“God had not forsaken him. God had sent this angel of light to be his salvation, to be his companion, to walk with him in the shadows.”
Emerging from the wreckage of her overturned carriage, Evelyn Bromwell flees through the forest to seek help for her beloved Aunt Beatrice, who lies dying amid the twisted debris. Confronted with a fork in the road, Evelyn feels inexplicably drawn to the dark and overgrown path – a path down which the mysterious Earl of Hale is said to reside in his mansion, Stony Cross.
Once a notorious rake, Alexander Cole, the Earl of Hale, has since withdrawn from society and is believed to have been disfigured in an unspeakable accident. The truth however, is even more tragic. The Earl has been transformed into a creature of the night in punishment for his libertine ways. Though he survives on the blood of animals and has vowed against taking human lives, he fears the hunger that burns within his soul. Condemned to a life of regret and isolation for the wantonness of his youth, Alexander Cole now hides from society to protect others from the monster he believes he has become.
When the beautiful and frightened Evelyn Bromwell forces her way into his home, desperate for his help to save her dying aunt, Alexander is overcome with emotions he thought he could no longer feel. Captivated by the headstrong woman in a way that evokes for him the Biblical Eve – a woman with both seductive and redemptive power – Alexander is compelled to come to her aid as he struggles to against the compassion and desire that are awakening in his heart.
Far from the deformed monster of local legend, Evelyn is struck by Alexander’s handsome and dignified bearing. He is, however, no gentlemen. Though he fulfills his promise to save Evelyn’s aunt, carrying her unconscious form from the wreckage of their carriage to the safety of Stony Cross, Alexander’s cold and inhospitable demeanor toward Evelyn fills her with indignation and fiery emotions. In spite of her outrage at his dismissive treatment, Evelyn is convinced that there is something dark and beautiful within the Earl – something that drives her to seek his company.
As a sleepless Evelyn gazes down into the Earl’s garden that evening she sees an emotionally distraught Alexander Cole, brought to tears by an unknown sorrow. Her desire to comfort transforms into a deeper and more primal longing as she then witnesses him slowly undress and slide into the river that borders his land, offering himself to the serene darkness around him.
Simultaneously overwhelmed by the confusion and passion that she feels for Alexander, Evelyn increasingly longs to turn her back on the life she has known and explore the earthly and spiritual longings the Earl has inspired. But, as the morning comes, Evelyn knows she must accompany her aunt on the rest of their journey to Mytton Grange to receive her marriage proposal from her suitor, Mr. Sutherby – a man she now knows she does not, and cannot, love.
Though he believes that lasting love with his beautiful and uninvited guest is impossible, Alexander can sense that Sutherby’s intentions for Evelyn are dishonest. Alexander knows that he must do everything to protect Evelyn from the evils that lie within her suitor’s heart – even if that intervention means exposing himself to the fear and rejection of the woman he desires.
Although it is part of a collection, entitled the Dark Brotherhood series, Adele Clee’s LOST TO THE NIGHT is a beautifully written, stand-alone novel and a must read for fans of vampire romance. Although the dangerous love between vampires and humans is a reoccurring theme in romantic literature, the quality of Clee’s writing infuses new life into a popular premise and her rich details and believable dialogue help to craft a story that would appeal to romance enthusiasts of nearly all backgrounds and preferred genres.
A thoroughly researched historical novel, Adele Clee immerses the reader in a vivid landscape filled with candlelit inns, unmarked carriages and the scent of rosewater on a woman’s skin. Though I am not always a fan of supernatural stories, I found that Clee’s ability to conjure vivid images in the mind of the reader greatly added the suspension of disbelief and the love story she tells would remain compelling even without supernatural elements.
Furthermore, the novel does an exceptional job of building the sexual tension between the hero and heroine and I especially appreciated Clee’s description of the radiating heat that accompanies the touch of their skin. Moreover, while the love scenes in LOST TO THE NIGHT are beautifully passionate, they are not gratuitous, and the novel repeatedly emphasizes the growing psychological connection between the lovers.
I would note that, while the hero of the novel is a vampire, LOST TO THE NIGHT contains very minimal violence and only a few chilling moments. While some enthusiasts of supernatural romance may prefer more frightening content, LOST TO THE NIGHT would be well-suited to readers who enjoy the excitement of otherworldly elements, without the graphic or disturbing content.
An exciting story about the redemptive and life-altering power of love, LOST TO THE NIGHT is a beautifully-written novel and a recommended read for anyone seeking to escape into an elegant and magical world of timeless passion.