Even vampires grieve, and newly made vampire Leo Ruggeri has a lot to grieve over. His maker, Kesan Glendubh, should be providing help and guidance as he copes with his new life, but a vampire hunter’s crossbow has made that impossible. Kesan was more than Leo’s maker. He was Leo’s one-and-only, the man he would love for eternity. With him gone, his vampire family steps up to shepherd Leo until he knows enough not to alert the humans that those who walk the night are among them.
Jamie Tasso wants to do more than guide him through the pitfalls, though, and Leo finds solace in his bed. When Leo’s world is turned upside down again, what began as solace morphs into love. Jamie and Leo are summoned to Kolozsvár, to the High Court, where an alliance between Vampyr and Varulv — werewolves — is being hammered out. Politics is never clean and simple when alliances and love affairs are shattered much more easily than they are forged.
I’d thought I knew what love was, and what it wasn’t. I thought I understood the difference between love and fondness-with-sex. I thought I knew what it meant to love someone more than life itself. I was wrong. Pathetically, not even in the ballpark, try-again-sailor, totally wrong. The truth was an iced scalpel, slicing through all the bullshit. It ripped me stem to stern and laid bare the lies I’d told the world, the deeper lies I’d told myself. I knew nothing about love. Not a single goddamned motherfucking thing about love.
I wasn’t even sure I’d spelled the word right even one time in all my 33 years trudging the planet, thinking I was alive and complete. I’d been a fool. A prancing preening peacock, spreading my tail and quivering it, hiding the barren nest that had never, would never, couldn’t ever attract a mate.
The sudden truth screeched a discord, holding it, sustenuto, shifting the top notes, emphasizing one thing and then another. My shallowness was at the fore, then the selfishness with the mind games rolling up next, all the things I’d done to take and clutch control to my chest and more importantly to hide from myself exactly what it was I was doing. The chord was there, held, drawn out, setting up resonances and harmonics that threatened to rip me apart, and possibly the universe as they did.
I saw it all, understood in an instant what love truly is, realized I’d never felt it. And railed against the unfairness that I’d finally seen, finally grasped the truth when it was too late, too damned fucking late, because the man who could have taught me love, the man who was worthy of being loved, was gone, lost to me forever, dead.