Left penniless and alone by the untimely death of her father, Sarah Lowell works as a day nurse at King’s College Hospital. Her daily walk to and from work crosses the Rookery of St. Giles, a dangerous place made all the more frightening by the fact that someone lurks in the shadows, watching Sarah, stalking her like a beast of prey.
Enigmatic surgeon Killian Thayne offers Sarah his protection, but his sensual, commanding presence presents another kind of danger. Killian wears his professionalism like a mask, concealing the darkness buried in his soul. He is drawn to Sarah, lured by her intellect, her dry wit, and yes, her loneliness, for it calls to his own.
Then a patient is found dead, drained of blood. Another soon follows, and another, and rumors paint Killian as the monster who killed them. As evidence mounts and the threatening presence that stalks her draws ever nearer, Sarah must decide if Killian is a man deserving of her love or a sinister creature determined to make her his next victim.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: Dark Embrace (Dark Gothic Book 6)
Sarah Lowell had a fulfilling life, assisting her father, a doctor, as he treated his patients. Over the years, she became almost as knowledgeable as he. His unexpected death robbed her not only of the vocation she loved, but of her very own home. Her lack of funds forced her to live in the destitute area called St. Giles, and to accept the menial position of nurse at King’s College Hospital. Nurses back then were a far cry from what they are today. Basically, they cleaned and fed the patients, handling all the “dirty” work. When Sarah is able, she expands her patients’ care beyond what her superiors require. She cleans wounds, changes dirty bandages, and makes sure each new patient has a clean bed – things that are basic today, but were almost unheard of back in the 1800’s.
Killian Thayne is a surgeon at King’s College Hospital. He’s the only person there who is astute enough to see Sarah’s knowledge, and he regularly asks her opinion, and treats her with the courtesy and respect sadly lacking in everyone else. It’s a heady experience for Sarah, having her opinion valued, and that adds to the attraction that she’s already feeling for the enigmatic surgeon. Their mutual regard doesn’t proceed any further until some shocking events begin to happen at the hospital. Several patients have died, ruthlessly cut and drained of their blood, and it seems that Killian has been around at the time these murders have occurred. If that weren’t bad enough, Sarah is being followed home, through the dark and dangerous streets of St. Giles.
Killian is a very mysterious character. He’s a lonely man, who chooses not to pursue Sarah, though he admires and desires her. Things change when he believes that Sarah may be in danger, and from someone not quite human. He steps up, and offers his protection. Then, in a magnanimous gesture of her own, Sarah provides an alibi for Killian when his peers at the hospital begin to accuse him of being involved in the murders. Sarah’s statement costs her job and her reputation. Now, Killian brings Sarah to his home, and there is no going back for them.
Sarah and Killian are amazing characters. She is brave and determined to carry on her father’s style of care. She showed amazing compassion to those she cared for and then showered her love and nurturing on Killian, a man who has been sadly lacking any type of love or affection for a long, long time. Killian, in turn, protects and respects Sarah. He offers her choices, never trying to force his will on her. He’s a man with shocking secrets, who has endured horrible tragedy, yet he chose a vocation that provides healing and care to the sick and injured. Through all he’s endured, he somehow maintained his humanity and his compassion, and I fell a bit in love with him.
DARK EMBRACE is a paranormal story – vampires are not just hinted at – they do exist. And while that is a very large part of the story, the main event is a passionate and strong love and bond that develops between two seemingly mismatched people. I enjoyed this romantic, moody, twisty tale very much, and it’s one that I will be re-reading and savoring many times.