Just One Bite (Dead-End Dating Series #4)

Just One Bite (Dead-End Dating Series #4)

by Kimberly Raye

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345503657
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/29/2008
Series: Dead-End Dating Series , #4
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kimberly Raye is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Dead End Dating, Dead and Dateless, and Your Coffin or Mine? She’s been nominated for several Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, as well as two RITA Awards. Her books have been featured in several major magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens and Glamour, and her novel Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice was a Cosmopolitan magazine book club pick. She lives deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country with her husband and their young children.


Read an Excerpt


Being a five-hundred-year-old (and holding) born vampire, I’ve pretty much seen the worst of the worst.



Natural disasters.

Stock market crashes.

Powdered wigs (my father is so not living that one down).

Bottom line, there isn’t much that can shock me, the Countess Lilliana Arrabella Guinevere du Marchette (Lil for short), Manhattan’s numero uno when it comes to matchmakers.

Except walking into the tastefully decorated office of my hook-up service—Dead End Dating—to find an Anthony Soprano clone holding a very lethal-looking stake.

I came to an abrupt stop in the doorway, my Constanca Basto sandals refusing to carry me the rest of the way inside.

Twisted, right? I had the whole super-vamp package working for me. HD vision, enhanced hearing, mind-reading ability. Throw in the glamour trick—the power to mesmerize and persuade the opposite sex with my deep, entrancing stare—and I really had little to fear despite the nuclear toothpick in his meaty hands.

Then again, he was wearing a pair of pitch-black Ray-Bans, which sort of put a crimp on the mind reading and the glam thing. He sat behind my desk, his feet propped on the glass and chrome. He had thinning brown hair and a recessed hairline that said he was in his late thirties, maybe early forties. A black Gucci jacket hugged his potbelly. Black slacks, argyle socks, and gleaming black loafers completed the outfit. He shuffled the stake from one hand to the other. Back and forth. And eyed me.

My heart shifted into overdrive and I drank in a deep, calming breath (NOT a necessity for my kind, but after years of blending with humans, it’s become something of a habit). The scent of garlic and sausage spiraled through my nostrils.

I tamped down the urge to bolt (hey, my feet were frozen) and decided to go for Plan A—faking my way out of a very difficult (and somewhat smelly) situation.

I gave up the breathing and pasted on my most mesmerizing smile. “Can I help you with something?”

“Lil Marchette?” he asked, a Bolívar cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth. He had a thick Jersey accent and the cold, emotionless tone of a man who’d rather see me with concrete blocks strapped to my ankles than prancing around in my latest La Perla thong.

“Um, no,” I blurted. “I’m Evie. Lil’s assistant. She’s on vacation right now. A really long vacation.”

“Evie, huh?” The Ray-Bans swept over me once, twice. “Funny, but I met an Evie about an hour ago.” He took a puff and waved the cigar at me. “You don’t look anything like her.” A stream of smoke spiraled in the air between us. “Granted, you’re both blondes, but your hair is longer. And you’re taller. And you’re a vampire.”

So much for Plan A.

Enter Plan B—charming my way out.

“Nice jacket,” I told the guy.

“You like? My mother bought it for me.”

“She has excellent taste.”

He actually smiled. “Damn straight she does. She’s a saint, that woman.” The Ray-Bans zeroed in on my face. “Goes to Mass every Saturday and Sunday. And she don’t like liars. She can spot a liar at fifty paces. She’s got intuition. Every time she meets a liar, she gets a cramp.”

“Maybe it’s just gas.”

“Have you ever met a saint with gas?”

I’d actually never met a saint, period, which was saying a lot considering that I’ve been around forever. But saints and vampires don’t exactly connect, if you know what I mean, and so I’ve made it my business to avoid any and all visits to the Vatican, pilgrimages to holy places, and eBay auctions featuring religious artifacts (although I did sneak a peek at the Jesus grilled cheese).

Not that vamps are these anti-spiritual creatures who cringe in the face of a crucifix or double over when someone recites a scripture. It’s just somewhat annoying. Really, who wants to get doused with holy water at every turn? Talk about a quick way to ruin a silk blouse.

“I’m not really Evie,” I admitted, just in case he’d inherited the whole cramp thing. After all, he was sitting in my favorite chair. “I just thought you were another fan from MMW and I wanted to avoid a confrontation.”

Manhattan’s Most Wanted was a local reality dating show fashioned after The Bachelor that paired Manhattan’s hottest guys with a bevy of beautiful, buxom women. While I hadn’t made the final cut for the actual show, I had made it into the outtakes that had aired a few short weeks ago.

“I saw you riding that carriage through Central Park.” He grinned. “You’re a real celebrity.”

“That’s me.” Unfortunately.

“I bet they’ve been climbing out of the woodwork since then. TV always brings out the crazies.”

“There was this one guy who wanted to lick my toes and another who asked me to spit on him. But most are just desperate. And lonely. They just want a date.” I eyed the stake and swallowed against the sudden lump in my throat. “There’s no chance that you’re here for that, is there?”

He shrugged. “Maybe. I mean, I am here to kill you, but I might consider a date instead.”

“Seriously?” When he nodded, hope blossomed in the pit of my stomach. Along with a bud of not-in-this-afterlife. I mean, really. He wasn’t exactly my dream guy. But a vamp had to do what a vamp had to do. I squared my shoulders, fought my gag reflex, and smiled. “Just name the time and place, and I’m there.”

“Slow down, vamp.” He made a face. “You’re not exactly my type.”

True, so why did the comment make me feel so crappy? Oh, yeah. Because I was a hot, megalicious vampire usually wanted by any and all males, and so this was a stab at my already fragile ego.

We’re talking paper-thin, ultradelicate, this close to snapping in two—thanks to one hot, hunky bounty hunter/made vampire. About a month ago, we’d had fabulous sex several times and then he’d walked.

Uh, yeah. You both agreed that there was no chance of a future, remember?

I was a born vampire (I’d come into the world via eighteen hours of labor, done the toddler and adolescent thing, and had stopped aging like all my born-vamp brethren when I’d lost my virginity at twenty-two) and he was made (a human who’d been bitten and turned); the two DO NOT go together.

BVs lived to make money and procreate. I was planning on doing both someday, just as soon as I paid down a monumental Visa bill and found my eternity mate (also known as a born vamp with great taste in clothes and a high fertility rating—a little digit that reflected the likelihood that a male vamp could hit a bull’s-eye when it came to procreation). Made Vampires, on the other hand, lived to drink blood and have gratuitous sex. No bull’s-eye needed.

While Ty Bonner didn’t come across as the typical MV (he seemed more interested in hunting dangerous criminals than sucking and humping any and everything with a vagina), he still wasn’t the guy for me.

My head knew that, but my undead heart . . .

Let’s just say I’d had more than one sob fest since we’d called it quits.

“What’s your name?” I asked the man with the stake.

“Vinnie Balducci.”

The name echoed in my head and stirred a big aha! My thoughts started racing and suddenly everything made sense. Thanks to my MMW notoriety, I’d obviously attracted the attention of the local representative of the SOBs, short for Snipers of Otherworldly Beings. They were a worldwide organization committed to the extermination of any and all paranormal creatures. I’d heard my father mention Vinnie on occasion, along with the juicy tidbit that the man could be bought off if the price was right.

For my father, that meant a monthly delivery of free file folders and Liquid Paper courtesy of Moe’s (think copy machines and office supplies and printing services and major boredom).

Customer Reviews

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Just One Bite (Dead-End Dating Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
lolamh10 More than 1 year ago
I love the quirky characters that Ms. Raye developed. This book has it all humor, hidden crushes, relatives that drive you crazy, and friends you depend on. The plot is so original and funny...I am on the list for the next book due out this month, and have already loaned my 1st 2 to gals at work. I definitely recommend this light-hearted series.
scovel More than 1 year ago
Book 4 in dead end dating. Lil has returned in another steamy vampire romance novel. Her made vamp love is still hot and in charge. Daemons have come into the picture and have been bothering Lil at work and at home. Her stellar fashionable close are covered in green slime and her heart is pulled between making her mother happy and being with the man she loves. Vampires have never been so hot and sexy.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy your paranormal romance/chicklit with a hefty dose of sarcasm and satire, you should pick up a copy of "Just One Bite" by Kimberly Raye. This is the 4th book in her 'Dead End Dating' series and I think the best one yet. Each novel has a mystery to solve and tells us a bit more about the heroine Lil, who is pretty much a caricature of the hip New Yorker who drops more fashion names than Joan Rivers.Lil is a Born vamp from a wealthy vamp family who has broken away from the family business to open her Dead End Dating service. She is flaky, ditzy, and not at all your 'typical' vampire. She has an on-again/off-again relationship with drool-worthy bad boy Ty (a Made vamp and therefore MUCH lower class); and let's not forget sexy Remy, the Born vamp BOTH their families would love to see her settle down with. Each book reveals a bit more about Lil's inability to make a firm decision regarding these two and her mother's incessant nagging for her to settle down (with Remy). In this book, Lil has been blackmailed into finding a potential wife for Vinnie. Vinnie is a card carry member of the Snipers of Otherworldly Beings (yes, that's SOBs) and has made Lil and offer she can't refuse. She has 72 hours to find him a Catholic, Italian girl his mother will approve of (and he also has a long list of requirements like big boobs, real ones, hot looks, vagina, etc). If Lil does this Vinnie will generously refrain from making her his 500th vamp stake. So Lil is working on a short deadline, her American Express is maxed out (and there's a SHOE SALE), her mother won't stop calling about Remy, and her friend and assistant has been possessed by a serial killer Demon so she needs to find an exorcist! The vamp just can't catch a break.I don't think I went a whole page without a snicker or an outright laugh. The book and characters are just so over the top, it's impossible NOT to laugh. So if you need a bit of paranormal comic relief, pick up a copy of "Just One Bite" by Kimberly Raye. Just be careful when you drink and read or you might blow your drink out your nose!
purplg8r on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again, another fun read by Kimberly Raye. I love that she uses funny things that are relevant to the time: "I hadn't seen or talked to him in a month. No phone calls. No e-mails. No text messages. Not even a measly comment on Myspace or Facebook." The next book in the series, Sucker For Love, comes out in June. I can't wait!
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Just One Bite" tells the story of Lil, the fabulous owner of Dead End Dating, a personal service seeking to hook up humans, vampires, werewolves and other creatures of the dark. She is filling a void in the dating market, and these preternatural beings are obviously an overlooked and undervalued demographic. There are plenty of dating stories to be told here to fill future books and the current dating/business scenes are the funniest in all four of the Dead End novels. This time Lil has a scary vampire killer/Italian mofia type man after her to find him the perfect church girl or else Lil will be staked. She also finds herself crossing paths with a demon who soon takes over the body of someone she cares for. Adding more pressure, Lil's mom is still trying to hook her up so she can marry and create baby vamps, but Lil isn't finding it easy to forget Ty, her made vamp ex-lover. When I read the first DED booking, I compared it unfavorably to MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy series. This seems to be a mistake because whereas Betsy seems to have gotten stale and lost a lot of the humor that made it soar, Lil still comes across fresh and funny. I smiled often and may have chuckled out loud a time or two. One thing I have to add, is that Raye makes mention of Brangelina and family around six or seven times over the course of the story. I remember thinking "Jeez lady, obsessed much?", but it didnt' really bother me and the last reference in the book is pretty funny. This book is just what it appears to be. A lite "chick lit" paranormal with some humor, romance, and even a little plot thrown in. Compared to the many similar vamp themed books out right now, its refreshing to find one that is still (on book four) just what is advertised.
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Rayvah More than 1 year ago
Ok -- I had a hard time getting past how selfish the main character was. She sat at home watching movies or went out shopping when her best friend was in soul-destroying danger. Really? I mean, I know this is a light chick-novel, but possession the way she was describing it seems like it demands a little more personal involvement, but most of the time the character's mind was still on shopping or guys. I'll admit I picked this book up without having read the previous three, so I'm probably losing out a bit on the characterization. I've seen a million chick novels hit the shelf since Janet Evanovich became popular. Some are decent, some less so. If you find yourself pressed for time, I'd say this was one you could pass up.