Regency London loves a Society wedding –
Even if there are vampires on the guest list.
Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale, should be delighted that the headstrong Maia Woodmore is getting married. His mortal ward and houseguest has annoyed – and bewitched – the Dracule nobleman too long, and denying his animal cravings grows more excruciating by the day.
Miss Woodmore's family has a rather...complicated history with the immortals and she herself possesses a keen sensibility far beyond mere women's intuition. Marriage will give her safety, respectability, and everything else a proper young lady could wish for. Everything, that is, except for passion.
In the looming battle between Dracule factions, all pretenses will shatter as Maia and Dimitri come together in an unholy union of danger, desperation, and fiercest desire.
This book is the second book in the Regency Draculia trilogy, which started with The Vampire Voss. Actually, it is probably fairer to say that the first half of this book is a retelling of many of the events from Vampire Voss from a different perspective. Now, done well, there can be merit in repeating many of the same events, but there wasn't enough difference for me not to be a bit bored.
The strongest aspect of this book is definitely Dimitri. He is your quintessential English earl. If you read historical romances, you have met Dimitri before. He is arrogant, he is remote, he is cold, a man of duty and honor, which has in the past cost him dearly. He is also driven, having been searching for many years for a way to break his deal with the devil that led to him becoming a vampire in the first place. His regimented and peaceful life is turned upside down when he is obligated to honour a promise made to the vampire hunter Chas Woodmore. If anything should happen to him, Woodmore's two sisters Maia and Angelica are to become Dimitri's responsibility, and to ensure that they are kept safe from Dimitri and Chas's mutual enemies.
To Dimitri's immense relief, his responsibilities should be completed in a short period of time. Either Chas will return, or if not, Maia's fiance should be back soon from his travels. The couple can be married, and set up their own home where they can be responsible for Angelica. That means that the interfering Maia will very soon be out of his house and out of his life, hopefully before she drives him to complete distraction by her bossiness, and by her mere presence awaking emotions and feelings that had been long dormant.
At this point I have to say that I love to read about characters like Dimitri, tortured, tormented, and so meticulously remote, but then who come undone when a woman gets under the facade. Unfortunately, I need to like the woman a whole lot more than I liked Maia. She was portrayed as headstrong and independant, but she just annoyed me a lot of the time.
I mentioned previously that there was a lot of rehashing in this book and it was, at times, tedious. I almost cheered with relief when I realised that we were finally going to get to some new story. That is, until I found myself wishing that I could go back to the previous story.
All of this sounds quite negative, but I don't mean it to be. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the storyline, but there is not a lot new here either. I think that is part of what I am missing with this series. The Gardella Vampires series was fresh, and unusual, but this book is pretty standard paranormal romance fare, albeit in a Regency setting. (I will say that I have read the third book and I did get some of that point of difference that I was looking for in that).
So, if you read Vampire Voss and liked what you saw of Dimitri in that book, read this one. A lot of people didn't necessarily like Voss all that much, but you will need the background before you move on to the third book in the trilogy, which for me at least, was the highlight.