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Erica Warren, a modern day pagan, gets twitchy when Aphrodite asks her to do something but won’t tell her what it is. Then she meets Cal Vasco, a gorgeous Dom who whispers promises of pleasure and pain guaranteed to seduce a masochist like Erica. If he’s what Aphrodite has in mind, she's happy to play along.
But Cal isn’t what he seems. The son of an ancient war god, he and his brothers pissed off Aphrodite thousands of years ago, and she’s been teaching them a lesson ever since. A night of passion between Cal and Erica ends with a curse from the Goddess: they are now madly in love whether they like it or not.
As a mercenary, Cal hates the Goddess for hanging the albatross of love around his neck. He doesn’t want to feel tenderness and need for Erica, especially when she insists on getting involved in the dangers of his profession. But Erica is determined to be more than a puppy who follows him around.
Enter Cal’s half-brother, Pete. He has reconciled himself to Aphrodite’s curse and is more than willing to help Erica, but how can he when he’s also falling in love with her?
If she could only stop running, she could start living…
With a million-dollar bounty on her head, Angie Clark has been hiding under the noses of her enemies for nearly a decade. But trying to prevent a war between humans and vampires has landed her in trouble—again. A vampire monarch bent on revenge has taken out a new contract on her, and Angie knows that if she’s caught, her enemies will torture her until she begs for death. Mired in violence and death, keeping her secrets becomes more important than ever. And as her life unravels bit by bit, she fears she’ll have to leave behind everyone and everything that matters to her and run.
But when Steffen Scott puts his life on the line in order to protect her, she can no longer deny her feelings for him. As the threat of war looms over humanity once again, it could mean the annihilation of both species, and Angie must decide whether to keep running or to turn and fight. And maybe find out what she and Steffen could become.
Professional victim. Escaped slave. Grad student. Angie Clark is all three.
Angie Clark began life as Sarah Miller, an innocent girl deceived and enslaved by vampires. Her escape from torture and captivity set off a political firestorm among the vampires of North America, and in order to survive she took on a new identity. Now Angie leads a double life. By day she is a grad student obsessed with arcaneology—the study of supernatural species. At night, she is Angeline Devereaux, a woman who specializes in fulfilling vampires’ fantasies. She has everything under control until Steffen Scott, Lord of the Puget Sound vampire Province, makes an unusual request: he wants to fall in love.
It’s the ultimate challenge, and Angie can’t resist. But Steffen turns out to be the least of her worries when Angie puts her life on the line to prevent a war between humans and vampires. Fantasy and reality become blurred when she turns to Steffen for comfort and discovers that while he was falling in love with her, she was developing feelings of her own. Now she must decide how to deal with emotions she fears even more than death.
This is the first in a series that should be read in order. Book two is titled Secret Studies, Arcaneology #2.