Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
In this sequel to After Midnight, we meet up with Portia Cabot five years later and after she has embraced her new job as vampire hunter, assisting her brother-in-law, Adrian Kane.
Portia loved Julian Kane with all the innocence of her young heart, even risking her soul to save him that night in a crypt five years ago. No one knows what really happened in there but she and Julian, though she now wears the tell tale bite marks on her throat. He abandoned her then, with his only intent to go find his soul and to escape the feelings for Portia that still haunt him.
Now Julian has returned to London, at the same time dead bodies of women begin showing up. Portia decides it is up to her to find Julian and bring him home. When she finds him, she discovers he is not the same man as he once was, for he has embraced his dark gift and seems unwilling to give it up. Little does she know that the real reason he disappeared was to forget about the forbidden love he had for her. Reunited, albeit reluctantly, Portia discovers her love for Julian is as strong as it ever was. But she can't forget the nagging possibility that he may very well be a murderer.
At last we have the resolution to the love story of Portia and Julian in The Vampire Who Loved Me. After seeing how much they struggled with their feelings in After Midnight, it is wonderful to see what has become of them. However, keep in mind that though this book does have its own story, it really feeds off of the buildup from the preceding novel. As such, if you have not read the prequel, you could be very confused at many times throughout the story.
Portia is a young woman torn between her desires for a man she cannot have and her duty to her family. She lives with the memory of her last meeting with Julian, one that she must keep secret to save his life. If Adrian knew everything that happened in the crypt, he would be hard-pressed not to hunt Julian down and drive the stake through his brother's heart himself. While Portia can not quite bring herself to believe Julian would have fallen so far as to become a murderer, she can't help the feeling that he is not the same man he once was.
The tone in this story is quite dark, possibly more so than its preceding title, due to the nature of Julian's spirit and mind. He agonizes over the choices he has made bringing him to his current state, but he will do absolutely anything to protect Portia, even if he must make a deal with a devil to do so. He is tortured by the beast that holds his soul and his love for Portia is all that keeps him from falling into the dark void of his baser vampiric needs.
If anyone deserves a happy-ever-after, it's Portia and Julian. After everything they've been through together and alone, they find that their love has the power to move mountains, and bring them back from the very brink of hell. I was happy to see that their journey to happiness was every bit as strong and unique as they are. Readers will rejoice in finally seeing them reach what they so desperately long for... each other.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, January 2007. All rights reserved.