QSFer Angel Martinez has a new MM paranormal romance out:
Josh the vampire hunter falls in lust with one of the enemy; Richard has secrets and might not be sane–oh, sure, this will work.
Josh hunts vampires with relentless, cold precision until the night he confronts a gorgeous hunk of vamp in the woods outside Ithaca. Richard destroys all of his prejudices about vampires in the first few moments of conversation and the sexual sparks between them ignite almost as quickly. Richard offers the stability Josh never had. Josh offers the healing Richard needs so desperately.
But it’s nearly impossible just to walk away from a life of violence. An attack one evening leaves a friend in the hospital, Richard with a bullet through his chest, muttering about strange creatures, and Josh fighting to piece together what really happened. Are Richard’s nightmare attackers real, or is Josh’s favorite vamp losing his mind? Is there a reasonable explanation or has the hunter now become prey?
This is a re-issue.
No self-respecting monster did the things this one did. Bastard’s toying with me. Has to be. Josh ground his back teeth in frustration.
The bookstore had been bad enough. He’d been itching for a good kill, and his hunting sense had led him straight to Ithaca. In a downtown bookstore, he’d been browsing through the shelves when his internal vamp radar went berserk. The sudden awareness of a monster in the same room with him slammed up from his gut. He spun around to see the vamp at the counter making a purchase. Of a fantasy novel.
Granted, the clouds lay thick over the sun, threatening rain, and it was early evening. Not unusual for an old creature like this one to be out prowling in those conditions, but something struck him as so wrong about the whole scene, a bloodsucking killer calmly buying the latest Lynn Flewelling novel and gracing the clerk with a smile.
“Shit. I read those,” Josh muttered as the vamp sauntered out into the street. Could the monster know that somehow? Did it know he was watching?
He followed at a discreet distance, waiting for the vamp to pick a meal, to start chatting up some pretty girl or boy. Josh liked to delay until the bastard damned himself, until the triumph shone in those undead eyes. Then he would swoop in and dust him. Not that vamps literally turned to dust like on TV. No, the minutes of creeping decay happened in revolting, Technicolor slow motion.
But this damn vamp, with his perfect, long-legged body and his gorgeous face, stuck his nose right in his book and walked to the nearest public park where he settled with feline grace on a bench to read. An athletic young woman stopped to rest on the bench next to him and adjusted her skates, but he (no, it, dammit!) never looked up.
So it’s not hungry. Whatever. Still not gonna make it through the night.
No matter how many times he did this, the shock of recognition was still there. The strange, humming pull to every new location told him where a monster had made a home. Then the hunt was on, his feet taking him through the streets and alleys until the electric spark of discovery hit him between the eyes again. Bam, there it is, the spark screamed. Vampire.
He’d felt it the first time the night Jenny had died, though he hadn’t known what it was then. He knew now.
Finally, the vamp rose, tucked the book in the pocket of his coat, and strolled down the street.
“About freaking time.” Josh shivered. The wind had picked up, the air saturated with the scent of impending autumn rain.
His quarry meandered through downtown, in no apparent hurry. Some of the merchants actually waved to the vamp, so it had been in residence here for some time. It, he…shit. This one would have been super-hot before un-death overtook him, with his shoulder-length black hair and his arresting gray eyes. He moved with the power and natural authority of a man accustomed to his strength, trained to use it. Dangerous, that combination of power and beauty. It could draw a hunter in, take him off his guard, or worse, let him think his prey had some spark of humanity left.
Still, the one, close glimpse Josh had of those eyes when the vamp had gazed out the window of the bookstore…those sad, intelligent eyes…
“Damn! Stop it, stop it, stop it.” Josh picked up his pace as the vamp did, squashing any stray thoughts about how those gorgeous pecs would feel under his hands. Dead. That’s how they’d feel. And soon. The ground-eating pace became purposeful now. The vamp headed for its lair, Josh was certain. Outside of town, the vamp turned and headed off the main roads, into the tree-decked hills that graced the area.
The first fat raindrops fell on Josh’s shoulders as he crossed a stream. The vamp was ahead in the darkness now, but the heavy pull of its presence allowed Josh to pick his place and time. He couldn’t lose the monster now if he tried.
It had halted ahead. Josh used the sound of running water to cover his movements and circled around ahead of the monster, which had stopped to drink at a waterfall, carefully cupping the water in one large hand.
Good. Picky, fussy monster. Probably never lived a rough day in its natural or unnatural life. The rain pelted against the dry leaves, covering any stray noise, though Josh eased forward soundlessly. He had trained with survivalists, retired SEALS, martial arts masters, anyone who would have him, and had honed his body into a precise and deadly weapon to match the precision tracking of his mind.
This vamp would be his twenty-fifth kill.
He climbed up a small rock outcropping to gain the advantage of higher ground. The monster approached, its feet moving over the forest floor without a sound, head bent forward against the driving rain, intent on its goal.
When it passed beneath him, Josh leaped, iron spike clutched in his right hand. The monster’s head came up, lips pulled back from sharp teeth. Instead of lunging to meet him, though, it sidestepped.
Josh landed in a crouch, sprang up, and attacked.
“This is for Jenny, you motherfucker!”
He came in low, under the monster’s guard, stabbing upward with the spike. A frighteningly strong arm blocked the blow, but Josh expected that. He drew back to feint and circle, to wait for an opening, and made a crucial mistake. His eyes met the vamp’s, those large gray eyes regarding him with calm, frank curiosity. Sorrow lurked there, old pain and new. A strange electric jolt ran through Josh that had nothing to do with the hunting sense.
The vamp’s fist smashed into his jaw. The world tilted and went white.
The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.
Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.
She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.
Email: [email protected]