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BLOOD CALLS

BLOOD CALLSBlood Calls
ISBN: 0373617631
Publisher: Silhouette Nocturne
Pub. Date: May 2007

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Diego Rivera lost his life during the Spanish Inquisition, but when he is saved by becoming a vampire, he swears to become a better man. Ramona Escobar is a promising young artist who is struggling with a mother with Alzheimer’s and a disease that is slowly robbing Ramona of life. Ramona unwittingly becomes involved in an art fraud and when her life is threatened, handsome art gallery owner Diego Rivera comes to her aid. Attraction will flare to life between the two, but both Diego and Ramona are hiding secrets. When Diego reveals his true face to Ramona, she reveals the truth of her existence – that she may soon die. Will love help Diego find a way to deal with Ramona’s betrayal and his own secrets, or is it the call of her blood that is tempting him to put the bite on her?

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REVIEWS

5 Angels from Fallen Angel Reviews: “Having read Death Calls, Devotion Calls, and Blood Calls one after the other, I am impressed with how original each book is even though they share characters at times. Caridad Piñeiro has done a wonderful job, once again, developing believable characters in believable circumstances with unbelievable characteristics. She has allowed the reader to suspend belief and delve into her world time and time again only to see new nuances each time they visit. I am hooked. Thank you for hours of amazing reading.”

5 Stars from HUNTRESS REVIEWS — Reviewed by Detra Fitch : Author Caridad Piñeiro pumps so much life into all her characters that I almost believe they are real. Special Agent Diana Reyes, and her vampire lover, Ryder, are secondary characters in this Nocturne episode. (If you have not read their story, titled DEATH CALLS, you will still have no trouble with this book. Other secondary characters had their story told in previous titles too.) The main characters of this story, Diego and Ramona, are a perfect match for each other. I never felt the need to hit one of them on their head because of any sort of stupidity. They are both intelligent and realistic people, while also cautious when it comes to their hearts. Creating characters that I can actually care for is a special talent in authors, and therefore, I cannot recommend this title highly enough.

4 stars, Just Erotic Romance Reviews: “In addition to being an imaginative writer, Ms. Pineiro is a daring one as well. She has created an unusual heroine in Ramona by giving her artistic passion and an ailing body that cannot keep up with her larger than life goals. Diego is a very complex character to like. The constant battle between his human and vampire self is intriguing to read. . . There is a depth in every character within this dark, steamy world struggling to keep a balance between humanity and the blood craving clan. Although it has loads of action and beautifully written scenarios, the storyline doesn’t overload the senses while the reader is engrossed deeply in imagining everything.”

Alternative Worlds: “The vampire romance novels of Caridad Pineiro’s “The Calling” Series are tastefully erotic, very action oriented and character driven. In BLOOD CALLS, number six in the series, the protagonists are afraid to love for very different reasons. Ramona, knowing time is short, is determined to live life to the fullest and meet the goal of seeing her mother cared for in a nursing home for the for the rest of her natural life. Readers will like Ramona but adore Diego whose mixed emotions make him a believable character.”

5 Stars from Singletitles.com: “BLOOD CALLS is an astounding mix of passionate emotions with the paranormal, resulting in a mesmerizing story of eternal love. . .The romance between Diego and Ramona is beautifully expressed, where their every thought and deed are significant in the outcome of their relationship. With the threat of danger escalating throughout the story, there is no way to put this book down until the final word is read. A gripping and satisfying story, BLOOD CALLS will pull readers into this alluring vampire world.”

Romance Reviews Today:: “Passion, betrayal, and love take center stage in BLOOD CALLS, and the romance between Diego and Ramona is a dance that is as old as time and one reader’s are sure to enjoy.”

EXCERPT

Prologue
1491, Galicia, Spain

The thought of slowly strangling the life from his wife made the flogging almost bearable for Diego Rivera.

As each lash stripped another bit of skin from his back, he imagined his hands encircling her throat. Tightening. Watching her eyes bulge as he exerted pressure and heard the beginning crack of cartilage beneath his fingers.

The pleasure of his near delirium daydream evaporated as one particularly sadistic blow penetrated his defenses and his body jerked spasmodically.

“Madre de dios,” he gasped as fire erupted down the middle of his shoulders. Beside the heat of the whip as it tore into his flesh, Diego sensed a warmth that could only be blood trickling down his back in various spots.

“Confess your sins, converso. It will go easier if you tell us the truth,” the Inquisitor urged from his spot a few feet away. Beside him sat a physician whose job it was to make sure the heretic wasn’t too far gone to confess.

This business of saving lives wasn’t supposed to kill anyone, Diego thought cynically and laughed out loud.

The sound bounced off the stone walls of the room, shocking his torturers, who looked at him as if he was crazy. Maybe he was, Diego thought, as he heard the eerie echo of his laughter, sounding much too much like that of a madman.

As the physician rose from the chair and walked toward him, it occurred to him that they would stop the punishment now and wait for him to be more lucid. That was the way it had been for weeks now. Maim and wait. Repeat.

It was the way it would be today.

The physician examined him and deciding that he was too far gone to elicit a true confession, jerked his head toward Diego. The two guards positioned behind the Inquisitor quickly undid the shackles that had been cutting into his wrists.

Released from his bondage, Diego slumped and would have fallen to the ground if not for the intervention of the guards, who dragged him from the chamber and into the small cell that had held him prisoner for nearly a month now.

They tossed him inside unceremoniously. He landed roughly on the stone floor, his head smacking into the cobblestones since his arms were too feeble to break his fall.

What was one more bruise? he thought as the chilly humidity of the cell quickly registered against skin damp with sickly sweat. In reaction, he shivered violently, which only brought renewed pain to his mangled back and sore arms. He tried to quell the chatter of his teeth and swore he would get vengeance on those who had betrayed him.

He didn’t know how long it had been before the slight scuffle of a shoe on the stone floor drew his attention.

“Esperanza?” He glanced upward and smiled as the familiar face of the plain servant girl from his home crept into his vision. Esperanza had been sneaking in to care for him.

“Don Diego, I’m so sorry,” she said and then even greater agony erupted along his back as Esperanza dabbed at it with a moist cloth.

At his groan, she explained, “This will help keep it from getting infected.”

Diego knew she meant well, but keeping him alive would only benefit the Inquisitor. He gently laid a hand on her thigh as she kneeled beside him. “You are a good girl, Esperanza.”

A slight gasp came from her, confusing him. In the vibrant brown of her eyes, however, he finally realized why she risked her life to help — she was in love with him. In a way, he cared for her as well.

Diego had barely noticed her the entire time that she labored in his home. He had been too busy whoring with so many other more beautiful women, including his own bitch of a wife. His infidelities had been the reason that his wife had lied about him and turned him over to the Inquisitor. Backing her claims that he was a relapsed converso was a lower nobleman who coveted Diego’s properties and wife.

Dios help the poor man when he discovered the real nature of the harridan Diego had married.

A woman nothing like kind and gentle Esperanza, he thought and passed his hand over her cheek. The skin was soft and smooth, remarkably creamy in color which contrasted rather nicely with the deep auburn color of her hair.

“Do not come again, little one. I am not worth your life,” he said and in truth, he meant it. He had not been a good man up until now. Selfish and materialistic, it had taken this unfortunate encounter with the Inquisitor to make him realize that he needed to change. That he needed to be a better man.

“Don Diego — ”

“Promise me you will stay away.” As tears filled her eyes and spilled over, he whispered, “I will never forget you.”

She kissed his cheek, then rose and rushed from his cell.

He didn’t expect the loneliness that followed her departure — a greater torture than any the Inquisitor could visit on him.

A loneliness that had been with him for most of his life, he had realized in the weeks of numbing pain and solitary confinement within this small cell.

He vowed that if he survived, he would strive to change that. Strive to do good.

God had to have visited the Inquisitor’s insanity on him for a reason and he wasn’t about to question why he had been called.

He just intended to answer when the time was right.