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Series: Crimson, Book 2
Hero/Villain: Lord Simon Baldevar
Heroine: Meghann Katherine Agnes O’Neill
Date of Publication: April 1, 2002
Started On: March 17, 2011
Finished On: March 20, 2011
Crimson Night picks up where Crimson Kiss, the first book in the Crimson trilogy left off. Fascinated as I was to continue with the tempestuous love between Lord Simon Baldevar, a 400 year old vampire and his at times reluctant and fiery consort Meghann Katherine Agnes O’Neill, I had to take a breather and read a bit of good old romance before rushing headlong into this one.
When I picked up the 2nd book in this trilogy, I was prepared to face more of the same variety of horror and macabre scenes that I encountered in book 1. However I was pleasantly surprised to find out this book tended to be a bit mellow compared to the first book and it delivered more on the development of the relationship and the feelings between Simon and Meghann.
This story kicks off with Meghann realizing that her last encounter with Simon has rendered her pregnant and Meghann continues to grow weaker as days pass by because of her body’s inability to hold in whatever blood that she tries to consume, something that is vital for her survival. What Meghann does not know is the fact that that very night Simon forged an unbreakable link between them that ties them together which would let Simon know the minute his Meghann needs his help, something which Simon is betting on to happen since he knows just what the rare happenstance of a pregnancy between a vampire couple means on the mother.
Frantic with worry and not knowing what else to do, Dr. Charles Tarleton, Meghann’s faithful companion and best friend in the whole world seeks out Dr. Lee Winslow, a brilliant gynecologist who also is an ex-lover. Though Lee is far from happy to hear from the man who broke his heart 10 years ago, there is a shared history between Lee and Meghann that makes Lee swear to do everything he can to help Meghann survive what looks to be a very risky pregnancy.
With an abortion totally ruled out because of Meghann’s weak condition, Lee barely manages to understand the complexity behind Meghann’s rejection of her natural instinct to drink blood and it is only Simon’s timely appearance that saves Meghann from wasting away until death comes calling. Once again, Meghann becomes dependent on Simon for nourishment which sickens her to the extreme but with no other viable option in front of her, Meghann concedes to Simon’s wishes for the moment in return for Simon’s acceptance in allowing Meghann to take care of her mortal ex-lover Jimmy who has been rendered insane by Simon’s cruelty when turning him into an immortal as a means of revenge on Meghann.
As any mortal pregnant woman, Meghann too is susceptible to mood swings and emotional upheavals from which she finds solace only in Simon, her Master’s arms, something that makes Meghann continually question herself on the reason as to why she feels such conflicting emotions when it comes to Simon.
Simon is a man who is biding his time, who has learnt from his past mistakes with Meghann, who swears that he would never hurt her again, and continues to charm her and woo her back into his life with his tender side, something that only Meghann is witness to.
Before long, Meghann has to face the true nature of her unchanging feelings towards Simon which proves to be the best thing that ever happens to her as Simon loves, cherishes and takes care of her in a way that totally melted all my antagonistic feelings towards Simon, which were at an all time high during the initial stages of the story.
What I loved most about the 2nd book was finding about Simon’s past from his point of view, which takes the reader along with Meghann on a journey of discovery as to why Simon is the way he is. Though there are no excuses whatsoever for his penchant for debauchery and despicable behavior, you can’t help but empathize with Simon and nod along in something close to understanding as to why Simon turned out the way he is. Simon’s take on his past life opens up the doors to a side of Alcuin, Meghann’s savior in book 1 that I always suspected of, but in the end I was surprised when Alcuin did not turn out to be a true villain in the end.
It is the relationship that fosters and grows between Simon and Meghann that captivated me throughout the better half of the book as I reveled in the care and attention that Simon languished on the mother of his children. Though Meghann continually swings back and forth between her decision to stay with Simon and completely give herself to him at first, Meghann learns to accept the fact that some part of her would always wholeheartedly love Simon no matter what cruelties lie beneath his beauty and charm. And it was quite refreshing to see Lee and especially Charles’s view on Simon take a turn for the better as he realizes that the immortal whom everyone keeps saying has no heart finally begins to show signs that he indeed has one, and is vulnerable towards the only woman he has ever loved.
This book invoked so many emotions from deep within me as I read along. Loathing and contempt towards Simon were one of the first strong feelings that took root inside of me during the first couple of chapters as I saw nothing in Simon that was worthy of my treacherous heart’s yearning to see at least one redeemable quality in my villainous hero. However as I read along, Trisha Baker managed to make my emotions do a total 180 degree turn as I was seduced right along with Meghann to fall bit by bit in love with a vampire who would cross no bounds whatsoever in his attempt to keep Meghann by his side. And towards the end, it was deep and utter sadness and a feeling of melancholy that spread through me as I realized that a happily ever after was not possible for Meghann and Simon, as the one thing that was supposed to bring them closer than ever ends up being the catalyst that drives them apart – for now.
I recommend this series for those who are interested in reading a tale of love between vampires that is a tad different from what you normally encounter. But mind you, these stories are not for the faint of heart because you encounter many vicious and heartbreaking things before you get to the bittersweetness of it all towards the end.
I picked out some quotes from this book as well, scenes that just have to be shared in my review, which otherwise would be incomplete in my opinion.
God, she was exhausted—she had no energy anymore; she used it all up in trying to keep Lord Baldevar from reading her thoughts. Meghann shuddered—wondering what would happen if he knew of her constant, gnawing worry that he’d kill her after she gave birth and then her poor baby would be all alone with the monster.
“Yaahhh!” Meghann started at the icy touch to her cheek and looked up to see Lord Baldevar sitting beside her, holding out a dripping cloth.
“Little one,” he whispered tenderly before she could say anything, “if you don’t stop weeping, you’ll break the heart you insist I don’t have.”
“I don’t know” Charles started to say but Lord Baldevar’s putting one large hand over Meghann’s and gently pulling it from her hair caught his attention. He grasped her hands and Charles would never know what he said to her but the nervous expression left Meghann’s eyes and she smiled again. What did Lord Baldevar do to reassure her?
He reached into his tuxedo jacket and handed Meghann a valet ticket, and she reached up to kiss him good-bye no polite, social gesture but a full, lingering kiss that made Lord Baldevar wrap one long, tuxedo-clad arm about her waist and pull her against him before releasing her with a small groan that reached Charles’s keen ears.
The vampire gazed down at Meghan, and Charles felt the air between them nearly smolder. Good God, he’d never felt such an undercurrent of passion and sensuality as he did right now, observing Meghann with her lover.