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"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 so.

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 eternity.

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

SUMMARY

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.

Read an Excerpt

 

Midnight Embrace
by Amanda Ashley

Love Spell
February 1, 2002
ISBN #0505524686
EAN #9780505524683
400 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Amanda Ashley

Bound By Blood
Everlasting Desire
Everlasting Kiss
Immortal Sins
Night's Pleasure
Night's Master
Dead Perfect
Night's Touch
Dead Sexy
Desire After Dark
Night's Kiss
Stroke of Midnight
A Whisper of Eternity
Midnight Pleasures
After Sundown
After Twilight
Shades of Gray
A Darker Dream
Deeper Than The Night
Embrace the Night


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