All summer long we’re featuring great e-books at great prices as part of our “Pocket Star-E Nights” program! With the help of some amazing blog partners (our “Shooting Stars“), we’re sharing some deliciously decadent excerpts of these terrific novels. If you like what you’re reading, you can purchase the book via the buy links just below this post.
The following excerpt is from Molly Harper’s e-novella, Driving Mr. Dead. This playful vampire romance is part of her popular Half Moon Hollow series, set in a small-town Kentucky where vampires live among us and more or less try to get along with the locals. In this one, Miranda Puckett takes a job chauffeuring a stuck-up British vamp across the country…and an odd-couple road trip is born! And the best part? If you love what you’ve read, you can buy it for just $1.99 by clicking the buttons at the bottom of this post.
Mr. Sutherland was already seated in the middle of the backseat when, shaking my wet hair out of my face, I slid into the driver’s seat. He flexed his reformed fingers and glared at me. The case was tucked safely by his feet on the floor boards, as if he was afraid to lose contact with it for even a moment.
What the hell was in the case? I wondered. Huge stacks of cash? Jewels? What if it was nuclear codes or radioactive materials? Iris seemed like a nice lady. I would hope she wouldn’t involve me in international espionage on my first cross-country job. Maybe the second or third but certainly not the first.
“You’re going to sit in the back?” I asked, glancing at him in the rearview.
He looked me over again, that same pinched, confused expression he’d given me before. I couldn’t blame him. I had just destroyed his right hand. And he seemed to spend an awful lot of time alone . . .
Catching my reflection in the mirror, I cringed. No wonder Mr. Sutherland seemed so . . . well, unimpressed would be putting it kindly. My heart-shaped face held few charms beyond a pert little nose and a frame of light brown hair that frizzed in humidity and hung limp in every other sort of -idity. I had a weird, top-heavy mouth that made me look as if I’d been thoroughly kissed, which generally wasn’t the case. I’d inherited my dad’s Puckett green eyes, with little flecks of gold around the pupils and a heavy fringe of lashes. Other than that, I was painfully average, which was strange, because I managed to gum up my life in such spectacular ways.
Given my underwhelming attractions, I supposed that at this point, I should have been grateful that Mr. Sutherland wasn’t making me wear one of those little chauffeur caps to hide my face.
It was just as well that he seemed to think I was some sort of disheveled swamp troll. As tempting as Mr. Sutherland was, dreamy insouciance and angular GQ looks were not my thing. Until I’d met Jason, my boyfriends had borne a disturbing resemblance to Criss Angel.
I had just started the engine when my phone buzzed from the console. Speak of the Polo-wearing, microbrew-swilling devil. It was probably another ass-dial. Jason didn’t like to bother with his screen lock on his phone, so he disabled it, which meant that he was sort of notorious for calling people whenever he sat down. Of the dozens of calls he’d made to my phone over the last few days, he was only aware of half of them.
I wasn’t ready to talk to him or his ass cheeks. And I could only be grateful that I’d turned off the Henry Rollins ringtone before Mr. Sutherland could hear it. I reached for the “ignore” button, only to suffer that velvet vampire voice’s further abuse of my goose-bump response.
“Miss Puckett, I faxed a document concerning my transportation requirements to your employer upon the signing of our contract. Did you not read it?”
Sadly, I had read what amounted to a sixteen-page contract rider, which outlined everything from maximum speeds at which I was allowed to change lanes to fragrances I was allowed to wear to which foods I was allowed to eat in his presence. I thought it was a joke. Clearly, I was wrong.
He cleared his throat pointedly and handed me an extra copy, triple-stapled, along with the credit card I was supposed to be using for our travel expenses. “If you read page ten, you’ll see that phone use or texting while driving is strictly prohibited.”
“Oh, no, I wasn’t going to—”
“No excuses, Miss Puckett,” he said in that clipped, vaguely accented voice.
I gritted my teeth, my voice practically whistling through them as I said, “You know, this whole thing might feel a little less awkward if you called me Miranda.”
“I don’t think so.”
“OK, then,” I ground out, “do you have a music preference?”
“Page twelve, Miss Puckett.”
I flipped through the booklet listing tolerable music selections. I sighed and tuned the radio to a classical station. “It’s going to be a long drive.”