Date Published: December 1, 2012
Demons, werewolves, possessed bikers, madness spreading like a virus, and a revenge that has waited for over 500 years. What more could Gabby look for in a vacation spot?
Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.
However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil's plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.
I leaned forward and let my black curtain of hair obscure my face. The lid of the salt shaker twisted off in my empty hand and I knocked it over, allowing the grains to spill on the floor. The salt should have covered my scent. I slid closer to the group at the next table until I looked like I belonged with them.
One of the men grinned at me, his aura a happy yellow orange. “Hey babe.”
I nodded and raised my glass, but kept my gaze on the hellhound. He paused at a man at the bar who had caught my attention, or more his aura did. A ghostly image of a woman leaned over him, whispering in his ear. My hand tightened around the beer mug but the mutt moved on. I relaxed. The colors around the people in the bar faded, as did the ghost woman when my sight returned to normal. The haze remained, more from cigarette smoke. I turned my head to the front of the bar. One window and one door were not much of an escape route. Fifty feet of inebriated patrons stood between me and freedom.
Two of the three men I had been waiting for walked through the door. A familiar tingle ran down my spine. For a moment, I flashed back to a dressing room, staring down another Romanian hunter. We’d come across the same prey, though he thought it was a vampire. I inhaled, bringing myself back to the present. This wasn’t the twenties, I wasn’t in Paris, and these brothers weren’t Dimitri.
Both had his chiseled features and his straight nose, though their hair was more of a burnt sienna. The one in front wore his cut short and had a tuft on his chin. He towered over his brother which meant he would be a mountain compared to my small height. The other kept his hair tucked behind his ears. He stood with his arms crossed, wearing a smirk to let the world know he knew everything.
They cast their eyes over the room. The tall one adjusted the glasses on his face and approached the man sitting at the bar at the bar. Several women watched them as they passed. A smile touched my lips. The boys knew how to dress to make an impression. Their leather coats and slacks spoke sophistication yet still provided enough flexibility to move if needed.
I stood and nodded at the boys who’d been trying to talk to me. Rude, but it was time to work. Besides, they were too young for me. I straightened my red tank top and brushed any wrinkles from my jeans. I couldn’t approach them looking like a guttersnipe. A stool opened up on the other side of them. I took the seat and tried to look casual while listening in on the brothers’ conversation. The bartender stood in front of me, waiting for an order.
I pointed to a beer and leaned back to get a better look at the third man. His back remained mostly to me, giving me a glimpse of his bearded cheek and a ponytail a shade darker in color than the other two. Brother number three. I inched forward to hear better over someone’s bad rendition of “Bad Moon Rising.”
“Ader.” The tall man spoke in Romanian. “Your prison sentence hasn’t ended yet.”
“I got out for being brilliant,” the man at the bar said without turning around.
“Does the warden know that?” asked the third one.
If I remembered correctly, this generation of Van Helsings had four boys. Adam, the oldest, had passed away ten years ago. So that left Esais, Adrian, and Tres. The smirking boy had to be Tres he looked the youngest. Was Ader short for Adrian?
Ader chuckled. "The warden didn't have much of a say."
Esais, the tall one, pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He shook his head, letting out long sigh as he looked at his brothers.
"Honestly," he said. "First you end up in jail and now you’re breaking out. You haven’t changed.”
“You expected me to?” Adrian asked.
"Why are you here?” Esais asked.
“Same reason as you. Revenge.”
Tres crossed his arms. “Why do you even care? You were never around when we needed you.”
Adrian turned to face his brothers, causing both of them to gasp. A patch covered his right eye while the other stared hard at Tres. Esais reached out to touch Adrian’s arm but he pulled away.
“What happened?” Esais asked.
“Not important.” Adrian turned back to the bar. “Who were you told to meet?”
“A woman named Gabriella Di Luca.”
“Any idea what this woman looks like?”
Esais glanced in my direction with hesitation and opened his mouth.
I cleared my throat, raising my hand in a small wave. “Buna seara.”
Adrian and Tres turned their heads with near identical expressions of distrust. They didn’t expect someone to speak their native language here. I was a stranger invading their family circle.
"Who are you?" Adrian asked.
“Convenient.” The word dripped with sarcasm.
We didn’t have time for this. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. My gaze traveled to the table filled area further in the room. The hellhound’s wiry form had disappeared through a large door to the right. The atrocious singing wafted through there. This would be a perfect time to exit.
“We need to speak, but not here,” I said.
“We’re not going anywhere with you,”
“Ader,” Esais said.
Adrian looked back at his brother. “We have no proof she is who she claims to be.”
“He’s right. You could be a demon,” Tres said.
“Then you already revealed yourselves with your conversation,” I said. “Look, how much do you know of demons?”
“I’ve read several books on the subject,” Esais said. “That question doesn’t answer our doubts.”
“Do I fit the description you were given?”
Esais adjusted his glasses before nodding.
“Then, can we leave? I may not be one, but there is a demon here.”
Two turned their heads, their muscles tensing as they scanned the bar while Adrian kept his eye on me. The hellhound stepped back into the room and turned his head in my direction. His gaze locked on me and he began shoving his way through the crowded tables and chairs.
I stood. “Too late.”
First, I would like to thank the author Noree Cosper for giving me this book for an honest review. I really enjoyed reading this book. The story-line is great the plot is very well developed. The characters are well developed and are easy to relate to. The world building is good. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
View all my reviews
Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world.
She embraced her nerdom wholeheartedly.
Noree grew, but never left her love for fantasy and horror. Her dreams pushed her and her hand itched to write the visions she saw. So, with her fingers on the keys, she did what her heart had been telling her to do since childhood. She wrote.
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