Vampires of London, #3
by Lorelei Moone
Publication Date: February 13th 2017
The enemy of my enemy is my friend?
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Lucille’s Valentine (Vampires of London, #3) . . .
I have been wanting to know Lucille’s story. She has been in the background with her strength, cunning, discipline, and nose for finding the truth. She has worked to earn her place as Enforcer for the Council. She did her job well. Now tasked with doing the one job that she had difficulty completing the first time she managed it.
Valentino has been on the hunt. He has tracked this being for years. He has strength, determination, cunning, and skills. Add that to what Lucille brings to the table. The two are able to accomplish much.
This was a short that added another layer to the Vampires of London.
Lucille Amboise has been serving as Enforcer to the Vampire Council for centuries; a role she’s always taken extremely seriously. When an investigation causes her to cross paths with a human tracker who is hunting the same criminal, she decides to join forces, at least on the surface, to increase her chances of bringing the rogue vampire to justice. Two things she didn’t count on: the growing connection between the human and her, and the ever growing risk of losing either her life or her heart if he finds out about her true nature.
Valentino Conti’s family has lived on the fringes of human society for generations. He comes from a long line of hunters, not of animals, but of so-called Nightwalkers. His latest investigation takes him to London, where he’s surprised to find a mysterious woman on the trail of the same murderous monster he’s after. They begin to work together, but he can’t contain his curiosity: who is his new partner, and what secrets she does she hide?
All books, including this one, in the Vampires of London series are standalone and can be read out of order.
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Valentino stole a glance at Lucille as they left the pub together. What a peculiar young woman. Everything about her, from the way she carried herself to her choice of Scotch signaled that she was an old soul. The fact that she had joined him out here meant that apparently she was fearless as well.
Was she part of the same underground he belonged to? The online message boards, the discussion groups that met virtually to discuss any supernatural activity they had come across. It had been one of those anonymous reports of vampirism that had brought him to London in the first place. Was she active in those circles? Or was her presence here a coincidence?
Her catlike movements as she walked alongside him toward the feeding site suggested she was strong and well trained. She definitely knew how to fight.
He wouldn't be surprised if she had some hidden weapons somewhere underneath her long coat. He had some too, after all.
When they reached the bin he had inspected on his own earlier, he pulled out the bottle of Luminol again and sprayed the area where he knew the blood to be.
She leaned in closer and followed the direction of the spray pattern with her index finger.
Valentino smiled. "As I said, the evidence is right here."
Lucille stood back and stared at the ground surrounding the area. "It wasn't much of a struggle, so perhaps the victim came here willingly."
Valentino raised an eyebrow. "How do you know this?"
Lucille pointed at a very faint muddy footprint which the winter rains had done their best to erase. "If two men had fought here, they would have knocked over some of these bags of rubbish. They would have left smudged prints and scuff marks from their shoes. I don't see any of that here."
She turned to face him, her eyes narrow and darting back and forth between him and their surroundings. "Do you think the murderer might have arrived here by train? Or is he a local?"
"I think he is not the sort of man who could travel by train without drawing too much attention to himself. He is the sort who stays in the shadows."
Lucille nodded, as though she understood him perfectly, even those things he’d left unsaid. She really was peculiar, unlike any woman he'd met before.
Could he risk it?
It had been a long time since he'd ever told an outsider about his calling, and that had backfired spectacularly. Suddenly years of history didn't matter anymore, and the woman he'd opened up to because he wanted to spend his life with her had simply left.
But this right here was different; there was no history. What did he have to lose?
"There are more things between heaven and earth than most people choose to see or believe…"
Lucille folded her arms as she focused on him. He had her full attention.
"This murderer is not strictly a man," Valentino added.
"Why. Is it a woman?" she asked, cocking her head to the side.
The peculiar glint in her eye told him that he was on the right track. She was testing him; Valentino would bet his life on it.
"He's a Nightwalker. A vampire."
Lucille pursed her lips and glanced at the bin with the blood evidence on it, then back at him. The corner of her mouth twitched in amusement; it was so subtle he would have missed it if he wasn't paying attention.
"You're a hunter," she remarked, as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
He nodded. She knew the terminology. Unless she was the best actress he'd ever come across, nothing he'd told her so far had shocked her in any way.
"You have unusual methods. More like a forensic investigator than a hunter," she added.
He nodded again. "And your methods? Old school. More like a tracker."
Lucille smiled briefly. "I favor a more intuitive approach."
"Have you been at this long?" he asked. He was thirty-four, not old by any stretch of the imagination, but Lucille looked about ten years younger—exceptionally young for someone in their line of work. Perhaps it was a family affair for her, just like it had been for him.
"My entire life," she said.
Fine, so she wanted to keep things vague. He didn't mind. Their line of work was lonely and unappreciated for the most part. To run into another hunter was its own reward. He didn't need anything more than that for now.
"How about you make good on that promise then?" she said. "Of buying me another drink."
Valentino grinned. If she didn't look so serious he might have thought she was flirting with him.
They walked back together, and he again marveled at her smooth, deliberate movements, the strong spring in her step. It was a lonely existence; living on the fringes of society, hunting creatures that most people only acknowledged in their nightmares.
The times had changed since his parents and grandparents had been around. Mainstream society no longer believed in the supernatural, as he had so painfully found out in the past. Continuing in their footsteps had earned him a solitary life. It would be a nice change of pace to combine forces with a like-minded soul.
Plus, Lucille was an exceptionally beautiful woman. He would be lying to himself if he thought that she hadn't affected him on some deeper level. But he'd been at this too long to simply take other people at face value. He still needed to find out if he could trust Lucille.
"Right. Let's get that drink then," he said.
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DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE VAMPIRES OF LONDON SERIES, ALL OF WHICH CAN BE READ AS STANDALONES!
Lorelei Moone is an up-and-coming author of paranormal romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.
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