Read Awakened Online

Authors: Virna Depaul

Tags: #Romance, #Fantasy, #Suspense, #Paranormal, #Fiction

Awakened

PRAISE FOR
TURNED

“If you’re looking for a hot, sexy, emotional read, Virna DePaul delivers!”

—J. K
ENNER
,
New York Times
and
USA Today
bestselling author of
Release Me

“With
Turned
, Virna DePaul delivers a sexy and exciting new take on the vampire novel, one that comes complete with a kick-ass heroine and a to-die-for hero. I can’t wait for the sequel!”

—Tracy Wolff,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Ruined

“A captivating start to a fascinating new series with a hero who’s to die for!”

—Nationally bestselling author R
HYANNON
B
YRD

“Virna DePaul creates yummy alpha heroes, relatable heroines, and supercharged emotional plots. Run, don’t walk, to snatch up one of her stories.”

—New York Times
bestselling author T
INA
F
OLSOM


Turned
is intense, intricate, and insomnia-inducing (plan to stay up way too late!). Virna DePaul puts the awesome in the awesomesauce of paranormal romance.”

—Joyce Lamb, curator,
USA Today’s Happy Ever After

“The chemistry between the two was great and made for some very sexy scenes.”

—Fresh Fiction

“This book has everything you could want and so,
so
much more!”

—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews


Turned
is an intriguing story with flawed characters who I connected with immediately. Fans of paranormal romance rejoice, here’s a compelling new series to sink your teeth into.”

—Harlequin Junkie

“Gripping! Provocative! Sexy! Intense! Dangerous! Thought-Provoking! These are only a few of the words that come to mind after reading
Turned
by Virna DePaul.”

—5 Ravens and a Recommended Read, BlackRaven Reviews


Turned
, first book in The Belladonna Agency series by Virna DePaul, is a page turner and grabbed me from the beginning and had me reading until the wee hours of the morning.”

—The Jeep Diva

“This is an author whose work continues to delight.”

—Just Talking Books

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF VIRNA DEPAUL

“Seducer and protector—this vampire has it all.”

—Fresh Fiction
, on
A Vampire’s Salvation

“Virna DePaul is amazing!”

—New York Times
bestselling author L
ORI
F
OSTER

“Incredibly well written, different, and hot.”

—New York Times
bestselling author L
ARISSA
I
ONE

“A gripping tale! DePaul creates the perfect blend of danger, intrigue, and romance. You won’t be able to put this book down!”


New York Times
bestselling author B
RENDA
N
OVAK

“If you have not yet started this [Para-Ops] series … you are really missing out.”

—The Book Reading Gals

“This is my first book by Virna DePaul and it will definitely not be my last.
Deadly Charade
is a suspenseful story full of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.”

—Fresh Fiction
, on
Deadly Charade

“Intense, emotionally charged, and thrilling.”

—Fresh Fiction
, on
Shades of Desire

“DePaul’s romantic suspense has shades of a thriller inside the pages, with damaged characters, love scenes that make the pages almost too hot to handle and hair-raising villains.”

—RT Book Reviews
, on
Shades of Desire

“Plenty of chemistry between the leads—along with edge-of-your-seat suspense—will keep you riveted.”

—RT Book Reviews
, on
Shades of Passion

“DePaul offers up an intriguing world rife with moral dilemmas and mistrust.”

—Publishers Weekly
, on
Chosen by Blood

“Seriously sensual! The sexual tension leaps off the page. DePaul has made a name for herself with paranormal fans who aren’t shy when it comes to titillating dialogue and interaction.”

—RT Book Reviews
, on
Chosen by Blood

Awakened
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

A Bantam Books eBook Edition

Copyright © 2014 by Virna DePaul
Excerpt from
Turned
by Virna DePaul copyright © 2014 by Virna DePaul

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

BANTAM BOOKS and the HOUSE colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

ISBN 978-0-345-54247-2
eBook ISBN 978-0-345-54248-9

Cover design: Lynn Andreozzi
Cover photograph: Claudio Marinesco

www.bantamdell.com

v3.1

Contents

Cover
Title Page
Copyright
Prologue
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty-four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
Chapter Twenty-eight
Chapter Twenty-nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
Epilogue
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Other Books by This Author
Excerpt from
Turned

PROLOGUE

“Do it.” Gary Maltese winced at how animalistic his voice
sounded, but forced himself to continue. “Please.”

“I can’t!” Nick grated out. “Damn it, don’t ask me to. We can find another way. We can find a cure—”

“No cure,” he snapped, then, because that made his head hurt, he whispered, “No cure for me. No cure—” His body jerked as he was overcome by racking coughs. The blisters on his lips cracked and oozed. “It’s too late for that,” he managed to choke out. “Do it before the rage takes me again. Do it now!”

Silence. Struggle. Grief. It swirled around him, as heavy and suffocating as a humid North Carolina summer.

Home.

He longed to be back there. He should never have left. Not after he’d returned from the war.

But he’d wanted purpose again. He’d wanted to prove he was still a man. Still strong. Still capable of serving his country.

Like Nick …

Nick.

He stared into the face as familiar as his own. On some level, he knew what he was asking wasn’t fair. Not fair.

But he didn’t care.

He
hurt
. He hungered.

Not for food but for human blood.

His flesh was literally rotting away and the same was happening to his mind.

With each episode, fit, delusion, it became harder and harder to remember his own name, let alone who he’d once been. He wanted to die while some part of him was still intact.

Gary Maltese. Soldier. Son.

Brother.

He lifted a hand and reached out. For a moment, his flesh hung there, ignored. His fingers shook and he cursed his weakness. Cursed the fact he couldn’t even hold up his fucking hand anymore. Not until the rage overcame him again and adrenaline pumped through his blood along with insanity. Then he’d regain his strength. Then even Nick might not be able to help him.

It was coming. He could feel it …

He was still himself, but he was someone else, too. Someone who’d killed, and not just to protect his country. He’d
seen
what he’d done. The women. God,
the kids
. The blood. The memories lingered in his mind, tormenting him further. Driving out all traces of the honorable man he’d been.

All traces … all traces … all traces …

But for the here and now.

Strong, warm fingers wrapped around his own and he knew this was it. His last chance.

“Please, brother. Look into my eyes. See what I’ve done. See what I
need
. Do it for me, just like you always promised. Take care of me.”

He and Nick locked gazes.

He heard the whimper that melded with his own.

He felt the rod pierce his heart.

He saw his life flash before his eyes, years of pleasure and pain, hope and despair, brotherhood and loneliness.

These final moments, however, were bliss. He was going home …

But before he got there, he spoke his final words.

“Thank you.”

CHAPTER
ONE

San Diego, California

The lurid caption under the live video said it all: Runaway
Virgin.

Unlike the other women on the SexFlash site, this one was scrubbed clean of makeup. With an odd beauty and youthful innocence, she’d attract clients with money to burn and a lot to hide. The kind of clients who’d get off on the fact that the girl’s lips were parted with fear and shock, the same emotions currently ricocheting through Barrett Miles’s body.

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