Early on as a reader, I learned that every writer has a voice that is uniquely their own. Some write with an almost conversational tone, making you feel as though you’re listening to an old friend when you read their books. It’s comfortable and inviting, like a pair of well-worn slippers that you can’t wait to put on when you get home from work or a long day  shopping. Others write with a direct, even bold tone, daring you to follow them through the story. Not in a confrontational sense, but making an appeal to your sense of adventure and offering a promise of something fantastic if you take the journey. Others have a tone of wit and elegance, challenging and charming the reader in the same sentence. They compel you to think and vocabulary lessons are common — a sinful delight for those of us who have a love affair with words. Then there are those who have a lush, decadent tone, each of their words melting on your tongue, compelling you to devour and savor each for the delicious morsel it is.
What does this all have to do with One With The Night  by Susan Squires? I am tempted to say “just read the book” but I’ll answer instead and tell you that Ms. Squires has a most compelling writing voice, rich and smooth like dark chocolate.
When I picked up One With The Night , I really didn’t know what to expect. I just liked the title and bought it without reading the back jacket except to ascertain that it was indeed a vampire romance book. I had not read one of her books before, so I had no idea of her “voice,” but I took a chance and I have to say it was well worth it.
One With The Night  takes us to the land of Scotland in the early 1800s, near the shores of Loch Ness, to tell the story of Jane Blundell and Callan Kilkenny, a pair of vampires who are in search of a cure for the “disease” that has afflicted them. Jane’s father is the key, an obstetrician and single-minded scientist who seeks to free his daughter from her illness to the exclusion of all else. More is dangerous about this quest than the poisonous ingredients that infuse his remedies, however. There are two additional factions who want the cure, one that seeks to possess it and another that wants to destroy it. Callan, Jane and her father soon find themselves caught in between.
Callan is a tortured hollow of a man, who was abused and degraded by an evil female vampire, when he arrives at Muir Farm in hopes of finding a doctor rumored to be working on a cure for vampirism. Jane, meanwhile, is a brilliant young woman and midwife who has ever sought her father’s respect for her abilities and intelligence despite her gender. They are a well-matched pair intellectually and otherwise, but drive each other to distraction thanks to their mutual vamp-amped attraction and the clashing of her inquisitive manner with his tight-lipped demeanor.
One With The Night  is at times tender and at times startling. There are several flashback scenes revealing some of the sexual atrocities committed against Callan by Ashtiri, which I mention to warn those who might find such imagery disturbing — because it is disturbing. That woman, and another character who appears later, both deserve long, ugly deaths for the heinous acts they forced upon him. Callan has all but taken a vow of celibacy as a result of the torture but finds himself sorely tempted by the beautiful, if fashion-challenged Jane. She is a breath of fresh air for him, a woman who openly gives and doesn’t take. The scenes between them are fantastic, even when they’re just walking through the wilds at night looking for mushrooms and herbs.
From page to page, Ms. Squires maintains great interplay between all the characters. Her dialog is crisp and intelligent, and the narrative is absolutely spellbinding — so spellbinding that I didn’t get into bed until 4 a.m.! Thank you, Ms. Squires, for a wonderful read on a lonely night. I owe you one!
Have you read One With The Night ? If so, please leave a comment and let us and others know what you think.