Adrian Talbot is among Anne Fraser's most morally ambiguous, disturbing and colorful creations. A contemporary of Shakespeare, Adrian was the son of a prostitute who was put to work in a brothel himself as a child. A gift for acting and a strikingly beautiful face helped him escape that sordid world, assisted by the mentorship of playwright Christopher Marlowe and Adrian's own pride and ego. In 1600, as plague rages through London, Adrian approaches a wealthy but mysterious aristocrat on behalf of his theatre troupe, who need a patron so they can leave the city. The nobleman is one of several vampire elites in London, who agrees to patronize the troupe if bisexual Adrian will become his bondslave. Soon Adrian is a vampire himself. Anne introduced Adrian to her readers in a series of stories set in present-day Toronto, where Adrian Talbot poses as a professor at the University of Toronto. He becomes involved with a grad student, Jake Fowler, who pays an unexpected price for agreeing to help Adrian establish himself as master vampire of Toronto (or so he thinks). In "Speak Easy," Adrian falls in love with a mobster in 1920s New York City, and finds a surprising way of disguising their relationship. Anne once called this story "the best damn thing I ever wrote." The final two stories in this collection focus on Genevieve de Monet, familiar to readers of Gideon Redoak as Gideon's savior, mentor and dearest friend. Here we learn a bit more about her life apart from the Brotherhood of Darkness. This second volume of Anne's short fiction offers readers a wider view of her complex and vivid fantasy universe.