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Authors: Gerry Bartlett

Real Vampires Live Large

BOOK: Real Vampires Live Large
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Real Vampires Live Large
is an outstanding sequel . . . Equal parts humor and spice, with mystery and adventure tossed into the mix. Glory's world is a place I look forward to visiting again, the sooner the better.”
—Fresh Fiction
"Gerry Bartlett has created a laugh-out-loud book that I couldn't put down.
Real Vampires Live Large
is a winner.”
The Romance Readers Connection
“Glory gives ‘Girl Power' a whole new meaning, especially in the undead way. What a fun read!” —
All About Romance
Praise for
Real Vampires Have Curves
“Full-figured vampire Glory bursts from the page in this lively, fun, and engaging spin on the vampire mythology.”
—Julie Kenner,
USA Today
bestselling author
“A real winner. Bartlett brings a fresh spin to paranormal chick lit in this clever combination of suspense and humor and wonderful style. Hang on to your seats—this book is a wild ride.” —
Romantic Times
“Fans of paranormal chick lit will want to take a bite out of Gerry Bartlett's amusing tale. Glory is terrific.”
The Best Reviews
“A sexy, smart, and lively contemporary romance . . . The plot is engaging, the characters are stimulating (not to mention, so is the sex), and the writing is sharp. Glory St. Clair is one hot, curvaceous vampire! She's sassy, sexy, and somewhat single . . . a breath of fresh air.” —
Romance Reader at Heart
“A vampire who even Buffy could love . . . witty and smart . . . plenty of quirky humor . . . If you love Betsy from MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series or Sookie from Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampires, you're gonna love
Real Vampires Have Curves
.” —
A Romance Review
Titles by Gerry Bartlett
Published by the Penguin Group
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley trade edition / July 2007
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / April 2008
Copyright © 2007 by Gerry Bartlett.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-4406-3452-9
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Thanks to:
Sarah Thigpen, for making me laugh;
Kenneth “Bicycle” Collins, for making me mad;
And Nina Bangs, for making me stretch.
I couldn't have done it without you.
Finally, this book is dedicated to the memory of the original Valdez, the Wonder Dog, and all the other wonderful companion animals who have gotten to Heaven ahead of us.
"You're a blood-sucking vampire, Gloriana St. Clair. When are you going to start acting like one?”
I snarled and showed some fang. “Careful, fur face. You really don't want to make me mad.” Yeah, I'm a vampire. Forget stereotypes. I'm blond, blue-eyed and twentysomething with a, uh, voluptuous figure. Vamps are everywhere and you won't have a clue. We're pretty good at blending with mortals and if we're caught in a compromising situation, like say with our fangs in your neck . . . ? Well, there's always the whammy. We can make fang marks disappear along with your memory. Hmmm. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
“Come on, Glory. I'm hurting here.”
Valdez talks in my head. A lot.
“You're my dog-slash-bodyguard, Valdez. You're supposed to be taking care of
“I will. I am. Now turn around.”
“I'm not going back to the store. Forget it. I got the essentials—cream rinse and flea shampoo.” I gasped when my stomach cramped again. “Those damned Cheetos almost killed me.”
“I'm not asking you to eat any. You expect me to give them up just because you can't handle them?”
“I had a near-death experience.” Who knew a Big Grab of Cheetos could be so
? If you know anything about vampires, you know we can dish it out, but we can't or
take it. I'm an old vampire. Like, “I hung out with Billy Shakespeare” old. I knew better, but just once I'd wanted a little crunch in my diet. I gave up biting mortals, mostly, ages ago. But chugging the bottled fake stuff just hadn't been cutting it for me for a long, long time.
I wheeled my aging Suburban into the parking lot behind my apartment building where I have my shop, Vintage Vamp's Emporium (cute, huh?) on the ground floor. The security lights were out again. Not a good sign. Valdez had taken an arrow in the hip back here. An arrow intended for me. I slowed down to a crawl, fought another pain, this one in my head for a change, then pulled into my parking spot.
Crunch, thump and the car lurched to a stop. Oops.
“Now you've done it. Stay here and lock yourself in.”
Valdez opened the passenger door (don't ask) and hopped out, obviously on high alert. Was this a trap? Everyone
know realizes that's
parking spot. Was some stake-happy vamp hunter waiting to get me when I checked out whatever I'd hit?
“I'm not picking up on a threat. But we're in deep shit anyway. ”
Valdez stopped next to my door.
“Back up a foot, then come see.”
As soon as I turned off the engine, another sharp pain hit me right between my eyes. What the hell? I never have headaches unless I'm trying to block one of my mind-reading friends. And the Cheetos didn't mess with my head. Instead I'm stuck with what I'll call the Cheeto bulge. I'm curvy anyway, but since I did the dirty with the snacks, I've developed a new curve in my tummy area. I unlocked the doors and got out.
Thanks to my superior vamp night vision I could see that the Suburban looked undamaged, but the crushed metal between the car and the fence had once been, gulp, a motorcycle. And not one of those cheap bikes, but, double gulp, a classic Harley. And I know about these things. Had a boyfriend once who'd been into those. Mortal. And very last century. One thing I try to do is stay current. I may be ancient, but I don't ever intend to look or act that way.
“What the hell have you done, Gloriana?”
I turned around, fully prepared to do some kind of vamp whammy until I could figure out how to make this right without the involvement of law enforcement or insurance adjusters. One look at the furious Harley owner and I knew the whammy wasn't going to cut it.
Richard Mainwaring is a vamp too. A friend, sort of, but also a scary dude. Anyway, he was staring at the mangled mess like, if he'd been any less pure macho male, he would have shed a few tears. I wanted to cry too. Maybe I could entice him upstairs for a bottle of Fangtastic (my blood substitute of choice lately) and an all-out sob fest.
“I didn't see it. And this is my parking spot.” Yep, I was defensive.
“There's no assigned parking here.” He tenderly set the fallen motorcycle back on its wheels, the effort doing nice things to his biceps. The Harley wobbled for a moment and I held my breath until it seemed steady.
“But it's for residents only. You don't live here, do you?” He'd been an item with my roommate, Florence da Vinci, until recently, but the last word on that subject was that Flo had dumped him. Had they made up and he was moving into Flo's bedroom?
“No. And I'm not with Florence.” He had a grim look. And don't you hate the fact that he'd read my mind? It's a bad vamp habit that I refuse to acquire, at least not on a regular basis. And I'd had run-ins with Richard before. His thoughts are never up for grabs.
“Then you have no business parking here. Visitor parking is in front of the building.”
He knelt down to examine what had been the rear wheel of the Harley. Hmm. He did fill out a pair of jeans nicely. Not that I should be noticing that right now. More to the point, he had a set of shoulders on him, clearly showcased in a sleeveless leather vest, shoulders that would have done a line-backer proud. I have vamp strength, but this guy could have thrown me across the parking lot without breaking a sweat.
He turned and gave me a measuring look. Oops. I think I came up short. I unzipped my jacket, a cozy velour hoodie that matched my turquoise sweat pants and sleeveless tank. He could outmuscle me, but I've got a few weapons of my own. Maybe if I flashed a little cleavage . . . Mainwaring's a former priest turned vamp, but I know for a fact that he's very into women.
“Gloriana, how could you do this? Didn't you see the space was already occupied?” Mainwaring has a slight British accent, white blond hair and the kind of eyes that make you think of clear skies. That is, if you can remember that far back. Me, I haven't seen daylight personally since 1604. Sigh.
“It's dark back here.” I looked down at my dog, pressed against my right leg. “And Valdez and I were having a discussion . . .”
“Don't lay this off on me, Blondie.”
Valdez chuffed and stepped away.
“You were driving this heap, not me.”
BOOK: Real Vampires Live Large
10.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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