Caressed by Moonlight
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2011
Rulers of Darkness Book #1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (294 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author
Dorian Vlakhos is no ordinary aristocrat. He is a vampire king, who will do anything to save his clan from complete annihilation, before an ancient curse can claim his immortal life.
Penniless and orphaned, Victoria Kingston has nothing to bring to a marriage, yet she must shackle an unsuspecting gentleman into marriage by the end of the month or forfeit her rights as guardian of her younger sister. With the help of her dearest friend, Victoria begins her hunt, and vows to stay far away from the dark, mysterious, Dorian Vlakhos.
After meeting the beautifully innocent Miss Kingston, Dorian had to have her. He would do absolutely anything to make Victoria his. One sweet stolen kiss would bring them together while a force, more powerful than any vampire, would bind them for all eternity, but treachery, war, and death rule Dorian’s dark world and Victoria would be fortunate to survive.
What VampBard’s talking about:
I really liked the simplicity of Amanda Greene’s Caressed by Moonlight, the first book in her Rulers of Darkness series. While the storyline was straight-forward, there was enough complexity present to keep me guessing and to drive the plot forward.
The angst-y, brooding hero, Dorian, had naughty thoughts almost from the first meeting of Victoria. Destined to live as a vampire king, and potentially meet the same fate as his ancestors – the insanity – because he did not find his mate, weighed heavily on him. His only desire was to protect his clan, to the best of his ability, until he was forced to pass the helm. Never, in Dorian’s three thousand years, did he imagine that he would meet someone that would tug at the heartstrings he thought were non-existent.
There were several telling (but not spoiler-y) passages that pretty much made me swoon:
She fell against him, her limbs liquid. He did not need to be asked twice and he was not about to give her the chance to change her mind. He could not possibly wait any longer. He needed her. Now.
As Ms. Greene infused the backstory, bringing her world to life, we learned about one of the major conflicts that has the potential to run through the series:
“It’s just that the hunters-”
“Are on a mission to destroy the clan,” Dorian finished. “And they won’t be satisfied until every member of the Mylonas Clan is dead.”
Still early in the title, Ms. Greene gave us tremendous insight to Dorian’s character, as well as backstory that provided the reader the opportunity to connect with Dorian:
The curse dug into his heart with poisonous talons. Dorian prayed his death would be quick but the witches would never allow that. Every king who had come before had suffered, why would he be any different?
Even when Dorian learned of his fate, he didn’t simply wade in to the relationship. He jumped in with both feet, splashing onlookers unmercifully.
Victoria, our petite heroine, was the guardian of her younger sister. Mom, of whom Victoria strongly resembled, died of illness, and dad was so in love with her, he withered away, eventually succumbing to madness/suicide. He left Victoria with a tremendous amount of debt, causing her to sell everything, including the family home, to pay off his loans. They moved from the country to London to stay with a bitter, spinster aunt. Auntie told Tori that she had a month to find a husband and move out or she would never see little sis, Margaret, again. Long story short, Tori did the social scene in London on a budget with the help of a friend. She met Dorian almost immediately, but everyone thought he was entirely a ‘playa’, and Victoria never really added him to her list of suitors. Auntie got ticked at Tori one night, after finding out that she was noted by society as ‘seeing’ Dorian – complete with a major verbal exchange – and kicked her out of the house. Victoria went to the one person that was in town at the time that she thought she could trust. Dorian.
As Dorian and Victoria, with Margaret hovering in the background, embark on a journey to save his Clan, they run into evil vampires, diabolical witches, and survive the age-old man vs. man conflict. While each character seems to have a piece missing, together, as a couple, they are robust and moving toward something larger. I sense an over-arching plot for a series brewing, and hope that I’ve guessed correctly as I embark on the next title in Ms. Greene’s Rulers of the Darkness series, Caressed by Night, in December.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)