in blatant interest; moisture dampened her panties. She had to sit down before she fell down. God in Heaven, he's freaking beautiful. And he wanted to sleep with her? On second thought, she realized a lot of guys wanted to sleep with her-they just didn't want to be seen in public with someone built like they belonged in the Victorian era.

In two long, unnervingly sensual strides, Aramis stood before her.

Elaine had to remember to breathe. He didn't just look like sex, he moved like sex. The rich scent of leather and maleness drifted over her. She shivered slightly. God, he smells like sex.

"May I see?"

"Huh?" Elaine forcibly dragged her mind out from under her libido. "I'm sorry, see what?"

Aramis tapped a finger against her tightly clutched sketchbook. "Your drawings."

She lifted her shoulder just a little. "If you like, but ..."

"I'd like." Aramis smiled and plucked the book from her fingers. "But?" He turned and sat down on the sofa next to her.

Elaine winced. "But I'm not very good."

"Is that so?" He opened the large book, spreading it across his lap and over onto her knee.

The book had been new when she brought it overseas with her to Rome. Her sketches began with page after page of museum and gallery statuary renderings, then fountains and monuments. A few grave statues were tossed in, here and there, with the occasional portrait. The two-inch-thick book was three-quarter full, and she was already on her third box of fine charcoals.

He leaned close to her, their shoulders and knees in warm contact, while he flipped the pages.

Embarrassed warmth filled Elaine's cheeks. Having Aramis looking at her sketches was more intimate than if he had been looking at her naked body. Displayed across his lap lay her very soul.... She rolled her eyes. Okay, let's not get overly melodramatic here. They are just still life and statuary sketches, not nudes. She bit back a smile. Those were in her other sketchbook.

Aramis stopped and ran his finger down a ragged paper edge, close to the spine. "There is a page missing."

"Anthony, one of the art students I met in Rome, took it from my book when I wasn't looking. It was his portrait, so I understand why he took it."

"He stole it?"

"No big deal." Elaine shrugged. "Anthony got what he deserved later, when he tried to pass it off as his work."

Aramis frowned. "He told someone that your drawing was his work?"

"Yep." Elaine grinned. "Too bad he couldn't actually draw portraits that well. From what I understand, it got him into a lot of trouble when the drawing master interviewed him for an apprenticeship."

"I would assume so." Aramis raised a brow; his mouth curled into a cynical smile. "A good drawing master always asks for a demonstration."

Elaine chuckled. "Anthony is actually a good artist, just not for portraits."

"He should not have tried to claim another's skill." Aramis turned the page and stopped at one of her better portraits. The young man had been watching something just past her shoulder, and a slight breeze had tousled his hair while she sketched. She had tossed in a slight rendering of the Renaissance fountain behind him, just to give the portrait theme.

Aramis frowned slightly. "I'm afraid I do not understand."

Elaine looked down at the portrait. "Do not understand what?"

Aramis glanced at her with a quick smile. "I do not understand how you could possibly think that you are not good."

She felt heat creeping into her cheeks. "Okay, even I know that picture is good. But for every good one, there's about a dozen that are dismal failures."

He raised a black brow. "Indeed? Show me what you consider a failure."

She looked up at him and bit down on a nervous smile. "Do I have to?"

Aramis pushed the book onto her lap. "I insist on proof."

She groaned just a little and flipped to her last sketch, the portrait he had interrupted. The face just wasn't coming out right.

"Ah ..." He frowned at the page, then turned to face her, his lips barely a kiss away. "This young man does not look drawn from life, imaginary perhaps?"

"Fictional." Elaine reached out to smudge a line with her finger. Nope, the picture was hopeless. "I was trying to draw a character from a book."

"But"-he frowned at the sketch-"the proportions are off on some of the features in this one. The ears, the eyes ... this does not even look human."

"That's because he's not." Elaine hunched her shoulders. "He's supposed to be a vampire."

Aramis stilled. "Indeed?" His voice was barely a breath.

Chapter Two

Elaine could feel the tension in his thigh and shoulder where they had touched. Her heart began to hammer.

Aramis's gaze focused tightly on hers. "You have a fascination for vampires?" The word "vampire" was curiously exotic in his lilting Eastern European accent. He turned to gaze at her with intense yet hooded eyes. "The soulless damned?"

"'The soulless damned'?" Elaine felt a nervous chuckle forcing its way up. "Well, that all depends on whose story you're reading."

His brows rose. "You do not think they are the soulless damned?"

Elaine coughed to keep from laughing out loud. "I really wouldn't know. I've never met one."

"So you would reserve judgment on a creature of the dead?" Aramis lowered his chin and tilted his head toward her drawing. "Is that not a trifle ... naive?"

"You're sure vampires are creatures of the dead, huh?" Elaine crossed her arms under her breasts and lifted her chin. "Have you met one?"

His black eyes held her gaze. "Perhaps I am one."

Her heart stopped for a single beat; then her pulse leaped in her throat. Suspicion ignited a spark of temper. If he thinks pretending to be a vampire will get him into my pants, he better think again! A smile as cold as ice curled her lip as she narrowed her eyes. "You breathe, and you're warm, so you're not dead. Does this make you merely the soulless damned?"

Aramis closed her sketchbook carefully, lifted it from their laps, and turned away to set her book against the wall behind him. "There are those who believe that drinking blood is enough to damn one."

"Oh please ..." Elaine rolled her eyes and grinned. "They obviously haven't been around the fetish crowd. Lots of people do bloodletting, and they aren't damned or even vampires. They just think it's ... stimulating."

"Do you?" Aramis turned to her. His eyes were pits of darkness so large that the whites were nearly gone.

Elaine's breath stopped in her throat. No human being had eyes like that. She'd seen too many Goth kids in spooky contacts to know that she was looking at the real thing. Good God in Heaven, what if he is telling the truth? What if he really is ... a vampire?

Aramis turned his whole body to face her, his bent knee brushing hers. "Do you think bloodletting is ... stimulating?" The gleam of long upper incisors and smaller lower canines showed while he spoke.

Fangs? Elaine bit down on her bottom lip. Those were not dental caps. She had a set of porcelain vampire fangs made by a dental assistant. His were definitely real.

So how the hell did one answer that kind of question to someone who might actually be a vampire? She licked her lips. Oh, what the hell.... She took a deep breath. "Yeah, as long as I'm not scarred, maimed, or killed in the process."


Excerpted from Insatiable by Morgan Hawke Copyright © 2010 by Morgan Hawke. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Insatiable 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Mctish More than 1 year ago
Definitely not work almost $10. Less than 200 pages. The story was ok, nothing great. I wish the descriptions would list the number of pages. I would not have spent almost $10 for a SHORT story.
dm11 More than 1 year ago
This book is written under a new name. The original title was Night Train. It is a great book but I was upset when it was not a new story and it was just a re-write. Becarefully and make sure you don't have it already
Joanna_Terrero More than 1 year ago
Elaine's fantasies come true when Aramis, a handsome vampire, intrudes into her private train compartment while she travels to Prague. She is an artist and a vampire's fan, who even has a set of vampire fangs caps as part of her Goth girl's wardrobe. Aramis is lured by her rich creativity. His kind feeds on people's souls and talent simultaneously with their blood, while having sex. Aramis asks for her company for the night. Elaine is seduced at first sight by his raw masculinity, but she resists what could be a dangerous one night stand. When Aramis discovers Elaine's vampiric books, he reveals to her his true nature. She still doubts, her instincts warn her of a danger her body refuses to discern. Aramis, on those first chapters, is one of the coolest characters I came across in a long time. I love his mischievous wit and charm, his interplay with Elaine made me laugh. Aramis asks, "May I have you for the night?" So many times, that at one point I thought, "Just grab her and be done with it!" Well, there is a reason for all his politeness. In order to properly take what he needs from Elaine, Aramis has to initiate her in a sexual magic of some kind, which includes some parts that could be perceived as a forced seduction, therefore he needs her previous consent. Permission he would remind her about when his sexual appetites are more than she is willing to yield. I won't spoil the details, I'm just warning you that the cute and kind Aramis from the first chapters soon is gone, he becomes an alpha male once he possesses her. Shortly before reaching Prague, Aramis finds out Elaine unknowingly consigned herself to an evil vampire, Dimitri. Who would take all her creativity and soul, until she's dead. Aramis feels responsible for Elaine because in order to take her essence without pain, he made her a thrall, an easy prey for any vampire. At least, during nine days she would be vulnerable, that's plenty of time for Dimitri to take her beyond saving. The only way to protect her is putting Elaine under Rafael's protection. Rafael is a young looking but ancient and powerful vampire, a leader to their kind. From that point on, Elaine's life changes forever. I like Elaine's character a lot, she's brave, realistic and eventually defends herself, and fights Dimitri without Aramis or Rafael's help. Insatiable is different from any vampiric book I'd read. The first chapters consist of a romance between Aramis and Elaine, and the rest of the book is a menage a trois between Aramis, Rafael and Elaine. This last part is not for everybody. The erotism moves to BDSM with Elaine being the submissive one between her two new masters.There are a couple of scenes in where the sex between Rafael and Aramis gets hinted. I say hinted, because it happens while they are having sex with Elaine and it's not as explicit as the scenes where either of them is having sex with her. Morgan Hawke's unique writing style flowing smoothly makes Insatiable a page turner. I read it in two sittings. However, there is an author's habit that I didn't like, and it's that she repeats whole exacts phases or/and descriptions throughout the narrative. Some parts look like copying/pasting, something which I don't understand why she does, because she's a talented and imaginative writer. In spite of it, I still recommend Insatiable as a great read, if one likes erotic explicit paranormal romance.
thewalkinggirl on LibraryThing 19 days ago
At her best, MH writes vivid, lushly detailed worlds with highly erotic but still character driven stories. I have to admit that I prefer her when she's more expansive, but I'll take what I can get; 200 pages is better than none. This is sort of a continuation of the world she set up with Kiss of the Wolf, set in the present, but also ties into Passion's Vintage in terms of vampires feeding on artistic energy as well as blood, which I wasn't expecting. At the end, I enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the next book in the series, but there's still so much room to explore in Elaine, Aramis and Rafael's relationship that I really hope that the next book in the series is a continuation of their story, or at least brings them back -- I was kind of disappointed in the absence of Thorn and Yaraslav from this book, but MH did bring Belus in for an appearance. It will be interesting to see where she takes his character in the future.
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If you enjoy endless amounts of smut with hardly no plot line, then this book is for you. I was very disappointed with this book, but i had to admit that the juciey bits will have me coming back to reread them.
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