When a sheltered young woman meets the one guy in this world she'd never dreamed existed, she might not be ready for the changes he brings, but she's more than ready to be in his eternal embrace.
When an ancient vampire starts stalking a woman over cappuccinos, he should have guessed that the wild redhead was not all she appeared. When he discovers that he cannot let her die, he faces the biggest challenge of his life – keeping her alive. But Jaxon isn't going to quit, not even when he breaks the laws of his people to help her become a vampire and, in doing so, might win her hatred rather than her love.
Joey's never known anyone like Jaxon. She's never wanted to. Now, after experiencing the pleasure only found in his embrace, she wants more. She wants his love. But when the Death Stalkers intensify their efforts to turn both immortals and humans into their slaves, she suddenly finds herself battling not only for her life, but for Jaxon's.
General Release Date: 20th December 2013
Jaxon stared at the woman on his bed. An IV ran from the inside of her pale arm to the bag of blood he’d hoped would repair the damage caused by two Death Stalker vampires. He’d replaced all her lost blood with the hospital bags, but so far, nothing seemed to be stopping her body’s shift to vampire.
Her skin was the natural ivory white only a true redhead could make look sexy. But now, her skin tone was pasty instead of luminescent. The bite marks were red and swollen. Worse, there were faint blue veins spreading out from the sites of the punctures that scared the fuck out of him.
She twisted this way and that on the bed, as if caught in a nightmare that wouldn’t end. She’d stop for a bit, then almost immediately start all over again. Keeping the IV in place was difficult. With a husky groan, she tossed her head, and her red hair fell across her delicate features. She suddenly jerked her knees to her chest, nearly upsetting the IV stand. He dove for her, barely catching her arm and securing the needle so she didn’t rip it free.
Panic shot straight to his heart. Fear chilled his skin followed by anger. He couldn’t help her, not this way. Nothing was working. Not one thing he’d done seemed to stop Joey from transforming into a vampire.
Cursing, he bowed his head and tried to gain some control over the chaos ripping him to pieces. He wanted to both shake her and demand to know what the fuck she’d been thinking going back to that club when he’d made it clear she shouldn’t step one foot inside. He also wanted to hold her tight and swear to her he’d never let anyone harm her ever again.
He laughed without humour and adjusted the needle in her arm. He knew. She’d been trying to get him out of her system with the oldest trick in the book—with someone new. He could have saved her the time—no one else would do. He’d tried. All he could think about when he’d been around other women was Joey’s teasing smile, her lush breasts in his hands, and how she’d sighed his name when he’d made love to her.
Yeah, he knew all about why she’d been at that club. Only he’d never dreamed she’d have the nerve to disobey him. She was tiny, delicate in ways that sent a shot of lust along his spine. But she had more fire than he’d realised. Oh, he knew how much she had in bed—that one night he’d been unable to resist her burnt in his brain, diminishing every other fuck he’d ever had down to nothing. Joey was a seven-course meal savoured over hours. Every other woman was six-day-old pizza still in the box.
She’d called him a coward when he’d ushered her to the cab outside that club. In one sense, she was right. Sitting by, helplessly watching her human body shifting into a vampire, he felt like more of a coward than he ever had in his life.
Many of the immortals who knew him counted on him to be always ready for a fight. And he always was. He’d managed to survive and even kick ass in this world he lived in, but he’d never put himself on the battlefield because shit mattered. He’d fought to fight, maybe add his punches to the ‘good’ side of the battle, but nothing had really meant anything to him. He’d never risked caring about anything enough for it to matter.
Until Joey. Losing her, ending her life before she turned into a vampire, wasn’t something he could do.
One look into her face—just that single glance across a street nearly a year ago—and he’d felt his world unravelling. Everything he’d believed about himself had slowly fallen away the longer he spent in her presence, until he’d become addicted to the one thing he couldn’t have—her.
She sighed and her body eased. If she followed the pattern, she’d sleep, then start all over again.
He stood and walked over to where he’d left a jar of salve on his worktable. A witch he trusted had said it would help Joey. It might even save her life—her vampire life—he thought. Beauty, the witch and the bonded of one of his long-time friends, had given it to him when he’d realised nothing he’d done to help Joey was helping.
Would Joey hate him when she turned? Would it matter? He couldn’t let her die. There wasn’t a chance of him allowing that. He loved her. Loved everything about the crazy wildcat. But if she hated him after she awoke, a vampire…
He’d use the salve no matter his worries.
He fisted his hand around the jar, turned and sat, dropping his head against the tabletop to block the sight of her.
She was changing. The past was replaying, as if he’d not got a front-row seat the last time. The question that plagued him day and night was, would this time be different?
Joey was different. As far from Elizabeth as night was from day.
As a vampire, he knew that difference between night and day—from the drop of the sun against the horizon to the breaking of dawn—to the exact second.
But with people, he wasn’t as certain.
Especially with Joey. She made all his beliefs blurry—all his hidden desires possible. She wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met before.
The mistakes he’d made with Elizabeth had proven fatal for an entire village. He’d ignored too many things about her that had made him uneasy and instead had acted, saving her when he’d found her nearly dead from loss of blood. He’d disregarded every instinct warning him not to bring her over and transform her from a lovely, if selfish woman, to a dangerous, deadly vampire.
With Joey, he didn’t ignore one detail. His instincts flared every time he so much as glanced at her, urging him to cure her suffering and guide her into her new life. With him. He had only to close his eyes and he could see herthe way she looked when she was thinking, or how her eyes sparkled when she was happy. He could hear her speaking in his head even when he shouldn’t, and he knew beyond a doubt that Joey was pure and free of evil.
But what if all he could do was create evil? What if he saved Joey now and had to kill her—
“Shit!” He raised his arm to throw the salve across the room, but at the last moment he made a fist until his knuckles cracked around the small jar. Slowly he lowered his hand and breathed in and out, in and out.
Joey. She was a survivor. He’d make certain of it. Maybe this was his second chance, and fate didn’t toss beggars crumbs too often. Joey provided enough proof by existing that he wasn’t the cold, heartless bastard he wanted everyone to think he was. He cared for her until his chest tore at the thought of her hurt, let alone suffering like she was on his bed right now. She was going to shake his life to the foundations, but wasn’t he ready for that? He should be. Excitement warred with his fears until he shoved his chair back and walked to the bed. Joey was his life now. It might take some convincing and maybe even some pleading on his part, but hell if he was sitting here when this salve might cure her.
Swallowing tightly, he sat next to her. She was silent. No more signs of a struggle appeared to be bothering her, but her breathing had turned shallow.
“Shit, get your ass together, man,” he muttered.
Billi Jean was born in California but didn't stay put for long. She's lived in New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts and Vermont. She's lived in and worked from ranches to beach-side coffee shops to the woods in western Massachusetts. Now living and working in China, she continues to write for Totally Bound Publishing.
Billi Jean has been writing since high school when she couldn't wait for Robert Jordon to write his Wheel of Time series faster. As an adult, she still finds herself drawn to fantasy-adventure stories, but with an erotic romance flair. Her books are extremely hot, with a focus on strong characters that are shoved into fast-paced adventures. Her unique style of incredible journeys infused with hot passion leave her fans hoping for more.