Victoria Kingston has lost everything but her little sister, Margaret. Orphaned and broke, the girls find themselves in London, where Victoria begs shelter from an aunt who hates her. In order to keep her sister, the aunt demands that Victoria finds a husband by the end of the month. So Victoria enters London society, all the while trying to avoid the gossip-mongers and anything that could possibly sully her name and ruin her chances for a proper match.
Dorian Vlakhos is not a proper match. Tall, dark, handsome and the talk of the ton, he is the exact type of man she cannot afford to think about, even if she cannot get his sinful smile out of her head. Dorian is not just any foreign prince, though — he is a Vampire King and finds himself in London in order to protect his people. Dorian is running out of time, the ancient curse of the vampire kings is upon him and he needs to ensure the survival of his clan. A chance encounter at a society function brings the two together and it may be they have found salvation in one another.
Victoria is an excellent heroine: feisty, pragmatic, loyal and brave. One of the things that I really love about her is that she is realistic. Victoria is not a damsel in distress, she is a woman fighting for what is hers in the only way society will let her. I find all of her actions organic and you end up feeling for her. You want her to win.
Dorian is a nice blend of alpha vamp and gentleman. He is charming, seductive and dangerous, but in reality only has the well-being of his people in mind. You can see what motivates his actions, and he will do what needs to be done to protect his people. All of the secondary characters are well-thought-out and serve to move the story along. You can tell that several of them will appear in future stories. The pace of Caressed by Moonlight has a natural flow and nothing is drawn-out. I found the development of the romance between Victoria and Dorian very natural.
There are a few issues with Caressed by Moonlight. Since it is the first book in the Rulers of Darkness series, there is a lot of information. These little tidbits of knowledge come at you in pieces and while they fill in some background, I feel as though it was always just shy of really cementing the world for me. This is an alternate reality where vampires exist so the worldbuilding hinges on the history of the vampires, and it seems as though the author holds back a bit. I think a more clear picture of the vampires in general would have really solidify the disjointed bits.
Caressed by Moonlight is told from several points of view, so occasionally it feels disjointed. A chapter sometimes ends and then I suddenly would be reading in a different character’s voice, sure that I had missed a page or at the very least a sentence from the previous chapter. Finally, there is also a fairly drastic setting change about halfway through that makes sense in the story, but it almost feels as though the first and second halves of the story are really two different books that meet in the middle. Despite these issues, I really enjoyed Caressed by Moonlight and I want to see what happens to Dorian and Victoria in the future.
- Paperback: 294 pages
- Publisher: Amanda Greene (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0578064006
- ISBN-13: 978-0578064000
Books in the Rulers of Darkness in the order they should be read
Caressed by Moonlight