Blood Fest Chasing Destiny by Pepper O'Neal
She didn’t know what she was—or that what she was could get her killed...
A struggling private detective in Los Angeles, Chase Alcott has no idea about her unique genetic makeup. So when she takes on a new client—an old man with ulterior motives—she’s unaware of the danger she’ll soon face. Traveling to England to solve a mysterious murder at the request of her new client, Chase encounters terrifying creatures she thought only existed in her nightmares—only to find out she’s one of them. Caught in a web of evil and deception after learning some terrifying truths about her long dead parents, Chase doesn’t know who to believe. Does she dare trust the enigmatic Roman, a man with dark secrets of his own?
He knew what she was—he just had no idea what to do about her…
English nobleman, Roman Fernwood, half-werewolf/half-vampire, doesn’t want a mate, especially not a half human/half-weretiger with no knowledge of what she is. But there’s something about Chase, Roman can’t resist in spite of his determination not to fall in love. Is it her fascinating American spunk and courage or her stunning cinnamon eyes? Or could it be the passion he senses just beneath her calm, unruffled demeanor? Whatever it is, Roman must keep her safe from those who want to kill her—and find a way to show her what she is without driving her into the arms of the other Weres who also want her for a mate.
Rain dripped down the back of Roman’s neck and trailed along his spine like cold, wet fingers. Forcing himself to ignore the disturbing sensations, he focused instead on the preacher’s droning voice and the coffin being lowered into Melinda’s grave.
“This wasn’t an accident, Andy,” he whispered to his solicitor. “I tried to tell Chief Inspector Clayton that, but he wouldn’t listen.”
Stepping closer to Roman, Andrew Wright shifted his umbrella to shelter the both of them. “Have you considered going to his superiors?”
“Yes. But I doubt it would do any good. They’d be as stumped by the lack of motive as Clayton.”
The parish priest closed the graveside service with a prayer. Finally. Breathing a communal sigh of relief, the two dozen mourners headed out of the dismal little cemetery.
Roman slowed his pace until he and Andy fell behind the others. “I’m also afraid this may have been done by one of my kind.”
Andy stopped walking and stared at him. “A Lycan or a Vampire?”
“If that were true, wouldn’t there be marks on her—” Breaking off when Roman made shushing gestures, Andy shot a quick, darting glance around the graveyard. “Sorry,” he said in a lowered voice. “But wouldn’t there be some evidence of that?”
“Only if the killer was feeding.”
“Oh. Right. Would you like me to hire a private investigator for you? There must be someone we can trust to look into this.”
“Not until we have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.” Roman started walking again. “Besides, my father will be home soon. And I’d like to discuss the matter with him first.”
“Er, ah—” Andy cleared his throat. “Lord Fernwood’s stay across the pond has been extended. He was involved in a motor vehicle accident yesterday.”
“Oh, Christ!” Roman cringed at the images flooding his mind. “Not him, too.”
“Re—relax. He’s not bad—not seriously injured, I mean.” Andy’s words rushed out, tumbling over one another. “I—I’m sorry. I should have told you that first. He has a broken leg, two broken ribs, and a fair-sized collection of bruises. But that’s all.”
“Thank God.” Overwhelmed by relief, Roman stumbled on legs that didn’t feel attached to his body. He grabbed Andy’s shoulder to steady himself. “How did it happen?”
“From what he told me when he called from the hospital, he was crossing a street in Los Angeles—apparently against the light and in the middle of the road—when he was hit by a car.”
Roman sighed. “That sounds like Father.” Then the implication of Andy’s words hit him. “Wait a minute. Father’s supposed to be in New York. What the hell’s he doing in Los Angeles?”
“I’m afraid I can’t answer that.” Andy paused as they neared Roman’s Rolls Royce. He waited until they were seated inside the limo before continuing. “All I know is what he told me on the phone. He said he’d postponed his meeting in New York and had gone to California to check out something. Or someone. It wasn’t the best connection, so I’m really not sure.”
Roman rubbed a hand over his face. “Well, knowing him, whatever it is, it’s bound to make my life more complicated.”
A chill skittered through him—one that had nothing to do with the weather.