(Currently free on Smashwords)
I couldn’t believe my luck when I no sooner finished the first story in the series than I found out about this novella free at Smashwords. On top of that news, I discovered that this is really two stories not just one. Yummo!
The first story gives two minor characters in ‘Kiss of Steel’ their chance at romance and happiness. Rip puts up blocks faster than Esme can tear them down, but she is determined. He thinks he’s nothing special and now that he’s been infected with the virus and a blue blood he is afraid that he will accidentally lose control with her so he pushes Esme away while maintaining silence that she takes as a signal that he doesn’t wish to be more than friends. With a little Christmas hope and the meddling of friends along with a dash of danger from the Slashers who are snatching women in Whitechapel for their blood, they might get past their problems. I enjoyed seeing this couple get their chance and I was frustrated along with Esme though I completely understood where Rip was coming from. Esme is a great character and I loved how she looked past the surface stuff and saw the beautiful soul inside Rip. However, I should admit that she likes the exterior package too. They were great together and I hope they get some face time in the rest of the series. It was neat to get a glimpse of many of the characters.
The second story is really a short teaser piece that acts as a transition for the second novel that makes Lena and Will the main characters. It ends on an ominous note for a few different plot threads. While I was sad to see what was happening, I enjoyed the snapshot at where things are leading and look forward to book two.