Regency England stands defiant against Napoleon.
But battles among men mean little to those who live forever – especially when the Dracule are waging their own war.
Skilled in the seduction of men, both mortal and immortal, Narcise Moldavi is the greatest weapon in her twisted brother's war among the Dracule. Until she falls for Giordan Cale.
Her first searing encounter with Giordan brands them with a passionate love. But Giordan's vow to help Narcise escape her brother's rule is followed by a betrayal more agonizing than sunlight.
Wounded but determined, Narcise ensnares vampire hunter Chas Woodmore in her quest for revenge and to reclaim her life. He wants her, worships her, will kill for her. And the Dracule never forget a wrong – nor do they forgive.
This review will be a first for me because I usually go out of my way to avoid spoilers, and in this case I absolutely cannot help myself, but it's all in a good way. I certainly won't reveal the main plot twists or ruin the book for anyone but I wanted to give fair warning that I might discuss areas that I usually avoid. If you want to avoid these details in any way then I will now provide a quick and to the point review: The Vampire Narcise is by far the best of the Regency Draculia and I'm including this book on my best of list for 2011!
To start, I want to let readers know that each book always contains just enough information to be read as a stand alone, although reading Dimitri's book might be confusing for those that read out of order. I'm not recommending that you try that because I have liked each book more and more, and each is worthy of your time. And while each book repeats the basic lore it's more like a quick refresher course and doesn't come across like a waste of time.
Giordan and Narcise have been slowly building since they were introduced in book 1 so at times I felt like this was a series of puzzle pieces coming together as we were finally being given the entire story about their shared past. They have kept my interest on overdrive from he very beginning, but at one point in this story they absolutely broke my heart. Here's a brief SPOILERY snippet (one that made me sad just to type):
"By the Devil, you can't truly believe-"
"I don't have to believe. I saw. You." Her voice broke and she felt herself falling back into that chasm of desolation ad grief, a whirlwind of blackness. Disbelief and pain. Such pain. She had to get away from him. A roaring filled her ears, the deep, dark roar of hatred and agony. "Get away from me."
He stepped toward her, grabbing her arm. "Do you have any idea what I've done for you?" His voice raw, his face, terrible, was close to hers. She hardly heard the words, for they were lost in the horrible swirling scent of blood on his breath, the smells of depravity and sweat and other darkness. She talked over him, the roaring in her mind and heart blocking his words as she spewed her pain onto him. "You've completely destroyed me. Something even my brother wasn't able to do, in decades."
I won't give away the details but in this one pivotal scene everything changes and lives are forever changed. Gleason carefully and meticulously sets this up so that you have no choice but to weep for the depth of love that Giordan gives and Narcise throws away. And the shocking part is that I never saw it coming. That sense of foreboding was there and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, but when it did I was... shellshocked. I haven't cared about characters like this in awhile so it was refreshing to have that emotional connection stretch over multiple books, always feeling genuine and real, and not feel cheated at the end. Do my kids think I'm strange for being weepy over a vampire book? Yep. Do I regret the tears? Nope.
This is a must read for summer and I actually like The Regency Draculia more than I liked the Gardella series...and that's saying a lot because Venators rock! In fact, Gleason is a must read author for me, even under her pen name, Joss Ware.
Colleen Gleason's website can be found by clicking here.
Joss Ware's site is here.
Other books in the series:
The Vampire Voss
The Vampire Dimitri
*Reviewed for Bite Club by Anna Dougherty
*I got this book from NetGAlley for review purposes