At the American Academy of Classical Art, popular opinion has it that the school's handsome and mysterious founder, Raphael Sinclair, is a vampire. It is a rumor Rafe does nothing to dispel.
Scholarship student Tessa Moss has long dreamed of the chance to study at Rafe's Academy. But she is floundering amidst the ups and downs of a relationship with egotistical art star Lucian Swain.
Then, one of Tessa's sketches catches Rafe's attention: a drawing of a young woman in 1930s clothing who is covering the eyes of a child. The suitcase at her feet says Wizotsky. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of Rafe's life, was lost during the Holocaust. Or was she? Rafe suspects Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened.
As Rafe finds excuses to interact with Tessa, they quickly discover they cannot deny their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction forbidden by the Academy Board and disapproved of by anyone familiar with Rafe's playboy reputation and Tessa's softhearted innocence. But what if fate has other plans for Tessa and Rafe? What if they break all rules to succumb to a passion that defies history?
©2013 Helen Maryles Shankman (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I have listened to Jennifer Ikeda's reading of the All Souls trilogy three times, so I thought I would enjoy this story. I guess I am just not a vampire story fan. Spoiler alert ... at least it had a happy ending.
I haven't read the print version but I do think that Jennifer Ikeda, the main narrator was absolutely perfect for this particular book, I loved the way she narrated it. So maybe for that reason it may be better. The narrator can make it better or worse and I very much suspect that Jennifer Ikeda made it better.
There were a few parts of the book in which my eyes watered quite a bit, I don't want to give it away so I won't get into it. Also the way that a few of the characters treat Tess is really despicable. The dance scene with Tess and Rafe was great. I enjoyed Tess's friends, they really helped to make the story.
They fit their parts so perfectly the way that they narrated them. I couldn't imagine anyone else doing Jennifer Ikeda's narration. Simon was also very good, his narration was some of the parts that brought me to tears.
Yes, I got through it pretty quickly for being as long as it was.
I LOVED this story. Possibly part of the reason I loved it so much was because I like romance, vampire stories and I have always had an interest in and been passionate about Art, especially the type of Art that is focused on in this book, I think its my favorite. Some people gave this fewer stars and I'm not sure why but at the same time I'm sure there are stories in which they gave 5 stars that I would give less. Also I saw someone say it was porn, lol. This was probably one of the most tame books I have read while still having sex scenes in it, it was pretty tame compared to some of the other books I read. I hate to see what they think of those books, lol.
It was an interesting story but full of holes and when characters are in a jam things are easily explained away. Upon certain characters finding out a vampires walks among them most reactions were mundane and accepting then the story hurriedly continues. I'm left feeling confused as to how I feel. The flashback stories were really touching but the main story was lacking with characters who were very hard to relate to. Especially the main character Tessa, who had major co-dependency issues. I suppose I look for more independence and strength in a female lead and a male character who cherishes those qualities in a woman as well.
I have read a couple of Vampire romance novels that were actually intertaining. But this one had weak characters causing there on fate.
The outline of the story had interesting possibilities. But how it was fleshed out was very disappointing.
three words are: past and present story lines, wonderful vampire, a little too long. I was surprised I liked the book. I purchased it to hear Simon Slater. Other than Bram Stroker's Dracula, I have never had an interest in vampire stories. Because I studied art, I loved the author's setting of art school studio classes & art analysis; though frequently the students' conversations was somewhat boring--very adolescent for mid-twenty year old supposedly serious artists (except for the wonderful great prank).
The second part of the story is the best of the author's writing. Rafe's life narrated by Simon Slater. The historic horror and sadness the Jews in Poland suffered; the description of the love and suffering of Rafe for Sophia was boundless. I was taken aback. Could be me but I wasn’t clear about Tessa's family generational ties to Sophia. Could use more time, clarity and detail on this very interesting aspect of the book. It did seem a bit too long, I would have changed the ending.
I love audible books, the next thing to seeing a play, a good narrator is so entertaining. I would listen to anything narrated by Simon Slater. He is fabulous. Simon Slater's voice brings the Rafe to life. hmmm.. Even if you have never been there, you will feel it. As always, his treatment of the other characters is perfect with maybe a need for a little more American girl in Tessa. He does a great German Rudi. Jennifer Ikeda was very good. Her Tessa voice is very believable, clear and pleasant. She was a good choice for the beginning of the book.
Of course, I would take Rafe to dinner, if he would promise not to have me for dinner.
Yes, Simon Slater is incorrectly introduced as Simon Slate. Rather insulting.. Correction should have been made. And btw another mistake, rather important, thank god for us North Americans, Rommel was in North Africa, not North America.
I love books, they save you, get you in trouble, and fill a piece of your heart that is always going missing. They are simply enchanting.
The emotions. The love and artistry are made so real you feel them right along with the characters.
The ending. I cried. Real tears. Two hours. I rewound and listened to it again and again. I was left heart broken, but I loved it.
Raphe, I loved him.
The story is beautifully written, the history involved is amazingly accurate and what it portrays is breathtakingly real. Told in several parts each is key to the over all story. You walk away from it having felt very real and very honest love in this story.
I purchased this book because of the narrator Jennifer Ikeda. Jennifer read the Discovery of Witches Trilogy and was incredible. I love her wide variety of voices! However this tome is hardly worth her efforts. The author sets you adrift in a torrential deluge of shallowly developed characters vomiting forth from the very first page. The main character Raphael seems to be a lecherous vampire praying on barely legal college girls. (Perv!) I don't think I've ever describe a book as a "slog" but this one certainly is. At seven hours into the book, I'm still trying to figure out the basic story-line other than poorly written vampire feeding, sexual misadventures and a wealth of bad dialog.
I loved how real it was. The struggles of the characters were historically accurate. The only problem is that it's a bit too determinedly sad. There's only so much entertainment to be gained from characters whose lives always go wrong. What I do like, however, is that it is some pansy vampire novel. Most vampire books nowadays make the the vampire into some angsty emo on his period who is dying for human love. The vampire is angsty here, but there is more reason to it.
"worth a listen"
Descriptions of art and art practices. That the characters weren't 'perfect'.
Not sure Simon Slater was the best choice, either as Raphael or fitting in with Jennifer Ikeda, but he did a credible job of the narration.
Some obvious plot devices, some bit kept me guessing. Will probably listen again.
If this book was only 2 hrs long it would have been brilliant. The basic story is good but so streched out it is boring.
I can't remember
Dissapointment. I skipped most of the last download section and listened to the last 2 mins. It was enough to tell you what it was all about. (nothing).
The great thing about this book is that it is read by a great narrator. Check out her other narrations.
"Fascinating, intriguing, unique"
Don't be fooled by the vampirism - this isn't your average vampire story.
She's a young, passionate artist chasing Masters through the Renaissance. He's a head master of the school that teaches her how. But he's still chasing after the ghost of a woman, haunted by past mistakes and she, being an artist, is in love with the idea of being in love.
It's a beautiful, finely drawn story, full of love, light and paint.
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