"Super sexy old-school vampires and an intriguing love story!"
Reviewed by Miranda Owen
Posted December 25, 2014
Romance | Romance Paranormal
CHARLESTON PAST MIDNIGHT is Book one in the Past
series by Christine Edwards. The book is set in the
but employs many flashbacks to previous time periods. I
didn't find this too jarring because Christine Edwards
a good job of defining the chapter's time period by noting
it clearly at the start of the chapter with the date and
location. I ended up reading the present day scenes and
then going back and reading the scenes set in the past.
Some narratives set in the past describe how Severin
a vampire and are great background info.
Severin Beauvais is a classic vampire -- old-world, alpha,
tall, dark and handsome. At first, his way of speaking
might appear a little stilted, but he just talks and acts
like a man born hundreds of years ago. He enjoys some
dominance and submission play with the heroine, but
too wild for the average paranormal romance fan. Calla,
while only human, is a strong enough woman to handle
Severin and they fit well together. I love that CHARLESTON
PAST MIDNIGHT has a few strong gothic elements and is very
The vampire villain in CHARLESTON PAST MIDNIGHT serves a
purpose and is a worthy opponent for the hero. I really
liked that, while helping to drive the story and provide
extra excitement, the villain's evil plot wasn't the
focus of the story. The love story between Severin and
Calla remains the focus. Throughout the story, they do a
lot of talking and getting to know each other in addition
to all the very steamy love scenes.
CHARLESTON PAST MIDNIGHT has some super sexy old-school
vampires and an intriguing love story. I loved the
supporting characters -- Case, Kiana, Ambrose, and Alina.
would love to read stories with them as main characters in
the future. I liked the support system that Severin and
family of vampires have -- it helped lighten the mood at
times. I look forward to reading more books in this
How much fight does one woman have inside? Calla Hart has
never relied on anyone. The fierce West Virginian learned
the hard way to be self-sufficient, that is until she is
viciously attacked late one night by two thugs. Her luck
turns when, still fighting for her life, she is rescued
from her attackers by a preternaturally strong stranger.
She is stunned to discover that Severin Beauvais is not
your typical alpha male hero. Although her pre-med
mind vehemently resists the notion, Calla must soon
that he is a vampire, one who has stalked the historic
grounds of Charleston, South Carolina, since the mid-
eighteenth century. Their desire for each other is
intense, yet as much as she'd like to envision happily
ever after with Severin, too much stands in their way.
Aside from her fragile mortality, there is SeverinĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s
extremely dominant personality coupled with his unending
feud with the ancient Russian vampire Valdon, who has so
far proved invincible. And Valdon has set his sights on
Calla .... When it comes down to the wire, what would you
sacrifice for the love of your life?
Excerptâ€śDamn, girlfriend! This place is absolutely heaving!â€ť
I step off the elevator alongside Kiana and we begin to
make our way through the sea of glamorous people. She
glances over at me and says, â€śLetâ€™s go ahead and get our
drinks. Looks like itâ€™s already three deep at the bar.â€ť
â€śSounds like a plan.â€ť
I take in the wild scene. Mixture is the hottest rooftop
club in Charleston. If youâ€™re not dressed to the hilt and
up here before midnight, you donâ€™t stand a chance of
getting in. Period. The doormen who reign supreme down on
the street level are very particular about who they let
in. No flip flops or casual wear. Iâ€™ve seen them turn
people away for simply having a bad attitude. When Kiana
suggested that we go out dancing on our rare Saturday
night off together, I was hesitant, fearful of running
into those two hicks again. But we both agreed that there
is no way they would ever go to a place like this.
Besides, we vowed to stick together all night.
Afrojackâ€™s â€śTake Over Controlâ€ť is thumping hard from
several enormous speakers set up on either side of the
elevated DJ station. The glistening bodies sway and grind
against one another in reckless abandon as the beat pumps
through the June air.
â€śHere you go, Calla.â€ť Kiana struggles to shimmy sideways
through the dense crowd impatiently trying to place their
drink orders. She hands over one of two frosty
lavendertinis, my absolute favorite drink.
I grin at her, leaning in to shout over the throbbing
bass, â€śThanks. Next round is on me. I just spied a place
for us over by the railing. Letâ€™s head on over.â€ť
Itâ€™s a feat of balance to cut our way through the chaos
without spilling our cocktails yet somehow we manage. Our
hips sway with the sexy rhythm as we sip on our martinis
and observe the eye candy that abounds tonight.
Kianaâ€™s eyes gleam as she leans into me and says, â€śWonder
when theyâ€™ll start falling into the pool tonight.â€ť
I barely stifle a laugh as I glance over for a glimpse of
the long, zero edge pool thatâ€™s now almost blocked out by
hundreds of legs. Itâ€™s inevitable. Someone always gets
completely blitzed and falls in. The doorman usually has
to wade in and haul their drunken asses out before
escorting them to the exit. Normally it happens several
times as the liquor begins to flow. I think the idea of
jumping into a cool pool of illuminated water is just too
irresistible for some intoxicated brains to resist.
â€śOh, from the looks of it, any minute.â€ť
My attention shifts as several partiers make space for a
group of massive men. There are five of them, all dressed
in very fashionable dark clothing. Without trying, they
radiate dangerous sex appeal, and even well on their way
to being drunk, people are giving them ample space.
Intrigued, I scan the men, who all look like hired
killers. The tallest oneâ€™s arctic eyes ensnare mine,
nearly stopping my heart cold. In an instant and without
warning, the vision takes over me and I see myself being
held high in the air. His strong hand is locked around my
throat, my legs dangling and kicking desperately below me
as my terrified screams ring through the night. He smiles
at me and squeezes harder, silencing my cries as malice
burns in his spine-chilling eyes. Vampire.
My glass drops to the ground, shattering the vision in an
instant as my eyes focus once again on the light haired
Russian looking vampire who is now staring at me with a
completely different expression on his face. Itâ€™s one of
total surprise swiftly replaced by calculated intensity,
so powerful that I begin to tremble. Oh God, he knows!
â€śJesus, Calla! What the hell. Are you all right?â€ť Kiana
is jostling my shoulder in concern but my eyes never
deviate from his petrifying gaze.
Itâ€™s crystal clear to me that he knows the vision I just
had because he read my mind. Severin said that he
couldnâ€™t but this one can and did. My visions are rare
but unfailingly predict what is coming. I watch in horror
as he quickly says something to the vampire to his right
and they begin heading straight toward us. Oh f**k, f**k!
â€śKiana, we gotta get outta here, now!â€ť
â€śAre you feeling sick or something? Hey, letâ€™s go to the
bathroom for a second.â€ť
I scan wildly for the most direct path back to that
elevator, knowing that it will take a miracle to get past
these guys. Iâ€™ve already witnessed their inhuman speed. A
Jamaican Sprinter wouldnâ€™t stand a chance dodging them.
â€śNo, Kiana, thereâ€™s about to be troubleâ€”â€ť
Before I can finish my sentence, a long arm falls across
my shoulders and begins moving me swiftly through the
crowd. As we wind through the sea of bodies, I look up
into Severinâ€™s eyes, which are narrowed and laser-
I hear Kianaâ€™s voice behind me purr loudly, â€śItâ€™s a good
thing youâ€™re super hot. Otherwise weâ€™d have a big issue
with each other.â€ť
Who is she talking to?
I try to look back to see that sheâ€™s all right and also
to determine if the scary dudes are giving chase, but
Severin is pulling me so fast that Iâ€™m nearly jogging in
my stilettos to keep up the pace. Finally we stop at a
flight of emergency stairs in the back that I never knew
existed. I watch him press on the metal bar of the door
and it flies open into a narrow, brightly lit stairwell.
As we start the descent, an impossibly deep male voice
calls out from behind us, â€śTake the girls down with you.
Iâ€™ll stall them here and trace down to the alley beside
the hotel. They wouldnâ€™t be dumb enough to bust the door
in with the bouncers watching. Pick me up down there.â€ť
â€śDone.â€ť Severin answers the huge man with the shaved
Heâ€™s incredibly intimidating, but Iâ€™ve yet to cross paths
with one of them who isnâ€™t. In comparison to Severinâ€™s
deadly assassin appearance, this one is more like a
grizzly bear on a short chain, a very unhappy one.
I decide to hold off on the questions on the tip of my
tongue until we make it to the safety of his SUV. I
shudder to think what would have went down had they not
shown up to save us. The malice in that vampireâ€™s gaze
made my blood turn to icy slush in my veins.
Kiana is smart. She has a built-in radar for trouble and
knows to roll with it and not balk when things are going
down. Sheâ€™s quiet as we stop at the steel door that leads
out into the lobby.
Still not looking at me, Severin instructs us, â€śWait here
Before I can answer, he steps out into the posh lobby and
scans the premises. Then he steps back and grabs each of
us by the hand and pulls us out alongside him. I hear him
say just under his breath, â€śThey canâ€™t trace down here
without the risk of being seen.â€ť
We hustle across the marble black and white checkerboard
floor. The uniformed doorman barely has a chance to wish
us a nice evening before we are outside, and Severin is
demanding the keys for his vehicle from the clearly
intimidated valet. He hands the teenager a fistful of
cash and swiftly ushers us into the darkness of the
backseat. I watch through the tinted windows as he rounds
the back of the gleaming silver SUV before jumping in.
The engine roars to life. He whips out into the heavy
traffic thatâ€™s lining East Bay Street. We havenâ€™t gone
five car lengths before he makes a sharp right turn down
a narrow alley that runs alongside the hotel. I lean
forward, looking for his friend. I see him step out from
the shadows of a brick wall. The Mercedesâ€™ headlights
illuminate the man, making him appear impossibly more
â€śHow did he beat us down here?â€ť Kianaâ€™s question goes
unanswered and she seems like she couldnâ€™t care less,
obviously now distracted and in visual wonderland, â€śMmmm
â€¦ mmmm.â€ť The sexy, appreciative purr comes from deep in
her throat as he crosses to open the passenger door. As
he hauls his big frame into the SUV I stare at the thick,
swirling tattoos that are prominent around the
collarless, skintight Under Armour shirt heâ€™s wearing. I
look over at my normally cool, unaffected roommate and
watch a blatant mask of lust transform her sexy features.
He has exactly what she wants, pure and simple. I know
that aching feeling all too well.
Oh God, what have I gotten us into?
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