Amanda Ashley is a masterful storyteller. This novel is so rich in sensuality and imagery that readers will be entranced by this haunting tale of a vampire who finds love too late and the woman who may save him from the darkness. This is one keeper to put alongside Maggie Shayne and Linda Lael Miller.

For 400 years, Lord Rayven has been resigned to a vampire's life of endless darkness until he meets Rhianna, a poor farmer's daughter being auctioned to the highest bidder. He is enchanted by her purity. Fearful of hurting her, he sends the child/woman to Paris. Four years later, Rhianna returns home a beautiful woman. They meet again and she senses a loneliness and restlessness in him that matches her own.

Apprehensive about the dark mystery surrounding him, but in love, Rhianna sets out to seduce Rayven. She wrings a promise from him for one year at his side. Hoping to drive her away, Rayven confesses his terrifying secret. Rhianna is distressed and horrified, but still drawn to the man she loves.

She marries him despite her family's misgivings. Their marriage is short-lived as Rayven is torn by jealousy and the fear of harming his wife while in the middle of a blood hunger. He abandons her to protect her, but Rhianna would rather die than face her nights alone and her future without him.

(July, 392 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Maria C.Ferrer