Title: Heart of a Hunter (Hell on Heels series, Book 1)
Author: Tamela Miles
Genre: Paranormal Romance/New Adult/Young Adult
Life has never been kind to teen, Elle Connor. With a troubled home life, the gritty, violent streets of Los Angeles have become her home. She never questions her superhuman abilities until she encounters, in a fight or die situation, a guardian angel Tagas, who reveals her holy origins as one in a long history of demon hunters. She also has her eye on her attractive classmate, Brandon. Problems arise when Elle finally realizes that life as a hunter is fraught with tragedies and is deeply lonely. Elle is presented with a choice - follow her calling from God as a hunter or live a "normal" life with love. Can Elle tip the scales in favor of what's good or will she become just another casualty in the eternal war between good and evil?
Elle and her best friend of two years, another social misfit named K.D., sat across from each other at the small wood table in their local coffee shop, the Daily Grind, which like most of the businesses, was located in the better part of the city. It was a small place with wood furniture, cream walls, and tasteful accents on each table, with no cookie-cutter booths. The owners were going for a more homey, comfortable ambience. As usual, K.D. had her short blond hair covered with a well-broken-in knit beanie and wore an infectious grin.
Elle smiled and waved a careless hand. “School’s back in and this is October, the month to indulge in pumpkin spice cappuccinos. I need all the caffeine I can get to wade through all that homework.”
K.D. snorted. “You got that right. I need the caffeine to stay awake in our second period history class. Booo-ring.” The two clinked mugs in agreement.
Elle listened with half an ear as her friend began to relay all the problems with public high schools in Los Angeles County. She trained with Tagas five days weekly after school and was enjoying Friday, which signaled the end of her hectic work week. Being a fledgling demon-hunter-in-training slash high school senior was not without its troubles. Sure, it sounded kick ass, but even as she had progressed into a pretty decent fighter, every remaining failure knocked her self-confidence a bit. Can I actually do this without taking a dagger to the throat or having my head knocked off by something stronger than me?
Her musings were interrupted by K.D. tapping her hand. She nodded toward the opening door of the coffee house. “There’s your babe, Ellie.” She gave Elle a knowing grin.
Elle looked up to lock eyes with one of the finest guys she had ever known or, she was sure, would ever know. Brandon McGovern was a teenage god, a tall, fair-skinned, dark-haired senior who turned female heads every day of his life. He approached them with a broad smile, his jeans fitting his powerful legs like a rock star’s leather pants. Elle smiled back, nervously casting a glance down at her blue top and blue jeans.
He snagged a chair from an empty table and sat down next to Elle. “Hey, ladies. Missed you at last class period today. But,…oh wait…coffee is always more important than a class lecture.” He winked at Elle.
Elle’s heart soared in an instant and she smiled at him. “I was fading by fifth period, so here we are. Did we miss anything important?”
Brandon shook his head. “Not a damn thing.”
K.D. grabbed her tiny crocheted purse and sprang from her chair. “I’m needed elsewhere right about now, so I’m going to take off. You two entertain each other, okay?” She gave Elle a crafty smile and mouthed, “You got this,” at her above Brandon’s head. She gave them both a wave and headed away from the table and out the front door.
“So, Elle, are we going to talk about date number two? Or was our first date so unimpressive that you’re pretty much writing me off?”
Elle blinked a few times in astonishment. “Why would you think that? I haven’t given you the freeze off, have I?”
“We used to talk a lot during the summer then…well, you just kind of vanished.” Brandon lowered his eyes for a moment. “Yeah, I kind of took it as a ‘screw off, jerk.’ After our first date, we never went out again.”
Elle smiled shyly and took his hand in hers for a moment. “Things in my life just got kind of…um, crazy but I never, ever, wanted you to screw off. I would love a second date with you, Brandon.”
He grinned, his dark brown eyes shining. She felt her legs begin to tremble just a bit. Good lord, she had imagined this moment so many times. He pointed at her empty cup. “I’m going to get us some drinks. Pumpkin spice is still your favorite, right?” She nodded. He stood, looking down at her. “We’ll talk more about this second date while we’re here.”
Elle could feel her lips twisting in a dopey grin and tried to fix her face. Nope, the grin kept coming back, and suddenly she didn’t even give a damn as she watched Brandon at the front counter. She recalled their first kiss, his gentle but skilled mouth coaxing sensations from her body that she hadn’t experienced before, even though he wasn’t her first kiss.
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In the spirit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show, Elle Connor isn’t afraid to battle demons in the dark. What she’s more afraid of is never finding true love.
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Runs September 7 – September 15, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on September 16, 2021.
Tamela Miles is a school psychologist with Ed.S and PPS credential and a graduate of California State University San Bernardino and California State University Dominguez Hills. She is also a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She's a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways. She enjoys emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does.
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