"Friend against Friend, Good against Evil - Vampire indulges Thirst for Revenge"
For four hundred years Alesandro cursed his existence,
unsuccessfully sought ways to change his fate, and once
he'd learned to control his altered nature, he had
committed himself to quenching his raging hunger in a way
that was true to his former human calling. On this
particular night he'd sensed one mortal among the many
around him who had what he needed, and needed what he could
give -- life for life.
She was young, she was dying, she was alone. Analisa
Matthews had come from a poor family, but it had been such
loving one that hard work had never been a burden. She had
been happy. Now the epidemic which had claimed them would
soon claim her as well. She felt the end coming. It was
plain that her doctor held little hope. Weak, and with no
one to live for, she is resigned to her fate. That night
she is visited by a strange doctor who claims he's been
called by her doctor to can help her. Later she remembers
his visit, but the rest is foggy. She feels wonderful
though, and her doctor is amazed that she's rallied.
Analisa is concerned however, when Dr. Martinson claims no
knowledge of the other doctor, suggesting that she'd been
dreaming. It was no dream. The mystery man returns the
following evening. She is afraid, even more so when she
realizes that her doctor cannot see him.
Her blood was sweet and pure. He'd never tasted anything
like it, never known anyone like her. She would make a
full recovery, but have no place to go. He could provide
for her needs, and she for his, for only a little while, he
swears to himself. He would then let her go and make sure
she never wanted for anything.
Overnight Analisa had become Cinderella. She had never met
her benefactor, Lord Alesandro de Avallone, though she'd
heard rumors about him. He'd settled her accounts at the
hospital, and had offered his home to her while he was
away. For a while at least she would have servants, lovely
clothes, a roof over her head. She is not accustomed to
such luxury, but spends her time well, learning to read and
write. She wonders what she will do when Avallone returns,
and she must find someplace else to live.
Her dreams are troubled, he calls to her with a yearning
that cannot be denied. She is temptation incarnate. The
beauty of her soul as well as her blood call tempt him. He
cannot stay away. He'd been a mortal doctor once and he had
done what he'd done for Analisa many times over in his new
life. None had made him care beyond the mutual need for
healing. He had never before encountered a woman so
innocent and giving. He finds in her what he had never
found in life or in his four hundred years as a vampire.
Love. He loves her. She claims to loves him as well,
accepts what he has become. But she isn't safe with him.
His own lust for her body, and her blood, makes him
dangerous to her. He has an enemy though that is even more
Rodrigo had been his friend in life. They had acquired the
Dark Gift together. Rodrigo relished the change. He had
loved Alesandro's sister Serafina and had wanted to make
her what he was, so that they could be together forever.
Alesandro had been appalled. He wouldn't wish this life on
anyone, especially not his beloved sister. His warning had
fallen on deaf ears, Alesandro had had to show her. It had
been too much for her mind. She'd gone mad and taken her
own life. Rodrigo had held him to blame for his loss and
had promised revenge.
Rodrigo killed for the joy of it, for the power it gave
him. He'd been toying with Alesandro for years, invading
his territory and leaving behind victims near death.
It was always a race to see whether or not the good doctor
could save them in time. Now he'd struck close to home. The
warning is clear, his goal is Analisa. At last he would
have his revenge, make Alesandro suffer the loss of his
love, as he had suffered the loss of Serafina -- for
It comes down to good vs. evil. At times Alesandro is
frustrating, he has so many opportunities to put an end to
Rodrigo, but I suppose that it says something about his
character, about the humanity that hasn't quite abandoned
him, that he is loathe to sever his ties to his past, to
destroy the man who had once been his friend. He is
frequently assaulted by doubts that he can make a life with
Analisa, causing them both unnecessary pain. Analisa is the
jewel in this tale. She is selfless, loving, and brave. She
faces true horror and defeats it with love every time. In
her own way she is stronger than either of the vampires
playing tug of war with her, a worthy heroine.
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 10, 2002
ANALISA . . .
He whispered her name, and it echoed back to him on the
wings of the night. One kiss, he thought, one kiss would do
no harm. She was so young, so alive. She radiated warmth
and goodness, chasing the coldness from his being,
banishing the loneliness from his soul. Four centuries of
prowling the shadows had brought him few pleasures, but the
nearness of her soft lips, her warm throat, promised
sweetness beyond imagining. She had wandered unchaperoned
to the moonlit tomb where he took refuge by day, little
suspecting that with his eyes alone he could mesmerize her,
compel her to do his bidding. Yet he would not take her
life's blood by force or trickery. He would have it as a
gift, freely given, and in exchange, he would make her
wildest dreams come true.