USA Today Bestseller
Night’s Pleasure by Amanda Ashley is one of those books that you hold to your chest and deeply sigh once you’ve read those last few words of the Epilogue. I love her books, they’re romantic, sexy, and emotional. I swear I don’t think I’ve ever read one of her books without getting choked up, and Night’s Pleasure is no exception. I look forward to her next Night book, it should be Mara’s story and that is one that I will not miss out on! Amanda Ashley has a way of captivating the reader, spell-binding and delightful she is a master weaver of words.
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This is an exciting paranormal romantic suspense starring star-crossed lovers as he is vampire and she’s a slayer. The story line starts off at hyperspeed, get a bit anemic in the middle, but accelerates to the finish. Fans will enjoy this fine urban romantic fantasy as the paranormal species and Amanda Ashley’s alternate earth seem real.
The Merry Genre Go Round Reviews
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Sidhe Vicious Reviews
Everytime I read one of Amanda Ashley’s books, I am reminded yet again why I fell in love with the Paranormal Romance genre and why I continue to love this genre! Written by a master of her craft, Night’s Pleasure satisfies on several levels. I was rooting for Savanah and Rane all the way through. They are both wonderfully complex characters and their story is one that will stay with me. A mysterious and sexy magician/vampire pairing up with the beautiful and stubborn reporter/vampire hunter equals some major sparks flying. A lot of sighing and swooning went on while reading this love story.
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Cassie at Bitten By Books said:
In this continuation of the Night’s vampire series the focus shifts to Rane Cordova and the mortal woman who steals his heart. Once again Amanda Ashley has produced an interesting and unique story that mixes romance, intrigue and suspense into one exciting read. I am truly looking forward to the next book.
Although this story is part of a series it is very easy to read and does not, like its predecessors, rely on the stories before it to propel the story forward. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to pick up this book and be able to dive right in with no heavy reference to the earlier stories. This book can stand on its own as well as being part of a great series.
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Northern California, Present Day
Savannah Gentry has witnessed the handsome magician perform under various names, The Remarkable Reynaldo, Santoro the Magnificent, etc., but until today, she never realized that he has never changed, he still looks the same as he did when she was sixteen. Why is that? She certainly wants to interview him for her newspaper; she wants to know some of his secrets.
Rane Cordova never intended to become a magician, but when he became alienated from his family and could no longer tolerate the monster inside him, he sought the anonymity of the bizarre lifestyle of a traveling magician. People believed that he was guarding his secrets when he asked that no pictures be taken at the beginning of all his shows, not that he was a vampire and could not be photographed. Rane has noticed the lovely woman with hair the color of moonlight; he has recognized her every time. She reminds him of someone -- perhaps he knew her long ago, only he cannot remember who that someone is. He has secrets to guard, but the temptation of the woman is more than he can resist, even when he discovers the secrets of her family that even she is unaware of, secrets that place her in mortal danger. The fragile peace achieved years ago in the war between Vampires and Weres is in danger, and something long guarded by Savannah’s family place her directly in the crossfire. Can Rane protect her? Can he love a woman destined to be a Vampire Slayer?
NIGHT’S PLEASURE is not a thrill ride of danger, but a solid romance story. Any dangerous situations are resolved, perhaps too quickly. Rane is sometimes exciting and edgy, but at heart, he is a pussycat where Savannah is concerned. Secondary characters are introduced, such as Rane’s family...all vampires, and Mara, the oldest living vampire and the most powerful, but lonely. There is never any doubt that they will be together at the end, and that the story will continue, telling Mara’s story next. Secondary characters help round out the story, defining the parameters for this world. Readers looking for a paranormal with strong romantic roots will enjoy this offering by Ms. Ashley. She shows you can find love anywhere.
Romance Reviews Today
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Amanda Ashley's newest vampire romance, NIGHT'S PLEASURE, is a sweet love story bringing together two people in desperate need of each other. Savannah Gentry has followed the illustrious career of Santoro the Magnificent, a stage magician, since she was a child. In her youth, he performed under various other names in many different venues. However, now as a woman, she has to admit that the magician seems to have been frozen in time. As Savannah has aged and grown through the years, her favorite magician has not.
Rane Cordova left his family behind many years ago to choose a solitary life as a stage magician. He recognizes Savannah in the crowd from when she visited his performance as a small child. Now, as a grown woman and newspaper reporter, she is hounding him for an interview. Rane is curious about Savannah and her fascination with him. He grants her desire for an interview but realizes that she may get more than she bargained for with him.
Savannah's life turns upside down when her father is murdered in his own home. He has left clues for her about her mother and their involvement with the vampires and werewolves. As the investigation of her father's death continues, Savannah learns Rane's secret and is torn between her duty to her family and the love burgeoning between herself and a dark creature of the night.
NIGHT'S PLEASURE seamlessly incorporates the worlds of the vampires and werewolves into that of the humans. Rane struggles with his dark thirst in order to be the man that Savannah can rely upon for protection and love. They have a powerful love that manages to defeat the problems created by their different species. As Rane wrestles his inner cravings for control, Savannah suspends her fear and anger toward Rane's kind in order to give their love a chance. Rane and Savannah have a sweet and compelling love that transcends their many differences allowing them to seek their own happily ever after.
Romance Book Scene said:
Although this book is part of a series, I really found that it could be read alone. Savanah is a newspaper reporter who is forced into the world of vampire hunters after her father dies. Rane is a natural born vampire. For the past several decades he has been using his vampire abilities to earn his living as a small town magician. He first sees Savanah in his audience when she is a little girl. When she grows up and becomes a reporter, she decides she wants to interview Rane, who is now using a different name, but is still a magician. Rane has notice Savanah following his shows, but has refused to follow his attraction for her because he doesn't want to be involved with someone he desires so much. After Savanah corners him about an interview, Rane surprises Savanah and himself by asking her on date. She accepts and as the two explore their desire for each other they both are placed farther into danger. Now Rane has to battle against those that want to rid the world of vampires and save Savanah, as well.
I liked this book, as it doesn't try to hide the fact that vampires exist from the world. Amanda keeps the story moving for the most part, with some slow parts in the center and a fast paced ending. Vampire fans will enjoy this and the other stories in this series.
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3 ½ roses
The newest book in the Night series by Amanda Ashley is Rane’s story. In Night Pleasures we find out why Rane has abandoned his family to live a solitary life. With a family like the Cordovas and a godmother like Mara who wouldn’t want to be involved? Unless you had done something you wanted to hide. Something you were too ashamed of to see the faces of your loved ones once they found out. For Rane, hiding was the best choice. Until he met a woman who made the life of solitude unbearable.
Savannah Gentry had grown up with magic. Her father seemed obsessed with the supernatural. She remembered as a child going to magic show after magic show. There was one magician in particular who grabbed her attention. Even as an adult Savannah followed his career. It didn’t escape her notice that even though his name changed throughout the years...his appearance didn’t. He looked as if he hadn’t aged a day. The journalist in her compelled her to find the reason. Cosmetic surgery was not that good!
Rane Cordova noticed the same girl in the same row year after year. It was inevitable she would have questions. So finding her waiting for him was no surprise. The feelings she evoked in him, however, was not what he expected. His need to be with her grew with each night he saw her face in the auditorium. If Savannah felt the same then she and Rane could spend the rest of his time in this city together. His only worry is...can he trust himself?
Tragedy interrupts Rane’s plans. Savannah’s father is murdered and it looks as if a preternatural is to blame. A Gentry family secret is revealed. One that will change Savannah’s relationship with Rane before it even has an opportunity to grow. The war may be officially over between the vampires and the werewolves but that doesn’t mean the battles have ceased. Rane is the only one who can keep Savannah safe, but doing so puts him danger. Even Savannah herself poses a threat to Rane’s welfare. Can the two survive being together when the mere thought of being apart seems impossible to endure?
Reading Night’s Pleasure is like sitting down with a good friend. Familiar characters whom fans know and love return to help Rane and Savannah. This book is written to stand alone, but to enjoy the world Ms. Ashley has created I recommend reading the entire series.
Reviewed by Rho.
Savanah Gentry’s life was so much simpler when she was a reporter for the local newspaper. That was before her father’s sudden death drew her into a mysterious new world she was just beginning to understand. A Vampire hunter by birth, Savanah has been entrusted with a legacy that puts everyone she cares for in danger – including the seductive, sensual Vampire who unleashes her most primal desires…
Rane Cordova has always been alone, half hating himself for his dark gift even as he relishes its extraordinary power. But one look at Savanah fills him with the need to take everything she has to give and carry her to heights of unimagined ecstasy. And though he never intended their relationship to go this far, now Savanah is in more danger than she knows – and facing a relentless enemy determined to eliminate Rane and all his kind.
The magician billed as the Remarkable Renaldo stood alone in the center of a large, well-lit stage. A pair of tight black trousers clung to his long, muscular legs. His feet were shod in a pair of supple black leather boots. A long black cloak hung from a pair of broad shoulders and swirled around his ankles when he moved. Posed against the blood-red curtains behind him, he was a formidable sight, one to make nine-year-old Savanah Gentry press closer to her father. Savanah didn’t know what the devil looked like, but she had always imagined him as being ugly and wearing a long black cloak. The Remarkable Renaldo had the cloak, but he definitely wasn’t ugly, and as far as she could see, he didn’t have horns or a tail.
The magician looked out over the audience. “For my final illusion of the evening, I will need several volunteers.”
Savanah Gentry nudged her father. “Raise your hand.”
“Raise your hand!” She was eager to know how the magician did his tricks. Perhaps, if her father got on stage, he could find out. “Hurry, Daddy!”
William Gentry looked at his only child. As always, he could deny her nothing that was in his power to give, and so, with a shake of his head, he raised his hand.
“You, there in the fourth row,” the magician said, gesturing for Savanah’s father to come forward.
“Is it all right if my daughter comes with me?”
The Remarkable Renaldo turned his attention to Savanah. The touch of his gaze on her face sent a shiver down her spine. It wasn’t fear; it was more like the feeling she had on Christmas morning when she knew the present she had hoped for all year was waiting for her under the tree. Hardly daring to breathe, she waited for the magician’s decision.
“If you wish,” Renaldo decided at last.
Savanah felt as if her heart were trying to jump out of her chest as she followed her father up the stairs and onto the stage, which was empty of props or scenery save for an ordinary-looking white door that was mounted on wheels and stood in the middle of the floorboards.
The magician quickly selected three other men. Then, with a flourish, he moved across the stage to stand beside the door. He opened it, stepped through, and then turned toward the men.
“Gentlemen. And little lady,” he added, sketching a bow in Savanah’s direction, “please examine the door and see that it is quite ordinary.”
Savanah’s father was the first to step forward. He ran his hands over both sides of the door, inspected the frame from top to bottom, and then stepped through the opening.
The other men did likewise.
Feeling self-conscious, Savanah stepped through the opening, then hurried to her father’s side.
“And now, if you will examine the floor,” the magician requested. “All of it. I wish you to assure the audience that there are no hidden trapdoors.”
Amid some laughter from the audience, all the men got down on their hands and knees and crawled around the stage, running their hands over the floorboards. One by one, they gained their feet.
“Are you all quite satisfied?” Renaldo asked.
The men nodded in the affirmative.
“Very well.” The magician turned to face the audience once more. “May I please have four more volunteers?”
Hands went up all around the room, along with shouts of “over here” and “pick me”.
When the new volunteers had been chosen and were onstage, the magician pointed to one of the men and said, “I would like you to move the door to a place of your choosing. Anywhere at all. On the stage, of course,” he added with a smile.
The man looked thoughtful a moment. After closing the door, he pushed it toward the middle of the stage, as close to the footlights as possible.
“Very good,” the Remarkable Renaldo said. He turned to the other volunteers. “If you will all follow me, I would like you to form a circle around the door so that you will be able to see me clearly from every angle.”
Savanah looked at the magician, wondering if he meant her, as well, but afraid to ask.
As though reading her mind, he turned toward her and smiled. “You, too, my little lady,” he said with a courtly bow.
Everyone on the stage moved toward the door’s new location, making a loose circle around it.
Savanah felt her cheeks flush with heat as she took a place in the circle, with her father on her right and another man on her left.
The eyes of everyone on the stage were focused on the magician as he stepped into their midst and instructed them to hold hands.
When they complied, the Remarkable Renaldo opened the door. He stuck his arm through the opening, waved to the crowd, and then closed the door.
“I hope you have enjoyed this evening’s performance,” he said, looking out at the audience, “but the time has come for me to bid you adieu.”
And so saying, he opened the door, and stepped across the threshold.
And disappeared from sight.
Sixteen years later
Savanah Gentry stared at the stage, her eyes narrowed as she studied the magician who strutted back and forth. This time, he was billed as Santoro the Magnificent. He wore his long black hair pulled away from his face and his attire was a little different, but she knew he was the same man she had seen on a number of other occasions under a variety of names. Clad in a pair of tight black trousers, a white muscle shirt that clung to his upper body like a second skin, and a pair of knee-high black leather boots, he was the most handsome man Savanah had ever seen. She had seen him at least a dozen times in the last sixteen years, thanks to her father’s fascination with magicians.
She had to admit that she was also intrigued by the art of magic and by those who practiced it, even though she knew none of it was real, and that the amazing effects performed on stage were accomplished through collusion with a member of the audience, misdirection, deception, or sleight of hand. She knew David Copperfield hadn’t really made the Statue of Liberty disappear, but she had been amazed by the video just the same.
Of course, magic was a two-way street, with the magician attempting to perform a trick that was so incredibly clever it would completely baffle the audience, while the audience let itself be entertained by an effect they knew was accomplished through deception.
William Gentry’s passion for magic, illusion and the Supernatural bordered on obsession, surpassing even his daughter’s interest. He seemed especially obsessed with the man now calling himself Santoro the Magnificent, and had, in fact, compiled a notebook that spanned the magician’s career over the last sixteen years. Of course, finding the magician through the years had been hit and miss, since he continually changed his name. And now Renaldo or Zander or Antoine or whoever he was, was in Kelton again, albeit under yet a different name.
Savanah had gone to the theater every night for the last week. Sitting in the front row, she couldn’t decide if the “Magnificent” in Santoro’s title referred to his remarkable abilities as a magician, his arrestingly handsome face, or his incredible physique. Most likely all three.
She had to admit that, aside from his astonishing good looks and his hard, lean body, he was far and away the best prestidigitator she had ever seen, and she had seen many. Santoro the Magnificent didn’t do anything as ordinary as sawing a woman in half or making an elephant disappear, although Savanah was pretty sure he could manage both feats with ease. No, he stood on a bare, well-lit stage and performed the impossible. She had seen him step into an open box on the left side of the stage and, seconds later, step out of a similar box on the right side. He had caught a bullet, fired by the local chief of
police, in his bare hand. He had levitated a full-grown horse into the air. He had levitated himself three feet off the floor, and while hanging suspended in mid-air, had invited everyone in the audience who was so inclined to come up and see for themselves that there were no invisible wires holding him up. Savanah had accepted that invitation and left the stage more convinced than ever that he was the real deal, a true magician. A recent article in a neighboring newspaper suggested that Santoro the Magnificent had sold his soul to the devil in order to obtain his remarkable powers. She couldn’t help wondering if that also accounted for his devilish good looks.
One of the highlights of the magician’s act occurred when he stood in the spotlight at the front of the stage and vanished from sight, only to reappear moments later in the rear balcony of the theater. She had seen similar gags performed before, but always there had been a trick involved – some sort of sleight of hand or a stunt double, because it was virtually impossible for a man to teleport himself from one place to another in a matter of seconds.
Savanah would have traded her brand new Jimmy Choo suede boots – boots that she had scrimped and save for - to know (delete how) Santoro’s secret. If it was a trick, and what else could it be, it was the best one she had ever seen. She remembered standing on the very stage he was on now, close enough to touch him, when she was nine years old. Remembered watching him open an ordinary-looking door, step through the opening, and disappear. To this day, she was convinced he had dropped into a cleverly hidden trap door. After all, people didn’t just vanish into thin air.
Santoro’s most astonishing feat occurred when he transformed into a wolf in full view of the audience. Smoke and mirrors, some said, but Savanah was sure it was more than that. Mere illusion, others said, and she might have agreed if she hadn’t seen him perform, up close and personal, on several occasions. There were rumors that he was a Werewolf, but she had dismissed the idea, since she had seen him change on nights when the moon wasn’t full.
Savanah recalled seeing him perform on her fourteenth birthday. He had been billing himself as The Marvelous Marvello at the time. Once again, he had called her out of the audience. Was it mere chance that he had picked her, or did he remember her as she remembered him? He had bid her watch closely as two men tied his hands and feet with thick rope and then bound him with golden chains. Once again, he had disappearedbefore her eyes, leaving the ropes and chains behind.
The last time she had seen him, he had been calling himself The Great Zander, but she had known it was him the minute he’d walked onto the stage. Hardly daring to blink, she had watched his every move closely, hoping to catch him using sleight of hand or a device of some kind as he performed one amazing trick after another, convinced once again that he was either the greatest magician since Harry Houdini, or a wizard gifted with Supernatural powers. That had been two years ago.
Last night, Santoro had again called her out of the audience. He had taken her hand in his and kissed her palm, sending little frissons of electricity shooting up her arm. He had felt it, too, she was sure of it, though he had given no sign of it. Even-voiced, he had asked her if she was afraid of heights and then explained that he was going to levitate her. She had expected him to put her into some kind of trance or hook her up to an invisible wire while he distracted the audience; instead, he had looked into her eyes and then, to her utter astonishment, he had lifted his hand and she had risen vertically into the air. She had hung there for what seemed like an eternity, with his gaze locked on hers, before he slowly lowered his hand until her feet again touched the floor. Before she’d left the stage, his gaze had caught and held hers. In that brief moment, she had found herself wondering again if he remembered her from times past and then, to her amazement, she realized that he hadn’t changed at all. He looked exactly the way he had when she had first seen him sixteen years ago. Why hadn’t she ever noticed that before?
Now, as he finished his act, she applauded as wildly as the rest of the audience. Perhaps he really was a wizard. Perhaps he was a magician in league with the devil, but whatever he was, he was the most amazing showman she had ever seen.
In his dressing room, Rane Cordova removed the trappings of Santoro the Magnificent and slipped into a pair of well-worn jeans and a bulky black sweater. The crowd had been with him tonight, eager to suspend belief and be entertained. Another two weeks, and he’d move on to another theater in another town. It was an easy life, and one that suited him perfectly. In the winter, he did an eight o’clock show during the week, shows at six and nine on Saturday nights, and one show at eight on Sundays. In the summer, he cut the six o’clock shows. Matinees were out of the question at any time of the year.
He ran a comb through his hair, thinking, as he did so, of the woman he had called on stage that evening. He wondered if it was coincidence that she had been in the audience again, not only in this city, but in others. He had seen the recognition in her eyes when she’d stepped onto the stage, knew she remembered him from times past. The hell of it was, he remembered her, too. She had been a cute kid sixteen years ago.
She wasn’t a kid any longer, but a beautiful young woman with hair the color of moonlight. Long and thick, it fell in waves down her back and over her shoulders. Her eyes were a soft shade of blue, reminding him of the noon-day sky he hadn’t seen in over ninety years. Her skin was smooth and clear, what used to be called a peaches-and-cream complexion. And her mouth…he swore under his breath. Her lips were full and pink, the kind of mouth that made a man think about cool sheets, long nights, and hot skin.
Rane frowned as he turned out the lights. There was something about her that was vaguely familiar. He shook his head. She reminded him of someone he had met long ago.
Grabbing his keys, he left the theater by the back door, quickly blending into the shadows. He sensed the woman waiting for him in the alley, but he passed her by without her ever being the wiser.
In the old days, he had looked forward to talking with his fans. He had answered their questions, signed autographs, and posed for pictures that, when developed, would show only a white haze where his likeness should have been. Oddly enough, in this age of digital cameras and cell phones, his image appeared on the screen, but once the camera or cell phone was turned off, his photo disappeared. He had found a way to turn that peculiarity to his advantage by letting it be known that he was superstitious about having his picture taken. At the beginning of each show, he asked that no photographs be taken, adding that any pictures captured without his permission would vanish from cell phones and cameras. People had been skeptical at first, but when they discovered it was true, the fact that he apparently made his photographs disappear only added to his mystique.
He couldn’t explain his inability to be photographed any more than he could explain why he cast no reflection in a mirror. It was just a fact of life, one he had learned to accept long ago, as he had learned to accept so many things that were part of his bizarre lifestyle, not the least of which was his eternal thirst for blood. He had tried to ignore the craving, tried to satisfy it with the blood of beasts, or with blood stolen from hospitals and blood banks, but to no avail. The blood of beasts could sustain his existence but, like blood in bags, offered no satisfaction. Sooner or later the need for fresh blood.
It had always been so easy for his brother, Rafe. Rane remembered their first hunt, remembered the woman their father had chosen, the way she had felt in his arms, the enticing beat of her heart, the intoxicating scent of her blood. He had wanted to drink and drink until there was nothing left.
“We’re not going to kill her,” their father had said, and Rafe had dutifully obeyed. Rane had complied, as well. What other choice had he had with his father standing there, watching?
But later, when Rafe and his parents were occupied elsewhere, Rane had left the house. He had found a young woman plying her trade on a dark street where nice people didn’t go, and he had taken her. Oh, he had given her pleasure first, she had deserved that much, but in the end, he had taken what he so desperately craved. He had taken her blood, her memories, her life. Taken it all, and reveled in the taking.
And in so doing, had damned himself for all eternity.