Sunday, June 12, 2011

Caveat Emptor: Trapped Lover by Zenobia Renquist


Caveat Emptor: Trapped Lover

by Zenobia Renquist
Cover art: Marteeka Karland
ISBN: 978-1-60521-638-6
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Interracial, Vampires, Magic
Series: Caveat Emptor
Length: Novella

With the threat of mages capturing and imprisoning her, Ryver can never go home again. That's fine by her, since she's with Theron the vampire she loves. Now living in vampire territory, she's learning more and more about Theron. Not all of it is good. The more she sees, the more she's convinced that the man she fell in love with, the man who can make her body sing with a single touch, might not be the man she thought he was. What's worse, there's no way to get away from him if he's as bad as she suspects.
Caveat Emptor: Trapped Lover
Zenobia Renquist
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Zenobia Renquist

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Ryver could see her reflection in the gleaming marble floor beneath her feet. She usually liked to show off her dimples with a winning smile that made her dark brown eyes sparkle. At the moment, her expression was one of her muted disbelief edged with terror.
Her black, heat-straightened hair fell over her shoulders and acted like a curtain, hiding her from the view of those standing around. That was a good thing because the blood leaving her face made her normally chestnut brown skin look ashen. Even wearing her charcoal, pinstriped blouse with matching calf-length skirt didn't make her feel appropriately dressed enough to be standing in this grand house.
To her knowledge, she had never seen marble flooring before. Not real marble. She'd seen laminate and tile made to look like marble, but not the real thing. No place she shopped could afford to carry such high-end merchandise.
Everything in the mansion -- from the gold-etched archways to the crystal chandeliers dangling high above her head -- looked custom made. Theron hadn't struck her as such an extravagant man. But then what did she really know about him?
It wasn't like they'd done much talking over the past month. He had pretended to be under the spell of a docility charm during the day, obeying her every command and being the perfect helper. At night, he turned into a very attentive and vigorous lover.
Their schedule hadn't left much room for talking or else she might have learned that he was nobility of some kind. She could only guess he was nobility since the twenty or so vampires kneeling at his feet with their heads bowed had called him lord.
She looked around at the circle of vampires surrounding her and Theron. Each had dropped to one knee in greeting once she and Theron arrived. Ryver hadn't been expecting such a reception.
She hadn't been expecting any reception at all. But, what had she expected when she agreed to let Theron whisk her away to vampire territory?
It was stupid and risky. She'd been swept up in the moment and not thinking right. She had to get Theron to take her home. Even if the mages were waiting to arrest her, she could tell them Theron had her under some kind of spell and that's why she had lied to them.
Vampires knew hypnosis, right? She'd heard something to that effect from somewhere. Even if she hadn't, Theron had used some sort of magic to teleport them to his home in a matter of seconds. If he could do that, then surely he could hypnotize people.
It struck her as odd and scary that her convenient excuse sounded genuine.
Could he have hypnotized her into doing what he wanted? It would explain why she had been so reluctant to obey the mandatory recall sent out to all vampire owners and return Theron to the mages. The sex was good, but getting laid wasn't worth her safety.
She looked up at Theron. Since her head only reached his shoulders, that meant tilting her head back. As usual, her gaze went to his goatee first. It was perfectly trimmed into a ninety-degree angled black box around his mouth and chin. Since a vampire's appearance didn't change from the moment they became a vampire, Theron's goatee would always appear perfectly trimmed. Even if it was cut off, it would grow back exactly the same in a matter of seconds.
That also meant he didn't have to work out to keep his lightly tanned, muscled body looking so perfect. With his black hair falling around his shoulders in soft waves, he looked like he should be on the cover of a men's magazine -- fashion or athletics didn't matter, since he could do both with ease.
She was too plain to be standing next to him. She kept herself in a size eight by exercising fanatically and watching her diet. What did a man who looked as good as him want with her?
Theron smiled down at her, showing his fangs in the process. "There's no need to be so scared, Ryver. No one will hurt you."
He cupped the side of her head and brushed his thumb over her cheek. His hand cradled her entire head, reinforcing the height and strength difference between them. And she, like an idiot, had let him bring her into a nest of people who could break her into tiny pieces with one hand and no effort.
She said in a small voice, "I should go back to my place."
"You aren't safe there..."

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