HEART OF DARKNESS
In all his four hundred years, Rayven had never met a woman like Rhianna McLeod. She was a vision of light, of warmth, of everything he was not-nor could ever be. Doomed to live forever in darkness and solitude, he knew all too well the risk in getting close to her, yet he hungered for her with a fierce passion he swore he'd never allow himself to feel.
Rhianna's father had sold her to Rayven to put food on the table-so she had no choice but to go with the dark stranger. To her surprise, he gave her everything she wanted-the finest clothes, education, and the run of the castle-everything, that is, except his touch. For although she sensed danger beneath his soft-spoken manner, although even Rayven himself warned her away, she was drawn to this creature of the night, and loved him, as she would no other.
I was shopping in the store sometime early this month and as I passed the book section, I spotted Mandy's book! I couldn't pass it up so of course I bought it, adding to my ever growing collection of Amanda Ashley novels. The thing that I liked most about this story was it's historical fiction outlook. Something about former centuries lifestyles eats up my curiousity. Which is what makes this novel good, the subtle vampyrism is just the foundation of the story. It revolves more around the times and the relationship between Rhianna & Rayven than it does on vampyrism.
Rayven's compassion to save Rhianna from public embarassment is just the beginning of proof that he is not the monster he thinks of himself. He provides her with a life of any and every thing she could ever want, and even then things she couldn't even imagine! Bevins' loyalty is the counterpart of Rayven's compassion. A human who would do anything for the man, or shall I say vampyre whom saved his life.
You constantly read about male vampires, but I was so happy to read, even briefly, Mandy's female vamp Lysandra, Rayven's sire. Just as I was contemplating the relationship of cat and mouse between Rayven and Rhianna, two pages verbatim Amanda writes those exact words! Of all Mandy's vamps I've read about, Rayven seems to have the most trouble coming to terms with who and what he is. It's not the same but it comes close to Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's, own personal demons. The ending was something I have hoped to read from so many vampire novels over the years, and I was finally given it!
I would have liked to read more on the wedding scene. It just seemed to short? The sex scenes were very minimal too, but in this novel it actually didn't take away from the story as you would think typical of Mandy's books. Hands down, no questions asked I of course loved this story. It has so many different things that you can find other great stories similarities: Romeo & Juliet, Beauty & the Beast, and it reminds me so much of the aura of Dark Shadows. A gothic vampire love story.
"It was a pity that one so horribly cursed should be denied the one thing that might bring him happiness."
"I am never ill, my sweet. Only sick in mind and spirit."