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Book 1: Dalakis Passion
by N.J. Walters
From the first moment Johanna Harker read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, her life changed forever. The book unleashed an obsession with vampires that was all the more compelling for the intensely erotic dreams that filled her nights. It wasn’t long before she was consumed with thoughts of the dark creature who returned to ravish her in her dreams again and again.
Abandoning any hope of finding a flesh-and-blood man who can fulfill her, Johanna resigns herself to pouring all her energies into her demanding job by day and her enthralling fantasies by night. But when her job takes her to the fabled Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania to meet her company’s largest client, she’s suddenly overcome by the thrilling sensual promise of the secretive and demanding Cristofor Dalakis, the very man who’s been haunting her dreams.
But Cristofor, the enigmatic and formidable patriarch of the Dalakis family, is harboring a dark family secret and makes it clear he will use his every skill to seduce and possess Johanna. And as Johanna realizes that her every fantasy may come true, she also makes the haunting discovery that it may come at a terrible price.
This is a revised edition of a previous published book.
Excerpt from Harker's Journey
©2005 & 2017 N.J. Walters
Johanna smoothed her hair back and prayed she didn’t have dirt on her face. Her makeup bag, which contained her compact and lipstick, was sitting back on the dresser in her room at the inn. She’d forgotten to transfer it to her briefcase. She never carried a purse when she was working. Men easily accepted a briefcase, but a purse only served to remind them that she was a woman.
Satisfied that she’d done all she could to repair her appearance, Johanna took a deep breath and slowly released it. She picked up her bag, got a good grip on it and squared her shoulders. She was as ready as she’d ever be to meet her reclusive new client.
An impressive brass knocker in the shape of a wolf’s head was set in the middle of the door. It was larger than her hand and was both scary and beautiful. She reached out and ran her fingers over the wolf’s head before she lifted the sculpted door knocker and let it fall. It made a loud, metallic bang when it hit the brass plate beneath it.
Johanna took a step back and waited, and waited and waited.
When no one answered, she decided they probably hadn’t heard her. The place was huge, an actual castle. No telling where the staff was. She figured more drastic measures were called for and banged on the thick wood panel with her fist. Five minutes later, she was still banging, but now she was yelling as well. “Hello! Anyone home?”
Her nervousness increased at the sun sank lower in the sky and shadows crept across the courtyard. She did not want to have to try to find her way back to the inn after dark. There were wolves and bears and who knew what other kinds of animals in the woods. If someone didn’t answer soon, she was going to try to find another way in, even if she had to crawl through a window. She was getting desperate.
The sun was just disappearing behind the mountains when she finally heard the clicking of a set of locks being turned. “It’s about time,” she muttered with relief. Now that she knew someone was home, she could admit to herself just how scared she’d been at the thought of having to tromp through the countryside on her own after dark.
The huge door opened slowly, the metallic creaking of the hinges sounding like something out of a bad movie. The light was dim and she couldn’t see anyone there. She squinted and could make out a stone wall and an old wooden bench just inside the entryway, but she still didn’t see anyone.
This was getting ridiculous. Enough was enough. She boldly stepped over the threshold and recited her favorite lines from Stoker’s book as she did so. “‘Enter freely and of your own will! Come freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!’”
There was no one standing behind the door, and she still believed she was alone until a deep voice came out of the darkness. “Surely it’s not as bad as that? This is not Dracula’s castle, but Dalakis Castle. We are much more civilized here.”
Heat crept up her cheeks and Johanna decided that her only option was to brazen it out. Tilting her chin up, she summoned her most professional voice. “Johanna Harker from the Baxter Corporation to see Mr. Dalakis.”
Inwardly, she was thankful that it was only the butler, or whatever his title was, who had heard her. Hopefully, she’d have her papers signed and be out of here before Mr. Dalakis heard about her little opening speech.
“It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Cristofor Dalakis.” A tall, dark figure separated itself from the shadows and started toward her.
Johanna wished the floor would open up and swallow her whole. This was not only embarrassing but could also have a lasting impact on her career if Mr. Dalakis reported her less-than-professional behavior to her bosses.
She shifted her briefcase to her left hand and stuck out her right one, hoping to salvage the situation. “I’m sorry, Mr. Dalakis—” she began, but he interrupted her.
“Call me Cris.” The rich tone of his voice sent her senses reeling before his words registered in her brain. His heavy accent was very familiar. Her heart began to gallop and it got hard to breathe. She watched in growing horror as the man from her dreams coalesced in the light of the full moon flooding the entrance.
Her briefcase fell from her nerveless fingers and hit the floor with a heavy thud. Shaking her head, she tried to deny the evidence in front of her. It had to be a trick of the light. Her thoughts whirled and her brain frantically searched for a logical explanation as she watched him getting closer. Blinking, she tried to clear her fading vision, but it was no use. Her skin grew clammy and her stomach lurched.
He was real. It was her last thought before she felt darkness overtake her.
Book 2: Dalakis Passion
by N.J. Walters
For years Delight Deveraux suffered from a recurring nightmare of being savagely attacked and assaulted, until the night a mysterious stranger appears in her dream to rescue her. When the same scene plays itself out in real life just days later, with the same mesmerizing dream man coming to her rescue, Delight suddenly finds herself swirling in a haze of passion and confusion, between what’s real and what’s not. But Lucian Dalakis is real, and he intends not just to save her but to bind her to himself for all time.
Lucian is a creature of the dark and must endure the same curse as all Dalakis men: they love only once in their lives, and may search for all eternity without ever finding their mate. When Delight shows up unexpectedly in Lucian’s life, he knows immediately that he has found his one true love. But her life is still in danger from the same vicious attackers, and he will do everything in his power to protect her, even as he uses every one of his seductive powers to keep her close.
As Delight surrenders to the searing passion that erupts every time they’re together, she’s also torn by the fearful prospect of giving herself fully to a vampire—even as Lucian secretly knows that the one woman who could complete him and be his for all time also has the power to destroy him…
This is a revised edition of a previous published book.
Excerpt from Lucian's Delight
©2005 & 2017 N.J. Walters
The darkness seemed to part like a curtain and he was suddenly there in front of her, like some avenging angel bent on destruction. He had no wings—at least none she could see—but his eyes blazed like molten lava and pure menace radiated from every pore of his body. She glanced away, shaken by the intensity in his gaze.
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of the still body of one of her attackers. His sightless eyes were wide open, staring up at the night sky. Blood flowed from a wide slash in his neck, spilling down his throat to soak the ground around his head.
“Don’t look at them.” His softly spoken command made her flinch. This man was lethal in a way her assailants could never be. He wasn’t just powerful. He was power. He was judgment. And he was death.
Yet, his hands were gentle as he carefully turned her onto her back. She could feel him touching her, soothing her aching flesh. It took her a moment to realize he was dressing her, covering her naked body with her clothes. The reality of her ordeal began to sink in and she began to shake. The dark stranger sat down on the ground next to her and lifted her into his lap as easily as one would a child.
Biting her lip, she tried to hold back the tears that threatened. But then he stroked her bruised cheek with his fingers. Ever so softly, his lips grazed her wound. She was lost.
Huge sobs welled up inside her and spilled out of her mouth, the tortured sounds too loud in the quiet of the cemetery, but there was no stifling them. Her entire body shook as she released her fear and pain.
He wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her tighter into his embrace. Heat radiated from his massive body, and she snuggled close to him, needing his warmth and comfort. He said nothing, but his chest rumbled as he made low comforting sounds.
He made her feel safe in a world gone mad. She owed him her life. She had sent out a silent call in her moment of greatest need and he had come. Time had no meaning as she poured out her tears. When she was finally spent, she sniffed and scrubbed her hands over her face before finally raising it to look at her savior.
The moon chose that particular moment to come out from behind the clouds, illuminating his face. Long black hair fell around his shoulders in a silky curtain, framing a face that was harsh yet beautiful in its own way. His cheekbones were chiseled, his forehead high, and his lips thin. But it was his eyes that captured her. A brilliant emerald green, they were hard and cold as he looked out over the night, but the moment he sensed her gaze on him, they changed. Heat radiated from their depths, making him appear not quite so remote. Using his thumb, he brushed away the remains of her tears from her cheeks.
Something about this man called to her on a very deep physical and emotional level. Delight knew that she was still shaken after her ordeal and that the last thing she should want was a man’s hands on her. Not when the side of her face throbbed and she ached with pain from her attack.
But her body wasn’t listening to her. It was totally illogical, but this stranger made her feel protected, cherished, wanted.
Slowly, he lowered his head, giving her time to object, time to stop him if that was her intent. She did neither and his mouth covered hers in a gentle caress. He tasted and nibbled her lower lip and then her top one, taking care to not miss a spot. He took his time as if there was no hurry, as if he would be content to spend the rest of the night doing just this.
It was she who needed more. It was crazy, but she wanted him. His touch and caress would wipe out the stain of the men who had hurt her and make her feel whole again.
Her lips parted on a sigh and she raised her head toward him, offering him more. Delight felt his smile against her lips just before his tongue slipped inside. She moaned and opened her mouth to him.
His tongue tasted her, mapping out every contour and finding every crevice. Delight lay in his arms, completely unconcerned to be lost in a stranger’s arms, surrendering to the bliss he offered.
She knew she was using him to escape the reality of what had just happened to her. That was wrong, but she didn’t want to stop. Not when he made her feel safe and secure, like nothing or no one could harm her when he was with her. It was totally illogical, but there was no room for reason when he was kissing her.
Book 3: Dalakis Passion
by N.J. Walters
Laurel Rose McCaffey never minded being branded an outsider, even when it meant carving out a solitary life for herself in the wooded hills of North Carolina. Now resort developers want to take her land, and vicious locals who stand to benefit from the deal have begun making threats. When a dark stranger enters her life, first as a protector, then as a lover, Laurel Rose is both fascinated and frightened by his mysterious power and all-consuming sensuality. But as the threats escalate into outright violence and her world begins to spiral out of control, Laurel Rose turns to the only man she knows she can trust—Stefan Dalakis, a creature of the night.
Stefan has roamed the earth for centuries in search of his one true mate, and as he becomes ever more tormented by loneliness, his every impulse compels him to unleash the raging beast within. When he retreats to the countryside to avoid harming the human population, his travels take him to a small roadside bar in North Carolina, where an overheard conversation leads him directly to Laurel Rose—and a love so complete he will do anything to save her . . . and anything to possess her.
As Stefan finds blissful release from his anguish and Laurel Rose surrenders to her first sweet erotic taste of belonging and acceptance, they must still confront the danger that presses in from every side. And when their newfound happiness faces the ultimate peril, the two outcasts must form an unbreakable eternal bond and give themselves completely to the overwhelming passion and love that engulfs them.
This is a revised edition of a previous published book.
Excerpt from Stefan's Salvation
©2006 & 2017 N.J. Walters
The beast inside him rumbled to life. Every heartbeat in the room pounded in his ears. He could hear the whoosh of their blood pumping through their veins. The sensation was hypnotic. He licked his lips, almost tasting the tang in his mouth.
He was hungry and they were sustenance.
Closing his eyes, he willed the beast back into submission. It wasn’t easy. Sweat trickled down the back of his neck. As the nights seemed to grow longer, it had gotten harder and harder to even have the will to fight his very nature. It would be so easy to take what he wanted with no consequences.
Taking slow, steady breaths, he ignored his throbbing erection and centered himself until he was back in total control. He opened his eyes and carefully scanned the room again. Nothing had changed. No one here knew the battle that had just been fought and won. No one knew that their lives had just been spared.
The beer was cool and the bottle sweaty in his hand as he took a long pull. He welcomed the bitterness of the brew as it slid down his throat to his belly. It did nothing to still the hunger within him.
He knew he had to feed. His brothers usually drank blood they purchased from various blood banks through dummy companies. He didn’t mind living that way, but on the road there was no other way for him to survive except to eat straight from the source. Stefan was always very careful not to take too much and to implant a pleasant memory in the mind of the donor. They were no worse off when he left them, so it didn’t trouble his conscience any.
He raised the bottle and took another swig. That is, if he even still had a conscience. Some days he wasn’t sure.
His brothers would be appalled at how close he was to the edge, and it was that fact that constantly pulled him back from the point of no return. He walked a fine line between survival and insanity. His nights grew darker and bleaker as each one came and went.
He knew he could return to New Orleans. Lucian and his new wife, Delight, would happily include him in their lives. Or, for that matter, he could fly to his homeland of Transylvania and spend time with his eldest brother, Cristofor, and his wife, Johanna. He was truly happy his brothers had found the women who completed their lives and made them whole.
But it was for that very reason that he stayed away.
Watching the two couples and their obvious happiness had almost driven him out into the killing sunlight. Almost. Stefan was no coward and no quitter. But more than that, he would not do anything to hurt his brothers, who he loved more than his own life.
As the youngest of the three, Stefan had grown up being watched over by both Cristofor and Lucian. Even now, they still tried. But those days were long over. He was more than capable of taking care of himself.
His brothers, both extremely dangerous and powerful men, had grown lax over the last century, content with their lives as they were. He, on the other hand, had survived by pushing himself to his limits both physically and mentally, constantly testing his powers and learning more.
He’d wandered the world over the past few centuries and, for the most part, he’d enjoyed himself. He’d visited places most people would only see in pictures, if they saw them at all. He’d met people from all walks of life, constantly educating himself about the various cultures inhabiting the planet.
But no matter how much he saw, how much he did, he was still left with an ache in his heart and a yearning in his soul.
He didn’t know what had made him stop at this particular roadside bar. Maybe loneliness. He’d been on the road for several months now, traveling the countryside in his specially customized truck. After Lucian and Delight had married, he’d just had to get away.
He knew what had led him to North Carolina though. He felt a small but genuine smile cross his face. How could any vampire resist visiting a place called Transylvania County? The tall mountains and trees of the state reminded him of home and he had enjoyed several days there before moving on. But he hadn’t gone far. Just down the road really, a few counties north. For some unknown reason, he’d felt compelled to stop here.
So here he was, sitting in the corner of a dingy bar not really knowing how he’d gotten there. Maybe some hot, raw sex with the two blondes would lighten his mood. Maybe pounding his cock into their wet warmth would help him feel connected to another human being, if only for a brief moment. A quick glance assured him the two women were still interested. One of them caught his attention when she opened her mouth over the long neck of her beer bottle, letting her lips slide up and down its slender neck. His cock jerked. Oh, yeah, he could use some of that tonight.
Taking another mouthful of beer, he casually listened in on the conversations going on around him as he pondered whether he should try and find a motel close by for the night. Most of the chatter he tuned out immediately, not really interested in whose wife was cheating on whom or why someone thought their boss was a shithead.
“. . . gonna be a problem.”
Stefan’s head shot up as he focused intently on the speaker. His heart was pounding in his chest and he had no idea why. With all his attention centered on the two men talking in low whispers on the other side of the room, he listened.
“She just needs a little more encouragement is all.” The larger of the two men had long, shaggy brown hair and a bushy beard. He punctuated his words with a nod and a mouthful of beer.
“You think?” The smaller, skinnier one glanced around as he spoke. His leg bobbed in a nervous rhythm.
“Sure.” The big man nodded again. “Laurel Rose is a woman living on her own up in the hills. How hard can it be to scare her into moving?”
“I don’t know, Aaron.” He pushed his thinning, dirty-blond hair back from his face and swiped a hand across his chin as if thinking about what his friend had just said. “She don’t seem to be the type to scare easy.”
White teeth flashed through the bush of facial hair as Aaron smiled. “Don’t you worry, Clem. She’ll be ready to sign them papers and move by the end of the week.”
Clem nodded, obviously more than willing to believe every word the other man said.
Stefan sat frozen in his chair. He had no idea who this woman was and, furthermore, it was none of his business. But some primal instinct had kicked in at the mere mention of her name. Laurel Rose. He rolled it over in his mind, examining it from every angle. He whispered it under his breath. It was a good name, a solid name, and just saying it brought him more peace than anything else had in years.
His gaze narrowed, and he studied the two men as the hunter in him surged to life. He needed more information. But first he needed to appease his hunger in order to be at his peak strength. Leaving the bottle still half full on the table, he rose and strode out of the bar without looking back.
Once again, he felt all eyes on him as he blew back out into the night as swiftly and silently as he’d entered. Only this time, he sent out a mental command as he left. He walked around the side of the building and into the darkness. Leaning against the outside wall, he crossed his arms and waited for his company to arrive.