Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
In 1390 France, identical twins Thierry and Olivier, along with their mysterious sister Aurelia, live a harsh and abusive life. Working in a slaughterhouse with their domineering father, they have little escape or relief from the violent realities of life. The brothers have always been close, but it’s their ability to hear what the other is thinking and feel what the other is feeling that has always driven their relationship.
Olivier is obsessed with Thierry in every way. He wants to possess him and be everything to him. Thierry’s only escape is his secret lover, Etienne. When Olivier feels the powerful emotions when Thierry and Etienne are together, his jealousy is uncontrollable.
When a vampire mistakes Olivier for Thierry and turns him, Olivier simply cannot live without Thierry. He sets a course in motion that will make Thierry his for eternity while eliminating Etienne.
Four hundred years later, the brothers find themselves visiting a castle in France. Still causing trouble, Olivier spends his days setting the guests up for his own enjoyment. Aurelia’s reappearance shows us a brief side of witchcraft and signs that a larger purpose for the brothers is yet to be discovered. When Thierry meets Reiner and sees a familiar soul looking back at him, it sends Olivier once again into a psychotic murderous rage.
Spanning 600 years from France to Australia, the brothers live, hunt, and find history and actions repeating themselves. The souls of past loves, centuries old enemies, and a sister filled with magical witchcraft reappear when least expected. The consequences are bloody, the obsessions remain, and Olivier will just never learn that true love never dies no matter how many times you kill it.
You know those vampires that go to high school and won’t kill humans or those vampires drinking synthetic blood trying to mainstream? These are so not those vampires. These vampires want all of your blood and will take whatever organs they have time for as well, as their killings are visceral and bloody.
The book is told from three points in time, 1390 France, 1792 France, and modern day Australia. The connection of the brothers is displayed first and that was one of the most intriguing aspects of the book. When Thierry goes to meet Etienne, we see and feel the scene through Olivier, as Olivier can feel their encounter as if it is happening to himself. It’s the fact that Thierry is in love with Etienne that drives Olivier to madness and a murderous rage. The scene, the connection, and the way it is told is clever and well done and goes a long way to setting up Olivier’s obsession with his twin.
The story follows the brothers through the centuries and their actions are the story. While the connection between the two of them was certainly intriguing and we are privy to some other delightful details as they compare the flavors of the blood of their victims, the plot, world building, and some of the character development was not overly tight.
The brothers’ maker dies right after they are turned, which leaves them with no guidance on the life of a vampire and there are no other vampires in the story. The vampires can go out in the daylight and that is never addressed as being different from the constant in most vampire worlds. Their special abilities, such as speed, invisibility, and changing their eye color to alter moods are all mentioned, but not fully developed or fully explained.
Aurelia is a mystery as she just keeps appearing and she does not answer questions directly most of the time. She states several times that the brothers are needed and there are so few hints given as to what is truly going on. The lack of direction, even just a taste, made it difficult to incite enthusiasm as so much was left open at the end of the book in anticipation for the sequel. Also, the reason for some of the other secondary characters was vague, making attachments difficult due to the lack of a full storyline. It’s is certainly one thing to draw out the story, but it’s another not to give enough information on the character to sustain interest. I did feel that at times there was too much mystery regarding some of the characters’ motivations.
There are huge jumps in time in the book without knowing what happened in between. After 1792 France, we know that Olivier and Thierry are separated for 200 years, but that’s all we know. Olivier is suspicious of why Thierry came back at all, it’s brought up, but then further discovery is pulled back. By the time we reach modern day, Olivier notes there is nothing for him to do but hunt, terrorise, and fuck. Not that he minds it much and he certainly knows how to work the crowd in a club. While there are plenty of sexual partners for both brothers to choose from and the scenes were enticing, the sex was tame in comparison to the killings.
The story spans 600 years and Olivier and Thierry do not change for 600 years. Olivier’s obsession with Thierry becomes more intense, which is actually quite interesting, but he keeps acting on it in the same way. Thierry remains scared of Olivier and has to hide a lot from him. Well, Olivier does tend to kill Thierry’s boyfriends, but centuries pass and Thierry does not find any way to deal with his brother.
So I liked both Olivier and Thierry and their connection. I did feel overall that the story lacked a firm direction of what it was trying to tell. It jumped between the connections of the brothers, to past loves, to a mysterious sister, and then enemies reappearing centuries later set on vengeance. The ending does not clear anything up and there are so many different aspects of the story left up in the air for the sequel. This was de Lorne’s debut novel and I will give the sequel a try when it is available as the writing style and the connection between Olivier and Thierry will bring me back.