Kendall McKenna, MLR Press

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword – Nights in Canaan by Kendall McKenna

Forever — is composed of Nows —
‘Tis not a different time —
Except for Infiniteness — Emily Dickinson

Here are two souls, one the embodiment of sin, the other the embodiment of salvation, that wage an eternal and epic battle between good and evil, between love and hate; traveling through time, across the millennial planes of human existence, to arrive in the place where they began forever, reborn time and time again to participate in an infinite dance of life and death.

This is the fate of Jayden and Kareem, who begin as Jesse and Saul more than a thousand years before the common era, to die and be reborn some two thousand years later as Imad and Christophe, only to die again and to be resurrected once more in the modern era as the vampire and the avenging angel whose destiny it is to slay his lover infinitely, and act as the shield between the vampire and the humans he wants nothing more than to enslave.

This is the story of two men whose bond is irrevocable and painful and spiritual and primal. It is the story of the balance between passion and horror and the horror of the passion they feel for each other, tormented by their love yet consumed by their need for it and for each other.

This is a gorgeous story of contrast that Kendall McKenna has written, one I can’t recommend enough if you’re looking for something that falls outside the definition of everything you might think of as romantic yet is undeniably just that. There are no happy endings for Jayden and Kareem. How could there possibly be when theirs is an endless pursuit of the unattainable? But, in their infinite beginnings and preordained endings, there is the satisfaction of knowing that there is no true end to them or to their love for each other.

I thought this story was practically perfect in every single way, atmospheric and simmering with the sexual tension between the sinner and the saint, who was not in any way infallible or immune to the temptation of the darkness in spite of the side of the balance he fights for. I loved the loyalty and faithfulness to duty and the sacrifices each man made to honor their roles in the script of their existence, and that they themselves fought for the balance between them, the balance between their love for each other and the loathing for what each was sworn to uphold.

You can buy Nights in Canaan here: