I figured that since I've got Ms. Gleason on my blog this weekend, I would review the first three books in the series (especially for those of you who haven't read her yet). I'm a big fan of this series. It's funny, sexy, heartbreaking...the list goes on and on. The world that Colleen has created is very unique. In some ways, it's our own history, but she's tweaked it and that's what makes it so fun. So, without further ado...here is my review of book 1. :)
Beneath the glitter of dazzling 19th-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil... .
Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.
But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.
And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.
Okeydokey...where to begin. At first, TRFA seems like your typical historical romance. Victoria is your basic society miss who is looking for a husband. It is her first season (though she is a bit older...family deaths & mourning caused it to be delayed). She has also just found out that she is a Venator, a vampire slayer.
Her family (the Gardella branch) has a very long history of slaying vampires. Her great aunt is the head of the Venator's, but she is getting quite elderly and it's time for someone to step in to take over the reins (so to speak). So, while Victoria is doing the usual society things like balls and the like, she is also training in kicking vampire butt.
She meets the super hunky Marquess of Rockley and is quickly swept off her feet. It is a mutual thing and they soon agree to marry. However, she also has this pesky attraction to Sebastian who is...not all that he seems.
Juggling her two lives is nothing but trouble for poor Victoria. If it's not one thing, it's something else. In some ways she would love to be just a wife and mother, but her responsibilities are too important to just walk away. How is she going to balance everything?
What I love about this story is how she goes about balancing this double-life she is leading. Yes, she makes some mistakes, but she is so young! You forget that while reading the story, but she's still a girl in a lot of ways. As the book progresses, her choices begin to be harder and have more ramifications. How does she go about protecting her husband and still get her job done?
This book has it all. An intriguing setting, a unique twist on the whole vampire thing, sexy men and a strong heroine. The characters that play a major part throughout the rest of the series are all introduced here (most of them anyway), but it doesn't feel like they've just been dumped into the story just because. Each character that is there is meant to be there. Their part in the story just makes it all the more intriguing.
Is TRFA my favorite in this series? No, but it is an excellent start. I can't recommend it enough. I will be reviewing Rises the Night tomorrow.
My Rating: B