by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer
Kentucky raised Brandon Noble lived among his family, his brother, Daniel, and his sister, always feeling as though he was the outcast; but being a part of a normal family was what he longed for, strived for, unfortunately his is a clan of cruel vampires known as the Brethren whose ferocity and drive to hunt humans runs deep in their blood. Brandon has never fitted in the Brethren, as one of their sons, being deaf and mute as a result of a failed burglary attempt at their home, made it worse for him as he came of age. His relationship with his brother Caine wasn't the best as he along with his grandfather loathed him being a part of their family due to his difference to them, and his lack of ability to use his natural telepathic senses. They see it as his own fault, that he has brought shame on them.
Brandon's acceptance into a human school for the deaf and mute sends his grandfather over the edge of reason enough to want to kill him. Fortunately he doesn't, and Brandon is allowed to grow into maturity, still living his life among the clan. Now a man he has someone who advised him when he was a teenager, but she is a tough city cop who has a life of her own, not one controlled by any clan. She is fiercely independent, and believes if it can't be seen it can't be believed - but she is in for a shock once she meets Brandon again. Brandon seems to be the only one of the Brethren who isn't a heartless and cruel person. The rest of them hunger for the blood of humans they consider are below them, while Kinsfolk were traitorous humans who kept certain humans for the Brethren to feed on when they were at their most ravenous.
As he didn't attend the bloodletting when he was supposed to come of age, Brandon had become a true outcast of the clan. He had shunned being like them - he isn't like them, he is sensitive, has a mind of his own, and wants out - desperately. With only a brief meeting with Angelina in his mind from his youth, he thinks she is the only one through it all who keeps him sane.
The Dark Thirst of the title is the intense desire vampires of the Brethren feel when faced with humans, their smell, perfume sends their kind into a frenzy where they have to let their instinct come through to the fore, they would feed, taking the life blood from them, and more cruelly, tearing them to pieces. Rather than taking the romantic view of vampires, as countless authors have done before, Sara has instead taken the modern view that vampires aren't repelled by garlic, crosses, holy water etc, the only otherworldly thing they can do is use their telepathic power to lure humans in to do their bidding.
The novel will touch the reader on a deep, emotional level. Sara has managed the art of shocking and depicting a state of passion never before seen. Unlike his family, Brandon has a respect for humans, and a love of life they will never know. He also has a love of Angelina that borders on the animalistic with lust he has to keep in check if he is to ever call himself truly different from the clan. The whole novel concerns his struggle to be happy with Angelina. There are powerful sex scenes in it too, as Sara makes even this love story more of a tale about his life, passion and what it was like being brought up by a dangerous clan of bloodthirsty vampires.