Thursday, March 10, 2011

ARC Review: The Vampire Voss

The Vampire Voss
Colleen Gleason
Paranormal Romance/Historical
Harlequin/March 29, 2011

From the author's website ~

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 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 possess 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 her blood. But he is utterly unprepared for the new desire that overcomes him – to protect her.

Now Voss must battle his very nature to be with Angelica ... but this vampire never backs down from a fight.

When I heard Colleen Gleason had a new series featuring vampires in regency London I was intrigued. These vampires are gentlemen of the ton. Lords living in mansions, attending balls and soirees. Then feeding off the ladies they danced with a few hours ago. Right off, Gleason pulls the reader into the world of the ton as of the vampires are relaxing in their private rooms at White's. They are like any other gentlemen of the ton, gambling and drinking, except their drinks don't always come from a bottle.

Voss, Viscount Dewhurst, seems to relish his vampiric abilities. He enjoys the power he commands but holds himself separate from the other members of the Dracule. I didn't like him at first but I don't think we're necessarily meant to like him. He's very self centered, only wanting to offer assistance when there is a benefit to himself. And yet he fascinated me. I wondered how Gleason would make him into someone worthy of the title of hero. Does he really need to change to be a hero or can he continue to be self-centered but include his heroine in that circle? I was hoping he wouldn't change too much but instead stay true to his nature.

At times Voss came across as an immature frat boy out for a good time and damn the consequences. He enjoys playing games, manipulating people to do as he chooses. You don't get the feeling that he looks too far ahead. Meeting and falling for Angelica doesn't suddenly change him so much as make him more aware of what he has been doing and how he has been living.

Angelica Woodmore isn't a vampire but a lady with the special talent of seeing a person's death. She touches an object belonging to that person and can see their death. Which is pretty creepy since people will approach her at balls and ask her to use her Sight for them. She may be more inclined to believe in the supernatural but the only thing she knows of vampires are the stories her grandmother told her. Angelica, despite her young age of 19, is a fairly responsible woman. She's very aware of her place in society, with her older sister Maia there to remind her. I liked the dynamics of the two sisters. They are less than a year apart with Maia taking charge and acting in place of the parent.

The sisters find themselves under the guardianship of Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale who is also a vampire. He has an odd working friendship with the Woodmore sisters' brother Chas, who just happens to be a vampire hunter. Dimitri agreed to watch over the sisters if Chas ever needed him to. Of course he didn't expect that to happen. The one thing they all have in common is an enemy. It's that enemy that brings Angelica and Voss together.

Voss and Angelica come from two very different worlds with Voss indulging in the pleasures of the world around him and Angelica trying not to give in to her secret desires. I would have liked more time spent with them. There are a number of secondary characters who get page time, most notably Dimitri, Maia, Chas and Narcise, a female vampire. I liked these characters but they took too much time away from the romance.

The world building is enthralling with the beauty of the London high society mixed with the darkness of the Dracule. Gleason shows the Dracule living with valets, butlers and house servants just like any other member of the ton. They slept a great part of the day and stayed up late into the night but so did their human counterparts. There is a more sinister aspect to the Dracule, they did make a bargain with the devil after all. Some try not to kill their food source while others care little for the welfare of humans, reveling in their superior power.

The Vampire Voss proved to be a satisfying read with secondary characters ready and waiting for their stories to be told. Good thing they don't have long to wait. The second and third books in the series will be released in April and May. I liked Angelica and Voss and I can't wait for Dimitri's book.

Rating: B+

Books in this series ~

The Vampire Voss
The Vampire Dimitri (April 19, 2011)
The Vampire Narcise (May 24, 2011)


  1. Great review, Leslie. This sounds like the type of book I'd love to read when I feel like a good vampire read -- a historical PNR. :)

    The world sounds great, but the book itself sounds like it suffers from "first book" syndrome with too many characters introduced -- the set up book? I'm going to bookmark it, though and wait for your next review or I'll just buy it when I'm in the "mood" for a good vampire book! *g*

  2. Hmmm, seems like you enjoyed this more than Ames :)

    The premise sounds great, LOL. I can imagine all these guys at White :P However, I don't know... Me and Ms Gleason... we don't seem to match ^_^;

    By the way, that's a pretty good release schedule :)

  3. Hils ~ It does suffer a bit from that dreaded first book syndrome. But Gleason's world building is intriguing and I'm hoping the next book concentrates more on the h/h.

    Nath ~ Yes, it's the 3 back-to-back like you blogged about. :) I don't know if you'll like this if you haven't enjoyed her previous work.

    FYI ~ This is available from NetGalley for review.