The Comte de Saint-Germaine turns up in Paris in 1743 to renovate his old haunt, the Hotel Transylvania. He is not only an alchemist, possessor of the Philosopher's Stone (and therefore fabulously wealthy), but also a vampire, and therefore immortal, with memories of Akhnaton, Socrates, and Velasquez. But discard your preconceptions--this vampire is no force for evil; he merely has kinky tastes in food and sex. He falls desperately in love with beautiful, innocent, bluestocking Madeleine de Montalia, fresh out of the convent--where she was often criticized for her own ""bizarre interests"" in the occult. She returns his love, fascinated, and though knowing what he is, eagerly overcomes his scruples, ""feeding her rapture on the sharp passion of his kisses."" Uptight vampires are not the main problem around the court of Louis XV; there has been a revival of Satanism, lately practiced under Mme. de Montespan, and Saint-Sebastian, the leader of her disgusting circle, is up to his old tricks, determined to claim Madeleine as sacrifice for the winter solstice: "". . . my property, on the altar, bound, naked. . . . Do you remember that ingenious device that Beauvrai was working on, that allows him to penetrate front with his flesh, and back with the heated Devil's Member? . . . By the time we pull her living heart from her, she will be happy to die, Robert."" Tempting, but Madeleine wants only to join her beloved vampire in the eternal love of the undead, ""to live in the blood that is taken with love."" Half an epistolary novel, with credits to both Clarissa and Dracula, this steamy stuff blends the erotic, the fearful, and the spiritual in a liebestod thriller hinging on the old question: will the virgin die and be transfigured, or be raped, broken, and killed before she has been transformed by vampiric rapture? Weird, but it works better than most spews from the coven.