Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Review: When Twilight Burns

Title: When Twilight Burns
Author: Colleen Gleason

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Gardella Vampire Chronicles/Book
*Spoilers ahead if you haven't read the three previous books

Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy is a vampire hunter, a Venator. The fact that she lives in London in the 1820's only makes things more interesting. On the one hand she is a lady of the ton with the responsibilities that go with the title. She is expected to dress and act like a lady and attend the various functions of the ton. She is also Illa Gardella, the leader of the Venators. She has the vital task of carrying on the legacy left to her by her Aunt Eustacia who was the previous Illa Gardella. Although she has no plans to remarry she has feelings for Sebastian Voiget and Max Pesaro. Sebastian has been Victoria's lover in the past but it remains to be seen if he will continue to be. There is an attraction between herself and Max but he refuses to follow through on it.

When Twilight Burns picks up where The Bleeding Dusk left off. Victoria is in Rome and has just woken up after being under Beauregard's control. (Beauregard was a master vampire who captured Victoria and try to turn her into a vampire in The Bleeding Dusk.) Her friends and fellow Venators are waiting to find out if she has been turned. Fortunately for Victoria she passes the Holy water test and is deemed free of Beauregard's legacy...or is she? *insert evil laugh*

Once back in London Victoria's mother, Lady Melly, expects Victoria to venture back into the ton and start looking for a husband. Victoria is not at all enthused about this and looks for any reason to forgo attending the various ton functions. Making social calls during the day and slaying vampires at night complicates her life. Then when old enemies emerge Victoria has no choice and must interact with the members of the ton. She must also deal with her late husband's heir who has arrived from Kentucky to take his place in society. Victoria was widowed when her husband, Lord Phillip de Lacy, was turned into a vampire. Even though she loved him it fell to her to kill him.

Victoria and her Venators have the task of finding a vampire who is not only able to walk in the sunlight but can mask his or her presence. A venator can sense the presence of a vampire by a cool chill on the back of their neck. In the case of the daywalker their is no chill, no warning that he is near.

The two men currently in Victoria's life are Sebastian, the seemingly untrustworthy ally and great, great..grandson of Beauregard. And Max, the dark, brooding and deadly Venator. Sebastian had once refused to take sides in the war between the Venators and the vampires. He finally took the side of the Venators when he killed Beauregard. He is now a Venator and Victoria's most ardent suitor. Max is still dark and brooding but is no longer a Venator. He gave up his position when he broke free of the hold the vampire queen had over him. He knows she will be after him and is on the run.

That brings us to the wonderfully evil Lilith. She is queen of the vampires and Victoria's nemesis. Lilith is such a fascinating antagonist. Gleason's description of her is gloriously eerie.

"Lilith was still horribly elegant, still skeletally slender with the whitest skin marked by an occasional blue vein. Her eyelids were onionskin thin, colored bluish-purple, and her lips the gray-blue of someone who cannot get warm." page 216

"Lilith lifted her head from the distended vein of her victim's neck, looking at Victoria. She ate daintily, and even when she smiled a knowing, horrible smile, her teeth gleamed pure white." page 225

Gleason has a way of writing that pulls you into the scene and into the character's head. I've been a Max fan all along but at one point she had me cheering for Sebastian. This was another terrific addition to the series. If you haven't read the previous three books you really should. Then go out and get When Twilight Burns. The fifth and final book, As Shadows Fade, is due out March 2009.

And I don't want to forget to mention, these are some of the most gorgeous covers. Kudos to the cover artist.

For more information about this series Ms. Gleason has a website as well as a blog that she updates regularly.

Rating: A


  1. Great review, love this series!

  2. Thanks Brie!

    Only one more book in the series ~ I'm looking forward to finding out how it ends.