We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM Paranormal
Shira Anthony has created another masterful tale of adventure and intrigue. I found it hard to believe, but this story was even more complex with intricate subplots, action, drama, and romance than the first in the series, “Blood and Rain”.
As the story opens, the wedding of Nicolas Lambert to Rosina Rousseau is set to take place in a few weeks. Adrien Gilbert, who has vowed to protect Nicolas with his life, is training with his former teacher, Roland Günter. He’s also challenged by, and working with, his brother Francois, who is now a vampire, and François‘s creator and lover, Charles Duvalier With their help and advice, Adrien learns more about the power within himself and how to wield it to maximum effect.
Adrien believes that Verel Pelletier will show up at the wedding and will try to harm Nicolas in some way. It was Pelletier who nearly killed Adrien in the first story, and he seems to be taunting Adrien at every turn. Adrien is starting to believe that Pelletier has wanted him ever since his mother died while defending him when he was a child, and he’s willing to do everything in his power to prevent Pelletier from getting the upper hand.
Unknown to Adrien and Nicolas, Nicolas’s brother Jean Lambert has been keeping a secret for two hundred years and after finally sharing it with Rosina’s brother, Blaise, who happens to be Jean’s former lover, the two decide that they must prevent the wedding from happening. Just as the secret is revealed, Pelletier shows his hand and chaos breaks out between the vampires and hunters. Pelletier and Adrien battle nearly to the death but it’s Nicolas who gets mortally wounded, and Pelletier wins when he steals away with Nicolas in tow.
Adrien has been searching for him ever since—over a hundred years. When the Council of Hunters decides to meet to elect a replacement for Pelletier who hasn’t shown himself during that time, Adrien convinces Jean Lambert as well as Roland, Charles, and François to come with him to the meeting. They believe that Pelletier will show up and, in an effort to taunt Adrien, will bring Nicolas with him. What happens at the meeting is catastrophic, and Adrien, pushed beyond his last reserve by the taunting voice in his head, a voice he’s been hearing for years, discovers that he can bend time. The voice, which Roland later assures him is his demon, seizes control of him and hurtles him back to the year he was seventeen and hadn’t met Nicolas yet. There he does something which changes the course of their lives and when he later sees Nicolas in a different time and place, Nicolas is no longer his soulmate. But, of course, the story doesn’t stop there, and there’s another trip to another time, this one in a parallel dimension, and the Nicolas he meets this time doesn’t know him but senses they mean something to each other.
The back and forth time travel occurs on multiple levels throughout the story and, although the author explains through Adrien’s self-reflection just what year it is and what time-plane he’s on, I still found it extremely confusing.
It was, however, devilishly good. This is a completely new approach to tales of vampire lore, and it poses more of a challenge to follow than solving a Rubik’s Cube! One sad note—there’s no HEA, just a HFN. There’s apparently one more book in the series, and I’m certainly hoping that these two ill-fated lovers finally get their eternity together.
One more thing: the first book should be read before this one in order to fully understand the relationship dynamics of the principal characters and the power struggles between the vampires and the hunters.
I’d recommend this one to lovers of fantasy in which the world-building is highly detailed, and as I stated in my first review, provides a different twist on the “same old, same old” vampire stories. If you enjoy time travel and complex drama with heroes whose love survives the test of time, this is for you.