One With the Night by Susan Squires

St. Martin’s Press

Historical Paranormal

ISBN: 978-0-312-94102-4

Reviewed by Chris

   

 

Jane Blundell inadvertently became a vampire when she came in contact with contaminated vampire blood. In an effort to find a cure for her affliction, her father, a respected obstetrician and a member of English’s elite, flees to the Irish countryside with her and sets up a discreet lab. Jane tries to be the son her father never had, devoting herself to the sciences while maintaining the household on her own. But her father rarely recognizes her intelligence and secretly she dreams of wearing the fashionable gowns the ladies wear instead of her bland wardrobe. The arrival of other vampires gives her hope. Perhaps they will teach her what she needs to know of her condition.

Having read Dr. Blundell’s article on vampirism, Callan Kilkenny sets out to find the scientist in the hopes Dr. Blundell may have discovered a cure. He nearly arrives too late. Some of the “born” vampires (as opposed to being a “made” vampire as Callan is) are desperate to prevent a cure from being found. In the course of rescuing the scientist from the other vampires, he meets our intriguing heroine, Jane. Callan is immediately drawn to the naďve young woman, yet he is torn between succumbing to his need for her and wondering if it is just his vampiric nature that makes him crave her. Is Callan a criminal and murderer as the other vampires say, or a man who is trying to reconcile his forced past with a new and free future?

Be warned. The villains are deliciously evil and sometimes sublime in their cruelties. Can Jane’s dispassionate father who neglects his daughter and tortures Callan with his poisonous experimental concoctions be considered evil? How about the vampires who want to destroy the cure? Are they malicious or just protecting the knowledge from those who would use it to harm others? The delicate Miss Elyta Zaroff and her entourage, the four hundred-year-old vampire Clara and equally aged Brother Flavio, claim they are there on the bequest of Mirso Monastery, to guard the cure. But the vampires at Mirso Monastery are known for eradicating made vampires. Why do they want the cure?

Susan Squires presents an interesting version of vampire legend in One With The Night. This is a well-written, adequately paced novel set in the early 1800s. At times, the hero’s dialogue, written in the local brogue, is jarring, slowing the reader’s progress. The various tortures including piercings, whippings, and forced sex may make a timid reader blanch. Several cameo appearances by the Loch Ness monsters (yes, that’s multiple monsters) unexpectedly liven up the tale. Provocative love scenes, a scientist who reminds one of a barely civilized Dr. Frankenstein, a heroine who wars with duty and matters of the heart, a sexy honorable hero, and hedonistic vampires make for one unique story.

     

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