Pub. Date: March 2004
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Sheâ€™d once been a victim of cruelty to men. Now she was a vampire.
As lives went, both of hers had sucked. At least when it came to the opposite sex. So New York City vampire Samantha Turner vowed to spend her immortal life protecting the helpless and shielding herself from the violence of menâ€™s passions. Then she met NYPD detective Peter Daly.
His lust for life, for justice â€“ for her â€“ was a temptation she couldnâ€™t deny. It was enough to lure her out of the darkness and into his embrace, for a little while, enough to make her trust him when an old evil reemerged. But would it be enough when she at last revealed her true nature?
TEMPTATION CALLS is a fabulous supernatural police procedural romance starring a wonderful caring female and a likable intelligent detective. The story line works on two levels that merge together as Sam hides her vampire background while Peter follows the clues one at a time until he learns the truth. As she did with her two previous â€œcallsâ€ (see DANGER CALLS and DARKNESS CALLS), Caridad Pineiro will take a large bite out of the readersâ€™ sleep to finish this fine thriller in one sitting.-Harriet Klausner
This series may be in the Silhouette line, but it is anything but normal. “THE CALLING” is a vampire series unlike any I have read. In 3/04 the series began with “Darkness Calls”. Fans yelled for more. So in 6/05 “Danger Calls” was released. This story is the third in the series. Don’t worry, each book can easily stand alone. You have no need to read the previous novels to fully understand and appreciate this one. Yet I recommend that you do so. Characters from earlier books show up to assist the new characters. Author Caridad PiÃ±eiro writes engrossing novels of the darker side of life. Sometimes I wonder if the author writes in blood, because the story simply oozes with realism. I often forget that vampires are not real. This is an outstanding tale that I highly recommend to all.
-Huntress Book Reviews, Detra Fitch
This is a great read. Fast-paced and emotional, offering further insight into the authorâ€™s vampire world.
Spanish Harlem, 2004
As lives went, both of hers had sucked. Still, life went on and on and on, and everyday things still had to be dealt with.
Samantha Turner bore the weight of the heavy bags without complaint. They were filled with groceries for the women and children at her shelter — The Artemis Shelter. She’d struggled to be able to make it a reality and had finally succeeded a few years ago.
Now she was finally doing something positive with this life. The shelter was a resting place; a halfway house where women and their children could heal and find a way out of the abusive relationships in their lives. With her help, many families had already broken the cycle of violence which had cursed Samantha’s existence.
The local Gristedes would have delivered the groceries, but after being trapped indoors all day long, Samantha wanted to go out into the night air. Savor the activity of the city that never slept. Revel in its humanity and prepare for another day of battling its cruelty.
The bags pulled at her arms, not that she minded. Just another half a block and she’d be home. Back at the shelter.
She rounded the corner onto her block and noticed the group lingering on the stoop next to the shelter — a few youths from the neighborhood and two younger children. It was nearly midnight. Too late for them and their hip hop music blaring from the boom box on the railing.
Despite the distance and the dark, Samantha was able to identify who loitered on the stoop: Juan Williams, his little brother and sister, plus an assortment of kids from Juan’s self-made posse. Mrs. Williams worked the late shift at a nearby hospital and Juan was supposed to take care of things when she was gone.
He did anything but, Samantha thought as she quickened her pace so that she could get the younger Williams children inside and in bed where their mother expected them to be. It was the kind of thing they all did for one another in the neighborhood — watching out for each other to try and improve their daily lives.
In the years since Samantha had brought the Artemis Shelter to this part of New York, life had gotten better for this block and that sense of community had slowly spread to the adjacent blocks. Funny that her little point of light came from something darker than most could begin to imagine.
Samantha was halfway down the street when a car came sharply around the corner, tires squealing it car swerved for a moment before the driver could right it. The squeal was not enough to hide the other noises Samantha heard. The lock and load sound of a weapon. The voices urging on the shooter as he stuck himself halfway out the open window of the car as it traveled toward her and the youths on the stoop.
So many in harm’s way. Too many, she thought.
Samantha dropped the bags and in the brief span of a second made a difficult decision. Accelerating beyond human speed, she grabbed the two youngest children and carried them down the stairs to the shelter’s lower level. She shoved them into a far corner of the stairwell before returning to street level to help the others.
The loud pop-pop-pop of gunfire erupted in the night. Bullets flew, striking sparks where they hit brick and stone. Splattering blood and bits of human where they connected with flesh and bone.
The teenagers scurried to get away, their bodies jerking and thrashing about as they failed to avoid the line of fire.
As Samantha reached for one youth, a bullet tore into her upper back and another lower, into her side, the impact of the bullets nearly knocking her over. She kept on moving, carrying the teenager away from the stoop and to the stairwell while the shooter continued to fire.
Then as suddenly as it began, it stopped. The car peeled away with another angry squeal of its tires. Samantha heard the congratulations and rejoicing of its occupants. Anger rose up sharply within her. She left the children and teenager in the stairwell and raced after the car, intent on retribution, the animal within wanting vengeance.
As she neared the back of the car, the human side of her rose up. Instead of going for the throat of the nearest occupant, she memorized the faces of those responsible, and then dropped back and noted the car’s license plate number.
When the car whipped around the far corner, Samantha stopped chasing it. Others needed her. Even this far down the block, the smell of gun smoke and blood was strong. Too strong, Samantha thought, battling the urge threatening to overwhelm her.
She took a deep breath, began a slow walk back to the stoop. In the distance there was already the sound of a siren, fast approaching. It grated on her sensitive hearing and she reached up to cover her ears.
The familiar touch of his strong hand came against her shoulder. She turned.
“They can’t see you like that,” he said, motioning with his free hand to her face. “And you’re hurt.”
“I’ll be okay, Ricardo, but . . . Is there anything you can do for the others?” Samantha asked him and gestured down the block to where bodies littered the stoop and sidewalk.
Ricardo slipped off his jacket and draped it around her shoulders, revealing his naked chest and a low-slung pair of pajama bottoms. He’d clearly just run out of his place — a small botanica on the corner of her block — without bothering to change.
“I’m not sure — ”
“Someone has to see to them. I can’t go back right now,” Samantha said. There were too many things trapping her in her current state — her anger, the smell of blood and the pain from her injuries. She couldn’t afford to have her secret revealed to anyone else.
Ricardo nodded, reached into the pocket of his jacket and handed her the keys to his place. “Go and rest. I’ll do what I can.”
Samantha thanked him, and then quickly gave Ricardo a description of the occupants of the car and the license plate number. With his keys in hand, she fled to the safety of Ricardo’s botanica. Once inside, the smells of the various herbs, flowers and candles he kept there calmed her heightened senses. She moved slowly toward the back of the shop and the steps leading up to Ricardo’s living area.
She’d been there often. Many in the neighborhood suspected them of being lovers. None could have guessed the true nature of their relationship.
Samantha slipped off his jacket and draped it over the small sofa in the parlor before Ricardo’s bedroom. Slowly she walked to his bathroom to wash the blood off her hands and wondered how many had been killed. Guilt flooded her that she hadn’t been able to save more of them.
Gazing up at the mirror, she saw nothing. No guilt. No anguish. No image. She hadn’t seen one in over one hundred and forty one years.
She eased off her shirt, reached up and ran her hand over the burning spot high on her shoulder. There was but a half-closed hole left and beneath her fingers, there was the shifting of muscle as her body slowly expelled the bullet that had ripped into her flesh.
Further down, along her side, was a ragged exit wound where the bullet had passed completely through her. Here as well the bleeding had stopped and the wound was already beginning to knit.
It would take a little longer, but not much. The healing would leave her weak, however.
Samantha slipped her shirt back on and headed for Ricardo’s bedroom and the rocker he kept there so that she could rest. The rocker reminded her of her mother and how she’d sway Samantha to sleep as a child. She curled up on the rocker’s worn wooden seat, thinking whatever blood managed to escape her wounds would be easy to clean from the chair’s surface. Huddling tight, she rocked back and forth, and thought, “Maman, will it never end?”
Cover art: Copyright Â© 2005 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
From the book: TEMPTATION CALLS
By: Caridad Pineiro
Imprint and Series: Silhouette Intimate Moments
Publication Date: October 2005
Copyright Â© 2005
By: Caridad PiÃ±eiro Scordato
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The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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