At this point, Maximilian is not Mihaela's hero - she regards him as her enemy even if she dreams about him at night! - but she certainly saves him from this situation where he's not only outnumbered but too drunk to fight properly!
BLOOD GUILT: Blood Hunters, Book 1
By MARIE TREANOR
Ebook $2.99, Out Now from Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble
Natural enemies, deadly attraction...
The first of a new vampire romance series, a sequel to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.
Mihaela, a fearless vampire hunter secretly haunted by loneliness and childhood tragedy, finds it difficult to adjust to the new world order where vampires are not always the bad guys. She's taking a much needed vacation in Scotland when she sees a little boy being chased through the streets of Edinburgh. Rescuing him brings bigger problems - two vampires from her past: Gavril, who killed her family; and the reclusive and troubled Maximilian, gifted Renaissance artist and one-time overlord of the most powerful undead community in the world. Maximilian once saved her life and now needs that favor returned.
The earth moves for Mihaela in more ways than one. From Scotland to Budapest and Malta, she races against time to prevent a disastrous, vampire-induced earthquake and save an innocent yet powerful child – all while fighting a dreadful attraction to Maximilian, her only ally, whom she can’t afford to trust. For Maximilian, the hunter becomes a symbol of renewed existence, as he struggles to accept his past and rediscovers his appetite for blood and sex - and maybe even happiness.
The vampires paid her no attention. Keeping them in her wary vision, Mihaela cast a few quick glances beyond them. The boy was there, standing in front of a man sprawled on a metal barrel, with his back leaning against the wall of the pub. On the wind, she caught the child’s voice, high and excited, though she couldn’t make out the words.
The man on the barrel sat very still, with the sort of boneless flop she associated with the very drunk. Was this the child’s father? Was this who he’d been looking for all day on his own? Mihaela’s heart went out to the boy. She squashed her upsurge of anger against the irresponsible piss-head of a father. She had to protect both of them now from the hovering vampires.
She tensed, for the vampires began to move, not fast as they could, but with an air of slow, unstoppable determination. She drew in her breath, running swiftly forward. But other shadows were moving in the yard too. On all sides, they detached themselves from the darkness, advancing on where the boy stood talking to the drunk, who at last lurched to his feet, finally aware of the danger.
Picking up speed, Mihaela acknowledged something was very wrong here. There must have been twelve vampires altogether. Too many for this country, this city, this small meal of one adult and a child. What the hell was going on?
The boy turned around to face his attackers, took one circumspect step backward, just as the drunk launched himself at one of the vampires. The god of the inebriated must have smiled upon him, for by some miracle of luck, his fist connected with one an instant before his foot kicked another to the ground. Or perhaps he was just used to brutal pub brawls.
Mihaela didn’t wait to find out. Focusing on the fair head of the boy, she staked the vampire in her path—a recently fledged weakling, for she barely felt his strength adding to her own—and sped toward her goal. His companions seemed to feel his death, though, for some of them turned to stare at her.
One flew at her, snarling, his fangs white in the blackness of the yard. Mihaela kicked him, hard, and staked him as he doubled-up, lashing out with her free elbow at another vampire who tried to take advantage of her distraction. They weren’t expecting a hunter, or it wouldn’t have been so easy to kill him, but by now they’d all have her scent.
Given vampires’ superior speed and might, a fight with a human could have only one realistic end—unless that human was a hunter. Not only trained to counter vampire speed, hunters could also grow far stronger than ordinary humans, because with every vampire kill, they gained some of that vampire’s power. Of course, vampires also gained by killing each other, especially if they took the blood of their victim. Plus, they grew more powerful with age.
Mihaela was a strong hunter. But there were just too many of them here. She had no chance. Her only hope was to get the humans away and somehow frighten the vampires off.
She shouted, “Run, kid! Get out of here!” Where’s the bloody father? He should be with him… Dodging a vicious blow from another of the vampires, she made out the drunken parent, falling under a hail of kicks and punches. A flash of a car headlight winked through from the road beyond, just as the drunk sank his teeth into one of his attackers, who exploded almost instantly into dust.
“Oh shit,” she whispered. She couldn’t look away as he heaved himself to his feet, hurling one of his attackers into the rest and lashing out before they fell on him again.
No human drunk, but a vampire; an extremely powerful one that she really, really didn’t want to see here.