Ya’ll know I love me some Rosalie Stanton (see my “shrine” to her here) but don’t let my previously professed adoration fool you: her new book KNOW THINE ENEMY kicks some serious buttock-ery. Rosalie’s characters come loaded with zingers, one-liners, and the kind of laugh-out-loud hilarity that will have you guaffawing into your e-reader, but “silly” this is not. Darkly intense and always on the edge (and occasionally hanging from said edge by the grip of a single finger), KNOW THINE ENEMY is unbelievably hot when it comes to the sexy parts and a class above when it comes to writerly things. It’s my absolute honor to show this one off, so let’s see it, shall we?
KNOW THINE ENEMY
He’s a vampire with a story. She’s a woman with a past.
The second Ryker spots the girl with midnight hair, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye. She boasts the title of vampire hunter, but something’s off, something’s missing, and that something pulls him close…until backing off isn’t an option.
For years, Izzie has lived for the night, outrunning ghosts from home that seem to find her wherever she lands. Alongside her friend and mentor, who rescued her when she was at her lowest, she destroys creatures she once thought couldn’t exist. But Izzie doesn’t have what she needs to be her best, and doesn’t know if she ever will…or if the life she has is the one she wants.
When a shadow from Ryker’s former life surfaces to collect a forgotten debt, vampire and hunter are thrust together in a strange world of eroticism and servitude. They must trust each other if they mean to escape, but when trust turns into something more, the real enemy becomes harder and harder to pick out.
“Connor said you were looking for me.”
Dammit. He didn’t want her knowing that. He didn’t want her knowing anything. Connor had a bit of a problem with the truth, as in he liked telling it too much. It would have been an admirable quality were it not so damn annoying.
Ryker sighed and shrugged, doing his best not to look bothered or tense. “And if I am?” he asked. “You’re the one that bolted like a bat outta hell last night.”
“And, what? You decided twenty-four hours later you’d give a damn?”
“Oh, is that what this is about? You wanted me to come after you? Sorry, sweets, you don’t really seem like the damsel type.”
Izzie’s eyes hardened. “I’m not.”
“Then why ask at all?”
“Because I—ahh, fuck it, it doesn’t matter.” She scowled, bouncing her duffle bag. “You’re not safe.”
“Well, yeah. I’m a vampire.”
“I mean you’re not safe here. They’re after you.”
Ryker frowned. All right, so that wasn’t exactly what he’d expected. “After me?”
“Some guy named Prentiss and the two hussies he works with.”
That name . . . . He did his best not to react, but the pounding in his head deafened.
“Look,” she continued, “I don’t know much. They say they’re with something called C.R.O.S.S., but I forget what that stands for. Anyw—”
“Community Representatives of Subhuman Species,” Ryker supplied, his jaw and his stomach clenching. “Goddammit.”
“You know them?”
“You could say we’re acquainted.”
“Yeah, well, they seem to mean business.”
She stared at him for a long beat, her expression melting from frenzied to confused. “All right, there’s that. I guess. I just wanted to tell you.”
“That I’m in danger.”
He smiled tightly. “Didn’t know you cared.”
“Don’t expect a Christmas card or anything. They wanted something and I didn’t give it to them.” Izzie bounced the duffle bag again. “Not in the habit of lending a hand to bloodsuckers.”
“And here you are, delivering a message to yours truly.”
She snickered. “Don’t read too much into it. You’re just the creep that pissed me off the least, so it seemed a professional courtesy.”
“And it would be, if I were in the profession.” Ryker frowned and took a step forward, his gaze roaming the length of her body. Clearly, he only had half the story, if that. Something lurked in her gaze—something she kept close to her chest, and likely wouldn’t share even with the help of a few stiff drinks. Whatever it was had shattered the small world in which she encased herself. She wasn’t here with her friend and she wasn’t here to hunt. She was here for him.
Something bolted through his body, leaving him burned and rattled.
Who are you, little girl?
But he didn’t say that. Instead, he sealed another step between them, his voice dropping. “What happened to you?”
Izzie balked. “What?”
“Something has you spooked.”
“I don’t get spooked.”
“Sorry to break it to you, but the human condition does come with its flaws, and that’s one of them.” Ryker’s head tilted. “Why’d you really come out here?”
“I already told you. These vamps want you dead in a big ole permanent way. I thought you’d wanna know.”
“Always glad to hear of a death threat,” he agreed, “but it still doesn’t answer why you’d care to tell me in the first place.”
She tensed at that, but so slightly he wouldn’t have caught it were he not paying attention. “What does it matter?” she demanded. “You know now, and now it’s your problem. And on that note, thanks. It’s been really disturbing getting to know you. Feel free to not stalk me to the next city.”