A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK…
Naomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers — until she encounters a ruthless
A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS…
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.
HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?
Yet even if Conrad can win Naomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?
“Dreams can change.”
I loved this story! After the gruesome prologue there is non-stop action: the plot is thrilling, and so complex, that I don’t even dare to summarize it. Brilliant characterization, incredible sexual tension, and Cole’s hallmark humor make this book unputdownable.
Once both Néomi and Conrad were humans. Néomi became a ghost, Conrad changed to a vampire. Now both of them suffer from being what they are.
In his human life, Conrad was denied any happiness; his change to a vampire infuriated him, and he became a hitman. He went insane by drinking his victims to death because he attained not only their blood, but their horrible memories as well.
Now bloodthirst blurs his mind. He is hunted by his enemies, by hallucinations, by horrible memories of his own and his victims’. He desperately runs to his end. He is a man who definitely needs to be saved.
On the contrary, Néomi lived a full life; she was a celebrated ballerina. It is so touching that as a ghost she is still filled with exhilaration: she tries to brighten her colorless existence with stolen trinkets, and stolen moments. She is unimaginably lonely, still she has a positive attitude.
“Néomi had been murdered, possessed no body, and was still seizing all the pleasure she could. Conrad respected that.”
She is bantering, playful, and I love her delicate sense of humor.
Her abilities are remarkable even in this ghostly existence, but by the end of the story she becomes a very, very special being. She saves Conrad in many ways: from his insanity, from blood-lust, and from the burning manor.
At the beginning of the story, Conrad’s insanity is represented with short, staccato sentences in simple present tense. This fragmented style perfectly pictures how unstable he is. At first, he is unable to make a distinction between reality and unreality. He doesn’t know whether Néomi is a delusion, a fractured memory, a hallucination, or a ghost.
Néomi is incorporeal, so Conrad is forced to behave reasonably and collected if he wants to keep her by his side. It helps him to defeat his insanity. He feels clearer, more focused in her presence. Conrad is intense, morose, feral, but also has a romantic, gentle side.
The sexual tension is incredible in this novel, since they are incapable of touching each other in the larger part of the story. They get to know each other by talking, teasing, and debating. Waiting and hope give an extra sensation to the story.
Conrad and Néomi’s story is a very original and peculiar installment of the Immortals After Dark series.
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