Book 5 in the My Immortal Knight series.
Sidney Coffey, Seattle's "News at Nine" girl, uncovers the scoop of a lifetime and her ticket into serious journalism. The only problem is--without proof, no one's going to believe the victims of recent gang killings are in fact undead and vampires!
With her gut telling her there's an even bigger story lurking beneath the surface, she decides to beard a reclusive vampire master in his den for an interview. But meeting the master only complicates things. For a woman with a voracious sexual appetite, the tall, dark and gloomy vamp proves an irresistible challenge.
When a reporter trespasses on his estate, Navarro is at first amused, then annoyed that the little baggage is close to putting together the pieces of a dangerous plot involving an old enemy and a group of murdered geneticists. To keep her safe, Navarro issues an erotic invitation he won't let her refuse.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Uncovering Navarro by Delilah Devlin
"Miss, are you all right?"
Sidney had already decided the evening couldn't get any worse. Now Lurch was leering at her tits.
Unfortunately, she'd fallen in the only patch of light cast by the streetlamp on the other side of the wall. She sat up and crossed her arms over her chest. "I think I'm all right--the grass is soft," she said, fighting to keep irritation out of her voice. She'd hoped to reach the front door before being escorted off the property.
"I brought you a blanket."
Sidney stared at the folded bundle he held out, then up at his face. It was really a rather kind face--if a little cadaverous. White, bristly hair stuck up around his head, and bushy eyebrows, looking like fluffy white beetles, shadowed his deep-set eyes. And he was alarmingly tall.
Sidney grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around her shoulders. Then she struggled to her feet, assisted by his dry, bony hand. "Just point me to the gate," she muttered, hoping he'd let her walk out with what was left of her dented pride. If a squad car showed up to take her to the station, she'd never hear the end of it.
"If you don't mind my saying so, climbing over the fence was a very foolish thing to do."
"It seemed like a plan at the time," she said under her breath. "Of course, my Plan Bs always suck."
His lips twitched. "Well, I'm glad you weren't seriously injured."
"Nope, I'm right as rain. I fell on my head--the hardest part of my body." A chill wind picked up, and she gathered the blanket closer around her. "I'll be on my way." With a grimace of a smile, she turned toward the gate. Best to make a quick getaway.
Sidney paused, knowing her escape couldn't be this easy--Murphy was running the show.
"You're shivering. How about I make you a hot cup of tea before you leave."
Sidney shot him a glance. What was he up to? She'd recognized his voice. He was the one who had turned her away at the gate. Was he planning to keep her here until the cops showed up? Or was he really offering her a kindness?
Her mama had never accused her of exercising an ounce of discretion. "I am cold. Tea would be lovely."
The old man led her around the side of the house, through a darkened fragrant garden, and into the kitchen. Warmth embraced her, and Sidney was sure steam rose from her damp hair and skin.
He pointed to an inviting alcove in the corner of the kitchen. "Have a seat at the table while I rummage for the pot."
As she sat at the cozy wooden table, Sidney couldn't help thinking how ironic it was--this domestic little scene playing out in a vampire's den.
"While the pot is boiling, I'll search for something you can wear," the elderly man said, then left through another door.
She counted to twenty before following.
The door led down a hallway, which opened into a large room with cream-colored walls and heavy, dark oak furnishings. She'd bet her paycheck the paintings gracing the pale walls were original, Old World art. Despite numerous overhead electrical fixtures, candles were lit in wall sconces and on the mantle above a massive fireplace.
"A little old fashioned, aren't you, Mr. Navarro?" Sidney muttered. Where was he? And did she really have the courage to seek a lion in his den? She hated to admit it, even to herself, but she was nervous.
Moses had said the master was a civilized vamp, but in the end, weren't they all ghouls?
She hitched the sagging blanket higher and chose another door, which led into a dark, paneled study. A fire crackled in a hearth, but the room appeared empty. Perhaps the master wasn't at home after all.
But his desk might reveal answers to some of her questions.
With a quick glance back at the living room, she quietly closed the door behind her.
"Miss Coffey, I think you've taken a wrong turn," a deep, lightly accented voice said.
Sidney whirled toward a leather armchair hidden in the shadows. Firelight flickered to reveal the outline of a man seated there. She didn't need two guesses to figure out who he was.
She drew a deep breath, racking her brain for a good excuse for her presence. "Um...Mr. Navarro. I was looking for you." She stepped deeper into the room--but the blanket didn't come with her.
She grasped frantically for the edges as it parted over her shoulders, but in her nervousness she stumbled forward. The blanket pulled away as she righted herself.
Her hands flew to her breasts. Good lord, can this evening get any worse? "M-mister Navarro," she stammered, hoping the dim lighting hid her burning cheeks and everything else. "Um...I seem to have caught my blanket in the door."
"Lovely though your breasts are, I think they should leave," he said, his tone lacking inflection.
The flatness of his voice, and the fact she couldn't read his expression in the shadows, left her unnerved. She hadn't thought through her plan past getting onto the property. Confronting the vamp himself, she realized just how precarious her situation was. He was a bloodsucker after all. Still, he'd asked her to leave--not become a dinner entr?e.
Humiliated and more than a little scared, Sidney decided a hasty retreat was her best option. She turned back to the door and tugged at the knob, but the door didn't budge. She cursed under her breath and tugged again. Then her shoulders slumped in defeat. "I, uh...I've wedged the door closed. Could you help me?"
He sighed behind her, and leather creaked as he rose.
Sidney covered her breasts again and stepped aside.
As he approached, his features were revealed in candlelight.
Her breath left her lungs in a whoosh. She'd heard the master vampire was handsome--but not one of her sources had mentioned he was downright beautiful--or that his dark gaze could pierce like a skewer.
She fought the urge to step farther away, but then her fear aroused anger within herself. Sidney Coffey was no mouse. She lifted her chin.
One black, perfectly arched brow rose, mocking her show of courage. He reached past her and easily pulled open the door. "I trust you can find your way out."
The silky tone of his voice sent a shiver up her back.
From terror, she told herself. Certainly not from any sensual awareness. Never mind that this close, his height and lean, muscled frame made her feel very small and vulnerable. A sensation that never failed to stir her libido.
And the goose bumps lifting on her skin couldn't be caused by the midnight-colored hair that brushed the tops of his broad shoulders, or the olive complexion that contrasted darkly with his snowy cotton shirt.
Her gaze lifted. Black, fathomless eyes glittered back in a slightly narrow face, saved from appearing effeminate by his square jaw and the masculine shape of his mouth.
She lingered over that mouth. Perfectly symmetrical, not too wide, or too narrow--and firm.
Sidney swallowed and slowly returned to his unblinking stare. With her own mouth dry as a desert, she swallowed. It was now or never. She wouldn't get a second chance.
She lowered her hands from her breasts and extended one sweaty palm. "Mr. Navarro, I'm Sidney Coffey, and I'd like to ask you a few questions."