The Master of Whitehall
by Rick Veal
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After the brutal murder of her parents in a robbery, Katelyn Corbin, a thoroughly modern 21 year old college senior, finds herself attempting to re-start her life in Charleston, SC, where she finds love, healing and a brand new life in a most unexpected avenue.
This story follows Katelyn from her hometown just outside Atlanta to her new school in Charleston. There she meets James and is deeply intrigued by him from their first meeting; feeling as if he has touched her very soul. The more she considers him, the more intense her interest becomes. He is a wealthy patron of the arts, especially at her school. He is tall and handsome with a strong persona; a young widower, living alone in a huge, but beautifully restored old plantation house called 'Whitehall'. Their friendship soon becomes serious, becoming a full on relationship as Katelyn falls madly in love with him. James soon makes his love for her just as obvious. Their lives begin to blend, twisting and turning, as they continue to grow closer.
After several strange incidents, Katelyn begins to develop a series of unsettling questions about her new love. However, she knows that after facing the catastrophe of her parent’s deaths, she can face anything life throws at her. She begins looking at the questions, searching her own soul. Finally deciding that she must know the answers, she confronts him. She soon discovers James' true nature; confirming her fears that he was indeed not the man she thought, but the man she feared him to be. The confirmation of her suspicions are shocking to her, turning her world view on its side. She is forced to acknowledge things about herself and her world that she never thought possible. With her new found knowledge, Katelyn realizes she must make a choice to live with or without James. She quickly decides to adapt her life and adjust her beliefs in order to continue to be with James.
Their love for each other develops and continues to grow as he assists her to close the gaping wounds left by the tragedy of her parent’s murders. Katelyn continues to uncover other secrets, discovering another existence, as she begins her new life with James. The story reaches a highly emotional and completely unexpected ending that fully illustrates Katelyn's personality of love and care for those around her.
The Master of Whitehall story unfolds over the course of nearly a year, and features flashbacks that more fully develop each of the characters, offering insights into their personal histories. The story is narrated in first person perspective by Katelyn as she offers a window into the world of possibilities of love between mortal and immortal.
The Master of Whitehall will be very appealing to readers of Rachel Caine's 'Morganville Vampires', Charlaine Harris’ ‘True Blood’ series, and Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles'.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
"Gift?" I asked shockingly, "That's what you call it, a gift? You're talking about taking away my life ... and you call it a gift?"
This book was a lot different than I expected. I've only read two or three of each of the series that the blurb says this book will appeal to, but this book caught me off guard. Instead of being the fast paced action story that I had expected, this was a slow and beautiful tale of the gift of love. Out of every vampire story I've ever read, I've never read a story that considered turning another into a vampire a gift. Although at first I found this extremely odd, it grew on me. It was just a different aspect on vampirism that I hadn't come in contact with yet.
"James, Everything is so beautiful, I never knew the night held such secrets."
As I said before, this was a slower paced story, the conflict was small and quickly resolved. Although normally this would be a negative for me, I found the book overall to be extremely peaceful. I read mostly at night and after a stressfull day, it was nice to unwind to a calm and well written story. The imagery was so well done in this story that I had no problem at all imagining even the smallest details of what was going on in the story. In fact (since I read at night), I had quite a few vivid vamp dreams because of this book. That's not happened to me in a few months. =P
Why not a five star? Now, I give this author credit for doing a good job with this story, I have to admit there were a couple things that did stand out to me. Being a male writer, I feel that there was some weirdness with the female characters. Overall, he did a great job making a well rounded female character, but there were just a few things that kind of annoyed me. At 21-22, I couldn't imagine giggling nearly as much as these girls did. I also don't think I've gotten excited about pajamas since I was 13. There was just a few things that made the characters seem very immature, and in the end, I just reaged them in my head to be teenagers. It just seemed to fit better. In the end, I suppose that everyone matures at a different rate. It was just difficult for me to personally imagine someone in their 20s being so immature.
What would I like to see next? I think I'd like to see the family come across a larger conflict. Although I did enjoy the slow pace of this book, I think if there's a second book, there should be some more action. The slow pace of this book did very well to fully create and develop the characters, so now it's time for those characters to do something cool! They have all these great powers, I'd love to see them in action.
As always, I'd like to leave you all with a snippet of my favourite part of the book. Enjoy!
Now I turned my full attention towards the frightened girl. The fear that was still running rampant in her caused the scent of her blood to be even stronger, rising up from her like steam off a hot pool. Even as gorged as I was, her blood still smelled so wonderful to me, so innocent, so tempted; the scent ofa mere child. I breathed it in like the sweet bouquet that it was ... and then I willfully forced the blood lust away from me. She looked at me, her eyes growing wide in pure terror.
"Oh my God," She thought to herself, "A vampire ... they do exist ... a real, live, honest to God vampire is standing right in front of me ... and this one ain't sparkling ..."