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Blood Rites: Cora’s Choice 4

Filed in Vampire Romance by on November 24, 2014 0 Comments • views: 11811

Fourth Book of the Billionaire Vampire Serial

Blood-bonded to the billionaire vampire Dorian Thorne, Cora Shaw enters a world of unimaginable sensuality—and unimaginable danger. With the hold he has over her, he can exert absolute control over her body and mind, even to the point of erasing her completely.

And Dorian has already shown a willingness to use his power to force her to do his will.

Cora is determined to find a way out of her bond, no matter what the price. But even as she seeks an escape, she wonders if she can really let him go….


This series continues to amaze me. Just when I think the story is going to go one way V.M. Black does it again. I would definitely recommend this series if you love a great vampire story.

I thought that there would be no way for V.M. to add more fuel to the fires of passion between Dorian and Cora… I. WAS. WRONG. The ending was excellent and leaves you wanting more.


If you love vampire stories, you will definitely like this series. It keeps you guessing as to what will happen in the next book. Great story and very interesting characters. I love Alpha males and females with a little backbone, makes for a good story.


Flames of desire licked across my skin, following his mouth as it traced the neckline of my dress and swirling into my mind. I struggled against its influence, trying to keep a clear head. Maybe my surrender was inevitable, but I wouldn’t give up easily.

“This—this is just lust,” I said. “Chemicals. Like an animal in heat.”

He straightened, standing over me, and my hands tightened slightly, involuntarily on the fabric of his shirt.

“Your greatest poets would disagree,” he said. “Those who are supposed to be able to put words to the human condition with more skill than any.”

I shook my head even as one of his hands found the zipper of my dress and pulled it down, sending a shock of anticipation through me. “I don’t believe you.”

“‘Let not the marriage of true minds admit impediments,’” he recited as the stiff fabric of the dress’s bodice came away from my body. “‘Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.’”

He tugged at the gown, and it slid over my hips to puddle at my feet. His hands came to rest lightly on my waist, still encased in the heavy foundation garment.

“That’s not what those words mean,” I protested even as my body inclined toward his involuntarily. He was changing things around, just like he always did.

“Isn’t it?” Dorian stepped around, behind me. I stood with the dress billowing around my ankles, caught in the force of his darkness. My body felt stretched, tense, waiting for his next touch.

And then it came, and I gasped as his lips touched the nape of my neck, moving down across the prominence of my spine, smooth and cool against my skin. The heat in my center pooled low, where my legs joined. I leaned into him, closing my eyes, losing the edges of myself in the electric reaction.

He pulled away just far enough to speak, and I felt his breath against my skin.

“‘Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,’” he repeated softly, “‘or bends with the remover to remove.’”

I shivered at those words. No, nothing I could do seemed to be able to erase the way I reacted to Dorian, no matter how strongly I willed it. I knew I had to escape the terrible bond that held me—but I was afraid that if someone offered me the chance right then, when I was in his arms, I could do nothing but refuse.

And I was also afraid that I wanted more from him than what the words sex or even pleasure could encompass. When he touched me like that, I had a mad urge to immolate myself in him until I was utterly lost, so that I didn’t even know who or what I was anymore. And I was afraid that if I did—when I did—he might not put me back together again.

I felt his hands move to the laces of the corset, and I caught my breath as he untied them, anticipating the cool air. But instead, he put a hand between my shoulder blades and pulled.

The pressure against my ribs and waist increased so abruptly that the air was pushed from my lungs. He moved his hand to my hips and pulled again. I felt the open inch at the back of the foundation garment come closed, pressing on me so that I had to take shallow breaths from my chest.

“What are you doing?” I asked as he tied the laces off again.

He chuckled, a dark, rich sound that made my hair rise on the back of my neck. He pulled me back against his body, his mouth exploring the curve of my neck. “You will see,” he murmured as his lips skimmed my ear.

Dorian wrapped his arms around my waist, but I could hardly feel them through the pressure of the corset. Then his mouth found my collarbone, followed it, and my body trembled against his as he found its hollow. He kissed his way up the side of my neck to the sensitive place just behind my ear. My skin felt hot and flushed, his lips and tongue sending shivering reactions through me that left my legs loose and shaky.

He turned me in his arms, and my body melded to his, fitting so well that it frightened me. He caught my mouth, a light, brief kiss that left my lips tingling for more. My breath came fast against the stricture of the corset, and I let out a little sound as his mouth came down over mine again. The kiss was firmer but still too brief, a mere press of his lips to mine before it was gone. I ached between my thighs, and the satin lining of the corset rasped against my skin. My arms had wrapped around his body, holding him to me. I wanted him closer, closer still.…

He gave a sad, distant half-smile as he looked down at me, and at the sight of it, my heart squeezed in my chest.

“‘Love is an ever-fixed mark that looks upon tempests and is never shaken,’” he said, almost to himself. “‘It is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.’”

Worth unknown. Again the words meant almost too much. What was the meaning of what I felt? I would have labeled it lust, if I had been forced to give it any name at all, but that didn’t begin to cover it. What I wanted wasn’t just his body on mine. I wanted to erase those flashes of sadness, to melt his coldness, to fill the ancient emptiness within him with myself.

And a part of me wanted him not to admit that he didn’t love me—but to prove that he did.

That discovery froze me in place, struck with a bone-deep terror. I couldn’t want him, no matter what, because what he offered me was nothing but a beautiful prison. What he felt about me couldn’t possibly matter.

Could it? If I really thought that, why did I keep pushing him, asking him?

I don’t care, I told myself fiercely. I don’t. I won’t.

Then Dorian kissed me again, and the shock it sent rippling through me seemed to mock all my resolutions. I could taste him as he dipped shallowly between my lips, and I felt a sudden, half-panicked desperation for more, for everything, and I opened my mouth, begging him in.

But he pulled away, and I gave a tiny, involuntary whimper.

“Well, then,” he murmured, and again that chuckle, as dark and rich as his brandy-flavored mouth. This time, when his mouth met mine, it was everything I had been yearning for. He possessed me utterly, stroking my tongue, my mouth, moving with a slow rhythm that rocked my body, tying my brain and my hips and my lips and my center to him. And the strange desperation twisted into a kind of exulting fulfillment. Yes, this, this and more.…

The ache between my thighs deepened to a throb, and he caught me up against him as my legs gave way. Scooping me up, he carried me to the sofa.

His eyes were haunted as he set me down softly upon the leather. “‘Love alters not with Time’s brief hours and weeks, but bears it out—even to the edge of doom.’”

Whose doom? His, or mine?

Could it even matter?

He started to pull away, but I clung to his shirt.

“Don’t,” I said. Don’t leave.

He treated me to a lopsided smile that hurt my heart. “Have no fear, Cora. I’m not going anywhere.”

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About the Author ()

V. M. Black is the creator of Aethereal Bonds, the sensual urban fantasy world that takes vampires, weres, and faes to a place they've never been.

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