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Cooper's Passion (Scanguards Vampires #17)

Cooper's Passion (Scanguards Vampires #17)


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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Lara Adrian, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Midnight Breed series: "I'm addicted to Tina Folsom's books! The Scanguards® series is one of the hottest things to happen to vampire romance. If you love scorching, fast-paced reads, don't miss this thrilling series!"

Scanguards Hybrids #5

Headstrong small-town Nevada sheriff’s deputy Anita Diaz follows the trail of a serial killer roaming the American West and ends up in San Francisco, where Scanguards investigator and vampire hybrid Cooper Montgomery looks into the murder of an unidentified woman. When their paths cross, handcuffs click, heads butt, and sparks fly between the two determined investigators.

As they team up to hunt the killer, Cooper knows that eventually Anita will realize that the serial killer who’s leaving exsanguinated bodies in his wake is a vampire—and that Cooper and his friends and family are too. But just how long can he keep his true identity hidden from her, once Anita begins to suspect that Cooper and his family aren’t the typical American family? When Anita stumbles upon the truth, will the sizzling sexual attraction that erupts between them be enough for her to take the risk of trusting the vampire she’s slowly falling in love with?

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About the Book



“Chief wants to see you.”

Anita Diaz hung her jacket over the chair and turned to the woman who’d spoken. Like Anita, Eloise wore a uniform identifying her as a member of the Elko County Sheriff’s Department. She was ten years older than Anita and at least half a foot shorter. At five foot nine, Anita was tall for a woman and taller than some of the male officers she worked with. At the police academy, her male colleagues had seen her as competition, because her height and strength helped her outperform the male trainees in many physical disciplines. In hand-to-hand combat, she’d lifted plenty of men off their feet. They’d been embarrassed that a woman could best them. It had made her less than popular among her peers.

“Did he say what he wanted?” Anita asked tilting her head in the direction of the closed door to the sheriff’s office.

“Didn’t ask.” Eloise lowered her voice. “But he didn’t sound happy.”

“Well, better get it over with then.” Anita walked to the door and knocked briefly. When a sound akin to a bark came from inside the office, she opened the door and entered.

“You wanted to see me?”

He motioned behind her. “Close the door.”

She followed his command and looked at him. He was still handsome despite his age. At sixty-one, he could still turn a woman’s head. His tall, athletic frame, dark hair, and bronzed skin was unusual for a man his age, but he’d always looked after himself.

He rose from his chair, his jaw clenched tightly, his brown eyes piercing. “I’m disappointed in you.”

Anita sucked in a breath, her spine straightening as she steeled herself for the dressing-down that was to come. Yet, she didn’t say anything, knowing that he hated being interrupted when he was about to launch into a tirade.

“I’ve cut you a lot of slack, more than I should. Nobody else is taking the liberties you are.”

He pointed to the window that would have allowed him to look into the open-plan office outside were the blinds not drawn.

“But to misuse department resources to chase some cockamamie theory? That goes too far! Enough is enough. I warned you before not to go down that rabbit hole. There’s nothing to find there. There’s no case here.”

“But Janet Fillmore was abducted. I know it! She’s in danger.”

He narrowed his eyes. “Did I say you could speak?” He paused for a moment. “Didn’t think so.” He walked closer, his entire body looking tense. “Janet and Hank had marital issues. She left him. And why wouldn’t she? He’s a drunk and a lazy bastard. Without her business and hard work, Hank would have been out on the street a long time ago.”

Defiantly, Anita braced her hands at her hips. “I’m not saying he’s not. But I saw what I saw. She was taken.”

“Just because you saw her get into a van with a stranger, doesn’t mean she was abducted. It was probably the man she left Hank for. End of story.”

Anita filled her chest with air, ready to defend what she’d seen five weeks earlier when she’d left a local bar. But she didn’t get a chance.

“Not another word on that subject!”

“You can’t stop me from looking into these disappearances. It’s connected to Mom. I know it. She didn’t leave me. She was abducted. She would have never—”

He blanched. “Your mother left us! And she didn’t even have the guts to say good-bye.” His voice became louder with every word. “Don’t dig up the past. It’s been twenty-one years—”

“Dad, please,” she begged. “She didn’t leave us. She loved us.” Anita felt tears sting in her eyes.

José Diaz shook his head. “Stop making excuses for her. If I’d known that you would use sheriff’s department resources to chase a ghost, I would have never supported you to become a deputy.” He glared at her. “I can’t change that now, but I’m not going to show any more leniency. You’ll take two weeks of vacation, starting right now. And when you’re back on duty, you’ll follow orders. No more chasing wild theories.”

“You can’t do that! You can’t force me to take a vacation.”

“Would you rather be suspended without pay?”

Anita’s heart stopped. The threat was clear. “You wouldn’t—”

“Try me, and I’ll have your badge and gun,” he challenged, his voice a low grumble now.

Anita didn’t doubt that he meant it. After all, she was his daughter, and she’d inherited his doggedness, even though physically, she resembled her fair-skinned, blonde mother. José Diaz wouldn’t be swayed, not in the mood he was in right now. There was no talking sense into him. He’d made up his mind that Janet Fillmore had left her husband, just like Helen Diaz had left him. But somehow, Anita had to find proof to make him see the truth.

She thrust her chin up. “Fine. I’ll take a vacation.” Without waiting for his response, she turned on her heel and ripped the door open.

“Anita, it’s for your own good, and deep down you know it.”

She didn’t acknowledge his words, and instead slammed the door shut behind her. In the open-plan station, she noticed that several of her colleagues turned their heads to her. She ignored them too, snatched her uniform jacket and her bag, and stormed out of the building.

When she reached her house in the outskirts of Elko, she was still seething. She got out of the car and looked at the house. Her father had bought it shortly after her mother’s disappearance. Before that, they’d lived in Reno. José Diaz had insisted on moving away, claiming their old house held too many memories. As a nine-year-old, Anita hadn’t had a say in the matter, even though she’d wanted to stay where she felt closest to her mother. The sale of the house and the move to Elko had driven a wedge between her and her father.

When he’d married a widow after being granted a divorce in absentia from Anita’s mother, Anita had felt betrayed. But deep down, she couldn’t blame him. He was still a young man, virile, and handsome. Why wouldn’t he start a new family? When his new wife had given birth to two strapping boys within three years, the house had become too small for the growing family. They’d moved, and Anita, now a young adult, had agreed to her father’s suggestion that she stay in the house, and he and his new family moved to a larger one in the city. It gave them the physical distance they needed. Slowly, their relationship had improved.

Until today.

Anita locked the car and went inside. She was glad she lived alone now and only saw her father at the station or at his house, because it meant she didn’t have to explain why one entire wall in her living room was covered with maps, photos, printouts, and post-it notes. The map spanned five states: Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Blue and red dots were marked on the map. The blue ones indicated the disappearance of a woman, and the red ones stood for women who’d been found dead. Flanking the map on all sides were photos of women as well as information on where they were last seen and where they finally turned up dead.

Her father was right: she had indeed used department resources to look into the disappearances and murders of young women not just in Nevada, but also in the surrounding states. She’d realized very quickly that none of the women she’d identified were found in the same state from which they disappeared. When she’d made that connection, she’d realized she was onto something: the killer was travelling through these states, picking up women on his way, then killing and dumping them in another state. She guessed that this was by design to make it harder for local police and sheriff’s departments to connect the dots.

A Jane Doe in Nevada wouldn’t immediately be matched up with a missing person in Idaho. In addition, in the six years that Anita had found data for, the perpetrator had never abducted anyone from the same town twice. The same went for the dead bodies: each and every single one had been found in a different city. Yet, two things remained a constant, and therefore pointed to a serial killer. He only killed tall, blonde women aged between 30 and 45, and the cause of death was always the same: exsanguination.

Yet one thing gave her hope that Janet Fillmore from Elko was still alive. The serial killer kept his victims alive for six to eight weeks. The bodies that had been found in all five states had been dead for less than twenty-four hours. Janet Fillmore had disappeared five weeks earlier. She was still alive—somewhere.

Anita scrutinized the map again. If her theory was correct, the serial killer was traveling in a clockwise pattern, which meant that the missing woman from Elko would show up somewhere in Northern California. The previous year, a missing woman from Las Vegas had shown up in Oakland, California. Before that, it had been Sacramento, and before that Santa Rosa.

“Where did you go this time?” she murmured to herself and looked at the post-it notes she’d placed around Janet’s photo.

White van, it said on one. License plate: couldn’t read it; dirty. Time: 12:25 am.

She stepped closer to look at Janet’s face again. She was thirty-seven, blonde and tall. Her driver’s license had indicated that she was five foot eight, an inch shorter than Anita. Janet ran a successful business in Elko, a furniture store. She’d inherited the business from her parents, and she’d improved it to make it into a very profitable enterprise. Anita was certain that having put all this hard work into her business, she wouldn’t just leave without a word. No, Janet had been abducted. Anita removed a post-it note that said left voluntarily? and discovered another note beneath it. She’d almost forgotten about it. There’d been a sticker on the white van in which Janet had disappeared.

Sticker on van: two letters intertwined. S, F?

It had to be a logo. Maybe that of a company?

Janet sat down at her laptop and booted it up. Moments later, she did a search for logos with S and F. There were a multitude of hits. She clicked on Images. Various images all depicting the letters S and F in different fonts, colors, and configurations appeared on the screen. She started scrolling, when she stopped abruptly. The orange on the screen popped, drawing her eyes to it. This was it! This was the sticker she’d seen on the van. She clicked on it.

San Francisco Giants logo, was written below it.

Whoever had taken Janet had a connection to San Francisco. She glanced back at the map. So far, the killer had never dumped a body in San Francisco, nor had he kidnapped anybody from there either. At least not anybody who fit the profile she’d developed.

Anita knew it was a long shot, but by her estimate, Janet only had one to three weeks left, before she would show up too, dead by exsanguination. Sick bastard! This time, she had to stop him. She had to get there before he could kill her, and stop him once and for all.

And maybe then she could prove that he was the one who’d taken her mother twenty-one years earlier, and find out where he’d dumped her body. Then her father would finally have to acknowledge that her mother had loved them both and hadn’t left them like a thief in the night. It hadn’t been her choice. She’d been forced.

About the Scanguards Vampires series

The Scanguards Vampires series is full of fast-paced action, scorching love scenes, witty dialogue, and strong heroes and heroines. Vampire Samson Woodford lives in San Francisco and owns a security/bodyguard company, Scanguards, which employs both vampires and humans. And eventually some witches. Throw in a few immortal guardians and demons later in the series, and you'll get the drift! Each book can be read as a standalone and always centers around a new couple finding love, but the series is more enjoyable when read in order. And of course, there are always a few running jokes - you'll understand when you meet Wesley, a wannabe witch. Enjoy!

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