** Competition has ended. Congratulations Desitheblonde. Rosalie has/will be contacting you!**
Title: Know Thine Enemy
Author: Rosalie Stanton
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Noble Romance
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Warnings: Dubious consent, language, violence, dark themes
He’s a vampire with a story. She’s a woman with a past.
The second Ryker spots the girl with midnight hair, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye. She boasts the title of vampire hunter, but something’s off, something’s missing, and that something pulls him close…until backing off isn’t an option.
For years, Izzie has lived for the night, outrunning ghosts from home that seem to find her wherever she lands. Alongside her friend and mentor, who rescued her when she was at her lowest, she destroys creatures she once thought couldn’t exist. But Izzie doesn’t have what she needs to be her best, and doesn’t know if she ever will...or if the life she has is the one she wants.
When a shadow from Ryker’s former life surfaces to collect a forgotten debt, vampire and hunter are thrust together in a strange world of eroticism and servitude. They must trust each other if they mean to escape, but when trust turns into something more, the real enemy becomes harder and harder to pick out.
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/346/Know-Thine-Enemy
Ryker chuckled. "Dangerous words. Guess that you won't mind if I help myself."
"Knock your socks off."
He raised the glass in a toast before tossing back a healthy gulp. "Personally, I don't think you know what you're missing, but all's the more for the rest of us." He consumed the beer at a speed that seemed downright unnatural, then shoved the empty glass against Connor's chest. "I'll have another. And bring the lady an iced tea."
"The lady can order for herself," she said pointedly.
Ryker grinned, helping himself to the vacant seat across from her. "I'm sure she can."
"And I'm not staying."
She would have sounded at least partly convincing had she could budge an inch. The most she could hope was he wouldn't notice the lack of conviction behind her words.
"Shame," he said, plucking a cheese-drenched fry off her plate. "All this goes to waste."
"I didn't know you people ate real food."
He shrugged. "What you don't know about us people could sink the Titanic. Weren't you leaving, anyway?"
Izzie stared at him for a long beat before shaking her head. "What the hell is this?"
"I followed you."
"Yeah," she replied shortly. "I caught that part."
"Didn't tonight, though. Got the answer I needed."
"Ah huh." She eyed Connor, who had made his way back behind the bar and kept shooting them furtive glances. "Your friend, I take it?"
"You sniffed around his bar. It's bad for business."
"Bad for business?"
Ryker held out his hands like scales weighed against each other. "Demon hunter in a demon bar. You do the math."
A long breath rolled off her shoulders, any lingering thought of an early night abandoning her completely. "So you knew," she said. "What I was."
"Sorry to break it to you, but you're not exactly inconspicuous." He waved at her. "Connor had it figured the first night you popped in."
"Rang me up almost immediately. Said he either had a demon hunter or a groupie looking for a rush on his hands, and since you hide in corners and don't talk to anyone . . . ."
"Groupies are more upfront."
Izzie licked her lips. "Funny," she said. "All this time, I've operated under the assumption that I'm only visible when I wanna be."
"Most hunters are like that."
Ryker domed a brow. "Zack? This the fella you travel with?"
A rush of panic tore through her before she fell slack. If the vampire knew where she retreated at the end of the night, finding out about Wright and Berlie wasn't much of a stretch. She doubted he was a problem since he hadn't done much beyond lurk and annoy her. Still, sitting with the enemy, let alone disclosing information, was definitely on Wright's You-Will-Be-Killed-For lists. While they differed on many ideological points, she owed him her life and wouldn't disrespect her debt by over-sharing with someone she barely knew.
Someone Wright would kill on sight.
As though sensing her discomfort, Ryker flashed a grin. "Don't worry. It's not him I'm interested in."
"Great. My lucky day."
He ignored her. "Sure you won't have a drink?"
Izzie scrunched her nose and shook her head. "No thanks."
"I take it Connor decided I was all right, if he wants me fed."
"I told him you were all right," Ryker clarified. "And don't mind how he acted earlier. Connor's a different kinda guy. He doesn't put himself out there often, so you telling him 'no' really shook him up."
"This is his bread and butter. He doesn't know anything else. 'Cept those he keeps close, like me. And I vouched for you."
"Yeah, 'cause all it takes to get to know me is a few nights playing stalker."
"Cutie, you got nothing I haven't seen before."
"Aw, and I try so hard not to be like the other girls."
Ryker grinned. "You don't have to take it personally. We just wanted to make sure you wouldn't be a bother. Wouldn't be good for business if you started butchering the clientele. This here," he said, nodding at the cooling plate of grease between them, "was just Connor's way of saying he thinks you're all right."
"You should be."
Izzie crossed her arms and leaned forward. "And what's your take in all this?"
Ryker shrugged. "Got free spirits, which is always good. And you for company."
"My lucky day."
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/346/Know-Thine-Enemy
What is it about vampires?
What is it about vampires?
I was born a writer. From the moment I was able to hold a pen and notepad, I began doodling stories, creating characters, and fantasizing about worlds far away from here. As a child, I idolized R.L Stine before graduating to Stephen King, and spent about five years of my life attempting to perfect a horror novel that would do King proud. I fancied myself more a horror/suspense writer than anything else. When I was in the eighth grade, I submitted a short story entitled “Death” to a local literary magazine, never dreaming the story would be selected as first place winner in their fiction contest. While I did dabble in fantasy here and there, I never thought I’d shift focus entirely to romance, and despite their roots in the horror genre, my current love of vampires seemed even less likely.
However, alongside my fascination with the macabre, I was a hopeless romantic at heart, and my favorite stories involved strong men and independent women who resisted one another until resisting was no longer an option. I was also a sucker for unrequited love, and the even more tantalizing, love between mortal enemies. My favorite big and small-screen pairings were Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler and Han Solo and Princess Leia. For unrequited love, I was a huge fan of Oryy Main and Madeline Fabray LaMotte (from the 80s North and South miniseries), Ross and Rachel, but my favorite (to this day, even) remains Niles and Daphne from TV’s Frasier. It came as no surprise to me, then, that once I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I became a huge fan of Buffy and Angel’s epic love before meeting Spike (and subsequently, changing alliances).
I didn’t know it at the time, but with Buffy, I had discovered a trope I could watch, read, or write a thousand times without getting tired of it. Bad boys with a heart of gold. The pattern repeated itself after a friend sent me the first three installments of the Sookie Stackhouse Series. While I loved Bill, I rooted for Eric every step of the way. I started grabbing every vampire-themed paranormal romance I could find, savored them as a death-row inmate savors his last meal. Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katie Macalister, Christine Feehan, Amanda Ashley…I bought, read, and in some cases read again and again. Once I discovered paranormal romances with more erotic love scenes, I became even more addicted…and since I was a writer, I knew I wanted to pen my own.
For me, the answer to “What is it about vampires?” is a combination of several things. Vampires, traditionally, are dark and dangerous. Over the past few years, this descriptor has been expanded to include sexy, sensual, and tragic. All the makings of my favorite sort of hero with the added ingredients of forbidden or unrequited, the dangerous or taboo, sworn enemies or reluctant allies, and I am all over it.
I will admit, the part of me that swooned for Han Solo and Rhett Butler isn’t a huge fan of vampires like Angel or Louis. I’m more a Lestat kind of girl, with a few adjustments. I want my vampires cocky, but not without that part that melts when they realize they’re in love, and that’s the sort of vampire I’ve written in Know Thine Enemy. My hero, Ryker, isn’t the type to waste time brooding. He recognizes mistakes he made, relishes his nature, which renders him happily blindsided when he finds himself presented a girl who doesn’t fit the norm. Every word from that point, even the dark and twisted path I lead him on, is another example of my kind of romance. Dark and hot, spiced with the forbidden, but met with two strong forces who respect and, moreover, complement each other. Romance writers, in my experience, write heroes they could fall in love with; for me, Ryker is no exception.
So for my fellow lovers of the sexy undead, what is it about vampires? Are you like me—do you fall for the smooth talking, somewhat ego-driven, dangerous wiseass who would do anything for the woman he loves? Do you prefer an element of tragic brooding? Or is it a combination? Please feel free to share. I’m all ears.
EM: Rosalie is so kindly giving a copy of "Know Thine Enemy" away. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment - including your email - and on Friday 28th Oct at 6pm eastern time, she will use random.org to help her pick a winner!