Born in pre-Revolutionary France and orphaned as a child, Justine Bodeau is taken in by a family friend who employs her as a seamstress. Eventually, she winds up to work in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette.
A strong-willed survivor, defeat does not occur to her. When she fights off an attack by an aristocrat and kills him, she is given refuge but is soon betrayed and winds up on the streets of Paris, where she is attacked and killed by rogue vampires. But for whatever reason, love will not let her die.
Justine goes from wishing to be destroyed to wanting to survive, when she feels passion for the one who brought her back, Gascoyne — the one they call the Vampire Prince of Paris.
"We are prisoners of our past, hostages of our heart. Yes, even those like myself whose heart no longer beats are slaves to it. Do we remember love? I think we do. For I remember my first loving or am I only recalling lust? I wonder if it matters. Perhaps nothing really matters, all the things gone before the current moment. Ah but there are so many moments in an immortal existence.
Shocked? Do not be. I am what I am, no more no less. The truth is I am a creature of the night—Blood is like wine to me, no wait. It is better than that. It is my life--alright, existence then.
Why not be honest from the first? I am Justine Bodeau, a vampire who recalls her existence now in this telling. My past has returned to offer me comfort. I am embraced by it. It feels good—though I know as I go along, I shall find certain memories painful. I wonder if I will bury them or if they will insist on returning. And when the past and present meet, when I find the truth to questions I have—I wonder if I shall wish to be destroyed for I have wished it many times. Still, I shall persevere.
I am aboard a ship sailing to a new chapter in my existence. What lies ahead I do not know. All I can do is guess and try to learn from the past; a past that included two worlds, one living and one undead.
I sit in my cabin, glad to be alone frankly, for I am able to reflect on all that had gone before. Was my existence worth so much that I cared to go on forever or for as long as I could? That was not a question to be taken lightly. There was much I would have to consider first.
Suddenly, there was a gentle knock at the door. It was Ramet. “I have brought you something…”
My dear friend Ramet—do not worry, you will know all there is to know about him in the course of my tale. He was bringing in something for me, something to take so that I would not sicken. Craving blood and doing without is not pleasant for one such as I. There is such gross discomfort when that happens. One is fraught with pain and nausea. I have felt that way many times, and it seems to me each time is worse than the time before.
He came in quickly. “You must take this…”
I looked at the goblet and knew at once it not only contained blood but had an elixir he uses to restore vitality. It is the opiate of vampires as he says. We didn’t speak then, he just wished me to drink. And so I did. It tasted salty as blood always does, but there was the unmistakable taste of sweetness—too, probably from the honey I knew him to add.
“It is good, yes?”
I nodded and smiled. Sometimes I think Ramet is more like a concerned father than my friend. When I finished it he took it from me. “I will leave you now.”
He closed the door softly. Sleep beckoned, not the human sleep I can no longer recall, but the deep sleep of the vampire; sleep more like death than slumber—yet not being death it is often filled with dreams.
I undressed for I knew the cupboard would be warm. It was and small as well, still I knew if I slept on my side with my legs curled under me I should fit nicely. The darkness was soothing. There was no sound; just that of my own breathing filling the space. Soon I would be in sleep’s embrace and I would dream of the life that was mine long ago."
(end of chapter)
"Top of its genre!"
"Top of its genre!"
"Revenge, betrayal, passion, bloodshed, lust and love are just a few of the elements of this dark and spellbinding book."
"Justine, realizes she as a vampire could actually love and in fact is in love with Gascoyne. I think that was the turning point in the story."
"This vampire romance is rich in history, deep in blood sex and exotic locations and is very highly recommended."
"Vampires have their own allure and none more so than the female."