Title: Honorable Rogue
Author: Linda J. Parisi
Genre: Vampire Romantic Suspense
There is the blood and can only ever be the blood. So how can love survive in a world of pain?
As a Roman gladiator and slave, vampire Hunter Pierce only knew death and destruction. Never love.
Dr. Victoria Roberts only knew love and safety, never fear or death, until the day her life was shattered with a home invasion that destroyed her world.
Now Hunter and Tori’s worlds collide, with Blood Rogues continuing to menace both human and vampire alike.
Tori is in danger and it’s all Hunter’s fault. To keep watch over the clever scientist, the vampire enlists her to aid in finding a cure for Nirvana, the dangerous poison rogue vampires are using to kill.
When Tori is kidnapped, Hunter faces his corrupt former master and a race against the clock to save his own life.
But can a vampire who has only watched out for himself risk his life, and his immortality, for the love of a human?
Can a woman who has lost everything rebuild her shattered heart with a man who thinks he hasn’t got one?
Only love, trust, and an Honorable Rogue can save them all.
No way. No way in hell. There was no way in hell she would ever drive home in this condition. Tori sat up in her car, waiting for the world to stop rolling. Her stomach clenched, and she drew in a deep breath, letting out the air in short staccato huffs. Then her eyes widened. She knew her body. The antsy yearning in her core reminding her she hadn’t had sex in a very long time had been replaced by immense satisfaction. Indeed, she hadn’t felt this relaxed in years.
Tori groaned. The wedding. Stilted pictures that turned fuzzy and gray raced through her brain, pictures of fingers undoing her jeans, lifting her shirt out of her pants, slipping aside her thong. She strained to remember, then wondered if she really wanted to as a sinkhole grew wider and wider inside her belly. Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. Please tell me I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.
She shook her head. Nausea consumed her as her stomach flipped, and Tori stilled until the waves stopped creating havoc. She rubbed her temples with her fingers, but not from pain, simply to try to right the world. Dear lord, had she made an absolute spectacle of herself?
Completely and utterly mortified, Tori let her head fall and rested her forehead on the steering wheel. She banged it lightly on the plastic over and over again, very good at heaping blame on herself, not very good at letting go of it. She’d opened her heart a smidge for Stacy and Chaz, let their love inside and ended up with the sadness consuming her again. My own damned fault. So stupid. So incredibly dumb.
Doctor that she was, Tori couldn’t help the thoughts flying through her brain. Had there at least been a condom involved? She strained to remember. The pictures ended up even more muddled. Would she have to get tested for STDs? She opened the door of her car and stepped out, stopping herself just in time before she slammed the damned thing closed and woke up the entire complex.
No matter how foolish her actions, Tori was extremely grateful that at least she’d made it home in one piece. As she stood there, trying not to sway, she thought back to the wedding, and warmth crept back into her heart. She banished the nonsense with the picture of Stacy and Chaz saying their vows inside the gazebo, her heart filling as she’d watched her best friend get married. Feeling something so warm could never be wrong, so she’d just have to deal with the aftermath of her own recklessness.
Thick ocean air spread like a blanket over her, and she forced herself to focus. She closed the car door and breathed in the warm, sultry late-September night. She walked toward her town house, releasing the air in a heartfelt sigh. With the soft ocean breeze caressing her skin and the slight echo of the waves beating against the shore, Tori realized this was the kind of night to fill the void of hurt that could never be filled. Between the beauty of the night and the need she’d denied until it had exploded in her face, somewhere inside the hangover that didn’t hurt, inside the satisfaction of release, somewhere lurking in the back of her mind, there’d been a man, a linebacker. No, a soldier with short, dark hair and clear, gray eyes that saw right through her. They’d turned smoky with heat, and he’d made the pain inside go away.
She continued walking toward her townhouse, and the pictures started to come into focus. Tall with massive shoulders, he seemed to want to protect her. Tori slowed, her footsteps faltering. Son of a gun. He was in security. He owned the business Chaz worked for. Hunter. And when she’d asked who he really was, he’d told her he was a vampire. Can you imagine? Of all the things to say, he’d given her the best pickup line she’d ever heard. A vampire.
Tori picked up her pace again and continued through the parking lot, smiling in bemused disbelief. Vampires and sex all in one night, just like in one of those B horror movies. Who’d have thought?
Suddenly, Tori froze.
She couldn’t. She kept telling her feet to move, and they refused to obey. Someone tried to tackle her, but she ducked. Her next breath made her gag. What the hell?
Tori stared as the man who’d tried to tackle her attacked another man in the parking lot.
Wait a minute. She knew his voice. The man from the wedding. Hunter.
As if his name was a magic word, she unlocked, turned, and sprinted towards her townhouse. She could hear her heart pound in her ears, her lungs pistoning for all they were worth.
She reached the steps and her front door, and then she heard a scream. Not a scream for help, not a wail of agony, a screech as if someone was being thwarted, denied their very existence.
Tori turned. A man lay on the ground.
Without thought, Tori ran back to help, choking on the foul air. She found Hunter lying there, his gaze full of accusation.
“I thought I told you to run.”
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OMG I defy anyone not to be pulling for them to sort out their differences and find a way to love each other. A great addition to this series. Honorable Rogue is a paranormal romantic thriller I couldn't put down. I love a dark vampire tale with a huge dash of romance and suspense thrown in. Honorable Rogue is that and so much more. Honorable Rogue is a perfect read for fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron and Styxx novels. This story was a skilled and emotion packed adventure with the main characters have completely different lives and having to join forces.
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As a major in biochemistry with a minor in English literature, Linda has always tried to mesh her love of science with her love of the written word. A clinical research scientist by day and award winning author by night, she creates unforgettable characters and puts them in untenable situations, much to their dismay. Choices always matter and love conquers all, so a happy-ever-after is a must. Linda currently serves on the board of a fiction writing organization, and loves to teach the craft of writing at worshops and conferences. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John, son Chris, daughter-in-law Sara, and Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!
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