I was curious about "vampire romances" and picked up this book. After reading the synopsis on the back cover, I figured I was getting a vampire romance. The first few chapters were riveting, I was enthralled with Alexander, the vampire. You cannot imagine my disappointment when he turned out to be an alien. Yes, he was still sexy and entralling, but I wanted a vampire, not an alien. Had I known he was an alien, I would have not bought the book, and I felt cheated. The writing was not great, and I didn't really care for Kara. I haven't given up on Amanda Ashley (M. Baker) - I plan to pick up one of her her "real" vampire novels this time.
Alexander Claybourne lives alone in an isolated house in a small town. No-one sees him during the day. He doesn't socialise, and no-one knows anything about him. There are rumours that he is a vampire. One day, an eight-year-old girl, Gail Crawford, comes to him and asks him to save her sister, in a coma in hospital following a road accident. Since he's a vampire, as she believes, then if he gives her some of his blood she will live. Is Alexander a vampire? Does his blood have mysterious qualities? He doesn't actually know what his blood will do to Kara, but feels compelled to help her all the same. And once he has done so, he feels drawn to her and unable to stay away. He visits her, and they talk on several occasions - and fall in love. But when Kara gets out of hospital and is sent for further blood tests, Alexander realises that by giving her his blood he might have saved her life, but he has caused problems not only for Kara, but also for herself. They have to go on the run, in fear of their lives. And Alexander has to tell Kara the truth about himself - will she still want him? Yes, he's not a vampire: he's an alien, as many other reviewers have pointed out. (Oh, and this happens not very far into the book; certainly not close to the end, as other reviewers claim). Umm... so what? That made no difference to me. My two-star rating isn't because Alexander isn't a vampire; it's because of the quality of the book. Making him an alien was definitely different, and in a better book it would have made for a very interesting storyline. As it is, Ashley's alien is, as Kara herself says, something of a cross between Superman and the Highlander (not a lot of originality in characterisation, really), though he doesn't seem to possess much of Superman's morality. This alien is predisposed to violence, and a lot of it. Why didn't I like this book? Well, the weak, whiny characters were a major part of it. Take Kara: she kept changing her mind about whether or not she trusted and loved Alexander. And when he told her that he was an alien, she actually ran away and threatened to turn him in to the doctor she knew would cage him like a labrat and would drain his blood for financial gain. Is being from another planet such a dreadful thing that Alexander deserved to be treated worse than an animal? Then there's Alexander: throughout the book, one minute he is telling Kara that he loves her and will never let her go, and the next he is telling her to leave him, to go away, that they can't be together. They even undergo a marriage ceremony according to the rites of his planet, and he explains that in his culture the custom is marriage for life: a soul-bond. And then the next day he tells her that she has to leave him and start a new life without him?! Make up your mind, man!! Then there's the thriller/danger plot. For me, that went on too long, was too brutal and really wasn't interesting. I'm interested in the romance, not extraneous elements. If you want a love story, this isn't really for you. If you like thrills and danger and struggles to escape, then maybe it is. This plot simply occupied far too much of the book for my liking. Ashley has simply never written anything else as good as Embrace The Night, and on recent evidence she's not going to. wmr-uk
The townsfolk of Moulton Bay said there was something otherworldly about Alexander Claybourne. Some people whispered that with his dark, arresting features and mesmerizing eyes, the seductive stranger looked every inch a vampire. They never guessed how near the truth they were – or that after more tan two hundred years of resisting temptation, Claybourne had found a woman he had to possess. Never one to be scared off by superstitious lore, Kara Crawford laughed at the local talk of creatures lurking in the dark. What harm could come of befriending the handsome stranger with the haunted look in his midnight eyes? No matter what shadowy secrets Alexander hid, Kara felt drawn to him, compelled to join hi beneath the sliver light of the moon, where they would share a love… This is another twist in the vampire story, to tell you more would give the story away. Different from Ashley’s norm, but nonetheless worth reading.
Contrary to the previous reviewer I accepted the hero as "different". The heroine is sick and dying in the hospital when the hero responds to her sister's plea to help. He doesn't make her a vampire but he does give her a blood donation that saves her life and gives her special powers. He is sensitive to light because of his disorder, and writes horror books (often doing research into dark subjects)- which is why people think he is an eccentric, possible a vampire. The romance grows between the two despite the differences in their lifestyles and his powers. Her doctor wants more of the miracle cure though, and the transfusions could be having unexpected results... Page turner, tear-jerker, inteligent characters with good emotional resonance.