Title: Be Mine Tonight (Brotherhood of Blood #1)
Author: Kathryn Smith
Pages: 384 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance
Release: Already Out
Purchased by me (and signed by the author)
Author info: http://www.kathryn-smith.com/home.html
Spoiler Alert: in the clear
GoodReads blurb: For nearly six centuries I have roamed the night, a mortal man no longer. Would that I could undo the past -- when I entered the sanctuary of the Knights Templar to wrest from them the Holy Grail, only to discover the chalice I raised to my lips was not the sacred relic but a hellish cup of damnation. Now I shun the day and all things human, driven by an ungodly thirst. And yet...
Never have I known a maiden the like of Prudence Ryland, whose beauty and spirit awaken a heart I feared long cold and dead. But her young life is slipping away, and she also seeks the deliverance of the Grail -- unaware that the cost of her search could be her soul. I must help Prudence, for in six hundred years, no other woman has stirred my passions so. But dare I tender to my beloved that which she most desires -- the sensuous "gift" of forever that is both rapture and a curse: my immortal kiss?
Pru, a young and tempestuous Victorian woman, is searching for the Holy Grail - not for fame or fortune but as her last resort to hold on to her life which is quickly slipping away from her. While her desperation may have lead her to the true resting place of the Grail - it may not be the Grail she was hoping to find but one far more sinister. As her search begins to heat up and her illness begins to rob her of more time, the search also draws the attention of the church and Father Molyneux and Chapel. The moment Chapel and Pru meet something passes between them - maybe the call of kindred spirits. Both of them are desperate to be saved - Pru from the cancer slowly killing her and Chapel from the curse that has made him immortal but a monster for the past 600 years. Soon Chapel and Pru learn that the treasure they are chasing may not be the Holy Grail and that another deadly faction is after the Grail - which is most likely the Blood Grail - the same cup that cursed Chapel.
I have to say that Chapel takes the concept of catholic guilt to a whole new level. Living under the control of the church for the past six centuries while constantly punishing himself for a mistake he made all those years ago - Chapel can see no good in the curse he suffers. Although Chapel is cursed by the Blood Grail to desire to drink human blood - Chapel seems far from the monster he portrays himself as. Even Father Molyneux can see some advantage to the long life and strength that Chapel has but Chapel can only see a monster. Soon Chapel is forced to reconsider what his curse means as he spends more time with Pru and watches her struggle with her cancer quickly destroying her body. He also has to protect her and her family from the Order of the Silver Palm who are after the Blood Grail and Chapel for sinister reasons. There is an interesting backstory and mystery surround the Blood Grail and the Order of the Silver Palm that I'm looking forward to learning more about in future books.
The love the blooms between Chapel and Pru is so very fragile and heart wrenching - I must admit I got a little misty-eyed as Pru continues to get worse and sicken while Chapel refuses to change her into the soulless monster he sees himself as. Though Chapel and Pru make the most of her remaining days or nights since Chapel can't survive sunlight, by learning how to drive (the book is set in 1899), going to the theater, and getting busy inside the gates of Buckingham Palace. Soon though Pru isn't able to leave the house anymore and despair eats at Chapel and Pru's family as she gets worse. Though even in Pru's last few days she still wants to make Chapel see that he isn't the monster he thinks he is and that he is someone worthy of love.
Overall this is a 4 out of 5 stars for me - Chapel brings dark and tortured to a whole new level as he fights with his beliefs to determine whether or not he can save his love.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia Cover
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