Dear Ms. Vieh:
While the first book in this series is my favorite, Night Lost takes a close second. It highlights all the strong elements that I loved in If Angels Burn and brings to the forefront a very romantic tale of souls finding each other against extreme odds.
Gabriel Seran was captured by the Bethren, a sadistic group of individuals who operate under the guise of the church. Since his abduction, he has been tortured mercilessly by the Bethren but not allowed to die. In his pain, sometimes he slips off into a dreamstate where he is visited by a woman who provides him surcease.
Nicola Jefferson is a thief who is seeking the Golden Madonna. She dreams of a green man in the forest who beckons her but she cannot find him. While in France, she comes across a painting of a chapel that depicts the place where the green man may reside. She is warned that this place is one of great unrest but she must go.
Nearly equal time is given to the continuing thread of Dr. Alexandra Keller’s search for a cure for vampirism. She’s currently under the “hospitality” of the high lord of the Darkyn, Richard Tremaine. Richard is suffering a terrible disease that is eating away at his flesh. Soon, he believes that he will not be of right mind to rule. He steals Alex in hopes that her medical knowledge will find a cure in time. Alex, however, cannot be away from Michael for very long. The binding between them causes near physical pain with separation. But even beyond the mystical binding is the binding of Alex’s heart to Michael’s. While she is loathe to admit to a softer emotion, it’s present.
I adore Alex and Michael and it is no hardship for me to read about them. I almost liken this series to JD Robb’s Eve Dallas series. Here, Alex and Michael play similar roles in their books as that of Dallas and Roarke. Both couples provide the sun around which characters orbit. Alex and Michael are the center of a pinwheel of characters as are Eve and Roarke. Dallas and Alex are prickly and not given to outward displays of affection or emotion. Roarke and Michael are both more giving of a nature. Michael is willing to break rules and even lie to Alex to keep her safe. This is not to say that I think Alex and Michael are copies of Eve and Roarke but that those readers who enjoy that dynamic might find similar enjoyment in your Darkyn series.
There is a great plot twist in the book that can be sussed out through careful attention to the clues provided about one of the main characters. The one drawback is that I felt that the dream sequences were derivative of those done in Private Demon. I’ve never quite understood how your books don’t get the same attention that many of the other vampire novels in the romance genre as your world building is unique and fully realized and you have a compelling couple that makes major screen appearances in each book. It may be, perhaps, that at times the main characters in each new novel tend to take a back seat to the strong personalities of Alexandra and Michael and because it is not advertised as a series of ongoing stories about them, readers expectations are caught off guard by the number of players and plots that take place in each book that are part of a greater whole. B.