Conquer the Highland Beast: The Vampire Dylan Macgregor (Hearts of Darkness)

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Excerpt:

Max listened to the steady thick brogue from the man who had lost so much and tried to hold his own emotions in check. “How
did you survive such loss, Dylan?” Max’s throat was raw from holding back the anguish he felt in sympathy for his friend.

“In honor of Evie, I
eventually vowed I would not allow my fae light to burn out. No one will take that gift from me. I’ll fight the darkness to the end of my days and do right by my family’s sacrifice. They gave their all so I would survive. It’s the least I can do in their memory. Besides, what could wound me more than what has already been taken from me?”

“Don’t look now, but you are about to lose what good sense you may have ret
ained,” Max whispered. He released a quiet whistle, tilting his head in the direction of the bar entrance.

Dylan turned his attention to join Max’s, and what he saw forced the air from his lungs.
He cleared his throat twice. “Aye, this one—she could wound me more.”

Time stopped.
He lost the ability to think beyond his senses.

No sounds, no movemen
ts, no rational thoughts.

Click.
Click. Click.

Frame by frame, images snap
ped in slow motion imbedding this instant into Dylan’s mind. His gut twisted into knots, and his gaze traveled slowly, tortuously up the woman’s body. He stopped and paused at the pale white skin above the soft black, thigh high boots, then moved up to the red swatch of cloth, scarcely a skirt covering her…Was he sweating?

Aye, he was sweating. The last time he remembered breaking a sweat he’d been human.

He tried to stand to greet the woman heading straight for them, but his thighs bumped the table hard enough to jostle it.

“Oh, please don’t get up.” She waved aside his effort.

Dylan dropped back onto the bench and with a sweep of his hand offered her a seat without uttering a word.

“Special Agent.” Max extended his hand and she took it.

“Call me Caitlin…please.”

 

Hearts of Darkness

Book 2

C
onquer

the

H
ighland
B
east

by

Eliza March

 

 

Copyright

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Conquer the Highland Beast

COPYRIGHT © 2014
by Eliza March

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

EMAIL: [email protected]:

WEBSITE: ElizaMarch.com

Editor: Amanda Barnett

Cover Art
and Design by Maureen Sevilla

Photos
Bigstock Licenses 191-1954/15363899/5482228

Publishing History

PRINT VERSION CreateSpace

First Edition, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1494856427

ISBN-10:
1494856425

Hearts of Darkness, Book Two

Published in the United States of America

 

 

Other Books and Novellas by Eliza March

 

~~
Erotic Paranormal
~~

Hearts of Darkness series

Defeat the Darkness - 2013

C
onquer the Highland Beast - 2014

Damn the Darkness - 2014

 

Enchanted
Mountain
series

The Lion, the Leopard, and the Wolf

The Moon, the Madness, and the Magic

WereCat
Fever - 2013

 

~~
Contemporary Erotic Romance
~~

Hot Highland
Fling

More Than a Stud

 

Hollywood Cowboys series

Anyway West

Dual Bondage: Roped and Tied

 

Erotic Fantasies

Witch of Air and Fire

Sultry
Santorini Sunsets

 

Romantic Suspense

Across a Crowded Room (Elizabeth
Marchat)

 

Message
To My Readers:

Warning
: You should read these books in order!

The stories in
Hearts of Darkness
were written as a true sequential series. The books should be read in order to appreciate the world building and storyline.

These books contain graphic violence, profanity, adult situations, and alternative sexual content, which may offend some readers.

Some or all of these sexual situations: M/M-M/F/M-F/M/F-F/F-M/F

Hearts of Darkness
– About the Series

In these stories, s
everal back bayou Parrishes outside New Orleans are home to creatures most humans don’t know exist. However, humans with recessive supernatural DNA instinctively gravitate to the area. Here all creatures can be themselves. Here the lamb will sit down with the lion, or more precisely—the vampire will sit with the witch, the werewolf with the fae, the jaguar with the demon—or any such combination. Here the paranormal is normal.

Supernatural beings
are represented by members of a council lead by Dylan Macgregor. He is the vampire holding the position until Jackson reaches his majority, or until his father, the last natural born vampire, Niccolai Xenos returns.

Danger takes many forms but the portals between the parallel worlds occasionally shifts and opens allowing evil to enter our world.
Witch and vampire covens share the lands with various shifters and fae, while the werewolf packs guards the backcountry. These beings guard the humans from that evil.

Since
“born” vampires lost the ability to reproduce naturally, and “made” vampires can’t survive forever without ancient blood, the ancients are searching for a solution to their infertility while the others are determined to help them survive.

Although the main characters fulfill
a promise in their own book, they also may play important roles in other books to come. A large number of characters who make up this ensemble cast show up in more than one book in supporting roles. Because I like to think they all have lives happening while the story is ongoing, we may get to focus on any one of them in the future.

 

Defeat the Darkness, Book 1

[vampire, fae, demon, erotic, romance, shifter, medical, witches]

T
hree young doctors are forced to accept a paranormal world they never knew existed. Shelby and Max have been friends since childhood, Kyle and Max meet and become friends in medical school, then Shelby meets Kyle and falls in love with him. What could go wrong? Everything. When Kyle is attacked by a rogue jaguar and turned by a demon vampire holding his friends hostage, there’s one way to save them. Self-sacrifice.

 

Conquer the Highland Beast, Book 2

[
vampire, demon, historical, erotic, suspense, fae, shifter, witches, voodoo]

Highland warrior, Dylan Macgregor learns revenge and retribution will not give him the peace he seeks. Every day since, he battles the darkness. Three-hundred years after being turned on a battlefield by an anci
ent born vampire, Dylan meets his life-mate, FBI profiler Special Agent Caitlin Donovan. When he discovers she’s been targeted for death by a demon overlord, can he find the assassins before they find her? The last of his light is at risk if he kills again, and then what will become of their love?

 

Author Quote for Conquer the Highland Beast~~

Eliza March
conquers readers with her intense paranormal tale. The characters jump off the page, and the sizzling love scenes will literally scorch fingers in this page-turning tale of demons, vampires, fae, and psychics. ~~
Faith V. Smith
, author of “
Bound By Blood, The Legends
” series.

 

Acknowledgements

 

The series has been percolating in my head for a couple of years and t
his book has been a long time in the works. Thank goodness, I have a great group of authors I plot with or this story would never have been written. So to authors: Lorelei Confer, Sharron Riddle, and Linda Bleser…I thank you.

 

When I think I’m struggling alone, I turn to my local RWA Chapter members of TARA who are always there with encouragement and support. Ladies and gentleman, thank you.

 

Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook friends, thank you for your Tweets, Likes, Comments, and Shares.

 

Special thanks must go to author, Faith V. Smith for her critique help in the twenty-fourth hour and to Lorelei and Renee who took the last lap. Only great friends stick with you all day and late into the night to see a project like this through.

 

Last but not least: hats off to my poor husband who sees to everything when I’m on deadline.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Excerpt:

Hearts of Darkness

Book 2

Copyright

Message To My Readers:

Author Quote for Conquer the Highland Beast~~

Acknowledgements

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 Fishing for Information

Chapter 2 Called to the Scene

Chapter 3 Demon Fois Gras

Chapter 4 Dead Not Buried

Chapter 5 Dealing with the Demoness

Chapter 6 Interview with a Vampire

Chapter 7 Survive

Chapter 8 Witness

Chapter 9 Facing the Past

Chapter 10 Escape

Chapter 11 Finding Gareth

Chapter 12 Evie’s First Kiss

Chapter 13 The Error of His Ways

Chapter 14 Real Kiss

Chapter 15 Evie’s Seduction

Chapter 16 Retribution

Chapter 17 No Satisfaction

Chapter 18 Return to Avoch

Chapter 19 Evie’s Healing Touch

Chapter 20 Last Night in Avoch Keep

Chapter 21 The Bar at the Black Bull Inn

Chapter 22 From the Bar to the Brothel

Chapter 23 Irresistible

Chapter 24 Pleasure and More

Chapter 25 A Hangover to End All Hangovers

Chapter 26 Dying

Chapter 27 Turning

Chapter 28 Awakening

Chapter 29 Summing Up the Past

Chapter 30 Answers

Chapter 31 Finding the Portal

Chapter 32 Shooting

Chapter 33 New Orleans

Damn the Darkness
,
Book
3

About the Author

 

Chapter 1
 
Fishing for Information

Sang
Froid Estate, New Orleans

The rising full
moon provided adequate light, and the fire across the camp kept away the gators and swamp cats hunting in the area. Neither vampire sitting in camp chairs by the bank of the bayou needed the fire to see or to regulate their body temperatures. Tonight Dylan Macgregor didn’t intend to fight anything besides fish.

He leaned forward in his camp chair and opened the cooler, dug around in the ice, and handed the big man next to him a bottle.

Max Hamilton took it and said, “You’ve been sulking since you returned from your meeting with that cop friend of yours.”

“Me?
Sulking? Three-hundred year-old vampires don’t sulk.” Images of FBI profiler, Caitlin Donovan flooded his mind and overwhelmed his damned senses. Besides her psychic abilities, what was it about her?
And shit, why now?
The woman and her ability rattled him more than he imagined—more than he wanted to admit.

“You’re alone too much.”

“What?” Dylan put down his pole and glared. “Did you switch from research medicine to psychiatry when I wasn’t looking? What about you since your sire bond with Shelby kicked in and severed your mate bond?”

“See
, that’s exactly what I’m thinking about.” Max picked up his fishing pole and put it aside. Resting both elbows on his knees, he leaned into Dylan and said, “Look. I need to move on—get laid. Come into town with me this weekend, and we can go to that Goth club. What’s it called?”

“The Dungeon?” He shivered with distaste while Max seemed to
enjoy the way he cringed at the incredulous suggestion.

The human, vampire wannabe’s who hung out at thos
e clubs freaked him out. Not that he frequented the places himself. The last time he stopped in was to investigate an attack. Turned out, it was some human killer using the place to find victims.

“Just what we need
—vampire groupies.”

“Think about it, man. Feed both hungers at the same time.” Max’s eyes lit up with mirth as he tapped his temple. “I don’t know about you, but like I said, things have changed for me. Besides, I still need your advice and practice using mind suggestions on humans.”

“Great sales pitch. Okay, town it is. Dylan sighed and leaned back in the camp seat. What the hell, why not? He needed a diversion. What he’d felt when he touched Ms. Donovan must have been his imagination. “You pay for dinner. Angus steaks. I’ll buy the drinks.”


It’s a deal. We should invite Jackson and Garr. I hear werewolf groupies hang at the Dungeon, too.”

“You hear a lot
for a newbie.” Dylan had a feeling he’d been hanging out with Jackson and Garr after training sessions. “Jackson’s not around, beside he’s in training and pulling weekend detail with the wolf patrol.”

In the distance, as if on cue, the scream of a feline predator rang out of the swamp, reminding him of another problem.
He started packing up the equipment.

“What about Garr?”

“Sure, call him. Why should I suffer alone? It’s been a while for both of us, and from what I’ve heard, you can charm the panties off a nun.” He pointed at Max and let one side of his lip curl. “We could use a good wing man.”

“Hard to believe unless you got lazy with all
the mind-manipulating tricks up your sleeve. Or does all that hocus-pocus take the fun out of the seduction?” Max wiggled his eyebrows.

Dylan laughed out loud. He would help Max adjust to his new life as a vampire, but he wasn’t going to fuck some vampire wannabe or a potential hunter. Karen from the Highland Bar and Grill, the blonde with the big breasts and long legs, not to mention an enthusiasm for cock, would gratefully feed him and get his mind off the pretty agent.

“Enough of your insolence, lad, I don’t need any help—” Dylan’s phone beeped, interrupting his line of defense.

When he noticed the call
was from his contact at the NOPD homicide division, Ramon Delavega, he answered his cell phone.

The detective didn’t mince words. “Macgregor, we have another body, and I’ll have to notify the FBI task force
about this one. You might want to get here before they start crawling all over the crime scene.”

As the detective filled him in on the case, he glanced back at Max and realized feeding and fun would have to w
ait if he was going to get there before the FBI arrived. “What’s the deal with the FBI? They weren’t clear about what they were doing down here at the task force meeting.”

“They’ve brought in
dat new hot profiler. Oh, yeah.” The Cajun lilt was still in his speech, no matter how hard he’d tried to hide it. Guess you could take the boy out of the bayou, but you couldn’t take the bayou out if the boy. Dylan knew how that worked. His own Scottish background leaked out regularly.

“I see
you noticed her, too. Guess they want to put her to good use.”


They’re investigatin’ this area because they’ve had a few similar cases, elsewhere. Must be taking a new attitude with all the shit going down in our area. For the record, they aren’t sharing any info.”

“At least with my abilities, we can find out what they know. You…keep them away ’til I get there.”

“No problem. It’s quiet out here. I’ll call them later.”

He heard Ramon chuckle
as he turned off the phone.

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