by Lynn Viehl

April 2005
ISBN: 0-451-21477-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

If Angels Burn is not a romance. Why it is labeled as such must be a marketing ploy. Another vampire series for readers hungry for another author to follow, for more alpha heroes, for more erotic horror. It wonít work, at least with the first book in the series. Eventually the book will find its fitting place as an introduction to a new series, until then it doesnít do well as a stand-alone title, as too many questions are left unanswered.

A gifted surgeon is needed to reconstruct the face of Michael Cyprian, a vampire over seven hundreds years old and extremely powerful. Dr. Alexandra Keller is the chosen. Unwilling to comply she is kidnapped. She hands Cyprian back his life and he thanks her by trying to rape her and nearly getting her killed. Not yet dead, she carries what she believes to be a virus. Standing between two worlds, with talents of her own, she is in danger of becoming a pawn in an eternal fight between good and evil.

It takes more than half of the book to set up the Darkyn universe, to explain the differences to other previously established vampire and Templar myths. The second half then tries to concentrate more on the romance Ö and fails. The vampire lord and his unwilling creation fight, have sex and are in love. When they fall in love, how and why is never established. And thus the sexual encounters are far from erotic, and the romance far from satisfying.

If the author had concentrated more on the sexual tension, the chemistry, and less on the horror and pain it might have made a difference. Failing to do so, it is the images of masturbating priests, violated women, and victims of torture that remain long after the last pages are read.

If Angels Burn is strange reading, knowing the authorís other works written under different names. Readers of her Jessica Hall and Gena Hale books might want to stay clear of her current change in genre and author identity. For lovers of vampires the book is definitely worth a try. Disturbing, but fascinating it might just be another series to sink your fangs in.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Kris Alice.

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