Summer Sizzles with A Shadow’s Kiss

I hope you’ll enjoy a taste of my gothic vampire romance “A Shadow’s Kiss”.

Leave a comment or e-mail me at barbara@barbarajhancock.com  for a chance to win a .pdf copy of your own…

Chapter One
“It’s been five years,” Haversham said as if Anna
hadn’t counted every second of every minute of every day.
“I know,” she replied, biting her lip to keep from
shouting.
He held the dreaded blue velvet box in his left hand. It
sat on his palm, looking so simple and yet so deadly. She
shivered and reached for the curved wrought iron railing of
the villa’s balcony to steady herself.
It was warm. The Mediterranean sun of Porto Cervo
had baked it all day.
“There’s still time,” she protested. She willed the
warmth to transfer itself to her icy fingers and radiate
upwards to find her frozen heart.
She’d come to Italy in search of the sun. Her skin had
grown golden brown when she’d found it. Her hair had
gone from the color of caramel to the color of silvery wheat,
ripened and ready for harvest.
“It’s time. You’re past the age of consent,” the old man
reminded her. He would know. His firm was older than the
ancient contract he spoke of. Haversham and Dunst had
been the executors of the Benecia estate for hundreds of
years.
Anna looked closely at the deep chiseled lines on
Haversham’s face. The question was: how old? He held the
box as if he’d held it, just so, many times before.
“There’s still time,” Anna repeated, but she coughed
and it wasn’t the cough of a fit and healthy twenty-fouryear-
old woman. It shook her petite frame until she had to
lean against the cooling iron for even more support.
“You are dying, Ms. Benecia. And only he can save
you.”
“A promise in blood cannot be broken,” Anna
whispered. She’d heard those words from her
grandmother’s own lips on her sixteenth birthday. That
night she’d met her “fiancé”.
He had come to her party supported by an ivory
handled cane. His red-rimmed eyes had watched her as
she’d cried. A monster. Everything her family owned, from
their estate to their first born child, belonged to him. She
belonged to him. Signed over generations before, with
blood not ink.
His.
“Yes,” Haversham agreed with a sibilant hiss.
Then, he opened the box.
The ring gleamed in the moonlight. Its dark ruby stone
looked evil and black. All the women who had worn it
before her were dead. Each had taken their place by the
vampire’s side and each had done their part to sustain him
so that the Benecia family could survive and prosper.
They were called “Shadows”. Shadow Brides were tied
to their vampire husband until they died and a new Bride
took their place.
“I’ll miss the sun,” Anna said.
She looked out over the ocean. It glittered by the light
of the moon, but she longed for the brilliance of it at midday
when every gentle wave was washed in gold.
A Shadow’s Kiss
“But you’ll live. If you refuse the ring, you’ll die.”
It was true.
She was dying.
Her health had been failing slowly for five beautiful,
free years. She had walked on the sun-kissed sand of a
hundred beaches from North Shore, Oahu, to Tamarindo,
Costa Rica.
But she hadn’t escaped the life of a Shadow.
She didn’t want to die because death would mean the
final irrevocable loss of hope. More importantly, if she
broke the promise, her entire family would suffer for it.
“I do,” Anna forced herself to say, giving her consent.
She held her hand out, proud that it didn’t shake. She had
run for as long as she could, but she wouldn’t cower now
that the time for running was past. She wouldn’t cringe—
yet.
Haversham took the ring from the box and placed it on
the third finger of her left hand. It was heavy and cold. The
tarnished silver setting was much chunkier and ornate than
modern sensibilities could appreciate. Then again, its
purpose might affect her perceptions.
The ring fit her finger perfectly, but its chill was alien
and ugly on her hand.
“Darkhaven is waiting,” Haversham sighed.
The house or the man or the curse? Anna wondered.
Then she realized there was no distinction, at all.

“…a new and intriguing spin on the old tale of good versus evil with a touch of romance and the love that forms when two strangers find each other’s future where and when they least expect it.” Lydia Ferrari~ Romance Junkies

Visit my channel on Youtube to see a trailer for A Shadow’s Kiss as well as my other paranormal romances

http://www.youtube.com/user/BarbarajHancock

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Comments
4 Responses to “Summer Sizzles with A Shadow’s Kiss”
  1. Sherry says:

    I’m hooked! I love dark and intriguing and I want to know all about Darkhaven and how this relationship is going to work out (or not!). Love the cover too 😉

  2. sue brandes says:

    Barbara your book sounds wonderful! I agree the cover is great!

    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Suzanne Rock says:

    This sounds like such a great story. I *love* the cover, too. Thanks for sharing BJH!

  4. sue brandes says:

    Barbara I so forgot I have this ebook already. Haven’t got to read it yet but; going to soon I promise!

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