Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Title:  Second Nature
Genre:  Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Author: Marie Lavender
Era:  Modern/Contemporary
Setting:  Baltimore
Themes:  vampires, psychics, the Other world, suspense
Second Nature Blurb:
She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem.  She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things.  It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare.  But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be.  He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her.  To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem.  The animal in him wants Desiree.  But, so does the man.  The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants.  But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human.  The two species don’t mix that way.  Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice.  His life or hers.  

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human?  Or will it be far too late?

It took a moment for her to come back to herself. Cool air traveled over her half-naked body, and her mind was working so slowly. She was aware of a hint of wine in her mouth, but she never drank alcohol. She blinked, looking around the yard, but no one was there. He was gone. Had all of that really happened? 
She shivered. Her body began to tremble as she sat up, drawing the loose cloth over her bare breasts. On unsteady feet, she stood.
Oh my God, she thought, as the evidence began to trickle down her inner thigh. She had been attacked. Violated. And it only got worse; she had submitted to him, let him take her. She lowered her face to her open hands. She’d just had unprotected sex with a complete stranger who had broken into her house and had done God knew what to her neck. This was too much. 
It took a force of sheer will to gather the courage to venture back inside. By now, the power in the house was on once more, a fact she couldn’t even bother to ponder. She moved around the room. She wasn’t sure whether to bathe or beat her head against the wall. 
Her mind could not accept what had just happened. It was too unbelievable. She fumbled her way into the bathroom and sat on the shockingly cold edge of the tub. She wrapped her arms around herself and rocked. Her body had wanted him. Even after he’d attacked her, she had wanted him. She had even orgasmed. Twice. She moaned in dismay. It was beyond the realm of possibility. This just didn’t happen to people. Okay, maybe with Stockholm Syndrome, but not in any other basic rape scenario. 
Of course, perhaps it had just been too long since she had felt anything sexually. She shook her head. That really didn’t make sense either. No matter how repressed she was, she would not surrender to an attacker. But, his voice had been so seductive. Had he really spoken aloud? She couldn’t remember.
She had to do something. Even if she had submitted to the sex … had she really done that? Yep, her memory wasn’t gone yet. She had felt everything. And no matter how hot it had been … which it wasn’t, of course ….
She shook her head. Action. She needed to take action. She would call the cops as soon as she cleaned up.
Desiree rose on shaky legs to look in the mirror. She looked the same. When she tilted her head, she saw the blood. Damn, that man really had bitten her! What kind of freak did that? “Shit,” she muttered, and grabbed a washcloth to wipe away the blood. What met her gaze next was startling, and even as she cursed once more, she backed away. Two single red puncture marks stood out in sharp contrast to her skin tone. Two holes. Two holes instead of a tooth pattern. She shivered, aware of the implications and how ludicrous it was. There was only one word for it really. 
“Shit,” she whispered as reality glared at her.
Vampire, her mind screamed. But, how was it possible? She shook her head. It couldn’t be. She looked at the puncture marks again. Vampire. Vampires existed? It went against everything she’d previously believed. Vampires. And it was so much worse than she’d thought. She’d had sex with one. 
Vampires. The air left the room and her knees gave out, sending her toward the hard tile. She was faintly aware of a soft landing, a ragged curse and a hint of aftershave before she blacked out.  

Alec lunged, catching the woman up in his arms before she cracked her head on the tile. He muttered a curse, tightened his hold and carried her from the room. As he did, her long hair surrounded him, and the smell of her shampoo, sweet like candy, moved him more than it should. She was so pale now, and her heartbeat was slow. Really too slow for comfort. Had he taken too much blood? No, he thought. She had distracted him with her sweet scent of arousal.
He regretted that. Not being with her, of course, but being so rough. She wasn’t likely to want a repeat. She had been afraid, but that had quickly turned to lust, then confusion. Shock would have been next if she hadn’t already experienced that. He’d thought he could walk away afterwards, but something brought him back. He had left too much behind, too many questions. Though it was possible she’d blow the whistle on him, he worried more for her safety. She knew too much, and judging from what he’d observed so far, she was stubborn. She wouldn’t let it go. She would want answers and that was dangerous. What if she looked into it and ran into the wrong people? There were many of his kind that had not grown civilized but stayed in possession of the animal instinct within. It was too dangerous to let her look into it.
Alec found the bedroom nearby and set her down on the mattress. He stood over her body for a moment, staring down at her. She was probably about 5’4”, so he was sure he’d tower over her, as he topped six feet easily. Desiree was lovely with long dark hair, an olive skin tone and the ice-blue eyes he remembered so well. Her features had a somewhat exotic appearance. Perhaps Polynesian or Native American? He didn’t know, but he knew he’d been fairly obsessed with her right from the beginning. Now, he just had to figure out what to do with her. 

Giveaway Opportunity...Answer this question and you will get a chance at winning an ebook of Second Nature! Just give us your best guess. (One random winner will be chosen from the right answers if you leave a comment below.  Please be sure to include your email so that we know how to contact you.)
What color are Alec's eyes?
A) Brown
B) Blue
C) Black
D) Green
E) Hazel

Author Bio:

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her newest book is Second Nature, a paranormal romance.  Lavender released Magick & Moonlight, a romance with fantasy elements, back in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your ReturnMagick & MoonlightUpon Your Honor; Second Nature

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the NightHauntedPursuit;Perfect GameA Touch of DawnRansomLeather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

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