Review - "Immortal Valentine" by Ellis Carrington
Wonderful riff on the vampire tale
Very Highly Recommended
Caleb should really pay better attention to where he was going. It's understandable he was distracted - it was Valentine's Day, and the one year anniversary of when his ex made love with him then decided to break things off. So for him to get a little lost in his head, completely understandable. Only, it put him in danger and walking in front of a car.
So when he ducks into an alleyway to catch his breath, the last thing he expects to hear is a wonderfully sexy voice asking him if he's okay.
Angelo is out, as he is every Valentine's Day, searching for a lonely man with whom he can connect. This once-a-year tradition starts with dinner and ends in a high-end hotel with the willing young man as dessert. You see, Angelo is a vampire and treats himself once a year to a young man's blood. One that will sustain him for the next year. He indulges, makes the nigh memorable for the young man and then wipes his memory of the event.
But this year, he can't quite get over his attraction to Caleb. The night starts out so well, but ends, well, with a slight case of food poisoning and Caleb hugging the toilet. So Angelo leaves Caleb, not daring to take his blood and endanger him. He chooses to forsake the blood he needs and leave Caleb be.
But neither can forget the other. And when a chance meeting reunites the two, will both men get what they want? Can their attraction bloom into something more? Or will a hidden danger separate them forever.
Ellis Carrington delivers a wonderfully imagined riff on the classic vampire tale, with an unexpected sweetly-delivered Valentine's Day surprise. This work is handled ever-so-rightly with a deft touch and a full heart. Ms. Carrington really feels her characters, and lets us enjoy how much she cares for them along with her.
I loved Caleb. His kind and gentle strength were so apparent, and made him very believable. The humor and wit he had, along with the surprising streak of stubborn backbone was endearing without making him a chump. He fairly jumps off the page with believability, and his actions backed up his heart.
And Angelo. So very different from the cold-hearted creatures we so often see in these kind of stories. He's another gentle soul, a victim of circumstances. Yet the care he takes with Caleb and the respect he shows him, and indeed all his "victims" over the years, make him all-too-human.
The pairing was sublime, like a wonderful chocolate dessert paired with a heady, full-bodied wine.
I'd love to see more of these two.