Lynn Viehl returns us to the lush and visceral the world of her Darkyn in Twilight Fall, and I was glad to take the trip. The Darkyn novels are one of my all-time favorite vampire romance series. Superbly written with a dark, gritty edge and sharp wit, they are a feast for readers hungry for passion, romance, danger and intrigue.
In Twilight Fall, the suzerain of Chicago, Valentin Jaus, is still nursing a wounded heart (and arm) over the loss of the lovely Jema to Thierry Durand. The memory of her haunts him, as does the uselessness of his surgically reattached limb. He doesn’t complain, but his pain is obvious to the quiet gardener, Liling Harper, at the Lighthouse Rehabilitation Center, a private nursing facility.
Liling and Valentin’s paths cross at the bedside of Luisa, the young burn victim who was once under the care of Dr. Alexandra Keller, wife of Michael Cyprien, leader of the Darkyn. Liling has befriended the girl, helping her with her English, while Valentin keeps watch over the girl.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed Valentin’s commanding aura intrigues Liling to the point she finds her daydreams and fantasies filled with images of him as a powerful lover, dominating her in ways that compel her surrender without question. Valentine is equally intrigued by Liling, though he knows not why.
But Liling has a secret, abilities she must hide because there are those who will stop at nothing to find her and use her. And when her hunters discover she’s alive, Valentin is drawn into the fray, and soon finds himself willing to do anything for the lovely Liling, who has touched his heart in a way no woman ever has.
Liling and Valentin’s story plays out across plot threads continued from previous books in the series, telling me that Ms. Viehl is indeed taking us somewhere deliberately. More is revealed about the Brethren, mortal enemy of the Darkyn, and some of it is downright chilling.
As always, I was thrilled to see Alex fairly prominently in this book. She is absolutely one of the most delightful characters I’ve ever read in a vampire romance — brilliant, sassy and cynical with fangs, and she’s bedding the hottest vampire around. Other familiar faces also make an appearance, and I’m sure we’re going to see them again as the Darkyn’s tale continues in Stay The Night (1/2009).
Have you read Twilight Fall? If so, post a comment and let others know what you thought!