DESCENT INTO DARKNESS
Genre: Historical/Vampire (erotic novel)
REVIEW: 4 Tombstones
This story is darkly intriguing. It explores the mental status of an older vampire who finds he has lost something very important to him, but only after the fact. Denyse is amazing in her ability to bring across to her audience such intense feelings in such a short time. As always, I have thoroughly enjoyed her current offering and will definitely suggest it to others.
FULL review is here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=9983
Spanning almost two centuries Descent Into Darkness is the erotic love story of an ancient vampire and the mortal woman who is his obsession.
Alexander DeLenoir is an ancient creature of the night, born in a betrayal that has left him without conscience or morality. He’s witnessed history that is now myth. Throughout his long life, Alexander has seldom sought companionship, and never has he looked for love. He has kept two of his immortal children with him, through whatever means necessary, and is not intending to expand his family.
Arriving at a small Massachusetts town after killing the sailors on their ship, the vampire trio meets the mysterious and lonely wife of the innkeeper, and Alexander is entranced by her beauty and her indomitable spirit. In Amberlaine Calvert, he senses a nature as dark and depraved as his own seeking freedom. Despite the protests of his companions, Alexander takes her and in adoration of him finds an obsessive kind of happiness.
When the town slowly awakens to the evil among them, a bloody slaughter ensues, and Amberlaine is forced to see the madness that will define her life with Alexander. Yet, in spite of her fear, she is obsessively devoted to the powerful vampire, and the darker things she feels lurking within her are about to be unleashed by a hunger even greater than her passion—the thirst for revenge against those who dare to threaten their existence…
“What is her name?”
“Whose name?” he asked as he shook off the ancient memories.
“Your daughter,” she insisted with an impatient toss of her head. “Is she one of us? Do you still keep her safe and protect her?”
“Diana needs no one to protect her,” he answered blandly. Especially the true father she does not know she has, he added mentally. He had been very careful to erase that knowledge from her memory, an appallingly easy task, even for one as inexperienced as he had been then.
“Diana,” she repeated thoughtfully. “It’s very pretty. And very elegant, as your name is,” she concluded with a grin.
“And your name, Camille, is very old. Do you know what it means?” he wondered, only now seeing the irony of it, himself.
“Tell me, cara mia,” she requested as she rose and sat astride his thighs. She was leaning into his neck when his laughter woke a warning inside her.
“It is from the Etruscan, one of the most ancient languages. Your name means ‘attendant at a sacrifice’,” he told her with mocking amusement. “It is most appropriate, is it not, cara?”
She started to pull away, but his hands on her upper arms prevented the escape she suddenly, desperately wanted. One of the talon like hands glided over her skin and buried in her hair. Terror choked her and she began pounding on his chest in an effort to dislodge him.
“Happy Birthday, cara,” Alexander murmured, his rich, silky voice low with provocative warmth. He jerked her head hard and sank his fangs into the soft, exposed skin of her throat. Tender flesh yielded to the razor-edge of his canines, and she whimpered weakly as he drank.
She wasn’t quite dead when he released her and climbed out of the bed. Her eyes watched every movement he made, and pleaded silently for help he wouldn’t give. He dressed and sat on the edge of the mattress again. Pale, slender fingers raked through the heavy fall of her dark hair, and he smiled lazily.
“Are you happy with your present, Camille?” he questioned.
She said nothing, merely stared. Of course, it wasn’t likely she could speak, he admitted when he noted her ruined throat.
“I have enjoyed our time together,” he told her with a smile. “I have even enjoyed sharing this secret with you. It’s been so long since I was able to speak of such distant things.” His tone was polite and conversational, eerily so. “But, such a weapon is a danger to me, cara. Therefore, I must protect myself against possible betrayal. You understand, don’t you?”
His laughter filled the room, and the sound was a horrifying mixture of insanity and pleasure. Alexander rose, donned the elegant evening cape he had selected earlier, and bent to place a light kiss on her forehead.
Camille stared, her eyes begged for mercy. His cold contempt shattered the last shred of will she possessed. The scritch of a match being struck, then the hiss of noise as it bloomed into flame, were now the only sounds within the room.
Alexander dropped the insignificant torch onto the bed and stepped back. He watched the sheets begin to burn as the searing tongues of fire fanned outward and slowly consumed the massive piece of furniture. Camille’s scream echoed in his mind as she died a true death, and he silenced the annoying intrusion with a swiftness that came from vast lifetimes of experience.
He walked from the room as the fire intensified, and knew the house itself would be ablaze long before any emergency services would be notified. He stepped out into the balmy night and strolled down the walk.
He was tired of San Francisco, he decided as he covered the ground in long, graceful strides. Talking of Diana reminded him of how long it had been since he’d seen her. And, he knew, she would know where to find Julian. His loneliness had made him whimsical this night. Perhaps it was time to reclaim the children who meant most to him? Particularly his most troublesome child.
Julian had been allowed to run free for far too long. Alexander now wanted him back. If the young nobleman refused him, Alexander would destroy him--as he had the other son who had forsaken his love so long ago.
The ancient vampire felt an unwelcome memory tugging at his heart as he continued to walk. The smell of the fire woke a pain he hadn’t permitted himself to feel for almost two hundred years. He’d lost her to fire and the grief he’d refused to accept still haunted him. His footsteps slowed momentarily, then he pushed away her image with a force of will that had been centuries in the making. Alexander shook his head, pretended he couldn’t recall the soft fragrance of wildflowers and the silken feel of copper hair as it streamed over his naked skin, the gentle smile contained within smoke-grey eyes, and the sensual knowledge of the truest lover he had ever claimed. His beautiful, devoted Amberlaine. Lost to him for nearly three centuries.