Review: The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason

24 Apr

The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason (netgalley)
Harlequin/MIRA (April 26, 2011)
Trade: $14.95
ISBN: 9780778329824

Favorite Lines: “I was a full participatory member in what occurred here. In fact,” she added, spearing him with her eyes, “I do believe I was rather instrumental in them. I did say please, did I not?” (p. 291)

Regency London loves a society wedding— even if there are vampires on the guest list.

Dimitri, also known as 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 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.

The Vampire Dimitri is book two in Gleason’s Books of the Regency Draculia. It takes place at the same time as The Vampire Voss. I’m a little conflicted about this. In general, I don’t like books that take place at the same time because of the overlap. If the overlap is only a few pages…I’ll suck it up and cope with it. Too bad that isn’t what happens in The Vampire Dimitri.

Over half of the book is a retelling of events that took place in The Vampire Voss. While the retelling works for people who haven’t read Voss’s story, it didn’t work for me. Why? Well, the story is told in third person. It’s like a bouncing eye that has focused on the hero and heroine: Dimitri and Maia. In the previous book the bouncing eye focused on Voss and Angelica. The actions happening in the story are the same, only the reactions to those actions are different.  Disappointingly I flipped through over 200 pages of material. I felt like I was rereading The Vampire Voss.

I thought I’d love Dimitri’s story, but I was wrong. I couldn’t stand Maia any more in this story than I did in Voss’s book. I just don’t like her. I understand that Maia’s wish to avoid revisiting a scandalous moment in her past forced her to act prim and pissy prissy. Her past doesn’t excuse her snooping in her sister’s room, reading her sister’s mail and snitching her sister out to their guardian. What a crappy sister! And don’t even get me started on Dimitri.

Well, I guess since I brought it up I can follow through with a little info. 🙂 A decision made out of love cost Dimitri his soul. In order to avoid repeating his mistake he has stopped feeling simple human emotions like love. His inability to feel makes him like a dog which chases its own tail. It makes him stale and unmoving. Unlike a dog, he can change his mind, learn from his mistakes, and make a future. Sadly every positive move on his part resulted in him retreating two steps. Despite the happily ever after the couple is guaranteed to find (Hello! This is a paranormal romance.), I feel like Dimitri never grew as a character.

I still believe that Gleason is a master at making regency romances interesting for those who dislike the time period. Her detailed sex scenes are consistently titillating and her writing is excellent. I just wasn’t captivated by this book.

I think people who are picking up The Vampire Dimitri for their first look into the Regency Draculia series will love it. After reading The Vampire Voss I was predisposed to dislike Dimitri’s heroine. In addition, I hate rereading information that I already know. This combination made The Vampire Dimitri a no win for me.

The next book in the series is The Vampire Narcise. It will be released in May 2011.

It seems the story is receiving mixed reactions in the blogosphere. What others are saying about The Vampire Dimitri:

A Turn of Page
Romance Books Forum
A Book Obsession
My Book Addiction
Joyfully Reviewed

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