The enigmatic, ethereally handsome, aristocratic Gabriel Augustine, professor of Nineteenth Century English Literature at St. Giles College in Oxford, England, is a man with many secrets. And it is not his vampiric nature that is his most deeply held secret. Though few know he is vampire, not human, none know the horror that has haunted him throughout his long existence. He has spent centuries attempting to atone for his greatest sin.
Claire Seymour needs to forget her past. She is ready to embark on any journey that will move her away from the pain that has been her constant companion since discovering her fiancé with her best friend. Four weeks at the University of Oxford in a class on her favorite author, Jane Austen, seems like a good place to start.
Neither is prepared for the other.
The following scene takes place as Claire is attempting to come to grips with Gabriel’s revelation that he is a vampire.
I was surprised over how much my sentiments had changed since yesterday. Yesterday, I still had visions of Gabriel and the bloody throat of the woman playing on an endless loop in my brain. I hadn’t been able to wrap my mind around the term “vampire.” I felt such repulsion. But, to be honest with myself, even while I was repulsed I was also very much attracted. In fact, the most upsetting, confusing aspect of my reactions to the revelation that Gabriel was a vampire, a monster, had been my simultaneous attraction and repulsion. Surely, it was those warring reactions that led to some of the dreams I’d had last night.
But today, after spending time with Gabriel, listening to everything he had to say I no longer felt repulsed. But, why? Everything he told me was terrifying, straight from a nightmare. I should still be disgusted. Nothing he said should have changed that. However, it wasn’t what he said, it was how he said it. I had first become aware of this while still in the office. He had been so kind, such a gentleman. All his concerns were for me, my feelings, and my sensitivities. He could have simply said good-bye to me last night and left me to deal with things however I managed to. But he didn’t. Instead, he had wanted to help me and had done so in such a thoughtful and gentle manner. Every word he spoke had been tender, and quiet, and solicitous. His eyes had never wavered from my face, watching me for my every reaction. He had understood exactly how I felt, and honored my feelings while trying to help me come to grips with his vampirism. Gabriel Augustine, Vampire. Gabriel Augustine, Gentleman.
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The Vampire’s Passion is Monica Knightley’s debut novel. Like the heroine in this book, Monica is an anglophile, and finds her way to England as often as possible. When not writing adult and young adult paranormal and historical novels, she teaches elementary school where she enjoys sharing her love of reading and writing. Monica loves life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where the weather often encourages curling up with a good book. She counts her husband and family, a good strong cup of tea, red wine, long walks, and books and more books among the things she can’t live without.
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