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Drawn into a mysterious world of Russian sorcery, Kaat Collins struggles to rebuild her life after the death of her mother, an author, who wrote of a world that may not be entirely fictional. Kaat's grief turns into a compulsion to complete her mother’s final book.
A full-time college load becomes one class, a Russian lit course. She meets Kolya Orlov, a classmate who becomes part of her reclusive life. Drawn to the darkly handsome, enigmatic Kolya, Kaat finds a kindred soul facing challenges of his own. Kolya finds Kaat intriguing as well, so unlike the women in his past.
As she interacts with him and the exclusive town called Vykup, she finds love, hate, and prejudice, while uncovering the secret of her mother’s past and the truth of who she is. Will Kaat and Kolya’s differences divide them, or can their love overcome the obstacles they face?
Page Count: 216
Word Count: 50872
“Lisa, this is Kaat Collins,” he said introducing me. She shook my hand and after her initial worshipful look at Kolya, she became quite business like.
“I have looked through the purchase and donation records for the Antiquarian books and this is a list of what your mother help to acquire and what she donated to the library.” She handed me about half dozen sheets of paper with titles hand written on them. “Thank you very much,” I said, “this is an immense help.” She nodded her head as if she already knew that and told me to go through the door at the farthest end of the stacks and that was where I would find the Antiquarian book library and the books on the list. “Go ahead Kaat, I just need to talk to Lisa for a minute and I will meet you back there.”
The door had some sort of seal, I guess to keep humidity out and protect the books. I had to push hard to get it to open, and when I did, my hand covered my mouth in surprise. This room, this room in the library in Vykup, was exactly the same as the library described in the last scene my mother had written in Blood Taken: the stacks, the Clerestory stained glass windows, the mahogany tables with scratch marks on the legs that ended in a claw foot. I couldn’t believe this, I could barely breath as I started to remove the books I needed off the shelves. When Kolya walked through the door, he found me sitting on the floor surrounded by books. He sat next to me not saying a word.
“Did you find what you needed?” he asked.
“More than I needed, Kolya. Did you set this up?”
“Yes, I called Lisa last night.”
“When did she have time to do this?”
“She found the time and did it because I asked her to.”
“You have some kind of influence here, Kolya?”
“Kind of, yes.”
“Maybe you should run for Mayor.”
I think he knew to keep up the banter because if it stopped, I was going to start crying. Overwhelmed as I was that he would do this for me, as well as overwhelmed at the connection I was feeling to my mother, I finally looked up from the books and saw him watching me.
“You know that this library is featured in Blood Taken, just like the rest of the town.”
“Actually, I didn’t until Lisa pointed it out to me.”
“Who is she?”
“Lisa is obviously our amazing librarian.”
“She’s so young.”
“Something of a library savant, if there is such a thing.”
I scooted my body closer. “Thank you,” I said bumping his shoulder.
“I get a shoulder bump for staying up half the night coordinating this, for getting up at the crack of dawn, making coffee, and driving your butt, as cute as it is, all the way here, and…
“Shut up,” I said and kissed him. I climbed into his lap and he put his hands around my waist as I deepened the kiss. He tightened his grip on me and guided me even closer. I sat back, our kiss broken and whispered in his ear, “Do I really have a cute butt?” His breath, as he laughed, was so warm against my hair.