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Nicholas Odysseus Claudius Roman did not fight. In fact, as he lay on his back, strapped down to the stone table, bare as the day he slipped from his mother’s weary body, he projected an almost eerie calm.
The leather restraints placed on his upper arms, belly, neck, and ankles by the Order sliced into his skin like dull razor blades, but he ignored the pain. It was as it must be. Inside the Tomb of Nascita, the massive hole cut deep within hundreds of layers of rock, the Order performed the morphing ritual several times per year. When a paven hit his three hundredth year on earth, he was brought to the tomb, laid out on the slab of stone, and more often than not, held his position without restraints. He was, after all, being gifted with the strength and power of morpho. But the ancient ten were a bit unsure of how the Son of a Breeding Male would react to the final strikes of the maturation ritual. After all, their body and brain chemistry were so very different than the average paven. Would Nicholas Roman’s pain override his good sense and spur on the instinct to attack, to drain, to kill? No one was sure. So imprison him they must.
“Get on with it,” Nicholas said with grave irritation, lifting his chin. “My brothers search for a way here even now.”
One of the female members of the Order sniffed her disbelief. “Surely they wouldn’t come without an invitation.”
“There is no one who wishes to incur the wrath of the ancient ten,” said the paven beside her.
Nicholas laughed bitterly. “If you think that, you’re all even bigger fools than I thought you were.”
Several low, bloodthirsty snarls sounded behind him, but one very cool head prevailed and the paven said, “We waste time with things that matter not. Prepare yourself, Son of the Breeding Male.”
There was a sudden crack, and above Nicholas, the perfectly painted night sky split apart. The sounds of day echoed all around him—birds waking one another, insects searching for a meal, and in moments the cold, happy darkness ceased to reign. The brilliant white light of a fabricated sun spilled into the stone room, its greedy fingers reaching for every dim corner and crevice.
And for the skin of a newly morphed paven.
No stranger to pain, Nicholas remained still as death, even as the hot branding iron of the false sun went to work on his forearms, carving the daggers and his true mate’s marks into his skin. It took only minutes, but when it was done and his arms smoked in the light, he cursed his ancestry as he had many times in his one hundred and fifty years. For most pavens, this would be it, the end of the physical torture, but not for Nicholas. He was a Son of the Breeding Male and his pain had just begun.
Up the heat traveled, over his chest and shoulders, up his neck, trailing his jawline in savage pursuit of its target until the blazing sunlight reached his cheekbones. A hiss escaped his lips as the needle of fire carved the second set of brands into his cheeks—the Breeding Male circles, and his true mate’s symbols within it.
As quick as the light had come, its return to the makeshift heavens was even quicker. The sounds of day died off and the ceiling fused, and once again he was bathed in darkness. Breathing heavily, his head feeling as though it had been rammed against a brick wall forty times in succession, Nicholas heard the gentle footfall and swish of the Order’s burgundy robes as they approached him. The ancient rulers, the treacherous ten, gathered around the stone table and trained their eyes on him.
Cruen, as he so often did, spoke first. “Dare has been in hiding these past months, licking his wounds, eerily silent—like a rat. But he has emerged, calling Impures to his fold—filling their heads with lies, filling their hearts with a need for freedom. Find and kill him,” he said, but through Nicholas’s mind he uttered, Or your brother will have stone at his back, leather around his extremities, and no doubt two empty circle brands on his cheeks.
Nicholas hissed and pulled at his binds, strained to get up and extinguish the pale blue light in Cruen’s malevolent eyes forever. But he was held, caught.
The image of Lucian, circle brands on his cheeks with nothing inside, no mark of his true mate because he would never have one. No love, no life—only the cries of a near-animal-like paven bent on feeding and breeding.
The possibility that any one of the Roman brothers could have the Breeding Male gene was a good one, but Nicholas and Alexander had long suspected that Lucian, with his pale features and insatiable sexual appetite, was the carrier.
It appeared as though Cruen believed so as well, and if Nicholas wanted to keep his oath, his private promise to protect his younger brother, as Lucian had once protected him—resurrected him—on the dirty, dangerous French streets all those years before, Nicholas would heed the monster before him.
“Release me,” Nicholas demanded. “Now.”
Cruen grinned, his red fangs—a symbol of the Order’s end of blood consumption—were pin-prick sharp. “I appreciate your eagerness. Will you be a good little paven, then?”
It took every ounce of mental restraint for Nicholas to spit out the words “I will.”
The thick leather straps around his arms, belly, neck, and ankles evaporated like boiling water, and before another word was spoken, before he could even sit upright, he was flashed from the Tomb of Nascita and dropped naked, his brands still smoking, onto the mountaintop next to the cave.
Night covered the sky, a spring mist coated the air, and his brothers stood at the mouth of the cave, matching expressions of rage on their faces.
As the blue light of day succumbed to the pale lavender of evening, a bitter cold moved over the land, shook the snow from the trees, and curled around the veana and the balas who sat on the front steps of the small credenti elementary school. The snow on the ground that had been melting just a few hours earlier now glistened under the rising moon as water quickly turned back to ice. It was nearing six p.m., and in accordance with the laws of the Order, it was time to end the labor of the day and begin the calm of night. Most residents of the credenti had left their work or schooling and had entered their homes for family meal and reflection. Kate Everborne, however, had no family to go home to. What she did have was a belief that reflection was for unthinking drones and the unwelcome responsibility of a seven-year-old balas who once again had to be watched until his mother showed up.
“She’s not coming.”
Kate glanced down at the boy. With his large black eyes and shock of white hair he didn’t blend in well. She knew how that was. “She’s coming. She’s just late.”
“She’s always late,” he grumbled.
“Give her a break, okay, kid? She’s doing the best she can.”
“She should work inside the credenti. Like you. Do what veanas are supposed to do.”
The smile on Kate’s face was tight and forced, just like the white purity bindings on her wrists and throat. The last thing in the world she wanted to be doing was living inside the credenti, or any vampire community, for that matter. And her work at the elementary school, passing out lentils and fruit during mid-meal—well, it was utter bullshit, a way to keep her in plain sight, see if she could live among society again.
But she didn’t have a choice in where she resided. Not yet.
“She dishonors my father’s memory by leaving the credenti,” the boy continued.
“You’re a good kid, Ladd Letts, but right now you’re acting like a brat.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. “I don’t care.”
“Yeah, I can tell.”
“I don’t care about me and I don’t care about her.” He puffed out his lips. “Maybe I wish she’d never come.”
Kate sniffed. “Maybe she wishes that, too.”
Ladd’s eyes grew wide and balas-wet as he stared up at her, took in what she’d just said and molded it into the worst possible abandonment scenario.
Ah, shit. Kate released a weary breath. She could be a real asshole sometimes. “Listen, kid, I didn’t mean it like that.”
“I’m here. I’m here.” Mirabelle Letts came running across the tree-littered play yard toward them, her feet sinking calf-deep in the heavy snow. She was a pretty veana—small, curvy, with soft brown doe eyes that did their best to exude happiness. Slightly breathless, she called out, “Sorry, Kate.”
“No problem,” Kate returned, coming to her feet. She was just relieved the veana had shown up. She really sucked with kids, wasn’t sure what to say to them, how to comfort them. Sticking her in a school wasn’t the Order’s smartest move, but hell, she wasn’t about to complain. She had two months left on her work release, two months until she could finally consider her time spent in the vampire prison, Mondrar, over and done, the debt for another’s crime paid.
Until then, she was keeping her nose clean and her fangs retracted.
Ladd jumped to his feet and waved his arms like he was landing planes, all anger gone now. “Mommy! I see you!”
Kate chuckled at the quick recovery. At Ladd’s age, it seemed that no matter what a parent did, said, or forgot, they were always a welcome sight.
Give it a few years, kid.
No more than ten feet away, Mirabelle waved back at her child as she waded through the snow. “Training went over and there was a gardening demonstration—”
Something shot out of the shadows of the trees, cutting off Mirabelle’s words. A paven, tall and dark. In under a second, he was on Mirabelle, ripping the scarf from her neck, searching her flesh. Kate opened her mouth to scream when she saw a silver flash. A knife! Oh, shit. No! Terror locked the scream in her chest, and she fought the dual urges of running to help the veana and protecting the young balas at her side.
Before she could make her choice, the paven plunged the knife deep into Mirabelle’s chest, then yanked it back out again and took to her thighs, slashing at her skin until he severed the two main arteries. Blood exploded from her legs in violent sprays.
Her attacker released her, let her limp body drop to the ground, and a piercing scream whipped through the night and jerked Kate from her horror.
His face contorted with panic, he tried to run to his mother, but Kate caught him in her arms and held him back.
The dark-haired male suddenly glanced up, locked eyes with Kate, and grinned. Fuck. It was there in his eyes, in his smile—hunger to spill blood. He was going to take her out and the kid too if she didn’t run or fight him off.
The butcher paven started toward her and Ladd, his movements graceful, catlike. Knowing she couldn’t outrun him, not with the boy, Kate shoved Ladd behind her back, opened her arms to the evil coming at her, and flashed her fangs. Come and get it, then, asshole. His smile widened, the moonlight catching the tips of his fangs. Then suddenly he stopped, lifted his chin, and sniffed the air. With a growl of annoyance, he turned around and ran back across the field, into the trees.
What the hell?
Kate sucked in the bitterly cold air scented with blood and screamed, “Help!” Silently praying that Mirabelle was still alive, she raced to the female’s side, Ladd at her heels. The veana’s eyes were open, but her quick, shallow breaths signaled how close to death she was. Kate dropped down in the snow and pressed her hands to the gaping wound in the female’s chest. Forcing up the healing energy all Pureblood veanas possessed, she blew on the wounds in Mirabelle’s thighs—back and forth, back and forth, each breath a show in pure determination and desperation. But the cuts were so deep, the femoral artery calculatedly severed. Red death seeped between her fingers, over the veana’s chest, spilling out onto the pure white-powdered floor.
“Goddammit!” Kate screamed. “We need help here!” Darkness had come. Where were all the selfless, community-first, pious bastards when one of their own needed them?
Ladd laid his head on his mother’s belly and howled in misery.
Mirabelle’s eyes were glassy as she hovered somewhere between this world and the next. Her gaze flickered toward her son, then back up to Kate. “Take him,” she uttered through short gasps of breath.
“Don’t talk,” Kate said.
“Take him. Please. He can’t be tested.”
Lifting her head again, Kate yelled into the frigid air, “We need help!”
“No!” Mirabelle rasped. “Please. Before they come . . . take the balas.”
She was delusional, had to be. Kate shook her head. “He’ll be okay. Don’t worry.”
Mirabelle whispered something.
“I can’t hear you . . .”
Kate lowered her head, her ear to the female’s mouth.
“He will be . . . caged if they find out.”
“Find out what?” Kate uttered, keeping her ear close to the female’s lips.
In the last seconds before her death, Mirabelle revealed not only her secrets, but her desperate plea to save her son’s life, all to the one vampire on earth who, if she wanted to gain her freedom, could do nothing for her.
Posted March 18, 2011
Although he detests what he has volunteered to do, Nicholas Roman remains resolute that his brother Lucien will not become a breeding male like their unknown dad was. Thus he agrees to work with the vampire Eternal Order instead though he loathes doing anything for this tyrannical group as he prefers living as a normal.
Female vampire Kate Everborne is near release having served her sentence for breaking the law in a vampire prison. However, she observes impure vampire Ethan Dare murder a female vampire. The dying female persuades Kate to escort her son Ladd to his pure-blood vampire father, Nicholas. Kate accompanies Ladd to his sire, but is caught in the crosshairs of a vampiric war between Dare and the Roman siblings.
The second Mark of the Vampire (see Eternal Hunger for Alexander Roman's tale) is a super urban romantic fantasy due to the powerful Wright mythos that makes the realm of the Eternal Order seem genuine and ergo readers will believe vampires exist. Nicholas and Kate are a fabulous pairing as she trusts no one except his siblings and she trusts no one as betrayal is the norm in her experience. Yet trust and reliance are needed if this pair is to not just survive, but to mate in love. This author clearly has the Wright stuff with the complicated world of the Roman vampire brothers.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2011
I fell in love with the Roman brothers in the first novel of the Mark of the Vampire series, Eternal Hunger but this novel, Eternal Kiss, just blew me away! Nicholas Roman's story is dark, deep, dangerous and enthralling - I could not put it down! He has a lurid past and a shocking secret that could destroy the life he's built with his brothers and his developing relationship with Kate if it's ever revealed.
I have to admit that I was drawn to Nicky from the start, in the first novel he was the gentlemen of the brothers but you could tell that there was a tortured soul underneath his calm veneer and in Eternal Kiss author Laura Wright masterfully peels away the multiple layers in his character, drawing you deeper and deeper into him until there is no turning back. Honestly, he is one of my favorite heroes out there. Everything I look for in one, he has! Loyal, sexy, self-sacrificing, fierce, strong, smart, brave, loving.I can keep going and going.
He is paired with the perfect heroine for him, Kate Everborne. I rarely find a series where I love all the heroines but so far we're two for two here. Kate is smart, courageous, strong and witty; the ultimate heroine. The relationship between these two could not of been better written. Both Nicky and Kate have major baggage and trust issues but the intense sexual tension is the biggest shining point, and it leads to a scorching climax for these two. Scorching people.
But they weren't the only characters in this book; there were subplots involving others that just enhance the story and invest you further into this world. The dialogue between the brothers themselves is humorous, sarcastic and entertaining; some of my favorite scenes are with all three of them.
Every scene is well thought out, detailed and descriptive; immersing the reader fully into the story line.
I loved the fact that Wright provided a glossary for this novel, the word that she has created is interesting and unique but it always helps to have a page you could turn to if you forget what a new word or term used in the story means.
Nail biting twists and turns, fantastical suspense, relentless action and fiery romance this is a paranormal romance that you cannot pass up! There was also a fabulous set up for the next book in the series, Eternal Captive, which I am just dying for!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2011
Posted December 11, 2013
Posted June 29, 2013
I really liked this book...I thought that it was even better than the first one. This is a series that I had put off reading based on some of the bad reviews but I finally decided to give it a chance. Definitely should be read in order to understand some the terminology and to understand why some of the characters do what they do...I do not think that this book is a stand alone story. I will continue to read the next book and any that (hopefully) follows...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2012
Such a great story! There is a little of everything in this book. The
whole series is a must read. You won't be able to put it down...
Posted June 1, 2012
Posted April 19, 2012
I loved Nicky's book. His pain was so sad and real. When you finish you feel you truly know him. The only problem for me is I don't want to wait for the next in the series to be released. I need my Roman fix on a regular basis.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2012
This is the second book in the mark of the vampires series.
Nicholas... Dark Past and his story really tugged at my heart. I loved Kate. It's nice to see a strong heroine instead of some of the whiney ones I've seen lately in books. I thought the first book was awesome but Eternal Kiss kicked it up a notch!!!
Posted April 15, 2012
This is the second book in the series!
Its about Nicholas Roman , who is my favorite brother!!
These books keep getting better and better!!
Posted April 2, 2012
His father unknown, his mother dead, Nicholas Roman was raised by the vampire Breed with one wish: to live as a normal vampire. But once he's transformed against his will into a gifted immortal, Nicholas now has one goal: to stop the Eternal Order of vampires from controlling his life and from transforming more males from his bloodline for their vicious reign. Then comes a beautiful stranger with a startling secret . . .
Vampire Kate Everborne claims she's sheltering Nicholas's long-lost son. If this is true, then who is the mother? And how endangered are they if, indeed, Nicholas does possess the bloodline so coveted by the Order? These are questions that with every seductive whisper, every silken touch, draw Nicholas and Kate intimately closer and nearer still to the truth. But aroused too are Nicholas's fears that this tantalizing woman has even more secrets -- both dangerous and provocative -- she has yet to share.
Raised by the Breed, Nicholas Roman wants to stop the Eternal Order of Vampires from controlling his life, and using other males from his bloodline -including possibly his son- for their vicious reign. Only a beautiful vampire stranger can help him, but what are her true motives?
If you enjoyed the early years of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, then you'll easily get sucked into this story. It's almost shocking how similar the tales are, but regardless, this book was entertaining and intense. I enjoyed the heat between Kate & Nicholas the most, but also liked their competitive & silly banter throughout the book as well. Ladd was a delightful addition to the overall characters and really added a lot of sentimental value to many of Nicholas's actions. If you're looking for a hot story with lots of dark adventures, Eternal Kiss won't let you down. Now I'm on to reading Book #1 and Book #3, coming out early next year.
Likes: Kate's joyful experiences of pop-corn and movies were cute since they were so new & exciting for her.
Dislikes: Just like the BDB series, there were parts I just skipped over because they bored me -- thus I skipped lots of Ethan Dare's story.
Posted March 26, 2012
Posted January 16, 2012
I came upon this book in a public library a while back. What caught my eye first, of course, was the picture of Nicholas Roman. GORGEOUS!!!!! After reading two chapters, I couldn't put the book down. Just the language in which it was written made me smile along with the description of the other to Roman Brothers, Alexander and Lucian, and the sexual experiences shared between Nicky and Kate. Vampire romance has always found its way into my library.
The women in this book are exactly the way I want to be in my own self. Kate, the strong, fighting, courageous, smart veanna, is something every woman needs in them. Sarah has the traits of a motherly figure, but is still strong headed and confident in herself about being a mate to a Roman Brother.
The ending has such a twist that you are almost unprepared for it. I know I was. I encourage anyone who loves vampires to read this book and all the others surrounding it. I fell in love with Nicholas from the very beginning. It is without saying that I believe you will to.
Posted January 11, 2012
Posted January 6, 2012
I love the second book in the Mark of the Vampire Series. It does a great job on moving along the main story line that runs through each book, which is a plus. I also enjoyed how both Nicholas and Kate moved on from their pass life, and learned what it meant to be able to love and count on someone. I believe you should read these books in order to fully enjoy them. The first book is Eternal Hunger. Happy reading!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 11, 2011
After falling in love with the first book in this series, Laura writes about another brother that I couldn't help falling for again. I enjoyed that the difference between brothers in each book was able to set the mood. Yet the strong loyalties for family held strong. This book is my personal favorite between the two so far, but am itching to read more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2011
I enjoy the vampire lore and this series has been fabulous. The author has written a completely different spin on the vamp world. I do hope this series continues on for awhile.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 10, 2011
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Posted April 15, 2011
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