Viviane is a born vampire and after her sponsor is murdered, Constantine, another born vampire seeks to make her his own. He needs someone like him to sire his children and continue his group of vampires. But Viviane isn't used to being tied down, and she recoils from Constantine's advances.
While he is pursuing her, she meets Rhys, a half wolf and half vampire, and unbeknownst to her, he is Constantine's half brother. The two have been feuding for years and there's no love lost between them. When Constantine finds out that she's been with Rhys, he exacts his revenge: He has a spell cast on her that traps her between life and death and then has her sealed in a glass coffin in the sewers below Paris, forced to endure eternity away from the man she loves and unable to live or die.
Seducing The Vampire moves seamlessly from present day when Rhys hears about the Snow White vampiress to the past when they'd loved one another. Constantine is the consummate bad guy the reader wants to see punished, and Rhys is a wonderful romantic hero. The love triangle works well in the story. In the end, there's a happily ever after for the lovers and they even have twins, which sets up the sequel to Seducing The Vampire. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that story.
Seducing The Vampire was provided for review by the publisher, Harlequin, through NetGalley.
A Seduction Indeed......En Francoise...
Viviane La Mourette, a blood borne vampiress, lives an existence unknown to most female vampires in the late 1700's Paris. Her patron has allowed her much freedom in life, but upon his untimely demise, Viviane finds herself a priceless commodity to a powerful vampire, Lord Constantine Salignac, as he needs a blood borne female to produce an heir. Not wishing to put herself in the cruel hands of this new would-be patron, she desperately seeks an alternative. When Viviane encounters the devastatingly handsome Rhys Hawkes at a ball, she at once assumes he is but another who would attempt to possess her for personal gain, and she senses something unnaturally different about the man; however, there is also something luring her to him recklessly.
Rhys Hawkes carries a number of secrets with him, and revealing them could enact his salvation, or his damnation. When he meets Viviane La Mourette, her azure eyes captivate him, but the knowledge that she is the prize his enemy, Constantine Salignac, desires fuels him to usurp Salignac's power and win her spirit and body. He doesn't count on falling in love, nor does he desire it, for he harbors a duplicity within himself that puts them both in great danger.
Hauf's tale of love, loss, and betrayal spans more than two centuries, and the author writes a delicious storyline. Both Viviane and Rhys are characters with interesting histories, and each brings complex issues into their burgeoning relationship. While I enjoyed the definite tension these created, I also thought the novel was too drawn out in certain aspects. The modern day scenes added secondary characters which could have enhanced the story much more than they did. Hawkes' relationship with Simon, his 'assistant', was not tapped into enough to satisfy this Broad's curiosity, and a lack of reckoning in regard to the heinous crimes of Salignac and the witch, Ian, disappointed considerably. That said, Hauf's ending was a terrific one, and it was a welcome surprise, whetting my appetite for Valient's tale, due out in spring 2011.