What’s At Stake & The Vampire’s Desire by Alexis Morgan
WHAT’S AT STAKE is the first storyline in Alexis Morgan’s Vampire series, and can be found in the anthology The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance. Shorter than a novella, What’s At Stake is basically one chapter in length and introduces Chancellor Jocelyn Sloane and her future vampire mate Rafferty O’Day, who will figure prominently in future storylines and novels.
Rafferty O’Day stands accused of murdering a human. For reasons only he is aware, he suspects his less than happy ex-fiance Petra is behind the murder and the set-up. Trusting no one other than the one person closely connected to the events leading to the murder, Rafferty requests to see Chancellor Sloane.
Jocelyn Sloane is a Chancellor-a hybrid human/vampire mix, and the woman who has sparked a flame in Rafferty’s soul. But with her position as Arbitrator on the North American Coalition, she can longer sit in judgment without biasing the outcome of the hearing. Hoping to access a fair hearing for Rafferty, Joss (Jocelyn) calls in her mentor and boss Ambrose to hear the evidence and charges.
Rafferty and Joss’s relationship enters the inevitable next step-one that they had both been previously accused. Knowing that there is the possibility of a death sentence waiting for Rafferty, the couple explore the depths of which love may take them, if there is ever to be a future for them both.
When a rather irritated Petra is called in to testify, it only takes one look at Joss and Rafferty together, for her to lose everything that has ever mattered—including possibly her life. The punishment for murder is severe and Chancellor Ambrose is the final authority on all things-vampire.
What’s At Stake is a very short novella, taking only a few minutes to read. But I would suggest, if you consider reading Alexis Morgan’s Vampire Series-What’s At Stake is a necessary read-as Joss and Rafferty will play a major role in some of the upcoming storylines.
THE VAMPIRES’ DESIRE by Alexis Morgan
THE VAMPIRE’S DESIRE is the first book (but 2nd storyline) in Alexis Morgan’s Vampire series of novels. Set against the backdrop in the fictional town of New Eire, The Vampire’s Desire introduces a new breed to the vampire line-up of characters-Chancellor-vampire/human hybrid, with the power of a vampire but the ability to walk in the daylight.
Chancellor Ambrose O’Brien despises being stood up and by all people, the beautiful vampire Miranda “Randi” Connor. It wasn’t, in fact a date, but a meeting between the warring factions in a land-claims deal that was quickly spiraling out of control. And with Miranda’s wayward family members in attendance (Kurt and his wife Otka), the only thing that was under discussion was the wine and dessert list. Where was Miranda and why had she missed this important meeting?
Miranda Connor is a pure-bred vampire heiress who is capable of challenging the strongest of opponents sitting at any conference table, but a deadly attack in her home, has left her shaken and wondering who would want to kill her family. But when Chancellor Ambrose O’Brien suddenly appears at her front door, she knows her life is about to change. Calling in reinforcements, Ambrose is quick to call in his investigation team, and reign in his anger over the thought that Miranda could have been one of the victims. His attraction to the female vampire was growing and with that came the knowledge, that perhaps she was more than just a casual business acquaintance.
Hoping to secure Miranda in a safe place, Ambrose takes Miranda to his secluded apartment, but any thoughts of safety are soon wiped away, when his state of the art bachelor pad is suddenly rocked by explosions and engulfed in flames. On the run, the couple is soon caught in a game of tag, trying to elude a number of cars tailing their vehicle. But safety and security are fleeting, when Ambrose and Miranda are once again ambushed, while hiding out at friend’s former house.
Ambrose and Miranda’s relationship builds quickly as the storyline progresses. While temporarily secure in the friend’s home, the couple no longer yield to their sexual desires. When Ambrose offers his vein to the woman in his arms, he knows that she is the one for him; the one he will protect with his life.
Finding themselves tied and locked in a blackened basement, Ambrose and Miranda realize they are not alone. Kurt is also held captive, secured by his scheming wife and her lover-hoping to gain control over the Miranda’s family lands. With an escape plan in the works, the trio finds themselves face to face with their captors. But it is a quick thinking Ambrose, that knows, as one of the most powerful Chancellors, that he has the ability to enact punishment-deadly and swift.
The Vampire’s Desire is a short story introducing Alexis Morgan’s world of vampire series. There is just enough background information that the reader is not overwhelmed and with the mention of a few names, a foreshadowing of many novels to come. Although I have previously read a few of her novellas in other anthologies, I look forward to reading the entire series to date.
Reviewed by Sandy