Blood Slave by Travis Luedke
Series: The Nightlife (Stand-Alone Spinoff)
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Her mother named her Esperanza Salvación – Hope for Salvation. But when a girl works as an escort for Colombian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, there wasn’t much hope, or salvation.
Hope’s telepathic ability keeps her a step ahead of ruin, but her unusual gift attracts the attention of a psychotic vampire bitch. Trapped in a Manhattan penthouse with the psycho, she thought she was dead meat.
Her survival lies in the hands of Vampire Master Enrique. He seems to respect her, perhaps even care. As a measure of protection, he makes her his personal Bloodslave. Helplessly addicted to his bite, Enrique rules her every moment. As always, Hope must adapt to survive.
Swept into the decadent nightlife of Manhattan’s elite, she falls in love with Enrique and prays someday he may grow to love her, too. But is it simply a relationship of convenience? Is she nothing more than a concubine desperate to satisfy his nightly demands for blood and sex?
And forever in the background is the fear that one day the cartel boss she abandoned will hunt her down to collect on old debts.
I hated and loved him. I wanted to kill him, fuck him, and kiss him, all at the same time. What a mess. Hate won the toss up as the strongest sentiment of the moment…
On the fence about starting The Nightlife series?
Start here with this spin-off stand alone!
You’ll get a taste for Travis Luedke’s unique spin on PNR, and become instantly hooked on this deliciously dark, entertaining, sexy, and violent world.
It’s fitting that we find ourselves back in New York with this book – The whole “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Evolves into something fabulous when The Nightlife gets involved – suddenly we’re seeing “Give me your hopeless women, your prostitutes, Your illegal aliens sold to Colombian cartels…”
Fans of the series know that the life of a Blood Slave is brutal. Humans become easily addicted to the venom of a vampire’s bite, and just like any junkie, they’ll do whatever it takes for their next fix… Assuming they live long enough to receive repeated attention from the vampire who now owns them…
AKA Esperanza Salvación
I did not choose this life. I’d never really been given a choice […] they all told me what to do, whether I liked it or not. This was just another group of assholes taking away my freedom for personal gain. Beyond killing me, there wasn’t much they could do that hadn’t already been done by someone else who got to me first. I tried to bolster my confidence with the idea that whatever happened, I could endure, like I have always endured.
Hope is no stranger to being owned. Her father sold her to the cartels when she was only fourteen, and her life never really improved after that. She was trained as a prostitute and smuggled into Spanish Harlem to whore herself for her current owners.
Hope might be stuck under the thumb of Colombian cartel thugs, but she has a secret… Hope is telepathic – able to discern a person’s thoughts and intentions from 20 feet away. The link is even stronger with skin contact, and as a prostitute, she gets a lot of that.
She was able to protect her secret until one sadistic woman unraveled everything.
Bloodlust, plain and simple. Violence for violence sake. The freak thought herself a vampire and wanted to drain my body of every drop of blood. She wanted to suck me into cardiac arrest.
Lia seemed like a fairly harmless client at first – a beautiful and wealthy asian woman with a tongue worthy of olympic medals. Hope had every intention of overlooking the fact that the woman liked to bite during sex as long as she was willing to keep coming back and paying for the pleasure of Hope’s company…
Problem is, vampires like to use psychic powers to make humans forget they’ve been fed from. Lia’s powers didn’t work even a little bit on the telepathic prostitute.
Lia wanted nothing more than to slaughter Hope for knowing her secret, but she had to get permission from her Master before she could bleed the life out of her. With no other choice, Hope was brought to the feet of Lia’s Master, but Lia’s plan backfired spectacularly.
AKA The Master
He was one of those rare people who radiated power and confidence. It flowed off him like water, royalty. This guy had to be Sir something or other, Your Grace, the Duke of Fuck-me-running.
Enrique might be the most beautiful man Hope has ever seen. He oozes deadly power, even over the freaky asain chick that wants to murder her. He is also the first person Hope can’t read with her telepathic power.
This man might have been a blank slate for Hope, but she could read every twisted thought running through the Lia’s mind and immediately begged for mercy from the Master.
Enrique couldn’t bring himself to kill the wretched woman his protégé drug in.
The young prostitute’s life had been a constant struggle, and compassion won the day.
There was only one choice – turn Hope into a blood slave – a whole new kind of whore.
Above all else, Enrique is a business man, and having a loyal telepath sitting at his side while he attends business negotiations is too good an offer to pass up…
Almost overnight, Hope finds herself with a new home, a lucrative new job, and an addiction only this gorgeous vampire can satisfy with his bite.
Hope was fairly certain that life couldn’t have gotten any worse with the cartels…
Now she’s faced with an uncertain future and a new appreciation for the word ‘deadly’…
An opulent penthouse prison, is still a prison… She literally went from rags to riches in the blink of an eye, but she is merely a toy. A food source. And what’s worse…
She might be falling in love with the Vampire keeping her prisoner…
As I walked to the bathroom to wash up, I passed by the mirror and stopped in shock. A thin line of blood ran down my neck.
“You bit me! Look at that!” I pointed at myself in the mirror. “That is so gross!”
I freaked and ran to the bathroom. I could feel the warm blood running down my shoulder onto my breast. “Shit!” I rummaged through the medicine cabinet for the hydrogen peroxide.
I found it and the triple antibiotic with shaking hands. Who knows where her mouth had been today, she was eating me out a few minutes ago.
Before I could begin to wipe up the blood she was on me. “Wait. Let me take care of it. It’s my mess, I’ll clean it up.”
Then her slimy wet eel tongue snaked out and licked from my breast all the way up to my neck. The girl had skills with that tongue. She could take that tongue on the road and make some serious money in a carnival freak show.
Then it hit me and turned my stomach over in flip flops. She actually licked up my blood. And I read it there in her mind plain as can be. She loved it. I tasted like a syrup-covered ice cream cone to her. She’d happily lick me all night long if I let her, as long as I kept on bleeding.
“Eww! Gross! Oh god, that’s so nasty!”
I almost lost it right there. I actually gagged for a second, barely swallowed it down. I kinda have this obsessive-compulsive thing about cleanliness, and blood is definitely unclean in my book. Blood borne pathogens. Diseases of the blood. Hospitals treat it like a damn biohazard.
Lia snickered at my gross-out reaction, like it was all some joke. But she couldn’t hide the fact she wanted more. The freak actually thought she was a vampire.
Then she got really weird. She stared intensely without blinking. I sensed her trying to somehow take control of me with her creepy stare. The chick was really weird, a little too weird for my tastes. The sex was fabulous, but I couldn’t deal with the blood thing. Just straight up sick. I may be an escort from a third world country, but I do have standards.
She kept staring at me, had been staring at me for some time. Then she spoke in a weird commanding monotone, “Tell me your name.”
The sad truth is I didn’t really want her to be a stranger. As odd as it sounds, I wanted her to come back, and not for the generous tip. I wanted more of those screaming orgasms. I’m not normally a screamer, but she had a way of bringing it out of me.
So, against my better judgment, ignoring the creepy aspects of everything that had gone down so far, I gave her what she wanted. “My name is Hope.”
I have never told anyone in America my real name. Esperanza Salvación just sounds so south-of-the-border. ‘Hope’ has a nice ring to it, one syllable. I delude myself into believing that if I can drop my Colombian accent, employ flawless English and use the name Hope, I can somehow rise above my humble beginnings.
Lia started in on me with that eerie command voice. “Hope, you will not remember our meeting or this conversation. You’re feeling tired. You feel like sleeping. You need to rest.”
This shit was getting old fast. “I get it. You don’t need to repeat yourself. I’m not stupid. I’ve been doing this a long time. I know the score. I’ll never tell anyone you were here. We’ve never met before, yada, yada, yada. I know the routine.”
That’s the one thing Rubin used to get on me about – my temper. I have a tendency to let it get away from me. I’ve thought of taking anger management classes. I probably should.
Back in Colombia I gave poor Rubin hell. It started with the nudity thing, but I flipped it around on him. After the first three weeks, he ordered me to wear clothes. I refused. I stayed butt-naked for another three weeks, twenty-four seven. I answered Rubin’s door to receive the pizza delivery nude. I chatted up the cable repairman while nude – a rainstorm had messed up our lines. I met the Testigos de Jehovah – Jehovah’s Witnesses – at the front door, completely nude, they couldn’t leave fast enough. I even met his mother for the first time in my birthday suit.
Rubin learned a healthy respect for my temper after that episode. His mother trying to rip his ear off probably had something to do with it. A naked fourteen year-old girl with an attitude can wield a terrible power.
Lia didn’t care for my attitude, either. She came at me again with that same monotone crap. “You will not remember our meeting. We have never met before. You will not remember that I bit you and tasted your blood.”
“Whatever. It was gross. But don’t worry about it. I’m not gonna say anything to anybody. It didn’t happen. This is our little secret. I respect your privacy. Actually … I was hoping you might want to see me again …”
I’d given this speech to dozens of cops, business men, politicians, even a priest. Everyone who’s someone of importance out in the community needs reassurance their freaky romp with an escort will remain confidential. I’m not into blackmail or extortion or anything stupid like that. It’s nasty business that never ends well. I have seen it done by the cartel to others less fortunate. Plus, being illegal, it wouldn’t be hard to get me deported.
She did not look pleased. I tried to put her at ease. “You already gave me a two hundred dollar tip, so I’m cool. And I really would like to see you again …”
She started looking at me funny, her head turned sideways, like I was the freak. I dug into her mind to see what the hell. She’d become extremely irritated over something.
“You’re a special kind of girl, aren’t you?”
She was trying to defocus her vision to see something else, off to the side of my head. Some kind of hazy color spectrum.
“Yes you are …” Her voice trailed off. She flipped like that into a raging-bull hatred. She pegged me with this totally wicked I-want-to kill-you-and-dance-on-your-corpse look. “You Bitch! You’re digging around in my head, you bitch!”
I caught it a split second before she hit me, and I reacted. I flinched away, stepped back out of her reach, except she hadn’t moved.
“Gotcha, didn’t I? I knew it.” Her lip curled into a snarl.
“What? What’s your problem?”
Then I finally understood. She had been trying to hypnotize me into ignorance. When she realized it wasn’t working, she began to suspect I had some kind of psychic sensitivity, a telepath, or clairvoyant. I had just proven her right by reacting to her thoughts rather than her actions.
Staring at me with her head cocked sideways, she recognized something about this weird color she thought she could see, something yellow-gold in my aura. That decided it for her.
“You already know way too much about me don’t you.” She had this half-smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. But I think it’s time you should go.”
I presented a dilemma. If I couldn’t be hypnotized into forgetting, and I had read her mind, what to do with me? The thought came to her instantly. A toothy grin slid across her face. She would probably have to kill me to contain the situation.
About the Author
Travis Luedke is a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy, scifi, and paranormal romance, best known for his violently sexy NIGHTLIFE SERIES. Travis can be found catching a third degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, while plotting world domination through erotic paranormal badassary.
As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.