Title: Love Eternal
Author: Wayne Mansfield
Length: 10,100 words (42 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m paranormal (vampires)
Evan is a man lost in the modern world. He has a job, a house, and a best friend. He also has a hole in his soul that he hadn’t even realized was there until one night he meets a mysterious stranger, lurking in the shadows of a tree-lined lane where men meet for sex.
There is something striking and a little terrifying about this stranger. Evan’s initial intrigue is soon compounded when he discovers that they have met before. A long time ago. And that they used to be lovers. When the memory is awakened in Evan, his ordinary life is transformed. The hole in his soul is filled. But Evan can’t know how completely his life is about to change once more.
Fans of vampires and soul mates will likely enjoy this story, but I found it fell a bit flat for me. Evan spends his nights walking the streets, specifically down the lane where gay prostitutes proposition passers-by for a quicky under the trees. One night he’s stopped by an unusual man, but feeling flustered rushes home. His friend and next door neighbor tells him that a man was on his porch in the night, which freaks him out even more. However he finally gets up the nerve to confront the guy and find out why he’s following him. After they share a kiss, he soon realizes that Sebastian is a vampire.
His friend/neighbor, whom I really liked as a female character, encourages him, despite the vampire thing. Sebastian reveals his story that they were soldiers in ancient Rome, when Evan was killed. Sebastian ran into the woods in despair and was attacked by a vampire. He has been searching for Evan ever since. During sex, their past life comes back to Evan. They are deliriously happy for a few decades when Evan realizes he’s going to die and lose Sebastian again if he doesn’t change him as well.
There wasn’t all that much terribly original, but it wasn’t badly done. I did find the hop to many years in the future made sense, but I also felt a bit cheated that I didn’t get to see more of those happy years for them. I also found Sebastian goes from a rather formal way of thinking and acting, to a more modern way and then back again which threw me off slightly. I just didn’t feel invested in the characters. I’m not sure why exactly, it just didn’t catch me up in their story.
On the whole, for vamp fans or fans of the fated love through time, it’s a good read, but others might find it a bit superficial and have difficulty really connecting with the characters as I did. However, I am but one reader.