A first novel (subtitled A Novel About Love and the Modern Vampire), that hopes to redefine vampire lore by creating an immortal whose life is dominated by human desires and problems. And he’s gay. Openly. But Desmond Beckwith, 250 years old, still loves the hetero vampire romances of Anne Rice, though he knows they’re trash and wishes someone would get beyond all that make-believe about mindless killers depressed with the misery of eternal life. The decidedly sanguine Desmond lives in a fabulous old house on the Bowery that he’s inhabited for centuries. Old as he is, he looks a particularly well-tended 45. He loves his straight friend Roger but of course can neither bed nor bite him. Financially secure, Desmond is a money wizard with an international investment empire--hey, just like Anne Rice’s Mayfair folks. But despite all the world’s comfort and a house full of beautiful antiques and a glittering chandelier, Desmond is trÇs dÇsolÇ, so lonely. So when he meets gorgeous young Tony Chapman at a gay bar, and Tony’s a student of antiques and the history of house furnishings—well, Desmond’s just swept away. Down on his luck, Tony at first demands money, then simply becomes Desmond’s lover, unknowingly affording him some blissful bloodsucking (the bites heal quickly). Meanwhile, Desmond’s past life is revealed intermittently: his upbringing in the Berkshires, life in Georgian England and revolutionary France, his grand tour during the Age of Reason. Must he tell Tony of his immortality? Well, Tony finds out but is tragically attacked by a vengeful nut with an awl, and his only chance to remain alive is to accept a blood transfusion from Desmond. Wonderful entertainment for a cold gray day. And breathe easy, Anne.