** spoiler alert **
I love the last line of this book....
"I AM SALOMAN. GIVE ME MY SWORD!"
This book is the first in a trilogy about vampires. It is a paranormal romance novel but relies heavily on the story line making it feel more like a UF. It is not dripping with romance and sappy lingo. It is not all about the relationship and the characters. This is a story about revenge, world building, betrayal and trust. And the hero, Saloman, is not quite a hero at all. He is a flawed, angry, at times uncaring vampire who appears to hold very little value in the lives of his fellow vampires and humans.
Saloman wakes up hundreds of years after being buried in a crypt and having a stake driven through his heart by those closest to him, including his lover. He feels betrayed and is determined to avenge his staking. a vampire of pure blood who was over three thousand years old. He has unimaginable power and had spent most of his life as a voice & arm behind thrones and powerful political leaders over time. He is feared and known for his ruthless regard for humans and other vampires. Power is what motivated him. He is awakened, week, and in order to regain his full potential in power he needs to drain the blood from his Awakener.
Saloman tells Elizabeth that he needs to kill her in order to gain his full power back but is so drawn to her that he postpones ending her life. Her humanity and spontaneity intrigue him. Theirs takes on a almost love/hate relationship as the story develops. She learns more about how he lived and how hungry he is for power and starts to see how inhumane he can be at times. She also meets vampire hunters who offer to teach her how to kill vampires and why she should join their group...if nothing else but to stay alive. She knows sooner or later, Saloman will come for her and drain her.
But Saloman keeps showing up where ever she is, stalking her, playing cat and mouse with her life. One scene, she wakes up in her house and he is sitting on the edge of her bed smiling at her. ...But always walks away saying he is not going to kill her today. She starts being able to predict when Saloman is around...she get's this feeling on the back of her neck. And he taunts her by telling her that he imagines the interesting conversations he could have with her if he didn't have to kill her.
He is on a revenge bend. His friends and supporters betrayed him along with his former lover (Tsigana). They staked him because they felt he was gaining to much political power and his lover because he refused to turn her. He has had centuries to think about how he will find them and kill them for this betrayal. He is cold hearted and each time he picks off one of his betrayers...he does it without mercy....
But when it comes to killing Elizabeth...he doesn't. He is fighting some inner struggle with his impulse and need to kill her and his pull towards her. Throughout the book he is always sizing Elizabeth up to his previous lover who betrayed him almost as if he is separating them in his mind (or heart???)...Tsigana was power hungry and greedy...where Elizabeth is innocence and learned. Each time he comes close to killing her...he backs away....saving the kill for next time.
There is a pretty hot dance in the club Angel with Saloman and Elizabeth...they come as close to sex in public as you can without actually doing it. Their romance is not the center of this story but the pull between these two...the vampire who needs her life and blood and the hunter who feels it is morally right to remove a power hungry vampire set on conquering and ruling the world can't seem to detach themselves from the growing bond they have for one another. Reading this romance feels like a rubber band is being pulled and the growing constant tension will eventually break the band and explode.
She struggles with these questions: Is he insane? Does he know what he is doing? Is he dangerous for the world? Should he be eliminated? Am I doing the right thing trying to kill him? What do I feel for him? Can she kill him before he kills her? The novel culminates in a showdown between several vampires, Zombies, the hunters, a twice betrayed Saloman and an angry, (he doesn't understand how she could plan his death) and a vengeful Elizabeth.
At the end of the battle, Saloman and Elizabeth are left. She ready to stake him, walks up to him with all this pent up anger and he turns and goes for her neck. In that moment she draws up her fist with the stake and looks into his black eyes and angry face. She will have one shot....and at that exact moment it finally dawns on her.....she loves him. (I know this sounds crazy but the author does a great job building up to this. She tells him....she hates herself for saying the truth, but it is the truth. Stakes are dropped, anger is dissolved and what comes next is a very hot, passionate scene (again in public.)
After a very blissful evening spent in each others arms, she asks when he will kill her and he tells her that he will never kill her. She sadly tells him that when the morning comes that they will go back to being enemies and what they only have now....He nods and kisses her...then he whispers in her ear: "But, Elizabeth, what we have, what is between us, will never be over."
Now this is a goooooood story....I am looking forward to book number two. I read that this will only be a trilogy and that the story resolves in book three. A very enjoyable read! Love it!
Note: There is something about angels too....The author makes a big deal of this...and Elizabeth is reminded of angels over and over....angels in the church where he lived, in her dreams...everywhere. There are angels painted all over his crypt...the crypt of a vampire????? and he hangs out at this nightclub called The Angel who's owner is Angelika and this club has a famous statue in it of an angel. Not sure where this is going yet.