First the blurb:
Damsels and Donors
Book One: Men and Monsters
At thirty-three, interior designer Sofonisba Lind has given up the dream of finding Prince Charming. On a warm night in May, someone watches her from the shadows; a beautiful, sensual stranger who will plunge her into a fairy tale where monsters and men aren't all that they seem, and some damsels in distress don't want to be saved.
Sofie knows that Thad Beckham is hiding something, yet she has never felt more secure than while in his arms. She offers him her heart, but in a moment of passion, the terrifying secret is revealed, and Sofie must decide if her love for the man can overcome her fear of the darkness within him. He says that he is not a killer, and feeds only from donors: beautiful women who willingly give a few pints of their blood in return for the ecstasy of his bite. Thad insists he feels nothing for his donors, and calls them an unfortunate necessity, but can these moments of physical infidelity be forgiven? A compromise is reached, and it seems that her dreams have finally come true, but when her sister, Lex, is hopelessly ensnared in the world of immortals, Sofie's moral compass is shaken, the lines between good and evil are blurred, and she is left wondering if her happily-ever-after was just an illusion.
While Damsels and Donors is a witty account of two sisters teaching vampires about their world, it is also a modern-day fairy tale about jealousy and trust, love and loss, and how to find the strength to make the most difficult sacrifice of all.
He had been with Elsa the night before, and felt worn out. She gave him what he needed, but she expected a lot in return. This time, she had actually begged him to spend the night with her. Every time they were together he had to remind her that it wasn't a relationship. They were just two people getting what they wanted from each other. Maybe it was time to rotate her out of the lineup. He figured he'd check his options when he got back to Boston.
On his way to the car, something caught his eye. The square was still packed with people, but one person stood out: a woman with dark red hair, walking diagonally across the green. There was something about her; a magnetism he couldn't resist. The feeling was so alien that there was a dull ache in his chest which only intensified as she walked further away. He wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to take a picture to preserve the surreal experience. Pretending to read a text, he held his phone up and focused the camera. He would have been satisfied even if he only got a picture of her back, but a second before the shutter clicked, a breeze blew a few strands of her hair loose. She reached to push them from her face, turned and looked in his direction.
Fearing that she'd seen him staring, he ducked behind a newsstand. From there he watched her go into the new restaurant on the corner. The sign on the door said that dinner would be served at eight o'clock. He checked his watch: seven o'clock. Damn. Why was she going in so early? She must work at the restaurant or maybe she knew someone inside. In either case, he was going to have to wait an hour before going in after her. He saw a bookshop to his left. If he sat in the front window, he could watch the door and make sure she didn't leave.
He couldn't let her leave. So at ten past eight, he crossed the street and went into the restaurant. He spied her sitting at the bar in the back of the dining room. When her eyes met his and he heard her heart race, he took the chance.
Some sacrifices are easy: you give a dollar for the homeless man on the corner, you save the last cookie for your little brother, or you give a few hours of your time at an animal shelter. These things are done almost unconsciously. You give of yourself because you want to be a good person. But what happens if you must make a sacrifice that threatens your morality? If you knew in your soul that what you were about to do was wrong, would you still do it in order to make something else right?
Would you take the life of one person, if it meant saving countless others?
Would you take the life of someone you love, so you could be together forever?
Would you forgive physical infidelity, if no emotional infidelity was involved?
One year ago, if you had asked me those questions, I would have answered without a second thought.
But things have changed. I have changed. If you were to ask me those questions right now, I know what my answers would be.
And you would be horrified, scandalized…until I told you my story.
Let me tell you my story.