Midnight Embrace
by Amanda Ashley, historical/paranormal (2002)
LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52468-6


This is a "vampire romance story", and yes, it's that type of story: dying heroine saved by mysterious stranger (he gives her his blood as an elixir of life because he is captivated by her purity/innocence, yucks), gives her his creepy manor to live in and heal and get pampered by staff who remain happy and stoic despite rumors that Blackbriar Hall is haunted, and lots of emotional scenes where our hero appears in the shadows, frisks the heroine, and disappears when morning comes.

Our heroine is Analisa. You'll never forget her name, trust me.

Our hero is Alesandro de Avallone. What, you expect a romance novel vampire to be called Freddie?

Lots of emotional scenes, where our hero and heroine will stare at each other in the shadows.

Then, he will take a deep breath and whispers, "Analisssssaaaa!"

She will stare back in what I guess in an expression of infatuated moo-mooness.

He will then sigh and says again, "My sweet Analisssssaaa!"

And then, she will try to say something, but her brain fails her. As usual.

"Analissssaaaaa!"

"My sweeeetttt Anaaaaallliiiisssaaaaa!"

"Analiiiiiissssssaaaa!"

"Sleep, my sweet Annnnnaaaaallllliiiiisssssaaaaa!"

And the echoes around the place: Analisa. Analisa. Analisa.

OH SHUT UP.

This story isn't that bad. Analisa is annoying and clueless, but she is written as clueless, so no quibbles from me there. Alex, on the other hand, is irritating because he cannot seem to say a sentence without that "my sweet Analisa" thing popping up every fricking time he says something to That Woman Who From Now On Shall Not Be Named Ever. Or TWWFNOSNBNE for short.

TWWFNOSNBNE spends her time wandering around the halls and gasping at every twitching and throbbing thing hiding in the shadows of Blackbriar Hall. Cute. There's also a rather disposable subplot about Evil Vampires who Suck Blood - Alex sucks blood to heal, so he's different - I think - anyway, evil vampire threatens TWWFNOSNBNE, Alex says her name a lot some more, and he tries to kill himself because, oh, he is so Filthy and Dirty and he is Corrupting Sweet Innocent TWWFNOSNBNE!

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Midnight Embrace is a standard dingbat stumbling around big dark house where a moany, whiny vampire lurks kind of yarn. If vampirism is a metaphor for alienation, homosexuality, AIDS, or something in other modern literature, in romance it seems to be an outright euphemism for legalized pedophilia. Whatever rocks the boat, I guess.

Rating: 70


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