There is no happily ever after for Damali and Carlos, even though they have finally tied the knot. There are bigger problems on the horizon: A band of human scientists conducting secret experiments has opened the dimension that holds Cain, the son of Eve and the new Chairman of the Vampire Council. And now that Cain is back into the human world, he's bigger and badder than ever.
Cain has amassed an army of creatures no one has ever encountered before...and he has plans of his own for his beloved Vampire Huntress Damali. So when she heads to Hell to serve justice--and faces a nemesis of pure, unforeseen evil--it's all Carlos can do to get Damali back. After all, his wife might be pregnant. The question is: Is Damali's child his--or the Chairman's?
Banks's sizzling eighth Vampire Huntress Legend (after The Forsaken) explodes with the wrath of Cain, who burns with obsessive passion for the Neteru vampire huntress, Damali, and hatred for her new husband, Carlos Rivera. Completely turned to the dark side, Cain takes his father's throne in Hell, recalls the evil master vampire, Fallon Nuit, from the Sea of Perpetual Agony and pursues the amorous newlyweds. Cain's mother, Eve, is so devastated by her son's evil transformation that all humanity's fecundity is adversely affected. Nuit starts assembling a thoroughly nasty new army and messes with Damali and Carlos while the ancient Council of Neteru Kings and Queens readies for war and Armageddon. In her inimitable combination of street and baroque language, Banks offers more dramatic sex, action-packed good vs. evil adventure and multicultural mythology to reinforce ethical lessons. (Feb.)
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St. Martin's Griffin
February 06, 2007
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Excerpt from The Wicked by L.A. Banks
Chapter One nbsp; La Paz, Mexico nbsp; Total contentment wafted through Carlos as he sat on a kitchen stool in their honeymoon villa, watching Damali bop around the kitchen. He leaned on his elbows on the wide butcher-block island and smiled. She looked so thoroughly happy and so in her element, buzzing around trying to fix their last private supper, he could only shake his head. nbsp; The last of the sun was bringing gold and rose-orange light in with the beach breeze from the decks and open windows, dappling the white rooms and Damali’s beautiful brown skin. This was sanctuary; the Light had provided a few hallowed days of drama cease-fire and obligation so he could enjoy his new wife. It was a time that he thought would only happen when Hell froze over. Jesus. nbsp; He silently wondered what their life together would be like with children. After the way they’d been at it for four glorious days and nights, the result was imminent. He smiled and briefly closed his eyes just thinking about it. nbsp; Oh, yeah, this was a very personal gift from On High. He’d be reverent forever. The way Damali flitted from the counter to the refrigerator to the stove almost choked him up—the sight of it filled him up so. One day her belly would be heavy and loaded with a life they’d created. One day there would be a tiny little face with big brown eyes watching them tease each other and laugh. . . . He just wondered if what they’d make would have fangs or wings or both. He didn’t care, as long as he’d made it with her. God apparently did answer prayers. nbsp; Pineapple and papaya that he was supposed to be peeling sat waiting for him, but try as he might, he couldn’t focus on the fruit while he gazed at her. He was just glad that they were on the same wavelength about not wanting to go out for this last honeymoon meal together. Going back to their waiting Guardian team that was family had definitely lost its appeal, too. Although kidnapping her or stopping time to keep life at bay wasn’t an option, there was something so private and so profoundly peaceful about this time that he’d tuck it away to savor it beyond the grave. He loved her. Period. End of story. nbsp; “You don’t have to do this, you know,” he finally said in a pleasant, mellow tone, just loving the way her white tank top fit her and the way her sheer white sarong hung low on her hips. He watched her unfettered breasts bounce as she moved. He wondered if she had on underwear. There was no visible line of a barrier, and the mystery of it all added to the excitement of watching her work. Did life get any better than this? nbsp; “I know,” she said in a cheerful voice, seeming oblivious to his thoughts; then she stopped to kiss the bridge of his nose across the counter dividing them and went back to her disorganized puttering. nbsp; “But you’re a vegetarian—you don’t even eat steak.” He laughed and poured them both another glass of merlot as a diversion, to give his hands something to do, rather than grabbing her. nbsp; “So? I know how to cook one, though.” nbsp; Carlos raised an eyebrow. “Uh . . . you don’t really have to cook it all that much for me . . . just a flash on both sides, and—” nbsp; “Yeah, yeah, I know . . . leave it running blood.” Damali sucked her teeth. “I still don’t see how you can go there with beef, but I’m not gonna start.” nbsp; They both laughed.