Reading in bed just got a little hotter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Embraced by the Shadows by Mayra Calvani

PUBLISHER: Twilight Times Books
AUTHOR: Mayra Calvani
GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Romance, Vampire
LENGHT: 173 pages
RATING: 3.5 roses!

In a bazaar in Istanbul one evening, ten-year-old Alana Piovanetti glances into the shadows to find a man watching her. He smiles, and over time she convinces herself that it was just her imagination that placed sharp fangs amongst those flashing teeth.

Twelve years later, Alana is surprised when she is chosen to manage a new restaurant opening in her home city of San Juan. She has neither training nor experience to justify her success. But La Cueva del Vampiro has the kind of ambience she adores, for Alana has always had a penchant for horror and the dark side of life. Yet she is also plagued with dreams of dark sensuality, dreams that take on shattering reality when she meets the stunningly handsome, charismatic Sadash.

For Sadash is the man she saw in the shadows so many years before…and Sadash isn’t human…

Alana always had a fascination for the bizarre, the morbid.  Her dreams were filled with images that would terrify any other child.  After losing her father and then her mother at a young age, she was raised by her uncle, a loving man who was otherwise ignorant of her strange curiosity with things like vampires and the undead.  In school, she mostly hung around her best friend, Valeria.  They were called the blonde and the brunette, and were an inseparable pair.  Other than a short reprieve for college, they remained close, even moved in together to start their careers.  While Valeria had focused her attentions in the field of law, Alana had acquired a degree in business marketing. 

Alana's first job offer was a management position at a new club that was solely dedicated to lovers of gothic gore.  Now, not only was she getting to dress up like her favorite fiction creature, she was getting a pretty hefty sum to do so.  But was it really fiction, or did things truly go bump in the night?  While Valeria seemed overly thrilled about Alana’s new job, Alana couldn’t help but wonder why she’d been chosen for the position when she had no experience.  Who was the secretive owner of the nightclub, and did they have some sort of connection?  While common sense told her that was impossible, her recent dreams suggested otherwise.

On one of her first nights at the club, Alana notices a strikingly handsome face staring at her from across the room—I say face because that’s all she sees of him.  In the next instant, he’s gone.  But his startling eyes were enough to leave a lasting impression.  It isn’t long before she sees him again, this time in full form.  Sadesh is his name, and Alana soon learns that he’s more than he appears.  

Embraced by the Shadows was an enjoyable read.  Mayra Calvani's presentation of vampires is with a slightly different approach.  These creatures, while beautiful and sensual beings, as are most vampires, are solely driven by their bloodlust.  I was a little disappointed that Alana and Sadesh didn’t make love—who doesn’t want to see the two main characters get together—but I understand that the author’s point was to go beyond the carnal needs of the flesh and develop an emotional bond that far transcends anything possible with mere mortals.  Sadesh reminds me of Anne Rice’s character, Louis, and Alana could be likened to the little girl he sires.  At first she doesn’t grasp the importance of adhering to the rules and regulations that come with being a creature of the night.  But through Sadesh’s careful patience and some hard lessons, she learns what it truly means to be a vampire.  If you’re interested in the vampire psyche, then this is the book for you. 

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