A Body to Die for
Table of Contents
Bestselling author KIMBERLY RAYE started her first novel in high school and has been writing ever since. To date, she’s published more than forty-five novels, two of them prestigious RITA® Award nominees. She’s also been nominated by Romantic Times BOOKreviews for several Reviewers’ Choice awards, as well as a career achievement award. Currently she is writing a romantic vampire mystery series for Ballantine Books that was recently optioned by ABC for a television series. She also writes steamy contemporary reads for Blaze®. Kim lives deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country with her very own cowboy, Curt, and their young children. She’s an avid reader who loves diet dr Pepper, chocolate, Toby Keith, chocolate, alpha males (especially vampires) and chocolate. Kim also loves to hear from readers. you can visit her online at www.kimberlyraye.com.
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HE SMELLED LIKE SEX.
Rich. Potent. Mesmerizing. Like a creamy dark truffle mousse with a drizzle of imported white chocolate, a dollop of whipped raspberry cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon-crusted pecans.
The crazy thought struck as she stood in the middle of The Iron Horseshoe—a rough and rowdy bar just off the interstate—and stared at the man who sat at a nearby table.
Crazy because Viviana Darland didn’t normally think in terms of food.
She didn’t do chocolate or whipped cream or pecans. She didn’t do anything edible, period. She was a vampire who thrived on sex and blood, and so her thoughts rarely read like a transcript of the latest Rachael Ray episode.
But sheer desperation—coupled with the past two days spent holed up at the Skull Creek Inn, watching the Food Network and trying to work up her courage to approach Mr. Luscious and Edible—was new to her and so it only made sense that she would act out of character.
After all, her days were numbered.
A wild, rebellious southern rock song poured from the speakers and vibrated the air around her. Her heart beat faster, keeping tempo with the steady ba-bom ba-bom babom of the drums. A neon Harley Davidson sign glowed above the bar and various motorcycle memorabilia—from studded leather chaps to an Easy Rider poster—decorated the walls.
Several truck drivers, their big rigs parked out back, sucked down a round of beers at a nearby table. A group of leather-clad bikers clustered around a dartboard in the far corner. A handful of men sporting long hair, beards and Golden Chopper Motorcycle Club jackets chugged Coronas at the massive bar that spanned the length of one wall.
The loud clack of pool balls echoed above the music. Cigarette smoke thickened the air. The sharp smell of Jack Daniels hovered around her.
It was a far cry from the latest “it” bar down in West Hollywood. She swallowed against a sudden lump in her throat.
You’re a vampire. You adapt to any place, any time, any situation. Stop making excuses, walk over and just tell him what you want.
The command echoed in her head and urged her forward. Unfortunately, her body didn’t obey any more now than when she’d first spotted him a few days ago.
The memory rolled through her as she turned left and headed for the bar. She angled herself between two big bruisers and ordered a house beer.
She’d been on her way into the desperately small Texas town when she’d seen the hunky guy parked outside the city limits on the side of the highway. Wishful thinking, or so she’d thought.
But Garret Sawyer had been more than a figment of her imagination.
He’d been flesh and blood and oh, so real.
As real as the day she’d first met him. Touched him. Kissed him. Loved him.
Talk about opportunity. Forget tracking him down and arranging a chance meeting. She could dispense with formality and cut right to the chase.
At least that’s what she’d told herself when she’d climbed out of her car and approached