On Friday, April 13, Decadent Publishing released A Scent of Longing, a 1Night Stand story. It’s my fifth published erotic romance and my first paranormal. I’ll let the characters introduce themselves with a brief sketch:
Name: Lily Dansen
Occupation: Graphics designer. Has her own business.
Favorite article of clothing: Pink pajamas printed with white cartoon sheep
What she can never have: All the normal things, marriage, children.
Her biggest secret: She was turned into a vampire by a former lover. Hasn’t told her parents; only her best friend knows.
Why she agreed to a date arranged by 1Night Stand: Her friend signed her up, and transitory trysts are all that’s left for her.
What she’s adamant about: Won’t date vamps. They can’t be trusted.
In her own words: “I can’t date. I’m a vampire now. I’m also a terrible judge of character.”
Name: Luc Fortier
Age: Looks 35, in reality 376
Occupation: Antiques importer
Physical description: Dark hair, very light blue eyes that change color with his emotion
What he can never have: A mate. Who would have a man like him?
His biggest secret: He’s a Half-Breed, an abomination shunned by vampire society
Why he agreed to a date arranged by 1Night Stand: To help out Madame Eve and fulfill the vampire fantasies of her clients
What he’s adamant about: This date will be last. It’s too painful a reminder of what he’ll never have.
In his own words: “You know what I am now…I had hoped you could overlook my mixed race.”
A Scent of Longing blurb:
Lily Dansen refuses to date vampires. The last time she trusted a one, he turned her. She agrees to a date arranged by 1 NightStand, believing that a quick tryst is all that’s left for her.
A 376-year-old half-vampire, half human Luc Fortier can’t continue to satisfy the vampire fantasies of young ladies while his dreams go unfulfilled. He vows to bedazzle one last date before he calls it quits.
Neither Luc nor Lily expect more than an evening of passion, but they haven’t counted on Madame Eve’s superior matchmaking skills.
An Excerpt from A Scent of Longing
“Someone named Madame Evangeline emailed me to confirm my appointment.” Lily Dansen nailed her best friend with an accusing stare. “What did you get me into?”
Her feet curled under her on Lily’s sofa, Roxie Fairchild braved her scowl without a flinch. “It’s for your own good. You’ve moped around long enough. You need to live again.”
“Date, you mean.”
“Date. Have sex. Get wild and crazy. Anything!”
“No man will go out with me once he’s finds out what I am. What happens if I do to someone else what Phillip did to me? I couldn’t live with myself.” Bitterness etched Lily’s voice.
“You’re nothing like Phillip.” Her expression gentle, Roxie squeezed Lily’s hand. Her touch felt feverish, but Lily knew Roxie was fine; she was the afflicted one. “You have a long future, and you can’t spend it alone.”
Lily’s brunette curls bounced with the shake of her head. “I can’t date. I’m a vampire now.” The corners of her mouth drooped. “I’m also a terrible judge of character.”
“You’ve made some bad choices,” Roxie agreed.
“Married. Wanted for armed robbery. Vampire….” Lily ticked off the losers she’d had the misfortune of dating.
“That’s why Madame Evangeline’s 1Night Stand service—”
“—is a bad idea.”
“—is a good idea,” Roxie continued. “You can get your feet wet before you dive into the dating pool. An evening of hot sex with no strings attached will help you get your mojo back.”
Lily scrunched her nose up with distaste. “I don’t see how sleeping with a stranger will help me regain my confidence. And what if he has some horrible disease?”
Roxie chuckled. “A, that’s what condoms prevent. B, Madame Eve screens her candidates carefully. And, C, you’re a vampire now! You’re immune to everything, right?”
“That’s the only positive thing.” Lily hugged herself. The golden color she’d acquired basking on Santa Monica Beach had faded to pasty white, and she would never be able to tan again. If she so much as stepped into sunlight, she’d sizzle like a potato dropped into a deep fryer. And speaking of which, she couldn’t eat french fries anymore either. Or pizza. Or chocolate. But none of those things mattered.
Her throat constricted, and she swallowed. “I’ll never have children.” By turning her, Phillip, the rat vampire bastard, had stolen her chance of motherhood.
“I know, sweetie.” Roxie’s voice brimmed with sympathy. “And damn Phillip for that. But maybe, when you’re ready, you could adopt?”
“Who’d give a baby to a vampire?”
“How would they know?”
“There’d be home visits from a social worker or daytime meetings with an agency, which you know I can’t do!” She raised her hand to halt further painful discussion. “Please, can we talk about something else?”
“All right.” Roxie blinked and smothered a tiny yawn. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s not your fault.” She was out of sync with the world. The clock had struck midnight and her friend could hardly keep her eyes open, but Lily was wide awake. That pointed to another reason she couldn’t date—how could she explain her unavailability during the day?
“There’s no way Madame Evangeline could find a guy who would suit me.”
“She has a gift for connecting people. Besides, I know you. I filled out your online application with your likes, dislikes, and character traits.”
Annoyance warred with curiosity. Curiosity won. “What did you say about me?”