Release Date: 22 Mar 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Vampires
Summary: Regency London - a dizzying whirl of balls and young ladies pursued by charming men. But the Woodmore sisters are hunted by a more sinister breed: Lucifer's own. Voss, also known as Viscount Dewhurst, relishes the sensual pleasures immortality affords. A member of the Dracule - a cabal of powerful, secretive noblemen marked with a talisman that reveals their bartered souls - the mercenary Voss has remained carefully neutral...until Angelica. Angelica Woodmore possesses the Sight, an ability invaluable to both sides of a looming war among the Dracule. Her very scent envelops Voss in a scarlet fog of hunger - for her body and blood. But he is utterly unprepared for the new desire that overcomes him - to protect her.
Note: Please note that I received this book for free from the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of review. I did not receive monetary compensation for my review and receiving this book in no way affected my opinion or how it was expressed in my review. I fangirled all over this book because it deserved fangirling.
Review: This book was an absolutely brilliant blend of the best aspects of historical romance and paranormal romance. I love the masquerades and other parties, gentlemen's clubs, forgotten propriety and general atmosphere of historicals. Gleason fit those all in seamlessly with my favorite paranormal aspects; a dark, cocky vampire hero, heart racing plot, seduction and especially the heroine's discovery of another world. This is the first historical paranormal romance I've read. I was expecting the different halves of the book to clash and stand out from one another. Instead, everything flowed wonderfully and I was left completely immersed in a supernatural regency England. I would definitely recommend this to any readers familiar with one genre and looking to try out the other, you won't be disappointed.
Not only was this new England as pleasure to read about, but I also fell completely in love with Angelica and Voss. Often times when the hero starts out as a rake, he doesn't remain in character after meeting the heroine which many readers find frustrating including myself. Gleason did an amazing job keeping Voss true to himself, allowing him to grow and not torment the reader too much while doing so. Angelica was a dream come true to read about. I adored her. She was funny and unbelievably caring. She wasn't weak but at the same time I felt she was very true to the time period.
I have very few complaints about this book. First off, I hated Chas and Maia and I think we were supposed to like them, especially since the sequel features Maia. I found her annoying and obnoxious. I liked Chas until he actually appeared in the story, then he became an inconsiderate, self righteous jerk. Maybe the reader is meant to feel this way, because I certainly don't see anything redeemable about him. Several pages from his 'POV' lead me to believe otherwise though. I really trudged through those pages though, definitely didn't need a love scene for a character I hated. My last, very minor issue, was with the prologue. I actually enjoyed it after I got a few chapters in, but I was very confused at first and that through me off. I'm not sure a reader who picked up the book in a store who reads the first few pages is going to get a feel for how the book really is.
Anyway, the negative aspects of this book were easy for me to ignore since the rest of the book was absolutely amazing. The masquerade was perfect. I haven't read anything so heart pumping and delicious in ages. The entire book could have been confusing and poorly done, and I still would have loved it just for this single scene.
To end this review, I want to briefly touch on the conclusion of the book, without spoiling anything of course. The last few chapters literally made me squeal. I loved it. The ending was deeply romantic and I've never encountered that type of solution to the blood lust issue before.
Thoughts as I Read:
- "Dimitri's own fangs extended in automatic reaction to the show of provocation. "The last time you brought me a gift, you did nothing but irritate me and cost me a generation's worth of property, not to mention my heart nearly on a stake." And helped cause the death of a woman." Everything's very interesting so far! Loved Voss's 'gift' and how skilled he was at provoking the other vamps.
- ""Yes, of course. Chastity explained how you helped her. You can tell me only how he will die."" Angelica is such a great character! I totally wasn't expecting this take on foresight, which is refreshing, plus she's really fun to read about thus far. Gleason has managed to impress me with how well she's incorporating the paranormal into regency England, I was expecting a little awkwardness.
- "Why wasn't she approaching him to speak of something of a personal nature? He was quite certain he could find something personal and natural to interest her." Voss has everything I enjoy in a vampire; he's mysterious, cocky, gorgeous, dark, and a tad bit possessive. I like his 'POV' better for the interactions between himself and Angelica currently.
- "And, he realized as he stood at the edge of the room, he desired Angelica Woodmore. Deeply." I don't have much to say other than 'yum'. Corvindale's timely interruptions are driving me crazy. There needs to be a kiss or something soon before I implode. And Corvindale isn't allowed to wreck it.
- "The shadows embraced him, and the black mask he wore hid all but the lower third of his face. A wide-brimmed hat covered his head and a heavy cloak offered more concealment. But he was watching her." Holy. Freaking. Crap. The rest of this book could be terrible and I would probably give it five stars anyway because the masquerade scene was INCREDIBLE. My heart was racing the whole time. Wow, just wow.
- "His breathing shifted and a delicate tremor rippled through his arms as if he were restraining himself. "I smell blood, Angelica. On you. All over you. I want to know where in the damned hell it came from."" I'm completely in love with Voss. Definitely hope to see more of this side of him. I'm really excited to see where the plot goes since the books is already such a nail-biter.
- ""Perhaps you should rest a bit. Close your eyes. Nothing will happen to you when you're with me, Angelica." Either she made a very unladylike sound in response, or he was hearing things." While the return to Rubey's is very in character for Voss, and I applaud that, the scene very nearly killed me. I really hope the Maia plot isn't going where I suspect it is. She annoys me and there's no chemistry there.
- ""I am," Angelica whispered, hoping that was the proper thing to say. The answer that would save her life...or gain her some time until Voss arrived." There certainly isn't a slow or boring moment to this book. I almost feel bad for Angelica.
- "She pushed at him, even as the warmth drained from her, tears filling her eyes, horror paralyzing her. Betrayal. Fear." Once again, completely in character but totally disappointing. Le sigh, I hope Gleason blows me away when she makes up for it.
- ""Dimitri was here. He and Giordan. Looking for you. Sure as the sun, they're going to kill you when they find you."" I enjoyed the convo between Rubey and Voss, spelled out his motives which were interesting. I'm still finding Maia annoying which has me worried for the sequel. I want to read it because I'm loving this book but she's just ugh.
- "She'd been sleeping with a stake. Expecting him?" Wow, really didn't like Chas in this chapter. I'd enjoyed his character until I'd actually met him. I've seen him first hand twice now and I think he's an inconsiderate asshole. He runs off with knowing his sisters will be in danger and yet he criticizes Angelica when he finds out she actually is in danger.
- ""Drink, Voss," said Moldavi. The glint in his eyes had gone beyond suspicion to something akin to delight. The fang's sapphire winked and hypnotized and Voss realized, for the first time in his life, he had wholly miscalculated." And once again I'm left thinking what an inconsiderate bore Chas is. Every time I read Moldavi's name I can't help but think 'Voldemort'.
- "She stopped, took a step back, gauging his expression. "I don't seem to be able to stay away." Again, the words came without her permission. "It's no great thing... I find I cannot breathe around you regardless."" Eeep, finally!