Love is Blindness by Sean Michael

College professor Kieran is listening to poetry readings at a coffee shop when Lucien arrives.  Lucien is tall, dark, sexy, and blind.  Kieran takes him home for the night and starts to fall for him, but will he still want Lucien when Lucien shares his secret?

Love is Blindness is a traditional vampire story with a twist.  Lucien is an old-world, rather gothic vampire, but his blindness and desire for a companion made him seem more human.  In this case, that was a good thing.  Kieran, a hip college professor, was an interesting match for him.  I’ve enjoyed every Sean Michael story I’ve read so far, and Love is Blindness was no exception.

 

The Hit by Sara Bell

Carter Denton is hired by a vampire elder to eliminate the vampire, Kalimus Roche.  Upon discovering that the vampire is not draining humans as he’d been told, Carter realizes something’s suspicious about the job and sets out to discover what it is.  He and Kalimus begin working together and falling for each other, but with dangerous vampires after them will they survive long enough to have a relationship?

The Hit featured some very cool characters.  Although I am not usually a fan of first-person narratives, I enjoyed seeing the story through Carter’s eyes.  A hit man with his own strange brand of ethics is an interesting lens to view events through!  The vampire, Kalimus, was not as well developed, but he was an intriguing character in his own way as well.  Even though I would have liked learning more about Kalimus, I enjoyed The Hit and there were a couple of neat twists at the end.

 

Hunger for the Edge by Angel and Star

Vampire Adrien picks up party-boy Zach at a club for a night.  The next night, Zach finds Adrien and asks to be made a vampire.  Will Adrien grant Zach’s request?  And will Zach find the price is too high?

Hunger for the Edge had the most intriguing twist on vampirism in this anthology.  In Angel and Star’s story, vampirism is a slow death that eventually leads to the blindness suffered by Adrien and much worse.  Unfortunately, I just wasn’t feeling the love between Zach and Adrien.  Zach often came off as a spoiled, drug-using thrill-seeker and I couldn’t see why Adrien would want to spend eternity with him.  Hunger for the Edge had a great premise and the writing was good, but the love between Zach and Adrien didn’t feel real.

 

A Light to His Darkness by Jennifer Joyce

Jean-Pierre’s family has been serving the vampire Pierre for many years.  Jean-Pierre loves the vampire and wants to be with him, but Pierre always pushes him away.  Will Pierre ever return his love?

A Light to His Darkness is the only historical tale in the anthology and a refreshing change of pace after all the contemporary tales.  Jean-Pierre is a sweet, determined young man.  Reading about his love for Pierre and his attempts to secure Pierre’s love in return, left me with a warm feeling.  I haven’t read Jennifer Joyce before, but I will be seeking out more of her work in the future. 

 

Blinded by the Light by Syd McGinley

Zeke is a former lictor (slayer) who was turned into a vampire and blinded on the same day.  He burns for revenge against the ones who made him and killed his lover.  He and the imp he’s befriended are captured by the vampire Marco, who wants Zeke as an ally and companion.  Will the two vampires form a relationship, or be destroyed by desire for revenge?

Blinded by the Light featured several things I generally enjoy: revenge, vampires, and slayers.  I felt like Zeke got too caught up in revenge however, and in this story vampires were rather unfeeling creatures.  Since Zeke is the narrator, his cold attitude made me feel a bit distant from the characters and their emotions.  Overall, however, the coldness conveyed a different kind of vampires from the others in the anthology.  While Blinded by the Light was not my favorite story, it was very well-written and offered another slant on vampirism.

 

Guapo by B.A. Tortuga

Blind vampire, Dieter, uses his blindness to lure in a victim.  To his surprise, he finds his intended dinner, Mago, fascinating.  They begin to spend time together, and despite their completely opposite lives they begin to care for each other.  Can they have a relationship when Dieter is keeping such a secret?

Guapo had excellent characterization.  B.A. Tortuga writes very realistic dialogue, a talent which is evident in this story.  Dieter’s stiff, formal speech was an amusing contrast to Mago’s informal English with a bit of Spanish thrown in.  The “opposites attract” theme worked very well here, especially as the two men began to fall for each other. 

 

Overall, I found Eternal Darkness to be an excellent addition to my overflowing shelf of vampire tales.  The vampires’ blindness made the stories different from the usual run of vampire fiction, and each author found a way to explain their character’s blindness which made the works even more unique.  This was a very entertaining anthology!

     

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