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Vanessa's Bravery (Scanguards Vampires #18)

Vanessa's Bravery (Scanguards Vampires #18)

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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 #6

This book will be released on June 25, 2024 

When Vanessa Giles, community outreach manager at Scanguards, saves a sex worker from being killed by a rogue vampire, a sequence of events catapults her into the path of the mysterious human internet entrepreneur Cole Whitlock. He’s moved to San Francisco to seek a cure for an ailment he can’t reveal to anybody, least of all to Vanessa, whom he’s inexplicably drawn to even though he believes her to be a high-class escort.

While Vanessa has to hide from Cole that she’s a vampire, yet wants him to get close to her, things get more complicated when it becomes clear that somebody in San Francisco is turning unstable young men into vampires and lets them loose on the unsuspecting public. Scanguards has their hands full to protect the city, while trying to capture the rogue vampire and uncover his motives.

Can Vanessa risk Cole finding out what she really is, so she can protect him from becoming the next victim of the rogue, or will he recoil from her and forsake the love that has started to grow in his heart?


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About the Book

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Vanessa Giles got out of her beat-up Volkswagen Jetta and locked it when the high-pitched sound of a woman’s screams reached her ears. Somebody was in trouble.

Fuck!

She’d already checked in with the homeless and the sex workers in SOMA, which had taken her a good three hours. Luckily, everyone seemed to be doing as well as could be expected. She’d encouraged one of the homeless men she’d encountered to visit a free medical clinic the next day to make sure his cough didn’t turn into something worse. Two of the sex workers plying their trade on the streets south of Market were overdue for their medical exams, and Vanessa made sure they knew that they had an appointment to see their doctor this week.

This was her job at Scanguards, the security company her entire family worked for. Officially, she carried the fancy title of Community Outreach Manager, but what the job really boiled down to was being a social worker taking care of the vulnerable population in San Francisco: the homeless, the mentally ill, the drug users, and the sex workers. She made sure that they weren’t being mistreated and went to the city’s free clinic when they were sick or injured. A chunk of the mayor’s budget went to Scanguards for those services. Just as a part of the police department’s budget went to Scanguards to deal with any preternatural or vampire-related crimes committed in the city.

Both her brothers, Ryder and Ethan, worked as bodyguards and investigators at Scanguards, while her father, Gabriel, was the second-in-command, and her mother, Maya, ran a small medical facility in the bowels of the Scanguards headquarters building in the Mission.

Vanessa sprinted in the direction of the scream. She was approaching the border between Chinatown and Nob Hill. She ran at a fast clip, her vampire senses alert. She was used to patrolling the city at night and felt no fear. Any man attempting to attack her would find out very quickly—and very painfully—that she wasn’t somebody to trifle with. She might look barely twenty, slender, and vulnerable, but beneath the façade of a helpless woman lay the speed and strength of a vampire. Not only that, like her brothers, she’d undergone the bodyguard training at Scanguards, and was versed in several disciplines of hand-to-hand combat. A human had no chance against her. And the man currently attacking a woman—as much as she could deduce from the sounds drifting to her—would feel her wrath.

At the next corner, she turned and could finally see what was happening in a dark alley. She hadn’t been wrong about a woman being attacked, though she had been wrong about who was assaulting her.

Shit!

The blood was the first thing she smelled. It overpowered the foul smells coming from a dumpster and the sewer grids running along the middle of the cobblestone road. The aura identifying the attacker as a vampire registered only a split-second later. He pressed a woman with long red hair against the wall of a building, while she hit her fist against him, desperately trying to fight him off, but the vampire already had his fangs in her neck.

In a millisecond, Vanessa assessed the situation. She had to stop the vampire, before he did irreparable damage to his victim. But killing another being had never been her first choice when trying to stop an assailant. Nor was it Scanguards’ preferred modus operandi. It would be sufficient to apprehend him so he could be transferred to the vampire council who would determine his punishment.

Vanessa charged toward the assailant, planning to pull him away from his victim before he even knew what was happening, but the clickety-clack of her boot heels warned the vampire of her approach. He whipped his head to the side, growling, his eyes red like beacons, his fangs dripping with blood, while he was still holding on to the woman.

“Pick on people your own size!” Vanessa spat.

For a fraction of a second the vampire seemed to be stunned as if he didn’t know that she was a vampire too, albeit a vampire hybrid, half vampire, half human.
Vanessa lunged at him, trying to kick him away from his victim, but the rogue grabbed the woman and tossed her toward Vanessa. His aim was off, and the woman landed on the dirty and smelly cobblestones a couple of feet to Vanessa’s left.

Before she could ascertain the condition of the woman, the rogue vampire jumped toward her and punched her in the side, making her stumble. She caught herself quickly, still surprised at the vampire’s quick reaction. Knowing she had to subdue him quickly because the victim on the ground was still bleeding profusely, she turned on her own axis, using the centrifugal force to kick her boot into his midsection. With a dull thud, the impact catapulted the aggressor against the opposite wall.

“Fucking bitch!”

Fury now spewed from the vampire as he came toward her again.

“Haven’t had enough, have you?” she taunted him.

He rushed her like a crazed animal. What he lacked in finesse and style, he made up for with brute determination. He punched her with such force that she was lifted off her feet and crashed against the wall.
Ignoring the pain the impact had caused her, she pushed herself away from the building. Now he’d really pissed her off. Glad that she was wearing her leather gloves, she pulled her silver knife from the inside pocket of her jacket. She charged in the rogue’s direction, wielding the deadly knife, though she intended to merely injure him before she could handcuff him with the silver cuffs in her pocket.

Something flashed in the rogue’s eyes when he saw the knife, and he backed away, his back hitting the dumpster. Now she had him, and he knew it. The dumpster and the wall prevented him from escaping.

“You’re gonna pay for this, bastard,” she warned and lunged, when she stumbled in mid-stride as if being pulled back by an invisible force.

“Fuck!” She couldn’t move her left foot.

A quick glance to the ground showed her what had happened. The heel of her boot was stuck in a sewer grid.

The vampire saw it too. A gleeful grin spread on his face. “Bad luck, huh, bitch?”

Vanessa wiggled her boot, trying to free herself, but the rogue was already on the move, heading for the exit of the alley by the time she managed to free her heel.

A moan came from the injured woman on the ground. The smell of human blood was more intense now, and she realized that the woman would be bleeding out if she didn’t help her now. She glanced back at the rogue.
He was already at the end of the alley, where he looked over his shoulder, laughing as if he understood her predicament. She could run after him and catch him, but by then the bleeding woman would be dead. She had no choice but to tend to the victim.

“Ginger, it’s Vanessa. I’ve got you.”

Ginger was one of the sex workers she saw regularly, and she was a good person—though she had a drug problem, which unfortunately made her take more risks than she should. But this wasn’t Ginger’s fault. The vampire who’d attacked her was a rogue, and he had to be stopped.

“Vanessa? Thank God.” Her voice was weak.

Vanessa crouched down next to Ginger and pressed a hand on the deep wound the vampire had left in her neck. He’d taken chunks of skin and flesh out, attesting either to his brutality and callousness, or to his inexperience. She instantly recognized the grave error she’d made. Had she snuck up on the vampire without announcing herself, and staked him instantly, Ginger’s injuries would have been less severe. But by being careless, she’d startled him and probably caused him to rip flesh and skin from Ginger’s neck by not retracting his fangs first.

Guilt charged through her. But to kill somebody was a step she’d never taken—never had to—and hoped never would. Either way, Ginger was in bad shape. She needed help right now.

“Press your hand on here,” Vanessa said, taking Ginger’s hand. “Press really hard, and just close your eyes, okay? I’ll give you something that’ll help you.”

When Ginger closed her eyes, Vanessa bit into her own wrist, before holding it over Ginger’s lips so the blood dripped into her mouth. “Swallow.”

Ginger swallowed dutifully, but continued to moan from the pain the rogue had inflicted. As Vanessa ran her eyes over her now, she discovered the claw marks the assailant had left on her breasts. Her skimpy top was ripped, and blood seeped from the gashes.

After a few moments, Vanessa lifted her wrist from over Ginger’s mouth and licked over the incisions. The tiny holes her fangs had left closed instantly, healed by her saliva. She wished she could heal Ginger just as quickly, but her injuries were too deep. The drops of vampire blood Vanessa had given her would help her hold on until they could reach a safe place.

“We’ve gotta go,” Vanessa said and lifted Ginger up, sliding one arm around the woman’s waist, while placing Ginger’s arm on her uninjured side across her shoulders so she could support Ginger’s weight. “Just keep pressing on that neck wound, okay?”

Ginger mumbled something incoherent. Vanessa dragged her out of the alley, heading uphill. The closest safe place was only a few blocks away. As long as Ginger could hold on for five more minutes, she would make it.

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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R
Rachael Clarke
Amazing

Excellent like all the series love them

B
Barbara Arnold
Vanessa's Bravery

As with all the scan guards books I loved it The books get better and better. Thank you so much