by Sharon S., guest reviewer
This is the third book in Gleason’s Regency Vampire series, but it differs dramatically from the first two. This one is much darker, more violent and emotionally wrenching than the first two. For someone like me, lover of dark UF, this was a good thing <G>. This book can be read as a stand alone.
I love the unique world Gleason has created. The Dracule are descendants of Vlad Tepes, who made a deal with Lucifer for immorality. This deal allowed Lucifer to visit any descendant of Vlad’s in their dreams and offer them the same deal. No one ever refuses because Lucifer picks only those who are self serving, and can be manipulated into his service with promises of power, strength and eternal youth. Some of the Dracule embraced their dark side, while others regret what they have done. Along with immortality, the need to take blood and the black root like mark of Lucifer on their shoulders, the Dracule also acquire an Asthenia, their personal Achilles’ Heel. It is the object that they first see after their transformation. The Dracule must keep their Asthenia a secret, because exposure to it will weaken them, and even cause death.
Gleason does an excellent job of weaving the story into the history of France and England during the Regency era. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t dwell on the description of things, like some Regency novels, but on the historical events going on during this time.
We met the beautiful and deadly Narcise, her twisted and cruel brother Cezar Moldavi, and the tortured Giordan Cale in The Vampire Dimitri, as well as the vampire hunter, Chas Woodmore. We know there is a dark and sad history between these characters that has led them to where they are in Dimitri’s book.
I can’t go into the details of The Vampire Narcise without giving away to many twists and surprises, but Narcise’s book starts out 10 years before the events of the first two books. We find out why Cezar keeps his sister Narcise a prisoner and discover just how sadistic and twisted this man is. The Giordan in we meet in the beginning is a gentle and reasonably happy man, until he meets Narcise, and immediately falls in love with her. Narcise and Giordan’s romance was fast, hot and emotionally charged. She trusts no one and he is determined to rescue her and prove that she can love and trust him, but Cezar manipulates them with devastating consequences. It hurt my heart to read about it.
The book skips forward, 10 years later, and Giordon is the bitter and miserable sot we meet in the first two books. We also meet Chas, the brother of the Woodmore sisters. He is a vampire hunter who recently realizes that not all Dracule are evil. He helps to rescue Narcise from her brother and falls in love with her. He is conflicted because he loves her and hates his self for it, and he knows deep down that her heart will always belong to Giordan.
There is a HEA, but it is a long and hard journey of betrayal and redemption for our lovers to find it. To me that makes it worth the read.