Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Paperback $15.99 (266 pages, ENTANGLED PUBLISHING)
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her...
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.
She’s haunted by dreams of her own death...
After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she's drawn to him in ways she doesn't understand.
They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries...
Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.
Author Site: Lisa-Kessler.com
Love PNR? Kessler is an author to watch! (5 stars)
Accepting a new life as an immortal Night Walker to await the reincarnation of the woman he loved wasn't that difficult for Calisto Terana. It was the waiting that began to wear on him. Then Kate Bradley walked into his life...
Fresh from breaking her engagement to her cheating fiance off Kate's trip back home to San Diego isn't with the intention of finding someone new. Getting her parents' home ready to be sold is her mission until she crosses paths with the mysterious, philanthropist bachelor with the sexy Spanish accent. The strange, unexpected attraction she feels for him and the way he almost seems to know her draw them together. But the past comes back to haunt Calisto in the form of an old enemy. Just as he has lived to see the reincarnation of his lost love, his former brothers have trained to see them both ended.
I'm sorry, my synopsis just really can't do this storyline justice. Why? I never say this but Kessler's ability to weave a complex romantic story with a frightening villain is up there with J.R. Ward. I know many readers of Ward's BDB series don't like the villain sections of her books but I love the dimension they add to the plot and if you do too you will love the Fraternidad.
Like an onion NIGHT WALKER is multi-layered. From Kate's recent break-up and Calisto's business to the nightmares she experiences and the secrets of how Calisto went from priest to 'vampire' all come together into a story that's meaty and spiced with steamy love scenes. By HEA our hero and heroine have well earned their happiness and overcome some big conflicts.
I'll admit to having two things I didn't like about the book but both were things I could get past as a reader. The first—and this is terrible of me but it was distracting—was our hero's name. It just felt off. Like it didn't suit him. I kind of wish Kessler had kept some variation of his real name. (It probably doesn't help that it was a name of a female character in a series I read as a teen and will forever be a girl's name in my head). My other issue was Kate. Not that I didn't like her... but she kept rushing into Calisto's arms so-to-speak. I don't want to give any spoilers here but she seemed to put her life on hold to be with him and some readers who don't like heroines who sort of choose the hero's needs over their own may find it a bit sketchy.
On the whole this was a really refreshing 'vampire' romance. Using the term vampire loosely because Calisto himself doesn't consider Night Walkers to be vampires and the storyline explains why. If you're tired of PNR centered on brotherhoods and having all of the characters intertwined you can rejoice and run out to pick this one up. Though it is the first in a series it can stand-alone. In fact, I had to contact Kessler to be sure I had guessed correctly about a barely mentioned character with no screen-time being the hero for the next installment. At the same time this is a book with one heck of a nasty villain who gets LOTS of screen time, if you don't want to see inside the bad guy's mind you may want to skim those parts.
Simply put this is something fresh in a somewhat overkilled genre and I think it will have wider appeal thanks to Kessler's exceptional writing, its ability to stand-alone, and the Native American origins of the Night Walker condition.
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Notes: ARC received via NetGalley/Publisher.