Doh! I forgot today was the first, which means Accustomed to His Fangs is now available at Ellora’s Cave!
I had so much fun writing this one; I think I spoofed every vampire cliche I could think of, and invented a few new ones. I really think this is the funniest book I’ve written (but of course still hot and sexy etc.) So go check it out!
When image consultant Rebecca meets Sebastian, a vampire from a small Eastern European country, her first thought is how much better he’d look without that mullet. Her second thought is that no matter how silly his hairdo is, he’s incredibly hot — the perfect one-night stand.
And he is perfect, in more ways than one. Not only do they share the most amazing sex she’s ever had, Sebastian is rich and needs some serious help with his lame, old-fashioned image. It’s the perfect job for Becky, and she’s so confident she can make Sebastian cool she bets her ex-husband a weekend of hot sex that Sebastian will charm the snootiest social lions at the next charity ball.
But Sebastian wants to be more than just a client. He wants Becky to be his, forever, and he’ll do anything to win her. Getting into her bed was easy. Getting into her heart is the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.
“What is that?”
“Pizza,” she said, handing him a paper plate on which rested an oozy, delightfully cheesy slice of pepperoni. “Have some.”
Sebastian looked doubtfully at the plate, and Becky bit back the urge to laugh. You’d think she was trying to give him a chunk of arsenic to munch on from his expression. “It does not look right.”
“How do you know? You’ve never seen it before. Now watch me.” She picked up her own slice with both hands and took a bite, tugging at the strands of melted cheese that stretched between her mouth and the pizza until they snapped. She chewed and grinned at him, then swallowed and reached for her salad.
“Look. You do not even like it.”
“Are you kidding? I love it. It’s just too fattening to eat.”
“Then why do I need to eat it?”
She sighed. “Because you have to eat it in public, just like I do. I eat a few slices, and then have nothing but diet tea the rest of the day. People have to see you eat it, or they’ll think you have to work to stay thin.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s supposed to be effortless. You don’t want people to think you care so much about your appearance.”
“But you do.”
“Of course I do, and so does everyone else. But we pretend we don’t.” Why was this so hard to understand? Everyone knew nobody would love you if you weren’t attractive. Becky had learned this the hard way in life. But nobody wanted to love someone who looked like they needed love, so it was bad form to look like you worked too hard on being attractive, which meant working too hard on being loved. It was as simple as two plus two. Did they not do math in Robitsvia?
“Just eat the pizza.”
He glanced around the table, lifting his paper towel napkin and the pizza box itself. “You want me to eat this with my hands?”
“No, Sebastian, I want you to rub it all over your chest and absorb the nutrients that way. Of course I want you to eat it with your hands. That’s how pizza is eaten. Weren’t you watching me?”
“I thought you were making a joke. Peasants eat with their hands. Rotagosja—”
“Yes, I know. You are a member of an ancient and noble bloodline, and you’re not a peasant, and you don’t do things the way we do here and we’re all barbarians,” she said, rolling her eyes. She’d heard this a lot over the last two days. “But you are here, in America, and this is the twenty-first century, and if you want to fit in at all you’ll do what I say, right? After all, I don’t have to help you. I could just send you back to your office and let you surf the internet for a Russian mail-order bride.”
“I would never marry Russian woman,” he snapped. His eyes blazed. Clearly this was a sore spot. “Never. After what they did to my country—”
“Okay, okay, sorry. A mail-order bride of some other nationality, okay? Just eat the pizza.”
Tentatively, he picked up a slice, then dropped it. “It is oily.”
She folded her arms across her chest and stared at him.
“It smells like burnt feet.”
Becky didn’t move.
Finally, Sebastian sighed and picked up the pizza again, holding it like it was a particularly disgusting insect. He took a careful bite.
Sebastian shrugged. “It is…okay.” Becky noticed he took another bite awfully quickly. The entire piece was gone in minutes, and he reached for another.
“Only one more,” Becky warned. “Remember, fattening.”
“Why do you buy a whole pizza if you do not eat it?”
“Because they won’t sell you just a couple of pieces. You have to buy the whole thing.”
“I do not understand buying food,” he said. “Why do you not cook the food here?” Raising his eyebrows, he added, “I have seen people using the ovens on television. I know you could cook food here.”
“So I lied about that,” Becky said. “I don’t like to cook, that’s why I don’t cook food here.”
“It is better to waste money on food you will not eat?”
He shook his head, eyeing the pizza hungrily. “So much waste in modern times. I was taught to use everything. No waste. You kill a pig, you eat the pig. The head, the feet, the—”
“Ugh. Can we not talk about eating pig’s heads? Besides, don’t you drink blood?”
“There is no waste in that.”
“Yes, but it’s kind of weird, isn’t it?”
Sebastian sat up straighter in his seat. “I cannot help being what I am. I do not kill, I do not harm. But once every eight days or so I must taste of the life-force of another, I must submit to the dark cravings that—”
Becky started laughing. Sebastian looked wounded. “It is not funny,” he said.
“Yes it is. You sound like a bad dime novel. So you have to drink a little blood every once in a while, so what? I crave chocolate once a month too. Doesn’t mean I have to be all melodramatic about it, does it?”