A Vampire's Christmas Carol
by Cynthia Eden
Ben Prescott hates Christmas—he’s a vampire, and to him, there’s certainly nothing jolly about the holiday season. While the humans are running around being merry, he’s hunting in the shadows. Ben plans to spend the holidays his way…by stalking deadly prey.
But fate has other plans for Ben.
Three visitors are coming Ben’s way…A demon who will force Ben to face his past, a ghost who will show Ben the present he could have, and a shifter who will reveal the darkness that waits in Ben’s future. Unless Ben can change his ways, he may just turn into a real monster, one who can’t be saved by anyone or anything.
’Tis the season…to be undead.
Ben’s redemption rests in the hands of the one woman he loved and lost—Simone Laurent. If Ben is going to have a chance at being more than just the beast in the darkness, he has to prove himself to the lovely Simone. A very hard task, considering that, once upon a Christmas Eve, Simone died in Ben’s arms…
I admit I have only read a few of Cynthia Eden’s stories, usually when they were in an anthology with an author or story that I just loved, but this story though short was a pretty good read. I went in to the story expecting an interesting twist on the classic Dickens story and I got just that, with some hot loving thrown in, of course. I will say that I enjoy Eden’s writing style and her imagination can’t be criticized, but I do often find myself lacking that connection with her stories that I love in a good romance or erotica story. That being said, I did enjoy AVCC and would happily read her stories again.
This version of the classic begins with Ben, an avenging vampire, being confronted by his demon friend, aptly named William Marley, who prevents Ben from making his latest kill and begins the redemption of Ben’s soul. Ben travels with William to his past and shows him the night that be became a vamp and the night he lost the love of his life, forcing him to relieve the pain and face the truths of those actions. Then his lost love Simone returns to him as his second visitor of the night and shows him the hidden parts of his present to teach him that things are not always as they seem. But the moment they are together Ben can’t resist renewing their love and Simone is more than willing to be taken by Ben. When her time is up, Ben’s final visitor shows him the true horror that his future holds if he doesn’t change his ways, prompting Ben to remember the man he was before he became a vampire and find the light within himself. Unfortunately, this chance as redemption for Ben comes at a high price and when the secrets of his past come to light, will Ben be redeemed or fall into the never ending dark, dragging down the only light he’s ever had when he falls?
Ben and Simone’s story was short but heartfelt, sexy but emotional, and one that has enough imagination to make this spin on the classic one that I plan to enjoy each holiday season. It was fun seeing Ben forced to face the changes within himself, but also uncovering secrets that were kept from him for many years. Simone is certainly a very angelic woman, sacrificing her happiness to make sure that Ben doesn’t turn into a monster, knowing that the goodness inside him is worth redeeming, that their love is enough to fill him with light. Eden handles the twists well and gives you a very enjoyable journey into human nature and the true nature of the season and love. I haven’t enjoyed many of the twists on Christmas Carol I’ve seen or read, but Ben and Simone were a great couple and their story was great. I would have loved to see it be a bit longer, maybe getting a little more time to rekindle their love, but I guess for the short time they have together they definitely brought the heat and naughty togetherness I was hoping for.
Rating: 3.5 stars