Second Book in the Second Hit Vampire Serial
Bound to the Billionaire Vampire
Cora Shaw was bonded twice to the billionaire vampire Dorian Thorne, once through blood and again through her promise to marry him. She knew that her life with him could never be easy. But the dangers that lurk in their bond—the incredible power it gives him over her and the recklessness that it stirs in her—are only a start of the peril that they face.
With their enemies drawing ever closer, will Cora ever be safe again?
This serial is one of the best I have read. The world itself is fresh and the characters and the interaction overwhelming. The cliffhanger in this one is, well, perfect.
Is there another Dorian out there somewhere? This is the second book in the second series and it just keeps getting hotter and hotter between Dorian and Cora. The Chemistry is amazing! Vicki, you are my favorite author and you keep raising the bar.
I so love this next avenue of Cora and Dorian’s lives. You get to see Cora come more into herself and realize the love and bond she has with Dorian. This is a MUST read series. It won’t let you down.
Riding. We were going to go horseback riding.
I definitely wasn’t expecting that.
She called a cheerful greeting, and I forced a smile and waved back.
Dorian chuckled. “Trust Paquita to demand that Raymond arrive an hour early when horses are involved.”
“Oh, I am so not dressed for this,” I said, stopping as I looked through the open stable doors to see a similarly dressed clutch of people.
“Have some faith. The staff has already made arrangements,” Dorian said.
As if summoned by his comment, a uniformed staff member appeared. “Sir, madam, this way.”
He led us around the side of the stables to an old center-hall farmhouse. Inside, he waved us toward the back parlor. “Your clothing,” he said, and with a small bow, he closed the double doors and left us alone.
I looked around. The plaster walls and all the trim work were original, but the pale upholstery and rustic elegance of the furnishings were clearly the product of a recent redecoration. A full riding costume for each of us was laid out on one of the twin sofas that flanked the fireplace. I had no doubt that mine would fit all the way down to the boots.
Dorian went to the curtains and tugged the tiebacks loose so that they fell across the windows, dimming the room to a comfortable level for our sensitive eyes. I pulled off my shades even as he slid his into the pocket of his sports coat, which he draped across the back of the other sofa.
“Is this place yours, then?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said. “I used to ride here, oh, at least once a week.”
“Used to.” He used that phrase so often. It had a sad kind of ring to it—a catalog of all the things he had once enjoyed and had lost. Until me. “How long has it been?”
He shook his head, tossing his jacket aside. “Twenty years? Maybe more?”
“And yet your decorator was here no more than, what, five years ago, at most?” I said. I pulled off my coat.
He shrugged, loosening the buttons down the front of his shirt. I watched the V of bare flesh gradually widen. “It’s a working stud farm, Cora. Best Standardbreds in the Midatlantic. The offices are in the front parlor and the dining room, and this is where the manager meets with prospective buyers.”
“Always more than one reason,” I said. “What about your yacht? What’s your ulterior motive for that?”
He smiled. “It’s available for lease at ten thousand a night when I’m not on it.”
“Huh,” I said, shrugging out of my shirt at the same time that his hit the sofa. Damn, but he looked good naked, the contours of his chest catching the light from the windows in the most delicious way.
I tore my eyes away with some effort and examined the clothing arrayed for us. The sets were identical—and identically new. There was a white button-down shirt with a leotard-like bottom that snapped at the crotch, camel-colored riding pants, and high black boots, plus a black velvet helmet with a narrow brim and a riding crop, a short stick that ended in a leather tongue, the leather new, stiff, and shiny.
“I’m not going to use that on a horse,” I objected, glaring up at him.
Dorian just looked amused, standing with his feet planted on the wide planks of the floor. “Why is that?”
“It could hurt the horse.”
“It could,” he agreed. “How many times have you ridden?”
I didn’t see what that had to do with anything. “I had a friend in elementary school whose grandparents had a fat old pony, and she led me around a few times.”
“Then I would prefer that you leave it,” he said. “A crop takes some skill to use.” He treated me with the measuring look that I knew too well. “And not just on a horse.”
My mouth fell open, and for a moment, I could only gape at him. “You wouldn’t!” I said. “I wouldn’t!”
“Wouldn’t we, Cora?” he asked, picking up his own crop and flicking it suggestively. To my mortification, I felt my body stir at that challenge, a flush of anticipation rising in my cheeks as my heart quickened.
Dorian took my reaction in with a raking gaze and gave a bark of laughter. He tossed the crop back onto the sofa and opened the door to the center hall. I yelped and dragged my shirt back on, then shoved on the shades and went after him.
He passed the empty offices off the hall and turned at the front door. Before I could demand an explanation, he turned the lock with a look that was full of significance. I trailed after him as he went to the last room on the ground floor, which proved to be a break room and kitchenette with a table for the employees to eat. He locked the back door there, too.
“I don’t know what you think you’re up to,” I said from the doorway, even though my heart was already speeding up with the knowledge.
“We wouldn’t want an interruption, now, would we?” His eyes glittered, his pupils tiny pinholes in the unfiltered light of the room.
“It depends on what we’re doing,” I replied.
He stalked forward toward me, and my insides lurched a little, trepidation and eagerness—oh, God, it was definitely eagerness—sloshing together in a heady mixture.
“And what do you think that will be?”
“There could still be someone upstairs,” I said, sidestepping the question. “Or in the bathroom.”
“There isn’t,” he said.
“How can you be sure?” My mouth was dry.
“I would know,” he said. He took me by the elbow and propelled me back into the parlor, shutting the door behind us with a solid-sounding click.
“Did you mean it?” I asked. I swallowed. “About the crop?”
It was a foolish question. He always meant what he said.
The darkness was thick around him now, in his hooded eyes and the wicked curve of his smile. “Only if you want it, Cora. I’ll never do anything you don’t want me to.”
“If I want you to hurt me,” I said.
He stepped up to me, tracing the line of my jaw with his fingers, catching me gently under the chin with the butt of the crop and tilting my head back. My breath caught, my senses unfolding under his touch. “Only as much as you want.”
Only just enough.… I shivered, caught in his pale blue eyes, my belly knotting, aching, needing. He could twist every pain into pleasure, the sting of it cutting me even as it drove me higher. What he could do with that crop, against my naked flesh.… That sent my mind shuttling down dark holes from which I never wanted to return.
“Yes,” I whispered. “I want it.”
He stepped back. “Then strip.”
My heart in my throat, I put my hands at the hem of my shirt. Then I stopped, swaying under his influence.