*Apologies from the crew at Dangerous Romance for the delay in getting this post up today, we are running behind, due to a family emergency.*
We are thrilled to host Author Piper Maitland who is visiting us for the second year in a row! Last year, Piper came by and gave us some background on her writing process and how “Acquainted with Daylight,” her tautly written, vampire thriller, was created.
This is the week of romance, so sit back and enjoy a very spicy meal with her characters Caro and Raphael from her upcoming new book, “Hunting Daylight“. Last year’s “Aquainted with the Night,” created a buzz. It included archealogy, ancient manuscripts and sexy chase scenes across Europe. Piper Maitland delivered action and sophisticated sexual tension, creating a book that was an instant, cross over hit. I loved “Aquainted with the Night” and can’t wait to read “Hunting Daylight.” If you would like a chance to read “Hunting Daylight,” Please just leave a comment below to be entered to win!
The Art of Eating Soup
by Piper Maitland
Long before I wrote vampire romance novels, I was a foodie. I wrote a cookbook, and my blog is recipe-oriented. You can imagine my delight when a bowl of soup became a turning point in Hunting Daylight.
Caro is an historian and a half-vampire, not the type to act up in public. She is finally coming to terms with her husband’s death, and she’s falling for a handsome Italian vampire, who brings out her playful side.
Time means nothing to a vampire, but Raphael can’t hide his love for Caro another second. They can communicate telepathically, but Raphael is far more skilled, and it’s difficult for Caro to hide her thoughts. His barest touch can push her over the edge, into the place where pleasure is born. When their feelings collide in a restaurant, the games begin—with an outcome that Caro didn’t expect and will never forget.
From Hunting Daylight:
Mont Cervin Palace
Raphael and I went downstairs to the restaurant. The dinner hour was winding down in the Grill Le Cervin. We had the place to ourselves, except for three middle-aged women who were eating dessert. After we were seated, a waiter in a crisp white shirt and a black vest took our orders—rare chateaubriand for Raphael, cress soup and grilled prawns for me.
Raphael leaned back in his chair. “We should come back at Christmas. The porter told me that lights are strung on the balconies and in the trees.”
I pushed my water glass directly over the tip of my knife. “I’m sure it’s lovely.”
“So are you.” He rose slightly from his chair, leaned across the table, and kissed me. I was so surprised, I pursed my lips, as if I were about to take a breath before plunging into icy blue water. His tongue gently stroked mine. I was dimly aware of the amused murmurs from the middle-aged women. Then I felt him pull me into a dark place. His pulse was all around me, like a strummed violin. It was like being caught up in music. A shiver raced between my legs.
Oh, no, I thought. Not here.
Before I climaxed, Raphael broke the kiss and sat down. He smoothed his hand over the front of his shirt, I could feel the middle-aged ladies watching. I breathed in and out. I was caught somewhere between extreme arousal and anger. I rearranged my spoon and knife.
Then I felt his voice inside my head. Mia cara, look at me.
Dammit, why did you do that?
You know. Because of what happened in Longyearbyen. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can smell you on my hands. Your smell is inside me. I’m crazed. I thought. . . I thought if we were in a public place, I would keep my hands to myself.
I lifted my chin, narrowing my eyes for an instant. But you didn’t.
Are you attracted to me at all, mia cara?
You’re giving me a headache. Does the gift shop sell aspirin?
He made a sweeping gesture with his hand. I’ll buy you a gift shop. I’ll buy you an aspirin factory.
We glared at each other. His lips twitched at the edges, as if he were trying not to smile. I couldn’t hold my mouth still either. We burst into laughter.
His hand slid across the table, and he touched my fingers. Let’s go upstairs, mia cara. Let’s start over again.
It was tempting. I couldn’t remember the time I’d been completely alone with Raphael, because we were always surrounded by chauffeurs, butlers, and guards. But I shook my head.
He sat straight up, and I heard my ears pop; I knew he’d gotten out of my mind. Thank god. I lifted my wine glass and took a long drink.
The waiter brought my soup. I arranged my napkin in my lap, taking my time, brushing my fingers over the rough linen, knowing that Raphael was watching. I wanted to do something naughty, but I looked Amish in my black sweater set. So I undid the top four buttons on my cardigan, then leaned over my soup bowl, giving him a full view of my cleavage.
Raphael’s eyebrow went up, and then he smiled.
I finished my wine and ordered another glass. I am not much of a drinker, and I could almost hear the alcohol fizzing inside my bloodstream. I wanted to see if I could tempt Raphael to lose his composure, the way he’d almost made me lose mine. I slipped off my right shoe. The tablecloth wasn’t long enough for my nefarious plan, but what the hell. I lifted my spoon and dipped it into the soup. At the same time, I brushed my toes over Raphael’s leg.
He drew in a breath.
I slid my foot under his pants leg and drew a squiggly line on his ankle.
“You are wicked,” he said.
“And depraved,” I said, then slid the spoon into my mouth.
He dabbed a napkin on his upper lip. “I can’t believe you’re doing this.”
“You started it.” Actually, I was a little surprised at myself. I’d never acted inappropriately in a restaurant or any public place; I mean, really. Look at all the trouble I was in. It had to be the wine, right? Yes, definitely. It wasn’t because of my dirty dreams or the memory of that night in Longyearbyen.
I glanced around the restaurant. The middle-aged women had gone, and a busboy was piling dishes into a plastic tub. I raised the spoon and slowly licked off a thin layer of soup.
Raphael lowered his napkin. “We’re supposed to do a blitz attack on Dr. Walpole tonight. Now, I don’t think I’ll be able to go.”
I withdrew my foot. Raphael looked disappointed. I dipped my spoon into the bowl again, then drew lazy circles in the broth. I lifted the spoon and slowly fit it into my mouth. Then I repeated the process.
“Oh, this is so good,” I whispered.
“Caro.” His voice held a desperate edge.
“Yes, darling?” I said sweetly. I lifted my foot, slid it between his thighs, and pressed my sole against his crotch. I felt something hard and thick.
“There’s something sensual about soup,” I said.
“I wouldn’t have guessed.”
“There’s an art to eating soup. You have to thrust the spoon into the broth, pushing it all the way into the bowl. Like this.” I demonstrated. “See? You put it in and pull it out.”
The whole time I’d talked, I was kneading his crotch with my toes.
He exhaled so hard, ripples moved across the surface of the soup. Two spots of color bloomed in his cheeks, and a pulse throbbed in his neck.
“Your heart is beating so fast,” I said.
“Make it beat faster.” He slipped his hands under the table and grabbed my ankle. He pulled my foot against him. His lips parted, and a little burst of air came out.
I lowered my spoon, watching his face.
“Mia cara, please. I’m begging you. Let’s go upstairs.”
“Raphael, do you want to take me to bed?” I whispered, trying to look innocent.
“Do you want to make love to me?”
“God, yes. Caro, please. I can’t wait. . . another . . . second.”
The waiter returned and set down a sizzling platter of buttered prawns. I repressed a smile. Oh, I was going to have fun with the textures and layers of these crustaceans.
The waiter put down Raphael’s plate. “Will there be anything else?” he asked.
“No, thank you,” Raphael said, keeping his hands under the tablecloth. He didn’t speak until the waiter left.
“We should stop,” he said.
“You’re holding my foot. I’m not holding yours.”
His pupils dilated. I knew he was trying to look into my mind.
Okay, this could be entertaining. I took a huge gulp of wine and set down my glass. Then I picked up my fork and scraped it over the prawns. When he slipped into my head, I was ready.
Raphael, I want to feel you inside me. I want you to enter my deepest places. I want to taste you—
I forgot what I was thinking when he wrapped his hand around my foot and began moving his thumb in a circle. He lifted his other hand to his mouth and wet his fingers.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“You’ll see.” He lowered his hand and ran his fingers between my toes.
I barely had time to gasp before the orgasm roared through me. I felt like I’d been hit by a wave, sucked down by a current, water rushing over my thighs and hips and breasts, all of my secret places. Oh, it felt so. . . .
Another wave pulled me under. My pulse crashed in my ears. I gasped. My fork clattered against the table. When it was over, I couldn’t get my breath. Perspiration skidded down my neck.
He was smiling. I’d underestimated him; I’d thought that I could reduce him to a quivering puddle. And just look what had happened. “You ought to be ashamed,” I said.
“Yes, but I’m not.” He winked.
Tomorrow, Feb. 13th, Piper unravels the science of vampirism at www.sfsignal.com!
Follow Piper at @PiperMaitland.