I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Embrace the Darkness by L.M. Justus
Series: Darkness Trilogy,
Published by Taurpio Publishing on January 1st 1970
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: eBook, Paperback
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
A cure for vampirism is within Reed Hennessy’s grasp. According to legend, all he has to do is destroy the original vampire. If Reed is successful, every vampire on Earth will become human again, and he and his girlfriend, Sarah, can have the normal life they want.
If only it were that easy.
First, they have to find the original vampire, whose location is a centuries-old secret. Second, most vampires don’t want to give up their superior strength, speed, and longevity, so they’ll do anything to stop Reed.
With the help of their friend and mentor, Nathaniel, Sarah’s sister, and a trio of former vampire hunters, Reed and Sarah set off on their most dangerous journey yet. Reed faces a choice when he realizes the price he must pay for the cure: he can persevere with his quest or learn to embrace the darkness.
A strangely mouth-watering smell hit my nose and I sniffed the air, trying to determine the source. Sarah and Nathaniel both looked up suddenly, noticing the same odor.
“Blood,” Sarah said.
“Human blood has been shed in this building,” Nathaniel confirmed.
Panicked looks passed between everyone in our group. My fangs slid out. I couldn’t believe the vampires had found us, and their stolen book, already.
“How can the vampires be after us now?” Sarah asked. “It’s the middle of the day.”
“Their human helpers I’d guess,” Trudy said.
Nathaniel grasped my right arm and looked me solidly in the eye. “Sarah and I cannot leave this room and risk exposing ourselves to daylight. You must take care of them, Reed.”
“What do you mean by ‘take care’ of them? You don’t mean you want me to kill them, do you?” I asked.
“They would not hesitate to kill you,” he insisted.
Trudy stood up. “Reed and I will go together,” she said. “Come on. You don’t have to kill anyone; we only need to neutralize the threat.”
Warily, I followed her to the door. “How do we do that?”
“I don’t know. Break their legs or something.” She reached for the doorknob.
“You say that like it’s no big deal,” I argued.
Her hand dropped back to her side and then she grabbed me by the shoulders. “Reed. The lovely people who run this bed and breakfast are almost certainly dead. Those responsible are on their way up here and if we don’t hurry and act now, God knows what will happen. Let’s. Go.”
“Okay, okay!” I snapped.
Trudy turned the knob and pushed the door open a crack. Silence met us along with the intensified aroma of blood. She crept into the hallway and I trailed behind soundlessly. Sounds of a struggle carried up the stairs from the first floor. We exchanged a quick glance and then continued inching toward the narrow stairwell. When I reached the top of the stairs, I spotted two men standing in the middle of a violent mess. The couple who owned the B&B lay bleeding on the carpeted floor. One of the assailants was holding a shotgun and watching as his buddy searched through papers on the front desk. Neither of the men had noticed me and Trudy yet.
Trudy tapped my shoulder and mimed breaking a leg. I shook my head. There had to be a better way. Maybe I could use their own weapons to hold them. If I bent their shotguns and wrapped the metal around them, I could trap their arms to their sides.
I zipped down the stairs with vampire speed and snatched the first man’s shotgun out of his hands.
“What—” he shouted.
I bent his weapon, but it snapped in two pieces. So much for that plan. The other guy scrambled to get his own gun, while the first man swung a punch at my face. I grabbed his fist mid-air and shoved him. He flew backward down the hall, landing hard. Trudy arrived next to me and delivered a swift kick in the nuts to the other dude. He dropped his gun and Trudy landed another kick, right in his neck. He collapsed in a heap, gasping and moaning. I walked over to the guy I’d thrown down the hall. He tried to scurry away, but I snagged him by the ankle and dragged him back to the front desk. “Stop,” he pleaded. “What are you going to do with us?” The other guy didn’t seem to be able to talk and massaged his throat.
We ignored them while Trudy searched through the drawers. When she found a roll of packing tape, we used it to cover their mouths and wrap them up like mummies. They glared daggers at us the whole time, but I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty.
We checked the B&B owners, but we were too late to save them. Their throats had been slashed, which explained why we hadn’t heard any gunshots. After a quick search, we found a linen closet with clean sheets, and we draped them over their bodies. Two more innocent people gone because of us. Then I felt guilty. Trudy rested a hand on the back of my head as we crouched over the bodies. “It’s not your fault,” she said softly.
“If you say so,” I grumbled. I hated that my mouth was watering at the rich, metallic smell of blood. Despite the throbbing in my gums, with some mental effort I managed to force my fangs to retract.
Trudy marched over to the front door and turned the deadbolt. “We don’t want anyone else stumbling onto this mess,” she said. “And we’d better check the records and make sure no one else is staying here.”
After a quick look through the ledger, we concluded the only rooms rented were ours. I didn’t see a computer anywhere, but considering the place had Wi-Fi, there must have been one somewhere. I scoped out the first room down the hall and found an office, with a computer and printer. I’d let Justin know so he could print out the map photos.
With my head hanging low, I trudged up the stairs with Trudy on my heels. The cycle of violence and death clung to me like a sickness I couldn’t shake. Trying to remain upbeat was getting harder and harder. It was so tempting to step away from it all, but then again . . . it was exactly this kind of brutality and bloodshed that I wanted to prevent. Finding the cure to vampirism had to be the answer.
–I Feel the Need, the Need to Read
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
- Grand Prize of $20US Amazon gift certificate + free ebook copies of Darkness Trilogy books 1-3
- 5 Runner-up prizes of free ebook copies of Darkness Trilogy books 1-3