When Darkness Falls
First, I must mention the cover on this book. Truly wonderful, and definitely set the tone for the story. In my jaded mind, I wondered if it had such a great cover because the spine was marked “Fiction,” even though this is clearly a romance. I enjoyed this book until near the end when the heroine turned into a shrew, and parts of the romance were not resolved satisfactorily. The hero and heroine end up together, but I couldn’t help but wonder where their relationship would go from there.
Medieval history author Jade MacGregor is on a vacation in Scotland. On Halloween she joins what she believes is a harmless tour through ancient sites in Edinburgh. Her group consists of rowdy teenagers, a tour guide who seems a bit too into his part, and a compelling stranger with fascinating eyes. When they reach an ancient graveyard, all hell breaks loose – literally. Jade is one of the lucky ones, her memories of the violent, bloody carnage end with the stranger saving her; others did not survive. Of course the police believe she is distraught with her talk of vampires and corpses coming to life to rip the victims’ throats out. They convince her it was the work of a cult.
Jade returns home to New Orleans and her family and friends and tries to forget. Fast forward almost a year, and she is still having dreams of the handsome stranger who mysteriously saved her and then disappeared. The dreams seem to be increasing in intensity, and she mentions them to her close knit group of confidantes. When she reads in the newspaper that there have been more “cult” type killings happening in the U.S. involving the surviving members of her tour group, she is understandably worried.
Lucian DeVeau could be called the king of the vampires. He is not happy with his dark existence however, and mainly survives to make sure his enemies, some truly nasty vampires, do not terrorize the human population. After meeting Jade in Scotland, Lucian believes that she is the reincarnated soul of his wife, Igrania, whom he lost centuries ago. Lucian knows Jade is in danger when his enemies begin killing those who were connected with the tour. He does not want to be a part of her life, but after her friends and family are targeted, that’s the only way he can keep her safe.
There are many characters in this story, and most are interesting and integral to the plot. Unfortunately, there were a few too many to keep straight. As for the main characters, I liked Jade initially. The problems she has in believing what she saw, and in vampires, is understandable. But after she accepts Lucian and sleeps with him, she begins to act utterly irrationally. She doesn’t want him in her life, hates him, but then decides she has to put herself at extreme risk to save him. While Lucien himself was a better drawn character than Jade, the vampire code itself seemed pretty flimsy – these were very powerful and nasty creatures who did what they wanted, so what good would the “rules” do? The author seemed to leave a big question hanging at the end with respect to Lucian and Jade, something I wanted to see tied up neatly, or why mention it in the first place?
This is apparently the second book in a vampire series, but I did not feel lost by reading it out of order, and did not even realize there was a series until it was mentioned at the back of the book. I enjoyed most of this book, but was disappointed when both the character of Jade and the story itself went downhill as the story progressed. Those who have read the first book might well enjoy this one, and maybe the next book will discuss the resolution between Jade and Lucian.