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They come for the cure in shades of crimson...
Of course, seventeen-year-old Elle Warner doesn't know that when she arrives for a six week stay in the luxurious city of Bath. But stories are told. Bodies are found.
A young and mysterious stranger may hold the key to these tragedies-and very possibly to the fate of the girl who cannot escape his gaze.
Inspired by Jane Austen's own gothic tribute, Bloodcurse is a tale of dark stories, imagined secrets, and a young girl's first true adventure.
Excerpt from Bloodcurse: A Regency Vampire Novel
They continued down the gallery in silence, Lord Roan searching the pictures for one in particular, its surface reflecting the glow of the lantern when he paused before it.
"My sister, Emily, did not live past sixteen. This likeness was taken on her twelfth birthday and shows a glimpse of the beauty she possessed in life."
The artist's hand had captured a delicate build with porcelain skin and eyes as black as the ones that looked at her now. Emily Roan appeared to have shared her brother's physical characteristics, but none of the reserve that so frequently marred his countenance. Her face held a gentle, wide-eyed expression, the rose lips curved in a warm smile.
"She was lovely," said Elle. In all this, she wondered what his reasons were for bringing her here. His intense privacy would forbid it, she assumed. To trust her--a girl he knew only a few weeks-- with this glimpse of his past seemed almost ludicrous.
"Poetry was a great favorite with my sister," he said. "Particulary the works of Cowper. I would read to her often in the sick chamber. I developed my taste for poetry at that time."
"What kindness, to keep her company in such a manner." This praise was spoken shyly. Elle meant to check the warmth in her feeling which was quickly overtaking her doubts about the viscount. Poetry did not make him innocent of other things, she knew.
In the next instant, she realized he was not pleased with the compliment.
"I was not as attentive I should have been. Were I to have known what plagued her earlier, if I had summoned any strength ..." Anger was reflected in the dark pools of his eyes with these words.
"For what?" Elle's voice was almost a whisper.
"There might have been time then to save her." His hand passed through his rumpled hair with these words, his voice falling silent. They stood in this manner before the portrait of the long-lost Emily Roan.
"If you see a monster lurking from the corner of your eye, is it better to turn away or to face it?"
Elle hesitated. When she made no answer, he continued speaking, as if he never expected one.
"I turned away, when I first encountered it. For years I blocked the knowledge of its existence from my sight...yet it was there. Biding its time, waiting, and growing more powerful by the day. Until it could no longer be ignored."
"What do you mean, sir?" Her throat tightened with panic. There was a wildness in his eye as he spoke. As if he were half-crazed, desirous of justifying some choice in the past.
Did he speak of some wickedness inside himself, she wondered. If so, then she could not escape if he chose to prove his darker side at this moment.