Title: One With The Night
Series: The Companion Series #4
Author: Susan Squires
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Published Date: 3 April 2007
Book purchased by reviewer
One With the Night by Susan Squires is part of The Companion series of books.
In the wild Scottish highlands of the 1822, Jane Bludell fights an infection in her blood. Jane has been infected with Vampirism. It gives her strength that terrifies her. Her senses of sight, smell and hearing are magnified to a phenomenal level, but she must remove herself from the world of sunlight and food will no longer sustain her on its own. She must have blood. Jane knows many things, she is an accomplished midwife and sees herself as a scientist, but she has no idea HOW to be a vampire!
Jane’s father is Dr Blundell, a noted research doctor in London was developing the methods of blood transfusion. Through accident, a blood sample in his laboratory (infected with vampirism) breaks and Jane comes in contact with the blood and it infects her. Dr Blundell is diverted from his transfusion work to search for a cure to his daughter’s “illness”. He takes her to Scotland, with the hope of keeping her safe and continuing his search for the illusive cure.
Callan Kilkenny, has escaped the clutches of a beautiful but depraved and evil vampire. Filled with self-loathing for the crimes he has been forced to commit, he goes in search of Dr Blundell and his cure, in the hopes the he can be changed back to human and if not return to his former life then at least leave the immortal one that he hates.
As Callan approaches the Blundell’s farm house, he feels the presence of another vampire. He comes to the rescue of Jane and her father as a “born vampire” attempts to destroy the Blundell’s laboratory. Callan is injured and it is not till he awakes that he realises that Jane is a new vampire with no concept of what that means. He decides to stay and protect the Blundell’s in exchange for the cure – though he will be tempted daily by Jane’s mere presence.
Squires has created an in-depth vampire world, hidden inside historical Europe. There are two types of Vampires – those “born” and those “bitten”. The born vampires feel that they are the pure race and that the bitten vampires should be killed. The story eludes to complex politics within the born vampire society (which I assume is more fully explained in other novels in the Companion series) which leads to the born vampires wanting to eliminate Dr Blundell and the cure. This is the one of the first sources of conflict you meet in the novel and is a continuous vein weaving through the storyline. This gives a solid grounding to the narrative allows the Squires to make many twists and turns throughout her story line.
The first conflict the reader is faces is that between the character Jane and the vampire “illness” in her blood. Jane wants to help those around her, particularly those in need of medical assistances such as women in labour, but the vampire side of her thirsts for blood, power and sexual release. In his world, the person is not transformed into a vampire, but they are infected with a vampire “in their blood”. It is a separate entity that lures them to make love and create new life. It is a symbiotic relationship where the host feeds the vampire in their blood with human blood and it pays them back with strength, speed, extra sensory power. However, it does not take over the host. The host make call on it to give them more power – allowing them to travel through space via translocation.
Jane is a women of her time, and though she has experiences the physical elements of sex (purely scientifically and so she could help women in need) she has no understanding of passion or physical need. When Callan comes into her world she is suddenly possessed with a need to make love to him. Her body responds to him immediately, at first sight she has “heat between her thighs” and thinks of “the wetness” growing there. Callan explains to Jane that this is their “Companions” want them to procreate and that is why her body is crying out for his. They fight the urge as hard as they can. Can you say HOT love scenes? Delicious.
The issue of “compulsion” is also used in this world, compulsion being a force that a vampire can use on humans or younger, weaker vampires to make them do their will. This is used both for good but mostly for evil in this world.
The hero and heroine in this novel are breath taking. Jane is a girl far to strong for her era, which make me love her. Historical romance is not one of my most favourite genres but Squires uses a strong willed heroine which made me love the character. She is flawed and sometime naïve, but her intelligence, wit and strength of personality saves her from being a simpering damsel in distress, which I utterly despise. Instead, I identified with Jane’s need to be accepted for who she is and all she has to offer in a male dominated world.
Callan is scared and battered from his human life as well as his treatment as a young vampire. My heart utterly bled for the suffering he experienced. This sensitivity, which the other characters do not see until later in the narrative, juxtaposed with his strength as a vampire and as a rough and ready Scot/Irish man creates a man that you fall in love with. The brogue the Squires attributes him is at first hard to read, but once I got the hang of the sounds (in my head) I was just WISHING for my husband to call me “lass”. Who doesn’t love a man with an accent, I ask you?
This book was a marvellous read. I am now searching for copies of the rest of the series so I can read more. I highly recommend you give One With The Night by Susan Squires a go. You won’t be sorry!
Learn more about The Companion Series and author titles by Susan Squires here.