Intrigue, terrifying betrayals, and a dangerously commanding hero make Bianca D'Arc's newest paranormal romance an irresistible temptation...
Tapped for a classified military program, Dr. Eileen McCormick has nothing left to lose. Bad enough her genetic experiments were used to turn innocent victims into zombies; worse still, a ruthless ex-colleague is threatening to expose her unless she joins his sinister research project. Now the only way she can set things right is to develop an antidote under the watchful blue eyes of Commander Matt Sykes. And the last thing Eileen needs is Matt's penetrating gaze, easy understanding, and compelling kiss uncovering all her deepest secrets...
Matt has a sixth-sense for lies as well as danger, and Eileen promises plenty of both. She's the only person who can eradicate the zombie virus before it reaches epidemic proportions, but he still can't let her passionate determination affect his steely cool...or keep him from discovering where her true loyalties lie. But as the clock ticks down, Matt and Eileen's uneasy trust may be their only way to avert catastrophe--if it doesn't get them killed first...
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1 . amazing read
Posted November 22, 2010 by Tina , AugustaDr. Sandra McCormick is with a classified government program. Her job is to inject dead soldiers with a serum designed to regenerate tissue. What she got was dead military men coming back to life. Scared beyond belief, she runs, but she forgets one thing—to close the door behind her. Now the zombies have contaminated innocent people and a zombie virus is running rampant. Sandra would do anything to undo that night, but the question is, can she forgive herself?
Commander Matt Sykes has a sixth sense about lies and the people telling them. He knows Sandra is keeping something from him. He just doesn’t know what. He is also finding himself falling for the sexy scientist. As they both look for the cure and a way to stop the zombie threat, trust becomes an issue, especially when evil scientists want to create super zombie soldiers. As sinister evil scientists work to perfect the zombies as weapons, Sandra scurries to find the antidote. Can she find the cure before it is too late?
Bianca D’Arc has a zombie romance thriller with A Darker Shade of Dead. I often found myself comparing this novel to the movie Resident Evil. I can see some real similarities to them, so I think if you loved Alice, wait till you meet Matt and Sandra. Matt is a military man all the way, used to doing his job and not getting emotionally involved; that is, until he meets his match in the elusive and captivating Sandra. She gets under his emotional armor despite all his fighting to keep it in place.
Sandra feels a lot of guilt over the zombie epidemic. After all, her mistake caused it. Now she is scrambling to undo the damage she has done while keeping the secret that she's the one who started it all. This guilt makes her an easy target for the bad guys as they try to use her guilt to their advantage. The chemistry between Matt and Sandra is amazing to read. I really enjoyed watching Matt lose his famous control to the brainy scientist. Sandra is a strong woman I found myself admiring.
Over all, A Darker Shade of Dead is a must read for anyone who likes action-adventure and love sprinkled in with rampaging zombies. I know this one will be on my keeper shelf for sure.
Kensington Publishing Corporation
October 26, 2010
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Excerpt from A Darker Shade of Dead by Bianca D'Arc
Quantico, Virginia--eight months ago
Dr. Sandra McCormick's voice echoed around the morgue. Well, it wasn't really a morgue. At least it hadn't been. The large room had been a perfectly good laboratory until the senior team members had decided to perform tests on cadavers. Now it was a morgue.
The temperature had been lowered to near freezing, and Sandra shivered in her lab coat. She'd donned her heaviest jacket under the lab coat she had borrowed from one of the men on the team who wore a much larger size, but it still wasn't enough. She was cold, dammit.
Cold, miserable, and all alone on night shift because she was low man on the totem pole. The science team had been together for a few months, working for the military on ways to improve combat performance. Specifically, they'd been trying to come up with substances that, when injected into people, would improve healing and endurance in living tissue. They were at the point now where they'd graduated from in vitro testing in Petri dishes to something a bit more exotic.
They weren't ready to try in vivo testing on living animals or people. Instead, the senior scientists had decided to take this grotesque step, administering the experimental regenerative serum to dead tissue contained in a whole, deceased organism. Personally, she would've preferred to start with a dead animal of some kind, but only human cadavers would work for this experiment since the genetic manipulation they were attempting was coded specifically for human tissue. They didn't want any cross-contamination with animals if they found a substance that actually worked.
As a result, she was stuck in a freezing cold lab in the middle of the night, watching a bunch of dead Marines. It was kind of sad, actually. Every one of these men had been cut down in their prime by either illness or injury. They had all been highly trained and honed specimens of manhood while they were alive. Some of them had been quite handsome, but their beauty had been lost to the pale coldness of death. They were here because they had no next of kin--only their beloved Corps--and their bodies had been donated to science.
The room was dimly lit. Sandra only needed the individual lights over each metal table on which the bodies rested to do her work. She'd holed up at a desk in the far corner of the giant lab space, entering the data she collected hourly for each body into a computer. Her fingers were already numb from the cold, and it had only been three hours. Five more to go before the day shift would release her from this icy prison.
She heard a rustling sound in the distance as she blew on her fingers to try to warm them. Her chair swiveled as she lifted her feet, placing them on the runners of the rolling office chair.
"That better not have been the sound of mice scampering around in here."
Contrary to most medical researchers, Sandra had never really been comfortable with mice. Little furry rodents still made her jump, and she shied away from any lab work that required her to deal with the critters.
The room was dimly lit. The only illumination came from the computer screen and desk light behind her and the single light over each table. The whole setup gave her the creeps.
Deciding to brave the walk to the bank of light switches on the far side of the room near the door, Sandra stood. If she had to sit here with a bunch of dead bodies all night, the least she could do was put on every light in the damned room. Why she'd ever thought the desk light would be enough, she didn't know.
She'd gone on shift at midnight and was slated to take readings every hour until 8 a.m. when her day shift counterpart would relieve her. Scientific work sometimes required a person to work odd hours. Experiments didn't know how to tell time. When the researchers were running something in the lab, she usually got tapped for the late night hours. Normally she didn't mind. The lab was usually a peaceful, comforting place.
But not now. Not when it had been turned into a morgue. Or maybe it was more like Dr. Frankenstein's dungeon, only without the bug-eyed servant named Igor. She'd definitely seen that old Mel Brooks movie one too many times in college. Thinking about some of the funnier lines from the comedy classic made her smile as she walked down the aisle of tables toward the door and the light switches.
"It's alive . . ." As she walked, chuckling to herself, she did a quiet imitation of Gene Wilder from the scene where he'd given life to his monster.
One either side of her were slabs on which the cadavers rested. A breeze ruffled one of the sheets that had been pulled over the body on her right.
It must've been a breeze. The sheet couldn't move on its own, right? She quickened her step, a creepy feeling shivering down her spine as the smile left her face.
A hand shot out of the dark and grabbed her wrist. She screamed. The fingers were cold. The flesh was gray. But the grip was strong. Too strong.
It pulled her in. Closer and closer to the body she'd checked only forty-five minutes before. He'd been dead at the time. Immobile. Now he was moving and--oh, God--his eyes were open and he was looking at her. His stare was lifeless as he drew her closer.
She did her best to break free, but the dead man was just too strong. She beat against his fingers with her other hand. When that didn't work, she tried pushing against his cold shoulder. Nothing seemed to help. She hit his face, his chest, anyplace she could reach, but he wouldn't let go.
He drew her closer until she was leaning across him, her arm over his head. Then he opened his mouth . . . and bit her. She gasped as his teeth broke through her skin. Blood welled as the icy teeth sank deep. Dull eyes looked through her as the dead man chewed on her forearm.
She went crazy, struggling to break free. She must've twisted in the right way because after a moment, she felt herself moving more easily. The next second, she was free.
He sat up, following her progress. She heard noises all around the lab now, echoing off the shadowed walls. She looked around in a panic. Other bodies were rising all around the makeshift morgue.
"How in God's name . . . ?" She gasped, clutching her bleeding arm to her chest as six tall bodies slid off the laboratory tables to stand in the dim, chilled room. She was so scared, she nearly wet her pants. The fear gave her a spike of clarity. She had to get out of there.
She ran for the door. Hands grabbed at her lab coat. She stumbled but caught herself before she could fall to the cold floor. She let her arms slip backward so the oversized lab coat came off, held in those strong hands that had come at her out of the darkness. She had no idea what had gone wrong with the experiment, but she wasn't about to stick around to ask questions. These guys were huge. Big Marines who were easily twice her size. And they didn't seem friendly.
If she could just get to the door. She ran, dodging and weaving around the tables and the reaching arms. They tried to grab the jacket she'd worn under the oversized lab coat, but they had a hard time getting hold of the slippery nylon fabric, thank goodness.
She crashed through the door, running for her life. She had to get help. She had to rouse the entire team. She had to get the MPs, the Marines, and, hell, the National Guard if she could, to stop these guys.
She turned to look over her shoulder just once as she ran into the fringe of trees on the heavily wooded outskirts of the base. What she saw chilled her to the bone. In the dark of the night, she could see the dim, yellow, rectangular glow of the open doorway. Outlined there were the hulking shapes of dead men. The dead Marines were following her path outdoors at a slow, steady, lurching pace.