Mayra Calvani,
Embraced by the Shadows
(Twilight Times, 2006)

Alana has always had a fascination for the supernatural and macabre. Then she lands what seems to be a dream job, manager of a new restaurant/club called La Cueva del Vampiro (The Cave of the Vampire), with all the supernatural trappings she could ever desire. It is there, while juggling the new job, the usual clashes with her roommate and a few issues that haunt her from her past, that Alana spies a man that appears like something from one of her recent and very vivid dark dreams.

The book's setting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of the most innovative and entrancing things about it. Imagine -- vampires on a sunny, tropical island! Although I would have preferred more description of the unusual location, there's still enough to give the reader a feel of a different sort of place for these dark encounters. Alana's fall into darkness, and her eventual realization that it was never truly of her own choice, are nicely handled.

Add in the extra mystery of Alana's mother's veiled death years ago, plus the interesting cast of characters and various bids for immortality, and you're in for an interesting ride.

by Gloria Oliver
19 May 2007

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