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The Passion Hardcover – May 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's not easy to do for werewolves what Anne Rice did for vampires, but Boyd seems determined to try in her romantic saga about the hidden world of the loup-garou. After the violent murder of three werewolves in Manhattan, Alexander Devoncroix realizes he must tell his son?heir to his leadership of the pack?the story of his own disastrous love for a human. In a flashback to 1897 Paris, 28-year-old Tessa LeGuerre attempts to kill Alexander in revenge for his having let her father die on an expedition in the American wilderness. She fails and falls in love with Alexander, while he introduces her to the world of werewolves?who, neither half-wolf nor half-human, are superior animals who designed the pyramids, live hundred of years and secretly control human civilization. As Tessa comes to appreciate werewolf arrogance toward mere humanity, Alexander introduces her to the werewolf queen Elise, and Tessa becomes enmeshed in the evil plots of Alexander's brother Denis?with terrible consequences for everyone involved. There is as much of Beauty and the Beast in this story as there is of Rice's vampire world, but the Passion itself (the werewolf's greatest pleasure and weakness) provides a strong erotic punch. Readers will crave another novel set in this magical realm.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A horror/love story dealing with werewolves and offering some of the density of background found in the best vampire fiction. Opening with a quickly satisfying weave, this talented newcomer though never as stylish as Angela Carter (the incomparable wolf, werewolf, and Beauty and the Beast tales of Burning Your Boats, etc.), does know how to keep a tale moving. Boyds tale begins when a massacre of three distinguished werewolves in a Fifth Avenue mansion prompts elderly, charismatic pack leader Alexander Devoncroix, now 120 years old, to tell his son, Nicholas Antonov Devoncroix, the full story behind the werewolf-owned, $30-billion financial and industrial Devoncroix Corporation. Back in the 1890s, it seems, Alexander fell in love with a human, Tessa LeGuerre, who tried to murder him in his bed but then was taken under his wing, made his ward, and eventually was brought to know the hidden werewolf society as no other human knew it. Werewolves in human form, she discovered, run much of the world, having made most of the great advances in science and technology. And they try, despite provocations, to coexist quietly with the far less intelligent human species. Tessa also learns that the act of transformation from human to werewolf--known as ``the passion''is a uniquely transcendent experience. A human-werewolf hybrid cannot exist in nature: The sex act would be too powerful for a human female to sustain, since during werewolf sex the total life-experience of each partner is exchanged in orgasm. This forbidden love, Tessa is warned, would turn her to cinders. As Boyd spins out her novel, werewolf society is split between the Devoncroix and the Siberian-based Dark Brotherhood, led by Alexander's brother Denis, who wants to rid the world entirely of pathetic, useless Homo sapiens and let werewolves rule supreme. Then, however, human-hating Denis himself falls in love with Tessa. . . . First installment of a series, and a promising one, in which animal instincts are plumbed and superfine senses evoked with great originality. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 387 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380974495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380974498
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Compelling, absorbing, and lyrical... Ms. Boyd can sure tell a story. She spins a tale of a subculture of urbane werewolves that exist and live amidst humans, unbeknownst to most of them. They are wealthy, elegant, intelligent, well-educated, and powerful: the consummate "beautiful people" known as the Devoncroix clan.

It is a story that is sinuous in its imagery and sensual in its use of language. The author expertly weaves the tale of Alexander, head of the Devoncroix clan, and his connection to the all too human Tessa. It is Tessa's fascination with Alexander and his fascination with her that is at the heart of this novel.

The author's description of werewolves and their subculture is intriguing and spellbinding. She draws you in and before you know it, you are caught: hook, line, and sinker. You dread coming to the end of the book, and when you do, you cannot wait to go out and get the sequel. Anne Rice, beware! Here comes the heir apparent. Anyway, the book is a great read.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Overquoted on December 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is an amazing read but also extremely distressing(at least for me). Part of the book made me cry for half an hour. It is not a romance at all. In fact, if you're expecting romance, don't read this. The book was well-written and caught hold of my emotions with a strangling grip. The characters were flawed, as all of us are, which somehow made the book better. It is an engrossing story and you will not be able to put it down until you're done. Wonderful thing to have when you want to ignore the outside world for a time(like perhaps in a noisy situation with nothing to do--schools, airports).
I must say this, I tend to be sensitive to rape situations in books. For those like me, it might be a good idea to skip over this as the author does a fairly graphic and horrifying description of it at one point. If I'd known of this before I read the book, I'd have still read it(it's that great) but...I know better than to think others would do the same.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading the reviews here on this website, I immediately went out and bought both The Passion and The Promise. After devouring The Passion, I must say that the writing is first rate, which is the reason I gave five stars. I didn't want to stop until I was finished. Donna Boyd truly deserves the praise.
But, I must say, that because I am one, I became really offended at the way Tessa, the human, was treated by the werewolves, and especially by Alexander. How could he say he loved Tessa at all and then treat her so harshly. He knew Tessa's love for him was as a human woman for a human man - especially since his werewolf wife, Elise all but gave him options at the sentencing other than to commit her to exile to Alaska where he knew she probably would not survive? His brother, Denis, became the more sympathetic figure for me. I was overjoyed that Alexander and Elise lost their firstborn. Maybe I'm being too critical, but maybe Ms. Boyd could have taken us into Alexander's mind during the time of Denis and Tessa's dangerous schlep across Alaska and for us to see how tormented he was by his decision. It would have given me satisfaction. The elitist attitude of the werewolves to the very end also became annoying to me.
I am a fan of Happily Ever After. If you are, too, then this isn't the book for you, but if you are into a good read, then by all means, buy it.
All that said, I finished the book in two days, I just couldn't stop reading - The Promise is just waiting to be read -- and isn't that what books are all about?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Brueckmann on September 8, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Passion" was an intriguing book to read. I had a hard time deciding if I really, really liked it; or if I really, really hated it. Hence, the tepid rating.
The story revolves around the relationship between the secret subculture of werewolves and a human, Tessa LeGuerre. It is set primarily in late Victorian-era France. The author depicts werewolves as being the elite of society, possessing superior intellect and strength; and are responsible for most of the advances and superlatives in the world. Tessa LeGuerre is the daughter of the best friend of one of the werewolves, the upper-class Alexander Devoncroix. Believing that Alexander is responsible for her father's death, Tessa infiltrates his household staff and nearly succeeds in murdering him before coming to the realization that she erred in her assumptions about him. Tessa is more or less adopted by Alexander and is allowed entree into the secret world of werewolves which is forbidden to humans.
Werewolves are insufferably arrogant and snobbish about their superiority to humans. I found that this theme became tiresome and annoying but then I suspected that this was part of the author's message. Despite their image of superiority, Alexander and the werewolves mess up time after time due to their arrogance. Alexander condemns his own brother and Tessa to exile after an abortive attempt at murder for which Tessa was innocent; even though the truth could have become known to them all if only they had a shred of humility or sense of justice. Even the most likeable werewolf, Elise, proved to be a failure in that she knew of Tessa's innocence but allowed her to be condemned.
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