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eBook by Imari Jade
eBook Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica
eBook Description: Blurb: Prudence Lanne would rather die than marry the likes of Blood Clan leader Daniel Pare. It doesn't matter to her that he's one of the handsomest or sexiest men she has ever met, and she's not going to let a little thing like an ancient prophecy curtail her dreams of finding and falling in love with the right man. Besides he's everything she detests. He's arrogant; he's a womanizer and too wrapped up in himself to ever consider being a serious mate for her. Daniel Pare has always known that he was destined to marry Prudence Lanne even if he didn't love her. She is the most exasperating woman whom he has ever met. She argumentative, opinionated and has one heck of a fiery temper. Given the choice of keeping her by his side or losing her to his brother or his enemy Daniel decides Prudence is the lesser of the three evils. But after having her under his roof for a week could he just forget what they'd shared and let her just walk away? Excerpt: "What's wrong with me? I can't seem to control my body." He didn't know how to answer her, even though he figured it out the minute his body started reacting to her. He cursed. Why hadn't her father told her about this? "Maybe you need to lie down again. You'll catch your death standing directly in front of the air conditioner." He scooped her up into his arms and carried her back over to the bed. He tried to put her down but she clung to him. She buried her face into his chest. "Lie down with me Daniel. I'm so scared." Lying down next to her was the last thing he should do. He was a cad, but he had never taken advantage of a woman. She allowed her to put him down. "I don't think that would be wise, Prudence. You don't have any clothes on and someone might come in and get the wrong idea." "Fuck them," she muttered. "I need you next to me." She closed her eyes. Daniel looked down on her. Her long black hair spilled against the pillowcases. She was as vulnerable as a baby. He sat down on the side of the bed. "No, I need you next to me. Take off your clothes," she panted. "I need to feel your skin against mine."
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2010
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14 Reader Ratings:
The annual Legacy Society Ball was in full swing. Invited guests from all over the region had arrived and seated, having a grand time catching up with old friends and meeting the new initiatives. Daniel looked around. The place looked great decorated in pale pink and burgundy....his mother's favorite colors. His father spared no expense this year bringing in local professional caterers and decorators instead of trusting it to the society members. This year, instead of the long banquet tables, they opted for the round ones, making the seating arrangements more intimate with burgundy and pink tablecloths and napkins, expensive china and glassware and real silverware.
His family had arrived and sat at the only two oblong tables at the front of the room. He, his father Frank and his younger brother Raphael were relegated to the head table reserved especially for them and a few invited guests. Like last year all of them were noticeably dateless....a sad fact, yet it ultimately gave them a chance to mingle or talk with business associates who happen to stop by. He would have had a date if the woman he was engaged to would stop hiding at her father's lab long enough to enjoy life. At the moment, his father busied himself with is oldest and dearest friend Wendell Lanne. Daniel was just about to join their conversations when Raphael nudged him roughly in the ribs.
Daniel turned to see what he wanted.
Raphael pointed toward the door.
The lighting in the room had been dimmed to set the ambiance, but his eyes adjusted quickly, focusing on the entrance of the ballroom door. "Of all the damn, fool stupid things," he muttered under this breath.
His brother Raphael agreed. "Yes it is. What are you going to do about the situation?"
Daniel frowned. He didn't expect Prudence to attend the Legacy Society's annual ball, and he surely did not expect to see her there on the arm of another man.
Raphael, always the voice of reason, cautioned him. "Remember, you cannot kill them."
Daniel scowled. The thought had seriously crossed his mind. "Yes, I know, but what am I supposed to do? Prudence is blatantly showing everyone that she has no intention of honoring the agreement."
"Maybe she has forgotten that the two of you are engaged."
"I don't see how. Our fathers arranged it before we were born, and it's not like it's a secret. Father and Wendell announce it to anyone who will listen."
"I think you need to talk to her. Explain to her what the word betroth means."
Daniel watched the stunning dark-haired beauty as she walked farther in the decorated hall with her father's lab assistant, Aiden Honeycutt. She looked up and laughed at something Aiden said, allowing him to escort her over to a seat on the opposite side of the room away from his family's table. "Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with a woman? They speak in this language that only they know. It's all technical."
"You're stalling, Daniel."
"She also has a nasty little temper."
Raphael chuckled. "I've never known you to be afraid of a woman."
"I'm not afraid of her. I just don't know how to have a civilized conversation with her. We start off well enough and five minutes later we're screaming at each other."
Raphael patted him on the shoulder. "I don't know what to tell you, my brother, but I do know you don't want to lose her to the likes of Aiden Honeycutt."
Daniel righted his position and cleared his throat. Raphael was right. Of all the Blood Clans the Honeycutts were known for being a bit unscrupulous. Case in point, Aiden was there with Prudence knowing full well that she was promised to him. "How about I just kill Aiden?"
Raphael shook his head. "No, talk to Prudence."
Daniel sighed. "It would be easier to talk to a pit of rattlesnakes. See to Lorraine."
Raphael nodded. "What shall I tell her when she asks why you didn't return to the table with me?"
"What the heck do I care what you tell Lorraine. I have never answered to a woman and I'm not going to start with one who is only a convenience. Tell her I'm dealing with family business."
Raphael walked away and Daniel turned and headed toward the Honeycutt table. Aiden spotted him and hurriedly disengaged his arm from around Prudence's shoulders while simultaneously looking around the huge ballroom as though seeking the nearest exit.
Daniel smirked. Some men were stupid. If he didn't want anyone to know that he wanted Prudence then he should not have accompanied her to the ball.
Prudence looked up at his approach frowning distastefully. He ignored it and continued over to them. Once there he bent over and gave Prudence a kiss on her forehead and then turned to Aiden. "Thank you for escorting my fiance to the ball."
Aiden stammered something and then cleared his throat. Daniel pulled Prudence out of the seat and to him possessively. "You should have told me you wanted to attend, Prudence darling. I would have sent the car for you."
Prudence wiggled out of his embrace. "Leave it to you to cause a scene, Daniel Pare. Aiden is my date. He asked me and I accepted. If you wanted to accompany me you should have invited me."
Daniel threw a heated look toward Aiden who was still frozen in his seat. The bastard ignored him. "I would have if I knew you were interested. You've never come before even though you reached the age to attend several seasons ago."
She looked defiantly at him. "Then you should have invited me several seasons ago. Come, Aiden, let's get something to eat." She made an attempt to move but Daniel stopped her.
"Aiden is not that big a fool, Prudence, even though he made one small error in trying to encroach on what is mine by inviting you here."
Prudence scowled at him. "I'm not your property, Daniel."
"No, but you are to be my wife which accords me some rights." Daniel watched as heads turned to stare at them. He regained his decorum.
"I haven't agreed to this engagement," Prudence argued. "It was arranged before either you or I was born."
Daniel ignored her protests. "It is clan tradition that has been done for generations."
"I don't care about traditions. I'm a modern woman."
One of Aiden's people approached and whispered something to him. Aiden frowned at him. "I will not go with you. Prudence is my date."
"Listen to your man, Aiden. He has your best interest in mind."
"Yes, Daniel," Aiden replied. "I mean you no disrespect. Prudence and I are just friends, and since she seemed generally interested in attending the ball this year I invited her to be my guest."
Daniel wasn't a fool either. Aiden thought he could slip right in on Prudence since he worked with her father. "Then you should have come to me and told me that my fiance wanted to come to the ball. This is my duty as her husband-to-be to escort her."
"Daniel is right," Aiden's friend, Jason, replied. "You have over-stepped your place."
Aiden lowered his head first as if to think about what he was just told. He rose slowly, turning to Prudence. "I'm sorry. I will see you back at the lab tomorrow." He walked away with his friend.
Daniel looked at Prudence. She looked positively shocked by what had just occurred.
"May I have this dance?" If she refused him after all of this he was going to wring her pretty little neck.
It was on the tip of her tongue to say no especially since she knew the type of cad Daniel really was. On a good day she would have turned him down flat but there were so many others around to protect her she felt safe. She extended her hand to him, not missing the gleam of delight in his mesmerizing dark eyes. Apparently, he knew exactly what she was thinking. On any good day he would have tried to enthrall her and possibly bite her on the neck.
He wasted no time pulling her against him. The music was slow with a seriously haunting tempo that made her hips sway. Daniel drew her body flat against his. A noticeable arousal pressed into her stomach. She thought about pulling away from him but she didn't want to cause a scene and draw any more attention to them. Half of the guests probably thought that she was crazy for accepting his offer to dance anyway. It was not like the two of them were friends. Her family held the serum which allowed his kind to enjoy the sunlight for a short time daily, while his provided security and protection and abided by the Legacy laws not to randomly kill humans for sport. She always thought her family had gotten the short end of the deal. There was no sure way of knowing that Daniel and his people were behaving themselves. After all, most vampires were natural born liars.
"You look simply bewitching in that gown," he whispered in her ear. His warm breath tickled and caressed her lobe. Had she known he was going to be at the ball she would have chosen one with a little more collar. The gown plunged seriously low and showed off way too much cleavage for comfort.
"Just keep your eyes up, Daniel, and your fangs in."
He laughed that cocksure laugh of his. It had an air of arrogance behind it. "That is what I love about you, Prudence Lanne. You're feisty and so warm-blooded."
Prudence scowled. He had been trying to get at her throat for years and there was this little thing about them being betrothed since birth. The music ended and she tried to walk away.
Daniel's hand gripped hers tightly. "You could at least pretend to be excited about our upcoming nuptials and sit with me for the duration of the ball."
She snatched her hand away. "Now why would I do a damn fool thing like that? I dislike you and everything you stand for, and as far as a marriage is concerned I would rather marry a troll than the likes of you."
The cool expression on his face did not change. "Male trolls prefer their women with a lot less clothes and a lot less attitude."
Prudence knew this to be true. The few she knew were as unseemly and vulgar as satyrs. Given the lesser of the two evils she would certainly choose him but she wasn't going to give Daniel Pare the satisfaction of knowing that.
The music started up again...a Samba. He grabbed her hand again and pulled her into the provocative dance. She had to admit that his skills on the floor were excellent. His thin hips moved to the beat while his eyes stared deeply into hers. She could just imagine his toned body draped in tight low-riding pants and a shirt opened at the throat exposing a healthy tanned chest. Well maybe not tanned. Senoritas would swoon at his feet and beg him to bite them. She didn't realize that she was drinking in his handsome Italian looks until he pulled her closer to him.
"I just love Latin music," he said. "It makes my blood sizzle."
There was more than a little sizzling going on between her legs at the moment, she mused. Is it possible to hate and desire a man at the same time?
"Our fathers have arrived," he announced as the song ended. "Please do me the honor of joining us at our table."
Prudence turned. She had not expected to see her father there, anymore than she expected Aiden to just back down from Daniel. But it didn't surprise her because Daniel always put fear in the heart of anyone near him. He had one of those larger than life personalities.
As for her father, he hadn't been much of a mixer since her mother died. Had Daniel said please? A first; Daniel Pare does not beg. She gave in and agreed. She was not going to embarrass her father in front of everyone. He was still trying to live down some of the award-winning tantrums from her teenaged years. She picked up the hem of her gown and allowed Daniel to lead her to the table. "I will sit with you but I'm not going to enjoy it."