Luke Steel hasn't felt passion since his wife died in a brutal attack three hundred years ago and he felt powerless to save her. But when he ends up in an emergency room, all of that changes. Dr. Alexis Byornsson shocks him by bringing good things to life in more ways than one.
Alexis isn't sure about this crazy new world Luke has thrown her into. Thanks to her training, she's used to chaotic, but this blond god has taken insanity to a whole new level. And she doesn't understand this all-consuming passion between them. It's like nothing she's ever experienced.
But Luke's enemies are circling, and with Alexis's life at stake, Luke will do whatever it takes to make sure she survives.
Each book in the Biting Love series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed in any order.
Book #1: Bite My Fire
Book #2: Biting Nixie
Book #3: The Bite of Silence novella
Book #4: Biting Me Softly
Book #5: Biting Oz
Book #6: Beauty Bites
Book #7: Downbeat
Book #8: Assassin’s Bite
Book #9: Passion Bites
About the Author
I write steamy paranormal romances and wickedly fun romantic adventures, stories that crackle with action and love. Challenging, smart alpha men—and women not afraid of a challenge. And oh, do the sparks fly when he meets THE woman guaranteed to infuriate and inflame him most.
In real life I’m an author, a spouse and mother, a flutist, a computer geek, and a binge-TV-watcher of The Flash, Elementary, NCIS, and Wynonna Earp.
Read an Excerpt
I never believed a mere forty-eight hours could change my life. But even as I went about my ER rounds that warm June evening, events were winching up the first hill of the biggest rollercoaster ride ever.
Midnight. I knocked briskly and opened the exam room door — and walked straight into two-hundred-fifty pounds of Dr. Frankenstein's assistant, with the unfortunate (or appropriate, depending on your point of view) name of Nurse Battle.
She sorted hypodermic needles by size, horse to horror, regimenting them on a cart tray.
Just past her, a little girl sat with her feet tucked against the exam table, mouth agape, eyes like saucers.
I couldn't tell if the child was more horrified at the big stabby things or the battleship in nurses' white. Battle was an excellent nurse, though her detractors said she didn't heal so much as scowl people well, but frankly, I was in awe of her.
"Thank you, nurse. Hello, sweetie." I sidled between the child and the tray, smiling to take the girl's attention off the needles. "What's your name?"
Our patient — a blonde youngster of maybe five years — cradled her arm and peered at me with big, dark blue eyes. "Sarah Jane."
"Last name, Steel." Battle read from the girl's e-chart. "The father brought her in but immediately left. His wife is apparently in labor." She said "Shteel" and "vater", her accent more German than a native's.
"Liese and Logan Steel. I heard." I'd happened to be in the reception area when a blond god of a man who exuded sex appeal like a hammer, albeit a terribly distracted hammer, had swooped in with the child, melodiously informed us the girl's uncle would be in to care for her, slashed his signature on the blank release forms and swooped out. Totally against policy, but everyone jumped to do his bidding.
Only after the tickly sex vibes dissipated did I realize why Steel's baritone was so compelling — he wasn't a man. His tones echoed in my skull exactly like a deep voice I'd heard on the phone five years ago, the day I'd had it confirmed that vampires were real and living in Chicago.
What do you know of my kind?
Nothing I'm not supposed to.
Apparently vampires were living in little Meiers Corners too.
"Hello, Sarah," I said. "I'm Dr. Alexis Byornsson."
"Sarah Jane." The girl relaxed enough to start kicking her small MySnarkyPony runners against the side of the exam table. "I'm named after a very brave woman."
"And you're a very brave girl." I checked the computer chart. Sixty-seven months, or about five and a half, here for treatment of a nasty laceration. A very, very brave girl. "Where does it hurt?"
"My arm." She held up her thin limb, padded and wrapped in gauze. Battle would have done that. Behind her on the counter was a plastic zip bag with what looked like a bloody T-shirt, probably used to originally staunch the wound.
"How much does it hurt?" I signaled, and Battle held up a chart of smiley-type faces, from the sunny "No Pain" through straight-mouthed "Hurts a Little" to crying "Hurts Most".
She pointed to the super-sad four, "Hurts a Lot".
I patted her shoulder. "We'll take care good of you."
The girl's vitals, recorded on the computer, were elevated but within parameters. Tetanus up to date, thank goodness.
I did a quick CMS test (Circulation, Motor, Sensory), starting with capillary refill time on her thumb. While I worked, I asked questions, both to get information and to distract her. "Where did you cut your arm?"
"The playground. I came inside right away, but Mommy's having the babies so I told Uncle Luke."
"Ah." The uncle, who was supposed to be caring for the girl but wasn't here. That didn't bode well. I wondered what kind of "uncle" he was. "Was it daytime or nighttime?"
"A little nighttime." She ducked her head. Apparently not supposed to be out that late.
But it let me gauge how fresh the injury was. A little dark probably meant around sunset. In Meiers Corners in June, that was around eight-thirty, which meant the injury was within the last four hours. "Good. Can you move your fingers?" Motor test.
She wiggled a "hi".
"Hi." With a smile, I touched her wrist, for the sensory test. "Feel that?"
"All right. Let's see what we have to deal with." I gently unwrapped the gauze to reveal a long gash, shallow but irregular. Definitely needed stitches.
"Put together a suture kit, would you?" I turned to the nurse, couching my terms so as not to scare the child. "A covered kit, please?"
Sarah Jane must've been a smart little cookie because she caught the gist. "Are you going to sew my arm up? With a ... needle?" Her voice trembled on the word.
While I didn't want to upset her, lying wasn't an option.
"You won't feel a thing," I reassured her. "A little tug is all."
"Maybe we should wait for Uncle Luke."
"It's okay, sweetie. It won't hurt." I had no idea when — or if — the uncle would actually show up. To divert the girl while Battle worked, I asked, "What were you doing on the playground?"
"Playing horses. There was a stampede in the corral, and I got pushed against the fence. Some of the metal links are pretty sharp." She squirmed on the table. "Why won't the needle hurt?"
"I'm going to give you some medicine first. Nurse, after you're done, get me .9 mL of lidocaine for infiltration, another 3 for topical and an antibiotic ointment from the Pyxis, would you?" I glanced at her array of hypos, shaking my head. "We'll administer with a small gauge."
A click interrupted me, the door opening.
"Sorry I'm late. Logan had instructions for me. I'm Luke."
The deep male voice following the click flowed into my ears like smooth whiskey down a parched throat after a long, long day.
I admit I was expecting a sleazy drunkard of an "uncle". But what I got was Blond God Part II and hey, the sequel was better than the original.
"How're you doing, tiger?" His attention was all for the girl.
Good thing, because I was in no shape to respond, at least not with words. My own eyes ah-oo-gahed, and my tongue fell out of my head, landing on the floor with a flat splat. Not really, but my reaction wasn't doctorly dignified in the least.
I know that because, in my periphery, Battle openly snickered.
Luke was a tall angel of a man, gliding to the exam table with the grace of a tiger. He passed me, revealing a bright blond braid lining the middle of an extremely well-developed back, braid tail tickling his tight butt.
Yeah, my eyes leaped out of my head at that, trying to follow him.
He glanced over his muscular shoulder at me. Chiseled cheek, sweeping lashes, gorgeous, gold-flecked hazel eyes — burnished by old deep pain.
Angel yes, but a tortured angel.
I was immediately torn, the woman half of me wanting to melt into a puddle of massage oil to sheen his golden skin, and the doctor half wanting to heal him — or maybe that was the woman half too, because healing suddenly meant smashing his head into my considerable bosom and comforting the hell out of whatever ailed him.
Luke's eyes, on me, widened for a split second. Then he abruptly turned away.
Seeing my attraction and rejecting it.
That stung. I'm not as beautiful as my younger sister, but I'm not dog barf.
Then he said, "This woman taking good care of you, tiger?"
The doubt in his voice stung more. I'm a damned good doctor, and I always take the best possible care of my patient.
My spine snapped straight. "I have over a decade's experience in emergency room medicine. Only a surgeon could do better." Professionalese for "shut the fuck up".
"Then maybe we should get a surgeon." Luke turned a hard stare on me.
I stalked up to him to give him a good eye-to-eye glare in return, but it backfired — at five-nine I'm not small, but he had at least six inches on me. His intense gaze would've awled through my skull if I hadn't already experienced medical peer reviews. I could take scrutiny, even the ant-burning kind. I upped the ante and lasered back.
Mistake. It was like challenging a wolf. Hazel eyes narrowed and kindled to red-gold. My cool wavered. A prickle of perspiration ran down my nape when lengthening canines peeked from between his lips.
Yes, I know some vampires are on our side. Doesn't matter squat when you're in one's fangy sights, and the age-old awareness that you're prey kicks in.
Battle cleared her throat. "I'll just go get those meds." She lit out of the room with rockets for feet.
"Uncle Luke, your slip is showing." Sarah Jane's tone was that of a child mimicking an adult's admonition. "And you scared the nurse away."
To my surprise he relented, fang-tips receding, waving a palm like a flag of truce. Slowly his lips relaxed into a sensuous almost-smile, and his eyes cooled to that gold-flecked hazel, so gorgeous I wanted to go panning for precious ore.
A lush feminine heat shivered through me.
"Yes, all right," he said.
All right? What did he mean by that? All right, take my blond masculine head and bury it in your comforting bosom? All right, let's find someplace private? All right, spread your thighs and let me show you how wicked an angel can be? "All right, what?"
"You're the doctor. Besides, I've been scolded for frightening the nurse."
"I like the nurse," Sarah Jane piped up. "She let me listen to my heart with the stet'oscope. And she promised me a sucker. Cherry, Uncle Luke."
A corner of Luke's mouth turned up. "There, that seals it. Sarah Jane would never forgive me if I lost her a cherry sucker."
It was cute and sweet and coming from such an obviously powerful man trilled along my skin like effervescent summer wine. So when Battle knocked at the door I nailed Luke with a final glare but I had to work at it. "Don't scare her off again, okay?"
His mouth quirked as if he knew I was putting on the stern and why, but he gave me a single nod.
I opened the door to Battle. "It's safe."
Cautiously, she brought in the meds.
Briskness in the ER soon gets everyone past awkwardness and anxiety. "Prep the infiltration, will you?" Snaring a square of gauze, I dosed it with anesthetic.
"Okay, sweetie, this will help protect you from the owies." With one gloved hand, I pressed the pad firmly to Sarah Jane's cut, keeping my body between her and Battle, blocking the sight of the hypodermic. I kept my ears open for any dangerous growls but heard only the soothing clicks and clacks of efficient preparation.
After a moment, I removed the gauze and motioned for the hypo. "Only a little more to make you absolutely comfortable. You'll feel a little pinch." I kept my voice and attitude very calm. "What color are my eyes?"
The little girl's gaze, following the needle, twitched up to me. "What?"
"My eyes. My sister says they're orange. Like a pumpkin."
"They are not." Her tone was the one reserved by children for adults being especially silly. "They're blue."
"They are?" While her attention was snared, I tapped the injection area then rapidly inserted the small needle into the edge of the wound, avoiding piercing intact skin. I infiltrated the subcutaneous slowly and steadily while withdrawing. "Maybe she should get glasses. All done."
"Really." I passed the hypodermic behind my back to Battle. "I think two cherry suckers is appropriate."
"Hear that, Uncle Luke?" Swinging her shoes, she beamed.
"I did." His tone was thoughtful. As if he'd seen me in a different, better light.
Well, good. I don't have to be liked — emotions are fleeting and misleading — but I work hard to be the best healer I can, and he'd impugned my professionalism. Or as my best friend would say, he'd challenged me where I lived.
When the area tested numb, I debrided the wound (removed foreign material and damaged tissue) with gauze and normal saline.
"I like your shoes, Sarah Jane. Which SnarkyPony is your favorite?" Keeping up a constant flow of distracting talk, I started the first suture mid-cut. I bisected the remaining gaps while Battle laid out more gauze.
The door clicked and Sarah Jane's father silently slipped in, joining his brother. Now two blond gods lounged in the room, both with bright blond hair tumbling past shoulders broad as sixteen-lane freeways.
Oh, to be a sculptor, to chisel them as life-size marble bookends.
They were identical twins, but seeing Luke next to Logan — the new father exhausted but satisfied — showed up Luke's aura of wounded pain. Maybe something dark in his past, but it probably made him the more dangerous of the two.
I finished suturing, applied the antibiotic ointment and started bandaging, chatting with practiced ease as I padded and wrapped. "All done, sweetie. You were very brave."
She beamed at me. "Thanks. Can I have three suckers?"
"Ja, ja, little one." Nurse Battle softened enough to hand her four.
"I'll take my daughter now." Logan gently scooped up the girl.
"Not yet." I took my attention off him a split second to wheel my stool to the computer station. "I have to give you instructions for care and information for follow-up with your pediatrician ..." I glanced back.
He was already gone.
"Damn." I scowled at the computer screen. "There's no discharge option for a father simply whisking the patient away." I'd have to improvise. I pecked at the keyboard, trying to make a fifty-letter issue fit a two-radial-button field. Computers make all our lives better, when they're not clucking them fup.
Battle glanced at Luke and cleared her throat. "I will be bringing in the next patient. Room Two." "Vill" and "brinkink".
"Thanks." Busy with my little computer issue, the click of door as she left barely registered.
But gradually, an intense stare on the back of my skull ate through my concentration, setting off a shiver low in my pelvis. Squirming a bit on my seat, I turned.
Luke's eyes burned gold on me. "You remind me of someone ..." He slipped two long fingers under my chin and tipped my head from side to side, studying my face so intimately I burned for his hot gaze lower. Much lower. "Especially about the mouth ..."
His irises heated to red-gold and dialed wide, all pupil with thin coronas of copper, like twin solar eclipses. His nostrils flared and his lips parted, as if he was having trouble breathing. He stepped next to me and bent until his breath was warm on my skin.
Close enough to kiss me.
My own breath quickened. I hadn't had the release of sex in a while, concentrating on my plans for the future.
But here was a vampire, Mr. Insta-sex, dropped in my lap.
Desire rose hot and thick, more than usual, bubbling like a head of beer, foaming up until it threatened to overflow.
I was at work but between patients, the door was shut, and besides, I'd never kissed anyone above seven-point-two on the sexiness scale. Did an angel taste different?
Well, there it was. I had to do it. Scientific necessity, really. Just a taste.
My eyelids slid shut and I shivered in anticipation.
His mouth alighted on mine like the brush of angel wings. Brief sweet touches that said, Hello, that's nice, you're nice.
So. For the catalog, angels' lips tasted deliciously sweet.
My heart beat faster, my belly shimmering. My lips parted on a soft sigh of invitation, coming all the way from my curling toes.
His tongue answered playfully, with short little licks that teased and tempted. Not so much tasting me as letting me get a taste of him.
I flicked a tiny lick back.
He purred his approval. His artistic fingers came to cradle the back of my head. He worked his lips and tongue against my mouth, revving my feminine engine with a fine skill and precision. I opened to him. His tongue thrust inside.
Angel lips were sweet; angel mouths were hot, spicy and boldly male. A shiver of desire threaded me, pooling as golden heat low in my belly, bubbling up as a soft moan of pleasure.
I stood, palms on his chest, and pressed flush to him.
A thin layer of cotton shirt covered hot boulders beneath my palms. I'd touched well-built men, toned muscles and warm skin. I'd never felt a man like him, like scaling bare rock cliffs. A moan tore from my throat.
His groan twined in. "You taste amazing. All hot and wet." His head slanted, his tongue beginning to plunge. Angel wings became angel fire.
I gasped. That driving tongue pistoned with intense male power. His heat rushed in, waking every bit of my mouth. Like biting a cinnamon red-hot, my lips, then my whole body flushed with desire, a flame spiraling through me like a coiled, lit fuse.
Excerpted from "Passion Bites"
Copyright © 2015 Mary Hughes.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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
This is the first in this series I have read but... it was an excellent stand alone. Lots of unique characters and some that make me want to catch up on this series. Always love a vampire story that includes the challenges of having children and their amazing abilities. Hughes told an amazing romance with good winning over evil. "A copy of this book was provided by Entangled via Net Galley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
ER doctor, Alexis, has to stitch up a child when the child’s uncle storms into the room, looking like a Greek God and full of sex appeal. Luke is very protective of his niece, but when he sees the sexy doctor, he is drawn to her and they share a kiss within the first 20 pages!! Talk about moving fast! I did not enjoy Alexis at first. She seemed whiney and immature for a doctor. But, she grew on me as the story went on and I eventually started to like her. Luke was very likable (and lick-able, but that’s another review). His vulnerability and protective nature made him the perfect alpha vampire and him and Alexis complemented each other really well. She broke through his barriers and showed him that it’s ok to love, again. Passion Bites is the ninth book in the author’s Biting Love Series, but it can work as a stand-alone. I have not read any other books with in the series, but I did not have any issues following the characters nor did I feel lost. However, I do think that it would be better to read the rest of the books before this one to get to know the rest of the characters better. *Copy provided for review
I originally had this review down on December 31st, but it turns out I haven't clicked the scheduled button before it went holiday crazy. As I participated for the blog tour of Passion Bites before, the excerpt got me intrigued and I couldn't request fast enough for a review copy because of my love of vampires, witty protagonists, explosive romances. Selfless. Witty. Caring. Intelligent. Those are the first four words I thought when Alexis, the main protagonist, comes to mind. Selfless as she was willing to do everything to save and protect everyone she loves even though it might risk her life in the process. Witty as it was entertaining to read how her mind works and make you laugh with her internal reactions. Cares as she supports and treasures her best friend and the people she loves, despite circumstances that hurt her in the past. Intelligent as she knows and figures out some things quickly, which is more than I gave her credit for. Is it just me or most of the guys in this book looks hot? Anyway, let's talk about Luke! For me, Luke is a bit complex. I know he has past issues, but don't you think it's time to move on? Is it really necessary that you, uhm, have to suffer for a hundred years or more? It was tiring to read some parts because no-i-can't-be-happy because of this and that. I remember the Night Scholar from Scholar Who Walks the Night regarding Luke's actions. Sorry, but I'll choose the Night Scholar rather than Luke; he did it more gracefully than Luke did at the ending. Passion Bites is a fast, funny and good read, but I wouldn't call it as one of my favorites because I was irritated at some point. I like the high-tech gadgets though; I actually want one. If you wish to know which parts I got irritated, read the spoilers below at your own risk. Warning: SPOILERS! First, if you have read the first part of the summary, that's on page 10-15. Then, on page 16, they kissed. They freaking kissed! Huh, talk about fast. Second, I discussed Lizelle's, Alexis's best friend, situation this with my mom because I know this happens in real life and I understand, but I may have ranted at some point because it just infuriates me, but this is what I'm just going to say: She has been your best friend since first grade and she just wants to protect you from your abusive husband. Don't be such an ungrateful lady. Lastly, the ending sucks. Alexis did gracefully on the ending, but it wasn't fair to her. This is why I prefer the Night Scholar even though they have a lot of similarities with Luke.