Commander Xavier Raige, ex-Special Forces and now a leader of an elite team of mercenaries. At 6’7” he is as lethal as he is handsome. Xavier doesn’t have time to sugar the pill - he is abrupt, direct and demanding. When he accepts a new mission to stop a skilled thief that has been plaguing the notorious Belcastro mafia family, Xavier is unaware that this job will change the course of his life forever - and threaten to awaken the wolf he has kept at bay all his life.
Alicia Carberletti is a small woman with a BIG attitude! She is feisty, sexy, independent and smart - she also admires people who know their manners! Alicia has been all alone ever since her beloved family was brutally murdered. Trying to find peace, she embarks on a holiday of a lifetime only to have it take a sinister turn.
Tainted blood, wicked lies, deception and cruel fate: when Alicia and Xavier collide with one another will events spiral out of control - or can they hold onto to one another and face the dark consequences of their actions?
Together they will entice you into their world - and this new series comes with a WARNING - once you enter, you won't want to leave!
In a world of humans, vampires, werewolves and a murky Mafia underworld, is it so easy to tell who are the real monsters and who still holds their humanity?
There is a reason for everything and all actions have consequences.
All Commander Xavier Raige wanted to do from the minute his world collided with Alicia Carberletti’s was to protect her. Now, the biggest battle he has ever faced has just begun. He needs to find a way back to Alicia and save her from the dark forces that are gathering against her, and he won’t let the inconvenience of being dead keep him away.
Lieutenant “Shuggie” MacAndrew, ancient Scottish warrior vampire. Mystery surrounds his past and puts his future in jeopardy. Can he win the battle between his heart and head, or will he be defeated in his pursuit of The One?
Dr Teodora Valdez, skilled surgeon and scientist. She almost has it all until a dark secret resurfaces. Can she heal the wounds or will she discover there is no cure for a broken heart?
The consequences of recent events unravel and battle for dominance in the Mafia Underworld intensifies.
All become as tainted as the blood that ties them together.
Alicia Carberletti has finally found someone to share her immortal life with - but her friend has been kidnapped and her mate Commander Xavier Raige and best friend Lieutenant Shuggie MacAndrew are on a mission to try to save her.
As she starts to build up her family’s mafia business once again, Alicia starts to unravel a web of deceit and lies about her family and her own past - which threatens her very sanity and future.
The only one she can rely on is Xavier - but as fate steps in and creates obstacles for them, will Xavier be able to help unravel the mystery that is Alicia Carberletti or will time run out for the unlucky lovers?
The battle for dominance in the mafia underworld rages on with ambition; family; revenge; love and hate making it difficult to tell who is the monsters - the humans or the immortals? The stained blood of the past threatens to taint the future
Weaving his bike at the sharp bends in the narrow road on the way to the Martinez mansion, Xavier mulled over the fine details of his agreement to their job offer. He didn’t notice the vehicle hurtling towards him in the opposite direction, and he hadn’t factored in that the sun was just rising. He most definitely didn’t expect that the driver of the other vehicle seemed to have a death wish.
The rising sun bounced off the windshield of the oncoming vehicle, blinding Xavier momentarily. As he swerved to the right he felt his front wheel dip, and he flew over the handlebars of his bike as it slid under the front wheels of the offending vehicle. Lying in the bushes at the side of the road, Xavier checked himself over to ensure he wasn’t bleeding or broken, and slowly stood up. Making his way over the now stationary vehicle, he curled his hand into a fist and punched through the driver’s window, pulling out the driver. As he was about to make chowder out of his face, he noticed that the driver’s feet were dangling off the ground.
He then noticed that he was a she. A very small she.
“What do you think you are playing at, female? You could have killed me!” Narrowing his eyes, Xavier dangled the female in front of him.
“I was driving my car - you crashed into me you prick so don’t ask me what I was playing at!” Alicia glared at the huge male that had her suspended in the air, her boots hovering as he gripped her tightly by the shoulders.
“Help me! Help me! He’s trying to kidnap me!”
Alicia started screaming at the top of her voice as she looked up at the most unusual shade of green eyes that she had ever seen. A small smirk started to appear on her lips and she began to deliberately sway herself like a pendulum in the brute’s hold.
Slapping a gloved hand over the screeching female’s mouth, Xavier lowered her to the ground, giving her a warning look before removing his hand.
“Kidnap you? You are out of your goddamn mind?” Xavier growled low as he moved away from her to survey the damage she’d done to his bike. Crouching down, his hands caressed it like a lover and he looked back at her, his face full of fury.
“You were driving like a maniac and nearly totalled my damn bike,” he said clicking his fingers then opening his palm out. “Your insurance details. Now!”
“The sun hit off my windshield for the love of the gods! I swerved as I was momentarily blinded - you must have been coming around the bends too fast! Where did you say you got your licence? A Kinder egg?”
Alicia stood looking down at the male. He looked to her like he was having an emotional breakdown over the now twisted piece of metal. Her hand moved, but not to give him any piece of paper with her details. Her left hand reached into her jacket pocket where she pulled out a lolly, unwrapped it, and popped it in her mouth before turning and proceeding to walk back to her car.
Never. Never in his adult life had anyone addressed him like this - especially not a pixie sized female with the driving skills of a kamikaze. Xavier’s jaw nearly hit the ground as she smart mouthed him, then casually stood at the roadside sucking on the candy. It was only then that Xavier got a good look at her. The rising sun had illuminated her outline and his eyes took their time, checking her out from feet to head.
She was slender, but her curves were in all the right places. Her long auburn hair tumbled over her shoulders and her big brown eyes seemed to look right into his soul. Her full pouting lips were taunting him with that damn candy. Almost forgetting why he was pissed off with her, he shook his head and focused.
“The sun was in my direction, so there’s no way it could’ve blinded you. Besides, you were steaming down that road like a bat out of hell. Now, I’m not in the habit of repeating myself - your insurance details.” His jaw ticked as he faced up to this little female with the huge attitude. Usually his sheer size and no nonsense approach had people running in the opposite direction, not trying to go head to head with him. This was a new experience for him, and he was pretty sure he didn’t like it.
Using her thumb and forefinger to gently tug on the stick of the lolly, Alicia removed the candy from her lips, her hand moving as she addressed the giant with the vibrant green eyes and blond hair, strands of which had come loose from his ponytail.
“And I am not in the habit of giving my personal details out to hooligans that crash into me and then blame me for their reckless driving! Look…neither of us were hurt so what’s the problem here? You go your way and I’ll go my way, simples.”
Exasperated, Xavier was for the first time in his life stuck for words. This small female was facing up to him - and winning! Twice he’d demanded her details, and both times she shot him down without as much as a blink.
“Sweetcheeks,” his voice lowered as he stood up to tower over her, “you damaged my bike through your dodgem-car style driving. If you don’t have insurance then you can give me the cash up front to fix it, yeah?”
Xavier had no need for the money, he was wanting to scare the female into providing her details. It wasn’t so much about fixing his bike anymore as much as…he just had to know her name. He’d never met anyone quite like her and as much as she irritated him, there was something about her stubbornness and conviction that intrigued him.
Alicia’s words came out through her gritted teeth. “Please! ‘Please may I have your insurance details ma’am?’ Manners seem to be very much lacking in you don’t they, sir?” she said, thinking to herself that he did not just refer to her as ‘Sweetcheeks’!
Shuggie stood in front of the doors to the medical bay barring Teodora from entering.
“Ye cannae go in there Doc – it’s no safe fur any of us.” His voice was grim and his face set in stone. He was still trying to process what he had just witnessed, and was glad for once that the youngling had taken off on her own. To see with her own eyes what he had seen may very well have broken her mentally. As it was, he wasn’t sure if he was losing his marbles. “What dae ye huv in yer hands, Doc?” nodding to indicate the file that she was holding tightly.
Teodora tried to peek around Shuggie but his sheer size was blocking her from doing so. “I ran off to do some tests, but from the way you are all acting I believe my findings have already happened yes? The wolf is in the bay, I presume Lieutenant?” Teodora always addressed Shuggie professionally when her staff or the Commander's unit were present.
“No jist any wolf, Doc…” His granite features fixed on Teodora, and the ink on his body was glowing like oil on water. “...he’s a fucking monster.” Shuggie stood to one side, but his arm was still outstretched preventing Teodora being able to move any further.
“Super Hybrid is the term you are looking for Lieutenant, his ‘lazy wolf syndrome’ mixed with Alicia’s blood has created something not even I have ever seen. Where is Alicia now?” The scientist part of Teodora’s brain was starting to pique and she wanted inside that bay to assess this ‘super wolf’. This was ground-breaking research for her and she wasn’t wanting to miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
From inside the bay, Shuggie heard the loudest wolf-howl he had experienced in his thousands of years, and it made the whole area shake like a mini-earthquake. “Jesus fucking Christ!” Turning his head in slow motion, he made eye contact with the ‘Beast’ for the first time, but he was still talking to Teodora. “Super hybrid ye say? So with yer sayin’ is that the youngling’s blood has mutated the Commander’s DNA?” Both watched as the enormous wolf started towards them.
The sounds of screams and people fleeing for their lives echoed around the compound as Teo and Shuggie stood conversing about the findings of the blood work. Xavier was heading towards them, but the Doctor was transfixed at what she was seeing. He was enormous! The howling and barking noises he was making triggered a thought in her head as she spoke to Shuggie. “He’s trying to communicate with us.”
“Nae shit, Sherlock,” Shuggie muttered under his breath.
“What the fuck are they looking at? I know I’m fuck handsome, but take a goddamn picture and be done with it, yeah?” Xavier was grumpy. Not that he wanted parades and statues in his honour – but still, his best friend was standing having a heart to heart with the Doc as his employees stood around gawking. “And where the fuck is Sweetcheeks?” The least she could have done was be here to welcome him back to terra firma.
What if she had been injured or killed and that was what Shuggie and the Doc were arguing about? “Get fucking in here Lieutenant!” He barked the order.
He didn’t realise that he had literally ‘barked’ the order.
“When will you be home? It’s been four months Xav, four months of searching for Dory, and I only get you for a day—two if I’m lucky—then you're off again!” Alicia whined as she cradled her cell to her ear. She never knew when Xavier would call, so it was on the loudest tone possible and practically glued to her hand.
Xavier popped a stick of gum in his mouth as he listened to Alicia, kicking Shuggie in the ass to get him out of the room so he had some privacy. Ignoring the Scotsman’s complaints, he turned his attention back to his call. “Sweetcheeks...” he had lowered his voice, and was laying on the charm, “...shut up, yeah. It’s quantity not quality.” Grinning, he stretched his long legs out and laid back in his seat, closing his eyes and imagining that his female was sitting opposite him. “Look, we are making real progress on the whereabouts of the Doc, but I’m having to manage psycho-Scot here who wants to napalm any fucker called Tony or Mabel, yeah? Anyway, let’s not waste the time we’ve got. What are you wearing?” His grin had turned into a wicked smirk.
Xavier and Shuggie had left Alicia shortly after their fortified compound hidden in the South of France had been attacked. They were mercenaries–highly trained military operatives who also had the enviable qualities of being supernatural beings—Shuggie, Scottish vampire warrior and Xavier who was a super hybrid werewolf. Alicia was a unique species of vampire called Sanguin Solis and as such was a valuable prize for those who would hunt her down–she had the ability to walk in the sunlight. The intruders were a sadistic sorcerer named Anthony Hills III who had been Doctor Teodora Valdez-MacAndrew’s former employer and Shuggie’s torturer, and Mabel—Alicia’s ‘Maker’ and as insane as they come. In the midst of the attack, Shuggie’s new wife Teodora had been kidnapped, mistaken for Alicia. There had been no communication from the kidnappers of Teodora since.
“Just promise me you’ll be here for opening night, if you miss it I will flash to where you are and kill you for real this time!” Alicia popped a lolly in her mouth as Frazzle was lying stretched out over her thighs. “I’m wearing your hoody and a pair of shorts...why, you weirdo?”
Xavier heard the candy wrapper, and let out a low growl. “Keep sucking like that and I’ll come on opening night...and every other night of the week!” Laughing, he sat up, trying not to think too much about her sitting there in only his top and a pair of shorts. “Is everything alright there, Sweetcheeks, Hawkeye behaving himself?” Sergeant Ciaran “Hawkeye” Paterson was one of Xavier’s most loyal soldiers, and the Irishman owed his life to his Commander. Unlike the rest of Xavier’s unit, Hawkeye had been recently included into the inner circle and was now keeper of their secret supernatural abilities. It had taken him some time to get his head around the fact that humans interacted unknowingly with vampires, werewolves and the like, but he was always a professional. Although his nickname was Hawkeye, due in part to his precise eye for detail, Alicia always called him Patcheye and she was the only one to call him by the moniker. Hawkeye never questioned it–he took the name as a badge of honour, as he had noted that Alicia never got anyone’s name right if she liked them. Xavier had left the day to day security of Alicia with Hawkeye and had several calls with him daily on how she was doing, but she didn’t need to know that. He wanted Alicia to feel as though she was in charge when he was gone, even though he left absolutely nothing to chance where her safety was concerned.
“Want to suck my lolly?” Alicia let out a laugh as she rearranged her body on their bed, so she was lying further down. “All’s cool here. I spent the day in Italy at the new place, it looks freaking awesome and yes Patcheye is behaving, although he’s no fun! He doesn’t argue with me like you do!” Although Hawkeye’s eye had fully healed after having it broken by Xavier’s fist some months back, Alicia had remained calling him Patcheye. “How is Hugh really doing?”
Opening his eyes, Xavier rolled his shoulders and exhaled slowly. “The mad bastard is grouchier than me, and that’s fucking saying something. ‘Course he’s worried about Teo—just married and then losing her to the sociopath Tony? Not the honeymoon he was planning, yeah? As I said, we’re making good progress and should be able to make a move soon. I just hope there’s something worth saving when we finally get there…” His tone had turned serious, and although he was trying to shield Alicia from exactly what was happening, he knew she was no fool and couldn’t hide everything from her.
Hearing Xavier’s tone change from playful to serious, Alicia knew not to ask. She knew damn fine well Xavier would tell her if she asked, but there were some things she just didn’t need to know. She wanted Dory back alive but then she also knew what the thing she referred to as her creator was capable of. Tony Hills, on the other hand, was just a random to her—albeit one that tried along with Mabel to kidnap her. A shudder coursed through Alicia at the thought of ‘her’ name.
“Look after him Xav, his wife is missing and if it were me? You’d be fucking psychotic.”
The wolf in Xavier reared up the instant that visual was put into his head. Psychotic would be his ‘relaxed’ state if anything happened to Alicia. Not wanting to go down that route he answered, “Will do, Sweetcheeks. Don’t worry, I never leave one of my own and not about to start now. Besides, the sooner I get this mission over with the sooner I can be on top of you.” He never wanted his female stressed or harassed. He protected her from everything, including worry.
Alicia let out a purr. “Mmm, under you sounds like heaven, Commander Prick. I just want our family all together like we should be! Right you, get some sleep, Ti Amo.”
“No sleep for me, Sweetcheeks.” Xavier hated ending calls to Alicia, but tonight seemed to hit him harder than usual for some reason. “Don’t forget to scream my name tonight, yeah?” then hung up abruptly. If he didn’t, he knew he’d be ordering his Lieutenant to flash him back to their compound tonight and to hell with the mission to save Teo.
Sighing to herself, Alicia slipped off the bed. “Ready to go to work baby?” Frazzle leaped from the covers and ran to the door. “Easy leopard, I have to get ready first” Walking over to where the Bengal tiger was waiting, she opened the door telling her beloved pet to go and get Hawkeye. Wherever they went, Frazzle went too.
L J Halkett is 35 years of age, Mother, Wife and Housing Officer for Local Government. She is a smart, sassy and superbly imaginative woman who devours books - especially in the paranormal genre! She is the master at multi-tasking and she is always thinking ten steps ahead. With her passion for creativity, she brings to life her imagination with vivid detail. Family is the cornerstone of LJ’s life, and her greatest achievement is her wonderful son.
Left Partially sighted after her Stroke, LJ has to write in what the Authors call ‘Nasa’ font and can only detect the colour red, which can be difficult when reading print on a daily basis - her determination is testament to her personality - as she says.... "Where's there's a will? There's a way!"
RT Lucas is 41 years of age, soon to be Divorced [Hurrah!] and had a very successful career in Recruitment and Business Development until it was cut short through illness. Having worked in the Health Sector, Human Resources and Ministry of Defence, she has a myriad of experiences to draw from - and says that sometimes life can be stranger than Fiction! RT is an avid reader of the paranormal/romance genres but her first love will always be Science Fiction. She says that she has far superior music taste to that of her Best Friend and Co-Author - and uses every available opportunity to tell her so! RT lives alone with her #XavCat who faithfully lies by her computer whenever she wanders into the world of Tainted Blood.