Passion by Donna Boyd, R. Montanari |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Passion

Passion

4.4 37
by Donna Boyd, R. Montanari
     
 

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In finely crafted prose and lush detail, Donna Boyd weaves a spell-binding tapestry of romance and suspense set against richly imagined landscapes of sensuousness. An intense saga of love and betrayal, The Passion is a story of those who walk the fine line between man beast.

On the eve of a brutal murder in contemporary Manhattan, Alexander Devoncroix

Overview

In finely crafted prose and lush detail, Donna Boyd weaves a spell-binding tapestry of romance and suspense set against richly imagined landscapes of sensuousness. An intense saga of love and betrayal, The Passion is a story of those who walk the fine line between man beast.

On the eve of a brutal murder in contemporary Manhattan, Alexander Devoncroix finally reveals to his son and heir a tightly guarded chapter in the family history, which is know to no outsiders.

In a world in which a superior race of werewolved holds the positions of power, human and werewolf segregation had become the norm. But for the first time, the leaders of the pack have accepted a human. In dazzling nineteenth century Paris, we meet three pivotal players: the young human Tessa LeGuerre, who falls under the spell of a very powerful, very sensual werewolf; Alexander Devoncroix, the charismatic werewolf who adores humans too well, but whose ultimate loyalty is to the pack; and Elise, the imperial pack leader who lays claim to Alexander. Beloved "pet" of select members of the pack, Tessa naively embraces all things werewolf—an ambition that results in unspeakable tragedy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's not easy to do for werewolves what Anne Rice did for vampires, but Boyd seems determined to try in her romantic saga about the hidden world of the loup-garou. After the violent murder of three werewolves in Manhattan, Alexander Devoncroix realizes he must tell his sonheir to his leadership of the packthe story of his own disastrous love for a human. In a flashback to 1897 Paris, 28-year-old Tessa LeGuerre attempts to kill Alexander in revenge for his having let her father die on an expedition in the American wilderness. She fails and falls in love with Alexander, while he introduces her to the world of werewolveswho, neither half-wolf nor half-human, are superior animals who designed the pyramids, live hundred of years and secretly control human civilization. As Tessa comes to appreciate werewolf arrogance toward mere humanity, Alexander introduces her to the werewolf queen Elise, and Tessa becomes enmeshed in the evil plots of Alexander's brother Deniswith terrible consequences for everyone involved. There is as much of Beauty and the Beast in this story as there is of Rice's vampire world, but the Passion itself (the werewolf's greatest pleasure and weakness) provides a strong erotic punch. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
A horror/love story dealing with werewolves and offering some of the density of background found in the best vampire fiction. Opening with a quickly satisfying weave, this talented newcomer though never as stylish as Angela Carter (the incomparable wolf, werewolf, and Beauty and the Beast tales of Burning Your Boats, etc.), does know how to keep a tale moving. Boydþs tale begins when a massacre of three distinguished werewolves in a Fifth Avenue mansion prompts elderly, charismatic pack leader Alexander Devoncroix, now 120 years old, to tell his son, Nicholas Antonov Devoncroix, the full story behind the werewolf-owned, $30-billion financial and industrial Devoncroix Corporation. Back in the 1890s, it seems, Alexander fell in love with a human, Tessa LeGuerre, who tried to murder him in his bed but then was taken under his wing, made his ward, and eventually was brought to know the hidden werewolf society as no other human knew it. Werewolves in human form, she discovered, run much of the world, having made most of the great advances in science and technology. And they try, despite provocations, to coexist quietly with the far less intelligent human species. Tessa also learns that the act of transformation from human to werewolf—known as "the passion"þis a uniquely transcendent experience. A human-werewolf hybrid cannot exist in nature: The sex act would be too powerful for a human female to sustain, since during werewolf sex the total life-experience of each partner is exchanged in orgasm. This forbidden love, Tessa is warned, would turn her to cinders. As Boyd spins out her novel, werewolf society is split between the Devoncroix and the Siberian-based DarkBrotherhood, led by Alexander's brother Denis, who wants to rid the world entirely of pathetic, useless Homo sapiens and let werewolves rule supreme. However, human-hating Denis himself falls in love with Tessa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380790944
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

New York, New York

The Present

The limousine came out of the fog like a ghost and stopped at the curb before the big brownstone on Fifth Avenue. At three o'clock in the morning even Fifth Avenue sleeps, and, wrapped as it was in the cold November fog, the city seemed but a distant memory of itself. Streetlights were muted, traffic sounds muffled, windows shuttered. Stearn vents released their ether onto sidewalks already carpeted with clouds and disappeared. The night creatures retreated to the shadows and were still. The silence was thick, flattening the landscape into a onedimensional representation of something that might once have held substance. The night seemed suspended, hovering somehow between this world and the next, and the only thing that anchored it in time was its smell.

Night mist and old exhaust, rubber tires, rotting food, human urine; the used-up daytime scents of fine leather shoes and soft gloves, body oils, Chanel perfume, damp wool, dead fur. The spray of a tomcat who had recently passed this way, the offal of a small dog, the unwashed clothing of a human castoff. The crisp bite of iron that was the gate scaling off the brownstone and its small square of lawn, the acrid smell of the fear of one who had recently passed through it. Pine needles. Rotting leaves. Damp stone. Blood. And death. Death lay behind those gates, and it was everywhere.

The driver smelled it as he got out of the car to open the door for his passengers, and he stiffened a little in shock before he could stop himself. But by the time he reached the rear door his features wereonce again composed into carefully neutral lines. He opened the door and stood straight and alert beside it.

The two men who emerged onto the smokey pavement would have attracted attention under any circumstances. Both were tall and lean and moved with a graceful economy that instinctively inspired admiration. The first man was the older of the two. He wore a woolen coat with caped shoulders, belted at the waist, and dark gloves. His hair was thick and white and fell to his shoulders. His face was craggy, his skin golden, his brows the same stark white as his hair. His eyes were a startling violet blue, a mesmeric blue, and had been known to render speechless for several minutes at a time anyone who happened to look directly into them.

The younger man was blond and lithe and wore his hair clasped at the nape with a band of leather. His features were stem and aristocratic, his eyes a deeper shade of the same blue as his companion's. He wore a long loose cashmere coat of Italian design and carried a pair of kid gloves in one hand. In more normal circumstances he exuded the kind of musky, vital sex appeal that was dark and dangerous and almost palpable on the tongue. Tonight, his eyes were cold and the danger was sharp enough to make the air around him crackle.

In the bright light of day, when the now-deserted avenue was awash with the pulse of humanity, the screech of traffic, the clatter of movement, these two could not have passed unnoticed. Eyebrows would be raised, sentences would be left unfinished, small backward steps would be taken to clear a path as they walked by. Heads would turn, gazes would follow, and for the space of a second, maybe more, thoughts would stutter and be forgotten. Later, someone might remark upon how tall they were, or how striking they looked, or how powerful they seemed. That was all.

In this dark dead hour of the morning no one was about to notice them. Yet the night seemed to hold its breath until they passed.

The older man stood before the iron gate, his face like stone, and gazed toward the silhouette of the brownstone, an etching in black against the night. The younger one paused and swept his eyes back and forth along the sidewalk. He joined the other man in two long strides and together they went through the gate.

For them, the stench was almost paralyzing.

At the bottom of the stone steps the younger one closed his hand upon his companion's arm. His muscles were hard, his heartbeat loud and heavy. His nostrils were flared, drinking in the scents, his pupils dark and dilated with the horror of the message his olfactory centers were receiving. He whispered through lips so stiff they barely moved, "It can't be."

Alexander Devoncroix's expression was unchanged. The lines on his face, the set of his mouth, even the fringe of his eyelashes might have been carved from granite. He started up the steps.

In a moment his son followed.

Their eyesight was evolved from a time when twilight hunters had the advantage, and oftentimes they saw better without artificial light than with it. The lights were on inside the house, however, turned down to a somber and respectful hue, and they illuminated a square on the porch briefly before the door closed behind the two men. But no lamplight was needed to reveal the details of what had happened here tonight.

A spray of blood glistened on the oak paneling of the foyer and darkened the pale blue Aubusson. It smelled cold, dark and clotted. They moved through the arch into the hallway, where another, paler blood smear on white silk wallpaper testified to a struggle. Sprays of blood on the ceiling. Bloody fingerprints on the glossy ivory woodwork around the doorway. The smell from the death chamber was dark and compelling and lured them on.

Once, in the fine high days of the Rockefellers and the Astors, the room had been a sunny parlor, with tall clerestory windows, ornately molded ceilings frescoed with pale clouds an cherubs, and two marble fireplaces.

Meet the Author

Donna Boyd lives in the mountains of North Georgia.

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