Nature of the Beast
Hannah Howell, Adrienne Basso, and Eve Silver
Kensington, Sep 2008, $12.00
“Dark Hero” by Hannah Howell. In 1512 Scotland Berawald lives in a cave to limit all the spirits he sees. He notices a living child David who he brings inside his cave and goes to the beach to see if the lad’s older sister Eve lives. He is stunned that he desires the battered unconscious woman. He takes her into his cave and begins to heal her. A few days later Eve awakens and knows David is okay by his laughter. As they fall in love, each has secrets if revealed would end their relationship; but if concealed will end their relationship anyway.
“Bride of the Beast” by Adrienne L. Basso. In 1220 thirteen year old Bethan detests her evil stepfather Sir Agnarr. Bethan liberates a few prisoners including young Haydn of Gwynnedd before her stepfather murders them. Ten years later Bethan seeks a champion; Lord Meiford agrees to help her because she freed him from Agnarr’s prison a decade ago. As Bethan and Hayden fall in love, he fears her reaction to his essence.
“Kiss of the Vampire” by Eve Silver. In 1839 London day nurse Sarah is alone since her dad died. She works at King’s College Hospital Women’s Sick Ward where she notices a man biting a woman’s wrist. Surgeon Killian arrives, but the man is gone and the woman is dead. Two weeks later another patient dies with a cut wrist. Killian escorts Sarah home, but upon arrival she is stunned when she sees three presents in her apartment that could have only come from her dead father. Killian and Sarah make love and he bites her; she knows he is a vampire. Sarah tells Killian she loves him; he says he cannot love a mortal.
The three tales are all well written with strong lead characters as the vampires seem real in each novella although some readers might feel the Silver tale is more supernatural than romance.