Three Vampires and A Wolf: A Review of Lydia Dare’s The Gentlemen Vampyres Series and a Revelation

At last here it is, the long anticipated review of the Gentlemen Vampyres by Lydia Dare trilogy along with an interesting revelation at the end of the post…

The first book, It Happened One Bite, in the series stars our favourite warrior witch, Blaire Lindsey, and the vampire trapped in her brother’s castle, James Maitland:

He’s lost, trapped, doomed for all eternity… 
Rich, titled, and undead, gentleman vampyre James Maitland, Lord Kettering, fears himself doomed to a cold and lonely existence-trapped for decades in an abandoned castle. Then, beautiful Scottish witch Blaire Lindsay arrives, and things begin to heat up considerably…

Unless he can persuade her to set him free…
Feisty Blaire Lindsay laughs off the local gossip surrounding her mother’s ancestral home-stories of haunting cannot scare off this battle-born witch. But when she discovers the handsome prisoner in the bowels of the castle, Blaire has no idea that she has unleashed anything more than a man who sets her heart on fire

The witch meets the vampire, and the series starts off with a bang…I could say I loved the book from start to finish, because I did, but I really want you to know why I loved the book. So I’m going to tell you, and title this part of the review…

Ten Reasons to Love It Happened One Bite:

1. One castle…presumably haunted.

2. It contains a vampyre who doesn’t sparkle, who is also the hero.

3. A fire wielding witch, who is also the heroine.

4. Villains who act like villains.

5. A clairvoyant witch.

6. A heartbroken, potential future hero.

7. The final showdown is not a staring contest.

8. An adorable younger brother.

9. A small tribute to the Vampire Diaries.

10. A interesting twist at the very end, that makes you feel all warm and tingly with its romantic sweetness.

All very good reasons for reading this novel…But I have to say this book made me laugh and then cry. (Though that was mostly Alec’s doing, who was obviously still nursing a wounded heart…don’t worry Alec, your Happily Ever After is arriving soon!) I was also glad that Blaire was how I remembered her from Cait’s novel, brash, bold and as tough as ever. James, on the other hand is a never before seen character — and, although Cait’s vision had me thinking that he might have ulterior motives, he was actually a complete (or in most cases, complete) gentlemen. ( A nice change from all the badboys I’ve been reading about.) My favourite part of the novel, was the twist at the end — completely unexpected, and a total change from other vampire myths, and oh so sweet!

The next novel, In The Heat of the Bite, is about Rhiannon Sinclair — weather controlling witch — and Matthew Halkett — a chivalrous vampire:

Chivalry is far from undead…

Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that’s precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid…

But not every woman needs to be rescued…

Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn’t caught in a storm-she’s the cause of it. She’s mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn’t need any man-never has, and is sure she never will…

But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There’s never been a more tempestuous scandal…

Matthew can’t let go of his knightly code of chivalry, and Rhiannon is too tough to need rescuing…or is she? Matt was so sweet, with the way he falls for Rhiannon at first sight — though he doesn’t know it, we do — and his continous attempts at trying to rescue her. Plus, you know how much I love the alpha male hero, and Matt can be very alpha. (He gets a lot of opportunities to as well, with Dash’s ultra-hot half-brothers always underfoot.) Rhiannon, on the other hand, has grown up independent — with her absentminded father and I’m-too-jealous-of your-witchy-coolness-to-care-about-you aunt. (Yup, hate her aunt!) Her sister, though sweet, is too young to realize Rhiannon isn’t as indestructible as she seems. Underneath Rhiannon’s strong exterior is some serious loneliness and vulnerability that even her coven sisters don’t understand.

Matt does though, and that’s what makes him so sweet — and such a distraction to Rhiannon. However, added to Matt’s love for Rhiannon is his need to protect her from his vampirism — he really doesn’t need to worry about that, but both he and Rhiannon don’t know that (we do though…actually there are a lot of things that we know but the characters don’t, courtesy of the first book in the series).

Is there a villain in this book? Yes and no. There is the cruel aunt and the cruel (but complex) sire/mentor of Matthew, but neither are conventional villains. First off, the aunt was more of a supporting villain that a real antagonist and dealt with easily. The sire is never dealt with but disappears. The book seemed to focus on the characters inner conflicts that on outer drama, but was enjoyable nonetheless.

The last book of the series, Never Been Bit, is the much awaited story of Sorcha Ferguson and Alec McQuarrie:

The glittering world of high society is the playground for the rich, titled, and reluctantly undead…

Alec MacQuarrie’s after-life has become an endless search for pleasure in an effort to overcome his heartbreak and despair. Wandering through the seedy world of London’s demimonde, he’s changed into a dark and fearsome creature even he doesn’t recognize until he stumbles into a magical lass he knew once upon a time and sees a glimpse of the life he could have had.

But the ton is no match for one incorrigible young lady…

After watching each of her coven sisters happily marry, Sorcha Ferguson is determined to capture a Lycan husband of her very own. When she encounters Alec, she decides to save her old friend from what he’s become, all while searching for her own happily-ever-after.

Over his dead body is Alec going to allow this enchanting innocent to throw herself away on an unworthy werewolf, but that leaves him responsible for her, and he’s the worst monster of them all…

The last novel contains the “unworthy werewolf” vs. the “unworthy vampire” syndrome, developed mostly through the contemplations of one Alec McQuarrie. He thinks he doesn’t, but actually does, think of Sorcha that way but doesn’t want to see her fall for a werewolf either. (Confused, yet?) Alec loved Cait and thinks his heart died when she married Dash, but in comes Sorcha. Sorcha is a bright ray of sunshine to Alec constantly cloudy mood.

So then what’s the problem?

Sorcha wants to marry a werewolf like Elspeth and Cait.

Problem two?

Alec doesn’t want her to.

Problem three?

The Hadley brothers are back and more than willing to help Sorcha rectify her unmarried state…and Alec is more than willing to punch them.

And the biggest problem of all?

Alec thinks he’s too dangerous for Sorcha, what with him being a vampire and all.

You’ve all heard me moan about how sad poor little Alec is and how heartbroken…Sorcha thinks so too, and makes it her duty to avoid the subject of Cait at all costs. (Ain’t she sweet?) But Cait doesn’t want to be avoided and wants Alec to move on…with Sorcha (who she knows is Alec’s HEA).  Alec has moved on (to a point) but also continues to brood, which annoyed me at times, since it was so obvious he wanted Sorcha.

Of course, I nearly died of happiness when Alec pulled himself together and started to pursue Sorcha for real. (Score!) Poor girl really didn’t stand a chance.

My overall impression of the Gentlemen Vampires series was that it was nearly flawless in it execution of the plot. The events of each book fit together perfectly. And the little bit about the dramatic irony (us knowing more about the events than the characters in subsequent novels) kept the stakes high and rising.

So from me the series gets a 10/10.

And now…THE REVELATION:

On Twitter, Lydia Dare finally put me out of my misery and revealed that the hero of The Wolf Who Loved Me is Weston Hadley (and the heroine is Madeline Hayburn). In the book, Madeline finds herself in a precarious situation when she sees Weston turn into a wolf right before her very eyes.

Oh the anticipation!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Very Excited)

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