Rowan Harper thought being with a vampire would keep her out of harm's way. But true evil lurks in the darkness, and not even her lover, Gabriel, knows all of its tricks.
Rowan may be his Promise, the one woman who can save Gabriel's soul, but the two of them have a long and complicated history that Rowan is only now discovering--complete with old enemies who will stop at nothing to make them suffer.
When Rowan is abducted and forced to witness unspeakable violence, secrets of the past begin to unfold. Secrets that show Gabriel's best friend Aleksei in a new light.
Will the truth destroy all three of them or bind them more tightly together, and if evil prevails, will it be Rowans's soul that ultimately needs saving?
"This series is highly recommended." --Library Journal
"Wicked fun not to be missed!" -USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Vampire's Honor
By Carla Susan Smith
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Carla Susan Smith
All rights reserved.
The real estate woman was flirting with Gabriel ... and really starting to piss me off. Even though I knew women were going to come on to him, it wasn't always easy to accept. Or watch. I've often wondered if they'd be just as enthusiastic if they knew he was a vampire. Honestly? I don't think it would make the slightest difference. I've seen little old ladies throw out the most amazing innuendoes when he's helped them to a seat, and little girls play peek-a-boo from behind their mother's skirts because he smiled at them. I have no problem with old ladies and little girls. It's the ages in between.
I realize that much sex appeal is going to arouse any healthy libido, so I do my best to ignore the suggestive glances, fluttering lashes, and breathy voices. Especially as I know the interest is never going to be reciprocated. I can even turn a blind eye to the occasional oops-I-didn't-really-mean-to-press-my-boobs-against-you contact, because when that happens — and it has — Gabriel uses the moment to demonstrate that he's with me. Usually with his tongue in my mouth. But every now and then there's a woman who views his affection for me as some sort of unspoken challenge. And Claudia Benton — Exclusive Properties was such a woman.
I stood at one of the apartment's large picture windows, pretending to be mesmerized by the view of nighttime Greenley Heights. The city's neon splendor sparkled like a Christmas tree, but I was too busy surreptitiously observing my would-be antagonist to give it more than passing notice. Busy pointing out the features of the kitchen's built-in wine cooler, Claudia Benton was hanging on Gabriel's every word. He said something I didn't quite catch, but it made Ms. Benton laugh, and I watched as she put her hand on his muscular forearm, keeping it there far longer than a real estate agent should. Even if she did want to make her commission.
"Oh please, you must call me Claudia," she said, looking up at him. "I feel like we're such good friends already."
She pronounced her name Cloud-ia, which struck me as somewhat pretentious, but she could call herself Ophelia, Queen of the Outhouse, for all I cared. I knew the first-name invitation didn't include me.
Narrowing my eyes, I took her in from head to toe. If I had to guess, I'd put her in her early thirties. Her dark suit was tailored and looked expensive, as did her high heels. The blond hair may or may not have come from a bottle. Unless I could see roots, I couldn't tell for sure. And she wore no wedding ring.
Having exhausted the finer points of the wine cooler, Cloud-ia was extolling the virtues of the kitchen's other appliances when she suddenly stumbled, managing to save herself from kissing the hardwood floor only by grabbing the arm she'd just been caressing. Apparently flustered by her clumsiness, she apologized and thanked Gabriel for his gallantry.
I was fully prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes a stumble is just that, and she did seem embarrassed by her clumsiness. But then she glanced over at me, and the smile on her face told a different story. It was a sly, malicious smile. One that said if she tried a little harder, she could make Gabriel look her way, and once she had him looking, who knows what else he might want to do?
It was absolute crap, of course. She stood no chance of persuading him to sample what she was offering, but she didn't know that. Vampires, once they make a commitment, don't cheat. At least not while the object of their affection is still able to draw breath. And as one of the most possessive creatures ever, a vampire's focus becomes a problem only if those feelings aren't reciprocated. Gabriel and I had no worries in that regard. The proof of our devotion to each other had sent a tremor through the Dark Realm that blew the lid off the Richter scale.
But even if all of this was known to my wannabe rival, I suspect it would have simply made her more determined. Some women think they're irresistible. My inner bitch, who hadn't had much to harangue me about recently, now tapped my mental shoulder. You gonna let her get away with that?
No fucking way.
"Ms. Benton." I'd stab myself in the eye with a pencil before I called her by her first name, no matter how she pronounced it. "Would you mind showing me the bathroom?" I asked.
"But you've already seen it, dear," she replied in a condescending tone.
"Yes, I know, but if it's not too much trouble, I'd like to see it again. There's something I need to check out."
"Oh?" The lift of her brow was as condescending as her smile. "And what might that be?"
"Counter height." If my smile was any sweeter, I'd give myself a cavity, but as I passed Gabriel, I made sure my fingers brushed the back of his hand, causing a spark to flash in his neon-blue eyes.
There was a pleasing warmth about the bathroom, even if the décor reflected the taste of a strong male presence. Tile that looked like bricks covered the walls and floor in a color palette ranging from beach sand to a dark, coppery red. An old-fashioned claw-foot tub with curved sides took up a good amount of space, but there was enough left over for a spacious, modern shower with a glass door. The toilet was hidden behind a discreet half wall, and a double-sink vanity completed the necessary appointments. I stared at the space between the two sinks. It certainly looked like it would be adequate.
"I never thought of the shower as being small ... until now," Ms. Benton murmured, her eyes glazing over as she gave Gabriel's wide shoulders a lingering look. I could just imagine what was going on inside her head and decided I'd had enough. Standing next to the open bathroom door, I put one hand on my hip and gripped the doorknob with the other. "Ms. Benton, would you give us a moment, please?" I really wish I could have seen her expression when she heard the lock engage.
I turned and reached for Gabriel, my fingers slipping inside the waistband of his jeans as I pulled him to me. I saw a glimpse of white as his mouth covered mine. He'd dropped his fangs, and a tremor of anticipated pleasure ran down my spine as my tongue slid between them.
When Gabriel makes love to me, that's exactly what he does. He takes my body on a long, sexy thrill ride, stopping at every erogenous zone to ignite a fire that burns white hot inside me. Radiating a sensuality that threatens to steal the breath from my body, he electrifies every nerve ending I possess until my need to feel him moving inside me eclipses everything else. It is without a doubt the most glorious carnal experience I could ever hope to have.
But then there are other times when a girl just wants to be fucked ... and this was one of those times.
I quickly unbuckled his belt, slipping free the button on his jeans, and had the metal tab of the zipper between my finger and thumb when his hand grasped my wrist lightly.
"Careful," he murmured, his lips next to my ear.
He was fully erect, and I could feel the hard length of him pushing back against my hand through the heavy denim, but his warning was not without merit. It would be too awful if, in my eagerness, metal teeth caught something they shouldn't. Especially as there was nothing between skin and zipper.
I opened his fly, and his cock practically leaped into my hand. My fingers wrapped around him, my palm sliding up and down his thick shaft, pausing only so my thumb could graze across the dimple in the head. Gabriel shuddered, his muscular thighs responding to my touch. To be able to produce this reaction in him was an aphrodisiac all by itself.
As I continued to stroke him, I yanked his shirt free of his jeans, and slid my hand up his back, my nails scraping across his skin. The growl that emanated from deep in his chest vibrated off the tiled walls. He tilted my head back and ran his tongue across my collar bone and up my neck. Reaching my mouth, he kissed me. It was a long, lingering kiss that guaranteed I would leave the bathroom looking like I'd been schooled by someone who definitely knew how to use his tongue to do more than talk.
Gabriel tugged at my skirt, sliding it up past my hips. His hand went between my legs, and the growl in his throat became deeper as his fingers stroked the inside of my thigh. I trembled and let go of his cock, my hand clutching his upper arms and pulling him closer. He looked down at me and smiled knowingly, and I felt his clever fingers push aside the silky fabric of my panties and slip inside me.
I was ready for him, and the pressure of his fingers made my muscles clench. I was at a loss to describe the sound that escaped me as I arched my back and ground myself against the heel of his hand, but the smile on Gabriel's face was one of pure satisfaction. Withdrawing his fingers, he pulled down my panties. I kicked off my shoes so I wouldn't catch my heel on the flimsy fabric. A scrap of scarlet silk lay on the floor as Gabriel gently muscled me back to the section of countertop separating the two sinks. His hands on my waist, he boosted me up and set me down on the marble. It felt deliciously cool against my bare ass.
I gasped and clutched the front of Gabriel's shirt as he pushed himself inside me. No matter how prepared I think I am, my body always seems shocked to feel him filling me. Now he cupped a foot in each hand, drawing my knees up, and began to move his hips slowly back. I dropped my gaze and watched as he slowly withdrew. His cock was engorged and glistening, the thick length coated with my silk. He stopped when he was almost completely out, and I raised my eyes back to his. Watching my reaction is always a big turn-on for him. I licked my lips and scraped my teeth over my lower lip and saw the pulse at the base of his throat quicken. I could feel the accelerated beat of his heart beneath the hand I held against his chest. He drew in a ragged breath and dropped his fangs. Heat raced through me as the neon blue of his eyes began to bleed into the surrounding sclera.
I let go of the countertop and moved my hand to the back of Gabriel's neck, curling my fingers and pricking him with my nails. He smiled and thrust himself back inside me. With each rhythmic drive I clenched my muscles, taking him in deeper, pushing him closer to his orgasm until a jolting spasm at the base of his spine told me to let go and blur my climax with his. He emptied himself inside me with a violent tremor that shook both of us.
"That," Gabriel said, his voice a husky whisper as he tried to catch his breath, "was ... very ... intense." He smiled down at me and smoothed a wayward curl from my cheek. "You should get jealous a little more often."
"You think I was jealous?" I asked, pretending indifference.
"I know you were. I could feel it." He brushed his lips against mine. "And I want you to know how much I approve of your method of dealing with it."
Reaching above my head, he took a washcloth from the towel rack and quickly cleaned both of us before gently pulling my skirt back down and setting me on my feet.
"Um, where are my panties?" I asked, checking out the floor.
Gabriel opened his hand, revealing red silk. I reached for it, but he quickly pushed the fabric in the front pocket of his jeans. "I think I'll keep them for the time being," he said, his mouth curling into a sly grin. "Just in case you decide not to get jealous again."
"Is that really how I look to you?" Being bare-assed inside my skirt was making me feel deliciously shameless.
"No," Gabriel admitted. "You look like a woman who just got exactly what she wanted."CHAPTER 2
By the time I walked out of the bathroom, Gabriel was gently ushering a mildly protesting Claudia Benton through the front door. I caught a glimpse of her face, and the expression she wore was not going to get her nominated for Realtor of the Year. It occurred to me that perhaps she was worried about losing her commission. Oh well, the bitch should've thought about that before trying to put the moves on my man.
"She had another appointment," Gabriel told me, seeing the questioning look on my face. "I told her we'd lock up." Another appointment this close to midnight? Yeah, right, of course she did. Still, I knew better than to say anything. "I think I saw a decent bottle of wine in the cooler," Gabriel said. "Would you like some?"
"That would be nice," I said with a smile. "I seem to have worked up quite a thirst."
I know next to nothing about wine, and Gabriel's efforts to educate me on the subject have not been a stellar success. He took me to a nighttime tasting event at some posh winery, only by the time I realized the operative word was tasting and not swallowing, it was too late. A half-dozen glasses, all on an empty stomach, and I was the life of the party. Who knew fermented grape juice could be so intoxicating? Or so sneaky. I was in the middle of a perfectly wonderful conversation with a very nice gray-haired man who was a professor of something at a college somewhere, when the next mouthful of Cabernet du Plonk had me slurring my words and sliding off the bar stool. According to the general consensus, I was the most delightful drunk they'd had at this particular winery in years. Something my lover made certain he shared with me once my head stopped spinning. But now I knew better. Accepting the glass of wine, I kicked off my shoes and sat down on the oversized couch, tucking one leg under me.
"So what do you think?" Gabriel asked, taking up his own sizable amount of space at the other end of the couch.
"The apartment." He made an expansive sweep with the hand that wasn't holding his wineglass. "Do you like it?"
To be honest, I hadn't really paid that much attention to it. I'd been too busy letting myself get annoyed by Ms. I-really-wanna-get-in-your-pants realtor, but as she was no longer an issue, I viewed my surroundings with a new perspective. Something about the way Gabriel was looking at me set a red flag waving in my head.
The building was close to the Greenley Heights financial district, and if the décor was anything to go by, the target buyers were young up-and-comers in banking or a similar profession. Clean lines, lots of white, with expensive neutral rugs covering the hardwood floor. All the appliances were top of the line, but I doubt the wall oven would ever get used and the range top only minimally. However, I could see the fridge and microwave getting quite a workout.
Whoever bought this apartment would be still hungry to make their mark. I imagined them to be single with no children, working long hours, and spending very little actual time inside these walls. Which was a shame, because the apartment had a lot of potential. Personally I loved the sections of open brickwork that made otherwise plain walls interesting, and the huge picture windows were a wonderful feature. As was the view, which I could now fully appreciate. But the feature that was the apartment's crown jewel was the floor-to-ceiling, built-in bookcase covering one entire wall.
"Yes," I said, nodding and taking a satisfied sip of my wine. "It's very nice."
"Would you like it?" Gabriel asked in a low voice.
"Would I like what?"
"This apartment. Would you like to have it?"
Normally when Gabriel makes my stomach roll, it's a good thing — an indication that I can expect some heavy-duty skin-on-skin contact taking place — but what my stomach was doing now was nowhere near that pleasant. A sudden jolt of anxiety made it curdle, causing a tremor that, if it reached my hand, would guarantee the light-colored couch would be wearing an abstract splash of the not-too-shabby merlot Gabriel had poured me.
You're being ridiculous! my inner bitch scolded. What was that in the bathroom just now? A pity fuck?
No, at least that's not how it seemed to me, and Gabriel would never be that cruel. So why did he want to give me an apartment?
Living with Gabriel had its own unique challenges, and while I had very little difficulty getting my head around most of the ones that related directly to his being a vampire, it was the human ones I found harder to deal with. Like the fact that he was beyond stinking rich.
"I need you to close your bank account," he'd told me a few days after I'd moved in with him.
"Why?" I was in the kitchen, trying to figure out how the coffeemaker worked. The damn thing had more lights and switches than a flight-control desk at NASA.
"It will make dealing with your finances easier," Gabriel said, coming up behind me and pushing the button that made the brew cycle kick into life. "Besides, isn't that what married people do?"
"Not necessarily," I murmured, frustrated that I'd missed which button he'd pressed. "And, anyway, we're not married."
The open cupboard door did a wonderful job of distorting his comment, which was probably just as well. I had no doubt he was making some pithy remark about my inability to set a wedding date.
Excerpted from A Vampire's Honor by Carla Susan Smith. Copyright © 2016 Carla Susan Smith. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Vampire's Honor by Carla Susan Smith is book 3 in the Vampire's Promise series. Yes, I not knowing it is a chronological series (not just stand alone books) started in the middle of a series. The good news is that I enjoyed it so much I have to read the first two books now to get the full story. Well worth the effort. A Vampire's Honor was a delightful read.
What a great book. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. It began with a steamy start and ended with OMG! Can't wait to delve into the next one.
Sins Of The Past ... Rowan Harper thought being with a vampire would keep her out of harm's way. But true evil lurks in the darkness, and not even her lover, Gabriel, knows all of its tricks. Rowan may be his Promise, the one woman who can save Gabriel's soul, but the two of them have a long and complicated history that Rowan is only now discovering--complete with old enemies who will stop at nothing to make them suffer. When Rowan is abducted and forced to witness unspeakable violence, secrets of the past begin to unfold. Secrets that show Gabriel's best friend Aleksei in a new light. Will the truth destroy all three of them or bind them more tightly together, and if evil prevails, will it be Rowans's soul that ultimately needs saving? Review: I will start that I read the blurb and was instantly intrigued. What I failed to figure out ahead of time is that this the third book in the series. Now, I felt a little lost and think I would have had a better time if I had read the others first. That does not mean that I did not like it and I am still very intrigued by the story and the premise. I will go back and read the others and this one again in order so when the last one comes out I will be caught up. If you like super sexy stories about vampires and other supernatural creatures, this should be right up your alley. I really want to know more about this Demon, Rowan is attached to. I really liked her and Gabriel but since there was just a brief, hot scene with the Demon and Rowan that really grabbed my attention. The book is filled with super hot scenes, but there is a lot of action and drama too. Don't forget the baddies, they are Very bad and hope they get what is coming to them. A lot of the story does focus on getting to know Aleksei's past for those who have read the other books. Again, this is book number three in the series and it does end on a cliffhanger for those who might want to wait and read them together. Now, I just have to fit the other books into my reading schedule... 4Stars *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
A Vampire's Honor, Carla Susan Smith Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance, Fantasy and Sci-Fi Onto book three and ..Gah! Ack! It ends in a cliff-hanger...and I just so, so hate them, despise them. The good part is that book four is due in Oct, just a month after this one releases so its not too long to wait. what makes me so cross about this type ending is when authors end book in cliffies and then sequel gets delayed and delayed until suddenly its 2, 3 even 4 years since you were left hanging. Thankfully Carla has book four lined up ready to come out soon after this one – Thank You Carla!! So after all the deep drama in book two this one feels a bit less intense, but its still got a huge amount going on. Its a while since I read the last book, and ideally I’d have reread it before starting this but as even time was limited ;-) All was fine though, as I continued reading the full events came back to me. It’s so clever the way authors weave little things from earlier books into major plot angles in later ones. Sometimes its just a tiny thing, a throwaway remark, and I like to challenge myself if I can pick them up – I spotted one in this book that led to some big events later, but I’m sure there’s more I missed. Its why I love to read a series back to back when all parts are out, I get really engrossed, pick up things I missed first time round, and its a great way of enjoying a story, getting totally immersed. Don't try reading this without books one and two though – you'll be lost. You’d think Gabriel and Rowan could get a break after all the things that have happened but no, once more it seems events and certain others are against them, and the dangers start up from Rowan getting abducted, and end in what looks like could be a permanent separation. How can that be when she’s his Promise? Well, there are always little details, little clauses in agreements, and Rowan does tend to rush into things without thinking of the consequences. This time her impetuousness really comes back to bite her with a vengeance. I love Rowan and Gabriel, loved seeing some of his history with Aleksei, and of course Anazstazia, and of course there’s the wonderful Tomas. The five really do make up the core of this book, with the introduction of an old enemy, and someone new coming in who seems to have a desire to cause trouble – why though? Well, as always who knows? Seems Rowan’s Demon from the last book may have got a few irons in the fire too. Its left on a real gut churning cliff-hanger, where it looks like things could be permanently split for Rowan and Gabriel – I can’t believe he hasn’t worked some way out though, can’t see him just rolling over and giving in, but what he can do I’ve no idea. Good job its not me writing but Carla or it would be a weepy ending, and not the happy tears kind of crying! Another fantastic, engrossing novel, and I Just Can’t Wait for book four! Stars: five, roll on book four. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher