Drama. Scandal. Secrets. And a whole lot of supernatural goings-on.
Where Darkness Lives by Alexandra Ivy
No one's more surprised than Sophia when she's struck by an unfamiliar maternal urge to move near her daughters. But instead of being greeted by a welcome committee, she's targeted by kidnappers. . .and saddled with a gorgeous bodyguard on a mission to protect--and seduce. . .
Murder On Mysteria Lane by Angie Fox
When a werewolf trophy wife is found dead in Vampire County, Heather McPhee goes undercover to investigate. Heather's never been a mascara-and-manicures sort of girl, but she's willing to learn. Especially with sexy vampire detective Lucien Mead posing as her husband. . .
What's Yours Is Mine by Jess Haines
Still Waters is like many other exclusive gated communities--except that it's home to one of the largest werewolf packs in the state. But Tiffany Winters isn't frightened of her big, bad new neighbors. In fact, she intends to take her place among the pack. . .
Werewolves In Chic Clothing by Tami Dane
Ever since Christine Price moved in with her fiancé, Jonathan, and his twelve year-old son, she's worked hard to fit in with a cadre of local women whose lives seem picture-perfect. Except no one in Jon's upscale neighborhood is quite who they appear to be. Least of all Jon. . .
About the Author
Angie Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of several books about vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night. She claims that researching her stories can be just as much fun as writing them. In the name of fact-finding, Angie has ridden with Harley biker gangs, explored the tunnels beneath the Hoover Dam, and found an interesting recipe for Mamma Coalpot's Southern Skunk Surprise (she's still trying to get up her courage to try it). She earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and worked in television news and then in advertising before beginning her career as an author. Visit Angie at angiefox.com.
Tami Dane is rarely seen in anything but black sweatpants and hoodies, unless she's in historical garb. And when she's not stomping around in mud, bedecked in velvet and lace, or working on her latest sewing project, she has her head buried in a book or eyes glued to her computer monitor. Not only does she love sewing. She also loves writing. If you’d like to read her books, you can buy them at your favorite bookstore.
Jess Haines grew up in New York and is currently residing in Florida. She is the author of six novels in the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series, including Hunted By The Others, Taken By The Others, and Deceived By The Others.
Read an Excerpt
The Real Werewives Of Vampire County
By Alexandra Ivy Angie Fox Jess Haines Tami Dane
KENSINGTON BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Kensington Publishing Corp.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSophia was a female who took pride in being idolized by her fellow pure-blooded Weres.
Why shouldn't they worship her?
Not only had she managed to produce a litter of four healthy daughters during a time when the Weres were hovering on the brink of extinction, but one daughter, Darcy, had managed to mate with Styx, the King of all Vampires, while another daughter, Regan, had wed Styx's most trusted vampire guard, Jagr, and a third, Harley, had landed Salvatore as a mate, the current King of Weres.
She was literally choking on royal sons-in-law.
And if that wasn't enough, her fourth daughter, Cassandra, had been revealed as a prophet, the rarest of all creatures. Although she was currently missing, dammit to hell.
Sophia took equal pride in her reputation as being the "bitch of all bitches."
It was a reputation she'd worked hard to earn and the primary reason why she'd hesitated before she'd returned to Chicago to purchase the sprawling brick house in the chi-chi neighborhood near the shores of Lake Michigan.
She didn't want anyone thinking she'd become all mushily maternal in her old age. Okay, she might be secretly delighted that her daughter Harley was expecting her first litter of children. And there might be the teeny-tiniest desire to settle into a lair near her family.
It wasn't like she was going to sit around knitting booties.
Hell, she'd just opened a high-end strip club with the finest male Were dancers to be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Sophia's Menagerie would soon be known as the one and only destination for women of discerning taste.
Human or demon.
And of course, she'd already managed to cause a stir among her snotty neighbors.
Without undue vanity she knew she was drop-dead gorgeous.
Her hair was a curtain of pale gold satin that tumbled to the center of her back. Her face was heart-shaped with fragile features that were dominated by a pair of pure green eyes. And her slender body, which was currently attired in skintight leather pants and barely there halter top, could (and often did) stop traffic.
But it was the smoldering sexuality that heated the air around her, along with the predatory hunger in her smile that made the men trip over their tongues when she was near.
And made women detest her on sight.
The flutter over her arrival had definitely added a spice to her move to the stuck-up, overly pretentious gated community.
And earned her an enemy.
Sophia shook off the unwelcome thought as she stomped across the tiled floor of her foyer to yank open one of the double oak doors that was framed by high arched windows.
"Go away," she growled.
Ignoring her warning, the tall, raven-haired Were attired in a black Gucci suit with a white shirt and blue silk tie brushed past her.
Salvatore, King of all Weres, looked like royalty with his arrogantly handsome features and golden eyes that glowed with the power of his wolf. His hair was slicked into a short tail at his nape, and his lips curved into a sardonic smile.
"Is that any way to greet your favorite son-in-law?" he demanded, folding his arms over his chest.
Sophia planted her hands on her hips, not about to be intimidated. Salvatore might be her king, but she'd already gone above and beyond when it came to duty to her people.
She was done taking orders.
"Have you found Cassandra?" she demanded, referring to her missing daughter.
Salvatore grimaced. "Not yet."
"Then you're not my favorite son-in-law and we have nothing to discuss." She motioned her hand toward the still open door. "Ta-ta."
"Cristo, Sophia." Salvatore frowned, his Italian accent more pronounced than usual. "Why will you not be reasonable?" It was a tediously familiar argument.
"By reasonable I assume you mean, 'Why won't I be a good girl and allow myself to be incarcerated in Styx's dungeon?' "
The king snorted. "Hardly a dungeon. I might not like the leeches, but not even you can deny Styx's lair is the finest piece of real estate in Chicago. It makes most museums look shabby."
It was true.
Styx and Darcy's lair, which was only a few miles to the north, was a sprawling mausoleum filled with acres of marble and gilt and priceless works of art.
Her own home was half the size, but as far as she was concerned it was far superior.
The long sunken living room was decorated in shades of pale gray and silver with a glass wall overlooking the pool and distant tennis courts. The kitchen was large and airy with a breakfast nook and an attached dining room. A curved double staircase led from the foyer to the master suite upstairs, which had a bed large enough to accommodate a football team and a built-in whirlpool that would make any Were purr in pleasure.
And her bathroom ... it was every woman's fantasy, with a shower that ran the entire length of one wall, while the tub was deep enough to drown in.
No way in hell was she giving up her comforts to hide in the basement of a leech.
Or at least, that was the story she'd given her daughters when they pleaded for her to join them.
And she was sticking to it.
"It's cold," she informed her unwelcome guest. "And it's crawling with bloodsuckers."
"Your daughters are all settled in."
"Good. They need your protection." She was genuinely relieved to know that Darcy and Harley and Regan were safely hidden. If only Cassandra was with them she could at last breathe easy. "I, however, do not."
"These are dangerous times, Sophia. Even for a pure-blooded Were."
She rolled her eyes.
Yeah, King of the Obvious.
There wasn't a demon alive who wasn't aware that the Dark Lord was threatening to return from his banishment and unleash all hell. Or that there were all sorts of nasties crawling out of the shadows.
Which was precisely why her daughters were currently being hidden in Styx's lair.
And why she wasn't about to put them in any further danger.
"I've been taking care of myself for centuries."
Salvatore studied her stubborn expression.
"You don't have to anymore," he said at last, his voice soft.
"You have a family."
Once those words would have given her a rash. Now it made her heart warm with a strange emotion.
Hell, maybe she was getting old.
"A family is like medicine." She twisted her lips into a sardonic smile. "Best in small doses."
The golden eyes flared as his wolf prowled close to the surface.
"I'm also your king. I could make joining us an order."
Her smile widened, edged with a warning that made the large predator pale.
"And I could tell Harley about those nymph triplets that you—"
"Fine," he abruptly interrupted, headed toward the door. "Be careful."
"What danger could I be in here?"
"Trust me, evil can lurk anywhere." Salvatore paused on the wide veranda to glance toward the distant homes surrounded by their perfectly manicured grounds. "Even suburbia."
Sophia managed to hide her tiny shiver.
"Concentrate on finding Cassandra," she said. "If I need you, I'll call."
"Take care of yourself...." Salvatore tossed her a mocking grin. "Granny."
Sophia narrowed her gaze.
Okay, she might be tickled pink that Harley was pregnant, but there was no way in hell she was putting up with "granny."
"Call me that again and the litter Harley is carrying will be the last babies you're capable of producing."
With a chuckle, Salvatore headed toward his BMW, which was parked next to her low-slung Lamborghini.
Sophia watched his departure with a faint frown.
She hadn't expected Salvatore to concede defeat so easily.
Which could only mean one thing.
This particular battle wasn't over.
Sophia's Menagerie was a two-story brick building that discreetly blended in with the more conservative businesses that lined the quiet Chicago street.
Once inside, however, there was nothing discreet about the crimson carpet and shimmering gold wallpaper. Or the Venetian chandeliers that spilled light over the padded booths that were arranged to face the low stage.
There was an atmosphere of indulgent luxury that lifted her club above all others.
Well, that and the insanely gorgeous male strippers who could send an entire audience of women into a frenzy of screaming excitement.
Entering through the back door, Sophia made her way past the dressing rooms to the main floor, a satisfied smile curling her lips as her employees scurried about, preparing for the upcoming flood of customers.
This place might be just another strip club to some people, but for her it was her tangible display of independence.
She halted a moment to appreciate the sight of Dmitri and Dominic practicing their dance routine. The twin Weres had recently immigrated from Russian and were so exquisitely handsome it was a wonder they hadn't melted Siberia.
Tall and slender with short, spiky blond hair and ice-blue eyes, they moved with the liquid grace of all pure-bloods. Combine that with the tiny fur G-strings that were the only thing covering their pale, perfect bodies ... yummy.
Then her smile twisted as she caught sight of the man standing near the edge of the stage, his hand reaching toward Dmitri. Or was it Dominic?
Troy, prince of imps, was a large, muscular man with the build of a professional wrestler and the fashion taste of a drag queen. At the moment he was attired in silver spandex pants and a see-through jade shirt that gave a nice glimpse of his broad chest.
His long, brilliant red hair flowed down his back like a river of fire and his emerald eyes danced with a wicked sense of humor that was contagious.
He was like an exotic butterfly that oozed a blatant sensuality.
"Mmm ..." he drawled as Sophia halted next to him, his gaze never wavering from the nearby dancers. "Delectable as always, my love."
Reaching out she slapped his hand. "No touching the merchandise, Troy."
The imp pouted, but, dropping his arm, he turned to face her. "But you know how I love them tall, blond, and furry."
"You love them any way you can get them."
"True." Troy ran his hands down his shirt, licking his lips. "A wise imp swims with the tide."
She snorted. Troy did a lot of swimming with the tide. Which, of course, meant that he had connections throughout the demon world.
And that was precisely why Sophia had contacted him a few days before.
"Did you bring what I asked?"
With a chuckle that should have given her ample warning, he gave a lift of his hand, motioning toward a nearby doorway.
"Don't I always deliver?"
Her lips parted, but her words were forgotten as a man stepped from the shadows.
No, not a man ... a pure-blooded Were, she quickly corrected, catching the feral scent of his wolf. And so sinfully gorgeous that he made her heart slam against her ribs.
She covertly clenched her hands as he strolled forward. What the hell was wrong with her?
Her entire life had been filled with handsome, powerful men. All of them anxious for the opportunity to impress her. Whether it was to earn the right to breed with her. Or just to enjoy a few wicked nights of pleasure.
But she couldn't recall ever feeling as if she'd just stepped off the edge of a cliff and was plummeting through thin air. Was that why she couldn't breathe?
More than a little disturbed by her unwelcome reaction, she warily studied the stranger.
He was handsome, but it wasn't the polished elegance of her dancers.
The blue-black hair was cut short, as if he couldn't be bothered to mess with it, but the severe style only emphasized the stark male beauty of his face. His skin was the rich bronze that came from Latin heat and his eyes more black than brown.
He was taller than her, perhaps six foot, but he was thick with muscles that rippled beneath the skintight black T-shirt that was matched with a pair of black combat pants.
Ruthless. The word whispered through her mind at the same moment his potent heat wrapped around her, inflaming her blood with a pulsing awareness she hadn't felt in decades.
"Good ... God," she muttered.
Troy cleared his throat, doing a piss-poor job of hiding his amusement.
"Sophia, this is Luc. Luc, Sophia." The imp waved a languid hand toward the massive Were. "Isn't he just to die for?"
Sophia's gaze clashed with the burning black gaze, her skin suddenly feeling too tight for her body.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
This Were was trouble with a capital T and the very last thing she needed.
Tilting her chin, she allowed her gaze to slowly skim over the body that begged to be licked from head to toe, deliberately allowing her lips to curl into a sneer.
Neanderthals like this were always hyperarrogant. An insult to his pride and he'd be out the door right quick and in a hurry.
"I asked for a bodyguard, not a stripper wannabe," she mocked.
The dark eyes narrowed, but instead of the chest-thumping and the fast exit she'd been hoping for, he stepped even closer, the rich scent of male musk teasing at her senses.
"Good, because I'm not into public displays." His voice slid over her like hot chocolate, smoothly decadent. "Of course, if you want a private performance you could ask me nicely."
Oh, she wasn't going there.
Not even in her mind.
"What I want is protection, not another pretty boy," she said between clenched teeth, shoving her hands against his chest as she prepared to leave.
Let Troy deal with the muscle-bound fool. She was through. Only she wasn't.
Even as her palms slammed against his chest, his fingers captured her wrists in an unbreakable grip. At the same time he was spinning her around, jerking her until her back was pressed hard against his chest and pinning her arms across her chest.
"I know what you want," he growled, his face buried against her neck left bare by her red halter top.
She shivered, telling herself it was outrage at being manhandled and not white-hot excitement at the brush of his warm breath over skin or the feel of his body pressed so intimately against her.
"I'll let you two play." Troy chuckled, wiggling his fingers as he moved past them. "Ciao."
"Troy," she snapped in disbelief. Surely the imp didn't intend to leave her alone with this ... psychopath?
Evidently he did.
"Don't worry, I'll send you my bill," he assured her, sashaying out the door.
"Idiot," she muttered, her wolf prowling restlessly just below the surface. It wasn't angry, it was ... on edge. As if it sensed something momentous was about to happen. Which was as disturbing as the ease with which he'd captured her.
"Can we talk now?" he asked softly.
"Not until you let go of me."
"If you insist," he taunted, his lips brushing against the pounding pulse at the base of her throat before he slowly released his grip.
Holding her head high, Sophia refused to glance in his direction, instead heading across the crimson carpet.
"We'll finish this in the privacy of my office."
She sensed him fall into step behind her. "You're the boss."
"Actually, that has yet to be decided."
Despite his bulging muscles and impressive fighting skills, Luc wasn't stupid. Hell, until this moment he'd always prided himself on being the most intelligent Were in the room.
Now he had to wonder if he'd left his brain back in Miami.
Not that it was entirely his fault, he swiftly assured himself, his gaze trained on the finest ass he'd ever set eyes on as it swayed across the room. A man would have to be a saint to think clearly when face-to-face with Sophia.
Even warned of her lethal beauty, he'd been stunned by his first glance at the delicate features that looked as if she was barely out of her adolescent years and her slender body that was shown to advantage in her leather pants and tiny halter top.
He'd expected a hard, jaded female who would turn him off with her bloated conceit. Not an exquisite woman who attempted to hide her vulnerability behind a brittle shell. Or one whose emerald eyes held a haunted fear.
Excerpted from The Real Werewives Of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy Angie Fox Jess Haines Tami Dane Copyright © 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corp.. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON BOOKS. 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.
Table of Contents
ContentsWhere Darkness Lives by Alexandra Ivy....................1
Murder on Mysteria Lane by Angie Fox....................107
Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane....................193
What's Yours Is Mine by Jess Haines....................283
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Real Werewives of Vampire County by Alexandra Ivy, Angie Fox , Tawny Taylor, and Jess Haines Come on with a title like that you know I just had to get it. Where Darkness Lives by Alexandra Ivy takes place in the world of her Guardians of Eternity series which I admit I've not read. I enjoyed the story but would probably have gotten more out of it if I had read the series. Murder on Mysteria Lane by Angie Fox was the other reason for me buying this book. I LOVE Ms. Fox's Demon Slayer books. As far as I'm concerned this story was worth the price of the book. Not that the others were bad just that this one had me laughing my butt off. I could totally relate to Heather McPhee. Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane was an enjoyable mystery. What's Yours is Mine by Jess Haines was my least favorite of all the offerings. I couldn't relate to any of the characters and thus didn't get as involved in the story. All in all I enjoyed this book.
Where Darkness Lives - Alexandra Ivy. Sophia is a revered among the werewolves. She was one of the few females in the past centuries able to bear children. She is the mother of the four purebred females, one of whom was the current Queen of the Weres. But someone is trying to kill her, and she is forced to hire a bodyguard. Enter Luc,a gorgeous, purebred alpha male who wants to do more than just guard her body. Together they try to keep Sophia alive and feed their mutual desires before time runs out. Usually I find that short stories feel rushed or the romance feels forced. I am happy to say this story was perfectly paced, and story was quite enjoyable. This is not the first time we have met Sophia in the Guardians of Eternity series, but you do not have to be a fan of the series or know the other characters to enjoy this story. We meet Sophia for the first time in Darkness Everlasting. In that story she is cold and selfish. I am happy to say that although she is still a bit self-centered, her character seems to have grown. Very enjoyable story. Rating: 5 stars Murder on Mysteria Lane - by Angie Fox. Eternal Life Estates in Vampire County (or more commonly referred to as Malibu) is where the elite of the supernatural world want to live. And there is no hotter trend for the up and coming vampire, than a werewife. But when one of these werewives turns up dead, the vampire counsel send vampire, Lucian Mead, their best detective, to investigate. But Lucian needs help from werewolf Heather McPhee, who has the power to get into your head and pull out the truth. Although blending in with the locals may be hard since Heather's idea of high fashion is something with a lot of pockets for all her weapons. Together they go undercover as the new mixed couple on Mysteria Lane to find out what happened before the werepack declares war on Vampire County. This was a great story and I am sorry there wasn't more to it. I loved the characters of Lucian and Heather. I have no idea what Vinny is, but I love him. He's awesome! Rating: 5 stars Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane. Christine Price quit her job, sold her apartment and is moving to Maryland to start a new life with a wonderful man who she met online. Jonathan Stewart is her Prince Charming and she is looking forward to her happily ever after. Except strange things are happening in her neighborhood, her new neighbors are.odd, and what happened to Jonathan's first wife, was it suicide or murder.is her Prince Charming really Jack the Ripper. This was a very intriguing and well written story. Not the usual fare under paranormal romance. It had a very Twilight Zone feel to it. You knew nobody was quite what they seemed, but you really weren't sure who to trust, or even who was what. Couldn't put this story down, and I certainly wasn't going to bed until I finished. Rating: 5 stars What's Yours is Mine by Jess Haines. When the women of Still Waters the exclusive, gated community in NJ saw Tiffany Winters they not only wanted her to join their yacht club, they wanted her to join their pack. The Diamondfangs want to increase their numbers, but only with the most elite people, and they think Tiffany might have what it takes. The question is,is Tiffany all she appears to be. This was a well written story and it kept me interested until the end. Rating: 4 stars
"Where Darkness Lives" by Alexandra Ivy. Sophia the werewolf is highly regarded by her species as a rare female who has given birth not just once, but incredibly to four purebreds. However, someone has a different opinion and wants her dead. Alpha bodyguard Luc is hired to keep Sophia safe even as their passion ignites. "Murder On Mysteria Lane" by Angie Fox. Like many mortals, the supernatural in-crowd wants to live in Malibu especially in Eternal Life Estates where the hottest fad is for a vampire to marry a were. When someone murders a werewife, the Vampire Counsel tries to prevent a species war. They assign vampire detective Lucian Mead with help from werewolf Heather McPhee, their best detective, to investigate. "Werewolves In Chic Clothing" by Tami Dane. Christine Price and Jonathan Stewart meet on line and fall in love. She moves to Maryland to be with her beloved. However, she finds her new home strange and she becomes concerned over that Jonathan's late first wife; ruled a suicide but seems more like a homicide. "What's Yours Is Mine" by Jess Haines. In Still Waters, New Jersey, women of the affluent community welcome Tiffany Winters to join their most exclusive membership, the Diamondfangs pack. However, they may be rushing to judgment as none question that Tiffany fits too perfectly with them. These are four well written entertaining romantic suspense urban fantasies with different emphasis somewhat keeping the plots fresh. Additionally Alexandra Ivy's entry is part of her Guardians of Eternity series. Harriet Klausner
Where Darkness Lives by Alexandra Ivy If you are unfamiliar with Alexandra Ivy's Guardian's of Eternity series you may have difficulty connecting to the characters in Where Darkness Lives. Four of the key characters in the Guardian's of Eternity series are Sophia's (the heroine of Where Darkness Lives) daughters. I've read most of the eight full length books and one of the two (other) anthologies set in the Guardian world, and I still felt disconnected from the characters. The attraction is instant and page burning, but the story is light-hearted despite the attempts to murder the heroine. I was surprised by the plot beneath the would-be assassination story line, but overall I felt BLAH about the novella. Murder on Mysteria Lane by Angie Fox Murder on Mysteria Lane is the best short story included in the anthology. Its quick to anger heroine Heather is hilarious. She acts/reacts so honestly there is little doubt on how she feels about those surrounding her. For a woman blessed/cursed with such an awesome ability (in addition to being a werewolf) it was surprising to see how innocent she was. Murder on Mysteria Lane is a paranormal romance that made me laugh. I didn't know who the murderer was right away, as those women in the gated community were pretty much all vicious manipulators. It was a cute story that ended with not true love or mates for life, but hope of a happily ever after. *Happy sigh* Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane I was not impressed with Werewolves in Chic Clothing. It's a paranormal mystery with a hint of romance. The couple was already in love via the Internet. They spent plenty of time together prior to sharing a home, but the heroine was not told about the paranormal ties until the very end. The reader knows it's a paranormal story despite the story being told in the first person from the heroine's POV. The heroine never considers the paranormal until she is told about the paranormal. I don't think it adds to the story. This is a story that could have easily had the paranormal removed without losing much. Werewolves in Chic Clothing is slightly entertaining, but the conclusion felt forced and left me wondering why I wasted my time reading it. I didn't like any of the secondary characters and the hero had so little page time that there was never a chance of my connecting with him. I'd skip it if I were you. What's Yours is Mine by Jess Haines What's Yours is Mine is in no way, shape or form a romance. It's a piece of fiction filled with paranormal creatures or an urban fantasy without any hint of romance. I didn't particularly care for it because it confused me. The blurb made me think it'd be a short story focused on Tiffany, and in a way it was. However, What's Yours is Mine is told in the third person and follows the machinations of several characters. It never focuses on just one person. The actions of all the characters culminates in an ironic ending which may be funny to some people, but left me irritated. I bought into the idea of a paranormal romance anthology and this story is not a romance. I won't be re-reading it.
Alexandra Ivy as always writes a good book! I love her Guardians of Eternity series and as usual she has outdone herself in the writing of Sophia's short story!
worth reading (barely) Total Pages: 308...4 stories by 4 different authors. Werewolves and vampires. The best story was the first one, which is by Alexandra Ivy. The other 3 stories were a tad too cheesey for my taste.
If one believes a long term relationship is built only on sex and will manefest itself the moment one lays eyes on the intended partner, then Alexandra Ivy's "Where Darkness Lives" is your cup of tea. The only story worth reading is "Murder on Mysteria Lane" by Angie Fox. If it was a little more developed, it would rate a 4-Star rating. Bunny