Betrayed by one of her own and turned into a vampire, hunter Eve is consumed by her hunger for vengeance and has spent five years surviving hell, driven to take the life of the man she once loved. But just as she is about to close in on the hunter-turned-vampire, an event is set in motion that threatens to see him slip beyond her grasp forever—the leader of her bloodline has sent an escort to bring her to the family’s mansion. To a nest of the very creatures she once hunted and loathes.
A vampire assassin hardened by centuries of service, Tor is a man of discipline and loyalty, never straying from his mission or the rules set out for him, and has purged all his weaknesses, including his emotions.
But the moment he meets the broken, fiery female he is to escort to Oslo, something dangerous awakens in him, something possessive and powerful, and when he is pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who betrayed her, Tor discovers he will do anything to protect the woman slowly claiming his heart and give her the vengeance she desires—even break all the rules.
Can Eve embrace her new vampire nature in order to have her revenge and find a reason to live again in Tor? Can Tor and Eve stop the man who betrayed her and the deaths of thousands of innocents? Or will he succeed in creating a new army of hybrid vampires who will rise up against the purebloods?
by Felicity Heaton
Vampires Realm #8
Erotic Paranormal Romance
May 10, 2014
It’s great to be here at Pure Textuality today as part of the Hunger Virtual Book Tour celebrating the release of the latest book in my Vampires Realm series of paranormal romance novels.
Today, I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from the book.
But before we get to the main event, I want to introduce myself. I’m a British paranormal romance author and a New York Times and USA Today best-seller. I have been writing since 2005, and went indie in 2006. I love to write big worlds, populated by vampires, shifters, demons, fae and angels, and I have several series. This tour is about the Vampires Realm series, which focuses on the world of the seven pureblood vampire families of Europe, the werewolves fighting for their freedom, the weakling vampires, and the vampire hunters determined to destroy them all.
Now, on with the show…
The remaining three weakling vampires snarled and launched themselves as one at her. Eve did her best to block each blow they threw, her forearms taking the brunt of their wrath, and tried to get some attacks of her own in. They were relentless, driving her backwards, crowding her and making it impossible for her to escape.
She bit her tongue to silence her cries as claws cut and fists slammed, each blow weakening her a little more.
She couldn’t die yet. She needed peace. She needed to make the bastard pay.
It couldn’t end here. Now.
A cry escaped her as sharp talons sliced through her right biceps and she dropped her only weapon.
A deep male voice rolled over her like a storm, his foreign tongue dark and sinister.
The three vampires crowding her eased back and turned as one to face the newcomer. Eve withdrew, clutching her arm. Blood spilled from between her fingers and the ever-present hunger grew worse, bringing out her fangs as it demanded she taste the sweet, coppery liquid.
A fifth male melted out of the shadows at the entrance of the club, a six-foot-five wall of lethal muscle and deadly grace, his face obscured by the hood of his oversized black sweatshirt. Calm laced with malice rolled off him and she felt his gaze flicker to her.
A hot shiver went through her in response to the intense feeling, the incredible awareness that shot an arrow straight through her heart and made the rest of the room fall away in an instant, drawing every shred of her focus to him.
He calmly set his black duffle down on the bar and strode forwards with purpose, his black army boots loud on the wooden floor. She felt his eyes leave her. The room crashed back into existence and air rushed into her lungs again.
The low lights flickered over the lower half of his face, giving tantalising glimpses of firm, sensual lips and a defined jaw. The corner of those lips quirked, a split-second shift that she would have missed had she not been staring so intently at them.
Panic began as a low thrumming in her belly, a turbulent swirling that made her take another step back for each one he advanced, placing more distance between them. The malice and darkness he emanated grew stronger and her instincts warned her away, screamed that she stood no chance against this newcomer.
He was stronger than the other four combined.
Stronger than Oneiric.
Her panic exploded into outright fear as the man reached behind his back, whipped out a black pistol and fired off a round, nailing the vampire she had tagged as the leader between his eyes. His head snapped backwards, blood spraying from the gaping wound in the back of his skull, and he fell into a table, crushing it under him.
The other two rushed the man.
They didn’t stand a chance.
He took the first out with lethal efficiency, kicking him hard in the balls and then catching him with a diagonal uppercut as he doubled over, snapping his neck.
Eve stood frozen to the spot, unsure what to make of the deadly new combatant, and unsure whether he was friend or foe.
She hoped to God he wasn’t foe.
She wasn’t even sure he was a vampire. Her scrambled senses said that he was but he didn’t fight like any vampire she had ever met. None of them had used guns for a start, and none of them fought dirty as this man did.
The remaining male bravely faced off against him, brandishing both of her fallen knives.
It didn’t help him.
The huge male cupped his hands and stepped forwards, nothing more than a blur as he closed the distance between him and the remaining vampire. He slapped his hands over the vampire’s ears, the crack as they connected startling her into moving, placing even more distance between them. The vampire unleashed an agonised snarl and thrust with one of the blades. The man sidestepped, caught his arm and twisted it hard, bringing his other hand down in a devastating blow that shattered the bone.
The vampire’s agonised snarl became a scream.
The man calmly grabbed him by his throat, pressed his free hand against his face, and shoved forwards, snapping his head backwards and breaking his neck.
Eve took another step backwards, towards the door to the back rooms. Maybe she should have made a break for the exit while the man had been occupied with neatly defeating three vampires in under three minutes.
He advanced on her, the sense of malice coming from him not abating. If anything, it was getting stronger.
When he reached the gunshot victim, he casually crouched over him and ruthlessly snapped his neck, twisting hard enough that the crack was audible and sickening, making her own spine ache in response and her stomach turn. He rose to his feet, his backdrop a vision of darkness as the vampires began to turn to ashes, and approached her, silent but not wary.
Confidence and danger flowed from him, as if those two words were created for him alone.
A man bred for the purpose of killing.
She had met men like him in her years as a hunter, but not on his level.
Eve backed off another step and hit the wall beside the door to the back rooms.
The man continued his advance, each step closer he came only making her more aware of how immense he was as she had to tilt her head back to keep her unsteady gaze on what she could see of his face.
Oneiric appeared beside her and the man halted his approach.
“I dealt with all the ones out the back. Are you alright?” Oneiric said in a low voice, his crimson gaze never leaving the newcomer.
Eve kept her eyes locked on him too and nodded. “Sustained a few injuries but they’re healing. I took one down, and… well… he handled the rest. Any idea what they wanted?”
She waited, curious and a little afraid, as the male shifted his focus to Oneiric.
“I imagine it was the usual grudge against our kind. My ones had a few choice things to say about us.” Oneiric moved closer to her, a protective gesture by the vampire who called himself her father, one that she appreciated.
“It must get tiring. You think they would get bored of killing themselves.” She glanced at him, catching his brief smile.
They had spent hours discussing how foolish the weakling vampires were, those with muddied blood that made them far less powerful than vampires of the seven pure bloodlines. They often attacked pureblood vampires. Oneiric had called it suicide. She had to agree. As a hunter, she had seen weaklings picking fights with purebloods and it always ended the same. A gruesome death for the weakling.
She pressed her palms against the wall behind her, clinging to it for support as her tired body threatened to give out under the stress of the fight and the presence of the assassin.
Whenever his focus leaped to her, she felt the full extent of his power and it pressed down on her. Oneiric had warned such a thing would happen around stronger members of the seven pure bloodlines and she hadn’t believed him until now.
This vampire was more powerful than any she had met. What did he want with her father? Had he just been passing and had sensed the fight, and had come to help them? Or did he have business at the club? He would make one hell of a bouncer.
Her father eyed the ashes of the vampires and then the man before them.
“I thought Lilith would be the one to come for Eve,” Oneiric said and Eve swallowed hard.
This man couldn’t possibly be her escort.
She wasn’t going anywhere with him.
The towering male said nothing in response. He simply stuck his gun down the back of his black jeans and then casually pushed his hood back.
Eve’s breath left her in a rush.
Piercing glacial blue eyes held fast on Oneiric, the pale white-blond eyebrows above them drawing down, causing them to narrow and intensify. The man was handsome, not at all as she had expected, but radiated danger too, a sense of deadliness that his appearance could easily belie.
She had never thought she would face a vampire and think they were beautiful. Her body heated, her blood turning to liquid fire at the sight of him, a startling reaction that she couldn’t control.
He glanced at her and then his cold eyes shifted back to Oneiric.
Eve could only stare at the contradiction before her. No doubt he made the perfect assassin. His looks distracted her from the darker side she could feel in him—the vast coldness—and the dangerous side she had witnessed—the lethal, efficient killer. His pale eyes glittered with intelligence as they held Oneiric’s, filled with a calculating edge that made her feel he was five steps ahead of them, already predicting the outcome of every move he made or thing he said.
Here was the kind of man that nothing slipped past. Not even the smallest detail. He was dangerous because of that, and confident too. He knew himself and his skills, and that he could take down both Oneiric and her without breaking a metaphorical sweat. That scared her a little, but didn’t stop her from feeling drawn to him. If anything, it only pulled her deeper under his spell.
The man he was inside lent a rough edge to his beauty that made him masculine. Probably the closest definition to male she had ever met. A feral, deadly devil wrapped in the guise of an angel. She had never seen anything like him, and knew she never would again.
His blue eyes flickered back to her, his eyebrows twitching into a brief frown as if her scrutiny unsettled him, and then went back to Oneiric.
“Is Lilith coming?” Eve cursed the way her question came out squeaky, in a manner that should be reserved for schoolgirls with crushes, not a skilled huntress like herself. She cleared her throat and pushed away from the wall, refusing to use it for support and giving this man any reason to think she was weak, a woman in need of protection.
“Lincoln sent me to retrieve you.” His deep voice held a thick accent similar to Oneiric’s. Her bloodline hailed from Oslo in Norway, and this man had either been there for many years or came from that frigid and isolated land too.
“I want to know about my sister. Why couldn’t she come?” Why had her mate sent a six-foot-five wall of muscle to take her to Oslo? That one she was keeping to herself. The next one she was putting out there. “And I don’t like being talked about as if I’m some package that needs to be picked up.”
Neither male jumped on that one. Wise bastards.
Oneiric moved another step closer. “What is your name, stranger?”
The formidable ice-blond vampire switched his focus back to her father. “Tor.”
“I know that name. Lincoln thinks to send a hunter to escort my daughter to Oslo?” Oneiric said.
The air thickened as Oneiric stared at Tor and folded his arms across his chest, a deep frown furrowing his brow.
Tor’s emotions didn’t shift on her senses and neither did his body. He remained perfectly still and composed, as calm and cold as before, unmoved by the sneer in Oneiric’s tone or the warning his body language was tossing at Tor like a big flashing neon sign.
“Lincoln gave me this mission and I intend to complete it to his satisfaction. The female will be safe in my care,” the big assassin said in a flat tone, one that lacked feeling but brooked no argument from her father.
Eve stared at Tor, unconvinced that he knew the meaning of care and safe. He didn’t look as if he had any softer emotions or could comprehend why Oneiric was uncertain about entrusting her to him, or why she needed an escort at all.
There was something she could comprehend though.
The way Tor handled himself, and had handled those weakling vampires with ease, said that he was her ticket to getting the taste of revenge she hungered after so badly.
All she had to do was convince her escort to become her bodyguard and change a few details about his mission.
That would be no small feat. Men of his ilk placed great importance on their duty and carrying out orders to the letter. She had met enough of them in her time to know that Tor would resist altering the parameters of his mission and it was going to take a miracle to get him to even listen to her request.
His assessing blue gaze held a flicker of keen intelligence as it raked over Oneiric, the club, and finally her. He took everything else in quickly but his eyes lingered on her, studying, as if he was putting her to memory or seeking out all of her weaknesses. She trembled under the intensity of his gaze and the awareness of him that burst to life inside her, as strong as it had been during the fight, making the room and Oneiric fall away.
Tor blinked and was looking at Oneiric again.
“I ordered the jet to refuel and be ready for departure at oh-two-hundred hours. Any delay will see us landing during daylight.”
Jet? Her first hurdle presented itself. Tor would want to depart on time and clearly wanted to hand her over to Lilith and Lincoln by dawn. She couldn’t allow that. She had to delay him somehow, giving herself time to work on him and convince him to listen to her and at least consider changing his mission.
Oneiric continued to stare at him, his arms folded across his chest, an air of malevolence flowing around him. He didn’t trust Tor. Eve was fine with that. She was willing to trust him enough for both of them.
“Very well,” she said.
Oneiric looked at her, the black slashes of his eyebrows drawing together above his dark incredulous eyes. She knew why he wanted to give her the third degree. She had argued with him for five hours straight about not wanting to go to Oslo and now she was positively leaping at the chance.
Eve took a step towards Tor before Oneiric could say anything, capturing the larger man’s attention. His ice-blue gaze swung down to her, intense and focused, sending another hot shiver coursing through her blood.
The coldness in his eyes convinced her that whatever she felt when their eyes met, she was the only one experiencing it. She shut down all of her feelings and held his gaze, staring into the glacier and clinging to hope that she could do the impossible.
She could convince a cold-hearted assassin who valued his mission above everything to change his ways and give her the vengeance she needed.
All in the time it took to ferry her from the club to the jet.
She didn’t need a miracle. She needed divine intervention.
Eve fell deeper into his eyes, losing herself in them. In their depths, she found a spark of hope.
Flames flickered amidst the sharp glacier, banked but growing, intensifying into heat and hunger that melted some of the ice in Tor’s steady gaze before he shifted it away from her and began discussing the mission with Oneiric.
Maybe she had a chance of making a miracle happen after all.
Vengeance would be hers.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into Hunger!
Be sure to follow this fantastic tour to learn more about the passionate heroes and strong heroines in the Vampires Realm romance series! You can also find yourself in with a chance to WIN a $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Certificate if you follow the tour. More details, including how to enter and a full list of stops, are available at the Hunger Virtual Book Tour page: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/hunger-book-tour.php
Hunger can be read out of order with the rest of the series and is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer and a downloadable 6 chapter excerpt at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/hunger-vampire-romance-novel.php
REVIEW BY CHELSEY
Eve is a newly turned vampire who’s more than a little bit pissed at that revelation—given that she’s a former hunter of vampires. Add that with the fact that her old lover is trying to kill her and her newly found father is trying to influence her behavior by getting her to accept that she’s a pureblood vampire now—and then throw in a hulking, dark, vampire guard, and you have Hunger.
Hunger by Felicity Heaton is the eighth in her Vampires Realm series, and I will preface by saying that it is the first that I have read of that series. That being said, I’m a pretty huge fan of vampire fiction, though I generally like it a little closer to horror, a little less closer to romance. I also think that this novel holds up perfectly well on its own, so though I believe it would enhance the immersion to know more about the overall world (or, more importantly, the characters within it) I don’t think you’ll be left behind if you start here.
Because this is so far along in the series, I feel compelled to note that Heaton does a great job at bringing the reader up to speed. There wasn’t ever a point in the novel that I didn’t understand what was going on. Is there much that’s already happened that might have helped out with the story in general? Probably, but a story should be able to work on its own, especially for this genre where readers are very likely to pick up a book in a series (especially a long series) at random and start reading, and I think Hunger does a good job of telling its own story.
What’s fun about this story is how quickly Heaton gets into the action—you feel almost immediately propelled along in this world where everything is dangerous and pretty much everyone is trying to kill someone. Because of this, the pacing was rather great; the story happens rather quickly so there aren’t many opportunities for lagging—time is just moving too quickly for that. I also really enjoyed how conflicted Eve is about her newly found vampire life. It’s great to watch a character struggle through change—especially when it’s in the arms of a sexy man.
I also really enjoyed the class wars that seem to be prevalent throughout this world. Tor, the main love interest, is a hunter, which barely puts him above a servant to the pureblood vampires. And now Eve, the newly appointed “Chosen Daughter,” is of that ilk (she was a hunter as a human); it’s nice to see how things work themselves out between an upper class (no matter how much she might resent that) woman and a lower class man. It’s this kind of story developments that bring the realities of the world that Eve and Tor live in to life and makes for a more compelling read.
Aside from the action, the story is really introspective. I felt like I got to know Eve and Tor separately, rather than being able to watch them develop their relationship naturally through dialogue. Because so much of what happens to them seems to be instinctually driven, the dialogue seems to be placed second to the internal monologues. Overall, I wish there were more opportunities for the main characters to talk with each other—to really work out the how and why together, rather than how everything seems to happen (for the majority) inside of their heads. It would have made the quick development of Eve and Tor’s relationship a lot easier to buy into.
I also wish Adam, the antagonist, was a little more rounded. It was hard to get a sense of his character because he was pretty much portrayed as just being a “bastard.” I am assuming that if you’ve read the previous novels you have a better idea of where he’s come from and why he’s capable of doing what he does, but it would have been nicer to get a better idea of that in this novel.
This was a smartly paced, quick read that fans of vampire romance are sure to enjoy sinking their teeth into. If you’re looking for somewhat brooding, dark, and handsome vampires, mixed with plenty of danger and daring, then this is your book—it’s a little mystery, a little action, and a little romance all rolled into one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Felicity Heaton is a USA Today and international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!
If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.