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IT’S LIVE: “Hallowed Holiday” by SF Benson

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Title: Hallowed Holiday (A Christmas Hearts Novella)

By: SF Benson

Genre: Holiday Romance, Paranormal Romance

Cover Designed By: Bam Shepherd

HallowedHolidayebook

Blurb:

The romance between a vampire and a teenage succubus continues!

Victor Duquette, a vampire, has seen a few changes in his existence ever since the night he took that forbidden bite. First, he was banned from Falls Creek proper. Then the Fates acted on his behalf and Victor became head of the same council that kicked him and his fiancée out of town. Not such a bad outcome for a guy who only wanted to find love, but then there’s the century old curse he resurrected.

It’s literally sucking the life out of Kelsie Martin, Victor’s succubus girlfriend. Slowly but surely, the gorgeous female is losing her succubus side and becoming a vampire.

Decisions and sacrifices must be made before Kelsie dies. Just how far will Victor go for love?

Hallowed Holiday is a Paranormal Holiday Romance between a succubus and a vampire.


Excerpt:

Chapter One

—Victor—

There’s a new dusting of snow outside the stained-glass window along with a cool breeze sneaking beneath the front door. Houses all over Falls Creek are decked out with red and green lights along with flocked wreaths and trees. Listen carefully, and you’ll hear the melodic sounds of carolers in the streets. All blatant reminders that the Christmas holiday is almost here—not my favorite time of year. I’m not a scrooge or anything. The cold air affects the blood supply—making it harder to get and keeping what is available too chilled—but I prefer a more hospitable climate like the French Riviera until the temps warm up. That’s where I went before Luc moved us to the States.

Before Kelsie.

I never thought it was possible to love someone as much as I love her. Life with Kelsie has kept me from letting Luc spike my heart and bury me in a wall. Before I met Kelsie, I had grown tired of being alone and was ready for someone—anyone—to end my existence. And then I met the most amazing female ever created.

One not-so-innocent bite, and I cursed Kelsie, turning her into a hybrid succubus slash vampire. Despite it all, Kelsie’s beauty continues to shine through. The only time she shows any hint of vampirism is when it’s been a while between feedings. Then her silky skin loses its glow, and her smoky gray eyes stop shining and become hazy empty pools. I do everything in my power to prevent it, including stocking the basement wine cellar and the refrigerator with bottles of Crimson Ridge—Luc’s finest.

Her book snaps closed, grabbing my attention. Kelsie gazes up with tearful eyes and a slight, ingenuous smile on her slender face. She’s lost in a moment, and it’s up to me to help her through it.

Taking a seat beside her, I say, “Kels, let’s go out for a bit? Maybe the Temptation Club for a few hours?” I’ll take her anywhere to ease the burden on her mind. She’s been this way for weeks, and it’s getting worse. Not even helping Marcus Uraeleus decorate his new house eased her sorrow.

“We’re not supposed to go into town,” she mumbles.

“We’re not supposed to live in town,” I correct. “We can venture there anytime. Council members can’t complain anymore.” It’s only been a few months since I took over as the leader. I wanted us to move, but Marc advised against it. Said it might upset the town’s supernatural community.

She shakes her beautiful, dark head and says, “Going out isn’t necessary. Really, I just want to see my mom.”

Not upsetting the masses is one thing, but the exile—forced upon us when Kelsie and I chose to be together, against Council’s rules—is affecting Kelsie’s health, and I don’t like it. It’s time to fix the problem Luc allowed to happen.

Honestly, the punishment hasn’t affected me. I’ve always been the outsider looking through a telescope on the living. But it’s different for Kelsie. She’s accustomed to seeing her family whenever she wants. Her mother, unfortunately, is too busy to come by while her brother got himself banished from town. If Cash had reported what he knew about the human murders to Council, he and the djinniyah wouldn’t have had to leave. They’re now married and living in New Orleans. Kelsie’s been depressed ever since we returned from the wedding.

“Did you call your mother?” I reach for the goblet on the side table and take a healthy sip.

“She’s in New York again. Her latest suitor flew her there for the weekend. We’ll talk when she returns.” Kelsie tosses the book to the floor and places her head on my shoulder. “You know what I really miss with Mom?”

“No. What?”

“This time of year we’d put up decorations and wrap gifts. It feels strange not doing those things.”

I could just kick myself. Just because I stopped recognizing the holiday doesn’t mean Kelsie should. “We’ll fix this, love.”

Kelsie gives me a thin smile and says, “Don’t worry about it. As long as I have you, I’ll be fine.”

Not good enough. Kelsie needs her family.

“What about your aunt Lilith? Maybe she could go shopping with you? You could buy some decorations for this place.”

“We talked earlier.” Kelsie pauses for a beat or two. “She wants to take me shopping this weekend.”

“Good. You should go,” I urge. It’s been a long time since I’ve put up a tree. “Make sure you pick out a tree and whatever you need for decorating. Have it delivered.” Kelsie has had access to my unlimited expense account—courtesy of Luc—since the day I proposed. If it would make her happy, she can empty the bank.

She sits up and kisses my cheek. “You don’t have to do anything special for me. The Temptation Club sounds good. I’ll go change.”

I grasp her wrist. “Wait a minute, love.”

“Yes?” Kelsie regards my hand.

“Tell me what I can do for you,” I ask, releasing her arm. “I hate seeing you like this.”

“I said I’ll be fine, Victor. It’s just the holiday blues.”

“And that’s why I want you to do whatever you need to do. I don’t mind the decorations.” Wrapping my arms around Kelsie, I pull her into my side. “I haven’t celebrated a holiday in years. As a kid, Ma and I would put up a big tree the first of December and decorate our flat with lots of lights and ornaments. Christmas was our favorite time of the year. For Ma it was being around family and friends. Me? I was like most kids, looking forward to the presents.”

“It used to be mine too,” she says, dejectedly. “Cash and I did all the decorating. Aunt Lilith would take us shopping keeping Mom from knowing what we bought.”

“Don’t worry, love.” I kiss Kelsie’s temple. “I promise you a wonderful holiday.”

I’m not quite sure what that holiday will look like, but it has to be spectacular. She’s worth it.

Kelsie pats my hand and plasters on a smile, being brave for me. “Okay, but maybe it’s time to embrace a new tradition.”

Kelsie’s heels echo across the wood floor as she walks toward the stairs. Sadness follows behind her like an obedient pup. Whipping out my phone, I make a note on my calendar to pay Lilith a visit.

Months ago, I swore I’d always make Kelsie happy, and I will not fail now.


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