Some years ago, I wrote a trilogy of novels set in the time of Jane Austen that featured a “band” of men and women who are vampires. Think Twilight or The Black Dagger Brotherhood, or The Vampire Diaries—but set during the time of Bridgerton. Imagine if the Duke of Hastings had been a vampire! Imagine Dracula, but much heavier on the romance and with vampires that can (potentially) be redeemed.
Lush, sexy, dark, witty, and filled with adventure, the Draculia Trilogy is a historical romance series with vampires. It’s currently available through Kindle Unlimited, or to purchase in ebook or print book format.
Here is a little teaser from the first book, Dark Rogue. Voss, the Viscount Dewhurst, is at a ball. He’s bored with life—wouldn’t you be if you could live forever, and have every pleasure you ever wanted whenever you wanted it…and then some? And then he sees Angelica Woodmore…
As he followed his future tête-à-tête out of sight with his eyes, Voss’s attention moved onto a different figure pushing through the crowd toward them. In spite of himself, in spite of the insistent flow of people around and with him, he stilled, his attention caught by the woman.
Young, was his first thought. Too young for his taste. Not experienced enough. Barely out in Society, perhaps seventeen or eighteen at the outside. But…she moved with grace and creativity and determination as she navigated through the mad crush.
As she drew closer, Voss realized she seemed to be fixated on something behind him, for she was moving at a steady clip through the same buffet of people that surrounded him. Most women strolled leisurely about a party, often arm in arm, intending to see and to be seen. But this girl, with her glossy dark hair and shining eyes, moved with deliberation and speed.
The bright yellow gown made her dusky-rose skin appear rich and lush, and as she drew closer, he could make out the almond shape of her dark, dark eyes. Her breasts caught his attention, of course, as they rose from the square line of her bodice, but it was the curve of her throat and the delicate hollow of her collarbone, the slide of her neck, that made his mouth go dry.
Voss clamped his mouth closed, lest the tips of his upper fangs, which had distended without warning, be revealed. They slid neatly back into place, but he found himself a bit shaken. He loosened his fingers and reminded himself to breathe.
Someone jostled him, forcing his attention from the vision in lemon, and as he turned to snap at Brickbank (for who else would it be?), he found himself face to face with Dimitri.
“Corvindale,” Voss said coolly, despite the fact that he’d been taken totally unaware. “Won’t you go over there and put that damned violinist out of his misery? His bloody D-string is flat as a hag’s tits.”
“What are you doing here?” Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale, said. His countenance, always forbidding and dark, had settled into one of stone. His admirable attire, in tones of charcoal, steel, ink, and a white shirtwaist, was nevertheless just as dour as his expression. Aloof, annoyed, and arrogant, the earl nevertheless attracted interested, half-lidded glances from women everywhere he went. Yet it was that cold demeanor that kept all but the most bold of them away. And even the boldest ones couldn’t coax even the faintest bit of warmth from those steel-gray eyes.
Voss shrugged languidly. “Certainly not the same thing you’re doing. Come to think of it, I can’t imagine what would compel the Earl of Corvindale to make an appearance at a ball. So crowded, so filled with people and—Lucifer forbid—revelry. Surely you’re not in the market for a wife, and you certainly can’t be looking for anything else from the array of blue-blooded beauties here tonight.” He made certain his feral smile indicated to Dimitri just what he was missing.
The earl’s expression didn’t change. Instead, hardly moving his lips, he said, “Stay away from the Woodmore girls. Or I’ll kill you.”
A dart of fury suffused him, leaving Voss momentarily struggling to maintain his insouciance. But he refused to let his easy smile slip, knowing that to keep it in place would only annoy Corvindale further. “You wouldn’t be the first to try.”
He would have sauntered off, presenting him with his back, but at that moment Voss caught a flash of yellow from the corner of his eye. He’d turned during the exchange with Corvindale, and now, as he caught the sunny frock at the edge of his vision, he pivoted just in time to see that the lovely young woman was approaching him.
No, not him.
As she breezed past, the air stirred, her curls bounced, and her gown flowed…and Voss caught her scent.
The Draculia members, along with their other eccentricities, had a heightened sense of smell. It was a trial as much as a benefit, for the miasma of aromas, especially in an unfamiliar environment, could often be overpowering. Voss had learned to allow the good, the odd, and the putrid to meld together into something palatable. But there were times when something separated from the rest and rose to his notice. It might be a smell that was particularly lovely, nauseating or strange, or simply rank.
In this case it was…indescribable. Titillating and…intriguing.
Voss realized with a start that he’d been standing there with his nostrils quite literally, ridiculously, flaring, trying to draw in the unusual scent. Fortunately no one else seemed to notice, for the young woman had done something completely and utterly out of etiquette.
Even though he’d been in the Colonies—gad, now they were called the United States, weren’t they?—for much of the past three decades, Voss knew a proper young woman never approached a man whom she didn’t know and began to speak to him. Particularly without a chaperone.
But that was precisely what was occurring to the dumfounded Brickbank, whose nose was still tinged red at its pointed tip.
“—must have a moment to speak with you, my lord,” she was saying. He had to give the chit credit, for despite what she must perceive as urgency, her voice was low and calm.
“I…er…” One could only attribute Brickbank’s unusual befuddlement to the breach of etiquette in addition to Voss’s best brandy. “But of course, miss…er, mada—my lady?”
“Perhaps we could step aside?” she asked.
Voss had sidled closer. Not, he told himself, so that he could sniff delicately at the fragrance that clung to her—he felt ridiculous even acknowledging the fact that he considered doing so—but so that he could determine the exact color of her hair. And eyes. And discern whether that was indeed a delicate little mole at the back of her neck, just where the base curved into a creamy-rose shoulder.
Corvindale said something and shifted so he cut into Voss’s view, bringing the latter back into the moment as if he’d been shaken awake from a dream.
A very compelling dream.
Now that he’d focused back in on the conversation, he realized she wasn’t merely too young and inexperienced…but she was also the Earl of Corvindale’s new ward.
But, Lucifer’s nails, that just made her all the more enticing. He smiled.
“My name is Angelica Woodmore,” she was saying. Her hair was dark, nearly black, but glossed with brown lights that made it rich and interesting. Impatience colored her voice, and despite the fact that she’d fairly barreled into a strange group of gentlemen—and rather fierce, austere-looking ones at that—she seemed more intent on having some sort of communication with Brickbank than anything else.
It did, in fact. Miss Woodmore paused and looked at him in surprise. Then her almond-shaped eyes narrowed. “My sister has been looking everywhere for you, my lord. We understood you would be here tonight. You have not responded to her letter.”
Voss didn’t try very hard to smother his amusement at the girl’s set-down. Perhaps she wasn’t quite as young as he’d thought. She certainly was no timid wallflower, taking the stone-faced earl to task as she had. He shook his head mentally, wondering what it was about the earl that attracted women. Certainly Miss Woodmore wasn’t one of them. He was ridiculously glad that was the case.
Corvindale, of course, rose to the occasion by looking down his long, prominent nose at her. “An earl does not generally respond on command, Miss Woodmore. Particularly to imperious orders from young women.”
A new voice—a feminine one, laced with shock and annoyance, and barely hissing from between clenched teeth but pitched so as to reach over the dull stew of noise—drew the attention of the entire group. Voss immediately realized this was another Woodmore sister, and he couldn’t help the smile that curled the corners of his mouth.
Corvindale looked as if he’d been stung. Well, perhaps that was an exaggeration. The man stiffened and couldn’t quite suppress a flare of something that rose in his austere face, but was quickly submerged. Fascinating. Voss could still sense the man’s discomfort as he turned to the sister and gave a sharp, smart bow.
“Miss Woodmore,” he said.
“Maia, I’ve found the earl,” said Miss Angelica Woodmore unnecessarily.
“So I see,” replied her sister. Still with clenched teeth, but at this point Voss wasn’t certain if that was for the benefit of Corvindale or Angelica.
The next portion of the conversation between the earl and the elder sister was lost on Voss, for the lovely Angelica had turned back to Brickbank. Every time she moved, a new, fresh waft of her filtered toward him. Voss sidled nearer, sliding past Eddersley to get closer.
“It’s of a personal nature,” Miss Woodmore was saying. Her expression and demeanor were of matching earnestness, and for a moment, Voss was overwhelmed by annoyance.
Why wasn’t she approaching him to speak of something of a personal nature? He was quite certain he could find something personal and natural to interest her.
Why on God’s green earth did she have to find Brickbank fascinating?
Then Voss realized it was simply because she hadn’t seen him yet, and he edged his way even closer. Women always noticed him. And that was one of the delights of his immortal life. He enjoyed as many of them as he wanted, without the hassle of having to woo or court or be the recipient of their many moods. Let alone spend any significant amount of time with them outside of the bedchamber. Why bother? There was always another one waiting.
None too gently, he elbowed up to Brickbank and turned to bestow his most charming smile on the yellow-gowned chit with the alarmingly enticing neck.
It was swanlike, long and curved just so. Elegant…and Voss realized he was having a hard time swallowing. His incisors teased him, slipping out just enough that his tongue brushed against them in a parody of where they really wanted to be: sliding into that ivory flesh, to feel the flood of hot, heavy blood surging into his mouth, over his tongue…into him.
Sweet. It would be sweet and heady and rich, and she would sigh against him, the pleasure trammeling through her veins, matching his. Their breaths would mingle, their bodies sear against the other…
He blinked, focused and nearly turned away, calling himself every ridiculous name he knew. It had been less than thirty minutes since the girl in the alley…and only yesterday since he’d partaken even more fully of the erotic flesh. He certainly didn’t need to pant after a virginal young miss who was about to be taken under the wing of that dead-blooded Corvindale, enticing as she might be. Another trip to Rubey’s might be in order. Or a tête-à-tête with that saucy matron in pink. She looked as if she’d be a rough, wild ride.
She might be convinced to allow him to sink into her neck instead of her arm. Or thigh. Plump, sensitive thighs were a lovely treat, but not so much as a sleek, bare neck. He felt the stab of interest shimmer through him, and he found himself eyeing that one belonging to Miss Woodmore.
“I feel the need to warn you,” she was saying. Obviously Brickbank wasn’t listening any more closely than Voss had been, for his expression seemed quite unfocused as well.
“Warn me?” he repeated.
“Perhaps I might be of assistance,” Voss said, at last, at last, drawing the girl’s attention to him. He gave a genteel bow and took her hand, bringing it to his lips. Her scent enveloped him, and he felt something tug in his belly, followed by a sharp twinge on the back of his right shoulder. His mouth brushed the cotton of her glove and he had an instant fantasy of slipping that glove down to bare a narrow wrist. “I am Dewhurst.”
Her eyes met his and he felt a sizzle of warmth at the candid interest in them. Ah. Very good.
“I would very much appreciate it if you would recommend to your friend that he heed my warning,” she told him.
“And what warning might that be?” Voss returned.
For the first time, she seemed to hesitate. Drawing herself up as if girding for battle, the hollows of her delicate shoulders catching the light and shadow just so, Miss Woodmore moistened her lips and spoke. “I had a dream in which you died,” she blurted out, looking at Brickbank.