What could be more pathetic than a vampire trapped on a tropical island? Jareth Hale despises everything about his exile to Samaná from the tourists’ necks slathered in sunscreen to the blaring sun overhead. His plan to flee back to his old vampire castle is upended when he meets Laiken, a sun-kissed beach himbo.
Sweeter than spun sugar, more earnest than an Oscar Wilde play, and hotter than Adonis in a Jacuzzi, Laiken is perfect save one reason. He is a vampire hunter—possibly. Jareth isn’t certain. Despite his vampire leader and ex telling him to stay away, Jareth believes flushing out this nest of hunters will earn him back his castle. And, if it keeps him in the orbit of the adorable, golden-skinned Laiken, then all the better.
Unbeknownst to him, Laiken is hiding a secret that will change everything in Jareth’s undeath. Solitude was all Jareth believed he wanted, but Laiken’s opening his eyes to a new world. Can an old vampire change in time to catch this impossible love?
Coming July 2022
“I absolutely loved this book! It has to be one of the sweetest romances I have ever read.” —Diana G ✭✭✭✭✭
“The book was hilarious! I would recommend the book to those who enjoy fun and paranormal reading and don’t shy away from LGBT theme.” —Anna S ✭✭✭✭✭
“Adorably funny and sweet! Grumpy but lonely vampire is bowled over by a cute beach boy. Not what you would expect, but so much more. Big hugs for this wonderful romance! Loved it so much!” —Marianne ✭✭✭✭✭
“One surprise after another. The author has penned a really sweet, warm-and-fuzzy story of rom-com love. This is a delightful story that deserves its own series.’’ —Bob Jackson ✭✭✭✭✭
“Lake’s being humble. The dumbass actually spoke to the cannibal ghost.”
His name was truly Lake? The laziness of parents in this century. I twisted my tiny bat head as if I had the audience instead of the beach man.
He picked up a long glass shaped like a flamingo and used the beak to scratch his head. “I did?”
Of course he wouldn’t remember me. What was there to remember? Aside from the screeching, the long white robes, and the fact the rest of the beach believed me to be a cannibal. Which, in spite of the alcoholic content of their blood, was surprisingly close to the truth. Perhaps it would be in my best interest to drink from these fools before they spread their falsehoods further.
“Wait, do you mean the guy at the beach where I found my shell?” Lake asked, cupping his necklace to inspect it closer.
“Only Lake could miss the serial killer for a bit of beach trash.”
He lay the shell flat to his chest, a challenging feat given the terrain of his muscles. “I think they’re pretty and the beach is full of them—like little gifts from Poseidon to remind everyone where the sea is.”
The others all chuckled at his response, but I crawled higher up the branch. It caused my body to bend lower, the palm tree sweeping in the breeze while I stared in wonder at this lively man. Idiotic name aside, I couldn’t look in any other direction. He sat as if pleased, feeling not the stickiness of the humidity nor the stench of alcohol both entering and leaving the body. As if the world was his oyster, yet he didn’t care about the pearl or even opening it. He only needed the pretty shell to be happy.
An unexplainable urge overcame me to roll around in his cascades of hair. To feel his thumbs gently brush down the fur of the bat’s stomach as he held me safe. I inched closer to him, the bounce of the branch flinging me about like the flag of a contested castle.
“Lake.” One of the women held out her hands. “Come dance with me.”
“Okay.” His smile chased away the pain of him dancing with anyone else. “Oh, let me finish this first.” He half stood and reached for his flamingo drink. Tipping it back, most of the pink liquid fell into his wide mouth, but a single drop slipped down the front of his throat. I traced its path bumping over the muscles before landing right beside his pulsing jugular.
I ached to puncture my fangs astride that pink stain, to draw my tongue down the fruity trail and feel him melt in my arms. To knot his hair in my hands and pull his head back until his lips gleamed up at me and…
The tiny bat legs grew to man-sized and the wings transformed into useless arms thanks to my wandering mind. My claws sunk into toes and I lost my grip to the branch. Before I could think, I fell face-first toward the sand. “Shii—” I shouted before hitting the beach.
A loud whoomph shattered the night air as the rest of my body tumbled onto my back leaving me staring up at the stars. The pain was negligible to the burning shame washing over me. I hadn’t lost control of my bat form in nearly two hundred years. That only happened to very young and inexperienced vampires. What was wrong with me?
“Are you okay?”
A dangerously handsome face with a dribble of pink juice down his intoxicating neck filled my vision. I flailed. There was no better way to describe my limbs wafting about the sand as if I could swim my way to my feet. Sand erupted from my panic, dousing my clothing and tossing the grains down my backside. All my exertion did was dig me deeper into the ground. I was forced to stare in unending embarrassment at the bemused turquoise eyes.
“Hi,” he said and extended a hand.
Don’t take it.
I knew my mouth was open because sand fell into it from my shaking hair. But I couldn’t think or breathe—the latter of which mattered little as I was already dead. He leaned over, wrapped his fingers around mine, slipped his thumb over the back of my hand, and held tight. With ease, he pulled me off the sand and rested his other hand on my shoulder.
“Did you hit your head?”
He pointed to his own as if I could stare at anything else. Devil take me, but up close the man was heartbreakingly beautiful. Every feature on his perfect visage was set to induce a smile. His eyes crinkled at the side, his cheeks bulged atop his dramatic cheekbones. And his lips—even as they pursed in concern at my idiocy—were juicier with temptation than Eve’s apple. I felt my own tugging at the sight of them.
He thinks you’re an imbecile. “Yeah…yes,” I coughed out, my voice pitched high and squeaky. Coughing once more, I managed a more menacing. “Yes. I can speak.”
“That’s great!” he thundered and slapped me on the shoulder. I could have withstood the blow if my legs weren’t buckling from his presence. His touch sent me tumbling closer to him, my arm brushing against his and—for a brief second—my elbow bounced against his naked chest.
“Jareth! My name is Jareth Hale…Lord.”
“I’m Laiken,” he announced. I nearly exhaled in jubilation that his given name was not Lake.
“Hey, everyone!” Laiken shouted as he spun me to face his unimpressed friends. The woman in a sarong narrowed her eyes in a predatory threat due to how closely Laiken stood beside me. “This is Jareth Hale Lord!”
“Er, it’s Hale, not Lord. My title is Lord, my surname is…never mind. It doesn’t matter.” Why did I tell him that?
“What were you doing up that tree?” the man who’d called me a beekeeper asked. Visions of him drained on the rocks with a hand slapped to his bleeding neck flared through my mind, but I fought against baring my fangs.
“I was…” Looking up at the tree from where I fell, I fought through the brain fog to find an answer. “Coconut.”
“You were coconut?” the man asked.
“I was looking for a coconut.”
“Why?” Laiken asked so sincerely I almost told him the truth.
“Because…I need a coconut? Can’t do better than freshly squeezed?” What blather was erupting from my mouth and how did I stop it? Laiken didn’t seem bothered. If anything, he peered closer at the palm tree that bore no coconuts as if planning to fetch me one.
“Hey, genius. You don’t fucking squeeze coconuts.”
Maybe you don’t, mortal, but I could pop your skull like one with my bare hands.
“What were you going to do with the coconut once you got it?” Laiken beamed the full power of his calm ocean eyes on me and my pathetic lying ran dry.
From the depths of my squealing brain, a single word rose and erupted from my lips. “Party?” Everyone stared anew at that. “I intend to host a party, and it’s not a proper jubilation without a coconut.”
Laiken laughed and the whole world brightened. “Sounds like a great time.”
“I’m bored of this. Let’s go dance.” The woman grabbed both of Laiken’s hands and tugged him away. He kept twisting his head around to find me even as he shuffled with her. This was a chance encounter. I’d never see him again if I didn’t do something. I felt it in my heart.
“You can come!” I shouted to him, and the rest of the group by proxy. “If you’d like. Tomorrow… night. After the sun sets, most certainly when it’s dark. At the blue house by the shore.”
What are you doing?
That’s what I’m doing.