This is a heart-rending story about two beings who may never be able to be together. Néomi Laress has been a ghost ever since her crazed ex-fiancé murdered her and then himself at a party celebrating one of her ballet performances. She rambles around Elancourt, her beloved home, day after day…year after year. The highlight of her day is reading the daily newspaper that the last tenant must have forgotten to cancel.
Then four vampire brothers move in. One of them is in chains. He is violent and out of his mind and he is the first person who has seen her in over eighty years. Too bad he thinks she is another one of his hallucinations.
Conrad Wroth has spent the last three hundred years killing for hire and running from an ancient order of vampire slayers which he used to be part of before he was forced by his two oldest brothers to be a vampire himself. He drains the blood from his victims which gives him their memories which has made him confused and quite mad.
Néomi’s presence seems to calm Conrad and make his mind clear. He begins to think she is his fated Bride but since she is a ghost, there is no way to know for sure. Brides are the one female who can make a vampire’s heart beat again and give them back their sexual feelings that they lost when they became a vampire. Conrad vows to find a way to make her corporeal.
This brings about another problem. Conrad has been marked by a Dream Demon who has cursed him and will hurt anyone he cares about. The curse is his dream will become his nightmare. Up until he met Néomi, that hasn’t been a problem. His dream is that Néomi become corporeal but his nightmare is that she dies again.
I liked Conrad more than any of the protagonists in the previous books of this series. I have a thing for tortured heroes but it was also because the other males were too overbearing and kind of raperish. All they wanted to do was have sex with their females and would almost force themselves on them. It creeped me out. Conrad was an angry muffin but didn’t try to force himself on Néomi…not that he could with him being impotent and her being incorporeal but I don’t think he would have been like that in any case.
One of the things I love about this series is that Kresley Cole is always setting up the future story or plot which is getting more and more complex. There are a lot of background characters and stories going on in every book and it is getting harder to keep track of it all but I take a lot of notes. That is why it takes me a while to read a book. As always, Nix the Ever Knowing is manipulating things to go her way in the Accession, an immortal war that occurs every five to six hundred years in the Lore where factions will choose sides and seek power to be on top of the food chain. I think she is a romantic at heart too but the couples she brings together also serve a purpose to her to bring her allies. In this book, she is the one who suggested Elancourt to Conrad’s brothers to keep Conrad prisoner while they tried to get rid of his bloodlust. She also told Rydstrom and Cadeon how to find Conrad…sort of. They are looking for Conrad because he killed a demon who knows how to defeat the warlock who took Rydstrom’s crown. Conrad would have that demon’s memories somewhere in his mind. Nix also is working some strange deal with Rydstrom regarding Cadeon behind Cadeon’s back. We’ll have to wait for Rydstrom or Cadeon’s book to find out.
It is sad that I cannot remember all the details of these books. I’ve read the series before but because I read a ton of books in between each release, I forget a lot. But reading these books one after the other keeps it all together and helps me remember things better. But re-reading this series is just like reading it for the first time except I know how some things end and I can pay more attention to details that I may have not thought important the first time around.
Now, I’m off to read the next book which I already have in my e-reader. This is saving me so much money because I don’t have to buy anything.