Genre: Paranormal Romance
Can six people stop a deadly virus threatening all of humanity?
When Laura Swift is attacked by a glassy-eyed human reeking of death she's rescued by a tall, muscular stranger. But she hasn't come out unscathed, and when her hero sees the bite mark on her hand he levels a gun on her.
Damian Gonsalves has one job—to stop the plague threatening to sweep through the US. An incurable virus that turns those afflicted into ravenous undead. He's a super soldier, engineered to be stronger, faster, and deadlier, yet all of his training fails him once he lays eyes on the petite blonde he rescues in an alleyway. A woman who should've never survived beyond a few moments against an undead attack. But she has one more surprise in store for him, and he soon discovers that within her may be the last hope for humanity.
Dr. Maxwell Straight is in a race against time to develop a cure for a virus she helped create. While Max hoped to use it as a way to speed healing in injured soldiers, her twin sister had other plans. Project Terminal was turned into a weapon of mass destruction, and Max has to trust the man who broke her heart to help her stop the unleashed horror.
Super soldier Adam 'Preacher' Reed saw what was coming in Project Terminal long before anyone else. When his warnings fell on deaf ears he turned away from the project, and Max, for good. But now the woman Preacher once loved needs his help, and he'll do anything to stop the spreading undead plague. What he doesn't count on are the feelings that resurface when he's with her. Can he keep Max alive long enough for her to develop the cure, or will his worst fears be realized—losing his heart to Max, and their lives to the project?
Super soldiers Amelia St. James and Gabe Morris have been called in for their most important mission—to protect those trying to stop Project Terminal. While holding up in a tiny cabin in the Colorado Rockies with Max, Preacher, Laura, and Damian, Amelia does her best to remain focused even though Gabe is one huge distraction she could do without. He's irritating, chauvinistic, and basically everything an independent woman would hate in a man, all wrapped up in an appealing package. Not that she'd admit to any attraction on her part.
Gabe has been infatuated with Amelia since the two of them met years before. She's smart and headstrong, and he wants nothing more than to get past her defenses. His priorities are to the people he's sworn to protect, but with Amelia so close he finds it hard to concentrate.
Those behind Project Terminal have a nasty surprise in store. Will six people alone in the mountains be able to stop them?
Content Warning: contains graphic sex, strong language, violence, and lots of creepy undead
Curled in the fetal position, Laura looked like a sick child, fragile and broken. Damian's throat constricted, even though it was ridiculous to have feelings for someone you didn't know. He was military, Army Infantry, for Christ's sake, he knew how to pull a trigger without regret.
Laura rolled onto her back, staring toward the ceiling with glassy eyes. Despite the tremulous hold she had on life, she was already dead.
He existed as a government killing machine—an automaton they'd designed. Nothing more. He'd given his humanity away to the project. He wasn't much better than the corpses he hunted.
"I'm so sorry this happened to you, baby. You were right, I deserved this, not you."
His vision blurred when he stared down the barrel, the silencer aimed squarely between her eyes, his heart beating a crazed rhythm in his chest. His finger squeezed ever so slightly on the trigger. Outside a mourning dove called to its mate, a haunting song echoing in the room. He recalled a story from his youth about how a dove would arrive to carry a person's soul to the afterlife. If he believed in anything but the here and now, in that moment he would've thought it true.
Laura's mouth gaped open, strangled noises escaping her throat, seizures taking her into death throes.
He lowered his arm and thumped the butt of his gun against his thigh, waiting for the monster to appear. When she became the undead, when she moved to attack him, he'd have the power to destroy her. She deserved one last try to get the best of him. Maybe it wasn't Laura anymore, but he'd honor the fighting spirit within her. She'd never get past him, but if she took a piece of him in the process he'd have an excuse to end the whole goddamned thing here, in this stinking house. If he ever got infected his duty would be to put a bullet in his own head.
Laura's body stilled, her eyelids drifting closed.
Her eyes popped wide open, her back arching. She sucked in a breath as if surfacing from deep waters. He turned his body sideways, leveling his gun in dead aim, waiting for the corpse to lunge.
Devil's Virus Excerpt:
Reed growled, lifting her from her feet. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he sat her on a lab table. The cold metal top chilled her as he stepped back. His eyes burned a trail down her torso. He leaned in, bracing his hands on each side of her hips, trapping her between. He stared into her eyes.
"This is a serious complication, Max." The words sounded forced.
Max had to clear her throat. "It will definitely get in the way."
"We need to stop right now."
"Yes, we do." She hung suspended, both fearing he'd move in or back off. Neither option seemed satisfactory with the war going on between head, heart, and loins.
A huge crash reverberated through the room, shocking a scream from her lungs. Reed whirled toward the noise, bracing his feet wide. Raspy breathing sounded from down the hallway, and Max's heart thundered.
"What the hell is that?" she whispered.
Footfalls slapped down the hall, bare feet hitting the tile flooring. Max held her breath, unsure what to do while Reed dove for his rifle. The undead appeared in the doorway, the sad remains of a woman. Her mouth hung agape, foam dripping from her lips. Reed aimed, but it ducked down, disappearing behind the rows of tables.
"Damn it." Reed jumped on a table and shot Max a glance. "Stay where you are."
Max stood on the table, searching the murky corners. The thing's breathing echoed, making the woman impossible to pinpoint. Reed jumped tabletop to tabletop, keeping his rifle trained on the floor. It seemed the undead was more clever than Max realized, keeping just out of sight. She searched for a weapon, feeling defenseless and useless to provide assistance. Nothing handy presented itself beyond a few microscopes within reach. She focused on Reed who didn't look the least bit panicked. He moved silently without any wasted movement. He paused, and fired, the loud pop making her jump. She heard the scraping of nails on the tile and Reed shot again. All fell silent.
End Game Excerpt:
Amelia turned her face to the sky, closing her eyes as a chilled mountain breeze washed over her. It did little to temper the heated memory of Morris's mouth, his heavy body pressing her to the ground…
"Jesus, get it together, Amelia," she hissed, shaking herself loose of the memory's hold.
The night wore on and she watched the constellations slowly shift with the earth's rotation. Satellites passed between stars, and a few wispy clouds drifted over the crescent moon. Coyotes sang from time to time and a bull elk called out. A normal night in the mountains with no sign of a pending attack. Perhaps they were home free. Max could finish up her work, they could get the cure, and Amelia could return to her everyday life. Alone at home, working on lesson plans, and generally avoiding contact with the outside world. Psychologists would chastise her for avoiding other people, but her altered life didn't invite intimate friendships. Something she hadn't considered when allowing her genes to be manipulated by scientists.
She chose a direction and walked, not really paying attention to where it led, lost in thought about her lonely life.
The baritone voice brought her up short, and she spun toward its source. A massive silhouette appeared from the trees.
"Morris? What are you doing in my sector?"
"Actually, you're well into mine."
Her cheeks warmed and she cleared her throat. "Sorry, I didn't realize."
She turned and headed back in the direction she'd come from but Morris caught up to her. He placed a hand on her shoulder. "Wait."
His touch sent a sizzle straight between her thighs and she sucked in a breath. She froze. He stepped forward, his chest just touching her back. Hot tingles erupted over her flesh.
"We're in the clear tonight." The warmth of his breath caressed the back of her neck, and she closed her eyes. "Stay."
She licked her lips and swallowed, trying to form a coherent thought. "Why?" she finally managed.
He let his hand slide to her upper arm, the other joined its mate on her opposite arm. He pressed forward and her eyelids popped open at the feel of his erection.
"Do I really need to answer that, darlin'?"
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~About the Author~
Olivia Starke calls the Ozarks home. One of the most beautiful areas in the country, she loves hiking trails with her dogs, kayaking on the numerous waterways, and enjoying southern Missouri’s fresh air and sunshine.
She’s also ‘Mom’ to four dogs, a growing number of kitties that show up at her door, and four VERY spoiled horses that do little to earn their keep. Not that she’d ever hold that against them.
She’s a HUGE fangirl of Doctor Who and to a lesser extent Supernatural, and has a pretty interesting love triangle (or square?) going on in her head between the Doctor and the Winchesters.
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Musings from Michigan