Allegiance by Susannah Sandlin
Series: Penton Vampire Legacy #4
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Thriller
To be Published: June 10, 2014 (Montlake Romance)
Purchased: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
The Blurb: From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the fourth book in the smart and steamy Penton Legacy series.
British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is an attraction to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.
Meanwhile, as a dangerous saboteur wreaks havoc in Penton, the ruthless Vampire Tribunal leader Matthias Ludlam has been freed on the eve of his scheduled execution. But by whom? And to what end? As war and chaos rage on, love is the last thing Cage is looking for, but will his attraction to Robin distract him from the danger living among them?
Mirren Kincaid was six feet, eight inches of muscle and bad attitude, and Cage would wager few had ever spoken to him the way the girl had. At least not and lived to tell about it.
Cage glanced at Nik, who was biting his lower lip and not doing a very good job of hiding his own amusement. “Is she always like this?”
Nik gave a slow shake of the head. “Negative. Not at all.” He paused. “Sometimes she’s worse.”
This time, Cage couldn’t stop the smile that spread across his face. “This is going to be fun, as long as we stay out of the way.”
“I can f**king hear you, Reynolds.” Mirren growled at Cage over his shoulder, but kept his eyes pinned on the girl. Woman, Cage should say, although she was so diminutive next to the Scottish behemoth it was hard not to see her as a waif. Probably accounted for her Mirren-like attitude. Short-man syndrome, so to speak.
Mirren’s hands balled into fists, and if the man had still been human, his face would have turned about six ugly shades of pissed off. Cage couldn’t see the big guy’s expression, but he’d bet those gray eyes had gone from thunderstorm to snowstorm.
“The colonel has lost his mind.” Mirren’s voice dropped about an octave. “What could you possibly do to help us here?”
She propped her hands on her hips, gave Mirren a slow, sultry once-over with more than a little come-hither in her expression, and lowered her voice—but not so low that Cage couldn’t hear.
“I can do things to you that are beyond your wildest dreams, vampire.”
“Uh-oh,” Nik muttered under his breath. “She’s gonna blow.”
If Cage hadn’t been afraid Mirren would turn his wrath on the nearest safe target—him, in other words—he would’ve explained to Nik that Mirren was showing uncharacteristic restraint, and if anyone was going to violently break the stalemate it would be the big guy.
“Little girl, I suggest you walk back into whatever hole in the woods you crawled out of.” Mirren’s voice dropped even lower and softer. Funny how, on some people, a soft voice was more menacing than a shout. “In the morning, the colonel can reassign you to a more fitting place. I don’t care what you turn into—squirrel, otter . . .” He gave her a head-to-toe once-over and waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “Chipmunk.”
Nik groaned and looked at the ground. “Oh, man.”
Ashton took a step toward Mirren, craning her neck again. “And where might that more fitting place be, Mirren Kincaid? Oh, don’t look surprised. I did my homework. Where is it you think I belong in this man’s army? On my back?”
Mirren shrugged. “Probably, but don’t spread your legs on my account, honey.”
The air around them crackled with tension, and even Cage thought Mirren had gone a step too far. He opened his mouth to suggest that Nik take Ashton far, far away for the evening and start fresh at dusk tomorrow, maybe with a referee. He froze at her expression, though. She was grinning, dark eyes alight with mirth and a look Cage recognized all too well. The undeniable, addictive power of the adrenaline rush. Ashton was having fun.
Clearly, the woman was insane. She was suicidal. She was . . . superb.
With a screech that would do a banshee proud, she ran at Mirren headfirst. If Cage hadn’t heard the man’s oof and been knocked off-balance himself when Mirren fell ass over teakettle, he’d have sworn he’d hallucinated the whole thing.
“Told ya,” mumbled Nik, who’d stepped out of the way with nimble speed.
A burst of pain erupted on Cage’s cheek, followed by the trickle of blood streaming toward his neck. Damn, but that little woman could throw a punch. Unfortunately, she was throwing them so hard and fast, she’d clocked him as well as Mirren.
Cage rolled out of the line of fire and took the outstretched hand Nik offered. “That woman is barking mad.” Cage rubbed his jaw, amazed that Mirren was fending off blows but not striking back.
About the Author
Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.
She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, was nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine. Absolution was the winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion in Paranormal Romance.
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