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REVIEW

"L'enforcier is back! Vampire Finds an Affaire d' Amour."

Alek Dragovich, l'enforcier, is back! He is still searching for that illusive affaire d' amour and is the focus of AFTERIMAGE, sequel to DOUBLE IMAGE. It is the second book in Ms. Roycraft's vampire romance series.

Alek is an ancient and powerful member of the Directorate, the ruling body of the international vampire culture. He is fearsome and efficient, however his unorthodox methods in solving his cases often finds him in hot water with Nikolena, the Directorate's head honcho. His handling of his last case in New Orleans had left two of the brotherhood dead, and Nikolena is less than pleased.

That is how Drago finds himself in Vicksburg, Mississippi, performing a chore he finds trivial, irritating, and distastful. He is to pass the final assessment on a young gyspy woman, Marya Jaks, to decide if she will live or die. He had better things to do than deal with the fate of an aberration. An aberration is a child of a dhampir who in turn is the offspring of a vampire and their mortal mate. In general he found them disgusting, but in this case he is inclined to pass the sentence which would most irritate Nikolena.

With their vampire DNA, dhampirs were mortals with the ability to sense the presence of vampires where other mortals could not. This presented a danger should one become a vampire hunter. Marya's father had been one such as this. He had eventually killed his own father as well as a number of others before being destroyed himself by a vampire he was tracking. With her one quarter vampire blood Marya too could sense the vampire presence, making her a danger to them all. Her tainted blood didn't even make her suitable prey. Drago knew he should be sentencing her to death.

Every two years for the past twelve, Marya had been evaluated by an official of the vampire community. The verdicts had been split three to three, and it would be Drago's job to cast the final and deciding vote. Marya is more angry than afraid when Drago sneaks into her room. She knows why he's come. She'd grown to hate these vampires and their visits. The biyearly intrusion had prevented her from participating in her Roma culture, from having friends let alone lovers, never knowing when a death sentence would be meted out all because of the blood she shared with the creatures.

To her surprise the vampire awards her life, with the admonition that though his decision is final, her life would be forfeit should she ever cause a vampire harm. She is not surprised though when, shortly thereafter, she is informed by another of his kind that Drago had reconsidered his benevolence. One thing she knows for certain is that she isn't going down alone. When the executioner comes for her, be it him or another, she'd darn well take the vampire with her.

She can't resist the parting shot of letting Drago in on her plan. The threat alone should have sealed her fate, but Drago knew he hadn't issued her death order. Stunned by her temerity he returns to her out of mere curiosity, but soon realizes that Marya is but a pawn in a plot against him. He must keep her close if he is to determine the identity of the vampire who has betrayed him. Nikolena has her suspicions and sets them on a course that will put the two of them in grave danger.

Drago has lived long and is prepared to fight to the end if need be. Time spent with Marya, during the course of the investigation, stir in him unexpected feelings for her. Her beauty, courage, and strength, strike a chord in the man he had once been so long ago, a man who had suffered prejudice, just as Marya's people had. It had made him strong, and it is that man that Marya finds herself drawn to. Would he be sent to the true death, just when he'd found someone to live for? Who wants Drago dead and why? And if they survive, is there a chance that two beings, such as he and Marya, could find happiness together? After all the affaire d' amour is what makes eternity bearable, no?

As with her previous works, AFTERIMAGE is a multifaceted tale of mystery, intrigue, and paranormal that will appeal to a multitude of romance readers. This installment gives the reader a much better understanding of the vampire power structure in this world that Ms. Roycraft has established. Look for the third book SHADOW IMAGE featuring Ricard De Chaux, known in the vampire world as le docteur la mort, in the Spring of 2002. I know I will.

Copyright 2002

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted January 9, 2002

SUMMARY

Russian Alek Dragovich, head enforcer for the Undead, is feeling the weight of his years and has yet to find the elusive affaire d'amour that would lighten his burden. When Gypsy Marya Jaks, daughter of a vampire hunter, tries to kill Drago, the two are thrust into a game of death and betrayal where no one can be trusted.

 

AfterImage
(Image: Book 2)
by Jaye Roycraft

Imajinn
December 1, 2001
ISBN #1893896749
EAN #9781893896741
242 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Jaye Roycraft

Hell's Warrior
Blood Rain
Immortal Image
Shadow Image
Double Image
Rainscape


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