ORDER A COPY: Blood Secret
Publishing Date: March 27, 2012
Paperback: 313 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Lucy Drake is prepared to do all she must to save her family from financial ruin, even if that means giving herself as a sexual plaything to the Duke of Greystone for two weeks. Desperate to keep her ability to shape-shift into dragon form a secret, she has no idea that Greystone, too, has secrets.
A vampire highly skilled in the ways of erotic pleasure, he plans to seduce the knowledge of his missing nephew’s whereabouts from Lucy. Once he has his nephew back, he is sworn to destroy all shape-shifting dragons, including Lucy and her family. But after fourteen nights of sexual delights, will he defy his oath and give in to love with the woman of his dreams?
Since their father’s death, Lady Lucy Drake’s brother, the new Earl of Wrenshire, seems determined to leave this family in ruin. When Lucy learns that her brother’s gambling has gotten himself into debt to the notorious rake, the Duke of Greystone, she does the only this she can to save her younger sister for being married off to a lecherous, old man, she goes to the Duke and offers her innocence to the Duke in exchange for her brother’s debts. But when she learns that the debts are much larger than her brother indicated and the Duke wants more than just her innocence in exchange for the small fortune owed to him, he wants Lucy to be his sexual plaything for two weeks. She has no choice. She can’t turn him down. The question is—is her heart pounding in dread over her downfall or with excitement over the gorgeous and seductive Duke.
Sinjin knows that Lucy’s family has been holding his nephew hostage for the last year. He has been trying to ruin her brother, amounting his debts to force the Earl to return the boy to his family. When Lucy shows up at his door, the proposition of seducing the information from the beautiful Lucy is a much more enjoyable way to get the information he needs. Although Sinjin is aware that Lucy is a dragon-shifter, she is not aware that he is a vampire and a dragon slayer. It is his duty to slay Lucy and her family after he retrieves his nephew, a small fact that he is planning to hide from her until he has finished with her.
But Sinjin never anticipated Lucy’s kind heart and once she learns of the hurt that her family has put Sinjin through, she will do everything to help him retrieve the boy and bring him home where he belongs. Can Lucy’s kindness and gentleness teach Sinjin that not all dragons and evil and need to die? Will the dragon-slayer become her protector and if he tries, will they all be sentenced to die for betraying the Slayers’ Code?
I read a few pages of this book on the Kensingtonbooks.com website, and I was interested enough with this story that although this comes under the category of erotica and not paranormal romance, I asked for a review copy. I have read a few stories where the “plot” was just a jumble of words between sexual scenes. And YES there are many, many steamy scenes here, but in addition the characters were wonderful, the story was well written and absorbing, and I couldn’t wait to see how the story ended.
There was a natural development of the affections and mutual respect of the main characters and there were several antagonists that kept you guessing the mysteries in the plot.
Unless you truly have an issue with the more erotic fiction, I would definitely recommend this story to you. I enjoyed watching the developing relationship between Sinjin and Lucy (oh what a lovely name) and I was so sorry to get to the end of their story.
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
“You do understand what you are offering me, don’t you?” he asked.
“Yes.” Somehow, she found her voice. “But I thought it would happen tonight. I thought it would be one night. Then I could sneak home and no one would have to know.”
“I will accept your proposition, Lady Lucy, but not on those terms.”
Panic turned her voice to a high-pitched squeak. “What do you mean?”
“There are my conditions, my dear. I will tear up your brother’s vowels, forgive his debt to me of thirty thousand pounds,–“
“Thirty thousand,” she cried, “He told me it was five!”
An expression of sympathy tugged at the duke’s handsome mouth. “It was thirty. And I will forgive every penny of it if you spend a fortnight with me, here, in my house, as my partner in carnal pleasure.”
Lucy had never fainted. Not once. Not even the time when her life had been in danger. But the room seemed to take flight around her now. Her brother owed this peer an absolute fortune. She took deep breaths. She put her hand behind her and gripped the chair to steady her. Her hand curled hard enough that her fingers punctured the velvet. Unfortunately, there were times she could not quite control her unusual, remarkable strength. She must restrain it now. She could not let the duke know she was not a normal lady, at all. That she, like the rest of her family, could change her shape and transform into a dragon.
She fought to regain control while one thought whirled in her head. The duke was wiling to forgo thirty thousand pounds to take her to bed. Sex for a—
A fortnight. Had he truly said a fortnight? “I—I think two weeks is a bit unnecessary, Your Grace.”
Slowly, he stripped off his right glove without a word. She was so struck with shock, she couldn’t help but gape at the slide of black leather over his hand. He revealed tanned skin and long, elegant fingers.
“Nonsense,” he said, as he removed his left glove. He laid both of them on the arm of a chair. “I don’t doubt, at the end of two weeks, my concern will be convincing you to leave.” He gave a careless gentlemanly shrug. “If you want to save your family, you will contact whoever is now the head of your household. You will inform them you will be away for a fortnight. Have them send any clothing or …feminine things that you will require.”
“You want me to stay here? For two weeks? You mean night and day? Constantly? Every minute?”
With one deft motion, he pulled off his cravat. This he also dropped on the arm of the chair. “Exactly. For what I intend to do to you, I need time, my dear. Besides, I can hardly send you home with rope burns on your wrists, can I?
The velvet in the chair back beneath her fingers tore with a soft rrrip, the frame gave an ominous crack. She released the chair. “You have no need to tie me up,” she declared. “I am going into this willingly. You don’t need to restrain me and have your wicked way with me.”
He laughed. The impossible, annoying man laughed at her.
“This is impossible,” she cried. “I cannot stay with you for a fortnight. I cannot…live with you. Here.”
He undid his waistcoat and removed it. He stood in his shirtsleeves, and she couldn’t stop staring at his broad shoulders, the bulging of muscles at his arms, his broad chest.
She shook her head, trying to put sense back in it. “What are you doing?” she gasped. “Why are you taking off your clothes?”
He shrugged and tugged the hem of his shirt out of his trousers. “You are offering sex in return for a debt. Sex is best enjoyed when both partners—or all participants—are naked.”