This second installment in the Mark of the Vampire series focuses on Nicolas, another son of the Breeding Male who has been forced into early maturity by the order. Like his brother Alexander, he has led a tortured life. Only this time, we see the effects of his misery. In fact, it colors almost everything he says and does.
Nicolas’ mother was a drug addict and a whore, who pimped her son out at a very early age. So not only did he endure the stigma of his father, but he lived in shame… forced into acts no child should endure… until he was rescued by his brother Lucian. Now, he seems to live a normal life, but he has never really let go of the dark side of his life. He considers himself dirty and unworthy and still debases himself behind his brothers’ backs.
Shortly after his forced maturation, Nicolas is approached by a woman, claiming to have rescued his son from the man who killed the boy’s mother. Nicolas is skeptical about the boy’s parentage and Kate’s motives. But she sacrificed a lot to save the child, running away from her last two months of parole to deliver the boy. Now Kate and Nicolas are thrown together to track down the Impure who killed the child’s mother, before the Order forces Lucian to become the next Breeding Male.
It was a great romance, with two characters who are both so broken and flawed. The sexual tension and payoff are explosive. Learning about Nicolas’ history is heartbreaking, but that just makes things so much more gratifying when he finally finds love. (I do wish we would have gotten a little more insight into why he was still leading his second life, however, rather than having us draw our own conclusions.)
More is revealed in the ongoing arc surrounding the Impure revolution and the power behind it. We learn more about Gray (a favorite of mine from the last book) and his journey toward a real life and –hopefully– love with Dillon. And there’s a great ending, clearly setting up a story for Lucian and Bronwyn. But despite the side plots, I felt like our main couple and their relationship got the attention they needed. I felt much more invested in them than I did with Alex and Sara.
A couple of other tidbits: I’m glad this book had a glossary… It needed one! But there is still frequent use of the “c-word” –which I guess is just a word the author likes and I’m going to have to get over it. Overall, though, a big improvement & a solid installment in the series. Can’t wait to get started on Lucian’s book. A little more than 4 stars.
Eternal Kissby Laura WrightRelease Date: April 5, 2011Publisher: Signet Eclipse