Arabella Kingsley Publications releases books from all different genres. Book Three of my new adult Victorian Vampire Romance, Knight of Swords written under Sara Curran-Ross is now available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for $0.99. It is also on Kindle Unlimited. If you like hot, dashing Victorian male vampires running around wielding swords to protect and love their Queen, then this one is for you! Check out the blurb and excerpt below.
Knight of Swords Book Three
England, 1893, Book Three
Lord Nathan Valancourt is handsome, stinking rich and only twenty-one. His life is an endless stream of parties with London’s social elite, young women and leisure. He has never believed in the supernatural but a vampire begins to haunt his dreams, forcing him to watch the real life murders of his female conquests. Horrified, Nathan decides to change his beliefs and vow to mend his frivolous ways.
When the vampire turns his attention to Lord Valancourt’s beautiful eighteen year old ward, Juliet, whom he has been appointed to be guardian to in his dying uncle’s place, he is fiercely determined to protect her.
As Nathan and Juliet battle the monster they gradually realize they share a strong psychic connection. This close bond triggers a surprise discovery about their true heritage. Armed with a myriad of psychic gifts and other supernatural powers, victory seems assured but success always comes at a price. Will the young lovers be able to bond and cement their relationship or will one of them have to pay the ultimate price to protect the other?
Knight of Swords Excerpt
Camille made a sharp movement away from the door. I quickly slipped my arm tightly around her waist, pulling her to me as I secured her captive position. She cried when I cradled her head more firmly to the side. I began to caress the area I was to bite with the tip of my tongue. Gabriel was correct, it did feel natural. She gave another cry as my saliva burned hotly against her skin, then she became perfectly still.
I couldn’t help feeling satisfaction as I swooped down upon her neck and bit cleanly into her flesh. My thirst for her essence became insatiable, as did my sudden unexpected lust for her body. It appeared as though the two needs were entwined as one. Feeding was a sensual experience. Here and now with Camille it bore no resemblance in strength to the uncontrollable need I felt for Juliet. But, I could not stop the urge of wanting to be inside this woman as I gorged upon her blood.
I pushed her back against the door in a frenzy, warring with myself to stop. The beast inside did not want to. My fingers reached to circle her breast and she was suddenly moving against me with soft, sweet moans of pleasure. I gathered up her skirt so that I might explore underneath it.
It was then that I felt a hand tug sharply at my collar. I found myself suddenly flying through the air backwards away from Camille to crash heavily against the opposite wall. I slid to the floor with a thud. Dazed, I looked up to find Gabriel in the room.
He was standing over Camille, his tongue flicking back and forth over her wound as he lapped at her blood. I jumped up, feeling no pain or injury, just pure rage. I was at his throat before he knew I was there.
Gabriel swung his elbow forcefully back into my stomach. I flew backwards again and landed on top of the chair facing the dresser. It splintered, breaking underneath me. I fell heavily. I rose back to my feet with speed as Gabriel pushed Camille through the door to safety. He turned to face me as I lunged at him once more. It was then that I noticed the hole he had knocked through the wall to get to Camille.
His eyes were now a healthy black, displaying his intense anger. His white teeth gleamed in the fading grey light as his lips curled into a snarl. I growled at him as I grabbed his arms to swing him against the wall. I expected more resistance from my opponent, but he appeared to be struggling against my strength as I applied it more directly than in my previous attacks. I held him pinned to the wall.
‘Why did you do that? Why did you steal Camille? Are you jealous she wanted me?’ I demanded.
‘I wasn’t taking her blood. I was closing her wound. You took too much. You could have killed her. If I hadn’t been in her mind to see what you were doing . . .’
‘There is more to it. She wanted me and you didn’t like it. You don’t want me taking her from you. I can feel it.’
He made an attempt to move. I found myself gripping his throat, holding his head still against the wall. If he were human he would have been dead under the pressure I exerted.
‘Any woman you take blood from will want you, Nathan, especially you. It is part of the exchange. Taking human blood is arousing for both you and the female prey. You must learn to master your desire and keep control for both of your sakes.’
‘If that is so, why did you send Camille to me when you are lovers? What do you mean, especially me?’
Gabriel started to fight my hold again. He refused to answer my question, distracting me with alternative conversation.
‘You are strong Nathan, the change is almost complete.’
I began to raise him from the floor as if to test his words. My extra show of strength made him angry.
I ignored his protest and continued. ‘You profess that you wish to take Juliet as your mate, but you have feelings for this woman, Camille.’
‘I do not have any feelings for her. She is my donor and nothing else. Juliet will be my mate and I will see you die.’
I narrowed my eyes darkly at him, an amused smile twitching at my lips as I listened to his bluster.
‘I thought we were immortal, Gabriel.’
‘Oh there are ways to end your life, Nathan. When we fight for Juliet I will take your head.’
‘But I could take yours now.’
‘You won’t.’ There was confidence in his speech that only further infuriated me. ‘You need me to help you find Juliet. If she’s walked into a slave camp, one hybrid male is not going to be able to rescue her.’
‘Perhaps you are right. But I will keep you here until you answer all of my questions. What is it you kept from her? Juliet told me you believe her to be special?’
‘We are wasting time, Nathan. Put me down. I will tell you everything.’
‘No, you will learn your place and answer me first,’ I bellowed at him, losing my fragile patience. ‘What do you hide from her?’
He closed his eyes with dismay and angry frustration at having to reveal his secret. He spoke slowly, carefully, ‘Nathan, Juliet was born into our royal clan. She is the rightful Queen of Talus. She has the power to unite all of our dissident clans and will bring hope and peace to those who war with each other. The Queen of Talus will provide justice and reparation for those of us who have been betrayed by our own kind to the humans.’
He twisted his hands around my own trying to ply them from his throat. He spoke hoarsely beneath my grip. ‘Our people have been waiting centuries for her. We believed the female ruling royal clan was lost to us, it is a miracle she has been born.’
I stared at him in disbelief.
‘There were two royal clans, Nathan. Morrigan and Breanainn. Only female Taleians from the Morrigan clan are permitted to rule our people. Juliet is Morrigan. Her family heritage denotes her as the rightful Queen of Talus. You are of Breanainn. The word means Sword. It is the clan from which our elite, royal warriors are taken to guard the Queen of Talus. They wage war on her behalf. Both myself and my men are also from the Breanainn clan. Our Queen is always provided with a mate from the warrior clan, a Knight of Swords to protect and counsel her. He commands her army.’
Gabriel coughed and gurgled. I slackened my grip a little.
‘You were chosen at birth to be that Knight. That is why your strength is above my own and any other hybrid or Taleian vampire. But it is an honour that is always open to challenge. Search my mind, Nathan. You will find that I do not lie to you. Camille wanted you because she could feel the allure of your power. Female humans and hybrids are potently attracted to you. That is why you were so successful with them in your human life.’
I read his thoughts, feeling him invite me freely into his mind. He spoke the truth as he showed me the dangers Juliet faced because of her role. But I also saw the reason he wanted Juliet so much. There was hardness in his heart. It was not because he simply desired her love and would rejoice in being her mate. It was a quest for power.
He eyed me warily as I viewed him with distaste. I dropped him to the floor.
‘You showed me too much, Gabriel.’
Gabriel rose to his feet. ‘Juliet must be schooled. Her powers are too strong even for a Queen. The Queen may rule her people, but she in turn must be ruled and counselled wisely by her mate. You are too young, Nathan, even if you are the appointed one to stand as her protector. Your generation are beginning to allow women too much freedom. As a female hybrid she will wield far more power than she should. It is a pity these powers were not bestowed upon the calm, cool head of a man.’
‘You talk of nonsense. You want to rule her power and force her to bend to your will. With you she will not be a Queen, but a slave. You do not love her as I was born to love her. You are willing to sacrifice your relationship with Camille for power. You disgust me. The moment I find Juliet will be your last.’
Gabriel adjusted his attire, pushing his necktie neatly back into place. I felt my anger swell.
‘We will see Nathan. As I have told you, Camille means nothing to me.’
I seized my chance to renew our fight, pushing him back against the wall once more. With cruel venom, I hissed my words at him. ‘Then you will not be perturbed if I empty her of blood and take my satisfaction until she lives no more.’
I watched fierce rage spark like fire in his eyes, unguarded. My suspicions as to his strong feelings for Camille were confirmed. I felt him struggle to contain his unruly emotion at my jibe. His will was strong and cold.
‘You may do as you wish.’
‘You are a cold–hearted, cruel monster.’
I threw him against the door. It gave way against him. He rolled out onto the open landing amongst his men who stood crowded around him. Each held a sword ready at their side, having heard our fight. I walked out of the door holding my frame tall and regal, stepping over Gabriel with disdain. I was ready to take on any man that challenged me.
I stepped into the middle of the circle they created around me. There were twelve men, fourteen including Gabriel and myself. I was unafraid despite the precariousness of my situation. Exhilarated would have been a better word to aptly describe my feelings at that precise moment. I addressed them all sternly, revelling in what I had learnt of my new role from Gabriel.
‘Gabriel is no longer your leader. As the chosen Knight Of Swords, and rightful mate to the Queen, I now command your allegiance. If any of you dispute this and wish to challenge me, step forward now.’