Title: Immortal Valentine
Author: Ellis Carrington
Publisher: Amber Allure
After almost being hit by a truck in the street, Caleb runs into a handsome stranger on his way home from work on Valentine’s Day. Caught up in the adrenaline rush, Caleb takes the leap of accepting the stranger’s invitation to dinner. Caleb is immediately attracted to the man; in fact, the two don’t even make it to dinner before making out behind a museum. After dinner, the man (Angelo) invites Caleb up to his fancy hotel room for a night of passion, which both assume will be the end of things between them.
Angelo is a vampire who feeds once a year on Valentine’s Day. He finds a lonely soul, shares an evening of romance and hot sex, feeds, and then erases the man’s memories. Angelo has every intention of repeating this pattern, but he finds he can’t break away from Caleb or bear to let him go. Even after that night, Angelo seeks Caleb out, revealing the truth about what he is. Caleb is unafraid of Angelo’s darker side, and the two begin to build a relationship. But when someone from Angelo’s past returns, it might destroy what the two men have built.
I thought this was an interesting story with a few unusual twists on the common vampire “I want you, but I am bad for you” plotline. I appreciated how things move forward between Caleb and Angelo without too much angst or dragging out whether it could work between them. Ellis provides some nice changes on the vampire lore which kept the book interesting and entertaining. And I thought Caleb and Angelo were both very hot and quite sweet together.
I wasn’t so thrilled with the ending conflict. The misunderstanding/lack of trust conflict is one of my least favorites and I felt like Caleb’s instant assumption that Angelo was deceiving him sort of came out of nowhere here. Fortunately it didn’t drag on long, but I did feel it sort of made Caleb come across as somewhat of a jerk, which was a shame because I had found him quite likable. I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed after such a nice build in the early part of the story. The final conflict came and went so quickly I barely even caught what was happening. I actually think this would have been the more interesting issue to explore and I wish more time was taken over this part of the plot.
Overall I enjoyed this story and thought it was a nice twist on the vampire tale. I particularly enjoyed that it takes place in DC, an area I have lived all my life, and it was fun to recognize the landmarks, Metro stations, etc. Although this is a Valentine’s Day story, I think it can easily carry over to any time of year. I really like Carrington’s writing and look forward to reading more from this author.