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Brenna Freeman loves being a veterinarian at the zoo, but the animals don’t pose the threat that a rouge vampire presents when he wants to make her his vampire slave. She is content to live a simple life and wants no serious relationship after the death of her husband and child. She never suspects the real existence of vampires until a handsome man of Scottish decent shows up with unique abilities to come when she just thinks about him. He could be a real Scottish hero.
Gordon Wallace, warrior, cousin to William Wallace, hadn’t wanted to be a vampire, but that was the only way to free himself from entrancement to a lovely woman who took him away from his family. He and his blood-child brother Rory must help save sisters, Brenna and Rachel. Must Gordon first be a hero before he can find love? Is it possible for yet another vampire man to find his eternal soulmate?
To Brenna it didn’t seem like it, but Scott had been with her for twenty-four days. Just before midnight, she strolled with Gordon through the deserted path of the zoo. The cold December breeze blew, stirring small patches of leaves that still dotted the landscape. She cherished these wonderful, quiet times with him. She hadn’t had any real privacy. Rachel and Rory went places occasionally—movies mainly, because of the late hour—but after a hectic day of working, Brenna enjoyed the solitude of a night-time stroll or a quiet, evening chat.
“I’m grateful for Scott’s protection.” She had to admit she’d felt safer since his arrival.
Gordon squeezed her hand. “Just seeing you more relaxed is encouraging.”
She smiled up at him. “I’m not as afraid. I guess Derek and his friends have decided to leave me alone. Roger and Wayne are still nursing their injuries and still have casts. Derek is still working, but he stays away from me, especially after Scott chased him off a couple of times.”
When Gordon frowned, she knew what he was getting ready to say. “This isn’t over. We’ll hear from them again. That’s why Scott needs to stay.”
“I know.” She couldn’t keep the sadness from her voice.
“I’m sorry, Brenna. I don’t mean to sound so negative.”
Of course he didn’t. Her living hell wasn’t his making. She scowled and changed the subject. “Rachel is in love with Rory.”
“I thought she might be. He has fallen in love with her, too. I wouldn’t have believed he would care for anyone again after so few days.”
At the emu area, they paused. He took her hand while she sat on a park bench. He leaned and kissed her gently, then sat beside her. His face was solemn as if he had something on his mind. “What’s wrong, Gordon?”
“I am what’s wrong.”
His answer couldn’t have been more vague. Was he tired of her? Was he trying to find an easy way to stop seeing her? God forbid!
“I don’t understand.”
His hands covered her face, and he kissed the end of her nose. “I wonder...how strong is your love?”
How could he question her feelings? How could he look at her and not see the love in her face?
“I don’t think it could be any stronger. Why do you ask such a thing?”
“Because your love is going to be put to the ultimate test tonight.”
His grim face unnerved her. Why was he so disturbed?
“I don’t understand.”
“You will, but first I want to know what your future plans are. Have they changed since we met?”
She tried to see his face in the dark. Shadows intensified his silhouette. “Everything has changed since we met. I’m in love with you. Before we met, I didn’t think I would ever find love again, or even want to love again. Before I know what my future plans are, I need to know yours. Do I fit in them? Or should I seek a different path?”
He squeezed her hand. “Do you want them to be together?”
“You know I do.” In the dim light, his eyes seemed bottomless...pained. What was he trying to tell her that hurt so much?
“I want to marry you, Brenna.” Emotion filled his voice. What should have sounded so uplifting didn’t. “And to live with you...forever.”
She threw her arms around his neck. “Yes! Yes! I hoped you would.”
He pulled her arms from his neck, caught her hands in his and kissed her fingers. “Don’t say yes just yet, my sweet. There are things you have to know about me.”
“Like how you get your powers?” At last she’d learn his secret. “I don’t care. I’ll marry you whatever you say. What you tell me won’t have any influence on my love for you.”
The doubt in his voice wounded her. “Then put any question out of your mind, because I love you more than life itself.”
Gordon frowned. He dreaded his next words. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Her questioning gaze showed the love she spoke. The violet of her eyes sparkled. Soon he would see fear in their depths.
“What I have to tell you can be frightening for a human; but realize that I would never hurt you, no matter what creature I am.”
She shifted nervously. “Why do you say that? You may have special abilities, but you’re not a creature.”
He frowned again. “Please, this is difficult enough. Give me time to explain.” She nodded and squeezed her lips together. “Remember the first night we met? Remember when I picked up your book on Twilight, and I was fascinated by your interest?”
“Remember how we talked of vampires? And I was able to correct some of the errors of your thinking?”
Vampires? An uneasiness twisted her stomach. “Yes, but...but what has that got to do with us?”
“Everything.” Emotion hung on the word. “Sweet Brenna, think of all the things I can do. I have the strength of ten or more men. I can crush human bones with one hand. My hearing is so intensified I can hear your heart beating, even now. When I choose, I can read your mind as easily as I know my own thoughts. I can use telekinesis to open doors and layers of locks.”
“I know.” The knot in her stomach grew. What was he getting at? “And I’ve asked about your powers often.”
Gordon looked agonized. “One thing you haven’t guessed is that I can’t be killed with bullets or knives. That night Derek shot me. He didn’t miss and I didn’t feel a thing.”
She couldn’t hide her surprise. Bullets couldn’t kill him? “Then my hunch was right. You’re not from this planet.”
“Wrong, my love.” His gentle voice sounded so pained. “I was born on this planet, long before you were a twinkle in your mother’s eye.”
“Well.” She couldn’t help the grin on her face. “You are seven years older.”
“Add zeros to that. I’m over seven hundred years old.”
A flush warmed her skin. She tried to jerk her hands away. If he hadn’t been holding them, she would have jumped up. Over seven hundred years? That made sense if he couldn’t be killed by normal human dangers. “That could be feasible. If it regenerates in an inhuman way, your body can even avoid disease. Your age could surpass human age.” She paused, trying to take it all in. “That’s great! But that’s cheating. That’s why you know history so well.”
He chuckled. “I enjoy human history. I’ve enjoyed my life, for the most part.”
Why was he sidestepping? Drawing out his explanation?
“Then just say it, Gordon. No more beating around the bush. What are you that you can live seven hundred years?”
His face grew stern, his hands gripping hers tighter. “I’m a vampire.”
While she absorbed his words, she could only stare. Her heart thudded in her ears. Her skin tingled to her toes. Did he think she was an idiot? Or was he the idiot? He must have made up this outrageous story to tell her because of her fascination with supernatural beings. Her lips thinned with aggravation. “A...a vampire. And I suppose you sleep in a coffin, and turn into a bat.”
Brenna’s disbelief irritated Gordon. Would she want him to perform tricks to convince her? Even Donnetta hadn’t thought to disbelieve him but she had caught him feeding.
“Is that not as fascinating as you have dreamed? Have you made me out to be a Superman who can jump over tall buildings with a single bound? Are you hoping that I’ll fly you above the clouds like Lois Lane? I can fly you around, but I am not a romantic character out of a comic book, Brenna. I am what humans call a blood-sucking vampire.”
Her face paled and she jerked her hands away from his. His words had been too strong. “You’re serious, aren’t you? You really think you’re a vampire.”
“I don’t just think it. I live it.” Mercy! His explanation was poor. He wasn’t as crazy as he sounded. “Brenna, there is no easy way to tell you. You needed to know before you devote any more of your life to me. I love you and I’d never hurt you. You’d never be in any danger at night as long as I am around to protect you. Think about it. How else would I know so much about vampires? I live it, day after day, year after year, century after...surely, you see it now.”
Her beautiful face contorted into fear. “You drink...blood.”
“Disgusting to a human, isn’t it? Don’t deny it. Your disgust is blatant. Blood is a natural taste, immediate with transformation. I guess you’d have to be a vampire to understand, but feasting on blood is as natural to me as eating steak and potatoes is to you. Nevertheless, breathing is something that I don’t have to do, but my heart beats. In all honesty, it beats much slower than a human’s. Explain that to your scientists.”
He chuckled, hoping to ease her tension. “Forgive me. I’m straying. Let’s get back to food. Have you ever seen me eat or drink? Why else would I refuse food from your house? Because I don’t like your cooking? No, it’s because I dine at the veins of humans, as gross as that may sound to you.”
Panic rose in her, beating her heart like a drum in his ears. He reached out to take her hand, but she jerked it away. “No!” Her lips trembled. “Vampires aren’t real. They...” Her breath labored in short spasms. The smell of fear rose from her. “Vampires are killers!” She jumped to her feet and backed away. “I can’t love a killer.”
“But I’m not a killer, Brenna. And I would never hurt you.” He had to calm her. “Believe me. Please. I don’t kill my prey.”
Tears strained at her eyes. “What will you do to me?”
Multi-published author, Jayme Evans writes the 'weird stuff'. As a time-travel, romantic suspense, paranormal and futuristic author, she likes to carry her imagination to the extreme and escape from the 'real' world. Jayme lives in Kentucky. She has two married sons, four lovely granddaughters and a spunky grandson.
Jayme began writing when her oldest son flew the nest in 1992. She took the Writer's Digest Advanced Novel Writing Workshop to complement her love of writing.
Eternity's Scottish Hero Quote: What I truly enjoyed about this vampire story is the sense of family devotion, love, and loyalty. It is outstanding the way Jayme Evans blends and weaves together two different timelines bringing this shapeshifter story out of medieval Scotland into contemporary America. It is the remarkable tale of two devoted brothers, vampires, meeting and falling in love with two present-day sisters, and their misadventures in adjusting to just what it takes to follow their hearts. -- Conger Book Review, JoEllen Conger, Review Rate 5+
Eternity's Scottish Hero Review: Lowland Scottish warrior, Gordon Wallace, undergoes transformation in 1302, when a vampire takes Gordon as her entrance servant. After a time Gorgon tricks her to gain his freedom, but is never accepted back by his previously loving wife and daughters. His only true friend is his brother, Friar Rory Wallace, whose life he must save one fateful day by transforming him into a vampire.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 468
Paper Weight (lb): 19.4
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