Daysider by Susan Krinard - Romance>Contemporary
Human/vampire relations are in turmoil in a stunning new series by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Krinard.
Tensions between human and vampire factions are escalating. Peace hangs in the balance. And like two ill-fated stars, Alexia Fox and Damon are destined to collide. She's a seductive human operative on a mission to infiltrate an illegal vampire colony. He's a vampire and represents everything she loathes--and all that she desires. Their attraction is scorching, immediate...and could explode like the fragile truce they've both been fighting independently to preserve. Now the world's last hope hinges on their ability to work together. As enemies they are doomed, but as allies they just might save the world.
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Sensuality Rating: Not rated
San Francisco Enclave, West Coast Region
"It may be fatal," the Director said. Alexia laughed. "Since when hasn't that been true of every mission?"
Aegis Director of Field Operations Wilson McAllister regarded her without a trace of amusement. "This isn't funny, Alex," he said. "We're talking about violating our side of the Treaty and striking deep into the Zone. Even the Mayor doesn't know about it."
"At least not officially," Alexia said.
"Not officially enough to send someone to pull your ass out of the fire if you get caught." The steel rims of McAllister's glasses flashed as they caught the cold and sterile light from the overhead fixtures. "Your mission will be to learn everything you can about the Nightsiders' illegal colony without doing anything to attract the Citadel's attention. If you fail or are captured--"
"--Aegis will disavow any knowledge of our actions. I know the drill." Alexia wandered to the window overlooking the glimmering waters of San Francisco Bay. From Aegis headquarters in the old Financial District, she could see a heavily guarded convoy of trucks carrying agricultural products from the Central Valley into the city. The Treaty meant that the Nightsiders were supposed to leave such convoys alone.
Usually they did. But there were always the terrorists, the ones who wanted to ignite a new War. On both sides. And that was what her team would be sent in to try to prevent.
Alexia drifted back into memory, of the year the Nightsiders had first appeared. Not that they'd been her memories, not exactly. But she'd seen the archived news vids, the looks of bewilderment and fear on the newscasters' faces when the first reports came in: horror stories of vampires arising seemingly out of nowhere, some emerging from decades or centuries or even millennia of sleep in sanctuaries built far beneath the earth. No one knew--or at least the leeches weren't telling--what had roused them, or why they had chosen that time to rise and claim the earth.
Ten years later--ten years of chaos and plague and terrible war, the time when Alexia's mother gave birth to a half-vampire child--had led to the Treaty, and now most parts of the world were carefully divided into territories: vampire Citadels and human Enclaves, separated by the unclaimed regions known as the Zones.
Just outside the Enclave that embraced San Francisco and the area formerly known as the East Bay, the Zone comprised an immense semicircular region that had once held thriving suburbs, now abandoned and slowly crumbling back to the earth as new forests and fields absorbed stone and concrete, and animals--once driven away by human incursions--reclaimed their original habitats. Beyond the Zone, to the south and east in the regions of the Central Valley, lay the farmlands that produced sustenance for the Enclaves, each surrounded by its own Zone and patrolled by special military forces whose job it was to keep Nightsiders out and human workers safe from them. In theory, as per the Treaty, the workers were protected, and so were the routes to the Enclaves.
To the north, in the area once distinguished by its scenic fields of grapevines and boutique wineries, its rolling hills and towering redwoods, stood Erebus. The Citadel of Night.
Alexia remembered the images on the TV when the construction began. Very little had been known then, because the Zone had just been established, and rumor was more plentiful than fact. Human laborers...prisoners of war...had built the city by day, vampires by night. In a year the Citadel--all black, gleaming, windowless...