Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ceremony of Three by Evangeline Anderson

When Elaina Stevens is viciously attacked by a rogue vampire, she survives only because another vampire intervenes. Rafe is a Night Dweller, sworn to protect humans from the ravages of his own kind, feared creatures known as Dark Wanderers. To protect Elaina, Rafe puts his mark on her and in the process brands her very soul. But Rafe's vows forbid him to touch her again-no matter how much she wants him to.Then Elaina discovers Thorn, the vampire who attacked her, wishes to repent for his past sins. But the process of bringing a Dark Wanderer back to the light requires a human host-someone willing to be filled with the essence of both vampires at the same time.To be with the man she loves, Elaina is willing to do almost anything - even act as the host for her most feared enemy. She agrees to accept both Rafe and Thorn in a single night as the mysterious act of sex magick draws the rogue vampire from darkness into light, not knowing what will happen between vampires and human when the Ceremony of Three is over.

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While this story is fairly short, and the action a bit rushed at times, still the characters are wonderfully developed and vivid. The author does a great job of pulling the reader into the story and getting you to feel what her characters are feeling, and for the most part, their emotions and reactions are fairly realistic given the situation. Yes, some things feel a bit forced at times, especially as regards the way Elaina is fairly quick to agree to participate in the sexual ceremony with Thorn despite the terror of him that she still feels because of his attack on her a year previous. Thorn is shown in a very sympathetic light with his desire to renounce his dark ways, and Elaina is soft-hearted enough that her acceptance of him isn't wholly unbelievable, especially since it's made clear throughout that she's not just flipping a switch to turn her fears off. Instead, she's having to work through them continually all the way through the encounter, and balks at several points, which keeps the story within believable bounds (assuming a certain amount of suspension of belief that's necessary to accept the whole scenario to begin with). Overall I'd probably really give the story 4.5 stars since there are a few awkward spots that keep it from being truly a 5 star "perfect" story, in my opinion. Still, as quick, erotic stories go, this one is definitely among the best quality and most enjoyable ones.

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