"Voodoo Curse meets Scientific Research - A New Twist on Vampirism"
Freelance reporter, Rebecca Morgan, has turned her
investigative skills on the Prescott Institute. She is
certain that something shady is going on there. She had
been unable to trace the source of the facilities funding,
nor has she been able to discover the background of its
reclusive director, Desmond Lacroix.
Lacroix himself had been evasive when she'd queried him for
the information, but she had finally worn him down enough
to allow her a tour of the Institute. If she could uncover
the illegalities she is certain are being covered up, she
could write her own ticket in the world of journalism.
Intuitive, and persuasive, she is good at ferreting out
secrets, and she trusts no one.
The Prescott Institute does harbor a secret, a secret
vitally important to Desmond Lacroix. It is a secret he can
not afford to let Rebecca in on. But while conducting her
on a private tour designed to assure her of the legitimacy
of their research without providing her with any real
information, it is discovered that Rebecca's blood
chemistry has the potential to help them accomplish their
primary goal. How can Desmond persuade this wary woman aid
them in their project without revealing the reason for it?
The direct approach doesn't work. When he asks her stay and
help the researcher with his work, Rebecca refuses. She
returns to the parking garage only to find that her car is
no longer functional. Desmond promises to help fix her
problem and suggests that she now has time to give his
researcher a hand. Her suspicions aroused, Rebecca doesn't
give up until Desmond is forced to reveal that the research
could save his dying daughter's life.
Even then she is skeptical.
Desmond had made a vow more than a century ago to never
take from anyone what was not offered willingly. However
the telepathic skills that are part of his curse make him
very persuasive. Somehow Rebecca finds that she has
willingly agreed to stay and help with the research. Once
he departs she has second and third thoughts. However,
after an ill-fated attempt to escape, she concludes that
her only hope for release is to cooperate with Desmond's
wishes. If she understands her part correctly, it shouldn't
Once she is moved into Desmond's home she begins to realize
that she has been wrong about him. It is obvious that he
himself has a serious illness, and that he had taken the
researchers off of his own cure to save his child's life.
She hadn't believed that people like that existed. Her own
mother had certainly not put Rebecca's needs first. The
lies she'd told had told had stolen Rebecca's ability to
trust anyone. Rebecca finds that she wants to believe in
Desmond. She needs to believe in Desmond. Her life had been
so empty and her future would be just as bleak if she
continued to keep people at arms length. But has he told
her everything? Can she trust him.
The more time they spend together the more Desmond is
captivated by Rebecca. Not only is he physically attracted
to her, but he is psychically attuned to her as well. He
soon realizes that, like him, she has telepathic ability,
and is using it even though she is unaware of it. This is
both a blessing an a curse. While this sharing of the mind
only enhances their sharing of hearts, he must now
constantly be on guard lest he reveal to her his true
secret. He fears she would leave him if she knew, but a new
fear raises its ugly head ... If he loves her won't he will
lose her anyway?
He is cursed. The sins of his father had been visited upon
all of his descendants. The man had strayed from his wife
and children, and had raped the daughter of a voodoo
priestess. The victims of her curse suffer from afflictions
similar to those associated with vampirism, but that was
not the worst of it. They would also be forced to stand
helplessly as those they loved suffered horrible deaths,
feeling each death as if it was their own. Desmond had
watched his family perish one by one, due to his father's
deed. Only he and his half-brother Phillipe remained.
Phillipe had lost his family as well, and though the men
had become friends, Phillipe had remained a bitter man.
He'd cautioned Desmond against forming ties.
A century and a half had passed before Desmond had dared to
love again. His wife Olivia had paid the price. Modern
technology had provided the means to keep his blood lust at
bay but it hadn't been able to save his wife from the
curse. He hadn't been able to tell her what he was, and
he'd watched her suffer for it. Now his only child was
dying as well. Rebecca may well hold the key to his
daughter's cure, but if he allows himself to love her will
she become the next victim? Can he contain his cursed
passions and keep her safe?
Lacking the violence generally associated with the
category, readers who have been wary of trying vampire
romance should find DARK SALVATION an enjoyable
entry into that world. Those who love the category will
relish this new twist. Desmond, a warm and loving hero, is
extremely sympathetic. If he's even mildly threatening it
is essentially in the mind of the heroine, whose previous
trust issues cloud her reasoning from time to time. He is
determined to have his way, but he also has scruples. He
will only go so far. Rebecca is a feisty. There are those
who'd like to keep the two of them apart, but she isn't
about to sit still for that. Though quick to doubt, her
intuitive skills ultimately seem to lead her to the correct
conclusion. Intelligent and strong, she defeats the issues
that have paralyzed their lives, one by one. The pair
compliment each other wonderfully. While Desmond does his
utmost to calm Rebecca's doubts and fears using his unique
abilities, Rebecca is the voice of reason when Desmond's
despair allows his own fears to overwhelm him. Though
their relationship is definitely steamy, romantics will
love the depths to which their bond extends. Readers with a
scientific bent will enjoy practical aspects of Desmond's
curse as well. Ms. Dunne has combined fantasy and plausible
science to create a unique and highly enjoyable paranormal
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 17, 2001