In Helsinki, Julian meets Danika who awakens long repressed desires and dark new lusts, neither of which subside when he learns she is not human.
Young, eminent haematologist, Dr Julian Victor Swansea, has travelled from his home in Britain to the University of Helsinki in Finland to work on the research that has been his life’s fascination—blood. Specifically, he hopes to find a cure for his own haemophilia. At first everything goes as planned. Every day is filled with work, no distractions, merely the puzzle of blood to solve. Then, a late night walk, a chance encounter and a borrowed cigarette later, Dr Julian’s life takes a turn he could never have predicted. Then again, who could have predicted a seductive and mysterious woman like Danika?
Pale, beautiful and openly lustful, Danika quickly turns Julian’s life upside down and inside out when she reveals that she is a vampire…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One dark secret is followed by another until he doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
Will Julian accept this new reality and allow himself to be carried away by love? Will Danika allow this human into her heart?
General Release Date: 13th December 2013
‘I’m a fountain of blood
In the shape of a girl’
Danika watched as her quarry stood in front of the large picture window of his apartment. The living room light bathed his tall frame and lean musculature with warmth. His pale skin gleamed from a recent shower and beads of water formed on the ends of the dark curls at his forehead. The partially open robe he wore matched the blue of his almond shaped eyes, which were framed by absurdly long lashes. Said eyes followed the gentle fall of feathery snowflakes, yet failed to notice her, even though she was perched on the ledge of the building on the other side of the glass. This owed in part to his own abstract thoughts as well as the fact that she had wrapped the night around herself like a cloak.
As the air around her continued to freeze and the snow to fall, it was more than inhuman strength that kept Danika on that ledge. While she continued to watch him, her craving increased. She sensed the sexual arousal just sparking beneath the surface of his reserve. And she hungered.
She had been born a Goddess and, like the rest of her kind, had existed alongside humanity for aeons. In more recent times she had been called demon, angel, succubus, vampire. All accurate, as she needed humans to live—their faith, their blood, their essence.
There had been a time when mob-filled temples had held elaborate ritualistic sacrifices to those like her, while holy wars were fought to honour their names. Wars so soaked in blood and devotion that her kin could gorge and grow their powers. Occasionally, they would seduce desirable individuals, take their essence a little at the time for their personal amusement and invigoration.
However, time went on and as the world changed, their hold on humanity waned. Danika, being the last of her kind, did what she needed to do to survive. At times like these, that was pleasurable indeed, for her needs and desires matched up perfectly.
Her wandering thoughts were yanked back to the present by a small movement. To her delight, her prize’s hand had meandered beneath the parted robe to absently rub against his flat belly, then lower. Danika licked her lips in anticipation.
From his living room window, Julian watched the snow fall over Helsinki. The city’s nightscape dotted by street lamps with the occasional brightly coloured splash of holiday lights was not what busied his mind this night. While following the fall of one snowflake in particular, his gaze was caught by his own reflection on the glass. With typical detachment, he noted the perfectly shaped mouth and the sharply sculpted cheekbones he had inherited from his mother—the long yet retroussé nose and strong chin that had come from his father. His aristocratic ancestors had also bestowed long, strong limbs upon him, an elegant neck and a refined bearing, which he kept stalwart with meticulous exercise as well as an appropriately nourishing diet. Every basic need was precisely met to keep his body functioning at optimum so that he could concentrate on his work without being unduly bothered by physical requirements.
At times like these, he could imagine how others might be surprised that he was ill. His outward appearance gave no hint to the flawed nature his body hid so well, and he shared the information with very few. In his professional life he had many associates and because of his familial connections he had a great number of acquaintances, but he could count the number of people he was close to on one hand.
He watched how the dark curls that had been plastered to his head were springing back into shape and found himself wondering what it would feel like to have someone’s fingers threading through them.
With a grimace he banished that thought from his mind. He didn’t need intimacy. It was not something he dwelt on, like nourishment and rest—sex was an incidental need that had to be dealt with as efficiently as possible so that his work could continue with minimum interruption. His work, his research, was all that mattered. Anything else was just the basest of necessities.
So then why was he here, staring out of this window? Seeing, but not seeing, the snow-covered city below, his customarily clear, precise thoughts wandering in hazy loops, chasing their own tails. That is when he realized that his long fingers had been handling the waistband of his pyjama bottoms, brushing unconsciously against his not-so-restful penis.
Why was he, Dr Julian Victor Swansea, renowned Consulting Haematologist, visiting researcher and lecturer at the University of Helsinki, wasting his valuable time and eminent mind envisioning a luscious crimson mouth? Why, instead of focusing on the puzzles waiting for him at the laboratory, was he thinking about exotic eyes as dark as the night outside? This was insufferable!
Perhaps if he stopped fighting it? If he just allowed the memories to flow as they willed, he could purge them that much quicker. Decision made, he poured himself a tumbler of single malt and sank into his favourite armchair. After taking a satisfying swallow, he settled in and closed his eyes, retreating into the manor-like space he had created in his mind for such thought exercises and allowed the remembered scene to unfold.
Word Count: 17,225
Book Length: NOVELLA
Catalina was born in Argentina, but has lived in Western Canada since her early teens. She has been a book lover for as long as she can remember and has kept out of trouble (sort of) by drawing, painting, farming, and taking care of her family. She has been writing for a number of years though becoming an honest to goodness author is a recent development.
Presently she lives on a farm making spreads & sauces from fruits and veggies grown there in the family owned and operated business. She enjoys writing in all sorts of genres, but her first love is erotic romance.
You can find Catalina on Facebook or follow her on twitter.
Reviewed by Samantha Atkin
I enjoyed the story of Danika and Julian as it was well written and the story line was great all though a little predictable. I found myself hanging on to each word and with most shorts I was left wanting...
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Catalina Dudka - Interview for A Study of Blood in Winter
Why is your first love erotic romance?
I enjoy erotic romance as a story form because I love love stories. My favourite stories in whatever genre must have the element of human connection in them. I also really enjoy reading hot sex scenes, not necessarily always explicit, but if the characters really connect and enjoy each other that makes the reading that much more fun. Whether it's just an intense look across a crowded room, a light touch in passing, or a passionate clandestine fumble in a broom closet, as long as it makes me tingle, I love it.