|From Sanctuary, playing John Druitt aka Jack the Ripper|
Then I was thinking, this guy is all about vampirism, Stargate's Wraith are sometimes referred to as vampire-like. They can remove the life essence of a person or they can return it. There is also a substance that, like mosquitoes, they inject into a victim when they feed that causes a metamorphosis of the person.
Druit and Mangus and Tesla become who they are because of vampire blood they consumed 158 years ago. So, what is it about Heyerdahl and vampires, Hmmm??? Blood aside, he does appear to have had parts in many fantasy and Sci-Fi movies. He is 6'4" so it may have to do with his height and with his striking features, as well as his talent. Perhaps he just likes speculative fiction and entertainment.
|From Stargate Atlantis, playing Wraith Todd|
|And, as Marcus - the really creepy Volturi|
This is the last weekend for the
My Favorite Things Contest.
Good stuff free:
Taken by the Night: Brotherhood of Blood
Kindle Edition, purchased
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 318 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 30, 2007)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
I enjoy carnal pleasures like any mortal man, but six hundred years of existence have taught me loss. Best to stay away from people and save myself the heartache. Then I arrive at the notorious London brothel Maison Rouge, and my life, such as it is, will never be the same again.
Ivy Dearing, daughter of the infamous Madam, has requested my assistance. Two of her friends have been murdered, and she is determined to find their killer. I know better than to agree to help, yet Ivy is impossible to resist. No stranger to vampires, she has awakened desires within me that are as potent as my thirst for blood—desires that can only be satisfied by Ivy herself. But when there is another murder, it is all I can do to protect the woman I love from an evil more powerful than the undead . . .
This is the third book in this series by Smith. The first, Be Mine Tonight was very emotional. The second, Night of the Huntress was more violent. Both had intimacy, but the intimacy reflected the rest of the book. Taken by the Night was more sensual, and was more of a thriller. I don't know why the blurb calls the "madame" infamous. "Infamy" is generally a pejorative, but Maison Rouge was actually founded by the Brotherhood as a safe house. The girls were clean and educated and people in the arts visited it as a salon as well as a brothel. If I were Ms. Smith, I would be having a chat with the marketing department. I enjoy these books, but not in the can't put it down must buy the next way my favorite series involve me.
The brotherhood is a group of six-hundred year-old vampires who were turned upon discovery of and drinking from the false Grail, created from the silver that Lillith, the mother of all vampires (in this world) was distilled into.
The plot here revolves around a series of Jack the Ripper type murders being perpetrated on the girls of this brothel or other women with an association to it, by a ritualistic cult. Apparently, the attacks of a dozen years earlier were the work of the same group. Jack the Ripper was in 1888 so this puts at the turn of the last century. Believe it or not, this was a time of moral upheaval as science and religion clashed on a very deep level. It was the birth of the modern era. Many modern conveniences had been invented and indeed the brothel itself boasts "showerbaths" and electricity. The heroine here, Ivy is the brothel owner's daughter (also the illegitimate daughter of a Baron), and she is not a demimondaine, but nor is she a virgin. She is privileged in material wealth and education but she lacks the true respectability of society first as illegitimate and secondly as the daughter of a madame. No matter how respectable a brothel was, it was still a house of prostitution which will never, I don't believe, be considered a profession within the confines of society.
In the first book, the heroine is freed from social confines by the fact that she is dying of cancer; in the second she is only half human, and a vampire huntress and thus is rejected by and rejects, in turn, social convention.
And, here, Ivy's association with a brothel, even as the daughter of the madame, frees her from any vestige of social constraint. She would be as much rejected in the world of conventional society as she has rejected it. It has turned her into, if not a libertine, then at least a free woman.
Smith's description of this world and of Ivy helps me see Ivy as very pre-Raphalite. Smith engages Ivy in the period's penchant for dressing people as historical or mythical persons in a dramatic way. I can only believe the periods legendary actresses were part of this movement.
A member of the brotherhood, Saint, happened to need the safe house and the daughter of the Madame and he are at odds over his searching for the murderer It is dawn when he arrives after an arduous period, apparently, and he must get to the special, lightproof room. She feels dismissed and is angry but since she has had a crush on Saint since she was a young girl that anger soon turns to attraction for both. Resisting this attraction is a large part of the book and it is not until about half-way through that they stop arguing about having sex and start having it. This is actually one of the better books in terms of erotic description that I had read in the three books. In the first the intimacy was as anemic as the girls blood; in the second it wasn't terribly memorable, but here, it is toe-curling. After all, Ivy is not a virgin and she grew up in a brothel; being "missish" wouldn't do.
Saint is a bit of a black sheep in the brotherhood, a sexy black sheep though. He is tolerant and accepting as well as patient. Being a vampire for 600 years has given him perspective, except in matters of love. He struggles against his attraction to Ivy partly out of respect for her mother who is his friend, partly because he doesn't want to break Ivy's heart, and partly because he has some baggage from past relationship. He also knows that he can't give her a home and family as a human male can. In the end, the attraction and Ivy's will are too strong and any resistance is done away with by an explosive chemistry.
I am intrigued by Ms. Smith's combination of the Grail search and legend with the mythology around Lilith. I had never heard of a purposefully wrought false Grail. I had read of items being mistaken for a grail, occasionally causing the downfall of the finder. And, I was unable to find a link between the Grail which was supposed to be the chalice used at the Last Supper and the Summerian/Hebrew Lilith or the first-wife-of-Adam-Lilith. If I review the next book I may write to Ms. Smith about it to learn where she got the idea. In this genre it strikes me as unique in explanation of origin at least to my limited knowledge.
There is a bit of drag in the third quarter of the book, a few fights between the couple as Ivy struggles against her modern sensibilities of sex for its own sake and the realization that she is falling in love with Saint. Saint wants a full commitment from her even thinking it may bring him grief. The ending is somewhat predictable, but the read is a good one. We are treated to a period romance without the drag of period language, and to a romance between two sexy and likable characters. I enjoyed it on several levels so perhaps you will as well.