Title: DARK VELVET
Series: Chateau Seductions #1
Author: Lisa Carlisle
Format: Kindle, 130 Pages
Published: Lisa Carlisle (March 1, 2014)
ISBN: ASIN: B00IQUUMCC
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Grad student Savannah Evans is thrilled to be accepted as a resident to a prestigious art colony. Where else would she be able to focus on her craft of writing poetry in a setting like that of the medieval-styled castle? The remote New England island is a respite from her hectic city life. When she meets her benefactor, a mysterious French sculptor, her expectations for carefree days writing near the ocean are distracted by unprofessional fantasies about her sponsor.
Antoine Chevalier built Les Beaux Arts on DeRoche Island to bring purpose back to an existence that has lost meaning. He’s wandered the earth for decades and finds solace in returning to art. When Savannah applies for a residency, something about her words touches him. After her arrival, a physical attraction grows between them, which he struggles against. She deserves more than someone of his kind.
Antoine proposes they become lovers during her stay. But the situation turns complicated when Savannah discovers his secret. She had suspicions about his identity, but finds the truth overwhelming. Consumed by her desire for Antoine and faced with a tough decision, she is blind to the danger that has arrived at DeRoche Island.
Since she had arrived for her stay at the artists’ colony called Les Beaux Arts at the Chateau DeRoche, she’d noticed something different about the owner, Antoine Chevalier. And not just the way his eyes bore into hers, shooting shivers through her and making it difficult to breathe. His quiet nature, his preference for seclusion for days at a time, and his still, composed temperament belied an intensity within. Noir eyes that rarely blinked spoke of haunted depth and smoldering passion.
Lisa Carlisle’s Dark Velvet is a darkly sensual vampire story with lots of depth and spice to the story. The story is action-packed with smoldering sex scenes. It will grab the reader’s attention from the start and never let go. This is the story of French sculptor Antoine Chevalier, the vampire owner of Les Beaux Arts, and Savannah Evans, a graduate student of poetry. This particular installment was my personal favorite in the series with sizzling off-the-chart chemistry.
While Dark Velvet is the first book in Lisa’s Chateau Seductions series, I would highly recommend that readers first pick up Darkness Rising, the prequel novella to this series. Darkness Rising is told from Antoine’s point of view and focuses on Antoine’s story prior to Dark Velvet. In addition, Savannah is first introduced in Darkness Rising. I was already vested in Antoine’s character and in Lisa’s entire Chateau Seductions world by reading Darkness Rising first. Each of the installments in this series are fast-paced and the characterizations build as the story progresses. If you do not read Darkness Rising first, you may feel that Antoine’s and Savannah’s character development is lacking in Dark Velvet. I actually cannot imagine reading the series without reading DARKNESS RISING first. So do yourself a huge favor and start with the prequel… and then continue reading the series in order! You won’t be sorry!
The characters of Antoine and Savannah truly shined. Antoine is actually a cross between two species. He was born a gargoyle but was turned into a vampire against his will while studying sculpture under Rodin in France. His vampire side thirsts for human blood; while his gargoyle side is driven to protect humans. He exudes mystery and sensuality. While his purpose in the castle is to encourage the artists who reside there, his attraction to Savannah is much more than that. He cannot stop thinking about her or stay away from her. I want my own Antoine!
Savannah is taking a break from her graduate studies to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the famously renowned Les Beaux Arts colony. She loves the castle, the beautiful DeRoche Island and the other artists in attendance. Her poetic creativity is thriving in this setting. However, she wasn’t counting on her strong attraction to Antoine, the castle-owner and her benefactor. When she looks at him, all she can think about is how it would feel to be in his arms. Thankfully, the attraction between them is not one-sided.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Dark Velvet:
“You wanted to see me?” she asked after shutting the door. She remained where she was, not daring to move any closer.
He turned his gaze from the fire crackling over the logs to face her. Those dark eyes scanned her from head to foot and when they reached her once again, they gleamed with unmistakable hunger.
“Take off your clothes,” he said calmly.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Art is full of agony and beauty. The pen itself a sword of pleasure and pain, isn’t it, my poet?”
“I bought new lingerie today I wanted to show you, but I didn’t get a chance with all that happened.”
“You’ll have to return tomorrow night then…. Maybe we’ll order an entire catalog.” His smile and the glint of mischievousness in his eyes reflected lascivious thoughts. “You can model all the outfits you’d like for me.”
There was absolutely no way I could stop reading Dark Velvet once I started. This is not a sweet romance. If you are looking for a clean romance, you will want to look elsewhere. But, if you enjoy well-written, well-plotted steamy reads, you’ve most definitely come to the right place. I alternately swooned, gasped and got goose bumps. Readers who enjoy a well-balanced blend of paranormal, eroticism, and spine-tingling thrills will be well-rewarded. I inhaled this whole series in days. This is actually a book that I would not hesitate to read again. It’s that good.
Suggested Reading Order:
Darkness Rising (Book # 0.5)
Dark Velvet (Book #1)
Dark Muse (Book #2)
Dark Stranger (Book #3)
Dark Pursuit (Book # 4) – a holiday romance!