"Imaginative New Vampire Series will have Readers Doing a Double Take!"
Former police officer Tia Martell had had enough of
photographing dead bodies. The job had given her
nightmares, so she had traded that life in to become a free-
lance photographer. Her latest assignment has taken her to
Natchez, Mississipi, but photographing antebellum mansions
and the like hasn't proved as interesting as she had hoped.
She won't be sorry to head back home after one last stop.
The Bishop Inn supposedly houses a resident ghost.
Following the shoot Tia decides to dine in, and encounters
the inn's mysterious owner, Dallas Allgate. She finds his
presence disturbing and decides to make a quick exit. That
plan is thwarted when a hit and run accident occurs on the
Seizing the opportunity to make a little cash on the side,
Tia photographs the victim and the accident scene. It
becomes immediately clear that Dallas has a connection to
the victim, but he refuses to be interviewed or
photographed. Tia returns to her hotel and makes
arrangements to have her photos developed.
Dallas' reaction to the woman had been just as strong and
that could only mean danger for them both. The man injured
in the accident outside the inn had been a private
investigator hired to find him. The P. I. claimed that his
client knew him by several aliases that dated back to the
1800's. If his suspicions were correct he was being sought
by another of the Undead for very personal reasons.
Yes, Dallas Allgate is a vampire. He'd been one for 235
years, old by human standards but a mere youngster by the
vampire's. Life as a convict transported to Australia had
made him strong. It had also made him one of the undead. He
had falsely convicted, and had long since exacted his
revenge upon his accuser. That act has just come back to
It doesn't take long to find out the identity of his
pursuer. While Dallas questions the victim, the hit and run
driver arrives at the hospital to finish the job. The
vampire is a mere fledgling, just the apprentice of the
vampire who seeks his end. Connor Flynne is just the toady
of the real threat, an old enemy, Jermyn St. James, son of
the man who Dallas had ruined, a vampire nearly as old as
In the meantime Tia has recovered her photographs of the
inn. She is less than satisfied with the results as she
rembers the face of the enigmatic owner. She can't get
Allgate out of her mind. The need to photograph him
consumes her. The photographs of the crime scene are more
satisfying. She had unwittingly taken several photos of the
vehicle involved in the accident. Hoping that Dallas will
be interested in the discovering the identity of the man
who tried to kill his friend she heads back to the inn.
When she finds he isn't in, she uses her former skills to
track him down.
Before she knows it she finds herself in the middle of a
vampire vendetta. Dallas had thought himself to be more
than a match for a mere human, but he hadn't been able to
send her packing as planned. She is a most unusual woman.
She does not respond to compulsion nor any of his other
efforts to be rid of her, nor can he bring himself to do
away with her.
When St. James decides to use Tia as a pawn in his revenge
scheme, Dallas takes her under his protection. He come to
care deeply for her and she for him. But he knows that his
compelling eyes reflect only that which she wants to see.
She sees only her fantasy, while he knows himself for the
monster he truly is.
St. James is a formidable opponent, having the advantage of
being a "day vampire", and the battle is significant enough
to involve one the Brotherhoods enforcers, Alek Dragovich.
Drago has been sent as mediator but he may serve as judge
as well, if the "men" don't heed his warning to desist with
their quarrel. He also has his say regarding Dallas'
affaire de coeur. He feels that Tia knows too much about
their kind, and gives Dallas an ultimatum. Either destroy
the woman or bring her across. If Dallas fails to do so, he
will personal carry out the task. Dallas is well aware that
a love relationship must require one of them to retain
their humanity. If he follows orders either way, he will
lose her. Whether he meets the "True Death" in the upcoming
battle with St. James pales in comparison, his decision in
this matter will be a true reflection of his soul.
There are many reasons why I loved this book, the symbolism
and imagery being foremost in my estimation. I was most
impressed that the tale was neither sugar coated to make
the romance acceptable, nor was it horrific in the
stereotypical manner of many vampire tales. The hero was
very real, making no excuses for himself but tormented in
Undeath as he had been in life. He alone fails to recognize
himself for the man he is inside, and is not able to
forgive himself for his many trespasses until love opens
his eyes. I also love the way the heroine faces down her
life long fears for her mortality when faced with losing
the man she loves. An lets not forget the ghost, also a
part of Dallas' past, who gets into the act and provides
some necessary humor. Bravo! I look forward to AFTER
the second book in this vampire trilogy which casts
l'enforcier, Alek Dragovich as the hero. Now that WILL be
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted November 30, 2001