3.5 stars. Unlike many readers I'm still not tired of vampire romances so it was easy to pick up this book by a new-to-me indie author after I read the intriguing blurb. Merrick is your typical noble but self-loathing vampire, hiding himself out in the woods, serving the villagers as a mysterious apothecary/healer. William is a young dandy, just starting to make a living as a pedlar of rare books, but still enjoying drinking and carousing with his rowdy friends. Inevitably he ends up charged and sentenced to be an indentured apprentice to the scary Merrick for five years. I liked William's character in this story. His style of speech and deference fits well into the Georgian time period. But he's not a doormat. His unexpected desire for his master totally mortifies him and leads to some enjoyable UST and misunderstandings. The vain and ruthless Theo, Merrick's vampire friend, is a welcome counterpoint to Merrick's selflessness. While the mythology is good, it doesn't get much deeper or darker than what is outlined in the blurb so that's a little disappointing for me personally. And the book sort of slows down towards the end, leading to a HFN situation for our heroes. I felt cheated out of William's turning as this was what the story was leading up to from the beginning. But it's quite well written and held my attention all the way. I am certainly going to read the sequel the author alluded to at the end of this tale. If you're a fan of PNR and vamps I would give this a try.