The Count’s Lair
by Stephanie Burkhart
GENRE: Paranormal romance
Count Anton Varga is haunted by the curse of the moon. It tugs on his emotions, ravishing his soul. Anton abhors the beast he must learn to tame if he is to find peace.
Lady Amelia Andrassy is an accomplished pianist, but her life in Budapest has been filled with heartache. When Amelia faints in the Duma’s bookstore, it’s Anton’s strong arms that cradle her fall. His unusual eyes spark with hers, replacing their individual loneliness with the promise of feral passion.
After a two-month separation, Anton is ready to walk into Amelia’s life again, but is Amelia ready to fan the spark they shared into a flame?
“Amelia, to be honest about my intentions, I want to court you.”
“Court me?” She stepped back.
He grabbed her wrist, as if desperate to keep her near him. His eyes impaled her, making her breathless. Was it too soon to think of always and forever with him? Had he really changed? Her heart believed so. Now, she just had to convince her head.
“I have no one to ask for permission, but you. Search your heart. I care for you deeply. I want to explore this, Amelia, but only if you do. I swear I’m ready for this.”
Her lips trembled as she stepped forward, moved by the conviction in his voice. Dare she fall in love again? The chance was worth it. “Yes.”
“Thank you.” He wrapped his arms around her, infusing her with his warmth. She melted against the length of his body, savoring the contact. It felt right.
He parted from her, placed his hands on her upper arms, and looked at her. “The feelings I have when I’m near you are nothing like I’ve had before, but–”
“Go on.” She prompted when he delayed too long.
“But I have a secret, too — a secret that chokes me when I think of telling you.”
“Anton–” A secret?
He held up his hand. “Let me finish. I promise to tell you, but I can’t right now. I can only give you clues.”
“You must accept this, Amelia. I know it may be unusual, but it’s the only way I can think of to be honest with you.”
Taken off guard, she faced him. Anton’s full lips and smoldering eyes riveted her to him. In fact, his looks were everything she was attracted to in a man, but it all came down to trust. Could she trust him? If she said yes to him right now, then she was giving him her trust, which included his secret.
“How many clues do you have?”
“Three. Once you know my secret, if you want to break our courtship, you can. I’ll understand.”
Her body shivered. Was his secret dangerous? Even if it was, did she care? A part of her just wanted to throw herself into his arms and let come what may. Another part of her told her to keep her feet firmly on the ground.
From the start this story is fast paced. The author got straight to the point of the novel and kept the pages turning for me. From beginning to end, I was held enthralled by this story and my only regret might be due to the fact that I have not read the first in the series. I found the writing exemplary and no issues with spelling or grammar. The plot is well developed and continues throughout the story. I found the characters very well developed and loved all of them. This is a story worth taking the time to read and review. For me it was (as indicated above) a 5 star read and one I would highly recommend.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She’s also a den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has 3 children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.
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