Camille: Camille Series #1

Tess Oliver

At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves. When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille loses another inch of her soul to him. In a month’s time, she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart. Excerpt: Ashamed at my cowardice, I trudged back toward the main road, staring down at my feet as they landed on each stone. Each step grew heavier and heavier with dejection. Suddenly, my boots left the ground completely as someone grabbed both my arms, dragged me round to the alleyway, and slammed me up against the wall. My eyes snapped shut as my head landed with a sharp thud against the rough brick, vibrating my skull with pain. “Why are you followin’ me?” My eyes shot open, and I was looking directly into the brown eyes of Nathaniel Strider. He shook me, and my head hit the wall again with only the crushed brim of my hat for protection. I opened my mouth to speak but no words came out. I winced as his powerful grip tightened on my arms. His face was close to mine. Voices came from the end of the dark passage. I turned my head to see if help was near. A small boy stood in a recess, holding a thin toddler in his arms. The lad’s bare feet looked blue against the icy, wet pavement. Hesitantly, I returned my attention to my captor. “Who sent you?” One hand released me, and he shoved the hat from my head. His eyes narrowed. “Bloody hell,” he said and harshly pinched my breast. “A girl in trousers.” I screamed and moved to hammer him with my fist, but before I could land one punch, he had both my wrists in one hand and pinned above my head. Anger helped me find my tongue. “What do you mean who sent me? Who would be out looking for a lowly thief like yourself? Scotland Yard has finer thieves to chase.” I met his angry gaze with one of my own and realized, too late, the mistake I’d made. His hold nearly crushed my wrist bones. “You’re hurting me. Please, let go,” I pleaded. “Your strength, you have not learned to control…” My words trailed off. His eyes never left my face. I could no longer hold back the tears. They left hot streaks on my cheeks. “Please, let go, and I’ll explain.” He released his hold, and as my arms collapsed, my knees followed. Strider caught me but with a gentler grip. I rubbed feeling back into my hands. His long, black lashes fluttered down as he brazenly reviewed the rest of me. He straightened and placed a hand on either side of my head, effectively trapping me against the wall. “Explain.” His nearness made my head spin. I swallowed. “I—I came to tell you, you are in grave trouble.” Strider squinted hard at me then threw his head back with laughter. Obviously assuming I wouldn’t run, he dropped his hands and crossed his arms over his chest. “Lass, I must tell you,” a crooked smile punctuated his words, “I am always in grave trouble.”

Tess Oliver 226 pages

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