To read an interview with Linda please see the July Issue of Uncaged Book Reviews, and check on page 30-31 to see how to enter to win a giveaway!
The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D’Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless… you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?
A fingertip traced my jaw. “You guys play a bit fast and loose for me. Fix those baby blues on me, Morgan, and make me forget everything. Including you.”
I didn’t want to make Ellen forget. Finally, I’d found someone who believed that I was a different species, accepted the fact, and still cared for me. Sadness crept down my rigid spine on a chill.
“I know you can.” Tears in her eyes, she touched my mouth. “It’s what I want.”
“I received an email today from Charleston.” Lucien sounded weary, as sad as I felt and Ellen looked. “You can return to South Carolina. If that’s what you want.”
My heart leapt into my throat. Going back to Charleston, winning Isabeau was what I’d dreamed every night for six months. “Can we expect you at the wedding?”
Ellen roused to frown up at me. “What wedding?”
With the back of my hand, I caressed her cheek. “Mine.”
She made a pitiful grimace, but mischief sparkled in her eyes. “I thought my son would be born a bastard. Now, he’ll be an aristocratic bastard like his dad.”
Over her shoulder, I met Lucien’s gaze. The Chief Councilor arched a brow and simply stared at me for several heartbeats. A question burned in the depths of his black eyes. He awaited a decision I wasn’t prepared to give—even to myself. My old friend indicated Ellen with a nod of his head. She’s not pregnant. As if I didn’t know. He strode to the rail, staring at Margo’s corpse. The red heat sizzling along my skin sparkled in his aura. A brilliant halo engulfed the body. The remains of Margo St. Johns glowed, wavered like heat rising from hot tarmac and vanished in an explosion of crimson light.
I freed Ellen from my embrace. “I must help Lucien dispose of the bodies before the police arrive and ask questions difficult to answer.”
She shook her head, a fingertip caressing my lower lip. “You need to stay with me…until you make me forget.”
I bent to whisper a kiss to her lips. “Ellen, never doubt that I love you.”
A tear drizzled down her cheek. “Make me forget. It’s better that way. As I said, it’s what I want. And what you obviously need.”
Closing her eyes, she waited.
“I can manage,” Lucien called.
A night bird sang a lonely song. I rested my hand on Ellen’s forehead, easing her into a deep sleep. As she collapsed, I caught her to me. Pain welled in my heart. Twice in six months, I’d been forced to give up a woman I loved. Dum Spiro Spero. While I breathe, I hope, and hope had offered me another chance to win Isabeau.
Dreams misted my eyes as I carried Ellen to the car. She slept on the journey home. I strode up the stairs and into her bedroom with my lovely accomplice and lover. Gently, I lay her on the bed. She breathed slowly and deeply, remaining motionless as I invaded her thoughts and erased every memory of me, the existence of vampires and the catastrophe at the docks. Mission accomplished, I stood staring at her. Ellen had forgotten our intermezzo. I never would.
Isabeau, where are you tonight? Do you ever think of me?
With a mental flick of the wrist, I locked Ellen’s front door. Some of the bounce returned to my step as I descended the stairs. I refused to allow it to end this way. On the sidewalk, I halted, heedless of the mist collecting on my hair and clothes. The me I’d lost returned on a rush. I smiled, for the first time in what seemed forever, actually looking forward to tomorrow night. At sunset on a Sunday, I’d drive to Royal Oak and enjoy a few peaceful days in the country. Soon, I’d return to Charleston. Isabeau must relent and love me again. She was my destiny.
And I hers.
Four separate adventures in the long life of Morgan D’Arcy. These four short stories within this book read beautifully – I was enthralled with Morgan. A sensual and well written tale of a vampire, beautiful and sophisticated as much as he is brutal and deadly. From wanting to be mortal again, just to be able to love and walk in the sun – Morgan’s urges and strong desires and even in these stories, you get a good feel for the characters and the world that is built.
From the vampire wishing for his mortality and taking crazy chances in Devil’s Waltz, to the enchanting Sunrise, Sunset – this collection has me wanting to know more about Morgan, a vampire that is both one to love…and one to fear, the way vampires should be. Reviewed by Cyrene