To hell and back . . .
Though he has vampire, demon, and Viking blood rushing through his veins, Ivar Kjeidsen’s soul-crushing trip to hell broke him in ways he can barely fathom. One vow keeps the deadly immortal standing: To rescue the vampire brother who had sacrificed freedom for him. To do that, Ivar needs the help of a brilliant physicist with wary brown eyes, fierce brilliance, and skin that’s way too soft.
Dr. Promise Williams understands the underpinnings of the universe but has never figured out the human beings inhabiting it. Her function is to think—and not feel—until she’s touched by a vampire who’s nowhere near human. The primal hunger in his eyes awakens feelings in her that defy calculation. As she shows him the way to step between worlds, he brands her with a pleasure that could last more than a lifetime . . .
Other Books in the Dark Protectors Series
Dark Protectors Book 10
Across the windy cemetery, beyond the rows of gravestones, a man leaned against a pine tree and watched her. Even at the distance, the deep blue of his eyes cut through the day. He stood to at least two meters, his chest broad, his legs long. His gaze was almost physical and something that caught her unaware.
Dr. Promise Williams shivered and broke eye contact to focus in front of her.
Meager sunlight glinted off the coffin as it was lowered into the wet earth. The clouds had finally parted and stopped dropping rain on the mourners. She closed her umbrella and tucked it into her overlarge bag, wet grass all over her smart boots.
“It was a nice service. Earlier, I mean,” Dr. Mark Brookes said from her side, wiping his thick glasses on a handkerchief. He wore a tailored black suit with a deep blue tie, his eyes earnest and his thinning hair wet from the earlier rain.
Promise nodded, her stomach aching. The group standing around was mainly silent with a couple of soft sobs piercing the quiet. She knew all of them. Six professors, a dean, and two grad students. The earlier service had been packed with students, more faculty, and even the local press. This part of the day was reserved for family.
Dr. Victory Rashad hadn’t had any family. Other than the faculty, of course.
The wind picked up, brushing across Promise’s face. She shivered. Who did she have? If she died tomorrow, who would attend the burial part of her service? Unwittingly, she looked toward the pine tree.
The man was gone.
Not a surprise. While he’d been there, no doubt he’d just looked over at the assembled group to see what was going on. His focus hadn’t been solely on her. She shook her head and tried to dispel the dread she’d been feeling since the police had found Victory. The woman had been missing for nearly three days before being found torn apart.
Who would do such a thing?
The gears of the lowering device stopped. “Well.” Mark held out an arm, and she naturally slipped her glove along his elbow. “Would you like to get something to eat?” He turned and helped her over the uneven ground to their vehicles parked on the silent road.
“Thanks, but I’d rather go home.” She’d been to an Irish wake once where the family members had drank into the next day, toasting the dead with stories. Tons and tons of stories, and all said with love. What was it about her world that lent itself to quiet services and maybe one toast? “Thank you, though.”
Mark paused at her compact and waited for her to unlock the door. “I hadn’t realized you and Victory were close.”
“We weren’t,” Promise said quietly, opening the door. Victory had joined the physics department at the university mid-semester, and so far, they’d only said hi at department meetings. That was it. Maybe a lunch or two in the cafeteria, but she didn’t remember the details. “Are any of us close with anybody?”
Mark scratched his chin. “I am. Two brothers both married with kids. In fact, Mike is having a barbeque this Sunday. I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
“I should probably work.” The idea of a happy family ached too much to think about right now. What was wrong with her?
“Okay.” He waited until she’d sat before leaning over the car. “Two dates, and now I’m not sure what’s going on.” His intelligent brown eyes studied her, while the too-musky scent of his cologne wafted in her face. “I’m thirty-five and don’t have time for games, Promise. Are we going out again or not?”
She forced a smile. “No.” He was a nice man, but she’d rather work with supersymmetry or cosmological inflation than spend time with him. Of course, who wouldn’t? “I think we’re better off as friends.”
“Well. I do appreciate your honesty.” His tone indicated that he did not, in fact, appreciate the truth as he straightened. “I’ll see you Monday.” He shut her door with extra force.
Cripes. Maybe the truth had been a mistake. She started the engine and pulled away from the curb, winding through the cemetery and wondering about Dr. Rashad. The police hadn’t indicated any movement on the case, but she felt like she should do something. Perhaps she’d call on Monday and require a status update.
She sped up slightly, and her doors locked. Her shoulders relaxed slightly. It had to be a coincidence that Dr. Fissure, a college from Great Britain, was also missing. She’d collaborated with him on a paper several years previous.
The wind picked up, and rain splattered against the windshield again. Several roads spread out in different directions. She hadn’t been paying close attention when she’d driven in. How stupid of her. So she took the first left, allowing her mind to wander as she drove among the peaceful dead. She flicked on the wipers and turned down another road in the sprawling cemetery.
Suddenly, her passenger door was wrenched open and the damaged lock protested loudly.
A man sat and slammed the door.
She reacted in slow motion. How was this happening? Her eyes widened, and she turned her head to fully face him. How had he broken the door lock of her new car? That quickly, she recognized him. “You were watching me.”
“I was.” His voice was low and mangled, gritty to the point of being hoarse. Those blue eyes were even darker inside the vehicle.
Adrenaline flooded her, and she finally reacted, slamming on the brakes and reaching for her door. Her seatbelt constricted her, but she fought it, silent in her bid to escape him.
He manacled one incredibly strong hand around her arm and yanked her back into place. “Drive.”
Her shoulders collided with her chair, and she opened her mouth to scream.
He pressed a gun into her ribcage.
Her scream sputtered into a whisper. She looked frantically around, but the road ahead and behind her was empty.
“I said to drive,” he repeated, no infliction in his hoarse tone.
She swallowed, and fear finally engulfed her. The sound she made was so much of a whimper that she winced. “My purse is on the floor. Take whatever you want and get out.” Her voice shook almost harder than her hands on the steering wheel.
“I have what I want. Drive.” The gun and his hold on it remained level. He took up more than his own seat, his arms and torso solid muscle. His face was hard and angled—cut in a way that almost looked unreal.
His words chilled through her. How was she getting free of him? She pressed the gas pedal again and drove along fresh graves, spotting the exit farther ahead. Her heart increased its force, and her ribs ached. “What do you want from me?” She held her breath.
“Just your brain,” he said, the sound weary.
She jerked, her head turning to him again. “To eat?” she gasped.
He blinked. Once and then again. “No, not to eat.” His wince drew his cheeks up and his darker brows down. “Geez. To eat? Why would I eat your brain? Ick.”
Her kidnapper had just said ick and looked at her like she was insane. She eyed him with her peripheral vision so she could better describe him in a police report—if she survived this. At least six-foot-six, long dark blonde hair with even darker streaks strewn throughout, handsome face. Kind of rugged but also sharp. Wait a minute. Her brain? Heat spiraled through her chest. “Did you want Victory Rashad’s brain, too?”
Oh God. He was going to kill her. Panic took her again, and she slammed her foot on the gas pedal.
“Wait,” he said, grasping her arm. “I won’t hurt you. I’m here to help you.”
Affirmative. Yes. The guy with the gun was here to help her. She ducked her head and floored the gas pedal, bumping out of the cemetery and speeding up down the quiet road.
“Slow down,” he hissed, his hold tightening enough to bruise.
She zipped around a corner and into traffic, driving as fast as she could.
He swore and grabbed for the key, which wasn’t in the dash. She’d used the button. She swerved around a minivan and finally saw a police cruiser up ahead. Slapping at him, knowing if he got her out of the car she was dead, she took the chance with the gun.
Yelling, finally, she slammed into the rear of the police cruiser.
Everything stopped for a second and then sped up. The crash was thunderous. Her passenger bellowed and flew through the window. The airbag deployed right into her face and propelled her back into the seat.
She blinked, her ears ringing as it deflated with a soft hiss and smattering of dust.
A police officer ran up and opened her door. “What in the hell?” he muttered, blood on his chin.
She gasped and shoved the airbag down. “Where is he?” she coughed, her eyesight blurry. Her assailant was sprawled on the pavement, blood on his face as rain pelted down. The other officer leaned over him, talking into a radio at his shoulder.
Then the man jerked awake and leaped to his feet. Blood covered his face and his neck, while his left arm hung at an unnatural angle. He stood several inches above the officer. “Promise!” he bellowed.
She screamed. How did he know her name?
The cop tried to grab him, but he shoved the officer into the side of the car. Before the officer next to Promise could draw his gun, the kidnapper turned and ran into an alley.
The police officers quickly pursued him.
She panted, her mind buzzing, her body aching. He’d known her name. It wasn’t a random kidnapping attempt.
The police officers soon returned, both shaking their heads.
Oh God. He was gone.
“Promise and Ivar are so unique together but hold just as much promise and passion as I have come to expect from this series and vampires. I loved how this book was written. It was evenly paced and exciting as well as sexy as sin and electrifying… Alpha’s Promise gets a EXHILARATING FIVE INTENSE STARS!” – Five Stars, Marie’s Tempting Reads
“Alpha’s Promise was an awesome read. I loved Ivar and Promise together. I love the world and I really love all the old couples and past favorites popping in and out of the stories. I have mini fan-girl attacks every time. It’s like coming home.” – Five Stars, Jessica’s Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
“Plenty of plot twists, imaginative locations, and page time with the rest to the Kayrs-Kyllwood clan. Hope’s story-line moves along in this one as well, and I am looking forward to seeing which direction Rebecca takes next with Quade and Haven’s book; Hero’s Haven.” – Five Stars, Claire Robinson
“Do you love strong, smart and independent heroines? How about sexy, stubborn and determined alpha males? What about an addicting plot filled with action, sexiness and beloved characters from past books? If you answered yes to any or all of these, then Alpha’s Promise is the paranormal romance book for you.” – Five Stars, Dali on Goodreads
“I don’t know how this author does it. With every book I read in this series the more hyped I get for the next one. I can’t wait to learn everything and yet I don’t want it to be over. This has been one of those rare series that just keeps getting better and more entertaining.” – Five Stars, Mindy Lou’s Book Reviews
“This author can do no wrong! I loved the latest in her Dark Protectors series. Ivar and Promise were one of the strongest couples she’s introduced so far and there is still so many others to explore…” – Five Stars, WishfulMiss on Goodreads
“I simply can’t get enough of this series. This world that Rebecca Zanetti has created is like a faraway land of everything that’s awesome. Every character is strong, important and vibrant. Every hero is loyal from the start. She doesn’t bog down or fill the pages with annoying other people drama (you know clinging exes, other women drama, those things?), no, she gives passion, suspense , action and most of all an epic love story every time.” – Five Stars, Nichole from Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews