Author: Linda Nightingale
Published by: Double Dragon Publishing
A frantic mother researches her daughter’s flawed DNA in a race against time, suffering disappointment after disappointment in her search for a cure.
In this sequel to Sinners’ Opera, Morgan D’Arcy, English lord, classical pianist and vampire, finally wins his Isabeau. Six months of painful separation have eroded Isabeau’s need to remain true to her wicked bargain with the most powerful vampire in the world, Lucien St. Albans. During their estrangement, Isabeau gives birth to Morgan’s daughter, Eroica—a DarkeChilde, half-human and half-vampire, outlawed by the Vampyre Code. She loves Morgan too much to live without him and relents to his enticing pursuit, but a dangerous confession nearly shatters their idyllic existence. In a dark moment, Morgan tells Isabeau their child carries a defective gene that will cause Eroica to go mad at puberty.
Eroica D’Arcy is the subject of Isabeau’s deal with the devil. When their beautiful blonde daughter reaches her twentieth birthday, she is promised to the Dark Prince of vampires, Lucien St. Albans.
BOOK #1 SINNERS' OPERA
BOOK #2 SINNERS' OBSESSION
PART I: Isabeau and Morgan
Beaufort, South Carolina
In six months, the pain should have subsided.
Grief and sorrow still twisted her heart. Isabeau clamped a hand to the burning in her chest and hurried through the darkness along the familiar path to the log cabin. She’d grown up in Beaufort, but it no longer felt like home.
Only the whisper of the pines broke the silence of the chill November night. Before she left the stables, she’d checked the white ceramic watch she’d bought on sale. The silver hands pointed to nine o’clock. In her jewelry box at home were countless reminders of a life lost. She never wore the emeralds, diamonds or expensive watches anymore. The jewelry he’d bought her glittered alone in the darkness.
Time had dimmed the exquisite, dreamlike happiness she’d known but not the memories.
By eight, her mother would have tucked Eroica into bed. She’d stayed too long with Bianco, grooming and petting the white stallion. On her sixteenth birthday, a transport van had delivered the answer to Isabeau’s prayers. For thirteen years, she’d begged her parents for a horse. The driver claimed that her father had won a contest, the prize a beautiful Andalusian. Bianco was the first of many mysterious gifts. For twenty-eight years, Marianne Gervase kept a secret from her daughter…and her husband. When Isabeau learned the truth, it was too late. She was already in love with her godfather.
Last month, on October 11th, a miracle was born. Isabeau intended to breast fed her little Libra, but the baby had tried to bite her nipple. Knowing who—what—Eroica’s father was, Isabeau bottle fed her daughter. As Lucien St. Albans had predicted, Eroica was a female reproduction of her father. She had his silken blond hair, his captivating blue eyes. Isabeau had rejected Morgan’s calls, hadn’t opened his emails or the snail mail letters arriving once a week. She was familiar with his iron will. In every way possible, he tried to seduce his way back into her life. If she’d heard his aristocratic voice on the phone or read the same lilting cadence in the emails, she’d have lost her battle against him.
But, God, it hurt.
The Thanksgiving holiday had raced by. After Sunday fried chicken, Isabeau returned to Charleston, she and Eroica alone in her echoing Orange Street house. She’d never accepted her friend Kirsty’s offer to babysit. Except for the hours spent at LifeGen earning their living, Isabeau hated to be separated from her miraculous child. She refused to touch the small fortune Morgan sent as child support. That money belonged to Eroica and would, one day, pay college tuition and settle her comfortably for life. She didn’t dress her daughter at the expensive children’s boutiques as her father would have done, but shopped at sensible department stores.
Isabeau’s life centered around Eroica and the genetic puzzle of nonhuman DNA. She longed for the state-of-the art lab behind Rover House, abandoned now for months. In fact, she yearned for the idyllic life she’d shared with Morgan. She’d been a princess, living in a fairytale spun by her beautiful lover. She hadn’t chosen this lonely existence. Fate and Lucien St. Albans had made the choice. The truth of freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose had been drilled into her heart. Yet, her life was in her hands now. Oh, but tonight she wished Morgan were near to whisper promises…whisper madness…into her ear.
A shadow materialized from the trees. Her heart chugged over a beat of fear. She halted in her tracks, a shiver rippling the hair at her nape. Who—what—lurked on the path ahead? Her mother wouldn’t leave the sleeping baby. Strangers failed to notice the dirt and gravel drive to the cabin. She tried to call, “Who’s there?” but her dry throat constricted.
Six months ago, Isabeau had made a bargain with the devil. Her racing heart cramped. Had he come to collect? The shadow wafted closer. Holding her breath, she retreated. Again, it moved. Too fast to be human. If the dark figure was Lucien St. Albans, she’d be lucky to escape the confrontation with her life.
“Isabeau.” The elegant voice would forever summon terror.
Dread iced her spine, her pent-up breath escaping. He would smell her fear, sense the dread pounding in her temples. Isabeau gripped her throat. How would he kill her? Rip her head from her body? Or drain her to a husk?
Born in South Carolina, Linda is something of a gypsy. No nothing quite so romantic, she says! She has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years. With Cardinal Desires, a vampire paranormal to be released by Double Dragon Publishing, Linda won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award. She is a retired Legal Assistant. She has two wonderful sons. She loves Andalusian and Lusitano horses, her snappy black convertible and her parlor grand piano—and writing, of course. Visit her at http://www.lindanightingale.com for a free story, Vampyre Hunt. Her published novels are Gemini Rising, a rather controversial dark fantasy; Sinners’ Opera, a paranormal romance; Cardinal Desires, a paranormal romance; and Sinners’ Obsession, a paranormal romance sequel to Sinners’ Opera. Blog: http://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @LNightingale Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.nightingale.52
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