We have created a modern mythology of beautiful vampires who are passionate lovers. The defining act has become one of erotic surrender and unparalleled ecstasy. Sex with such a vampire is merely foreplay for the sublimation of blood drinking.
Fantasy is one thing, reality another. There’s no denying the attraction to bad boys (is there an elegant way to make that non-gender-specific?) – we do crave excitement and wild passion – but ultimately we want someone we can rely on, someone who cares for us.
Discovering suddenly that the person you are falling in love with is a ruthless (and frequent) killer, and apparently a sociopath incapable of genuine compassion, is never going to be a pleasant surprise. How would you react if, further, the monster declares that you too must become a monster, or else all that you love will be destroyed?
Megan Cashman’s The Dark Proposal, published September 2012, poses this question. Claire, a young aspiring journalist, is seduced by older, wiser Daniel – who’s handsome and, for the most part, charming. One day, as the relationship between them starts to get more serious, he reveals that he is a vampire and that he has chosen her to be his eternal companion – and he makes it brutally clear that she has no real choice in the matter.
This is intended as the first book in a trilogy, and I have no idea where the story will go. Being the first book, there is no promise of resolution and closure, let alone a ‘happy’ ending. It takes courage to write a novel in which there is no hero, only an ordinary woman ensnared by a cruel and dangerous monster.
Full marks for embracing and exploring the dark side of vampirism, stripping away the glamour that so many authors use to conceal a soup of moral poison.
I want to give this book four stars, because it’s original and engaging, but it needs an editorial review.