In Spanish Harlem, Ricardo Fernandez places his hands on ailing people and heals them. He pretends to be a priest in the African-Carib religion Santeria because that is the only way he can help his patients including Sara Martinez's mother. She is suffering from cancer and he can at least provide her a bit more time with her family without pain.
Ricardo and Sara are attracted to one another, but she senses that he his hiding something from her; she cannot abide liars having been once hurt by one so the two wrestle with their feelinggs Meanwhile a soul sucking blood eating Chupacabra is drawn to Ricardo's emotions; he demands he uses his power to turn him back into a human. Ricardo knows that is impossible and would be devastating for innocent people so he refuses knowing he will fight this evil, but he will need a specially ally, the woman he loves, whom the monster craves too.
Caridad Pinero is one author readers can consistently rely on to provide a fantastic paranormal romance. The star-crossed lovers are so very much alike, both fear opening their hearts though their reasons differ; she because she does not want it broken again while he is his afraid of rejection. The support cast include vampires and humans with everyone aware of Ricardo, a beacon of light for the unnatural to devour.
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January 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Devotion Calls by Caridad Pineiro
Spanish Harlem, New York City
The saints' eyes followed him as he worked, scolding him for using them for his lie. Mocking him for denying the truth about what he was.
Ricardo Fernandez paused and laid his hands on the altar that embodied the fraud that was his life. All around him the statues of the saints condemned him. But he was used to such censure from those who refused to believe in his powers. Those whose fears forced him to hide behind the guise of a santero.
He looked down at his hands and, as he had countless times in his thirty years of life, considered why he had been chosen to carry this burden. Why these hands, which looked just like those of any other man, possessed the power to give life or take it away.
If he was a lesser man, he might have fallen into the trap of considering himself almost godlike. He might have opted to sell his abilities to those who paid the highest price to be saved. He could have even made a perfect assassin, able to kill without leaving a trace.
But Ricardo had done none of those things. Neither regrets nor revelry had a place in his life now, so he resumed his task. With a gentle touch, he removed the offerings he had placed on the altar the day before: the fine cigar, now just a half-burned stub and a pile of ashes, and the shot glass of fragrant rum, which had nearly evaporated from the heat of the radiator just a few feet away. After checking the water level in the vase of sunflowers he had placed beside one virgencita, he shifted to the last offering.