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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caveat Emptor 3: Provoked Lover by Zenobia Renquist


Caveat Emptor 3: Provoked Lover by Zenobia Renquist

Zenobia Renquist is an expert at world building. She knows how to put a reader right in the scene. Add well-developed characters and an intriguing plot and you have another great read. She's sharing an excerpt below. Enjoy! 

Blurb

Sicily's emotions become confused when sex is the price of her vampire's protection.

After an attack leaves Theron's allies scattered, Sicily finds herself in the care of Lamon, a vampire who looks like he would rather kill her than protect her.

The unlikely pair must become very close -- sexual energy is necessary to disrupt the spell the mages are using to track Sicily.

Emotions become confused as their bodies entwine. Sicily finds herself falling for a man she can't have... or can she?


eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-663-8
Genre: Erotic, Paranormal/Fantasy, Vampire, Action/Adventure, BBW, Interracial, Magic
Price: $3.99


Buy Now: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1639

EXCERPT
Sicily stared at her phone in disbelief, not believing the number displayed on the caller ID.



Ryver.


She hadn't heard from Ryver in over a week. That was a big deal for Sicily because of the reports of vampires breaking free of their docility charms and then massacring their human masters. Ryver had purchased a vampire, despite Sicily's efforts to talk her best friend out of the purchase.


Sicily had never liked the idea of owning a vampire. It was too much like playing with matches while living in a house soaked with gasoline. She didn't care how safe the mages proclaimed the vampires to be once under the control of the docility charm. Some part of Sicily had always felt the charms would fail. Her worst fears had come true, and her first worry had been Ryver, who had staunchly refused to return her vampire. Only the promise of a daily phone call to assure Ryver's continued health had kept Sicily from dragging the vampire back to the mages herself.


Then one day, Ryver didn't call. Sicily could only keep her paranoia at bay twenty-four hours before she was on the phone with the cops. No trace of Ryver could be found, not even foul play. The cops said she had merely left and forgot to call. After a week of Sicily's incessant phone calls, the cops elevated Ryver's case to a missing person. Ryver was a vampire owner, so the cops and mages assumed she was dead and her body stuffed in an unmarked grave between here and the vampire territories.


Sicily refused to believe that. She couldn't believe that. Ryver had to be alive. The fact that her number was appearing on Sicily's cell proved it.


Sicily pushed the talk button. "Ryver?"


"Sissy!"


"Oh, God, Ryver. It's good to hear from you." Sicily felt happy tears spring to her eyes. Ryver was alive. Nothing else mattered except for that.


"I'm sorry, Sissy. I'm sorry. I should have called sooner and let you know I'm safe."


"Safe where? Where are you?"


There was a pause so long that Sicily thought the call had dropped. She pulled the phone from her ear and looked at the call status. It was still connected. "Ryver, are you still there?"


"I'm here. I'm with Theron in vampire territory."


All of Sicily's happy feelings stopped. She asked in a deadpan voice, "What?"


"Don't worry. I'm safe."


If Ryver had been standing in front of her, Sicily would have shaken the woman until some sense fell out. "Ryver, are you crazy? How can you think you're safe?" Sicily didn't mean to yell, but that was the only volume that would come out of her mouth.


"I am. Theron is with me."


"So what?"


"Sissy, there's something I didn't tell you before." Ryver sighed into the phone. "When the charms started failing, Theron's did too."


"I knew it. I knew it." Being right didn't make Sicily feel better. "What did he do to you?"


Again there was a long silence. Ryver made a surprised squeak before Sicily could think the call might have cut off. Sicily couldn't interpret the sound or guess what had caused it. "Ryver?"


"Anyway, I'm safe with Theron. I need your help, though."


"You want me to call the cops?" Sicily already had her hand on her landline phone. She had the detective assigned to Ryver's case on speed dial.


"No. Nothing like that. I need some way to remove Theron's charm."


The urge to shake Ryver returned. Sicily settled on squeezing the phone. "Why in the hell would you want to remove the docility charm? If it's still working, make him bring you home."


Sicily would have said more but the sudden appearance of five robe-clad men in her living room gave her pause. She looked at each of the men in turn. She tried to ask them what they were doing in her house but no sound left her lips. Several attempts ended with similar results.


The men's sudden appearance, and her inability to make any sound to alert Ryver or anyone else of this intrusion, panicked Sicily. She tried to scream. That didn't work, so she stopped after the first few seconds of nothing.


On the phone, Ryver said in a rush, "Sissy, I know this is all weird to you, and you probably don't believe me, but I'm perfectly safe with Theron. I want to set him free. I was hoping you could help. Didn't you say you dated a mage back in college?"


Sicily tried to tell Ryver that she had more pressing problems than Theron and his stupid docility charm. When her mouth still refused to make sound, she tried to end the call. Sicily thought Ryver was crazy for willingly consorting with a vampire -- and Sicily still had doubts about the willing part -- but Sicily wouldn't let the mages get her. Her fingers refused to move, which meant she couldn't push the end button or toss away the phone.


Ryver asked, "Sissy?"


Sicily found her mouth moving of its own accord. "I'm still here. Yes, I dated a mage in college, but I haven't talked to him since we broke up."


Those weren't her words. Sicily couldn't stop the words from being spoken or say more to warn Ryver that Sicily wasn't the one talking.


"Oh."


"I am friends with another mage, however. You're in luck, since he happens to be a vampire sympathizer."


"You never mentioned him before."


"You never mentioned your vampire was loose." Sicily wanted to snort at that flippant response. It was something she would actually say, and might have said if she had control of her mouth.


Ryver gave a dry laugh. "That's true."


"I'll give him a call, ask him about the charm and then call you back. Okay? You're going to stay by the phone, right?"


"Yes. I'll be right here. Thanks, Sissy."


"No problem. Bye." Sicily pushed the end button, again moving against her will.


Obviously the mages surrounding her were the culprits. She glared at the man standing directly in front of her.


He nodded to her and said, "I am Mage Lord Quincy. These other fellows are my associates. Your mention of removing the docility charm alerted us to you."


Sicily had heard rumors that the mages monitored the phones. Now she had proof. If she lived past this encounter, she would blast the Internet with the news.


Quincy said, "Your friend has been led astray by vampiric suggestion. We can help her."


"How?" Sicily gasped in surprise at being able to talk again. "I can talk."


One of the other mages said, "We had to command your voice and body for a short time. It was necessary to keep you from alerting your friend to our presence. The puppet spell is now ended."


Sicily snapped, "You shouldn't have done it at all."


Quincy said, "That is in the past. We plan to help your friend by rescuing her from the vampires." He twirled his hand, making a round jewel appear on his palm, and held it out to her. "This is what your friend requires to remove the docility charm. Once it is removed, it will transport you and your friend back here."


She didn't want to take it. No one had ever accused Sicily of being naÔve or gullible. She didn't believe for a second that these five mages had entered her house without permission, after spying on her conversation, just to help out Ryver and her vampire.


She stepped back while shaking her head. "Not going to happen."





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