Isabella was a widow having her husband to a drowning the year before. As her gondilier is driving her home one night, she is shocked to hear the canal waters trying to claim yet another life.
When she sees a man sinking to his death, she wastes no time jumping into the cold murky waters to save him. Searching the dark water, relief floods her when she is able to grab the man, and with the help of her gondilier, having tied a rope to her, they both get pulled to the surface.
Hoping to keep the torment of lonliness from another, she takes this strange man home to nurse him back to health. She undresses him and bathes him to warm him from his near death experience. What she never expected was how his nakedness moved things inside of her that even her late husband wasn't able to move.
As this stranger awakes, he swears he's in heaven as this beautiful woman standing before him must be an angel. Isabella assures him he is not in heaven, but saved from death. His vampire instincts kick in and he can't help but to sense her desire for him. Feeling his own need arise, he is disappointed when she sends him on his way.
When he learns that Isabella lied to him, and she is in fact the one that saved him, he is determined more than ever to have her. Sneaking back into her bed chamber, she is forced to give in to her carnal desires as Raphael di Santori pleasures her like she's never been pleasured before.
Now worried about her good reputation in the Venice Society, she's even more devastated when her late husband's cousin abruptly enters the room, catching her with Raphael and accuses her of being a whore. The ring he bears does not go unnoticed by Raphael - he is a guardian and one who hunts and kills vampires. Set on saving Isabella from being shunned, Raphael marries her.
Isabella will in time figure out her new husband's secret, but will she be able to accept him for what he is, or deny the love that she's developed?
Folsom did such a fantastic job with Venice Vampyr. The characters were easy to connect with and the plot was suspenseful and thrilling all in one. I believe Tina Folsom may be one of my author picks of the year for 2011. I can't wait to start Gabriel's Mate.
I give this title ***** (5) Stars.