Dead is the New Black [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Harper Allen
eBook Category: Romance/Fantasy
eBook Description: Ever since Tash's grandfather Darkheart revealed the big family secret--Tash and her triplet sisters were born of a vampire slayer---Tash's life has been a series of surprises. But none of that prepared her for the possibility of turning vamp herself. That's the good news. The bad? The most gorgeous man she's ever laid eyes on is over two hundred years old. And one of her sisters wants to stake him, while the other wants to doom him to a life of tortured guilt. Worse yet, with a new Queen Vamp in town, it's up to Tash to infiltrate her army. As a semihuman, there's no danger of Tash falling under Lady Jasmine's control. Or so she thinks....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Bombshell
Fictionwise Release Date: January 2007
33 Reader Ratings:
When I bumped into the muttering derelict with the shopping cart glaring at me through his tangle of matted hair I knew I'd hit rock bottom. Worse yet, I didn't care. Well, okay, I cared. I was so worried that someone I knew might see me that I was in disguise, which explained the short brunette wig bulging out like the Elephant Man's cranium where I'd crammed in my own hair. I'd pulled a trenchcoat over the mint-green Beth Bowley summer-weight cashmere sweater and short, tiered silk skirt I had on. I also wore dark sunglasses, although maybe they weren't the smartest idea, since it was eleven at night and I was in a dim alleyway. In the five blocks from where I'd parked my noticeable white Mini I'd walked into two fire hydrants, almost stumbled off the curb into the gutter and now I'd nearly knocked an old street loony off his feet.
But rock bottom or not, I was so churned up with anticipation and nerves that I was shaking. When the weird cat lady who lives in the apartment above mine had told me about old man Schneider and his after-hours service, she'd warned me he sometimes ran out of product. Actually, as I learned during that same conversation, her name was Kathy Lehman, but I couldn't shake the habit of calling her Weird Cat Lady in my mind, mainly because she was weird and had about twenty cats. In fact, I'd met one of her feline buddies before I met her.
How it happened was this way: I was just passing the Dumpster behind my building earlier in the evening, wondering whether I should run back into the rundown building I'd been calling home for the past few weeks and change into something less dressy than the Chloé skirt and silk-knit sleeveless top I was wearing. I was also making a mental note to buy a pair of Doc Martens, since the Ferragamo slides I had on, although adorable, definitely weren't the right footwear for what I had in mind. Then I saw the rat, a husky brute that looked as if it could take on Dobermans and win, and all thoughts of clothes and shoes left me.
It was the first time I'd tried what I was about to do, but desperation made me cunning. I held my breath—a trick that's become easier and easier lately—and remained motionless. The rat's whiskers twitched cautiously as he sniffed the air. Then he began scurrying toward the Dumpster. I waited until he was only inches away before I lunged.
I had the sucker, I swear it. I could feel him twisting in my grasp, trying to get his head close enough to my clutching hands to rip some flesh from me. Two red-hot trails exploded down my bare arms and an unearthly yowl split the darkness, startling me so much that I let go.
Mr. Rat streaked toward the hole in the side of the building he'd come out of. I threw myself after him like a baseball player sliding into home plate, my hands outstretched, my silk top shredding on broken pavement and the heel of one of my Ferragamos snapping as I made my leap.
I slammed headfirst into the wall. The mangy tomcat beside me slammed into it at the same time.
"You've killed Bojangles!" The screech startled me more than the yowl had, and the apparition that appeared out of the gloom almost stopped my heart. Then I recognized the figure with the frizzy, waist-length gray hair swooping toward the tomcat as my elusive upstairs neighbor.
"I didn't kill him," I denied, getting to my feet and preparing to beat a hasty retreat. The last thing I wanted was to answer questions about why I was staking out a Dumpster. "I…I tripped over him. I was just walking along minding my own business and I—"
Bojangles chose that moment to prove he was alive by letting loose with another enraged yowl. He sprang from Weird Cat Lady's arms and took off around the side of the building.
"See, he's fine." I gave his mistress a nervous smile. "Well, it was certainly nice meeting you, but I really must be—"
"I should have realized. You were fighting Bo-Bo over a rat." Her voice dropped from its previous screech, and I thought I could hear a note of pity in it.
"Excuse me?" I hoped my laugh sounded suitably incredulous. "Why would I fight your flea-bag cat over a rat?"
"For the same reason I've trained Bojangles and the rest of my strays to catch them and bring them to me," WCL said, the compassion in her tone now unmistakable. "Because you don't want to kill humans to feed your blood hunger. You're a vamp like me, aren't you?"
I opened my mouth to give her a cool brush-off, but the words wouldn't come. Instead, I heard myself utter a choking gasp. Worse, the gasp was immediately accompanied by the wet feel of big, fat tears welling up from my eyes.
Let's get one thing straight—with my baby-blue eyes and strawberry-blond curls I may look fragile and sensitive, and I'm not above batting said eyes and tossing said curls at any hapless male who shows up as an interesting blip on my personal radar screen. I've also perfected the art of instant tears, Swarovski droplets that tremble on my lashes but never get to the point where they smear my Urban Decay mascara. But—and I'll totally deny this if it ever gets out—I'm really as tough as old boots, to borrow one of Popsie's favorite phrases. I've had to be, growing up with Megan and Kat as my sisters. I mean, Meg's beautiful and smart and doesn't take crap from anyone, and Kat simply sizzles with sexiness. They're a hard act to follow, and if I had an ounce of fragility in me my ego would have been completely crushed by now.
Copyright © 2007 by Sandra Hill.