Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans who has been exiled to an isolated, tropical island. The leader of his coven tired of Andrew’s constant attacks on humans and banished him. Andrew has no idea how long he has been gone, or how long his punishment will continue. The only human company he has are the island cannibals who mostly leave him alone, sensing the otherness about him.
When a ship wrecks on his island, Andrew manages to save a wounded man before the cannibals take him. Edmund is a British naturalists and adventure seeker who travels the world looking to advance his scientific knowledge. Andrew is immediately attracted to the beautiful man, but he will make no move toward him while Edmund recovers from his injuries. But that doesn’t stop Andrew from craving both Edmund’s body and his blood.
It doesn’t take Edmund long to discover that Andrew is a vampire, but rather than be afraid, Edmund is fascinated. Even better for Andrew, Edmund shares Andrew’s attraction and the two begin to fall for one another. Yet the cannibals that avoid Andrew are showing an interest in Edmund. And with the men trapped on the island, they may never have a hope of a future together.
As soon as I read the blurb for this story, I was intrigued. An exiled vampire who falls for the victim of a shipwreck on a deserted island? It sounded delightfully unique and I am happy to say that the story does make good use of its interesting premise. Andrew and Edmund are perfectly suited, each somewhat wild, reckless, and unconcerned about living within society’s norms. I love the way Andrew fascinates Edmund; rather than being scared of the vampire, Edmund wants to learn all about him.
Bauer does a nice job of giving us a sense of both men in this short novella. I could see what motivated them and how they approached life. We get enough backstory to flesh out their characters, particularly Andrew who we see move from purely wanting Edmund for sex and blood, to actually caring about someone else for the first time in a long time. There is not a ton of world building here as the guys are pretty isolated, but we do get to learn a little about vampires and life for Andrew in New Orleans as well. The time period is not particularly well defined (again likely because the men are so isolated), but there is a historical feel and the blurb sets the book in the 1800s.
My biggest issue here, however, is that the romance felt way too fast for me. The book is quite short, and part one of a trilogy, so this is only the first stage of the story. The guys are only together for a few days it seems, yet by the end they are declaring a love and devotion for one another that just didn’t come through the story for me at all. I could see that they are compatible and understand why they work together. And they are clearly hot for each other. But the jump to love felt way too fast and unsubstantiated, which diminished the story for me somewhat.
However, this is a fun and nicely original story. It does end on a “to be continued,” but there is enough resolution here that I felt perfectly satisfied with where we leave things with Edmund and Andrew. I am looking forward to following along with their continued adventures.