Branded a danger to mortals and immortals alike, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him within Elancourt, a manor house straight from a horror movie. There, Conrad doesn’t find the peace his brothers so desperately wish for him. In fact, Conrad finds himself tormented by a woman that only he can see.
Neomi, a ballerina in her prime and not yet at her professional peak, was murdered by her jealous ex-fiance and has roamed the hallways of Elancourt ever since, invisible to the eyes and ears of all who pass over its threshold.
All, that is, except Conrad Wroth, a crazed vampire seemingly hellbent on tearing her beloved home apart.
Encountering a being far more terrifying than even herself, Neomi finds herself suddenly submerged in a world of vampires, Valkyrie and witches, a world in which everything seems possible. Perhaps the afterlife isn’t so boring after all…
I have to admit, I did a double take when I read Dark Needs at Night’s Edge’s blurb. Vampires, yeah, sure. Been there, done that and got the T-shirt and all that jazz.
But ghosts? As I read a heartbreaking yet humorous (c’mon, it was kind of funny) scene in which Conrad tries to convince his already concerned brothers of Neomi’s existence by screaming at a seemingly empty bed, I literally couldn’t think of any positive ways in which this book could end.
Would Conrad try to become a ghost himself? Would the cryptic words of Tarut the dream demon reveal the answers? I couldn’t even hazard an educated guess and that, my friend, is extremely rare.
However, things begin to slide nicely into place about three quarters of the way through the book thanks to Mari, my favorite paranormal romance leading lady of all time. Conrad and Neomi’s relationship becomes possible in a way that isn’t ridiculous. It’s incorporated into the plot cleverly and it demonstrates Kresley’s talent as a writer. She tackles the challenges of this relationship head on and emerges the rightful victor.
Plot aside, Kresley employs a number of effective writing techniques, techniques that allow us to get right inside the characters’ heads. The book is narrated from both the perspective of Neomi and Conrad and I was initially confused as to why Conrad’s perspective was written purely in the present tense. It soon became apparent, though. Conrad isn’t like his Forbearer brothers, vampires who refuse to drink directly from the vein. Conrad has been drinking his enemies dry for near enough 300 hundred years and, consequently, he’s plagued by their memories, good and bad alike. As a result, Conrad is literally teetering on the edge of insanity and the use of the present tense shows Conrad’s attempt to anchor himself to the here and now, to stop himself from becoming lost in an abyss of memories that aren’t even his own. Well, that’s how I interpreted it anyway. It’s such a subtle thing but it has a massive effect upon a reader’s understanding of Conrad as a character. Additionally, the fact that his narrative slips into the past tense further in demonstrate his healing and growth.
Anyway, this isn’t one of my college assignments. It’s judgment time!
Song: Jackie Wilson’s I get the sweetest feeling
This book is available to buy on Amazon in both e-reader and paperback format.