All vampires were once human.
Who says they can't be again?
Carrying invisible wounds from a tragic childhood, Hannah Jacobs doesn't allow herself to fall in love—until she meets John Trott. Sexy as hell, charming, and sensitive, she immediately finds herself drawn to him and, within days, giving him her heart. Twice broken, John effortlessly makes her heart whole again, except Hannah's buried fear threatens to shatter it once more as dangerous circumstances reveal dark secrets.
One is a vampire and the other a vampire hunter, making a relationship impossible as they’ve been labeled natural enemies throughout history. A witch's journal, however, tells a much different tale. Centuries old it holds a dark and troubled past with a cure and prophecy, giving Hannah and John a future.
But, it's one they'll never see…
if she has a shattered heart.
Excerpt: John's Perspective
I looked back and forth from Hannah to Stephen, not knowing which would answer my question. "In return for cooperation, you provide them a better life. And by converting them to animal or bagged blood, you take away the threat they pose to the human population. It sounds brilliant, but what happens to them once they leave here? With two beds to a room, it's obvious they don't reside here indefinitely. No vampire would want to."
Immediately Hannah glanced at Stephen as if to get permission to answer. With a proud smile she replied, "And they don't. The Council thought to really make this work there needed to be follow through. Every major city has a rehabilitation service center, each one being overseen by the nearest Council headquarters. Once transitioned vampires leave here, they are sent to see Jayne and a few others at the New York center to get assimilated back into the community."
"Your Jayne?” I instantly questioned, surprised she mentioned her. “She knows about all this?"
"She's been my best friend since birth, John. Jayne was the one I turned to through everything. She was the one I called to pick me up at the cemetery ten years ago. One look at my father and she became a believer, no questions asked. Ever since, Jayne has stayed glued to me. I don’t know if it's out of fear of losing me the same way or to help find who killed him.
Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?
Hannah: A time spell.
Therapist: Time can be a tricky thing to mess with. Does this request have to do with your parents' deaths—or John?
Hannah: John. Wait—you know about him?
Therapist: Deputy Director Julius Hanson informed me of your new beau. He's a little worried.
Hannah: Is he now? I guess that's what I get when my boss is not only my partner's uncle but also my surrogate father.
Therapist: Are you saying he shouldn't be?
Hannah: Yes, I am. John would never hurt me.
Therapist: You say that with such conviction for someone who's never made it past a third date. What made you open your heart to him?
Hannah: Honestly, I don't know. When we met I unintentionally told him about my parents' deaths after he disclosed his own sad history, and instead of politely running away, he chose to stay. He stared at me with pained eyes as if he felt my own, danced with me, and kissed me twice like his lips were meant only for me. Later that night, as I described my encounter with him to Jayne, I knew in my heart I was falling for him. I'd like to say it was because of a subconscious need to be loved after pushing it away for so long, but I can't. We love each other after one chance meeting, and other than saying it was meant to be, I can't explain why.
Therapist: Can you tell me why you keep it open for him then?
Hannah: Because he makes me whole, and that is something I haven't felt in a long time.
Therapist: Jayne is your best friend since birth and fellow Council employee. How does she feel about John?
Hannah: She loves him. At first she was worried because of my inexperience with relationships, but then she met him and saw how deeply he cares for me.
Therapist: Do you plan on telling John about the Council and about the work you do for it?
Hannah: I don't know. Some days I want to and others I don't. If I do, I put him in danger for knowing; if I don't, he's safe but then I'm lying to him. And then there's the possibility he won't believe me or accept that death isn't the only option for handling vampires. That they aren't all dangerous. and underneath the stereotype, they are diseased humans who deserve to be cured.
Therapist: Well, I personally think you should be honest with him. I've seen many agents struggle with lying to their loved ones, and it never ends well. Then again, the time spell gives you a third option, so why do you want it? To go forward in time so you can be with him, go back in time a few days and tell him the truth before your mission tomorrow, or go even further back and change things so you never meet him and therefore don't have to choose between lying and honesty?
Hannah: Go forward but not tell John yet. I'm not ready for that, but I do want to be with him, badly. It's to the point where I'm afraid if I can't suppress my feelings for him I might compromise my team.
Therapist: And there it is.
Hannah: Excuse me?
Therapist: You don't want the spell so you can be with John sooner; you want it because you are torn between love and duty.
Hannah: I'm afraid you're wrong. I love John so much it hurts, but I would never waver from my duty to the Council. I am everything it stands for. I merely miss my boyfriend and want to get home to him sooner.
Therapist: You're right. You and the Council are one and the same…and that's why I will not give you the spell. Instead if you find yourself thinking of only John tomorrow when you should be concentrated on the mission, I advise you talk to Chris. She may be a declared single woman until vampires are cured, but because of that, she feels more than any of us do and should be able to help you control your feelings.
Hannah: Because she wants love but is denying herself of it.
Hannah: Alright. If I can't concentrate tomorrow, I'll make myself talk to her.
Therapist: Good. Well, our time is up and you have a mission to finish prepping for. I will see you the day before your next assignment—and I hope you will have told John by then.
Hannah: We'll see. Goodbye Glenda.
Therapist: Wow. Julius was right. She's got it bad—and for a vampire no less.
Winner of Reviewer's Choice Award Best New Adult Novel and Golden Quill Semi-finalist, Alyse is a full time X-ray technologist when she's not writing. She lives in rural Wisconsin with her farmer husband, their crazy but wonderful children, and their mischievous black lab. They make her life constant chaos, but she uses it as inspiration and jots down notes whenever she can.
She loves to read history, crime, and paranormal romance genres but honestly if it has an intriguing storyline then genre doesn’t matter. When it comes to her writing, however, she can’t seem to get vampires and the paranormal out of her head. Maybe one day she'll branch out, but for now she'll just keep putting parts of herself into the stories to create a unique and unforgettable read.