Rae and best friend Layla are in France, to escape the wreckage Rae created when she chucked a hand-grenade into her miserable marriage. She’s escaping the misery she’s created for herself by dreaming her life away, but now she’s left her confused husband behind while she tries to summon the courage to leave him for once and for all. At a street festival they are infected with the Vampire virus by a rebellious vampire and Rae finds herself living a new and terrifying existence. She struggles to retain her essential self, which she has only just worked so hard to re-discover, but she is struggling against new and powerful drives and desires. She and Layla are taken to join the vampire Pride by Guillaume, the Pride Leader. He explains their new evolution into stronger, faster, more intelligent beings, which heal quickly, and only feed on blood, but are not the vampires of legend. They are not undead, and they are not immortal.
They discover that she and the other vampires have special gifts which are different for everyone, and not always immediately apparent. Rae and Layla are Pretty ones, which means they can beguile other vampires with their Glamour. They soon, and embarrassingly learn that unchecked this Glamour causes the Need- intense and uncontrollable sexual desire- on contact with another vampire, any other vampire. Rae also discovers that vampires don’t dream. She has lost her escape, just as life gets so terrifying. Then she finds out that fresh blood can fill her mind with narcotic mists of her victim’s memories. She is determined to retain her humanity and refuse to kill, but how can she resist such temptation?
She falls head over heels in unrequited love with Guillaume, and goes into battle against the rebellious vampires. The consequences are immense, and mean the whole Pride faces the death penalty from the Vampire High Council.
Here’s a taster- the prologue.
Suzannah felt the penis in her mouth twitch as she twirled her tongue around the tip. At last. She was getting neck-ache, and the handbrake was digging into her ribs. Deft and practised, she sped up her sucking, and was relieved to hear the grunt of release from above her. She discretely spat his pleasure into the tissue she had been holding in her left hand ready. She took a swig of the travel-sized bottle of mouthwash in her handbag, swilled her mouth out, and opened the passenger door to spit neatly besides the car. She wiped her fingers on a perfumed wet-wipe, and pulled the passenger mirror down to repair her subtle nude lipstick, finishing with a blot of gloss in the centre. She cast her eyes critically over the rest of her face, and then used a shellacked nail in Parisian Pink to remove the slight smudge of eye make-up under one eye.
Suzannah didn’t use cheap makeup, or exert herself, so she rarely suffered smudges, but kept a close eye just in case. She used small regular doses of Botox between her brows and at the sides of her eyes and nose as a preventative, and had miniscule amounts of filler injected into her lower lip to make her pretty mouth that much more kissable. She took care to ensure that while her face may have difficulty scowling, a tantalizing smile or sultry pout was only enhanced. She had neat HD brows, stuck in place, and although she would never wear anything as crass as false eyelashes, she had a few semi-permanent flairs accenting the corner of each eye, adding a catlike tilt to her naturally, rather bland brown eyes. Suzannah worried that dates might be mistaken into reading softness in her muddy brown eyes so she usually wore discrete icy blue contacts that more accurately reflected her calculating nature. Tonight she hadn’t been able to wear them because she had a slight irritation in one eye, so she’d carefully adapted her makeup to make them look as rich as possible. Her appearance was cultivated to look fresh and pretty in a way that only very rich women could afford; it took a lot of time and very expensive products to look so dewy and natural.
Suzannah only had one ambition in life. To get married. To someone very, very rich. It was what she felt, she deserved. Her mother had skilfully married her rich stepfather, and then been able to send her to expensive boarding schools, so she could learn how to entice and entrap such a man for herself. Her future contained sun-kissed beaches, champagne-soaked skiing holidays, and two perfect children raised by nannies and private schools. She just needed the perfect husband to finish the picture. He had to be handsome, ambitious, dim, and completely in thrall to her. This man she had just sucked off was not him. He had, however, treated her to a perfectly lovely evening and so she had known that payment would be expected. Suzannah prided herself in her ability to judge a situation and know how to handle the men she dated. She would leave them pleasantly satisfied with her company, but under no illusions that she wanted to see them again.
She knew exactly the type of man she would marry, and at twenty-six was only just feeling the first stirrings of concern that her job in P.R had not brought her into contact with the perfect candidate, yet. Tonight’s date was not interested enough in her; he had hardly bothered bragging at all. He had continually talked about the benevolent fund his father had entrusted to his care. They had met when he hired her to promote a fundraising event, but she had assumed it was a time-filler until he could take over the reins from his father. When she realised his enthusiasm was earnest, and not just an affectation, she had lost interest as quickly as dowsing a candle flame. Ethical concerns are very dangerous to a decent income and lifestyle. She had remained coolly charming, and after dinner, once they were in his Landrover, which she now realised he drove for necessity, rather than just rugged effect, she had suggested a slight detour to the local beauty spot.
Once they had pulled over, she had removed her essentials from her handbag in preparation, then reached over and unzipped his trousers. The fact he still wasn’t fully erect as she’d taken him into her mouth had been further reassurance that he was only Mr Right Now, nothing more. An efficient blowjob would leave him satisfied and prevent him badgering her for anything else. Suzannah withheld full intercourse until the ninth or tenth date; consequently, she’d only ever actually gone all the way with two men, both of whom had bitterly disappointed her by exposing weaknesses, one for gambling, and the other for cocaine. Luckily, their addictions had revealed themselves before she had actually married either of the Fiancés.
And so the hunt continued. A friend had recently suggested she should become a high class escort and earn her own fortune since she expressed no desire to feel love in return. Suzannah had scoffed at the suggestion, and discretely removed the girl from her contact list. Suzannah’s friends were just opportunities to socialise and meet appropriate men. She did not share intimacies, although she collected those which could come in handy later and stored them like trinkets to use as careful currency to her own advantage. An escort has a shelf life in the way a wife doesn’t. As long as she was the mother of his children, even if her husband eventually traded her in for a younger model, he would still be financially responsible for her. An escort could never marry into her social circles, everyone knew each other, and her past would soon be exposed.
Her polite blowjobs were expected payment to a man who had bought her oysters and champagne and tickets to the Opera, but full intercourse, although pursued, would lead to the loss of all respect, and this disintegration of reputation would spread. She had had to affect to be utterly distraught following the end of her two engagements, thus ensuring everyone knew she was the wronged party, and hence lessening the devaluing effect of two failed attempts.
After a final squirt of Dior on her throat to cover up the slightly too musky scent that had transferred from him to her, she looked over at her date with a bright smile that did not reach her eyes.
‘Ok, out you get,’ he said.
‘What?’ Suzannah blinked at him, owlish in her surprise.
‘You can walk from here.’
‘I, I…’ Suzannah was dumbfounded; she had never misjudged a situation this badly before. Normally, her dates were so happy she had given them a blowjob they hadn’t had to beg for, they were more than happy to run her home afterwards, while she chattered brightly about something inconsequential. She collected useless snippets to pepper and ease any silence.
She was wearing her Louboutins and they would be destroyed if she had to walk any distance in them. She looked at her date in disbelief; this was the height of bad manners on his part. He met her startled gaze with calm defiance. He was laughing at her, and the realisation made hot fury flood through her. Without another word, she flung his car door open and strode out, slamming the door without a backward glance. She stalked across the carpark as he wheel-spun away with an unnecessary bout of engine revving.
‘What a dick,’ she muttered. Once he had driven off, she realised it was very dark. The parking area was not lit, and although it was a clear night with a bright three-quarter moon, there were tall trees around three sides. This is why she chose to bring men here when she wanted to dispatch her obligation quickly. She felt vulnerable and alone. She burrowed in her Mulberry for her i-phone; the light from the screen was reassuring, but the lack of a reception bar filled her anew with rage. Her heels were four inches high and the tarmac was pot-holed and strewn with gravel and pebbles. Tottering carefully along with the screen light on her phone offering enough of a glow to avoid the worst of the rubble on the road, she picked her way across the carpark towards the main road.
‘Can I help?’ The woman had appeared silently at her shoulder, making Suzannah squeak with fright. Despite the darkness, Suzannah found she could see her quite clearly; the woman seemed luminescent in the phone’s feeble glow.
‘Oh,’ she said, forgetting why she needed help. ‘Ah,’ she gasped, gazing at the stranger’s beautiful face. Suzannah had never dallied with other teenage girls at school, she couldn’t see the point. She never got girl crushes or appreciated the curve of another woman’s breast. Her relationship with other women was either fiercely competitive if they were attractive, or utterly dismissive if they weren’t. Now, though she was entranced, she felt wrapped in warmth, every limb languid and relaxed; she wasn’t aware enough to realise she had stopped thinking and instead was just feeling, feeling bliss.
The other woman smiled and her plump lips curled back to reveal small spiked teeth, which lengthened as Suzannah gazed at her. Somewhere, very deep within, a small primitive part of Suzannah recognised a predator and set up a tattoo of alarm. But clouds of pleasure and relaxation quickly smothered the alarm before it did more than raise her heart rate for a beat or two. The beautiful brunette reached out and stroked a finger down Suzannah’s cheek, and she was too enthralled to notice the hooked finger nail extending into a talon. Suzannah leant forward into the other woman’s embrace. She was too lost to be aware as the bewitching beauty neatly slit the artery in her throat and nuzzled into her neck to feed.