STOLEN NIGHTS by Rebecca Maizel
A Vampire Queen Novel
A new year is beginning at Wickham Boarding School. A new chance at life, at reversing the evil in my past. But nothing is ever as simple it seems...
Last year, the love of my life died performing a ritual to fulfill my one wish and make me human. And now I've performed the same ritual for my friend Vicken – and survived. Why am I here, back safe on Wickham campus?
The strong magic I used in the ritual did more than just make Vicken human. It drew someone to Lover's Bay who does not belong here. She wants the ritual. Then she wants me dead. And she will take down any and everyone in my life to get what she wants.
As if that weren't enough, the ritual has also summoned the anger of the Aeris, the four elements and most fundamental powers on earth. They have a surprise and an unbearable punishment for me – like stepping into the sun for the first time, only to be put into a cage. And now I have to make an impossible choice – between love or life, yearning or having, present or past…
About the Author
Rebecca Maizel is the bestselling author of the Vampire Queen series, starting with Infinite Days. She graduated from Boston University and the Rhode Island College master's program. She received her MFA from Vermont College and teaches community college in Rhode Island.
Read an Excerpt
“You’re home,” Justin Enos said, leading me through the great stone towers of Wickham Boarding School. I hesitated once I crossed the threshold, stopping at the main path that led past Seeker dorm and to the many halls and lanes of campus. In the distance, tall streetlamps lit up brick buildings like tiny beacons.
Only four days ago, I was so sure that this world was no longer my own. I had performed the ritual for Vicken, my friend, my confidant, also a vampire. I performed this ritual to turn him human. That also meant it had been four days since my best friend, Tony, was killed in the art tower, and since I believed I too would die.
“I can walk, you know,” I said, though I stumbled and Justin had to grab on to my arm. He gave me a knowing glance. My thighs trembled, the result of lying unconscious in a hospital bed.
“It’s a beautiful night,” I said, leaning into Justin’s arm as we walked. He matched my baby steps, holding a bag of my possessions on his other arm.
Lovers Bay, Massachusetts, was blooming in June, hydrangeas and roses all around us. Coupled with the aromas of the café and the restaurants behind us on Main Street, scents distinct to me in my newly regained humanity filled the air: sauces, perfumes, and fragrant flowers.
After everything that had happened, Wickham Boarding School campus seemed like an imaginary place. It lived somewhere locked in both dream and nightmare.
The night was quiet. The trees swayed lazily in the June air and I watched students meander across the campus, talking quietly to one another. The moon broke through the clouds, and when I looked back down to the earth, far down the path toward Wickham Beach, a figure leapt over the path and into the woods. Blond tendrils of hair flew behind her in the wind.
I grinned at first, imagining a student sneaking off campus to find something decadent to eat or to meet a boyfriend. Then something about the figure’s movements caught my eye. She jumped with the ease of a dancer but with the charge of pursuit as well. She was lean and swift. Too lean … too swift.
Alarmed, I scanned the school grounds.
“What’s wrong?” Justin asked.
“Want to go down to the beach?” I asked, stalling for time.
Justin left my bag with the guard at the dorm and I waited alone, staring down the pathway. If she came back out of the woods, then I would know whether she was an ordinary human. Students passed by me, calling out:
“How are you! Feeling better?”
I kept my gaze forward. “Word got around fast when you went to the hospital,” said Justin, nuzzling my neck.
We walked past the Union and Justin’s dorm. I couldn’t explain it, the knowing that she was strange, that the blonde might not be human. Perhaps I was just being paranoid. Of course I was being paranoid. I was an ex-592-year-old vampire. Oddities and strange creatures had once been an everyday part of my life.
We walked down to Wickham Beach. I took off my shoes, leaving them by the steps, and sat down on the cool sand. Sitting there, leaning against Justin’s warm chest and marveling at the ocean stretching beyond us, I tried to forget about the wisp of blond hair and the unnaturally agile jump.
Justin’s hand wrapped around mine. We watched the bay, and I replayed the memory of the first time I met him. During my first week reborn as a human, he had walked out of the water, glimmering and golden.
I leaned my head on his shoulder, breathed, and listened to the water lap lazily on the beach.
A horrific knowing sent a shiver through me. I shuddered and Justin looked down at me.
“Hey … are you okay?”
Look left…, my mind said.
But Justin felt it too. He looked away from me and his fingers dug into the sand and he rose up onto his knees.
Death is coming, the voice inside my mind said. The voice of the Vampire Queen. The hunter of hundreds.
You know this trouble, the voice slithered.
I looked slowly down the beach.
“Do you see that?” Justin asked.
I did. My heart was a cello string, vibrating as though drawn across with a bow—wavering. Someone was running toward us from very far down the beach. A girl—not a child, but not a grown woman either. A student? Her slight frame swayed as she ran, zigzagging across the sand and then hitting the ground. She pushed herself up from the sand but her arm gave out and she fell again.
“I think it’s…” Justin’s voice trailed away.
She finally got to her feet and started running again. The next time she collapsed to the sand, a few moments later, she cried out. It was a scream that traveled in a long wail down the beach, vibrating her terror into our ears. Goose bumps erupted over my arms.
I knew this kind of cry well.
“She needs help,” Justin said, taking a step toward her.
“Wait,” I demanded in a whisper, grabbing his arm. I narrowed my focus into the darkness.
“Are you crazy? She’s hurt,” Justin said. “What are we waiting for?”
My terror was a heartbeat quickened. A dry mouth. Words stuck to my throat, trapped by fear. I couldn’t remove my eyes.
For there was someone behind her.
This someone threw her hips confidently side to side. A model’s walk. A saunter of death. The woman grabbed the girl by her ponytail. There was a quick yank, animalistic, and brutal.
The wind came through the trees, shivering unnaturally in the summer breeze.
“Justin,” I said. “We have to go. Now.”
“But, Lenah!”, I pulled him to me so we spoke very closely.
“Silence,” I said. “Or we’ll both be dead.”
Justin didn’t reply, but an understanding passed over his eyes.
I had to be calculated, purposeful. I could not let the human inside overwhelm me. I scrambled up the steps and turned into the woods that ran parallel to the beach. My legs ached from the days in the hospital and I grabbed on to the trees every few paces for balance.
“Lenah! We have to call for help!” Justin whispered loudly from behind me. I spun around to face him.
“Didn’t I tell you? You must be silent,” I commanded. “And don’t say my name again.”
I fell to my knees and crept to the edge of the woods where the dirt and beach storm wall met, and stared at the scene unfolding below. I gasped as I recognized the girl.
Kate Pierson, my friend. A member of the Three Piece—the group of girls at Wickham whom I’d unexpectedly grown to love over the last year. Kate was the youngest of all of us, barely sixteen. Innocent, beautiful, and now in grave danger.
This changed the circumstances.
We would have to do something. I immediately ran through our options.
We didn’t have a dagger or sword to pierce the vampire through the heart, so we would have to frighten her with strength, which Justin had.
“Please stop,” Kate cried to her attacker.
We lay stomach down and I clawed my fingers into the sandy grass.
The woman sauntered behind Kate, stepping over the darkened sand as though she were simply out for a night stroll. She wore all black. Thick, blond beautiful hair flowed and waved behind her in the wind.
She smiled, her mouth stained red with blood.
I drew in a long breath. “I know her,” I whispered to Justin.
My home in Hathersage, England, swept into my mind along with a memory of the staircase that led to the attic.
The friendly maid with rosy cheeks.
Now she was whiter than stone and very angry.
Below us, Kate tried to wriggle away from the vampire, but now I could see the extent of her wounds. Justin and I were too late, much too late.
I gulped as the blonde grabbed Kate by the front of her shirt and bit into the nape of her shoulder. Kate cried out a familiar, hollow scream. This was one of finality. Her small mouth opened and she hollered into the night.
“How?” Justin whispered. “How do you know her?”
“I—” A shiver rolled over me. “—I made her.”
Slowly, ever so slowly, Justin turned his eyes back to the beach without speaking.
Congealed blood caked the sand together as Kate kicked away. She bled from her arms and her neck. This was a killing of strength. A vampire death can be one bite and virtually painless, but this was a death like Tony’s: a ruthless killing, done not out of hunger or need but out of power. Out of joy.
Kate brought her fingers to her throat to try to stop the bleeding.
Useless. I had seen this too many times.
“I don’t want to die,” begged Kate. “Please.”
My heart ached but the once powerful Vampire Queen inside me told me that this blond vampire was strong. She was unyielding in her desire for blood.
Justin and I could not run. We could not help. We would die at her hands if we made a sound.
We could do nothing until the horror was over.
There was one last scream from the beach.
And Kate Pierson was no more.
Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Maizel
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The books in this series are amazing. They pull you in and it's hard to put the books down. It adds a twist to the typical vampire story and gives people a new way of looking at vampires in stories. I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't like to read because it keeps you on edge and interested.
I got this book from the library with three other books and I stared with this one. I was reading it and it was so good that every time I had to do something i felt like a movie that was just about to reach the best part someone had pushed pause button. The cliff hanging ending left my mind striving for the next book (Stolen Nights). I love what perspective that Rebecca Maizel puts on vampire fiction. If you like this book try reading the house of night series.
When I read the first book in this series, Infinite Days I was totally blown away. I did not expect to see the twist and turns the story took. Then when I reached the end I am not exaggerating when I say my jaw hit the floor. The wait for Stolen Nights has been a long one, and its still even longer until June. I am trying not to go crazy because I NEED to read this book. Rebecca Maizel has truly created an entirely different style of spinning an incredible story. By the end of the first chapter of Infinite Nights I guarantee you will be hooked. I heart Rebecca for writing this story and I am at the edge of my seat, and chewing my nails off in anticipation for the sequel, Stolen Nights.
In Maizel’s follow-up to Infinite Days, the reader is right away thrown into the action. Stolen Nights begins just four days after Lenah performs the ritual on Vicken to make him human and also the night her friend Tony was killed. The ritual does not kill Lenah but instead transforms her back into her human self. The worst is definitely not over. Justin and Lenah witness a vampire killing one of Lenah’s friends on the beach and Lenah knows that this vampire is hunting her; someone wants her to pay for what she has done in her past and will make her suffer first. Not only has she discovered this threat but now the Aeris need her to decide her punishment for what she and her soul mate Rhode Lewin have done by performing the rituals that made them human. This choice along with the task of confronting the one hunting her will leave the reader breathless and torn. Lenah still has many characteristics she had when she was a vampire. She loves hard and many times only thinks of herself. After finding out that Rhode is still alive she literally leaves Justin behind. As a reader we are torn between the undying love she has with Rhode and the fresh human love she had with Justin. But right away we know that Lenah and Justin’s relationship is not what it used to be. Until the moment that Lenah makes the ultimate sacrifice we wonder if she has really changed at all. We learn more about Lenah and Rhode thru flashbacks and we also learn more of Vicken. I have to say Vicken is a great supporting character and I even laughed a few times at his antics. As I said before, Justin’s relationship with Lenah has changed. He is now in the backseat and not liking it at all. Even though the mood of Stolen Nights is definitely darker than it was in Infinite Days we are enlightened and hopeful by the end. Maizel throws the punches without saying sorry to her readers and for that I am thankful. This wouldn’t be the book it is if she held back. Refreshing and heartbreaking, Stolen Nights will have you anxiously awaiting a possible third book (please). (Book was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
I've waited a long time for time to come out. It's hard enough waiting a year between releases, but this was quite a bit longer. It was well worth the wait, but you might want to reread Infinite Days before this one. I say reread because I was extremely lost on some of the events that the beginning of this book is referring to. I had a hard time piecing together the events that had already occurred and when they happened. I eventually think I got it all, but I felt the book didn't really help remind you. But, I was ok with that because I was completely sucked in to what was happening. I think that's because of Lenah and Rhode. There is something about Lenah as a human that I have a hard time imagining how ferocious she was as a vampire. We get glimpses of her past that lead to her basically hibernating for a century and having Rhode search for a cure. From the brief descriptions we get, its no wonder she was Vampire Queen. But, someone from her past isn't happy with the life they've been dealt. That person wants their human life back and all the power that comes with the ritual. This person has all the power and blood thirst that Lenah had and the coven to back it up. The problem is that ritual has disturbed the order of things already. By performing the ritual themselves, Lenah and Rhode have been forced to made some extremely difficult choices. Choices that effect everyone they've ever met. The chain of events was fast and intense. The anguish that Lenah and Rhode feel is palpable and heartbreaking. And the vampire that is so determined to gain the ritual is relentless. In the end, Lenah knows that so many of the events are preventable if she has the ability to make one choice. But can she do it? And when you realize what it is...could you?
To say waiting three years for this book to be released was a complete and total let down would be the understatement of a lifetime. Okay maybe not that bad, but close. Rhode is back and now Lenah is fighting with everything she has to be with him again, but he doesn’t want anything to do with her. After being told that they need to choose to stay in the modern world and never be together again or go back to their time and never know each other Lenah chooses to stay and fight a evil equal to her own. Justin and Lenah are on the fritz and Rhode and Lenah can’t be together it’s a complete mess. Lenah is trying to stop the powerful vampire Odette, a vampire Lenah made. They’re in danger and it will take all of them including Vicken the best character in this whole book. Lenah does a lot of butt kicking in this book and also a lot of getting her butt kicked. I honestly felt Lenah wasn’t the same bad momma character we got in the first book and became a more watered down version. She wasn’t as cunning or level headed as she was in the first book. It’s obvious in this book that Lenah and Rhode belong together and that Justin was just a filler boyfriend, which sucked since I liked him. Sadly what they do to Justin in this story makes me seriously sad. I honestly felt it was just to make sure Lenah ended up with Rhode, which sucked. I am now wishing we hadn’t been introduced to Justin at all because now his character just makes me sad. The story was alright, the writing was really well done, but it does not take away from the utter fail that is this book.
Hey so i want to get this one but is it anything like the first one? The first one was soooo good. Thanks so much!
This sequel of the Vampire Queen series was ten times better than the first book. I enjoyed this book completely and I liked it more than Infinite Days. Rebecca Maizel has really improved her writing and her style. The story has a much better plot and keeps the reader interested throughout. Lenah is still at Wickam Boarding School and she has to fight a whole new foe in a vampire that has come to try and get the ritual from her. This enemy vampire is causing destruction and fatalities all around the school and it is up to Lenah to stop it. This sequel had such better writing and plot flow then the first book. I actually enjoyed reading it more and was immersed in the characters and what they had to accomplish. I loved all of the surprises and twists in this one. Stolen Nights wasn't as straight forward as Infinite Days, it had some curve balls in the plot, which I really liked this time around. I could guess and foresee what happened in Infinite Days while in Stolen Nights I had no idea what was going to happen or where it would go. In this sequel, you get to delve into Lenah's character more and see what she is all about and how she was as a vampire and how she is different now. I loved the Aeris and how they represented time and all the four elements. I also really loved Lenah's struggle throughout the whole book of her difficulty to fight back and actually do it on her own. I really loved the ending and how some things were a real shocker to me. A few things I could take a guess at and was accurate about but it didn't affect how I felt about the story. I loved how the ending completely shows Lenah's self sacrifice and sets it up so it could just end the series perfectly. But then there is an epilogue that can totally set up the series for a third book. I am really hoping that a third book will happen because that will just intrigue me even more into this series. I really like that Lenah is happy at the end but I really want to know what is happening at Wickam with everyone else. Overall, I really loved the two books in this series. If you are a fan of paranormal/vampires, sort of contemporary, and romance, you will love this series. It is a series completely worthwhile to delve into. I really hope there will be a third book and it will be one I can't wait to read if it comes out. I definitely say give this series a try because I know a lot of people will love it.
Rebecca Maizel has a way of pulling you in. Its an easy read, with enough twists and turns to keep you interested in whats happening next.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.) This is the second book in the ‘Vampire Queen’ series, and kicks off a few days after the end of book 1 – Infinite Days.) **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1** Lenah is now human again, and so is Vicken – the man who she originally made a vampire. Boundaries have been crossed though, and now Lenah must face the Aeris - the existences that represent the four elements of the natural world – earth, air, fire, and water. There’s a bigger shock in store though, because Rhode – the vampire who made her, and then died to make her human is alive and human also! There’s also another vampire in town – Odette, a girl that Lenah herself turned, and she wants power. She’s desperate to get her hands on the ritual that Lenah used to turn human again, but if she gets it she’ll turn Lenah’s new home at Wickham into a living hell, which Lenah can’t allow. Can Lenah stop Odette? Can Lenah and Rhode ever be happy together? And who else will have to pay for the mistakes that Lenah has made? It was interesting to see what happened to Lenah after the events of the first book, and the reappearance of Rhode was unexpected, but I didn’t like this book as much as the first. For me this is one of those books where you finish it, and aren’t quite sure what to say about it. The story was okay, the characters were okay, there was action and mystery, but it just didn’t grab me the same way the first book did. Lenah once again tries to put other people before herself, but doesn’t handle the situation between herself and Rhode very well, which was actually nice to see! With Justin and Vicken thrown into the mix too, this gets a bit messy. Once again the characters in this book do not come across like 16-year-olds, and I had to remind myself time and time again that this takes place at a boarding school, because the characters just seemed so much more mature than their years. There was one part of this book that did grab me, and that was the ending. I quite honestly could not believe the turn that this book made, and the choice that Lenah took in the end. The end of the book was totally heart breaking, and even made me cry. It was so sad and so beautiful all at the same time, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever forget it. It was the ending that totally saved this book for me, although I’m not sure where the author will be going with the third book in the trilogy. Overall; an okay book, with a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching ending. 7 out of 10.
I waited two years to read this book and it was worth the wait. Although, I wished it had come out sooner, lol. I can't wait to read the third book. This book was full of excitement in every chapter. Well done!
can not wait till june for Stolen Nights to be released !!!1
Whats the first book? I really want to know, so i can read them. They sound so good........ plzzzz awnser me.