"A deeply emotional vampire romance about love and choices"
Currently the owner of a New York City art gallery, Diego
Rivera is a centuries old vampire who had long ago learned
that beauty is only skin deep. Once he had been a man given
to excess who only cared about his own pleasure and
material possessions. Then his beautiful and faithless wife
had turned him over to the Spanish Inquisition. His mortal
life had been lost but he had been given second chance due
to the love of a plain and simple servant girl (Esperanza)
vampire's kiss. Diego had vowed then to be a better man in
spite of his new undead existence.
Unfortunately his new chance for love had been compromised
when Esperanza was caught for aiding him. He had turned her
order to keep her, but the undead existence had changed her
irrevocably. He had watched her die a little inside as
everything thing she knew passed away and everyone she
loved was lost. Her unlife had ended in death as well
centuries later at the hands of a madman and Diego had
sworn that he would never turn another human.
Ramona Escobar is a talented artist who had captured
Diego's attention years ago when she'd been a young art
student. Her passion and skill had inspired him to offer
her a showing at his gallery. Ramona is grateful as her
mother is suffering from Alzheimer's and she herself has
been diagnosed with a fatal form of anemia. Her days grow
short and she badly needs the money the sales would bring,
so much so that she had also accepted a commission from a
wealthy and powerful billionaire to create accurate
reproductions of several masterpieces he intended to put up
for auction. When Ramona attends the auction it is obvious
that her own works are being passed off as the originals.
Hoping for a simple explanation she confronts her patron.
Threats are made against her mother and then Ramona is
nearly killed when she refuses to keep quiet. Diego saves
her in the nick of time.
Attraction has been brewing between the two for some time,
but both have their secrets. Diego cannot allow himself to
love a human woman with a short life span and watch her
die, nor will he turn her and watch her change before his
eyes. Diego has no idea how short her life span will
undoubtedly be for Ramona cannot bring herself to tell him
the truth. In spite of his intense feelings for her Diego
still believes that beautiful women are not to be trusted
so he keeps his vampire nature to himself as well. When her
secret is finally revealed he feels justified for his
mistrust. The revelation of his own secret has a similar
effect on her.
Diego however does remain involved with the forgery case
and Ramona's doctor Melissa Danvers brings in her
sister-in-law FBI agent Diana Reyes and her vampire lover
Latimer. Diego had called his friend Ryder all kinds of a
fool for loving a human but it's clear to the younger
vampire that Diego has been bitten by the same bug
whether he wants to admit it or not.
Danger escalates as Ramona continues to refuse to be cowed
by threats. She has nothing left to lose. Or does she? This
book could have been entitled "Diego's Dilemma" so
tormented is he by the events of his past and the effect of
the choices he's already made. He also fears that his
advancing age will soon rob him of his last shred of
humanity. Will Diego's undead life be worth living if he
lets this chance for love pass him by? If the criminal is
not caught, will he even get a chance to make that choice?
Diego and Ramona, star-crossed lovers if there ever were
but somehow they both manage to come to terms with their
demons and even though a positive outcome was guaranteed
due to the nature of romance novels, this story brought
tears to this reader's eyes as their struggle played out.
The pain and desperation felt when facing the loss of a
loved one was extremely poignant and while Diego is able to
make his peace with his choices, Diana and Ryder have yet
find their way to that place of acceptance. We will be
seeing more of them in upcoming series novels. We will also
soon find out if it is possible for an elder to retain
their humanity as Stacia's story unfolds. Caridad Piñeiro
is a consummate story teller who has the ability to put the
reader inside the hearts, minds, and souls of her
characters. If you haven't read the five previous novels, I
highly recommend that you do.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 24, 2007