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The Vampire's Secret

The Vampire's Secret

4.1 24
by Raven Hart

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“A masterly tale . . . dark, seductive, disturbingly erotic.”
–L. A. Banks, author of The Vampire Huntress Legends series, on The Vampire’s Seduction

Once a mortal with a beloved family, William Cuyler Thorne is now a vampire on the prowl for blood and beautiful women. He has the perfect cover as an admired citizen of Savannah society.


“A masterly tale . . . dark, seductive, disturbingly erotic.”
–L. A. Banks, author of The Vampire Huntress Legends series, on The Vampire’s Seduction

Once a mortal with a beloved family, William Cuyler Thorne is now a vampire on the prowl for blood and beautiful women. He has the perfect cover as an admired citizen of Savannah society. Though Reedrek, the ruthless old-world vampire who tried to destroy William has been defeated, he still has his followers–and they will settle for nothing less than all-out war.

To counter this vicious band of European bloodsuckers, organizes a vampire empire, which includes the handsomely slick Jack; William’s newly made eternity mate, the luscious seductress Eleanor; and a wannabe-badass named Werm. But as William and his team prepare for the ultimate showdown, the only hope for victory may lie with one woman, a vampire with unusual powers who holds the vampires’ fates in her hot little hands.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.05(d)

Read an Excerpt


Savannah, Georgia January 2006


Eleanor whimpered from pleasure—not pain—as I tore away the leather laces of her corset. The smooth black material was warm from her skin. I unlaced the front and watched as the tight leather opened before me like a ripe pomegranate, spilling her breasts into my nimble hands. Any other night I would have suckled them, rolling the nipples with my tongue and nipping with my unnaturally sharp teeth. I would have followed the sinuous curve of the snake tattoo from breasts to belly with my thirsty mouth, then quenched my lust between her thighs. But on this night, rather than the sweet nectar of sex, I would be sucking blood. All her blood.

Tonight Eleanor would become a vampire, or die in the trying.

Ghostly voices whispered around us, alternately urging me on and begging me to stop. I could not stop. I’d given my word. Humans thought little enough of honor. The ability to follow through on promises or threats meant more to a vampire. At least it did to me. Broken promises had a tenacious way of following one around. Centuries ago, I was educated by my treacherous sire in the art of swearing without the intention or the means to follow through. Of course, becoming a blood drinker left little I could not do. Except perhaps defend the ones I loved.

Diana, my heart. If there had been some way to save you . . .

I’d set a task for Olivia, Alger’s precocious offspring, to further investigate the woman—the vampire—listed in her ancient book. Olivia had sworn on her honor she would not fail.

She had not failed. Not the one you seek . . . I swear it.

So I’d put away the horror and the hope that somehow, as Reedrek had claimed, my wife still lived, in a manner of speaking, as one of the undead. As one of us. Olivia’s pronouncement sent me back into reality. Lovely Diana died centuries ago and I had avenged her death. It was time to stop thinking about her and concentrate on Eleanor.

And just now . . . Eleanor needed saving from me, although she thought not. In this vampire-making business, all my beautiful consort needed to hear was that she would live forever and be bound to me for the next two hundred years—bound to her teacher, her lover, her maker. Not in a marriage, or even a “relationship” in the human sense. Either of us could choose to have others. But she would always be my blood kin, could call on me in need, would defer to my wishes. In the time I’d known her, she’d accepted little advice, including warnings from Jack, Melaphia, or even me. She had her own plans for the future, and I had promised . . . and I needed her.

We were set to begin. Melaphia had prepared Eleanor, removing her street clothes, taking a sample of her untainted blood, cutting a lock of her long black hair.

I rested my cool hand over Eleanor’s living, beating heart. She arched her back and sighed, holding my gaze with her own.

“Are you sure?” I asked one final time.

“I am.”

I took up one of her hands, kissed it, then slid a loop made from the leather laces over her wrist. She sucked in a breath as I tied her right hand above her head. After capturing her left and repeating the process, I doubled the laces and secured her ankles. I did not want her thrashing about; I was determined to do her as little physical damage as possible.

I drew in the smell of her excitement. She didn’t know enough yet to be afraid. We’d played these kinds of games before, never going beyond symbolic bloodletting and good furious fucking. Thinking of those times, I lowered my hand between her spread thighs and teased her open. She was slick with desire.

I was hard with bad intention.

I would give her what she wanted but first she had to see me, truly see me for what I was, and see what she would become. Closing my eyes, I allowed my hunger to rise. Bloodlust tightened my jaw, made my hands tremble. The invisible voices around us gathered and babbled louder as I felt my savage teeth extend. I needed every thread of control to open my eyes and smile.

Eleanor gasped, her dark gypsy eyes going wide at the sight of me.

“Do you see your killer angel now?” I rasped in a voice I barely recognized.

Her “yes” came out on a puff of warm breath. Her voice shook. “Save me or kill me. I don’t care.”

At that point, neither did I.

Oh, how my sire Reedrek would have loved this. I could almost hear the echo of laughter from his silent, earthbound tomb. His self-righteous offspring doing the abominable to an innocent human, out of love. On some level Reedrek would feel the change caused by the making of Eleanor, the tweak of his power. But he was buried too deep to enjoy the new energy source. It would give his maggoty mind something delicious to contemplate. We’d determined that a righteous killing was too good for my notorious sire. Better to have him completely powerless and alone in the constant dark—exactly what he’d planned for Alger, the closest I’d ever had to a brother, before Reedrek had been forced to kill him instead. Reedrek would remain awake but dead to this world. Buried under a constant supply of uncoerced blood—the new state-of-the-art blood bank we’d built with charitable contributions. Just thinking of his impotence sent a warm feeling through my otherwise hate-frozen heart.

And now, here was my Eleanor to think of, She Who Must Be Obeyed. It took a special kind of person to know what she wanted, and then to go about getting it. Eleanor wanted me. And as a woman used to giving orders, she also wanted absolute power over the men she’d had to please through the years. She was willing to face death for the opportunity to have both. My honor rested on not disappointing her. The future of my bloodline depended on increasing our number.

“Close your eyes,” I whispered, knowing somewhere in my blood-crazed mind that she would never forget this moment. Better to have merely pain to remember rather than betrayal by one she loved.

As though we were already connected, she did as I asked but answered my whisper with her own. “I love you.”

I sang a silent, dulcet song to her mind, calming, arousing, mesmerizing, as I lowered my face to within millimeters of her skin to draw in a long breath of her. She smelled of all things human: sun, heat, blood. I would miss those parts of her, but there were other things I would gain. My cool lips touched her fragrant skin in a farewell kiss. Then I bit down hard, like a lion taking down a gazelle.

The sound of her gurgling scream echoed through the room, accompanied by pitying voices of lost spirits. She was closer to them now than to me. Her spirit blinking in the dark, while her body writhed in my deadly embrace. As her hot heart’s blood rushed into my mouth I began to lose focus. It had been so long since I had been filled. In one last act of love I shoved my hand down between her thighs and felt her body buck in orgasm. Pleasure for the pain. For my sweet Eleanor . . . whose valiant heartbeat grew fainter, slower, until it stopped altogether.


I kissed her pale cool lips before picking up a gold knife and cutting a vein in my wrist, using my own—our mingled—blood to make the sign of the four winds.

Eleanor . . .

Dear one, come back to me . . . now.

After an interminable few moments, she made a fearful, mewling sound. Something I would wager she had not done in waking life since childhood. I fought off a choking assault of guilt. She wanted this, had begged for this . . .

Wake up, Eleanor. You are mine now. Come back.

With a shudder, her body rose from the table, levitating upward, then floated before me. I grasped a handful of her dark fall of hair as it swung free and brought it to my face.

Eleanor, sweet. Wake up.

She moaned, my name on her lips. I pressed her downward until her back touched the table, then replaced her sigh of surprise with my bloody wrist.


She opened her eyes wide, then ran a parched tongue along her lower lip before licking at the blood. Her lips and mouth knew what to do. The oh-so-familiar sound of her sucking sent waves of greedy hunger under my skin, transporting me back to other nights, other . . . pleasures. My cock stiffened to rock-hard attention and in another moment I was locked in my own unexpected, jaw-clenching orgasm. The sucking continued along with the pleasure as I strained to remain standing. We were both gasping by the time I managed to pull away before sliding to the floor.

• *

I opened my eyes to darkness, silence, and cold stone at my back. Melaphia’s familiar dark face floated above me lit by the candle in her hand. She looked concerned.

“Are you alright, Captain?”

I felt much better than alright. My skin seemed hot enough to burst into flame. Then I remembered. Eleanor. I was filled with her blood, her life. The long forgotten ecstasy of being what I was created to be, a killer of humans, caused me to rise off the stone floor. Without effort I was standing.

“I’m well,” I answered, momentarily wondering how I must look to others—well fed, at the very least. Melaphia watched me with adoring eyes but made no further comment. I took the candle from her hand and approached the new coffin I’d had delivered. Eleanor lay inside, naked but less pale. She was sleeping. The snake tattoo undulated slightly as I touched the marks over her heart made by my teeth. Healing from the inside, the skin had already closed. Melaphia had cleaned away the blood I’d spilled.

“Jack helped me move her. He’s upstairs.”

I reached out to Jack’s mind briefly with my own and found worry. Not about Eleanor—about me.

“Thank you,” I said to Melaphia. “Please tell him to wait. I’ll be up in a few moments.”

Melaphia nodded before moving away. I heard her footsteps echo, then stop in the passageway, probably to attend her altars. There would be nothing more the orishas or anyone could do until Eleanor suffered through and, hopefully, survived her darkest night. I gently closed the coffin and locked it.

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Vampire's Secret 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The old world vampires have tortured their offspring (vampires made by their sire) and each other but those who escaped to the New World formed an organization similar to the Underground Railroad to help the offspring escape. William Coyote Thorne has disposed of his sire and for the first time in five centuries he has fallen in love with Eleanor who wants to join him in eternity. After surviving her transformation they have only a brief time of happiness until trouble comes to Savannah.------------- Hugo¿s clan has com to William¿s territory to find out what happened to his sire who happens to be William¿s sire. William is not prepared to see his wife Diana and his biological son Will in Hugo¿s entourage. He thought they were killed five hundred years ago. While he is dealing with this development, a plague breaks out that kills humans and vampires alike. Will catches the virus but and ends up killing the human friend of a fellow master vampire. How far will William go for his son and the wife he thinks he knows as those around him are hurt or destroyed?-------------------- The protagonist is torn between two loves, his wife and Eleanor, the woman who won his heart. In trying to recapture the past, William alienates everyone he cares about but the worst blow of all is the kidnapping of a very immoral. There is plenty of action in this romantic fantasy but the heart of this tale remains the characters who realistically react to William¿s behavior. Raven Hart is a bloody good writer. ---------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love these books! I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read more!
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jewelz88 More than 1 year ago
Very talented, love the whole series, cant wait for more.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this one more than the first, not to say that I didn't enjoy The Vampire's Seduction plenty, but I found it hard to follow along at some points. I feel the plot in this story has gotten a little more interesting after the character developement in the first. I would certainly recommend it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, hard to put down at times.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again readers, William and Jack have completely blown my mind away. The only way I know how to say it is 'WOW!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the series, after Vampire's Seduction. William Thorne is a 500-year-old master vampire who runs the Savannah, Georgia New World clan. Jack McShane is William's fledgling, whom William turned during the Civil War. This book begins just weeks after Vampire's Seduction and William is keeping his promise to Eleanor, a madam and his lover, to turn her into a vampire. Jack is in love with Connie, a human police officer, or so he thinks. In this book, we delve further into Jack and Connie's relationship. William captured his squire, Reedrek, in the first book. Now, he expects repercussions from the Old World vampires. William has called a meeting of the New World clan's to discuss and strategize the upcoming war with the old European vampires. The Old World vampires will be out for revenge. However, upon arrival of the New World vampires, they begin to fall ill, which vampires never do. After all, they are immortal. Now a rotting disease has taken hold and they must rush to find a cure before all the vampires succumb to the disease. Both William and Jack contain the special Voodoo blood, which has been passed down to William and in turn given to Jack in Vampire's Seduction. The Voodoo blood helps both of them and their bloodline to be more powerful, and each will have a different gift. Will it be enough to ward off the disease? This book is told from first Williams' viewpoint, and then alternates with Jack's viewpoint. The handoff in viewpoint is flawless. The narration picks up right where the other one leaves off. This book has a lusty undertone, wonderful characters, and a continuing story in the next book Vampire's Kiss.