He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.
She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…
After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.
They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…
Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.
Review: A paranormal romance. In short, a contemporary take on the classic Dracula tale, made immortal by Bram Stoker. While the plot is a classic, the book is totally contemporary and set in modern USA.
It makes compulsive reading. The story is chilling, as good paranormal is. It reads like a contemporary romance in places. The unique selling point of good paranormal is that you feel it is totally credible, like it could happen. There are no caped counts or spooky batwings here. Our vampire hero is a night walker, a creature who feeds on blood and stays out of the sunshine. Repulsive as such a creature may be, the tortured Calisto gains the reader’s sympathy and fits the bill as a romantic hero.
The backstory plays out alongside the contemporary story. Our hero and his love are brutally separated in the past by forces beyond their control. The Spanish monk Gregorio, on a mission to the New World, gets involved in a love affair with a native American girl. Her pregnancy forces him to confess his affair to his superiors, in a bid to get absolution for his sin and compassionate leave to take care of his beloved. I was a little skeptical about this. Who could be so naive to think that absolution in confession can solve such a problem? The superior behaves unethically, breaking the seal of Gregorio’s confession and having the young woman hunted down and brutally murdered. She’s also violated by her killer. An enraged, embittered Gregorio, desperate for revenge, sells his soul to the shaman of his beloved’s tribe. He becomes a night walker and bides his time, waiting for his beloved to be reborn. Living among mortals, changing his identity in every lifetime. His innate sense of right and wrong has him feed only on the lowlife scum which plague society. When he finds his beloved reborn, he has no intention of taking her down into the depths with him. But now, another enemy has surfaced. The religious order to which Gregorio belonged has been tailing him for centuries. Wrongly believing him to be a danger to humanity, they will stop at nothing to have him destroyed.
As Calisto chooses to send his beloved away to keep her out of the approaching danger, the story comes to a dramatic climax. And who are we, the readers, rooting for? Our night walker, of course, our paranormal hero who in many ways is so much more moral than many of the moral guardians of society.
The characterization is terrific. Calisto is engaging, the tortured soul who loves truly. The angel trapped in a devil’s guise. Kate, his lover, is a woman of the world, yet so sweet and innocent, with a purity that is spiritual rather than physical. Her supportive circle of friends is heartwarming to read about. The perverted monk Jose, who tracks Calisto is suitably repulsive. The superiors of Calisto’s brotherhood are well meaning yet misguided. As the mistakes of the past threaten to make history repeat itself, the readers finds themselves entangled in this compulsive story.
What I loved about this novel is the fact that it made the Dracula story so relevant. A fine piece of work.
Favorite Quote:“I am an immortal, Kate, a Night Walker, but I am not a vampire. I do not kill for pleasure or sport. I do not make minions of blood-drinkers to keep for my companions. I have no fear of garlic or crucifixes.” A hint of a smile sparkled in his eyes. “And I certainly do not turn myself into a bat.”
Warning: The love scenes were very romantic and emotional. The story was, however, rather violent in certain areas and not for the squeamish.