Jacob La Costa Rios is the head of the California governor’s security team; he’s also a vampire who wants the governor, a presidential hopeful, to support the peaceful integration of vampires into human society. Unfortunately, there are others who oppose Jake’s plan. Plus, Jake’s a little distracted by discovering his one true mate, the human female who can give him everything he’s always wanted: love, children, and continuing immortality. Francesca Marie Stewart is the governor’s “go-green” political consultant.
Although she’s been attracted to Jake from day one, her priority is her career and protecting her heart. But then Jake blatantly propositions her and Frankie, who hasn’t experienced sexual intimacy since she was seventeen-years-old, decides it’s time to take what she wants—within reason. No matter—once Jake makes love to Frankie, he knows reason will be the farthest thing from her mind. Then he just has to eliminate the person threatening her, reveal the fact he’s a vampire, and convince her that trusting him will bring both of them eternal happiness.
I guess I have to finally accept the clear and the obvious fact that I LOVE novellas and Virna DePaul’s A Vampire’s Salvation is no exception! This quick, sexy, and suspenseful read had me hooked from the beginning and I only stopped reading when I got to the last page.
Francesca (aka Frankie) Marie Stewart is a single-minded woman on a mission: continue to work long and relentless hours with the California governor to promote green initiatives. For years, thanks to her lack of a social life, Frankie has been able to stick to her plan and has become an incredibly successful and trusted environmental activists and fund-raisers. Frankie determined years ago, after a vicious attack by a trusted boyfriend that men generally aren’t worth the time or the effort and for years this has protected the driven woman. Then Jake Rios walked into her life.
Jacob La Costa Rios is a formidable man who heads up the governor’s security team. Jake is stern, quiet, sinfully sexy, and absolutely committed – body, heart, and soul – to a few things: his job, his vampire initiative and, convincing the skittish Frankie Stewart that she is his one true mate. Doing his job is easy, bringing vampires out of the darkness and into mainstream society will be a bit harder, and convincing Frankie of her role in his life, the hardest task of all. As I said, Jake is committed to these tasks and unbeknownst to him, Frankie may be a little easier a task then he initially thought.
From the beginning both Frankie and Jake are attracted to one another but are consummate professionals and refuse to compromise their professional standards. That however does not mean they can’t each secretly lust after the other during working hours, right? Oh, so right! Frankie is all but in heat over Jake and is even considering abandoning her self-imposed celibacy for a little rough and tumble with tall, dark, and sexy. Luckily, Jake feels the same way and once the two express their shared desires for one another, there is no stopping the naughty. After one mind-blowingly amazing night together, Frankie is ready to admit there is something more to Jake Rios and she is more than willing to go along for the ride. Unfortunately, Frankie wakes up alone the morning after and with no contact from Jake, she is sure she has been used. That is, until she discovers a nefarious plan that very nearly cost Jake his life and threatens her very existence. You see, a “friend” from the past has returned to kill two birds with one stone.
The suspense that surrounds Frankie and Jake’s coming together only serves to enhance their budding relationship. Threats and danger apparently make some folks very frisky. J Discovering the source of the threat to their lives and Jake’s initiative becomes almost as important as sealing the bond between Frankie and Jake and everything moves at the speed of light though not so fast as to take away from the story.
The Bottom Line: LOVED IT!! I am a fan of one-true-mate kinds of stories and so I am OK with how fast and furiously the relationship between Frankie and Jake developed. Jake is all kinds of beautiful and takes his responsibilities toward his mate and his race seriously which makes him even sexier. Frankie is relatively calm, cool, and collected and even takes Jake’s revelation of his nature in stride making her the perfect mate for him. There is adequate time and pages to develop the characters, complete the short-term plot and leave just enough of a cliffhanger to let me know DePaul is so not done with this story of these characters. YAY FOR ME!!!
Lady Catherine Bexley is new to marriage and the marriage bed, but surely there must be more to it than this? Her husband is proper and perfunctory — treating her with careful respect but leaving her aching for more.
When she witnesses a gentleman disciplining a maid at a house party, the ache explodes into ravenous desire. She finds herself no longer willing to wait for her husband’s stiff and passionless attentions — and soon develops a naughty plan to finally get what she wants.
Lady Catherine Bexley has a problem; her handsome new husband can’t seem to please her sexually. Though she is certainly a lady and irreproachable in her breeding, grace, and manners, even Catherine, at just nineteen years old, understands that what happened with her husband on her wedding night was far, far from satisfying. Furthermore, Lady Catherine is bound and determined that she will not under any circumstances allow her husband to live under the delusion that his perfunctory ministrations are going to cut it.
Lord Joseph Bexley has a problem; his new wife is astoundingly beautiful, young, and lusty and he wants nothing more than to take her in every way imaginable but that would defy his life-long vow to never, ever become like his philandering, scoundrel of a father. Joseph is obsessed with always treating his wife like the lady she is even if it means never giving in to his desires for her. Unfortunately for the good Lord Bexley (and fortunately for Catherine!), everyone has a different opinion on the matter.
After stumbling across an illicit rendezvous at a party, Catherine determines she not only wants to heat up her nights but she wants to experiment with her husband as well. Catherine begins to hatch a plan to seduce her husband in the pages of her diary and as she notes all the naughty she wants to try in the pages of her dear diary, she also struggles with maintaining her ladylike appearances with her husband. Above all else, Catherine doesn’t want to displease and/or disappoint her husband in her efforts to please them both sexually. Fortunately for both Lady and Lord Bexley (and the reader!) an unforeseen and completely inappropriate event breaks down the walls between them and the sexcapades can begin. 🙂
The Bottom Line: I am thrilled to have Viveka Portman and her brand of naughty coming out on the market. The Secret Diary satisfies my love of both naughty novellas and period pieces and contains two characters I was instantly interested in. Catherine is sweet, sexy and ladylike and I love her diary entries; she is completely unashamed of her desires though has to find a way to satisfy those desires within her time and place. Lord Bexley initially comes off as a bit cold but once you know more about his background and the reasons for his standoffishness, he grows on you. When he finally decides to let loose, he wraps you around his little finger 🙂 While the story is completely wrapped up and there is no cliffhanger, I am hoping The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley is just the first in a long series of regency romances by Viveka Portman.