With immortality comes a craving that can't be satisfied, a need never fulfilled. . .
Once an angel, now a demon, Monica is still a succubus with an insatiable desire for sex. The more the better. Soul-stealing orgasms beat out dealing with her broken heart any day of the week. Monica has no interest in being near both her ex-lover and his new girlfriend, so she's not thrilled when she's asked to join them in investigating a string of murders that are clearly beyond the pale. But when she sees that one of the victims has her Celtic family crest carved on his arm, she realizes she may finally find the answers to her past she's been searching for all these years. . .
Praise for Katana Collins
"What a ride! I can't wait to see what happens next in this fantastic new series!" --Caitlin Crews, USA Today bestselling author
"Sexy, dark, and imaginative. . . Will leave readers on their knees begging for more!" --Logan Belle on Soul StripperThis book contains adult content
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By KATANA COLLINS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2013 Katana Collins
All rights reserved.
The neon-colored lights were blinding as they swooped around the club like laser beams. First purple. Then green. Now blue. It felt like I was in the middle of a lava lamp, watching them spin around me. With the little straw stirrer, I sipped my Long Island iced tea and kept dancing. Sweaty men bumped into me from all angles, each attempting to brush my ass or breasts, in the hopes I might look up and give them even the slightest bit of attention. If only they knew just how deadly my attention could be.
Kayce, my best friend, grabbed my elbow and swung me around, our noses almost bumping in the process. Even with immortal hearing, I could barely make out what she was saying over the thumping of the bass. Grabbing the back of my head, she pulled me in closer, her lips on my ear. "I think I found two!" she yelled.
For normal girls on the town, this could mean anything—two seats, two bucks, two drinks. For two succubi on the town? It meant victims. We prey on the local men and women here in Las Vegas to satiate the raging itch between our legs and sustain our immortal souls on Earth.
With her hand still wrapped around the back of my neck, she turned me toward two college-aged guys who were staring at us, transfixed, while their clammy hands clenched plastic cups spilling over with cheap beer.
My head snapped back to Kayce. "They're so young," I said, noting their auras, silver and sparkling. These two were Heaven-bound for sure.
"I thought you didn't care anymore?" Her gaze narrowed.
My stomach twisted, guilt trying to gnaw its way out as if some little animal had burrowed into there. I pushed the feeling aside. "I don't," I shouted over the music with a nonchalant shrug. I was bluffing. If Kayce knew I was lying, then she chose to ignore it.
"What do you say we give them a little something to look forward to?" she said as a devious grin crept its way across her face. She nestled her body into mine, pulsing to the beat of the music. Running her hands through my shoulder-length blond curls, she sent a wicked glance to the two guys watching, their mouths hanging agape. "C'mon, girl," she whispered. "It's show time."
I moved to the music with her, running my fingers down her open, bare back. We turned in rhythm so that I was looking directly at the leaner college kid; he had surfer blond hair that flopped to one side and full lips. An itch surged through my core, shooting between my legs and my mouth went dry. A droplet of sweat tickled its way down the side of my face along my hairline and I quickly shapeshifted it away, making sure to settle my makeup, yet again. Drinking was making me sloppy with my appearance—and I had it much easier than most humans. With one hand, I swept Kayce's curtain of jet-black hair to the side and ran my lips ever so gently up her neck to her ear. My eyes stayed on the college kid as I darted out a tongue that barely grazed her earlobe.
Her fingers splayed against my scalp, weaving into my hair and she tugged my neck back. "Which one do you want?" she whispered. With my eyes closed, nose aimed at the ceiling, I could feel her kisses as they trailed down my throat. When I finally opened my eyes again, I turned around, still on the beat, dropped myself down the ground, and swiveled my hips back to a standing position.
"Surfer boy. We've been staring at each other," I answered as though I were ordering mustard on a sandwich.
"Okay, then," she answered. "That leaves me with the mocha candy."
The crowd on the dance floor had parted, and there was now a group of people circled around us, watching. Men gazed hungrily and women scowled, eyes red and angry. Their jealousy surged a bolt of energy into me. Even though I used to be an angel, that bad-girl side wins out every time. An angel turned succubus-I was a creature no one in the demon or angel realm could explain. The succubus with a soul.
The song ended and Kayce took my hand, leading me to the two guys. "This is Monica," she said, running a fingernail down the length of the other guy's bicep, which bulged beneath his Hollister polo shirt.
Surfer boy took my hand in his. "I'm Paul," he said. His palm was sweaty and after the handshake ended, I wiped my hand on my slinky, sequined dress, not caring if it stained. That's the beauty of shapeshifting. It took a lot of my focus not to slink away, hoping that none of his other body parts were that sweaty.
Kayce already had a leg wrapped around the other guy, pressing herself against him to the beat. I grabbed Paul's hand and pulled him off the dance floor. I wasn't quite the exhibitionist Kayce was. The bathroom was an extremely modern design with clear glass walls that fogged over as soon as you locked the door, so that no one could see in. I tugged Paul inside, locking the door behind me. The glass fogged, encasing us, and making it look as if the entire club on the other side of the glass had filled with mist instantaneously. He grabbed me from behind and turned my hips back to him, his hands squeezing my waist in a way that suggested a carnal need. Our lips rushed to find each other's and his hands cupped my jaw. Bright blond hair flopped forward into his face and I brushed it back, my fingernails running through the silk-like strands. My tongue found his and they twisted around each other.
With my eyes closed, it was easy to pretend for a moment the hair belonged to Drew—my human manager at the cafe where I worked during the day. I pretended that those lips were fuller with a tiny scar slicing across the top. Pretended that this college boy's hands were more calloused and weathered from years of hard work as they circled and caressed my body.
An apelike grunt pulled me back to reality. Cool air tickled my puckering nipples and it wasn't until that moment that I realized he had pulled my dress down over my breasts. A raging erection poked through his jeans against my belly and the contact sent a jolt of electricity through my blood. I needed his life to survive-this wasn't about passion or even sex; it was survival. Never mind that I had had sex the night before as well. Never mind that I had chosen Paul because he had a slight resemblance to the man I loved but couldn't have. Never mind I probably could have gone two weeks without another conquest with all the Heaven-bound men I'd been seducing lately. Right now-all that mattered was the life force in front of me. A morality so strong that its power pushed on my gut causing the air to gush out of my lungs, leaving me breathless.
I shoved Paul against the opposite wall, wrapping my legs around his waist. As I propped myself on his hips, the dress slid up above my ass and I shapeshifted my panties away. One of the glorious things about having more sex than I need-I have plenty of power for superfluous shifting.
A finger slid inside me and I tensed my sex around him. Again, I captured those pretty-boy lips in mine and drank him in. His soul was glistening, shimmering. He was going to be an amazing fix-the high would be electrifying. Much more so than the assholes and Hell-bound men I used to sleep with. And what's a week off their life in order for me to not be condemned to Hell? A week off their life so that I could maintain a human body and not be a drifting soul in the bowels of Hell. And in exchange, they get a night with me-sex extraordinaire. It's an even trade.
Okay, maybe not even, but it's the closest I can get to justifying my actions. Besides, my broken heart is still on the mend. Anonymous sex speeds up the healing process. Not only had I discovered Drew was working things out with Adrienne, but now she was the apprentice to my Julian. My old mentor back when I was an angel. I'd lost both the loves of my life to the same woman.
I shook the memory away, concentrating again on the fix that stood before me. I wasn't against falling in love-but I was against getting involved with humans or angels ever again. Demon dates only from now on. And the biggest downside to dating demons-they're a bunch of fucking assholes. But Paul was here in front of me. He was hot. And he wanted me. My job is to corrupt souls for Hell and steal their life force. I used to fight my duties ... but these days, I was becoming friggin' employee of the year.
His arms, which had been holding me up by the ass, released me back to the ground. We both scrambled to get his pants off. I tore the pale blue polo shirt over his head and threw it on the floor. His hands wound through my golden, soft curls and just as I thought he was going to pull me in for another kiss, he grunted and pushed me to my knees.
Under normal circumstances, this sort of overt lack of regard for my sexual needs wouldn't fly. If I was training him to be a consistent lover at my beckoned need, then I would have taken the time to fight it. But for now, fuck it. I flicked a tongue out and ran it along the tip, then up and down the length of his shaft. His fingers still twisted in my hair, tightening their hold on me. He pulled my face closer to his cock. Done with the appetizer, he wanted the entree.
I grabbed his balls, squeezing perhaps a little too tightly, to where pain turned into pleasure. A gust of air whooshed from his lips, the sudden change from gentle to rough proving too much for him. Amateur. I took his entire length into my mouth, wrapping my lips tightly around his girth. My teeth just barely grazed against him as he fucked my mouth. With the skill of an expert, I used my other hand to grip the base of his dick, rotating my head with a swirl as I reached the tip. His head slammed against my throat.
"Fuck me with those stunning sucking lips, gorgeous." He was growing in size; getting bigger against my tongue. There was no way I was letting him get away with not doing any work. I lowered his hands from my hair and placed them on my breasts. His thumbs rolled over my pebbled nipples sending shock waves through my whole body. The ache between my legs grew and I pulled my mouth away before he could finish.
He groaned and tried to pull my head back towards his cock. Slapping his hands away, I stood, bending over the sink. I flipped my dress up past my hips. "Don't you want this instead?"
His eyes grew wide and licked his dry lips before approaching. Two large hands wrapped around my hips and the sides of my ass. The tip of his finger teased my opening, wet and slick and ready for him. The same hand traced around the curve of my ass and spanked me. It wasn't a hard slap, but I gasped in an exaggerated way. Finally, he pushed himself into me. Reaching around front, he flicked at my clit. My knees buckled with the small, but effective motions. The tension was building and I gripped the sink, body trembling, as an orgasm rolled over my body. The itch between my legs was fierce, reminding me that though it was pleasurable, this fuck was a necessity. I could come a hundred times for him, but until he spilled his seed on me, his soul—his energy—was safe.
Thanks to my succubus senses and inhuman reflexes, I saw him unlock the bathroom door before the fogged walls cleared.
Within those milliseconds, I shifted my face to look like someone else. Just because Paul was an exhibitionist, didn't mean I had to be. Modesty might seem silly—being that I corrupt souls by fucking countless men each week—but I didn't like my Hellish duties to cross over into my day job. And even though most of these people here in the club were visiting from out of town, I didn't want to be known and recognized as the girl who was publicly getting it from behind. I did the same thing with my night job as a stripper—shift my looks slightly so that most people wouldn't necessarily recognize me during the day.
The walls around us cleared. See-through. "Oh yeah," Paul grunted and slapped my ass, squeezing it hard enough to leave a mark.
Grabbing a fistful of my hair and yanking my head back, he pushed into me with one final thrust. Sliding out just in time, he came all over my ass. It dripped down into my folds and the rush of his life force was like walking into an air-conditioned room after sweating outside on a hot summer's day. It momentarily took my breath away. His life reeled before my eyes, like I was watching an abridged version being projected before me. He'd graduate cum laude; move to Chicago; work in a boutique marketing firm before marrying and settling down in the suburbs. And lastly, he'd die of a heart attack.
Finally, I released the breath I'd been holding, thankful that I hadn't stripped too much of his life. I pulled my dress back down over my ass and looked into the mirror above me. I was glowing, radiant with the new life force. Paul's life force.
I turned to face him, not bothering to shift back into my original features. He was so drunk on cheap beer, he wouldn't even notice I looked slightly different from before. I glanced quickly out at the line of people formed to watch our little performance, then touched his cheek, running a finger down his jawline. "Thanks, Paul."
His pupils were dilated, eyes wide, ready to party some more. Just a side effect of my poison. He was high on me. "Who says it has to be over?" He grabbed me around the waist, pulling me in for another kiss. The crowd of people watching outside whooped and hollered. I let him kiss me a moment longer before pulling away and handing him his pants.
"I say so," I said quietly, reaching for the door. "Oh, and Paul?" When I looked back over my shoulder, he still had the energy, but a dejected look was etched on his pretty, boyish face.
He straightened as I turned around, eyes wide and expectant. "Yeah?" he said, hopeful, zipping up his pants. Like a puppy, I imagined two floppy ears perking up.
"Never shove a woman's head to your dick without reciprocating the act yourself." His face dropped, all color draining quickly away. On an exhale, my shoulders slumped slightly. I spoke again, a tad more quietly this time. "And lay off the red meat, okay? I mean ... it's just-it can be bad for your heart."
I slipped out of the club, giving a little wave to Kayce, whose body was still entwined with her conquest. She was my ride home, but I really didn't want to wait for her to finish. And who knew if she even would finish. She might be intending to take him back to her place—in which case, I'd have to see Paul again. No, thank you. I clutched my purse to my chest and prepared for the walk home. It wasn't a long walk—and the streets in Vegas were always bustling. Checking my phone, I noted that it was only a little past midnight. Not late at all by most standards. Early for Vegas.
There was a chill in the air. A dry, cool October breeze caught my hair, whipping it about my face. Kitschy Halloween decorations adorned all the local businesses—smiling jack-o'lanterns and witches with green skin hung in the windows. It was a fun holiday—one of my favorites since moving to the states. Being alive for close to three centuries meant you saw a lot of customs and various holidays around plenty of countries.
Seeing the green witch made me immediately think of Adrienne-Drew's ex-girlfriend, a detective who studied witchcraft, who had given her life for me a few months prior. Contrary to popular belief, witches are not immortal beings—or green; they are simply humans with a gift. The whole time she and Drew dated, I was certain she was this horrible person ... a cheating slut. I couldn't have been more wrong; she was Vice and couldn't blow her cover-not even for the man she loved. Drew. My Drew. And now she was an angel-that's how good a person she was. Not only Heaven-bound ... but a motherfucking angel. All of her spell-casting managed to hide that part of her aura ... especially since she worked to catch so many immortal bad guys; she had to be able to conceal her true goodness as an undercover detective. When she'd died to save me, I'd absorbed some of those powers. As I walked down the street, I practiced snapping my fingers—a small flame igniting at my fingertips.
Excerpted from SOUL SURVIVOR by KATANA COLLINS. Copyright © 2013 Katana Collins. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Kept the intrigue of the first book and expanded on Monica's character. I read the book over the long weekend, quite a feat for me as generally it takes me a month to finish a book in the 250-400 page range. Will be waiting for the next in the series
The least likable thing about this book is the main character. The mystery that needed to be solved was interesting. The other characters were likable. The pacing was good and the sex scenes were hot. But Monica’s actions and thought processes make no sense. She’s a succubus, but supposedly in a hooker with a heart of gold kind of way. There’s only one problem, she’s not actually a nice person. Monica is a succubus, so she needs sex the way we need food. She prefers hot sex, like we prefer delicious food. That makes perfect sense. However for someone madly in love with a man she sure does spend a lot of time screwing others. Men who do not actually feed her, so what is the point? Shouldn’t she be pining over her lost love instead. Monica also has major issues with women. She does not trust or like them. It makes no sense, because the story went into her past and it is revealed that the only people who have hurt and betrayed her are male. Whether they be angel, demon, or human. The people that have always helped her are female. So why is she so twisted? She should revel in her succubus powers. Being able to punish men who are no good. I’m on the fence as to whether I would read the next book in the series. Although I love the world that was built, and I am interested in how the overall story ends it is really hard for me to focus when I can’t stand the heroine.
If Soul Stripper teased us, Soul Survivor has swept us, quivering all the way to the edge. Sometimes the past is best forgotten, and for fallen angel-turned succubus Monica, a few centuries is more than enough time to forget the specific details of her fall from grace. That is, until bodies start turning up, mutilated, and bearing the crest of her family, as well as others of her inner circle. From Sin City to the City of the Saints, Monica, with the help of Elemental Damien, newly winged Angel Adrienne, and a very reluctant Drew, begins the task of investigating and tracking the murders to their gruesome culprit. But look behind you girl, because while you’re hot on the trail of a killer, don’t let that hit squad on your heels slip your mind. Collins has outdone herself, delving into the past, then charging full steam ahead on another sexy, wild ride. It was HOT. It was terrifying. It was AWESOME! And now those of us left quivering on that oh so delicious edge, are left breathlessly waiting for Soul Surrender. Will she set us free? Will this succubus regain her halo? Drew? Damien? Oh so many tantalizing questions!