A human woman marries a vampire in this well-crafted, traditional supernatural romance.
Carmen is a painter who has never had much interest in love until she meets mysterious, bewitchingly handsome and boundlessly wealthy Adrian Tallinn. He owns the office building where her art has been commissioned, and after they meet sparks fly. Their romance progresses quickly. When Carmen wrecks her car after a seemingly demonic woman rushes into her path, Adrian buys her a new one. When someone burns down Carmen’s house, Adrian takes her into his guest quarters. The lovers’ physical relationship, however, is chaste, consisting of passionate kisses that stop abruptly when Adrian pulls himself back from Carmen’s neck. When her lover inevitably reveals that he is a vampire, Carmen flees town, but Adrian tracks her down a few months later, and she rejoins him. Meanwhile, Catherine, Adrian’s vampire ex-lover, stalks Carmen, and Adrian appoints himself her protector. The pair’s love for each other is passionate, and though Adrian warns Carmen he would kill her if she left again–she knows too much about vampires–this threat never seems to affect her feelings for him. Catherine makes a satisfyingly sinister villain, though her storyline concludes long before the book’s end. Later, Carmen and Adrian become deeply involved with a group of the country’s vampire leaders, of which Adrian is the second most powerful member, and the group members’ mixed feelings about a human’s participation in their affairs makes for compelling drama. A plot involving a prophecy is somewhat less successful.
Readers looking for an independent heroine will cringe, but fans of vampire fiction may find plenty to savor here.