Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Everlasting Desire by Amanda Ashley

The clientele at Shore's clothing store includes some of L.A.'s sexiest bachelors. But none of them affects Megan DeLacey as deeply as the dark-eyed stranger who strides into her boutique one evening - and keeps returning, night after night. Megan is drawn to Rhys Costain even as she fears him. Because his reason for being there is clear - he wants Megan, with an intensity that's both tempting and terrifying.

For almost five centuries, Rhys has lived alone, using women as it pleased him and never wanting more. As Master of the West Coast vampires, it's his duty to eliminate the ancient vampire who's draining humans on his turf, putting all of their kind at risk. But Megan's lush beauty and vibrant warmth is blinding him to a danger that will soon engulf them both - and tear him from the only woman who can satisfy his darkest hunger.

Where to Buy

An entertaining book with plenty of twists and turns in the story that keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Sure, there are plenty of things that are easy to predict, since this is a romance of the sort that you know will have a happily ever after ending, so some things are a given, but still the author manages to throw in plenty of things that are surprising. Even if only somewhat so.

Most of the main characters in this book were introduced in the previous book of the series, Everlasting Kiss, but a few notable characters are new, such as Megan and Shirl. Megan is a very ordinary sort, late 20s, works night shift at an exclusive men's store (which must pay very well for a retail job given that she doesn't seem to have to watch her pennies too much). Her life has been pretty routine it seems, though she is content with it. Until the night that Rhys walks into the store and starts to turn everything on its ear just by virtue of her intense attraction to him. Even so, she's not one to lose her head in girly lovestruck daydreams, and she's very resistant to the attraction she feels for Rhys at first, very much like how Daisy was toward Erik in the previous book. She definitely stands by her beliefs, and though she does learn to broaden her thinking and at least modify some of her attitudes during the course of the book, she clings resolutely to the core of them right up until the end pretty much, almost to excess. One can't help but admire her for that in some ways, even if it eventually gets puzzling and a bit non-sensical why she won't relent on some points.

Rhys was introduced before, and we saw a fair bit of him in the previous book, but we didn't really get to know him for who he really was then. He's the Master of the City, one of the oldest vampires in existence, and used to being obeyed. He is also not used to seeing humans as anything other than prey, or a pleasurable diversion for the evening. This changes fairly abruptly when he meets Megan, though he still resists the change, partly out of noble ideas about keeping her safe, even from himself. Yeah, we know how well that usually works in vampire romances, hmm? ;) I won't get too spoilery here, but suffice it to say he doesn't succeed any better than most other heros like him do, which isn't much of a surprise really since it wouldn't be much of a romance book if the hero truly did the noble thing and stayed away from the heroine completely and for good.

I did have various minor complaints with the book as I was reading, the main ones relating to issues of continuity from the first book. For instance, in the first book, it's implied that the existence of vampires is something of an open secret since Daisy's making her living selling vampire blood on the internet, and her father and brothers don't get any grief from law enforcement for having "killed" some people once it's proven those people were vampires, and thus outside the law apparently. Which, while it's never explicitly stated that law enforcement, or at least certain branches/departments of it, know about the existence of vampires, it's pretty much implied that they do. Then in this book, all of that seems to be largely reversed, with only a very select few among humans knowing about vampires, and with most vampire still actively working to keep humanity at large from knowing about them. Also, it was stated several times in the first book that Rhys was old enough that sunlight didn't give him much problem anymore, but then suddenly in this book it is a fairly significant problem for him apparently. Yes, he says that he can endure some sunlight when absolutely necessary, but he still describes it as "unpleasant" and resolutely avoids it. There were probably a few other continuity issues I noticed, but those two were the main ones.

Besides continuity issues, there were a few problems with the story I thought as well, mostly to do with points or situations that I thought were resolved just a bit too simplistically, though I'll allow that for some of those things, getting too much more involved with that plot point would likely have detracted too much from the book as a whole. Overall it flowed nicely and did manage to surprise me a bit with some of the twists she threw in, so I would definitely recommend it to others. Fans of paranormal romances will enjoy this book, as might those who just like vampires, or romances in general.

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